July 3, 2010

A Word on Autism


I am the autism specialist for summer school this year and what a crazy job it has been. I should really take a picture of my legs and let the bruises tell you what its been like. Most of my black and blue splotches are from one little (well not so little) friend. He has melt downs 3 out of 4 days a week. His math problems can't be corrected. Nothing can be too difficult. Shoes and socks can't be told to get on his feet. And the bus needs to arrive precisely as he approaches the bus drop off and pick up area. If any of these offenders go the wrong way... he is on the floor screaming and kicking, and if he does get up, its to throw a desk or chair.

Well Danielle, you're the specialist, what did you do? Besides it taking almost all of summer school to decipher these offenders... We figured out time was on our side... literally. He loves time, he loves clocks, he loves numbers related to time, he loves timers. Math is turned in and not corrected (adjusted according to performance), breaks in the middle of assignments... for 2 minutes (set the timer!) Really the only break downs now are waiting for the bus. His teacher tried to change the schedule to make it easier... but his watch showed it was time to go back to class and get backpacks, why weren't they leaving the gym? "Watch is broken!!!!!" he screamed.

Im writing a story, a social story, for him this weekend. Something like this:
"I leave on the bus. When I go to the bus pick-up I might have to wait. I don't have to feel sad. I can stay quiet because I know the bus is coming. I don't need to feel sad. I can play with toys while I wait"

I'm sure we'll figure it out the last day of school. One of the scariest words for people with autism is CHANGE. While their routine needs to be same, in some cases down to the minute, I think we, non-autismers, are the same, just on a bigger scale. We don't like that our plans got ruined by weather, people didn't do what we expected. We don't want things to be harder than the effort we're willing to give. So... I get it.

1 comment:

  1. my goodness what patience you must have. You seem to be doing him a world of good, as his story shows - "I don't need to feel sad", which is real insight into his mind. Keep it up as long as you can, you doing so well.

    ReplyDelete

 
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