Posted by: Leigh Reynolds | November 3, 2016

Move the Line

“Move the line, lady.”drop_off

Ugly looks. Honks. Glares. Pulling around me in a huff. It’s a big grade school and the line needs to move. People have places to be. There’s a swift system that needs to run smoothly.

But the people in the car line don’t know that we have been working on wearing his new shoes for 2 weeks and he finally has them on. I need to tell the teacher he may struggle with keeping them on all day.

The people in the car line don’t know he can’t tell his teacher about the molar coming in and the pain it is causing him, so he may be a little ‘off’ today. I need just a few seconds to be his voice.

They don’t know he didn’t sleep last night… Or maybe last night he finally slept after many sleepless nights in a row, so I gave him just a few more minutes sleep. That’s why we’re almost late. We’re in a hurry too, but I can’t rush him out of the van and send him off even more anxious than he already is at school.

They don’t know how much he relies on his teacher and her dry erase board schedule to make him more comfortable moving through the day. When she isn’t there, waiting, I need to wait for them to call her so she can greet him and walk him in. If we want the day to go smoothly, we need her to greet him and he needs a minute to read it before he walks off.

They don’t know how much routine matters to him. It’s his security blanket in a confusing world, so no, I won’t move his booster to the other side for easier exit. He’s always ridden behind me, so I have to get out for one minute to open his door.

The people in the car line don’t know that Wil can’t tell me about his day. They don’t understand that I drive 20 minutes each way, twice a day, to do drop off and pick up so I can have just 2 minutes with his teacher to try and get some sense of how things went.

They don’t know how much he wants to connect with other kids but just can’t figure it out. He sees the other kids walking in, waving goodbye as they quickly run off… Smiling, chatting with friends… While he has an escort with his teacher. He wants to be like them, to understand, to have friends. He just isn’t there yet. Social cues are confusing when you are hearing and seeing every little thing >100%. It takes him an extra minute to get moving because he has to discern what, among all the noise, he needs to focus on. It’s OK. We can all spare one minute.

They don’t know.

They don’t know him. They don’t know me. They don’t know autism.

They don’t know, so they honk, glare, and pull around me in a huff.


They also don’t know his mind-blowing smile. They don’t know his pure joy at the sight of a lady bug or the sound of the wind; the things we overlook and don’t notice. They don’t get to marvel at how he spelled Shakespeare at 3 or taught himself to read phonetically, or taught himself words in Spanish, French and Mandarin. They don’t know that his ‘gibberish’ is really him reciting all 600 Pokemon. They don’t know that inside that beautiful head is a mind that is wired differently, but amazingly.

That don’t know that he can’t hold a conversation with me, but he speaks volumes to me every day.

Oh that they would come to know what they don’t know.



  1. J

    Stevie Wolverton


    “I never said most of the things I said.”

    Yogi Berra

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