A Special Birthday for My Son with Autism   My son recently turned sixteen! A milestone birthday. I wanted this birthday to feel special to my son. It was a milestone after all. How did we celebrate this milestone birthday with our son? First, in lieu of having a big party, we had three close friends over to the house. My son played games with these friends and we all ate pizza and chips. This was done on a Friday, late afternoon to evening. Second, the next day (a Saturday), we had a family gathering at the home of my … [Read more...]

Returning to the Diamond for an Autistic Teenager The last time my son played baseball was in 2017. What team does he play on? It’s a special needs VIP Little League team. He’s played on this team for several years now. When he last played, he was really enjoying it. He has always liked to hit, but his last full season (in 2017), he tried pitching. He practiced pitching and had some success. Unfortunately, he couldn’t add onto his 2017 success in 2018. Why not? He broke his foot in January, 2018. When it happened, we had just signed up … [Read more...]

How an AutParent Handles Event Complaints My son attends gaming tournaments. He plays one game in particular, Super Smash Brothers Ultimate. Honestly, I don’t really know much about the game, nor do I have much interest in any video games. I can (sort of) watch one and (sort of) know what’s going on. I can follow when someone wins/loses. That’s about the extent of it. For the most part, when I take my son to these tournaments, I write. I actually get a lot of work done! Sometimes, when it’s been a few hours (these tournaments can go on for … [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...]

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...]