4 mins read

Autism and High School Schedules

After one year in high school, I’ve learned something about my son’s schedule.

What have I learned?

My son was a freshman this year. In September, one month into high school, things weren’t going so well for him. His grades were low and he had a few issues with some of the teachers.

I emailed with a couple of them and straighten things out that way, but the IEP team had to meet with one of them.

IMHO, this teacher was so particular and strict about how things had to be done in her classroom, that being flexible for a special needs student wasn’t easy for this teacher. We comprised, our son had to improve and the teacher had to give in a bit, too.

How did it work out?

Things worked out well. My son got along well with his teachers for the rest of the year (at least, we didn’t hear anything), and his grades got much better.

What about next year?

That was my question.

Or, more specifically, why wait until a month into his sophomore year to see if there’s a problem or two that’s so bad that the team has to meet?

Let’s try to head off things now, at the end of freshman year.

What did I do?

I contacted my son’s case worker at his school and asked for meet for a sophomore prep.

I asked to talk about my son’s schedule next year as well as discuss teachers that would match up well.

What were the specifics?

Sophomore year is very hard. That’s what we’ve been told.

Our son has a resource lab this year. I call it a special needs class where students can “take a break,” work on life skills, and even do some homework. I don’t exactly sure how the school describes it, but my son has this class in the middle of the day and it works well for him.

In order for him to keep this class in sophomore year, he has to take his required history class this summer.

This works out fine for our son, He loves history and has no problem with the idea of taking that one class for the summer session.

So, one specific for us is to look ahead and make sure that, if our child needed a “break-type of class” that he could get it. Even if it means that he has to take a class during the summer.

The other key thing that I learned last year was to try to place our son with special needs-friendly teachers. Teachers that have some experience and flexibility. Those who understand that the student in their class has an IEP, and they have to follow it.

What will the school do?

They’ll try to accommodate our son.

The resource lab is fine since he’s taking his history class pre-sophomore year.

And, with regards to the teachers, they know that we communicate with them (and with our son). We want the classrooms to run smoothly. We don’t want our son treated differently, with the exception of what’s written into his IEP, which are specifics that are there to help our son learn and attend school.

We only want the best possible learning situation for our son. If there are teachers that really aren’t a good match, then we do want to avoid those teachers. We’ve been pretty lucky so far.

As long as we communicate with our son’s school, then we feel that these things will work out.

Autism and High School Schedules.


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