easy child's autism was very transparent on his first day of school today

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Californiablonde, Sep 17, 2013.

  1. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    I took easy child to register at the new school today. Some days he is like a regular kid and you would swear there was nothiing outwardly wrong with him. Other days, like today, his autism was very clearly present. Does anybody else with Aspie kids experience this? Sometimes I question the diagnosis because he seems so normal in some ways. Other times I am quite sure his psychiatrist was absolutely 100% correct in his diagnosis. We had to meet a lot of people today in such a short amount of time. Poor easy child was extremely awkward and shy. He did not make eye contact at all whatsoever. He stared down at his feet and refused to look up. He did not answer questions. I had to prompt him to talk when spoken to. When he did respond, he barely whispered, and the person would have to ask him several times to repeat himself. His voice still barely rose above a whisper. It was almost painful to watch. Part of me wanted to step in and speak up for him, but last year's therapist advised me not to. She says he needs to learn how to speak up for himself, as awkward as that can be.

    I didn't help him but I so badly wanted to! They had a female student helper that showed easy child around to his classes and the cafeteria/gym. She tried to engage him in conversation but he wasn't having any of it. He didn't talk to her at all, and when we were walking across campus he was staring at his feet the whole time. I don't even know if he was paying attention at all. I kept having to ask him if he understood where to go, and he would nod his head yes. Hopefully he won't get lost. He doesn't have the best sense of direction. I am so badly praying he meets at least one good friend this year. He is really feeling bad about leaving his other school. He managed to make several friends there, which is a huge accomplishment for him. Normally other kids think he's awkward and just plain weird. At his last school he was accepted and well liked. I am hoping for the same at the new school. We are having his IEP in 30 days to discuss his goals. For now he is in all mainstreamed classes and an honors math class because he is extremely gifted in that area. He will also have a study skills class. I really hope the best for easy child. It's hard enough for a typical kid to suddenly change schools, but for an Aspie it's so much harder.
  2. TeDo

    TeDo CD Hall of Fame

    Absolutely! That was one of the reasons I had such difficulty with the local public school. When he DID act up, they were convinced he was just being defiant and treated him with a heavy hand ("show him who's boss"). When he's around people he's comfortable with and have similar interests, he is so "normal" but with strange people and in strange situations, his Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) is very apparent.

    I agree with the therapists advice but with an exception. I will step in if it's unfamiliar people and/or unfamiliar situations. How else is he going to learn to speak up for himself if he doesn't know what's appropriate and what isn't in these kinds of situations? Us speaking for them teaches them this skill. In our house, we process it afterwards and come up with what difficult child 1 could have said in different situations so he's prepared for the next time.

    You're doing great. I hope the transition isn't too hard on him. Make sure they are aware of what he needs to become more comfortable there. Hopefully they will work WITH him.
  3. Jules71

    Jules71 Warrior Mom since 2007

    Could anxiety be to blame in situations he is uncertain of? Do Aspies typically have a lot of anxiety?
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    This on again/off again to-and-from-outer-space is why we weren't sure either. It's normal for Aspies to seem totally "typical" at times but then become more "Aspie", especially when uncomfortable or in a social setting.
  5. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Anxiety is a normal component of Asperger's Syndrome. It is often a presenting symptom in fact. I'm both AS and Bipolar and my anxiety is crippling at times even with medication.
  6. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    Anxiety is definitely a huge component with easy child. He gets anxious with loud noises and around people he doesn't know. I have social anxiety myself so I can empathize with him. I hope he can make a friend. Today was his first day at the new school. I feel bad because I have to drop him off so early. I have to be to work by 7:30, so I take him to school by 7:15. School starts at 8:40 four days a week and on Wednesdays it doesn't start till 9:40. The cafeteria doesn't even open till 9 on Wednesdays, where he goes to get his breakfast. Poor easy child was texting me from outside the school while I was at work. He was nervous because he forgot how to get his free meals from the cafeteria. I reminded him that he needs to put in his ID number into the little machine they have. He was worried he would mess it up. He texted me later this morning and said he figured it out and was able to get his breakfast, thank goodness. Then he forgot what his PE teacher looks like, and he was afraid he would stand in the wrong line at the gym. I told him to ask one of the other kids but he's so shy I know he won't ask for help. Hopefully he figures it out and doesn't get lost. I was so totally nervous for him today I had butterflies in my stomach!
  7. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I'm impressed that he is trying so very hard to adapt. Sweet kid! DDD
  8. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    Thanks, DDD. He truly is a super sweet kid. I don't get why his stepmom had such a problem with him being there. He is very easy going and quiet. He either has his nose buried in a book or he's playing games on his cell phone. He doesn't talk much and doesn't cause any problems. I am very happy to have him back home.
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    CB, anxiety is a HUGE part of autism, high or low functioning. So it is normal for him, so to speak, to express it and to act on it. My now grown son still worries he'll get this or that wrong and I have to keep reminding him that he can always ask for help if he doesn't know where to go or what to do. He has REALLY learned to ask for help, which was a problem in his younger years because of his shyness. Maybe he needs to try and to learn, as Sonic did, that people are most certainly willing to direct you if you are polite. You can even go with him in stores and stand behind him while he asks questions, which is how we did it. Of course, your son is much younger than Sonic and it took a while for Sonic to be able to do this. It takes practice, practice, practice and positive experiences. With Sonic we heavily stressed asking with a "could you PLEASE" and then saying "thank you." It helps get a positive response!

    I'm glad your great little guy is home with you.
  10. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    The older he is getting he is starting to speak up more with me around him. When he wants to buy something from the store I am making him go up to the counter and pay for it himself. He does not like it at all, and wants me to stand right with him, which I am fine with. I have to remind him to say thank you but he's getting better. I am hoping one day he can learn to do it on his own. For now it's baby steps. I have to give him credit. He's been a little trooper all week. I know he's nervous and uncomfortable but he is managing to get through it. He does not complain at all, even though he has every right too. I wish his dad knew what he is doing to him. He hasn't called to check on easy child all week, which I think is crappy of him. Now he's saying he can't take the kids on Friday night like he's supposed to because his wife doesn't want them there. He is picking his wife over his kids and that just sucks. I got to hand it to my kids, though. Somehow they are making it just fine.