Well, yesterday was my son’s last day at primary school, and all the Y6 kids got a book in their leavers assembly to record their memories in.
My son can’t read or write, so depends on his TA for everything.
The kids all signed the book which was nice, and the family support workers Rachel and Kate wrote a lovely message, but apart from that, the rest of the book speaks volumes. It shows that my son has no friends. It also shows that the staff have made no effort to help him make friends. He has left school with not one phone number or email address. Not one.
His teachers, teaching assistants, headteacher, office staff, dinner ladies haven’t written a message. I think this shows what they think of Alfie, but more importantly, it shows that no one has thought, or made the effort to take Alfie round school to get his book signed, which is most upsetting. He can’t do this by himself. He can’t do much by himself, and he’s completely dependent on someone else to create opportunities for him. He’s been denied the opportunity to keep in touch with the kids from primary school, and I know there are some kids there who absolutely loved Alfie, and showed kindness and genuine respect for him. I’m not going to try to understand why no-one thought to do this. It’s completely unacceptable, but it goes on, clearly.
The most upsetting thing about that book, is this picture and caption on the first page. Oh the double-whammy-negative-irony. For kids like Alfie, it’s too easy for them to stand alone and often it’s not because it’s easy for them, it’s easier for the adults who should be doing everything to create opportunities. I’d really love for my son to be part of a crowd, and decide for himself if he wants to just go with the flow, or be a pain in the arse like his mum, but I doubt he’ll ever be able to make that choice.