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 High School Schedules After one year in high school, I’ve learned something about my son’s schedule. What have I learned? My son was a freshman this year. In September, one month into high school, things weren’t going so well for him. His grades were low and he had a few issues with some of the teachers. I emailed with a couple of them and straighten things out that way, but the IEP team had to meet with one of them. IMHO, this teacher was so particular and strict about how things had to be done in her classroom, that being … [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...]

A Student with Autism and a Behavior Chart My son is in ninth grade, which means high school. And, he’s had some bumps in the road during this all-important transition. What are some of the issues? *First of all, my son is going without an aide for the full school day. He has never been aide-less before in school. He wanted to go to high school without an aide, and we’re supporting his wishes. *He has been late to a few classes. *He has also been caught playing games on his phone. *He has forgotten to turn in homework. And, he has mixed … [Read more...]

A Student with Autism Transitions to No School Aide   Our son wanted to not have an aide in high school. And, here’s how it’s going… How did we begin the transition? My son had a full time aide in 7th grade. As the year ended, the aide would give him “breaks,” she wasn’t with him during snack and lunch. She would meet him at the classes that followed snack and lunch. He did well getting to those classes on time. By the time 8th grade started, my son wanted more independence. At his IEP, we talked to his teachers, and made a … [Read more...]