This morning Boy One said: “I don’t understand what all the fuss about the 9/11 thing is all about, mum.”
Being quite affected by the coverage and my memories, I was somewhat taken about. How can he seem so careless about this international outrage?
“But lots of people were killed,” I said.
“I know mum, but lots of people have been killed since, in Afghanistan, Libya and lots of other places,” he reasoned.
“That’s true, but I think this was worse because these were ordinary people who just went to work. And it was America, where there hadn’t really been an attack at all….”
But he was gone, off to the bus stop. I had to get ready for a parents’ coffee morning run by the hard-pressed team of The Columba Unit at St Benedict’s High School, who provide support for kids who have autistic spectrum disorders. The two women (yes, just two) of the Renfrewshire Outreach Support Team provide a wonderful service helping children like Boy One thrive in mainstream school.
I’d forgotten Boy One’s comment about the Twin Towers until they showed this video. It’s one of the best explanations of ASD that I’ve seen.
But did you see the boy talking about how he was affected by 9/11? Just like Boy One, only now – almost 10 years later – he understands why it might have sounded crass and self-absorbed.
One of the mums said that since September 2001 her son had been afraid, convinced an attack was going to happen again near him. Another said her son became a little obsessed with the details of how the 9/11 terrorists committed their attack.
My point? Just that these kids’ perspective on an event about which there can be nothing but sadness, shock and anger, shines a little light on how the world is for them.
Oh and my other point? The Columba Unit does a marvellous job with ever-dwindling resources, so, council folk, find it in your budget to help them out.