The Watch


I saw you there in the playground, near the fence. You were pacing, obviously distressed. Kicking the wall and crying your eyes out. My poor 7 year old boy in the playground alone.

I could see 3 teachers from where I stood on the street. Not one went to see if you were ok. Not one did a thing. You were left crying your little eyes out by the fence all alone.

I walked over to the fence and you were beyond the point that you could talk. You had obviously been sad for quite some time and didn’t know how to cope with how you felt. I tried to hug you with my fingers through the holes in the fence as you tried to push your body through it to get to me.

I saw a child I knew and told them to get a teacher. I watched as they talked to one who turned and went inside. I watched as they went to the second teacher who walked towards the fence impatiently, obviously a little annoyed at the unexpected meeting with a parent.

I persuaded the teacher to let you in to the school so I could get you from the front door. You didn’t want me to go, you didn’t want me to leave you but I had to so I could get you out of there.

I ran to the main entrance and you ran to my arms, tears streaming down your face, gulping air. I held you tight and told them I was taking you. We went home.

Later I found out your new watch had broken, the strap had come off. This is what made you cry. You loved that watch and thought it was gone. You told me you looked everywhere in the playground but couldn’t find the pin to put the strap back on. The teachers weren’t to know, you couldn’t tell them, but they didn’t try to work it out. They didn’t take any notice of you crying as you hunted. They didn’t give you the time to realise you were upset because you couldn’t tell the time. They didn’t even go to you when you were so clearly distressed by that fence. They didn’t cuddle you and find out what was wrong so they could tell you what I did.

That we could get a new pin, it could be fixed. It wasn’t the end of the watch. It would be ok. If only someone had taken the time to work out why you were sad, you wouldn’t have been there by the fence that day. But I’m glad I was. I’m glad I walked past when I did. I’m glad I rescued you that day.

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5 Comments Add yours

  1. Norah says:

    Posts like this just make me so sad. Your poor boy. What would have happened had you not passed by when you did?

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

      I am so glad I did! I just hate to think about the days I didnt!

      1. Norah says:

        It must be so difficult at times.

  2. Kaitlyn says:

    This gave me the chills. My son is 2 1/2 and is autistic. He starts school later this year. I’m so afraid things like this will happen to him and I won’t be there to fix them.

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

      Kaitlyn, I’m sure your son’s school will be better than my son’s was at dealing with autistic children 😀

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