Evacuation Day

The day I happened to be in Halifax this week happened to be the day that all Prince Edward Island schools were evacuated, so Catherine, bless her soul, bore the brunt of consequences-management.

While a school evacuation is stressful for everyone, it was a perfect storm of anxiety and stress for Oliver: he explained it to me last night on the phone as being stressful and then stressful stressful because he was sponging up everyone else’s stress too. He had the love and support of his teachers and EAs (and then Catherine, once she arrived on the scene) to help him through the worst of it, but it was a hard, hard day.

What gives me great comfort as his father, though, is that in the aftermath of all this he found ways of writing about what he was feeling. Like this:

Oliver on Twitter

and like this:

Oliver on Facebook

and like this:

Oliver on Facebook

I can be as cynical as the next person about the corrosive effects of Facebook and Twitter on our lives, but these social media have given Oliver a platform to express his feelings – often with eloquence that belies his age – in community. And for that I am grateful, and for that I am proud.

Oliver told me the other day that people need to remember that autism isn’t an illness, it’s a way that you are. One of the many gifts I receive from fatherhood is watching him figure out what that means.


S Andersen's picture
S Andersen on September 22, 2016 - 15:19

Oliver is a very clever young man who thinks a lot about all sorts of things. I am proud to call him my friend.

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