autism child-2: Our son MJ, an adolescent child with autism continues to share a little about himself with you on page two of a collection of first-hand thoughts and experiences below.
Over the last three years MJ has grown to learn how to express some of his ideas, feelings and concerns about autism through the workbook Asperger's What Does It Mean To Me?
His original thoughts are written here in italics. He chose statements that are true for him, along with fill-in the blank sentences, and likes to share and talk about his feelings with his family and counselor at school.
We learned a lot about just how much autism affects his everyday life.
Be who you are and say what you feel,
because those who mind don't matter
and those who matter don't mind.
People with autism like routines and things that they are used to seeing and doing. I like these things to stay the same:
counseling on Wednesdays,
social skills group on Tuesdays,
no more swimming at the Ramada Inn on Fridays, and
greeting the fish in the hallway at school
Changes in routines might be hard to handle for children with autism. I know that sometimes things have to change. I can handle surprises and changes better when I know about them ahead of time that things will be different.
I can see the changes on my daily schedule, on a note, or you can tell me about them before it happens. Using these coping skills have helped me to deal with changes in my routines without having a meltdown or tantrum.
Some changes thata bother me are: swimming during gym class stinks, having to do homework, getting grounded and losing t.v. time, going back to school after time off, having to get ready for school in the morning, when school gets cancelled at the last minute.
My daily school schedule
This is what a Tuesday at school looks like for me:
MJ Tuesday Schedule
9:00 – 9:30
9:30 – 10:00
Mark - Reading
10:00 – 10:30
Sharon - Counseling
10:30 – 11:00
Diana – Math
11:00 – 11:30
11:30 – 12:00
12:00 – 12:30
12:30 – 1:00
1:00 – 1:30
1:30 – 2:00
Sometimes I like my schedules to have pictures and icons. Words and pictures help me to understand things better.
Use visual cues for learning
Here are a few books my parents and sisters use to help me handle changes in my routines better. They also use them to make my schedules and checklists for home and for when I go out.