Homeschool expectations and Autism.

Homeschooling autism is a little different than homeschooling "typical." But does that mean that we expect less? I was talking to my mom about how I plan to change things up a little after the 1st, and that led me to think about the Board of Ed telling me they didn't expect him to have stellar written communication skills, so it was ok if he didn't accomplish that anytime soon. What some may see as a relief, or a help from the BOE, I see as a challenge. You see, he wasn't expected to speak, show emotion, or behave anything like a "typical child," yet he does. He has a fantastic vocabulary, has more emotion and empathy that anyone I know, and his behavior is spot on. When we see challenges, we tackle them head on. Autism is NOT a disability for us, it is a brick wall in the road to our full potential, and one that gets chipped away little by little.

That same boy who was never supposed to speak has spent the entire evening telling us about an elaborate city he has built using a city and railroad simulator program we bought him. The same one who was feared to never develop any sort of reading comprehension has a stack of 8 "Handy Answer" books that he LOVES reading, and then telling us all the fun facts he's learned from them.

Anytime we have been faced with adversity and challenges, I've devoted our days to that challenge. For example, he HATED the color green. I mean the aversion was so bad he'd actually vomit when he saw green in his little bubble world. So for an entire week his world was nothing but green. Green clothes, green toys, green eating utensils, green EVERYTHING. What is his favorite color now? GREEN! For this year, writing is really important to me. Both penmanship and communication, I've given extra work in both. He has to write out all of his answers, and if it is messy, he has to write it over and over until it's neat. He isn't to just do a quick response either, but a full "question restated" answer. "What is your favorite color?" "My favorite color is green." We still practice handwriting letters in block AND cursive. We have handwriting apps for iPad...the whole nine yards. We WILL tackle writing, and we will prevail!

The point is, don't feel relief from lack of expectations, instead feel challenged to set the bar even higher and surpass the "should have been" expectations! Set your goal. Have a solid plan and what you hope to accomplish, then except nothing less! That's what we intend to do!