• Understanding Autism from the Inside

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Your Help Needed! IEP Meeting Scheduled

I am jotting down notes here in a black and white marble note book sitting open on my desk as I read policies, and do IEP research.  I simply cannot walk into a meeting that I am unprepared for—beyond prepared.  I have Aspie obsession working in my favor at least.

This is the thing—there is so much information about the social and communication sides of autism and IEP goals in regards to those but many seem to ignore the executive functioning issues.  I believe this is a huge area in which the little man is struggling.  In addition, I suspect he has auditory processing issues going on (like Mom) as well.

Little man cannot read in a room where a TV is on, or can be heard.  He cannot concentrate especially at the end of the day after school.  I am getting many notes about him not listening to directions/instructions, or misinterpreting them. Many times he tells me he is being punished for this or that, and I get a different story from the teacher.

He never seems to really know why he is being punished—something is not connecting.

When he is focused on a task; he does not hear you if you speak to him.  Therefore, if he is working on something in school most times he does not hear the teacher speaking to the class, or giving directions. It is not that he is not listening to or following instructions—he never heard her at all!

That got me to thinking about his reading and TV issue—and it hit me—auditory processing.  I bet that when he is in that classroom he must block out everything in order to focus intently on what he is doing. If he does not, or can not (often) he cannot concentrate.  This is exactly how my own auditory processing works! If there is more than one person talking, or the TV on and someone is talking to me the sounds blend together and I literally cannot filter out the other noses to “hear” what is being said.  It might as well be a foreign language because I didn’t understand you at all.  This happens to be every single day so I know the feeling well.

All this to say that I think there are multiple things at work here (aren’t there always with ASD?) and I need some IEP accommodation ideas to address them.  I have some ideas of my own, but would love some more suggestions.

My main concerns/issues:

  • Homework—it has trouble making it from school to home, and from home to school.  The little man is so stressed by the time the school day ends that it takes almost until bedtime for him to calm down enough to begin working—usually all in vein because something gets missed, lost, etc. and he gets punished and loses recess.
  • Writing down Assignments—he has trouble copying assignments from the board in an accurate, legible and timely manner.  Sometimes things don’t get written down—and he gets punished.
  • Instructions—he doesn’t hear them.
  • Shifting Activities—he needs times to adjust
  • Having all his books, supplies, pencils etc. when he changes classes (he had a behavior color flip one day because he forgot his pencil )
  • Fear—he is scared to ask his teachers to explain what he doesn’t understand because he says he will get his behavior color flipped for not paying attention (don’t know if it is true or just he fears that will happen)
  • Anger/Frustration and Tears—that he has when he finally arrives home from school. Tears for reasons that he can’t articulate and I suspect from emotions he doesn’t understand.

Help!

You all are awesome; A sea full of knowledge, some of which, I would love to hear.

Do you have any IEP suggestions to address these issues that have worked for you?

Any suggestions for these issues, or things going on that I may have “missed” or not thought of—open to all suggestions.  I am anxiously awaiting for this meeting and want to be as prepared as I possible can.  I will be in super obsession mode until then!

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Jeannie Davide-Rivera

Jeannie is an award-winning author, the Answers.com Autism Category Expert, contributes to Autism Parenting Magazine, and the Thinking Person's Guide to Autism. She lives in New York with her husband and four sons, on the autism spectrum.