For Parents of Kids on the Autism Spectrum Or Alternate Title… Only Parents of Kids on the Autism Spectrum Will Appreciate This   A funny story… But, it is really a story that only a part of a child on the autism spectrum can really relate to and understand. What’s the story? My son likes to put lotion on his hands. (He inherited my issue of dry hands.). He likes a certain brand. He keeps a few small bottles of lotion in his school backpack, and one large bottle in my car. About a month ago, I looked at the bottle in my car and … [Read more...]

Is Autism Different in a Small Town? I’ve lived in the Los Angeles area for twenty-eight years now. Over half my life. I had my child when I was thirty-six. A year and change later, we were taking him to a regional center for evaluation for autism. We received services soon after, and off we went. Again, this is in the Los Angeles area, a huge city that’s quite spread out. I think this area has three or four regional centers to cover it. (In the State of California, Regional Centers provide services to our kids on the autism spectrum. They … [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 This post is really a part two... One year of high school completed, and my son is about to begin year number two. During this time, I learned something about my son’s high school schedule. What have I learned? My son was a freshman this past school year. Last 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 the teachers to help straighten things out, but the IEP team decided to meet with one of … [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...]

Talking about Autism Sometimes a really wonderful opportunity comes up, and I can’t pass on it. What was the opportunity? There is a terrific, energetic autism mom that I know, Shannon Penrod. We had heard about each other for a few years before actually meeting. A mutual person knew both of us and he kept saying to Shannon, and then to me, that our families should meet—we had something in common. What did we have in common? We were both moms of sons on the autism spectrum. Our sons are close in age and diagnosis. We knew about our son’s … [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...]