My dad woke me up this morning. “Good Morning, Sweety”, he said. I gave him a hug and walked into the bathroom. I washed my face and looked into the mirror with the tooth brush in my hand. My dad was behind me. “Good Morning, Sweety”, he said. This time I just closed my eyes. Brushed my teeth. He was in the kitchen. He made me a sandwich. I managed to eat half of it. Then, I was ready to be terrified. I had to go to school.
My father walked me to the road, “Good Morning, Sweety!” he said. And I closed my eyes again. We stood at the bus stop. And My school bus stopped in front of us. My father kissed me good bye “Take care dear!”, he said. I climbed onto the bus. The driver looked at me and said “Hello there! How are you today?” I tried to answer but no words came out of my mouth. In my mind my dad’s voice rang “Take care dear!”. The driver was still looking at me and smiling, “Hello there! How are you today?” I looked down, I was sweating, my little fists clinched together, I quietly walked inside and sat on an empty seat.
My dad leaned in from behind, “Take care dear!” he said. The driver sat next to me. He was still smiling, “Hello there! How are you today?” I was scared. I closed my eyes! I wanted to reply, but the questions kept coming. My friend, she sat in front of me. She turned back and asked “Are you ready for the test, Meera!?” I was ready, but before words could escape my mouth, the driver leaned towards me. He was still smiling, “Hello there! How are you today?”. Where was my father? My friend asked me again, “Are you ready for the test, Meera!?”. How would I answer. I kept quiet. And smiled.
The bus stopped. I walked down the steps onto the paved walkway to my school. My father was behind me. The driver stood in front. And My friend she was to the side. “Good Morning, Sweety”, “Take care dear!”, “Hello there! How are you today?”, “Are you ready for the test, Meera!?”. My head felt heavy. I was only 8 years old.
“Don’t judge what you don’t understand! An autistic person requires more time to process information! Give them time. Give them compassion.”
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