Homework: Living Independently on the Autism Spectrum

  i found a new book a couple of weeks ago.  Max seems as excited as i, though it's written above his level.
  The author, Lynne Soraya, was diagnosed with autism as an adult.  She has written a guidebook for finding your way, and enlisted others to add their tips, in (take a deep breath!) Living Independently on the Autism Spectrum: What You Need to Know to Move into a Place of Your Own, Succeed at Work, Start a Relationship, Stay Safe, and Enjoy Life as an Adult on the Autism Spectrum.

 Actual Readings, So Far

  In two sessions, Max and i have read:
  • the front cover
  • part of the blurb from the back cover
  • part of the author info from the back cover
  • most of the table of contents
  • a little over a page of the intro, most of that in Session 1
  • in Session 2, 7 pages in the first chapter

  i fully expect to pick up speed with this as we get into it and his skills build, but even if not, his interest is intense enough to keep us going until the 272 pages are finished.
  We write notes in it.  We've  begun an index card book of terms.


  Did i mention that i make up worksheets to go along with this?
  Max loves word searches, so the first time, i put words we had into one of those.  (Email me if you'd like me to send you a copy, for your personal or classroom use*.)  He said it was just a time-filler, and admittedly it wasn't much more, but it also got him thinking about what we'd talked about.
  Last night i got more elaborate.
  The skills listed suggested a maze to me, so i borrowed a maze off the web and altered it in my Paint program, replacing the acorns and squirrel  Max and words for the skills required to navigate adult life.  At the beginning i stuck his baby picture, and at the end i stuck his senior picture, since i can't show what he will look like down the road.
  Max had trouble with this.
  The goal was not to get to the end as quickly as possible.  Of course it was too simple a maze if that were the goal.  Instead, he was to circle the required skills (things like know himself, understand other people, increase academic skills, advocate for himself), and pretty much get everywhere and "pick up" everything.
  He seemed to understand better after the first attempt.  On the second try, he got half the skills circled, but didn't get to the rest of the maze for the other half.
  And that's ok.  We don't learn everything all at once.
  He said we could try it again.


  i followed up on his suggestion to read more stories of other people with autism.  We read Gloria's story of Kalisha's birthday party.  This was a little bit of a challenge for Max, but much easier going than the book.  And he completely enjoyed reading it - thank you, Gloria! - though he thought 100+ guests was way too big a party for him!
  i think we will read these blogposts more often, sometimes about Kalisha, sometimes others.
  And tomorrow i need to get back to the FSSA office with Max's Medicaid application while the guys are doing laundry. 

*For address see RH sidebar.


  1. Hi -- I just wanted to drop you a quick line to say I love the way you're using my book, and I hope it's helpful to your son. I look forward to hearing more!

    Lynne Soraya

  2. Your comment means a lot to me, Lynne. And you remind me to actually go back and try stuff again - sometimes i have a short attention span myself!


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