Back to School for an 8th Grader with Autism – Part 2

In my previous blog, I discussed my son returning to school—this time not as a newbie 7th grader but as a returning 8th grader.

The transition is a bit easier and less stressful.

Of course, there was a bump in the road—Our son was assigned the one teacher that a friend had advised us to try to avoid.

We had to jump through a hoop (not too many hoops, though) in order to get that teacher changed before the start of school.

Our son got his new schedule, and I continued to prepare him for school.

What did I do?

Well, my son prefers summer breaks (who doesn’t?). He doesn’t mind school itself, but gets a bit cranky sometimes by the interruption of homework and studying.

Besides getting him on the campus for the last week of school camp, we also purchased the new school supplies and got everything as ready as possible on that front.

I have to get my son onto more of a summer sleeping schedule as well. He’s becoming a bit of a night owl so an earlier bedtime has happened over the last few days.

He also discovered last year that really liked being a part of several middle school clubs. He’s looking forward to again joining a few clubs.

I liked it because most of the clubs occurred during lunch, which meant my son was going to a club meeting in a classroom during lunch. This (in my mind) lessoned the chances of potential bullying opportunities. There was less wandering around during lunch by my son. (Which, to him, is regulating his body. To potential bullies, this could mean something completely different.)

Was there any extra steps involved in the start of school?

Yes! I sent out my emails.

Like last year, I again felt the need to introduce us to each of my son’s teachers via an email.

I sent an email to each of them. I briefly told them about our son (and that he has an IEP) and about us. The emails basically state that we want to help if any issues arise concerning our son. We are very open to communication as well as talking to our son about issues in the classroom.

We want each teacher to know that we are here to help.

(Delightfully, the new teacher—the one he had to get to replace the one we were unsure of—responded immediately to our email!)

What else is there about 8th grade?

This is something that makes me a bit nervous—high school.

Yes, during 8th grade, our son has to apply to a high school.

For me, this is a bit frightening. My only child will be going to high school!

Yikes!

Anyway, in our area there’s a very good charter school. This school has a much smaller student body and it’s more “technically” oriented. (Read: It’s a school for kids that are more geeky.)

We feel this school would be a better fit for our son, and our son wants to go there.

At some point during the fall, we will apply to that school—and hopefully get in.

I don’t know when we will find out about getting into the high school, but at some point we’ll find out. I hope my son gets into the smaller school. I feel that’ll be a better fit for him.

Anyway, my son is back to school for 8th grade.

Bring it on!

 

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