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 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...]