Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Autism and High School – the Honeymoon is Over

Remember TJ’s fantastic start to high school, where he was so happy and excited and my husband and I breathed a huge sigh of relief?  Remember that?

Well, we shall now refer to that as “the honeymoon period”.  And baby, it’s over.

How could I have forgotten about the honeymoon period?  That amazing week or two when I actually think we are in the clear?

Right after the honeymoon period comes reality.  And it comes crashing in.  And every time it comes crashing in I wonder to myself, how could I have been so foolish to think we were all set?

After the honeymoon period is where the real work begins.

Last week I met with TJ’s new school team – his special educator (who I think we should now refer to as our saving grace), his teachers, and his instructional assistants.

Talk about a rude awakening.  TJ’s behavior in class had regressed to that of his former 6th grade self. 
That’s when the light bulb went off – HE IS STRESSED!  I had no idea how stressful this new school beginning was for him!  TJ does not communicate these feelings with words as much as he does with his behavior, as he is so eager to please everyone.  He would never admit his stress level to anyone.  But after gathering all the input from the school staff, the problem was clear.

I was sad.  But only for a second.  Then I was relieved…thank god we have the problem targeted!  Now we can start to solve it!

And solve it we are, as a team.  Clear communication, and lots of it.  New folder systems so homework assignments are not missed.  Bi-monthly meetings with his special educator so we can touch base on our home and school progress.  Emails emails emails.

That time after the honeymoon period used to make me feel so sad, as if I had somehow failed as a parent.  Now I am empowered by it, fueled with information to give my boy the greatest chance at success.  

I guess you can say we both have grown a lot, my TJ and I.  And we both are still learning.  Everyday.


  1. Hi. Fellow traveler here. I don't lose it very often, not a luxury available for the Mom Who Calms, but I think you might relate to this is a way most can't. I'm glad I found you. ~LA

    1. Hi fellow weary traveler!
      Yes yes yes. I hate it too. And it's ok to lose it - we need to purge! Go for it and do it as loud as you can!!! I'm with you. Then we smile and go back to our stronger selves.
      I'm with you. Glad to know you.