Why August Makes Me Anxious


It’s fast approaching and I am trying hard not to let the panic that is building inside me escape. I’m struggling to keep it under control and using every distraction technique I know. I want to remain calm and be that parent who is bellowing “I CAN’T WAIT FOR THE KIDS TO GO BACK TO SCHOOL”, but I can’t because I know that there’s the potential for it all to go horribly wrong.

And I say potential because for the last two years, he’s settled back in reasonably well. That doesn’t stop me worrying about it and wondering whether this year he will kick off and doesn’t settle in as he moves into Year 4, where more will be expected of him and the gap between him and his peers is widening. I worry that this will be the year that we call time on his days in mainstream school because he can’t keep up with the ever increasing pace. It’s hard enough for him as it is but as each year passes it grows harder. He finds it difficult to sit and concentrate for prolonged periods, academically he’s not on a par with his peers and he continues to be interested in anything that is for children five years his junior much to the amusement of the other children around him.

It’s hard to believe that this will be his fifth year at the school and I cast my mind back to when he started aged four. I am delighted at his achievements but I cannot forget the turbulent times we have both endured whilst trying to secure his entitlement to an inclusive education.


It’s difficult for any child to ease back into the school routine after seven weeks of holidays but that task is a far greater challenge for a child with autism. I daren’t even broach the subject too early for fear of spoiling the remainder of his school holiday and I can predict quite accurately that the response will be ‘no school’ just as it always is.

I haven’t even checked his school uniform and fear the recent growth spurt will mean his trousers will more than likely to be half way up his leg. Do I take the risk and wait until the day and send him to school looking like some sort of waif or do I ask him to try the school trousers on?

We’re less than a week away from the first day back and know that I should take the bull by the horns and tell my eight year old son “school next Tuesday” without diving for cover. Why as an adult do I fear my eight year old son’s reaction? I’m certain he doesn’t realise that school will go on for at least another nine years and that the summer holiday for him actually means the end of his schooling life.

For the last two years he has had a completely new teacher and in a new classroom. New expectations and different routines yet he has managed. So why do I doubt this child so much? I’m nervous that if I become complacent and don’t prepare for the worst, the worst will actually come to fruition.

I’ve booked the day off work so I don’t have to worry about someone else dropping him off or me dropping him off, it going tits-up and then I am stressing about getting to work.

I considered whether we have done too much with him in the holidays, should we not have given him such a fun-packed holiday so he would look forward to going back to school?

I know by the thoughts that are running through my mind, I’m teetering on the edge of a mini meltdown whilst the world around me shops for shoes, new equipment and school uniform. Me, I’m just blissfully in denial that the new term starts soon.

But those around me know. I start to get subtle pointers that they know as I receive more messages asking if I want to meet up and welfare checks without asking too may questions. Nobody mentions the ‘S’ word or asks me if we’re ready because they know. And when the day finally arrives, those who know will usually send a message asking it went alright for him and whether I managed to keep it together. His first day is my first day and I want to remain the calm, confident parent that is visible on the exterior not the crumbling mess I become by the end of every August. Shit to you, August!

This year is slightly different. Same teacher, same classroom so the familiarity will be there for him. I’ll know where to hang his coat and where to place his drinks bottle. I don’t doubt that he will begin the day with his usual phrase of “no school today”, but I secretly hope that he will bounce in and quickly realise that there certainly will be school today.


10 Comments Add yours

  1. carrie elmore says:

    It is also a time I dread for my daughter. She was diagnosed at 6 but I’ve known since she was about 2. New routines, new class etc. I’m with u on this. Hope it is smooth sailing for u and joseph and not so traumatic on Monday. Good luck.
    Caz. Xx

    1. Tina Medlock says:

      Hi Carrie, good to know someone is in the same boat! Let’s hope we all have a smooth start to the school year x

  2. Lavues says:

    Well, I think there are a number of people who will be like you too, but let’s not be too anxious as it might make you stress too much about it! 🙂

  3. Oh god I hear you. We have returned to school now but I did spend the last couple of weeks worrying about the return. Having the uncertainty of how the year will pan out hanging over you is so hard! I feel precisely this too. #spectrumsunday

  4. Kirsty @ My Home Truths says:

    I share this fear every year and my son somehow always manages to get through. This coming year is going to be worse though as my son starts high school. I’m doing all I can to make the transition as smooth as possible but I won’t be able to relax until I know he has truly settled in. It’s quite an exhausting way to live, isn’t it? I wish you all the best for the first day of school!

  5. Tina Medlock says:

    Thank you, fingers will be crossed tomorrow!

  6. So many will associate with this! We couldn’t get David to put his school shoes on with less than a week to go! Thanks for sharing with #spectrumsunday

    1. Tina Medlock says:

      And before we know it, it’ll be holidays again!

  7. Simran says:

    I found this blog about autism – https://www.tinystep.in/blog/autism-an-update. You can go through it once. Hope it helps you. Even my cousin’s kid was diagnosed with autism a year ago. But stay strong & treat your kid normally like any other kid. If you are strong, even your kid will be strong. If you believe, anything is possible. You can turn your kid into a great successful person one day. Everything will be fine. Don’t worry.

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