Jo Worgan column

Guardian columnist Jo Worgan.
Guardian columnist Jo Worgan.

Last week I had a lovely surprise, when I opened Tom’s school bag inside were the proofs of his school photographs.

I had totally forgotten that he had his photograph taken a few weeks previously.

Anyway I looked at them and smiled with a huge lump in my throat, as smiling back at me was a happy, carefree and relaxed Tom wearing his Bob the Builder dressing gown.

They had taken a total of three photographs all of them showing a really happy Tom.

Now, I know that he is wearing his dressing gown but I am happy about this for a number of reasons.

Firstly this is my true Tom; he always wears a dressing gown to school and to see him wearing it in his school photograph makes me happy not sad or angry that they did not remove it.

They allowed him to feel comfortable and relaxed by allowing him to keep it on.

They did not make him remove it and this is what makes me happy.

They understand Tom and his needs and this was shown in the simple act of allowing him to wear his dressing gown.

I did wonder while gazing at the photos how many other schools would have allowed him to wear it.

He really does seem to be thriving at his specialist school and I feel so incredibly lucky that he is there.

It was only the other morning that once again he completely surprised me by picking up the phone, to my mother, and saying, “Hello, my name is Tom, nice to meet you” his usual response is a quick, “Hello, goodbye”, so you can imagine my shock.

It’s the little things that he says and does that make you realise just how much he has achieved.

Life is never dull with Tom.

It’s all about knowledge and awareness isn’t it, awareness about autism and the individual child’s needs.

Next Wednesday, April 2 is World Autism Awareness Day and this is an important day for the autism community.

It’s a day to both raise awareness as well as celebrating all of the individuals on the autistic spectrum.

Have a lovely week.