AUTISM

AUTISM

December 11, 2012

Advice on autism and teens from an adult on the autism spectrum

Lisa Jo Rudy


School is a tough place for teens with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). In junior and senior high school, conformity is valued. But for people with autism, social conformity is extraordinarily difficult to achieve. Junior and senior high school also require tremendous flexibility, as students move from space to space, subject to subject, teacher to teacher. Since people with autism tend to prefer consistency to change, this, too, can be difficult to manage.

Robyn Steward is a young adult with Asperger syndrome. She lives in London, and is a trainer and mentor working with teens and parents who are coping with autism spectrum disorders. Robyn's experience may be both helpful and inspiring to parents and to teens with Asperger syndrome.

Here's how Robyn describes her own teen and young adult experiences:
I was essentially asked politely to leave school, because I spent so much time out of classes since I refused to be called names by the other children. I had no real friends at school apart from the IT teacher and no friends at home. I just assumed I'd never have friends or get anywhere because I felt that was what the teachers were saying. and because I got bad grades and struggled being organized.

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