It's conference time for me, which means I'm way tired after several 12 hour days and I'm also apprehensive awaiting my sons' conferences. This year the apprehension was compounded because my husband is away on business and the conferences were attended my moi alone.
Good news: my older boy is succeeding academically and behaving less disruptively than in the past (except for trying to parent the class: "Stop talking everyone!").
Not so good news: Dominic is succeeding academically but struggling with his behavior. Socially, he's having trouble, especially at the playground, which is unstructured, doubly hard due to his autism. This was so hard to listen to; my throat clenched up the whole conference, which ultimately lasted 45 minutes. I still cry thinking about it. I knew he was having trouble, but God knows I have nothing to offer the teachers. He doesn't know how to act. He's been more oppositional. I don't know what will help. Parents of autistic children would pay me millions if I had answers. I don't.
I did share some strategies we try at home to deal with unstructured time, which mostly involves minor role play--what will you do, why, what will you not do, etc. It helps at home, and the teachers and staff said it was helpful. I hope it is.
I can't tell you how gut wrenching it is to hear about the social difficulties of my son with autism. It is so hard. It was helpful to hear about other neurotypical students having trouble at school, and it helped to hear that other neurotypical students didn't know how to play either, but hearing about his social struggles still hurts.
We're hoping a meds change for his ADHD will help with the oppositional behavior, which became more pronounced when we switched to these meds last spring.
Since he may not hear these words as often at school, I celebrate my son's gifts at home. He's very creative and enthusiastic in his play. Here's a layout I did to celebrate using the color scheme from the Color Room: