Workability and Autism What happens with a teenager with autism? Well, first they’re getting closer and closer to becoming adults. My son is only a year and a half away from eighteen. An adult. His first year in high school, as a freshman, we focused on the transition to high school. Getting comfortable. Adjusting to no longer having an aide and having a foreign language class for the first time ever. Big transitions. After the first month or two, everything settled down. He earned good grades in freshman year and ended up enjoying the … [Read more...]

A Sad Story in our Autism Community I’m purposely going to keep this blog short, because this is not one that makes me feel warm and fuzzy. If anything, it makes me sad, and a little terrified. I’m blogging about suicide. One that affected our local autism community. What happened? In the spring, a seventeen-year-old with high functioning autism committed suicide on April 2, Autism Awareness Day by jumping from a parking structure at a Glendale, California mall. We didn’t know this young man, but friends of ours did. I remember hearing … [Read more...]

Kimberly Kaplan and 300 Autism-Related Blogs I guess you can call this a toot-your-own-horn posting because this is my 300th blog! I have not only written 300 blogs for my own website but those same 300 blogs have also appeared on ModernMom.com. How did I start on ModernMom.com? Well…through a recreational softball team, of course. Huh? My husband ran a recreational softball team years ago in Santa Monica. At some point, he picked up a player who happened to live near the field. This player spent a week or two walking down to this field … [Read more...]

Autism Imagination and a Preferred Topic, Plus Pizza This blog is about a project my son did for his English class. What did he do? First, his English teacher assigned a book reading project for the semester. His students had to read a teacher-approved, substantial book over the course of the semester. My son chose a book about trains. It’s a non-fictional book, but the teacher approved it. He read it over the last three months and took notes that had to go into a notebook check that happened once a year (for a separate grade). Even … [Read more...]

Autism and a Trip to Europe   I recently took a two week trip to Scotland. I had never been to Europe before. It was a really special trip, fun, relaxing, and great sights. I had been away without my child with autism before, but never for longer than a week. And, never in a country that’s eight hours ahead of us. A few times he had been quite young, but now that he’s older, he’s pretty self-sufficient in a lot of ways. He got himself to and home from school, took care of most of his schoolwork by himself (dad helped a little), and … [Read more...]

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...]