It started with a chicken…

It started with a chicken. Our six years of hell.


All day you kept my child in the corridor on his own. That day you wouldn’t help him when he couldn’t do his work. That day you called him silly and made him miss his playtime. In your head he had to try. In your head he was being naughty and refusing to work. In your head. But what about his head?


That day my child wanted to do right. He wanted to please you. He wanted his work to be perfect with no mistakes. But he couldn’t draw a chicken and you wouldn’t help. He didn’t want his work to go wrong and he couldn’t try to do it until he knew how to draw the chicken. So he sat there, all day, in the corridor on his own. Wondering why you wouldn’t help him. Not knowing why you were cross and crying because he couldn’t draw a chicken and he didn’t want to do it wrong!


You marched him to me, across the playground after school. In front of him you told me what you had done. You said he would have to take the work home, it wasn’t acceptable to refuse to do it.


At home I did what you should have done. I gave my child a hug and I asked him what was wrong. He told me he didn’t know how to draw a chicken so I showed him. He did his work and I took it to you. I explained he couldn’t draw the chicken and you said yes he had said that.


But you hadn’t helped him.


You had labelled him as naughty, the child that wouldn’t do as he was told. That label stuck like super glue and wouldn’t go away.


When he clung to the doorframe, screaming in fear as you tried to make him go to assembly, dinner or singing. You saw a naughty boy not doing what he was told but he was scared, terrified. There were too many people and it hurt his ears but he already had the label that you gave him, so you couldn’t see.


When he hadn’t done his homework that label made you cross. You didn’t see the stress it caused him, instead you saw a mum who wouldn’t discipline her child.


When he cried and screamed that he didn’t want to come into school and clung to me as tight as he could. You sighed and told him not to be silly. You called a meeting and told me it was my negativity making him dislike school. You didn’t understand that he was in a scary world, a world he didn’t get. He was stressed and scared and confused. You didn’t understand the noise was hurting his ears and he didn’t know how to tell you. You labelled me as negative and unhelpful. You labelled my child as naughty, disruptive, annoying and rude. That label you gave him stuck to him for years.


He was five.


Thank you for taking the time to read this post. Please feel free to follow my blog or like my Facebook page which I keep up to date with new posts as they are written. I also have a closed Facebook group for sharing days out and holiday ideas and tips. You can find me on Twitter @KidsOnTour.

13 Comments Add yours

  1. This makes me so sad, iv just followed your blog and its a great help, my son has recently been diagnosed with autism so its all a learning curve for us all.

    1. Autism Kids on Tour - Autism without limits says:

      Hi, thanks for following. If you look back through “autism specific posts” you may find some which are helpful. I also have a facebook page. Good luck with everything with your son 😀

      1. Thanks so much ☺

  2. communicatorstephanie says:

    All this over drawing a chicken? And at that age? People have no common sense whatsoever!

    1. Autism Kids on Tour - Autism without limits says:

      Some people really dont!

  3. I couldn’t leave my child with someone like that. My heart aches just reading this 💔

    1. PS. The chicken drawing is adorable! xx

  4. This made me want to cry. How absolutely appalling to treat a five year old that way. I’m so sorry he, and you, had to experience that.

    1. Autism Kids on Tour - Autism without limits says:

      Thank you, it made me cry a little writing it and remembering.

  5. Sithembinkosi Ndlovu says:

    What an inspiring article. We are so quick to label children before we actually understand their world . I trust all those who read your article will change their mind .

    1. Autism Kids on Tour - Autism without limits says:

      Thank you, I hope so.

  6. Helen says:

    Thank you for this post. I can see the description above applying to my son as he all of the above behaviours plus he lost his dad to cancer 17 months ago and is now starting to grieve plus moving school and stats. The world certainly is a scary place for a child with autism.

    1. Autism Kids on Tour - Autism without limits says:

      It really can be! Im so sorry for your baby. I hope his new school are great with him.

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