Category Archives: school

Tips for Parents: Creating Resources and Educational Opportunities for Students with Autism who Type

Guest post by Tracy Kedar

I have been asked many times by parents how to develop resources to support their children with autism who communicate by typing in order to access a regular education, or how to find supportive agencies or how to create other services where they live. I wish there was an easy answer. Each resource we have out here took legwork and advocacy work by someone, as I’m sure so many of you have already experienced and accomplished, and we have a long way to go! Based on the kinds of questions I often receive, what I can offer are some tips  that hopefully will help parents in developing resources where  they live.


The general education system is still not set up for typers. By and large, unless you encounter an extremely rare and open-minded individual in your school, or others have blazed the trail before you, you will virtually never walk into a school that is familiar with autism or ready to integrate autistic students into general education classes Thus, parents are, as always, thrust into the role of advocate for their child and become de facto outreach educators regarding autism to the schools. Since so many special educators have been taught that students with autism have low cognition, parents of autistic children who have broken through the communication barrier and who are trying to get their children into general education, must come to IEP meetings armed with evidence of their child’s ability. Often times those early meetings are emotionally challenging for parents because panels may be biased or even hostile. However, films of their child typing, reports and assessments from private, preferably school-district-recognized, augmentative communication specialists, psychologists, and others, which show their child’s true capacity, may help.

Beyond this, parents may need to be ready to explain that their child has a legal right to be educated, according to federal law, in the least restrictive environment, despite communicating in a different modality and sometimes displaying odd behavior. Since many people have never even heard that a nonverbal autistic person can communicate by typing, parents can help the IEP team by reassuring them that with a trained aide for behavioral support and as a communication partner, autistic people have successfully been integrated into general education and have done well.

With luck, there will be in attendance at the IEP meeting someone from the school who recognizes that the child is truly communicating and who consequently recommends allowing the child to enter regular classes, but this may not be the case. If it seems necessary, parents may want to invite independent professionals to the IEP as well, such as augmentative communication specialists, educational psychologists, and so on, who can help advocate on behalf of your child’s abilities. Though there may be no one in your area specializing in, or even familiar with testing autistic kids who use typing to communicate, just finding someone open-minded may be good enough.

From our own experience, when Ido was young and I was trying to get him out of autism class, I searched for an educational psychologist who was willing to let him be tested while he answered questions via letter board. I found someone who was willing to try. She carefully observed throughout the testing to make sure he was communicating without being manipulated or prompted, however, she had no prior experience testing a child who communicated in this modality. Other parents looking for someone to do an assessment are eager to hear who can do a fair or adequate job and word may spread among parents that this person is capable of testing a nonverbal typer.

Should a school refuse to allow an autistic student to be integrated in spite of educational psychological evaluations and films demonstrating ability and aptitude at age appropriate level, then in some instances parents may be compelled to seek additional support. It is generally better to not have legal professionals (lawyers, paralegals) in the room in the introductory meetings since at that early stage you are trying to educate school personnel and forge a partnership. However, if you determine that it is necessary, it may be helpful to convey that you are consulting with a legal professional and are aware of your child’s legal rights. A lawyer’s presence may be useful in future meetings but is certainly not the place to start as teamwork and a non-adversarial relationship is always best, if possible.

Once a child is out of the autism class and mainstreamed, the student often finds the academics to be an easier hurdle than the learning to sit still and control his body, emotions and impulses all day. Because these are self-control skills, many students begin mainstreaming gradually, perhaps leaving an autism classroom for only a few periods a day until the self-control improves. For example, in Ido’s middle school there was a self-contained autism class where he sat when not in general education classes, though he did independent study there for the other academic classes he was missing. His integration began gradually. In 6th grade he went only to two general education classes, math and science, and as he learned how to function in a regular class he was able to last longer and longer. By 7th grade he was mainstreamed for three classes and by 8th grade the school recommended that he be on a full general education schedule, which he maintained throughout high school.

Another strategy we found useful was to hire a private tutor to work on grade level material not taught in the autism class before Ido was mainstreamed into general education so that he could get used to do doing regular coursework. He was sitting in the remedial autism class at school all day, but we hired a graduate student in education (not special education) with no prior exposure to autism, whose lesson plans no doubt helped ready Ido for general education. Another advantage is that each of these people, formerly unfamiliar with nonverbal autism and typing to communicate, becomes part of a wider network of support and may in turn provide support to other parents and students.

It is important to note that for most of the typers we know, they didn’t walk into a school that had a program ready to mainstream an autistic student. Since Ido was the first mainstreamed, nonverbal autistic student in every school he attended, this was a completely new experience for teachers and administrators. It is important to know that individual people can make a huge difference. We were helped enormously in middle school by an open-minded administrator, an assistant principal, who was willing to work with us and be supportive to Ido in the school setting. As he told me, “I always just assumed he was smart and just communicated in a different way.” By presuming competence he helped forge a path for success. This was a pleasant surprise. We saw how, by his lead, he influenced others in the school to be receptive to having a student with autism in regular classes.

To help smooth out potential obstacles, prior to the beginning of the school year I met with the administrators to explain who Ido was, how he communicated, his abilities and challenges, and I did the same with all of his teachers after contacting them by email. Ido came to these introductions and introduced himself to the teachers. This is an essential step. Many teachers have never met a person with autism before. They may know nothing about autism. They have huge classes and they already feel overwhelmed and harried, so they need to know that they have someone to bring their questions to, whether it’s the parent, aide, administrator or inclusion teacher. With a good collaborative relationship, supportive administrators can help place the child with teachers they know will be the most open and capable. Many teachers rise to the challenge admirably and really embrace educating the student with autism. They are great gifts to our children. Other teachers accept the presence of our kids with no special passion for reaching out. No problem. They educate them and accept them as they do any other student. Each of these teachers becomes a resource for those students with autism who follow.

There are, however, some teachers who are a terrible fit. They may resent the child’s presence, do not know how to deal with autistic behavior including disruptive noises, outbursts or poor impulse control, be poor teachers in general, or they may exhibit hostile skepticism. In certain instances, finding a different teacher may be warranted. Teachers should be encouraged to observe the child communicating and answering questions to put their mind at ease and to reassure them that the student is doing his own work. From our experience, the more independently the child is able to communicate, the more receptive the response. In our experience, the majority of teachers I met were cooperative and some were outstanding. .However, in spite of all your efforts, you may still encounter people in the schools who are less open-minded, or who are convinced a nonverbal, autistic child does not belong in general education. It is never easy being a pioneer, and unfortunately, both parents and the student have to be ready for these challenges and for the difficult people who make the process tougher, whether teacher or administrator.

Parents may find that certain systems are unfixable. When Ido started high school, after a successful middle school experience, he initially went to our local high school hoping to continue his positive experience. This school proved to be a bad fit. A few administrators created a hostile climate for disabled students. Since it is hard enough having autism, no student deserves to be bullied by administrators and made to feel unwelcome at school, in addition to their everyday challenges. I concluded that the administrators of this school were not reasonable or compassionate people who were willing to work with me, but rather, were obstructionist and mean-spirited. I realized that because of this, the environment could not be changed for the better for Ido. I felt that the hostile climate was sufficiently bad that I had to remove him from the school and find another high school with a more welcoming attitude that would be willing to enroll him midyear.

The second nearby high school I found did not have any experience mainstreaming autistic students into the general education classes. Ido was the first. But they had a different attitude of, “let’s try,” “let’s make it work,” and significantly, they had respect for the student. This enabled him to thrive. What happens without planning, then, is that word of mouth spreads among parents to avoid the first school and to look into the second, and so perhaps more typers enroll in the second school and none into the first. But, it is not as if a program of integration, training, or special services for the students with autism existed or exists in that school. Rather, it is a school with some kind people willing to give a student with autism who types a chance to be educated and it becomes an option for parents looking for resources.

One friend of mine was having terrible experiences with a teacher/administrator in her son’s elementary school. The mom is a strong advocate but it became clear that she was dealing with a closed-system, much like Ido’s first high school, which didn’t want things to work out. Staying in schools like this is actually harmful to our kids. She was struggling to cooperate with an individual who had strong negative biases toward her son’s abilities and who would not, and possibly could not, change. As painful as it may be to see people who reject or underestimate our children, sometimes we simply have to recognize a hostile system and not continue to bang our heads against the wall trying to fix things. It becomes essential in these circumstances to look for greener pastures elsewhere. After changing schools, this little boy is now thriving in his new school where he is fully integrated and welcomed. Once again, this life-changing experience was made possible simply thanks to a few open-minded individuals in the new school who his mom reached out to and who were willing to listen and learn and the negative experience was shaped by one powerful individual in the first school.

The bottom line is that a successful general education school experience is created one teacher, one counselor, and one administrator at a time and parents must reach out to all of them. One of our most successful collaborative relationships was with a teacher who initially was skeptical of Ido’s abilities. To her great credit, she came to our home, observed Ido typing and changed from being someone I feared might impede his progress to an indispensable ally and supporter who has since helped other students with autism who type in the school setting. Outreach is incredibly important. Some people are open to change and some are not. One individual, like this wonderful teacher, can help foster a successful experience for your child, and for those who follow, at school by influencing other staff.


Beyond schools, our children get help from autism agencies, which provide their aides, adaptive skills training, and other services. There are only a few agencies in our area that are eager to support kids with autism who type. They do not specialize in this population, though they are interested in exploring it more. They became enthusiastic after they got a client who was a student with autism who typed and who had a parent who educated and advocated to the agency staff or supervisor. 100% of the agency staff did not get behind the concept. Rather, once again, a few individuals got on board. In many instances, these are individuals who have no particular expertise or training in typers or typing to communicate, nor did they know initially how to support the children and their communication. However, significantly, certain individuals on their staff showed a willingness to listen to parents, to observe how the students learned, and finally, an openness to learning more. I know several parents who even trained agency staff who were working with their kids on communication techniques and strategies, planting a seed of interest and helping their own children as well. Once again, parent led and parent generated advocacy coupled with a few open-minded individuals in an agency, can begin to make a systemic change. Families that follow will enter into an agency that is more receptive, thanks to the efforts of these motivated parents. I will confess that I stayed on far too long with an agency that had a very inconsistent ability to support Ido. I urge you not to make the same mistake!

Other Resources:

As you look for the supports your child needs, it may take some time to find the right match. When we wanted someone to help Ido with fitness, he worked with three trainers over the span of a few years. The first did a very good job but had no interest in specializing in autism and moved on to other things. Still, he was able to help Ido with fitness and it was a positive experience for both. The trainer who followed him was clearly not excited about trying to help a person with autism get fit, so the search continued. We found Ido’s third trainer, Mike Ramirez, through a friend, a mother of a child with autism. She said Mike had worked with her son through an autism agency for years but on a personal level was a Cross-Fit devotee and fitness buff. For Mike, putting these two hats together, autism and fitness, was ideal and he decided that what he wanted to do professionally was to concentrate on the fitness of kids with special needs. Ultimately, he created his own company to do so. What I am saying is that if no Mike exists where you are now, remember, Mike’s program didn’t exist here either when we started! Ido was the first kid he trained, but from word of mouth other parents began to request a service that he was good at and interested in providing. As Mike says, his services are parent driven and the parents, in many instances, are driven by the demands of their kids who type. Once our kids can communicate, they can tell us what they want to learn and then motivation is much higher.

Whether the person is a tutor, a running coach, a fitness trainer, a piano teacher, an art teacher or any of the many talented professionals who may not have originally been familiar with autism, or who may be familiar with autism but never thought to teach these particular skills, resources can be created for your children and community in this way. Once our kids type they can let us know what they want or need.


Finally, finding like-minded parents is crucial. I can’t begin to list the good tips I got from other parents and hope that I have been able to do the same for them.

Creating options, advocating and being brave pioneers walking into the unknown is what the reality is for those of us now on the forefront of creating educational opportunities for our kids with autism who type. Our children bravely walk into the classroom ready to take on those opportunities in spite of the challenges they face, but change is still one child, one parent and one educator at a time. One by one, with each person forging a path for those who follow, we can move mountains.

Good luck to all pioneers!


Emotion Outbursts

The first week of school was both great and hard. I have to say I was glad to be out of my house, but the abrupt change from lazy summer to a full schedule of tough academic classes is hard for anyone, but is especially hard for people with issues changing their routine. My subjects are mostly new to me, as are my teachers (with one great exception), and my one-on-one aide is new too. Factor in a non-stop heat wave in sort of sauna-land all day and I get frazzled more easily than usual. 
 The teachers have been pretty cool because it is the first time they have had a student so disabled to learn about. I admit, if people are cool and calm with me it helps me if I’m stressed, but if people get stressed, I get frightened. I have a roller coaster internally that can’t stop when I feel fear. I must be given the space to center my neurological system.
 I so wish I was my full master of my emotions and behavior but I don’t have the tools yet. My parents or aide are indispensible in helping me modulate my behavior. They can right the tilting ship. They get it. Sometimes – rarely—I lose it, but usually I regain myself fast. If the situation escalates because I am not given a chance to calm myself, it is not helpful at all. Then my roller-coaster plummets. I keep wondering how do I stop it when I get impulsive or edgy at once. 
 I know I must be removed in quiet and allowed to pull myself together. I think many schools and parents should know this. A show of tough authority escalates a sensory system that needs peace. Take the kid to a quiet place to sit still and it should do the trick eventually. Running is also helpful. I regret it always if I lose my cool or misbehave in public but I urge people to not be frightened. Autistic non-verbal people don’t mean harm. It is usually a form of frustration they don’t contain well.

A Great Change

Every morning when I go to school I feel good now. This is like a real blessing because for five months every morning I felt like vomiting before school. I was frightened I might have to spend four years in that tension. Thank God my mom found a woman who helped me transfer into my new school. It was looking like it might not happen and it was scary because I was so miserable in my old school. This counselor did the necessary paperwork and I got in. I am so grateful to her for this. Now I have an opportunity to just learn. My school is smaller and mellower than before. The kids are more respectful of the teachers in class, and my classes are good. The great thing is the school works with my parents to make it succeed for me. They cooperate, meet, discuss, and they are nice too. I had this in middle school and again now, but for the first semester of high school I had the opposite. I can’t understand the reason they were so hostile there. The team really didn’t seem to want things to work out. It is not clear to me why they had attitudes like this. I have to say I get a smile each time I drive by that school now and know I will never go there again. I thank all the folks who made this possible.

If They Were in My Old School

Tomorrow I start over in my high school. I transferred mid-year to a new school. I was very miserable in my old high school. I won’t elaborate now on what happened or why I had to go to have a happy high school experience. I got lucky. Two days before the semester ended my parents were able to get me into a new school. I think it will be a much more welcoming environment.

I wonder how my old high school would have treated Stephen Hawking, or Helen Keller, or Erik Weihenmayer if they had been students there. The first two were communication impaired and required one on one assistance. Helen fingerspelled her ideas into Annie Sullivan’s hand. She was independently thinking, not writing, in her earlier years. Would she have been accused of not doing her own work? Would they have resented her noises and too visible disability? Stephen Hawking is needing a lot of support. Would he be seen as an expensive burden, or worth giving the trained help he needs? Erik Weihenmayer is blind. Who knows? He might hurt himself.

The reason I bring up these three amazing individuals is not to compare myself with them but to imagine how my old high school would have treated them in the years they were different, severely challenged in a big high school environment, but not famous yet. I think it is easy to know the answer. Maybe they would have decided enough is enough like I did.
Onward and upward. It is time to start over.

Onward Upward

Well, I am starting a new high school next semester. It is good to be free of my old school and entering a new one. I feel welcome and accepted. This is a wonderful change. Why some schools are friendly and others not is a subject good to explore another day. I am hopeful now that I can enjoy high school and that I will succeed there. Hope is great because I felt hopeless in my last school that I could enjoy it, be relaxed, and feel supported. It is a good lesson because some systems can’t be fought. The system is closed and you can’t change it. The only solution is to get out and even that wasn’t easy. It is a start to my new year in 2012 that I will go to a warmer and far more welcoming school. I will need to adjust to all new routines, classes, schedule, and environment, but I’m sure I will and I’m really looking forward to it.

Letter to My Teachers

Dear Teachers;

I started High School with several big challenges. The challenges are why I am easily the most different kid you have in your classes. I have a serious neurological difference. Recently a neuroscientist I know told me that it is theorized that autistic people have a surplus of neurons. Our brains don’t prune properly. The result is a communication interference between thought and action. This is why I don’t speak with my mouth or why my writing is messy. It is also why I am impulsive or emotional with poor brakes. It is awful for me to sometimes be the follower of my actions. I am struggling daily to master them.

The second challenge is attacks of anxiety. In autism we often are anxious, nervous, and worried. That’s when things are good. In real stress we sometimes are overwhelmed. Starting High School was really overwhelming and I lost my self-control. I am trying so hard to do well and I hope you see I am improving. I regret any disruption I caused and I will try to be a more relaxed student in the future.

One additional stress was that I was not with the right aide at the start of the school year. I think I need to work on finding good matches who help me stay calm. I have this now with Cathy. I did not have that before so I became stressed and even frightened.

I want you all to know that my education is a thing I value very much. It is challenging to be the only autistic kid like me in school. I know other students have autism but they are verbal or with less severe symptoms. Now I struggle to show that people like me can be educated too. I think the vast majority of people with my degree of autism have only a simple and very basic education of alphabet, arithmetic, and not much more. It was my good fortune that I was able to learn to communicate on letter board or computer with my one finger. Thanks to that, my education is possible. It liberated me from total isolation.

I know you are all busy and I appreciate you welcoming me to your classes. I realize you may get worried about whether I do my own work. I do all the thinking work but I don’t do the hand-writing. I invite you to watch me on my letter board and see for yourself how it is done. I have had several teachers do this. It is helpful to see I work on my own assignments, moving my own arm, and not being manipulated. I would be happy to show you any time you wish to observe.



The Importance of Calm Assistance

I can imagine I wasn’t the only freshman who was nervous starting high school. I could see they were also scared. I saw they were lost trying to find their way around, and lots of them were shorter than the older kids. Just like them I was nervous and had a hard time in school. I hope I am not sounding whiny when I say I can’t cover up my feelings in the same way most people do.

This week I watched the blind athlete, Erik Weihenmayer, compete on the adventure race TV program, Expedition Impossible. I wrote how his race was harder because he did it blind. His teammate, Ike, had a serious injury. His race was harder too. They came in second in spite of it. I never saw them stop in self pity or expect the race to be made easier for them. The victory was that they did so well. I would love to meet them. I think it is a triumph because Erik is showing people that being disabled doesn’t mean not living fully.

He is a lucky man because he met Jeff. Jeff is his climbing partner; his eyes in a way. I would love to have a guide like Jeff to help me in my challenges too. He is optimistic and positive and calm so everyone else stays optimistic, positive and calm- and motivated. I have had the pleasure of some terrific support in school. The reason I can accomplish the goals I have set is thanks to people like Cathy, Katie, and others. I see how their relaxed demeanor helps me. It’s important because I am nervous in school.

This year I had a nervous aide for five miserable days. She was not a relaxed woman at all. I saw how everything got her tense. I saw how small things became big things because she over-reacted to them. I saw how she made my mom worried and me panicky.

I think Erik needs calm, thinking Jeff to achieve his great accomplishments, like climbing Mt. Everest. Someone who leads with tension really hurts morale. I see it blocks thought too. It becomes about how they feel, not about working things through. I am sensitive to people’s state of mind. I think nervous energy is transferred one to the other. In autism we are all easily flustered, so a person working with autistic people needs to be a calm type.

Besides being a calm type, Jeff was also a leader because he got his team to work hard. No Limits was a sort of ambitious group. No one wanted to let his teammates down. So, I meander in my flow of thoughts and I reach this conclusion: Ike and Jeff respected and believed in Erik. They believed he could do it even though he was blind. They went on the adventure for joy, and the experience, not just to win. By their support of Erik, he was able to achieve amazing things. It didn’t seem to be a bother to Jeff. He did it in stride. He would advise, “Duck here”, “Rock on the right”, and so on. So Erik was calm and secure to the extent he could be.

As I said earlier, in high school all freshmen are anxious. The school is so big and intimidating. In autism we all have anxiety issues when it’s good, so when we are scared it is so much worse. If we are also being monitored by people with notepads, it is even more anxiety provoking. And if our support is not a relaxed person, guess what happens?

Helen Keller had a calm Annie Sullivan to support her endeavors. The people who assist the disabled must be a special type of person. I have mostly been lucky. I am eager to begin the next phase of my high school experience with a friend at my side helping me. Life’s journey is always filled with new lessons.

No Limits

So, school has started. It is feeling a tad overwhelming. I try so hard to not lose my composure. It is a struggle all day. It’s interesting how it affects me. I have an overload of heat, crowded halls, and sitting still. I get so edgy in an instant. I try to control myself. It is a huge effort but I must do it if I want to achieve my dreams. Still, the struggle is hard. But isn’t life a struggle with some benefits of reprieve in between the challenges? It isn’t the other way around. We kid ourselves in imagining it is.

I watch a show called Expedition Impossible. It is a race competition in Morocco with teams of three trying to be the last team standing. One team gets eliminated each week. I see how hard they push themselves in high altitude, or in deserts, or in all kinds of different terrain. They have to mountain climb, repel cliffs, kayak rapids, ride camels, row and sail rafts, do puzzles, and overcome illness and fatigue. It is interesting in a way to see all the types of people in the race. Some are supportive and some are obnoxious, and some are weeping in overwhelmed self pity even though they chose the challenge. It is like me in high school. I chose it, so I must be the not-obnoxious or weepy one.

There is a team I will tell you about. It is a wonderful group of three athletes. One is blind. One is a US soldier who injured his leg severely on the trek. One is the eyes of the blind contestant. In a way he is the spirit of the group. He is so positive and they are all amazingly positive and determined and tough. The blind man, Erik Wiehenmayer, is incredible. He repels cliffs without sight, climbs rocky mountains, kayaks rapids, crosses a river on a zipline- all by verbal tips, and courage. He won’t let his disability stop him though his trek is harder than all the others. They all struggle too. He does it with no sight.

I see his decision to fight against limits. He won’t surrender to the easy way out. It is a good reminder to me too. I have a choice to be lazy or weak, but I will do the struggle. I too want a life not limited by my disability, so I guess I need to remember when I get overwhelmed or school is hard that my goal is my liberation from stagnation and more. I want to succeed as Erik shows me, in spite of autism and in spite of challenges.

Nervous About Starting High School

In a few weeks I will graduate middle school and next year I will start a new school. It’s a big deal in my life.  My middle school was the first real opportunity I had to learn in school. I know 6th grade was like an experiment. They watched to see how I could cope in middle school. I went in to math and science only, and did regular work in the other subjects though I wasn’t mainstreamed in them then.  It was a very big adjustment to sit so long in self-control and quiet. The schoolwork was simple compared to sitting in a classroom all day. I was determined to get a decent education, so I tried. It was not always easy for me or my aide, but I got more capable each year. This year I am doing better.  I am mainstreamed practically from eight to three. I go to P.E. with autistic kids, but otherwise I am staying in a regular class all day. My school is big. I switch rooms.
Next year my high school will be bigger still. It has thousands of students, so many clubs I couldn’t believe it, and a track and football field. It is a real big school experience. It’s scary for new freshmen, I know. I’m really nervous. I worry that my sensory system will be overloaded. I worry that students will be mean to me. Then I tell myself, “OK, it’s just worries and I am going to be fine.” I will be with some kids I know. I can walk in the halls five minutes early to avoid the mob- but I can’t stop my worries.
My aide is the best. It’s wonderful to work with her. She is kind, smart, and good at working with me. I don’t know her plans next year. I hope she can stay to start me off, or even longer. Now I worry that getting a new aide and a new school will be too much. Some days I get overwhelmed by worry. I wish I didn’t, but I do.
I worry about the teachers. Will they accept me or think I am an odd nuisance to them? I worry about the students. Now I am in class with kids who are used to me. Next year there will be new kids. I always visit school before the year starts to meet all the teachers and tour the campus. That helps a lot. I also wrote a short speech that is read to the class on the first day of school to explain my behavior and communication style to the class. That helps put them at ease, but I am still so nervous inside.
I realize I am lucky. It’s a great high school. It’s a dream of mine to graduate and go to college. I will need to overcome my fears about high school. It’s a big shift in my life. It’s the third big change I’ve had in school. I went from remedial class in elementary school to a “high functioning” autism class in 5th grade. Then in 6th grade I went to my middle school. This time I really don’t need to prove I’m smart to a school of skeptics. I think I’ve done that, so that is one big relief to me. It’s wonderful that they believe in the need to educate me, so I no longer need to worry about that.
I feel next year could be good. Unfortunately it’s unknown, so I worry too much. I feel relieved to write this. If you have tips, once again, to help me relax about this- I’ll take them.

High School and Beyond

I was thinking how sorry I am to leave my middle school for high school. Well, not sorry exactly. I’m nervous and excited. I will be the pioneering non-verbal autistic person in regular education in high school. In middle school I wasn’t the only autistic kid. I was the only one in my classes though. It’s a long journey from my rudimentary autism class in elementary school to regular education in high school. It’s really weird in a way because I am so stuck in my silence, however I am not trapped in it like I was. I can communicate in my typing/pointing techniques and I am out in the world because I can express my ideas.

In high school I will have to really work hard on self control, on homework, on sitting all day, on proving myself once again. Now it is becoming easier. I’m nervous, not stressed to my roof. I think I can do it, and get my diploma, and even go to college. This is my goal and I hope it will help other autistic people on their journeys too.