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...]

Dissolving Friendships with Kids on the Autism Spectrum We all have friendships. And, somewhere along the way many of us have had to walk away from a friendship or two—for whatever reason. Friendships happen in many ways, with or without our kids. With kids, I’d like to address two situations… One is when parents are friends, and they get their children together. The children may or may not like each other, but the parents like each other. It works out well when the kids do get along, of course. A second situation is what if kids like … [Read more...]

The Impacts of Not Curbing Behaviors Related to Autism With autism, comes behaviors. In general, when our kids are little, there are more behaviors. We, as parents, (along with the various facilitators who work with our children), have to deal with these behaviors. In an ideal world, we are all trained to handle most behaviors with our children, whether at home or out in the world. And, we want to work with our kids so they can overcome their challenges and be relatively functional and comfortable in society.   As they grow older, we … [Read more...]

Autism and Impulses My son has always had impulsive behaviors. Many times they came from a place of impatience, he had trouble waiting for a conversation to end or for his turn to come while standing on a line. The impulse would be to interrupt or complain that he’d have to wait on a line. The line waiting time would entirely be spent complaining about waiting. Or, my son’s impulses would be quick responses when things were going badly. For example, if get got in trouble for something, he’d say something he’d almost immediately regret … [Read more...]

What the Internet Thinks of Autism My son recently said to me, “The Internet thinks of autism as stupid people. Stupid and autism go hand in hand, on the Internet.” What? I asked him to clarify that statement. And, he did. He said, “When I read things on the Internet about autism, it seems like autism is called things like stupid. On the Internet. I’ve seen it a bunch of times. The Internet thinks autism means stupid.”   How did I react to that? Surprised. Yet, on another hand I did get it because there is a lot of “bad” information on … [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...]