Cherish the child marching to the beat of a different drummer... Day 27

If I were asked to define Jeremy’s first six years as stated by teachers, I would say that he was searching for his drummer.

Just before age three, Jeremy spent three mornings a week at Farm School. Remember, I was a first time mom, so I researched preschools as though my boy’s future depended upon it. He was a child of the 70’s and his father and I were certainly children of the 60’s, therefore an open, free environment would be ideal. No boundaries, no structure, no-no, do not fence-in our child.

Farm School provided an open learning environment. Animals were an important part of the developing child’s world as was the opportunity for the children to express their individuality.

“Mrs. Light… Jeremy likes to climb into the rabbit cages.”

“Oh… really? The rabbit cages? To be with the rabbits… O.K…. what does that mean?”

“Well, he shouldn’t climb into the rabbit hutch but he wanted to be with the rabbits.”

Oh… ummmmm… O.K., is that O.K.?”

“Well, we just want you to know that we found him sitting among the rabbits…” Her voice trailed off because she really didn’t know what to say. Jeremy wasn’t hurting the rabbits, just sitting in a rabbit hutch. I could just picture him sitting cross-legged, surrounded by bunnies. At the time I had an anxiety attack, but now it makes me laugh.

“Well, I’ll talk to him.” I said, not having a clue as to what this meant. Now, after having five children I would say, “So, he’d rather be with the animals? So… what’s the problem?” If I only knew then what I know now.

“Jeremy, why were you in the rabbit cage?”

“I wanted to be with the rabbits.”

“Oh… well, the school doesn’t want you to be where they can’t see you, so don’t do it again.”


New moms take note… do not allow anyone to make a big deal out of situations such as this. Children are creative, curious and inspired by who knows what. Think of their individuality as a gift and move on.

This was only the beginning of Jeremy’s expedition into following his drummer. The mind was always busy which led to activities that didn’t exactly thrill the teachers trying to wrangle him. Emotionally, he was just a little boy, but the mind worked overtime and needed constant stimulation to keep Jeremy within the boundaries of traditional education.

These are only the early years, my friend. Jeremy is now 31 with a rich and full portfolio, and I am proud to say that I was there to witness the super nova of his development.

The day I stood in the grocery store line when Jeremy was three and he informed an elderly woman of her anatomical parts as compared to his… well… I knew it was not going to be smooth sailing through his childhood.

I think that I would like to sit with the rabbits.

I never forget to laugh.

© Cassie French Ferguson, 2009, Autism Funhouse and Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Cassie French Ferguson, Autism Funhouse and, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.