Wednesday, April 16, 2008

April 2008 Autism Parent Panel

Our committee had two events in two nights. Am feeling a bit exhausted. Today I'll cover the parent panel and tomorrow I'll cover movie night. Our parent panel was held on Tuesday, April 15, 2008. We had two rooms. In one room we had the parents of younger children. In the other room we had three moms who have adolescents. Only four heard the parents of adolescents speak while fifteen or twenty including a student reporter attended the panel of parents with younger children.

I was part of the smaller audience where dating, hygiene and social issues were discussed. Social skills are still difficult for people in their teens. I found out that individual sports like track are easier for people with autism than group sports like basketball.

Dating also came up. The fifteen-year-old son and seventeen year old daughter of two of the panelists, respectively, are dating. The mothers of the pair have been great friends for seven years. The girl who has a younger brother on the spectrum and who exhibits some signs of Asperger's Syndrome has made up a dating notebook for her boyfriend.

Everything is explained in the notebook: dates, respect, and gift giving. The notebook indicates that the girl's mother has nothing to worry about. There was a diagram of a girl that showed where touching is OK. According to the diagram, he is only allowed to hold her hands and only when she says it is OK. Every page reads like a social story. It's great. The page I liked best had a drawing of a bouquet of flowers and this written on it:

"Gifts are sweet, but what I like best is when you tell me you like me for who I am."


Anonymous said...

Wow. Sounds like a lot was covered. I can't imagine handling dating in the future. That will be a challenge!

I hope you are able to get some rest for yourself soon. You stay so busy!

Anonymous said...

This is so awesome...the dating. What is to come...I hope my son can get along really well and be able to follow the rules of dating.