“I would LOVE to put our story on your website!!! I actually want to skywrite it all over the world – but for now I will settle for your website.

My son Brad started 6th grade at our district middle school.  We had a team meeting last week and the 2 best quotes were:

“Things could not be going any better than they are at this moment” (Psychologist); and “Brad is sooooooo much better than his paperwork” (Special Ed Teacher who co teaches all the core classes).

Upon starting 6th grade at the new middle school he was anxious and nervous and scared and excited.  While most parents never want their children to go through these emotions (with the exception of being excited), I was thrilled that Brad was feeling, articulating, and expressing these very appropriate emotions.

At school, Brad is in an ICT Program (Integrated Co-Teaching model-formerly known as inclusion setting).  He changes classes every period and he has a locker.  Brad’s core classes are co-taught by a regular education teacher and a special education teacher.  For English, Brad is in a double period of Read 180 which is an intensive reading and writing program which will specifically target his reading comprehension and writing issues.  So far, Brad has brought home every book he needs and he has completed every homework assignment.  But the best parts about middle school were told to us by Brad the other night at dinner.  Brad said “I made a new friend” and “A girl has a crush on me.”

Brad began taking tennis lessons last week.  The fall baseball season began today.  Brad will be playing in a basketball league beginning in November and this morning he asked if he could join a swim club.

Did I mention that Brad has autism?

In addition to all of the above, Brad has autism. He continues to struggle in social situations but he never ever gives up.  He attends a weekly social skills group where he works on thinking, acting and speaking appropriately.  Brad works with a special education teacher three times per week and a reading tutor twice a week. He retells the same story using the exact same wording and inflection over and over and over again (and even more times when he is nervous).  Brad plays with his guys (stuffed animals), builds towers and fields and worlds out of magna tiles.  He also created a son out of paper and named him “Bob”. Brad has the best heart of anyone I have ever met.  His kindness is matched by his energy, courage and determination.  I am so grateful that Brad possesses these qualities because autism requires an enormous amount of persistence, hard work and dedication.”

Alison