Autism and Summer School

Autism and Summer School Beyond regular school is summer school. I never took a class during summer school. When I went to school, you took the summer off or you went to camps (for me, it was sports camps). These days, it’s quite common for kids as young as middle school to take a class during the summer. What about my son? My son used to go to an OT (occupational therapy) type of summer program. I say it like that because it wasn’t formal school. There wasn’t teachers, but facilitators. The days were structured to maximize, well, … [Read more...]

Autism and Organzing for Finals

Autism and Organizing for Finals – Part Two In my last blog I explained how my child with autism now prefers to get ready for finals. Luckily, he accepted my suggested approach to start early and spread out the work. How does his high school organize finals? His high school divides finals up by periods. The school works on a regular six period schedule. Last year, the finals were divided by periods one and two (finals were on that Monday), periods three and four (Tuesday), and periods five and six (Wednesday). This year, they’ve juggled the … [Read more...]

Autism and Organzing for Finals

Autism and Organizing for Finals - Part One What do we do with finals? Finals creep into our lives twice a year. For me, twice a year I have to remember how finals work best for my child with autism. We really began to focus on how to approach finals in middle school. What happened in middle school? Middle school is the level of school with “real” finals. There are finals in the elementary grades, but they really begin to be super important in middle school. The first semester of middle school for my son didn’t end very well. Why … [Read more...]

Autism Transitions

Autism Transitions This blog is more or less a follow-up to my last blog. I had alluded to transitions that relate to my son’s age—fifteen. My son recently transitioned to getting himself to school on his own (mostly) without help from Mom (he’s been on time since this transition, including making his own breakfast). We are also working on other transitions with our fifteen-year-old. What transitions? The first one was just a recent conversation, but a significant one. We discussed spending money on gifts for others—his own … [Read more...]

Autism and a new Mother's Day

Autism and a New Mother’s Day It’s new because it’s different than it used to be, but that’s okay. Change is a part of life, and my son is growing up, and it’s all about change at his age! What’s changing? When your child gets to be fifteen, things begin to change. There are frustrating, struggling moments, but there are sweet moments, too. Here’s a sweet moment… My son wanted to purchase a game he had on his computer before we had to get it wiped. The game was then lost. He recently asked me if it was okay to purchase the game again, … [Read more...]

Autism and Spreading Awareness

Autism and Spreading Awareness Alternative title…You Never Know When Something Will Come Up. What does that mean? It means you never when something you did in the past will come back and add some good to the world, have an impact, be noticed, and be appreciated for trying to spread awareness. What happened? I was contacted in March by a person affiliated with a film festival in Miami, Florida. The film festival is officially called the 2018 NAMI Reel Minds Miami Mental Health Awareness Film Festival. NAMI stands for National Alliance on … [Read more...]

Autism and Flight Changes

Autism and Flight Changes My son used to have issues with unexpected changes. The unexpected would sometimes led to meltdowns. He just couldn't wrap his head around sudden change. Now that my child is a teenager, he has improved in that area. However, there was a time when an unexpected change would throw him. What happened? My son and I were traveling back from the East Coast at the end of June. When we arrived at the airport, we were informed that not only had the airline changed the type of plane we were about to fly in, but they changed … [Read more...]

Autism and Puberty

Autism and Puberty My son is fifteen-years-old. Which means…he’s in the throes of puberty. What have been some of his issues? Many of these are common issues of any child (in this case a male child) going through puberty: *Dealing with growing facial hair. Learn how to shave. We bought him an electric razor and my husband gave him a lesson. He does it himself now. *Dealing with other hair. This became a bit of an issue when my son decided to try to shave his legs (the ankle part). I asked him why he did that and he said he just wanted to … [Read more...]

To Disclose Autism or Not

To Disclose Autism or Not?   What do strangers deserve to know? When was the first time we disclosed our son’s autism? Honestly, only one or two people knew about my son’s autism for the first, well, two years. Yep, that’s right. We kept it to ourselves. And, then we disclosed only to family. Then, years later, we disclosed…well, we disclosed when and if we felt like it, I guess. Why did we wait so long to tell (most) everyone? First, we were scared and didn’t know what was happening. Second, we decided to focus only our … [Read more...]

A Light Bulb Moment for Parent of Child with Autism

A Light Bulb Moment for Parent of Child with Autism I read this article the other day by a female adolescent with autism. I’ll post it below, because it was very revealing. What did it say? Well, this person with autism explained why she hates her parents. What? Hate is very strong word. Yet, when I read the article, I understood her point of view. Which was? She dearly loves her parents, but she struggles with their idea of her capabilities verses her very real need to download from the outside world in a safe place. She knows that … [Read more...]