Dear Devoted Phoenix,
Here I am, back to answer this letter you posted, which I link to here in case anyone missed it.
My friends answered in the meantime, and I loved what they had to say. Sorry for the delay on my part. I couldn't say anything in the moment because I was overwhelmed with the remembrance of things past, of the time when it came to pass that I couldn't, could not, endure where I was at school for even a moment longer. It started to start happening at around your daughter's age. We tried some things, but the TOTAL ACK... well, while trying to make sure I could remember how to help avoid that, I had the big giant I want my Mommy in front of everyone.
So glad my mother said what she said, and the relief I felt on hearing it when I finally got hold of her today--because it did not get fixed at quite that young an age for me, so I didn't remember what to say fixed it--was unbelievable. She talked to my dad about it and they remembered what really helped.
Do a geographic. When the other kids have become being like that, nothing will stop them being how they are being and doing the doing of those ways. It has become the social milieu and it is not up to any one person to change a culture. So you can leave. Exit stage left.
[Here is a photo of an actual old tin theatre sign, which says Exit Stage Left, with an arrow pointing left, and the iconic Tragedy and Comedy masks appear to be hanging from the top corner.]
The exit stage left, ahhhhhh. I think this changed my life.
It can be another school, it can be homeschooling, this is not something I can say, but of this I am sure: one cannot live in a social situation in which one cannot live. Escape hatch!
But this brings me to the second thing, and I do believe I can really say this to you because you seem like the kind of person who can understand and make it happen. When I said I couldn't say where to escape to? It's because I don't know your daughter, and she seems from your letter to be old enough to be the kind of person who would have something to say about that, and nothing about us without us, which you totally get, and that drew me to your letter. I hope you are in a location where she can find others to hang out with who are cooler, and she might have some ideas about where this is likely to be for her. Or, she might not. But get her out of that hellhole, because at least new people will be new and not have a toxic history together.
One of the things that also felt really good to me as I started growing up, by the way, was political activism... we didn't have the Autistic Community back then because I am really super old, but I loved trying to subvert the dominant paradigm about other injustices going on.
Do you think she would like to write to me and get in touch with some older Auts online maybe? Help create a website for kids her own age who are interested in what she cares about, to chat? Lordy, I wish we'd had the Internet.
Thinking good thoughts for you. Write back and let me know how things are going?