In addition to my novels and short stories, I write weekly about life with my seventeen-year-old autistic son, J on the blog www.thisautismlife.com
If I had to place J on the straight line of the spectrum, he probably falls in the “middle.” However, I really don’t feel like that placement really defines him very well because autism doesn’t sit very well as linear concept. Autism traits, talents, and deficits branch out much farther than a straight line does. I prefer this explanation of autism much better.
J’s autism (like all autism) is complicated. He struggles greatly with anxiety. His social skills are weak. He also struggles with sensory processing issues that contribute to learning disabilities. Ninety-eight percent of the time, I feel like we’re macgyvering it with J–trying to come up with different (and often non conventional) ways of helping him connect better with the world. It forces us to be creative in how we teach him, both at school and on the home front. Now that J is sixteen, I feel like I’m starting to understand his world a little better. I’m discovering new strengths, understanding his sensory needs better, and have discovered that physical exercise is important in helping him focus and feel settled.
I post weekly about the victories, failures, and learning curves of our autism-meets-middle school adventures. I’m not going to pretend to be an expert on autism. There’s a whole lot of trial and error that happens in this house. We’re just learning this as we go along. Sometimes I’m right, sometimes I’m absolutely wrong.