The Star: Telling my son’s first grade class about autism

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Yesterday my youngest turned seven. SEVEN! He is in First Grade, and every student is his class has an opportunity to be Star Student of the Week near the time of their birthday. He was instructed to make a poster about himself and present it to his classmates. He was also allowed to bring someone with him to help explain more about himself and his heritage. My son and I decided that this was the perfect time to explain to his classmates about Autism. Earlier this year we explained it to him for the first time, and he was glad to learn more about how his unique brain worked, and is now proud to share that information with other people.

I have long wanted to talk with my son’s class about Autism (let’s call him Josh), and that desire has increased as the school year progressed. Most of his classmates are very kind to him, but a few have started to notice and comment negatively on some of his behaviors. He struggles at times with peer interaction, so I thought maybe things would get easier for him if I explained more about his personality to the other children. Continue reading

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Be Aware?

And so ends yet another April Autism Awareness month. Did it really make a difference? Is anyone more aware? Yesterday I received an encouraging message from an old friend from my college days, and I share it with her permission:

I know we haven’t talked in a very long time, but I felt strangely connected to you yesterday.  I’ve read some of the things you have posted (or maybe blogged) about your son.  Yesterday, we were at the mall, and this boy who appeared to be about 8 or 9 had a major meltdown.  His mother was so distraught, and everyone was just looking at her and she just kept crying. Continue reading