Autism and Volunteering My son officially started high school this past summer. I’m sure I’ll be writing more about him in high school, but for now I’ll discuss his first ever high school class—the summer health class. What’s the summer health class? In our school district, it’s common practice for incoming freshman high school students to take the required health class over the summer. Not all students do it, of course, but the majority do. By taking it early, it frees up an elective for ninth grade. As the reason for our son to take the … [Read more...]

Autism and a Canadian Trip   I seem to think that my son should experience as much as reasonably (and financially) possible, even knowing that autism is going to tag along. What experience did he have this time? Well, some experiences are good (positive) and some are not so good. A year ago last winter my brother died suddenly. It was a difficult time for my family and the first family death that my son was really aware of. (His paternal grandfather died when he was six, but he didn’t really remember it.) He had enjoyed the time he … [Read more...]

An Autism Mom’s Mother’s Day   My child is fourteen, so I have banked a few Mothers Days. Having a teenager on the brink of high school, however, is making me quite terrified and grateful this time around. He’s growing up into such a delightful, intelligent, and charming individual, autism aside. Right around the corner is adulthood. That terrifies me, and makes me look back at all of the years. I guess what I’m thinking about this time around is that Mother’s Day isn’t really about autism. I am the mother of a child with autism, but … [Read more...]

More on Autistic Empathy   Sometimes my child doesn’t succeed at understanding the feelings of others, than there are those times when I believe he’s beginning to get it. A recent incident involved a bunch of teenagers and a Smash Bros. game. What happened? One of teens can’t play this popular Smash Bros game because this teen gets over stimulated. My kid plays it often—so much so that he’s practicing for his first tournament. And, he’s learning from a different teen who has attended one of these tournaments. What happens when a … [Read more...]

The Autism Affirmation   This is what I call the Autism Affirmation: My son will state something, like “You’ll pick me up at five o’clock and then we’ll go to get a burger.” This will happen right after I’ve informed him of a plan…This sample plan is that I’m picking him up and a certain time and we’ll go get a burger for dinner. If this is something my son is concerned about—like maybe he feels he might not get the burger for some reason—then THE PLAN will be repeated. Again and again…until I affirm or approve the plan. And, I have … [Read more...]

An Autism-Friendship-related Challenge   My son has a friend—which in itself is a big deal in the world of autism. And, it’s a big deal for our kid. My son has known a lot of kids, but has never had too many close friendships over the years. And, the “friends” he did have were mostly through social groups. He did stay in touch with one of them, and we see that friend every once in a while, but most of those have come and gone, for whatever reason(s). He especially never had a friend in the manner of, “Hey, mom, can I go over to … [Read more...]

Those Precious Moments with My Son with Autism My son’s history teacher recently gave him an assignment where he had to write about an important moment in his life that changed him in some way, or an important moment in the life of someone close to him that changed that person in some way. What did he write about? He wasn’t sure at first. He said, if he were to write about himself, he would write about his transition to middle school. Then, because according to the assignment it was okay to ask someone close to you, he asked me about … [Read more...]