You can’t tell your boss that he’s stupid! You can’t correct your professor’s grammar! You have to greet your co-workers with a smile and some chit-chat about their weekends.
No matter how often we say those rules to Ian, he still makes mistakes. These niceties just don’t come naturally to autistic people, but are absolutely necessary. Ian won’t be able to finish college or even work a minimum wage job without those skills. By this fall, it became obvious that Ian needed to attend a post-high school program with a focus on kids like Ian — smart, but socially clueless — where he would be completely immersed in an environment that promoted social education.
So, I spent nine months doing an intensive search for this unique school. I traveled to residential programs in Massachusetts and Connecticut. I called all my contacts. I hired lawyers and consultants. I spent weeks and weeks googling “high functioning autism transition school.” But we didn’t find on the right place for Ian, until one day in March while jogging with a friend. (She has a son with autism, but the boys have different profiles.) As I told her about my educational odyssey, she mentioned a program that had not yet come up on my radar.