Home > Family Services, Topic of the Week > How to Integrate Your Child in the Community

How to Integrate Your Child in the Community

Every family has concerns and questions about how to successfully include a family member with autism in their community. Martin, a parent of a child with autism, and an attorney will join us on July 26, 2011 Facebook Q and A to share her own experiences and answer questions about how to step up to community inclusion!

We want to take some of your preliminary questions now! Ask away!

  1. derek ramey
    July 25, 2011 at 4:58 pm

    my son is 6 hes been on resperdal for a few months its helping alot with tics and speech but his behaviors havent improved at all can anyone help explain why?

    • Barbara Pons
      July 26, 2011 at 7:56 am

      Behavior needs to be learned. Medication isn’t going to help with that. Risperdal helped my son focus more. We need to teach our kids what we expect and what is appriate behavior. I praise my son when he really does good and is behavior really awesome and when he doesn’t i tell him that makes me very upset and sad and that i really don’t like it when he acts like that. I will explain why i don’t like it.

  2. July 25, 2011 at 5:41 pm

    A few months ago my 9yr old son had been a very happy if not a little reluctant member of our local scouts and had been for 3 yrs. A boy from his class joined the group a few months ago and unbeknown to anyone the boy started bullying my son at school.
    My son told no one of this and so his anger and resentment towards the boy built up gradually over time.
    Then when the annual pre summer camp came around a friend of my son told him you can share a tent with me and sleep next to X who was the bully and tormentor of my son.
    My son was a little afraid of this and progressed to having a complete mental break down in front of all the scouts and became very verbal and used some inappropriate wording to the leaders.
    The reult being my son was sent directly home from camp and I was told he was expelled from the scouts for life because of the meltdown. The bully however was allowed to carry on with the camp and is still a member of the scouts.
    After 3yrs of my son being a quiet and happy member of the group is it fair to expel him like this and keep the other boy in?

    • Liz
      July 25, 2011 at 8:53 pm

      I’m so sorry this happened to your son. It is disheartening that there are still many people who don’t get it, and judge our children (and us) so harshly.

    • Barbara Pons
      July 26, 2011 at 7:48 am

      Heck no!! I would fight it! Go to the top person in charge. That just is not fair. Poor thing! My son is in summer camp and says he doesn’t want to go. He first would say he didn’t want to go because it is boring. Now he is saying he doesn’t want to go because he is scared. He says he is scared of the counselors. I need to figure our why and what is going on. Good luck to you!

      • July 26, 2011 at 10:49 am

        I tried Barbera but they just won’t allow him back in as apparently he called one of the leaders a pervert and they are worried there could be reprecussions from this.

      • Barbara Pons
        July 26, 2011 at 11:46 am

        I take it that isn’t a special needs camp? I am sorry to hear that. I wish I could help you. I can’t believe they can keep him out because of a name calling thing. he didn’t hurt anyone only they hurt him. So not right.
        Our camp Sunburst is awesome over here. my son loved it a couple years ago. He didn’t even want to come home. I don’t know why he doesn’t want to go anymore. :(

    • July 26, 2011 at 5:36 pm

      I cannot believe that the leaders of this scout group acted in this way. I would fight this to the end even if your son does not want to go back. This bully should be kicked out. Go speak to the leaders and tell them that if this other child is not taken out of the scouts also that you are going to write a letter to the top honcho’s about the way your son was treated. Also these leaders should have to take courses on the behavior of children with aspergers. If they want to be leaders they should know how to handle these situations. GOOD LUCK. Please keep me posted.

      Joanne Gollsneider :
      I would love to know how to do this. My son is 17 and stills struggles with fitting in. He has been in the same school with the same kids since he was 5 but none of his peers will step up to be his friend. It kills me to see this. I have a question for Avera. How do you get a school to pay for an expensive Asperger’s syndrome transition program? My son’s school refuses but many of the other schools in the region pay for education needs for these children.

  3. July 25, 2011 at 6:52 pm

    I would love to know how to do this. My son is 17 and stills struggles with fitting in. He has been in the same school with the same kids since he was 5 but none of his peers will step up to be his friend. It kills me to see this. I have a question for Avera. How do you get a school to pay for an expensive Asperger’s syndrome transition program? My son’s school refuses but many of the other schools in the region pay for education needs for these children.

  4. July 25, 2011 at 7:48 pm

    I am having issues with my teen. He wants to be a part of the community and work at the local theater and they do try to let him, but he is just not as good a worker as others. then other kids come and lead him to do things that are wrong and now I have an angry child who doesn’t understand the ramifications of his actions

  5. Heather
    July 25, 2011 at 10:23 pm

    My son is 16, nearly 17 and has the same struggles. He wants desperately to fit in and make friends. He has severe anger issues and has been in residential treatment. He has gained so much from treatment but will be reintegrating into high school and community soon. I am at loss as to how to help re-establish connections. He wants to work part time and make friends but he lacks the social skills to do so. Where do we as parents go to help bridge this gap? The schools are so lacking in this area for the teens. There are things for the younger ones but once they reach high school age, it is so lacking. I am petrified he will be easily influenced into the wrong choices because he is desperate for friendships and doesn’t realize the long term effect of his actions.

  6. Suzanne Sala
    July 26, 2011 at 1:11 am

    I’m in Despite need for info on School districts with good programs for autistic children. So far my choices have been more damaging then successful. I’m willing to relocate if necessary. We are in the Southern Ca. area.

    • Barbara Pons
      July 26, 2011 at 10:22 am

      i love Woodland School in East Hartford CT. It takes children from a lot of different towns. It is for children with behavioral issues and he is in an autistic classroom. East hartford also has a program at Goodwin School witch in only for East Hartford residents which i hear is also very good. The principal at Woodland is just amazing. This school has changed my sons life for the better. He is 10 and he can now tie his shoes, read, write, count money and almost tell time. They have picked up on so many things that I would have never know. His posture was a big one. strenghening the abdominal area helps with his speech. They also pointed out that my son doesnt do well with the male figure which is probably the reason he doesnt do when with my husband (his father). All the teachers work well with him. This school is K-12. Kids are not ever alone in school. They have like a ratio of 3-12. Some kids get one on one. My son doesnt need that. He even takes naps during work time then a free time he wakes up and thinks he is gonna play but they get him to do the work. (most of the time) He says the work is SOOOOO hard for him. I think he just doesnt want to do it. My counsin’s daughters have aspergers and she moved to California for their schools. She is attorney and could afford what ever school she felt was the best for her girls. My email is bm1454@att.com if you want to talk. GOOD LUCK!!! I know how you feel. (I started by looking at a bunch of schools that would let me in to check them out) Woodland was the best!!! :)

      • Suzanne Sala
        July 26, 2011 at 9:50 pm

        Thank you,It would also be nice to have the change of seasons. Your son sound very similar to my daughter, this is comforting. Thanks again

  7. rutgh
    July 26, 2011 at 5:46 am

    Why does the family court of australia not recognize my child who is autistic….they keep putting pressure on her…to conform to there demands …which over the last 5 years is causing her to regress….even to the poit where the court appointed pyschologist has minimul express or any knowlege about autism…..well you see my ex-husband is a billionare and he gets what he wants…….

  8. Barbara Pons
    July 26, 2011 at 7:52 am

    I just keep working with my son. I explain things over and over. He is 10 years old and on the higher functioning side of the spectrum. It isn’t easy but we are getting better at it. I usually explain what to expect and exactly what will happen while we are out.

    • Ruth T.
      July 26, 2011 at 12:15 pm

      Have you written him a social narrative with pictures to help him understand the nuance? Those help my daughter a lot and she can revisit them when she needs to do so.

    • Christine H
      July 26, 2011 at 3:30 pm

      You go Mom! I do the same exact thing with my 7 year old son who was originally diagnosed PDD-NOS at age 4. Docs tell me now that he is no longer PDD-NOS and that he is actually “emotionally developmentally delayed”. Anyhow – explaining OVER AND OVER again is a great tool. One example sticks out – heading to the grocery store and my son gets to pick out his own yogurt. Discussing/preparing him for the “what ifs” is so much easier then walking into the store and having a meltdown because they are out of his favorite flavor yogurt … we will talk about different options and which flavors he likes second best, third best, etc. It is all about having patience and understanding.

  9. Ruth T.
    July 26, 2011 at 9:32 am

    The best opportunity for my 14 year old daughter with autism was and still is her volunteering at our local animal shelter. Her dream is to be a veterinarian so she is learning about animal care while having a structured time to learn job skills, interacting with customers, and being given instruction from a “boss.” The folks at the shelter are extremely helpful and now that she has created a nice work routine she is almost completely independent. I’m still there to help but I’m really in the shadows.

  10. July 26, 2011 at 10:52 am

    That sounds really good Ruth T hope all the good work and independance continues for your daughter.

    July 28, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    My son is 22 years old , but when he was in high school, he had difficult times to fit in socially inside and outside of school. He had a miserable experiences in freshman and sophomore years . To compensate for his lack of social interest and function , he concentrated in his studies when he was in junior and senior years and excelled in different level ..He was in AP and honor classes and with my persistent and constant encouragement he joined different clubs including honor society , math club, science , and interact club .Soon after . he gradually started making friends . That was the first time i saw my son being truly happy and smiling a lot . It was a heartwarming feeling for me as a mother to see him happy .. He was lucky to have 3 close friends and were very supportive of him. Those friends goes to different universities but continuously get in touch with him either in face book , by phone or when they come home for visit.. The high school that he went to , started a social interaction program in their curriculum for autistic high school kids two years ago . The teacher who started the program invited my son and I to meet with her last year. and was interviewed by her. She was doing a survey about transition of high school student with AUTISM to college and how the student lack of social function and interaction affected. the college transition . The teacher told us about the social interaction program and how it works wonderfully for the kids..The kids meet for 1 hour very day before classes starts with their teacher and some volunteered normal kids. and they talk whatever they what to discuss for that day.. It was a program that she wants to keep but is in jeopardy of losing it because of school budget .. That will be very selfish for the school to do and disheartening for the students . i hope it’s not going to happen . i wish they had that program when my son was there…It would have helped him in the social aspect better. When one of his friends come home they met up and he helps practice interview with him , for a job prospect after gradation. He needs more practice with eye contact( he practiced with me a lot ) and to control his habit of playing with his fingers when he talks to people, People always thinks he is eccentric ,weird or something else … it still bothers him , he said , . his AUTISM doesn’t define him.. his strength, his accomplishment and his love for life does… For those parents with high school children maybe you can ask your children”s school about the social interaction program. ..i think it’s a awesome program for children with AUTISM ..

  12. November 18, 2011 at 5:23 am

    One example of a fun interactive game for children is called “The Mad Math Game.” Basic math concepts are tested such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. “The Mad Math Game” gets increasingly more difficult as games are won making it ideal for students in various grade levels. This game can even be useful when studying for a math test.

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