Helping Your Autistic Teen Survive High School With the Future in Mind by Jennifer Kirchoff

5 years ago

Helping Your Autistic Teen Survive High School With the Future in Mind

My son was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) at age 7. I remember thinking, “What will his future in education look like now?” And, in a brief moment of sad despair, “What can he even hope for as a future with these struggles?”

Fortunately, by advocating for our son at every Special Education meeting, ensuring he received the most appropriate learning modifications, working with his counselors and teachers, and making sure he had a balance of physical fitness, proper nutrition, medicine and personal interests (Asperger interests can often be obsessive in scope and drown out everything else!) within each school day, slowly but surely, my son not only achieved successes academically, but also began developing his own unique goals in life surrounding his academic successes.

Attending college became his next goal, and we worked with his counselor and teachers with that in mind. It is truly joyous for me to share that our son is finishing his first year of college, with a load of 33 credits by August 1, 2018! He did have to take a gap year for health treatments, but now stands to wield a GPA of somewhere between 3.75 and 3.9. 

Dreams can come true!

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Ann Marie Patitucci
What a remarkable story of love, perseverance, hard work, and dreams coming true! Thank you for sharing it with us, Jennifer Kirchoff ! And welcome to our community of writers. We are so glad to have you here.
Jennifer Kirchoff
Thank you so much, Ann Marie! I'm grateful for the opportunity to begin sharing our story! <3
Thank you for sharing your story! Congratulations to him for setting a goal and reaching it and kudos to you for supporting on his journey!
Jennifer Kirchoff
Thank you very much, Renee! He is very humble about his success so far! When I just showed him this article and his picture, he just said, "Oh, that's nice." I asked him if he was OK with it, and he simply said, "That's fine." :)
Gina Pomering
Thank you for sharing. Always good to hear there is hope on the horizon and advocacy is the key! Different not less!
Elisa Schmitz
What a wonderful story of resilience and focus and determination on his part, and advocacy and unconditional love on your part, Jennifer Kirchoff ! I am so glad you shared your experience here. So many parents are worried and don't know what to do. Reading this will be so helpful and inspiring. Dreams DO come true. Welcome to our tribe. I can't wait to read more from you!
Tanya Kuzmanovic
Jennifer - I just "cyber-met" a woman through Twitter who calls herself the "mom with autism" - she is happily married, working as a university professor and has three little ones . . . and she also happens to have Aspberger's - YES - dreams really do come true!!!!!!

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