A Student with Autism and a Behavior Chart My son is in ninth grade, which means high school. And, he’s had some bumps in the road during this all-important transition. What are some of the issues? *First of all, my son is going without an aide for the full school day. He has never been aide-less before in school. He wanted to go to high school without an aide, and we’re supporting his wishes. *He has been late to a few classes. *He has also been caught playing games on his phone. *He has forgotten to turn in homework. And, he has mixed … [Read more...]

Autism and High School Well, here it is, I can’t believe this is happening, but today I helped my son apply for high school. What did we do? In our local area, our high school is very respectable. It carries high honors from academics to athletics, and is has a very good reputation. However, it is a very large school. This is one factor that makes us nervous. Our school already goes to a large middle school, and the high school has an extra thousand students or so. What is our choice? Our son is applying to a magnet school that … [Read more...]

Back to School for a Teenager with Autism   My 8th grader loves his vacations. The longer the better. He also loves his weekends. Any studying that has to occur on a weekend is met with lots of protests. How do I get my son back into the school swing of things? One thing I do is occasionally mention to my son that school will be returning. Sometimes, I do this as a tease, of course. But, I will say, “Hey, you know school is back on Monday, right?” The answers are typically dour, but I’m putting it out there. Another thing I have to … [Read more...]

Back to School for an 8th Grader with Autism – Part 2 In my previous blog, I discussed my son returning to school—this time not as a newbie 7th grader but as a returning 8th grader. The transition is a bit easier and less stressful. Of course, there was a bump in the road—Our son was assigned the one teacher that a friend had advised us to try to avoid. We had to jump through a hoop (not too many hoops, though) in order to get that teacher changed before the start of school. Our son got his new schedule, and I continued to prepare him for … [Read more...]

Back to School for an 8th Grader with Autism – Part 1 My son starts 8th grade tomorrow. Last year at this time I was worried about the transition from a comfy elementary environment to a potentially overwhelming middle school experience. However, my son felt confident and 7th grade went well. He had no negative experiences (that I know of) and his grades were excellent. What about 8th grade? Well, my son already has experience at this school, he knows the campus, and feels comfortable there. He really doesn’t need the prep that we did … [Read more...]

The Arts and Children with Autism My son interest in music has been hit or miss. He liked listening to songs a few years ago, but then it went away. It's came back last summer as we were on a driving trip. He has never really been drawn to musical instruments. Why are musical instruments sometimes hard for our kids? In the book, “Ido in Autismland,“ written by a non-verbal teenager with autism, the author believes many autistic children have a difficult time communicating from their brains to their hands or limbs. He says there is "a … [Read more...]

Middle School Transition for a Child with Autism - Part Three Approaching the first day of middle school for my son with autism, I was hoping that I had done everything I could think of to help prepare him BEFORE the first day of school. He was pretty comfortable on the new campus, he got assigned the English teacher from his summer class, and he was looking forward to a couple of his classes. How was the beginning of school? I met my son at the end of the first school day in order to walk him over the Teen Scene after school program. He … [Read more...]