Guest Author - Bonnie Sayers
As we enter the summer months I am officially the parent to two teens on the autism spectrum. My youngest son Mathew has now turned fourteen so we are in the midst of puberty in my household.
Five years ago I started writing at this site to share my experiences as a single parent to two boys on opposite ends of the spectrum. We have made the transition into Middle School, entered online schooling, survived a school aide change and the addition of school transportation. I have attended numerous IEP meetings, become an officer in a special education parent committee at the local school district, switched communication devices and attended some informative webinars and on site conferences.
This summer marks the first time in ten years that Matthew will be attending Extended School Year - (ESY) since the summer camp both Matthew and Nicholas had attended closed its doors and left families in the dark. There have been medication changes, growth spurts as well as the onset of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).
In light of recent real life events that have been touted in the media regarding those with Aspergers Syndrome and/or high functioning autism having tragic consequences as a result of encounters with law enforcement, I have shared the details of these with my son Nicholas as a teaching tool to grasp self advocacy.
We do not live far from the city limits of Los Angeles where the young man was killed. I need to teach my son about police and think we should start the fall school year by making visits to various LAPD stations to have us both comfortable in the police settings.
I have printed out many of these articles for us to start practicing the questions and discussions necessary for disclosing being on the autism spectrum. With Matthew being nonverbal there are documents in the vehicle and on the back bumper to indicate his presence, plus it is quite obvious with his deficits and behaviors that he has a disability.
The Autistic Self Advocacy Network - (ASAN)
Beginning Self Advocacy - Autism Research Institute - (ARI)
Developing Self Advocacy Skills - Asperger's Association of New England
Learning Self Advocacy Skills - Dan Coulter
The Meaning of Self Advocacy - Amanda Baggs
Educational Autism Tips for Families 71 page resourceful ebook for families entering the school system with a recent autism diagnosis. Find out what issues take place over the course of a school day and meet these challenges head on.