“My daughter Sarah is 16 and goes to the local high school. She was diagnosed with High Functioning Autism when she was 5. She still likes things to be pretty much the same each day, hates surprises and change and worries about fitting in at school. Last Tuesday she was really reluctant to go to school, she was slow to get up, have breakfast and said she couldn’t find her school uniform and felt sick. I was on the verge of getting really cross with her when I stopped and asked myself “Why is she like this today?” I asked her if there was anything different happening at school today and she told me that she was really worried because there were auditions for the school concert and she wanted to try out. She thought that if she sang one of her favourite operatic arias that everyone would laugh. She still doesn’t understand that it is OK to have different interests from the other kids and that it is actually pretty cool to be able to do some of the things she can do. I was able to email the music teacher who said she would talk to Sarah and encourage her to audition. She said she knew the aria and would accompany Sarah on the piano. I had one very happy daughter! It is good that the teachers and I have a communication plan for times like these.” Parent
Does this sound familiar to you? Do you have a teenage son or daughter or is there a student at your school who behaves like this?
The core features of Autism and Asperger’s Disorder (we call it Autism Spectrum Disorder now, ASD for short) don’t go away but may look different as kids get older. To really help them you need to be familiar with how their ASD is affecting them each and every day at home, school and when they are out and about socially.