Saturday, March 30, 2013

One of the Ugly Parts of Autism

Some people experience a very ugly part of Autism that is anxiety and aggression.  Right now we are in a big fight against both. I was hesitant to post about what happened yesterday at our appointment in Baltimore but I feel it is important to other ASD families to share the bad as well as the good. Maybe there are other families out there going through what we are and feel alone, maybe this will let them know that they are not. Maybe there is someone out there that has a younger child and wants to prepare themselves for what may come. In either or neither case, this is my story from our Behavioral Psychology appointment yesterday....

During the appointment I watched a full progression of Cameron's (11) rage and it almost killed me. It started simple, Adam (8) had a toy, Cameron didn't want the toy but he was so afraid that Adam would lose it that he flipped out every time Adam put it down. I was in an observation room and the Dr was handling it which was good only in that I was able to see it and know that he was safe because I trust this Dr completely. Cameron completely flipped out, the Dr had Adam leave and join me in the observation room. 

I then watched for 30 minutes as Cameron went crazy. He wasn't "there" he was lashing out blindly, hitting, kicking, head butting, biting, spitting, he put a hole in the wall. The Dr had to do a standing restraint (basket hold) on hold him for a long time to keep them both safe and as soon as Cam started to get tired he unlocked the door for me to come in as well. I started doing all my Mom tricks to calm him down, over the years I've found a few things that are very effective but only work once the worst of it is over. The doctor said he wanted to call 911 and have Cameron admitted for inpatient treatment and I got mad. I kept saying, what are they going to do? What is it we haven't tried? What are we NOT already doing??? In tears of course because I CANNOT put him in inpatient. I just cannot. 

I focused myself completely on calming Cameron down, a combination of firmness, explicit expectations and understanding and compassion. It worked, the Dr said I did everything right which was good since I've been handling this for 10 years. We were headed out of the office and I told the doctor (in tears again) what am I doing wrong? How is it that BOTH boys don't feel emotionally secure when that has always been my only goal? I have an 11 year old in crisis and lashing out when he doesn't feel secure or in control and I have an 8 year old who is highly effected by his brother's outbursts and has extreme anxiety disorder (which we just found out the extent of from a full neuro psych report). 

The doctor is NOT recommending inpatient right now but wants to have a conversation on Monday and start the process for high intensity outpatient treatment at KKI NeuroBehavioral at least twice a week and as much as 6 hours. My whole body hurts, my head is spinning and I am terrified for him, for us and how all of this will impact both Cameron and Adam's emotional state. I'm in full Mom fix-it mode and I'm so overwhelmed I don't know where to start. Everything we have done to this point, I don't trust because it has gotten us here. I have an overwhelming urge to start over completely.  

I am afraid to talk about it with anyone because it makes Cameron seem like a bad kid when he isn't!!! In the whole picture 90% of the time he is amazing but the 10% is extreme and horrible and scary and we never know when its going to happen. I know getting the meds under control will help a lot and that will come from the outpatient care but I'm fighting to figure out how to give them both stability and emotional security when by all standards we are an extremely stable family. 

I don't have the answers yet, but I will. My kid isn't a bad kid, these behaviors mean something. Although he is considered verbal, there is something going on that he cannot convey. We will find it. 

So I'm looking, researching, paying attention to as many details as I can see. My thinking is changing, my focus has shifted. I was given an amazing opportunity to see the entire progression of this outburst. There is something important about the toy Adam was playing with... Cameron didn't want the toy although that was what I would have thought had I not been paying very close attention. He didn't want the toy, he was afraid of Adam losing it, if Adam lost the toy then Adam would be upset. Cameron thought he could control the situation and keep Adam from losing the toy. 

Control -> Fear -> Anxiety -> Erratic and Extreme Behavior

Another case to be made for understanding the ENTIRE picture. Behind every behavior is a reason, behind that reason if an underlying issue... find the issue, support the child. Most importantly, the behavior is NOT the child, handle the behavior, love the child... always and forever.  And never, ever give up.  

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Books and Sites to Check Out From the NeuroPsych Eval

I'm sifting through 27 pages of my 8 year old's NeuroPsych Evaluation Report and I am both overwhelmed by all the information and relieved to finally have it.  This doctor gave us so much great information within the report and someone on my Rantings and Ravings Facebook page asked for the book recommendations.  I thought I would post it here so that I could easily provide links to so that we all can read more about the titles and get other readers feedback.  He also included some websites to check out and I will post those here as well.  I am an information junkie so I am loving all these recommendations!!!  (**please let me know if a link doesn't work or if it directs you to the wrong page**)

Book Recommendations

Social Skills:
The New Social Stories Book by Carol Gray
The Social Skills Picture Book by Dr Jed Baker
How Rude!: The Teenager's Guide to Good Manners, Proper Behavior and Not Grossing People Out by Alex J Packer
Incorporating Social Goals in the Classroom by Rebecca Moyers
Promoting Social Competence by Wilma Dorman
Thinking About You, Thinking About Me by Michelle Garcia Winner
The Hidden Curriculum: Practical Solutions for Understanding Unstated Rules in Social Situations by Brenda Smith Myles, Melissa Trautman & Rhonda Schelvan
Simple Strategies that Work: Helpful Hints for Educators of Students with Asperger Syndrome, High Functioning Autism and Related Disabilities by Brenda Smith Myles, Diane Aderon, Dena Gitlitz
Helping Children with Autism Become More Social: 76 Ways to Use Narrative Play by Ann Densmore
Autism & the Transition to Adulthood (Brookes Publishing) by Paul Whelman Ph.D, Marcia Smith Ph.D and Carol Schall Ph.D

Behavioral and Social/Emotional Functioning:
Freeing Your Child from Anxiety: Powerful, Practical Solutions to Overcome Your Child's Fears, Worries and Phobias by Tamar Chansky
What to Do When You Worry Too Much: A Kid's Guide to Overcoming Anxiety  by Dawn Huebner, Bonnie Matthews
Helping Your Anxious Child- A Step by Step Guide for Parents by Sue Spence, Vanessa Cobham, Ann Wignall, Ronald Rapee
Keys to Parenting Your Anxious Child by Dr Katharina Manassis
Exploring Feelings: Cognitive Behavior Therapy to Manage ANXIETY by Tony Attwood
Driven to Distraction by Edward Hallowell and John Ratey
Taking Charge of ADHD by Russell Barkley
The Explosive Child: A New Approach for Understanding and Parenting Easily Frustrated Children by Ross Greene

Website Recommendations:

Social Skills:

Behavioral and Social/Emotional Functioning: Service provider resource Visual Schedule Resource Reward System

Speech: American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

After all of this:

Friday, March 22, 2013


I love words. I love to write. I've wanted to be a writer as long as I can remember. I haven't done that yet but I will. I love this blog. I love writing about my family. I love sharing the good, the bad, some hope and some help. There are things I want to write this week, updates, new topics, new hope. Three words have leveled me, three words came across my screen on Wednesday and I've been without words enough for a blog update. So this is my blog post for today, it took me days to process... I have no other words:


Tuesday, March 19, 2013


In my tenure as an Autism Mom my heart has broken thousands of times and for thousands of reasons but today it fractured, shattered and fell to the ground right next to my child who was huddled into the corner of a concrete seclusion room at school.

I don't love seclusion rooms but I am a realist and I see the reasons why they exist. This was not my son's first visit to the seclusion room, it wasn't his first time this year. Each time has been because he was not safe to himself or to others and I do trust the staff at his school to make that decision.

I'm not delusional, I know that my son has aggression, anxiety, oppositional defiance, impulsivity and puberty and that is a pretty serious mix.  Lately his biggest "trigger" has been embarrassment. He will act impulsively, realize immediately that he has done something wrong, {missing piece here}, lash out in anger and hit fight or flight. The {missing piece} is Apology and Making Amends. This is the piece he is missing right now and something we are working on daily. He goes straight from:

(bad behavior)---->(realization)---->(worse behavior including aggression)

It is my biggest challenge and number one priority to teach him the step in between, I think it will make him feel better in challenging situations and would have helped deescalate so many situations we have had this year. 

Back to today... why did I find my child huddled in the corner of the seclusion room sobbing? Because today was the perfect storm of instances that started off with the modifications in his IEP not being followed. 

One of our most important modifications is "extra time" for tests, class projects, etc. Today in Math (inclusion subject for him with an aide) they took a 3 minute timed test so important that they put up barriers around each desk and the teacher emphasized that everyone was to be silent. When the teacher called time, Cameron continued to work. His aide told him his time was up and he got mad. She kept talking to him and he put his hand over her mouth, remember everyone was to be silent. A "team" was called to remove him from the class because he was being loud and aggressive yet when a counselor arrived he went with her quietly, holding his test until he got to her office where he sat and continued doing the test. Once he was done and the staff wanted to discuss what when wrong, he was defensive and oppositional. From there the day spiraled out of control with a recess restriction (when he probably really needed the movement), a fire drill (where he took off toward the blacktop to join his class for recess) and finally the seclusion room. 

The school counselor called me to let me know what happened today and I dropped everything and headed to the school to meet with her face to face.  We got into the details, I pointed out that he should NEVER be given a timed test and that there are ways to figure out how far he gets in 3 minutes rather than making him stop work or stress about a timer. We discussed the "elopement" during the fire drill and agreed that today was a "perfect storm" day. She asked if I wanted to see him and I said yes. 

When we got to the seclusion room I heard whimpering and she stopped. I looked at her with horror in my eyes and said, "IS THAT CAMERON?". Before she could even say yes, I had pushed myself into the room and fallen to the floor to scoop up my 11 year old baby and hold him while he cried on my shoulder and held me tighter than he has in years. He was in that cold concrete room, laying on the floor, with no shoes, curled up in a ball and whimpering!! I am sure I would have cried with him if I had not been filled with rage. I got him out of that room immediately and took him in to an office and slammed the door to keep everyone else away from us. He held on to me and cried and begged me to take him home. I told someone to get my other son and we did just that, it was the end of the day anyway. 

I have met Cameron in the seclusion room before, I have calmed him from his own rage. I have assisted him in fixing what was wrong, talked through issues and put a "game plan" in place but NEVER have I seen him broken like I did today. At the point when he STOPPED being aggressive and started SOBBING his ass should have been out of that room!!! 

I don't have to tell you that I am mad. No furious. I'm sure you can hear it in my "voice". I don't have the same trust in this program as I did before. I don't have the same trust with the staff as I did before. I do not feel that they were being malicious but I do feel that they screwed up. I have to come up with how I am going to handle it like an adult, how I can address this without damaging our working relationship when all I want to do is storm into the school and scream, YOU BROKE HIM, HOW LONG DID HE HAVE TO LAY ON THE FLOOR BEFORE HE BROKE???!!!  

I know my child isn't perfect, I know he can be aggressive. I know that he is in a program with behavioral supports for this reason. I do not condone him putting his hands on teachers or staff in any way. But I cannot get the picture of him on that floor out of my head! There is a big part of me that wants to pull him out of school, maybe if I wasn't such a realist and able to see the entire picture I would do just that. A lot of things went wrong today and it snowballed to quite possibly our lowest point in the last 5 years of public school. Some time between now and tomorrow morning I have to bridge the gap between PISSED OFF MOM and concerned parent, put my advocate hat on and fix this in a way where we all can work together again to help Cameron. Because in the end, I can be as pissed off as I want but that won't help him as much as much as being a concerned, educated and well spoken parent. I have 12 hours to get there.....

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Eternal Optimism Put to the Test

One of the good and also one of the most annoying things about me is that I seem to have an endless supply of optimism. That isn't to say that I don't get "down", everyone has their breaking point but for the most part I really do believe that what is best is what will be and when one door closes, another door opens. Yes, sometimes I even annoy myself.

Then there are days like today where my optimism is put to the test, where I am struggling to remain positive and fighting to keep hopeful. Today I have faced:

  • An IISS worker who has stopped answering calls and texts from myself and the company who hired her. This leaves me scrambling to get "hours" logged for the month which is imperative to remain on the Maryland Autism Waiver (and eventhough the Waiver program can be a PITA, it is still helpful).
  • A pediatric dentist who specializes in helping Special Needs kids who found a cavity in my son's tooth back in October and because he will require sedation (very scared of dentists) they have been unable to schedule him for the procedure. It's MARCH! He's in pain. They called this afternoon to tell me (again) that they have no time in the schedule and they are referring me to an oral surgeon, oh and by the way, our medical insurance is denying pre-certification for the General Anesthesia required for the surgery. Dental Insurance will only cover about half the cost of the dental procedure and Medical Insurance won't pick up any of the hospital fees. Looks like I get to prepare for another Insurance battle. 
  • Fed up with the dentist who has put off my child's care since October, I've scheduled him with a new dentist for Friday. We will be starting over. With a child who is terrified of Dentists. What could possibly go wrong? Luckily this dentist is a Preferred Provider with our Dental Insurance so they *may* cover a bit more of the costs of the dental procedure but I think I will still have to fight medical insurance to cover the anesthesia. 
  • Our Middle School options seem to be dwindling by the second. It appears as though the school is choosing the ONE option I just won't (can't) approve. I'm still visiting Private Placement schools but it's looking very unlikely that we will get any county support for the fees. I almost don't even feel like I can fight it because I know there are deep budget cuts coming and I cannot see how they could even consider my plea.
  • Moving to a county with better school programs has always been an option but it is looking more and more like we would almost have to bankrupt ourselves to do that and meanwhile, I really really love the town we live in. It's just small enough and just big enough and I would be very sad to move out of this town and closer to the chaos of the Baltimore/Washington Corridor. Don't I have enough chaos in my life already? 
  • Waiting on a possible new doctor to schedule the beginning of a medication trial for my 8 year old. First we need the evaluation summary from the NeuroPsych evaluation last month AND we need the doctor to call me back to schedule. I've been waiting since Thursday... 
  • We need to "catch up" on our Behavioral Psychology appointments, somehow I made it out of the office at the last appointment without making another one. I have no idea what I was thinking, but now I'm scrambling to get back on track. Meanwhile, maybe we need to add to our behavioral goals to start addressing my 11 year old's obsession with pregnant bellies and my 8 year old's total terror of having his teeth examined.  You know, those little issues.  
  • And my phone just won't. stop. ringing. NONE of the calls are the call-backs I'm expecting either. 

So apparently the world has turned against me today, it's decided to gang up against me and put that eternal optimism to the test. Little does it know, I have wonderful outlets like this blog which allows me to Rant and Rave and be the Lunatic that I am. I also possess the ability to run in shut-down mode similar to when someone is experiencing hypothermia and the body stops supplying the extremities... very soon I will be shutting off my Autism extremities. Lastly, is the knowledge that tomorrow is a new day. Midnight is the magical moment that the reset button is hit and with that today will be pushed into the past. I have no idea what the future will bring, but I'm looking forward to finding out. 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Days That Turn on a Dime

I think most of my 'I hate Autism' days don't actually start out as bad days, I think its more that they are going along masked as regular days that just switch without notice.  Then you are looking back wondering, "Jeez! What went wrong???"

Today is one of those days. By all accounts a boring day, I had to drive around in the morning, had an appointment around lunch and then spent the early afternoon at my desk trying to catch up on bills, calls and all that fun stuff that never ends. When I left to pick up the boys from school, everything was quiet and there was no hint that today would turn against me.

The boys got in the car and my oldest talked about the Standardized State Testing he did today, "I did great!" he said. My youngest was happy that he didn't have testing today. The radio was on Pandora One and we were headed home. Thats when it turned. A song came on that my oldest didn't want to hear, I suggested we give it a try and he demanded that we turn off Pandora and listen to the radio station instead. I don't respond well to demands, I turned it off.

What I EXPECTED was that he would get angry. I would tell him that making demands would not get him what he wants and he needs to use his manners. He would then begrudgingly say, "sorry, can you turn on the radio, I don't like this song." I would say, "thank you for the apology, I will turn the radio back on." I expected a no-fault conversation, a teaching opportunity and some give and take. 90% of the time this is how it goes. That was NOT how it went today, welcome to the 10%

Instead what ACTUALLY happened was, after I turned off the radio he picked up something around his seat and hit me with it while I was driving. This was not the first time and I am getting better at diffusing situations like this. When he reaches this level of anxiety and anger there is no reasoning, no teachable moments, no give and take. His communication breaks down and mine has to meet his level. This is very very hard to do when I want to howl in pain, scream at him for hurting me and ground him for a month. None of which would make me feel better and even more importantly none of this would help him calm down, quite the opposite actually.

So here is the ugliness of Autism, the pre-teen years.

  • Emotional level and physical age are no where near equal. In all kids this is true, in Autism (and many other disabilities) the gap is so wide it seems unscalable.  This year, more than any other, I've thrown my son's physical age out of the equation. 

  • Hormones are a bitch. The fluctuation of hormones are horrible even when you understand what is going on, imagine if you didn't understand it. 
  • Hormones + Anxiety + ADHD + Autism + Impulsivity = a recipe for disaster. It's not a matter of IF, it's a matter of WHEN. 
  • To me it looks like, sounds like, feels like a temper tantrum. Like a 2 year old laying on the floor, kicking his feet and crying and you have NO IDEA why. He wants something, you aren't a mind reader and the helplessness is overwhelming. I can be transported back to that young mother who has no idea what to do in a second, but then I remember... I'm a seasoned professional! 

I could probably go on and on with the reasons why having Autism and going through puberty is difficult but, as usual, I've gotten off topic. More importantly, figuring out the reason WHY for a behavior is not about making an excuse (most times there is no acceptable excuse anyway), it's about finding the cause, learning from it as a parent and using it as a tool to help him through next time it comes up.  

To that end, what would cause my 11 year old to FLIP OUT while driving home from school?

Did he hate the song on the radio so badly? Did he want something familiar and comfortable instead of new? 

Did he want to have his own way just because he wanted to assert himself?

Was he exhausted from a long day? Did it take a lot out of him to do the standardized testing today? Did he hold it together all day, just to fall apart in the car where he felt more safe to do so?

Did he need the pressure and input he would receive from hitting something? 

Any of these are possible. Again, none are an EXCUSE for the behavior but possibly an antecedent that I can learn from. 

In the end, we did make it home without any more hitting. There was a lot of yelling from my son, mostly scripts filled with "red words" and threats of no consequence. He says he will throw my phone in the trash (I wish someone would so it would stop ringing all the time! But I do not say this.). He says I am "hurting/killing his brain" which makes me think there is a physical pain he is having but cannot verbalize. My response is no response. I hate what he is saying, some of it hurts my feelings but any feedback I give him is turned into fuel for his rage. He wants to know if he will get his "screen time" and there is no way in the world I am going to say NO and risk being hit again until I am home. 

We get home and he yells something while he is getting out of the van. He closes his self-closing van door and gains no satisfaction from that so he walks around the van so that he can slam the door I left open while I got the mail. He walked into the house, went to his room (as instructed) and slammed his door.  I don't like it, it's not how I expected my day to go but sometimes these days just turn on a dime. Learn what you can, keep it close to you, teach it when he is calm and hope for a better outcome the next time a new song comes on the radio.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

School Tour: (Part 1 of 4) Katherine Thomas School, Rockville, MD

Although this won't be directly applicable to my all blog friends, unless you have a child in Maryland or are just curious what other states offer, I'm in the process of touring private Autism schools for potential placement for middle school. If I have to do the leg work, I may as well share the knowledge with others, so welcome to my 4 part special edition of Rantings where we will look at Autism schools in Maryland!

Four schools were recommended to me by my Behavioral Psychologist so that is where I am starting, they are: Katherine Thomas School, Hannah Moore School, Kennedy Kreiger Institute and Ivymount School.  My criteria were high functioning Autism programs, diploma bound, and middle school placement (although I will share any knowledge I gain from lower and upper grades as well). The school I visited today was:

Katherine Thomas School 
part of The Treatment and Learning Centers (TLC) which offer Outpatient Services, Family Hearing Center, Testing & Tutoring Services, Lower, Middle & High School, Summer Programs and The Early Learning Center

9975 Medical Center Drive
Rockville, MD
School URL

Upon entering the school I was asked to fill out a small form and then went to a music classroom for drinks and snacks. There was a small group of Moms and we were given the school brochure, application paperwork and pamphlets outlining the many services the school offers as well as a sample schedule for each grade in which we were interested. I was the only entering Middle School parent, there was one High School parent and the rest were Kindergarden-First parents. The Admissions person and a Speech Pathologist gave us an overview of the school and answered our questions. Lastly we were divided up by grade and given a tour of the school.  Thats all the overview stuff... here's is the "meat" of the tour...

  • Katherine Thomas is a school for ADHD, High Functioning Autism and related diagnosis. They do not accept Emotional Disorder (ED) students.
  • They utilize the Common Core Curriculum.
  • There are 8-10 students per class, each class has an instructor and and aide but it is not uncommon to also have an SLP, OT, Reading Specialist or school counselor in the class as well.
  • They offer pull out services for Speech, OT and PT (see special note below regarding fees)
  • Language Arts is broken into two sections, the basics of reading and comprehension and each is taught at the child's level, not grade level. Extra time can be allocated with the reading specialist during their "elective" block if necessary. Technology is a big part of the LA programs especially for kids with writing difficulties or dyslexia.  
  • They are utilizing Everyday Math for their math program and are also starting to implement Touch Math as well.  Additional math can be allocated in the "elective" block if needed. 
  • The school currently utilizes computer and laptop technologies and is working on an iPad initiative to give all students access to iPad technology and applications.  
  • This is a PBIS based program (positive behavior incentive system), there is no restraint and no seclusion room on site. They teach self advocacy individually as well as pragmatic whole class instruction on Social Skills. Students are encouraged to take breaks, utilize sensory equipment located throughout the class and halls and Brain/Body exercises and seated Yoga are implemented within the class setting.  
  • The school offers all the regular specials classes (gym, music, art) as well as electives.
In my tour I was able to actually walk into the Middle School class rooms which I was not expecting.  Once in there I saw kids learning and learning well. The students looked comfortable and focused, they answered questions when called upon and raised their hands as well. They were not bothered by additional people in the room. I witnessed small group instruction as well as whole class instruction. All in all it looked like a very nice school. (The "but" comes later....)

Kindergarden-5th classes are the same small class size but in the younger grades the classroom model is not one of group instruction. The school utilizes Greenspan's Floortime model with Sensory Integration with the youngest of the students. The classroom is developmental level and curriculum based,  and is an active and play centered learning environment. After first grade the students transition towards group activities and classroom style learning with Third grade and on being a more traditional classroom.

Middle School classes are traditional classroom in structure with additional supports in place. Students change classes and have lockers in the hallway similar to a typical school. Instruction is still individualized and there is "elective" blocks within their schedule. 

High School classes are traditional classroom in structure with additional supports. Again, students change classes and have lockers. In 11th grade, students participate in an internship program for 2 hours each day. 

The last bit of information is the cost/fees/etc (these never fail to shock me, even though I research it). 
  • Application fee is $125 (non-refundable).
  • Preschool Tuition is $15,756.62
  • Lower/Middle School (K-8) is $24,951.41
  • High School (9-12) is $29,568.44
  • There is a $1500 (non-refundable) deposit upon completion of the admissions process to secure your placement. This is applied toward your tuition.
  • There is an annual Activity Fee of $1,200
Lastly there Related Fees. Speech, OT, PT and Counseling are billed separately. These are Fee for Service and may be reimbursable with Medical Insurance. The school accepts and can direct bill Cigna insurance.  Hours are allocated on the IEP (for School Funded Students) or DPG (Diagnostic Prescriptive Goals for private pay students). There is an addendum in the paperwork that states that, "Students who do not require any related services are likely to need a less restrictive school setting than KTS.". The billing rates for these services are:
  • SLP $103/hour
  • OT $111/hour
  • PT $111/hour
  • Counseling $107/hour
  • 1:1 Aide $24.24/hour

My thoughts:

Although I can see my son being successful in this program, I left the school with an unease that has yet to leave me. I am unsure exactly why this is... 

It could be the cost because, lets face it, it's staggering.  But really, the only way my son could attend would be if he was school funded so that can't be it.  

It could be the location. The school is outside our county, about 35 miles away on one of the busiest Interstates in the entire country (I-270 towards Washington DC) which I would have to drive twice daily to take him and pick him up from school.

It could be because time is a constant and because of the start times for both my sons' schools it might be physically impossible for me to drive them both. My youngest is not eligible for bussing because he is an out of district transfer. If my oldest is sent to this school, the county would be responsible for bussing but I'm not sure I WANT him on a bus, that long, in heavy traffic. Sure, fine, I accept it, I'm overprotective, I know that.

It could be that the admissions person told me in confidence that they have never been able to place a Frederick County Public School student in their program. Both times they have tried, the county sent them applications for kids with Emotional Disorder (ED) of which the school expressly prohibits. 

It could be that residual anger that I feel for the fact that our public school system is failing these high functioning kids so completely.  I KNOW my son isn't the only kid who needs a better learning environment in the county. I KNOW my county does not have an Autism program for kids on grade level. I KNOW they want all kids in inclusion.  

It could be that with visiting this school, I have now removed one more option that doesn't look to be a likely solution. There are only a finite number of options for kids like mine and I hate to cross off even one.  Not even one.

In conclusion, Katherine Thomas School is doing a lot of things right. It looks like a good program and a good school for High Functioning kids. I think my child and children like him would benefit from a school like this. I'm not sure it is the school for us, but we would be lucky to have an opportunity like this.