Thursday 7 March 2019

An inspiring character for our autistic son

Child sitting bare foot on books

This #worldbookday, Anthony's school were focusing on 'inspiring characters'. Marvellous, I not only have to think of something my autistic son will dress up as but it now had to be a character that's also inspiring?

I'd had some ideas based on what I thought I could scrabble together from clothes and items we had in the house.  But Anthony didn't really seem interested.  Dressing up is something he's had to do lots of time for school but it's never great.  For many kids it can be stressful but for an autistic kid it can disrupt their routine in a way that's unbearable.  It's an extra stress on the day that he struggles with.  He used to find dressing up really challenging, less so now, but it's still there.

Eventually it got to last night and I realised he just wanted me to make the decision and come up with the costume for him.  A few year ago he'd gone as the BFG wearing a shirt, trousers and waist coat with a giant pair of cardboard ears on a hairband.  The ears are long gone but I went and found the (now a bit more snug) waist coat for my best idea.  I made a cloak out of a sarong and put a big brass ring on a chain. Hey presto, Anthony was going as Frodo Baggins.

No Anthony has no read The Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit.  He struggles with reading.  Although he can read really fast, he can't seem to interpret what's going on.  This is pretty common for many kids with autism or speech and language difficulties.  It makes reading pretty boring when it's just words that mean nothing.  However, he has seen the movies. How much he got from them? Well, this post will tell you.  Let's just say he seemed to miss out on some pretty major parts of the plot.

On the way to school today, I was surprised today when I asked him if he thought he could tell his teacher what was inspiring about the character. Jane heard the question.  She went as Matilda and she yelled out several things from the back of the car about how Matilda was very inspiring.

Anthony just looked at me from the front seat and asked "What's inspiring mean?" 😔

Like I said, language difficulties are a bit part of Anthony's autistic challenges.

So I gave him a basic definition. And then he said..

"Well, Frodo in very small and had to carry such a heavy ring such a long way right up to an enormous mountain."

Might seem simple to you but I was actually pretty impressed.

Yes I spend most of the rest of the car journey telling Anthony he had to take shoes to school and he couldn't go round like a hobbit in bare feet, but it appears that even if he didn't get a lot about the overall meaning of The Lord of The Rings movie he did get something out of it. And that's a start and more than I thought.


  1. Lovely that he got to enjoy world book day too. And Frodo is a great choice. It's a shame he couldnt go bare foot haha! Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next time!

  2. His statement might have sounded simple, but it sounds like he pretty much got right to the heart of it. Frodo didn't let his limitations stop him from doing what he had to do. Sounds like a pretty inspirational character to me as well #KCACOLS

  3. I love this!! I think this is great. Frodo is a perfect character. He didn't let anything get in his way! #KCACOLS

  4. Hello - did my last comment come through to your moderation page a week or so ago? I am trying to comment from #kcacols

  5. So insightful that he was able to consider the enormity of Frodo’s journey #kcacols


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