SoftThistle Life

Max's first school trip!

Autism, LifeMarylin8 Comments

Max has never been in a place to be able to cope with going on a trip with his nursery. There was never any doubt in my mind that I was doing the right thing keeping him at home, instead of attempting to get him to join in when he just wasn’t ready.

This year though. This year is different.

This year he’s starting to want to join in with his peers.

He wants to spend time with children, instead of just adults.

This year, I knew that we would both enjoy going on his first every trip with nursery.

So with only slight trepidation from my part, we went to Auchingarrich Wildlife Park for the morning, going on the school’s bus, filled with excited, loud children and their ever-so-slightly sleepy looking parents.

Max took the change in routine like a little pro. With our PECS visuals to help, he wasn’t just grudgingly going along with it – he was positively chilled!


Once we got there, he was desperate to get off the bus.

Max had noticed the play park area as soon as we came in, but he had to wait to get his prize.

And for everyone to have and finish their snack. That was a bit of grumping from him and a lot of distraction from me, but we managed it, and he relaxed when he realised I wasn’t taking him inside anywhere.

Our first stop was the hatchery.

Of course, Max wasn’t exactly bothered about the animals, though he did peer in all the little enclosures. He even signed “rabbit” appropriately! But all in all, he was content to just stop occasionally to indulge me when I insisted “Max, look!”, and other than that, kind of ran around the room in circles.

Happy circles though!

And mama got to hold a chick. Very Happy Mama was happy. But without a photo of that!

Then we walked up past the shetland ponies (I snuck in a pat), and he was off.

Turns out there’s a soft play area and he’d sniffed it out. Typical!

Luckily he wasn’t the only one who was having a ball in there, rather than bothering about the animals (Mummy wants to see themmmm *pouts*), so we stayed in there for a bit and guess what? He had a ball! (no pun intended, but there was a ball-area)


He was quite grumpy when we had to leave there, but that was short lived after I mentioned the P-word.

Finally he’d get to go to the park!

Me, I wanted to say hello to the marmosets and the meerkats (OMG there was a family and they were curled up together and the babies were teensy and I wanted to take a photo but Max started screeching and they looked a bit put off by it so I figured I’d better just say goodbye and accept the resignation that Mama ain’t gonna get to see the animals today.

The park was his favourite bit I think.

Free range, so to speak. Let loose to just run around, go on what he wanted to, and to play alongside his peers, which is something he’s been wanting to do more and more.


When it was time to go, his key worker got the visuals from the bus to show him, and although he grumbled about it, he took my hand and walked to the bus.

My little man didn’t just cope on his first ever school trip.

He really enjoyed himself!

If you’d told me about this trip 6 months ago, I would never in a million years have thought either of us would have coped with a situation like this.

But we did! We crushed it!

So that’s the sort of times we’ve been having lately, while I’ve been AWOL from the blog.

Making memories.

Doing things I thought would never be possible to do. Or at least, not for a good few more years.

And trying to enjoy it as much as possible.

‘Cause my little man is going to be finishing nursery in 2 and a bit weeks.

Two weeks and two days to be precise.

Until my little man finishes nursery and says goodbye to his keyworker.

And just 2 months until that little man will be starting Primary 1.

My baby is actually going to be starting primary school.

And you know what?

Finally I’m in a place where I’m not worried.

I know he’ll cope with it just fine.

In fact, I know he’ll excel there, because our school is awesome, and the staff there have known us since Max had just turned 3. And because they care just as much about him as I do, wanting to make sure he has the best possible experience possible.

Because I’m finally able to trust them with my little man who’s not a baby anymore.

Now excuse me while I go find some tissues and rock in a corner while I contemplate my last baby leaving nursery.