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 the New School Year   I waited a bit before reporting on my child’s new school year. What happened last year? Last year was my son’s freshman year. It was the first time he had gone to school without an aide. He was fourteen when he began school (he turned fifteen in February). Within two months, he changed his “look.” (He suddenly went from a shorts-wearing kid to a pants-wearing kid, he grew out his hair, and his attitude, well, teenagers can be surly, can’t they?) The summer before freshman year, he took a health … [Read more...]

Autism and Summer School Beyond regular school is summer school. I never took a class during summer school. When I went to school, you took the summer off or you went to camps (for me, it was sports camps). These days, it’s quite common for kids as young as middle school to take a class during the summer. What about my son? My son used to go to an OT (occupational therapy) type of summer program. I say it like that because it wasn’t formal school. There wasn’t teachers, but facilitators. The days were structured to maximize, well, … [Read more...]

Autism and Organizing for Finals - Part One What do we do with finals? Finals creep into our lives twice a year. For me, twice a year I have to remember how finals work best for my child with autism. We really began to focus on how to approach finals in middle school. What happened in middle school? Middle school is the level of school with “real” finals. There are finals in the elementary grades, but they really begin to be super important in middle school. The first semester of middle school for my son didn’t end very well. Why … [Read more...]

Are Children with Autism Singled Out? – Part Two This is a follow-up to an incident that occurred at my child’s school a week ago. What was the incident? In a nutshell… My son attempted to charge his phone during a non-designed time in a math testing room. He was about to take a math test, and the co-teacher told him he could not plug in his phone. My son protested and got surly. But, then he complied. He put away his phone and began to take his math test.   In the middle of taking his test, the co-teacher interrupted him by handing him … [Read more...]