‘There’s an element of truth to what you said, but I think you’re seeing it through rose coloured glasses.’
David blinked, at his teacher, and to be honest didn’t understand a word she said. It was the same when Mummy asked him to pull his socks up. He wasn’t wearing any socks at the time, just sandals.
He nodded, and agreed – he didn’t want to be in any trouble. His Daddy said he would take his X Box away from him, if there was another call from school. It wasn’t as if he meant to hit Toby, but his name wasn’t spastic, and his Daddy also said to hit someone, if they hurt him.
‘I don’t think he understood you,’ Miss Sharpe said.
His teaching assistant, who helped David with his adding, and reading smiled.
‘What did Miss just say to you?’ she said, sitting next to him.
‘Something about glasses, but I don’t wear glasses, do I Miss?’
‘No, you don’t, Miss just meant you’re not telling the whole truth. What happened?’
David wiped his nose across his sleeve. ‘They were calling me names, and I tried to ignore them, but they kept calling me names. I don’t like it when they do, so I hit one of them.’
‘What were they calling you?’
‘Spastic, and I don’t like that word, Mummy says it’s mean.’
Miss Sharpe stood up. ‘I believe him, he wouldn’t lie, I know that.’
‘It all seems fanciful to me.’
‘What you need to know is David is autistic, and the one thing I know is he will tell the truth, no matter what. If he says they called him that horrible name, then they did. Talk to him, try and, this time, be careful of how you say things, he will take a literal meaning for what you say.’
‘The boys said he hit them without any provocation.’
‘What those boys, laughing in the corner? Just ask him.’
The teacher sat next to David, and his seven year old eyes were full of tears. ‘David, why did you hit Todd?’
‘He called me a spastic, and I don’t like that word. I wanted them to stop, but they wouldn’t, so my Daddy says, if anyone won’t listen to hit them, and they will listen then. I’m not sorry I hit him, he was making me cry.’
‘You know you did wrong by hitting him, I can see that, but next time what should you have done?’
‘Tell Miss, but I don’t want to have stitches.’
‘It’s not like that, we can stop it from happening again, keep an eye on the boys who are calling you names,’ Miss Sharpe said. ‘None of this is your fault.’