The Fine Line Between a Teenager with Autism and Politics In honor of the upcoming mid-term elections… My fifteen-year-old with mild autism likes to discuss politics. Was this always the case? No. When he was in middle school, his history teacher gave them a homework assignment—watch the debates between Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump and report on them. That’s where it all began with my child. What happened? He became interested in politics. Additionally, I listen to NPR in the morning. My son began to tune into the political stories … [Read more...]

Autism and Impulses My son has always had impulsive behaviors. Many times they came from a place of impatience, he had trouble waiting for a conversation to end or for his turn to come while standing on a line. The impulse would be to interrupt or complain that he’d have to wait on a line. The line waiting time would entirely be spent complaining about waiting. Or, my son’s impulses would be quick responses when things were going badly. For example, if get got in trouble for something, he’d say something he’d almost immediately regret … [Read more...]

What the Internet Thinks of Autism My son recently said to me, “The Internet thinks of autism as stupid people. Stupid and autism go hand in hand, on the Internet.” What? I asked him to clarify that statement. And, he did. He said, “When I read things on the Internet about autism, it seems like autism is called things like stupid. On the Internet. I’ve seen it a bunch of times. The Internet thinks autism means stupid.”   How did I react to that? Surprised. Yet, on another hand I did get it because there is a lot of “bad” information on … [Read more...]

Autism and Managing Money I touched on this briefly not too long ago, but my son is learning about money. What is he learning? He’s learning that our money is not his money. He’s learning that—in reality—he doesn’t have any money. We have money to buy his food and clothes and school things and lots of other things, but there are times when we have to say “no” due to the money not being an endless pit. He’s learning that he’s not going to get everything he wants because we’re simply not going to pay for everything he wants. And, he is … [Read more...]

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...]