Question For Parents With Older Children Or In Their Teens

My son is just 3 years old, he's adorable (actually had a modeling agency after him, but he hated the camera flash and all the lights). He is high functioning and very social. Just has a speech delay, tons of sensor issues, few minor skills delays, feeding issues, hard time with transitions and a hard time understanding certain commands. But as he is starting to spell (can spell his own name too) and read simple words, along with a big interest in anything dealing with science, space or the mechanics of things.

So my question is, how do we prepare them for life in middle school or high school? These grades are tough for all kids!

Though he's social, there is a limit to it. I would love for him to be able to be in a non-special education class as well and college. So I guess I'm worried about the other kids, teachers, dances, ect. Like will he date, how "normal" can he experiences in growing up be (and by normal I mean what's comfortable for him, but still allows him to be part of what others are doing). I know he's a great kid and I hope that others see him as the wonderful person that he is.
kaye30kaye kaye30kaye
26-30, F
3 Responses Dec 8, 2012

My son is fourteen and he has high functioning autism. Not fully or officially diagnosed, however has all of the traits you describe your three year old. My son has an IEP for his written expression language difficulties. He has always been mainstreamed in class and his effort and positive attitude is loved by his teachers. I was really worried about middle school, however it has been awesome and he is happy. I've learned to just show him love, and tried to teach him to give his best effort. I do not micro manage his grades and education and what do you know he has made honor roll with all a and b with occasional c. I also make time to have one on one conversation over coffee and juice which helps conversation and eye contact practice. For a few years he had difficulty with eye contact, much better now. Also keep activities that focus on fine motor skills, as my son is clumsy and still has some gross motor issues. Tumbling is a good thing for your son at this young age. I missed that one but did do Martial arts for 4 years which really helped his physical abilities between ages 9-12. Good Luck mom oh one more thing I was lucky to have a little sister for my son which has been very positive and he has grown socially etc by having her. They do fight lots typical I guess. He has a couple of friends and is happy with them.

I have so worried about bullying over the years, but my offspring seems to be surrounded by a bubble of charm. While it's true that he keeps progressing, the rest of his peer group are now on a very different social track as teenagers. They respect him, though, because he can pull his weight in group work and does have a unique perspective. His sense of humor helps, too.

Having your child in a regular classroom with accommodations will vastly help him learn social skills. This is a big reason for mainstreaming. You can help him along with social stories for different situations. We have also used Normal Rockwell Saturday Evening Post covers, and other art, as a tool for understanding non-verbal communication. This has formed a common language for us to talk about social situations and sometimes emotions: "Do you remember the Normal Rockwell picture called, 'The Interloper?' [insert situation] is just like what happens in that picture."

Favorite movies & tv shows can also be good reference points to talk about situations and emotions.

Large-group activities are a good way for a kid to feel social without necessarily having to bear a lot of social responsibility. A bowling league, a lego robotics club--these types of activities have lots of structure that help along the social aspects of a group. In this respect, things can get easier as our kids get older. At 3 years of age most typically developing kids are starting to learn interactive play rather than parallel play, and free-form playdates tend to be the rule.

Keep us all posted on how things progress. . .

I can not say for sure as my children are 7 7 and 8. but from what other teachers told me, is that by keeping my kidz in the same class as they are in and NOT holding them back to catch up and letting them be in regular class, they learn social stuff earlier and get situated ealier, and kidz get to know them and will sometimes even protect them as they get older.

I wouldn't be worried tooo much. take it one step at a time. Know the possibilities are endless and focus on the now.