A Difficult Autism Experience I recently spoke with an AutMom who had this experience… Her nine-year-old son with autism attends a local elementary school. For about a year or two, her son was having difficulty with an obsession—a peer. A girl peer. Her son was convinced that this girl was his girlfriend. He was in this girl’s class for a year, and the next year the school separated them. The school felt it had to make this change because it appeared (to them) that the woman’s son was stalking the girl. The boy’s behavior did not improve … [Read more...]

A High School Open House with My Child with Autism   Open house. Every school has them, at some point during the year. It’s a chance for the student and parents to visit their classrooms, see some work, and talk to the teacher. What about my son’s open house? This year open house, my son’s second in high school (sophomore year), was a success. We live close to the school so we walked. Once we arrived, my husband and I let our son take us to his classes, in whatever order he wanted. We visited with his Spanish teacher, his math … [Read more...]

Autism and College-Related Standardized Tests I was speaking with a relative recently who mentioned that her child, who is one year older than mine, has had trouble with standardized tests. This typical sixteen-year-old struggled with the “practice” PSAT and then again on the SAT. She was planning on retaking the SAT or taking the ACT later in the year. Her mom was confident she’d improve, especially since she was planning to take the prep course. She was planning on going to college and (knowing her) she would work hard to improve those … [Read more...]

Autism and Sexual Harassment   I was listening to a #MeToo movement story the other day on NPR. I began to think about my son and how it relates. My son is a teenager quickly (too quickly for me) becoming a young male adult. A young male adult with autism. How does his background apply here? I remember one of my son’s first Floor Time facilitators telling me that my baby (he was only around sixteen months old) has trouble “feeling his body in space.” I don’t think that’s the case anymore for my (now) fifteen-year-old, but it made me … [Read more...]

Autism and Respect Fifteen is such a tough age. There’s so much going on at this age. So many pressures and changes. Even your body doesn’t feel right half the time. On top of all of this, some fifteen-year-olds, naming ours, struggle with some basics. Autism presents challenges in communication and social situations. How to appropriately react to someone—either your parents, your coach, or even a stranger—can, at times, be challenging when all these other things are going on. What’s it like for our son? Our son likes to get things done … [Read more...]

Autism and the Community How do our kids interact within the community? What about their neighborhood? I have read stories about neighborhoods that complain about a child with autism. A few of these stories report that neighbors even go so far as to pressure the family to leave. I have also read (way too many) stories about bullying people with autism. What is it about being in the community and people on the autism spectrum? Community interactions are never easy for our kids. They have a natural tendency to struggle with all … [Read more...]

What They Don’t Tell You in the Autism Handbook Teenagers. I really wish the “Autism Handbook” had a really long, detailed chapter on teenagers with autism. What do I mean? As my husband says, “We have a teenager and we have a teenager with autism. That’s two challenges.” My son still has the occasion meltdown, yet they’re different from when he was younger. My addition to the handbook would be this… When they’re teenagers, the meltdowns change because they’re teenagers… They have those traits… *Sullen *Moody *Easy to … [Read more...]