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Do we need a new evaluation? (teenager ASD)


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#1 Mrs.W

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Posted 22 April 2017 - 06:09 PM

Hi! Ages ago I used to spend more time on the Special Needs Board, but we eventually just got to the point that autism was just kind of normal for DS, so my focus was more on homeschooling and just managing the crazy-busy years with three teenagers. I used to be the mom that stayed up all night reading everything about autism and all the biomedical stuff, but it's been so long since I've even thought about it all that when someone asks me to help their friend whose young child has been diagnosed I have no idea what to tell them anymore. I noticed in one of the other threads that ABA/VB is still a thing, so I guess I'm not completely out of the loop.  :blush: 

 

But now a couple of things are forcing me to re-educate myself. First, my son is finally taking an interest in autism. We never really talked about it until this year. Starting this week he will do some reading about autism (I'm going to include it as part of his health credit). I have the following books: Kids with Autism Spectrum Disorders (And Their Parents) and The Asperkid's Secret Book of Social Rules. Does anyone have other suggestions? I thought maybe adding the first few chapters of the RDI book too. The first book seems to be written for a younger audience, but I don't think he'll mind too much. It was hard to find something not addressed to the parent.

 

Second, next year is DS's senior year and he turns 18 this summer. He wants to go to college, but he is not ready. My thought is that we will start with a couple of community college classes and see how that goes. I honestly don't know what to expect. He's been in the Challenge program of Classical Conversations for 3 years now and it's been tough. He's a strong reader, probably average in math (finishing up MUS Alg.II), loves history, struggles with writing and debate. The community college we would send him to has a good reputation of working with ASD students, so I will plan to meet with them in the coming months. But I'm wondering if we need to have DS evaluated again. He was diagnosed at age 2 with moderate/severe autism and was mostly nonverbal at that time. A lot has changed since then! Will the community college require a more recent evaluation for him to receive accommodations? Anyone have experience with this? 

 

Thanks for any advice you can give. I'm feeling a little bit like a rookie again.  :blink:



#2 OhElizabeth

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Posted 22 April 2017 - 09:34 PM

You might give him an extra year of high school. It sounds like it would give him more time to let things come together. DE is typically cheaper than taking classes once you graduate.

 

You can talk with the college, but yes they usually want fresh evals, usually within the last three years.

 

The psych who does your evals could probably also do some career counseling and other advising. It will probably be helpful on a lot of levels. 

 

Good job making it so far! :)



#3 Mrs.W

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Posted 22 April 2017 - 11:08 PM

You might give him an extra year of high school. It sounds like it would give him more time to let things come together. DE is typically cheaper than taking classes once you graduate.

 

You can talk with the college, but yes they usually want fresh evals, usually within the last three years.

 

The psych who does your evals could probably also do some career counseling and other advising. It will probably be helpful on a lot of levels. 

 

Good job making it so far! :)

 

We've definitely thought of extending high school and it's possible he might come to that decision on his own because he's occasionally expressed interest in being able to finish the Challenge program (he'll be in Ch. III next year) and I think one of his classmates might stay an extra year. But unless it's his decision I'm going to let him graduate next year. He's on a cross country/track team where it will be a big deal that he's a senior and he's looking forward to all the "pomp and circumstance" the year will bring. His older sister is a freshman at college so he often compares himself to her and wants to follow the same path. He has a timeline in his head and I think at this point it would be a disappointment for him to deviate from that plan. It's hard to explain to him that his experience won't be like his sister's (she's halfway across the country at a competitive STEM school), so part of me wants him to just have a great senior year to at least get that experience.

 

That said, if there's one thing I've learned through all our autism adventure is that we just take it one year at a time and let God direct our path.  :)

 

Oh, and where we live there's no financial advantage of doing DE over enrolling as a regular student, but the CC tuition is very reasonable. Thanks for the info about generally needing a recent eval. I also hadn't thought about career counseling being part of a re-evaluation. It might be good for him to be able to ask questions too. 

 

Thanks so much for your help!



#4 kbutton

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Posted 24 April 2017 - 10:50 AM

I have a book to recommend for him. I am not assuming he struggles in this area, but I have looked this book over, and I am considering having my son study it for credit in high school just as a "please remember this tool is out here" in the future. 

 

https://www.amazon.c...g/dp/1849055025

 

It's a CBT book geared toward how individuals on the spectrum think and respectful of the fact that they might not experience stress, anxiety, etc. in the same way that other people do. For that matter, it even brings up differences in bodily sensations and such. It also acknowledges that people with ASD have the same feelings as others, but they feel them, process them, express them, etc. differently. Basically, it doesn't make them take the leap of trying to be more like other people to get CBT to work for them!

 

It helps make some subjective things a little more measurable and tangible as well, which I think is super helpful.

 

I also think it's quite possibly a good book for someone that is very logical and that doesn't like to talk about their feelings a lot even if they do not have an autism-related diagnosis.


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#5 Pawz4me

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Posted 24 April 2017 - 11:23 AM

I'm no expert but I *believe* that for accommodations most colleges want to see psycho-educational testing done at an adult level. Which generally means testing sometime after they turn 16. 



#6 Terabith

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Posted 24 April 2017 - 07:06 PM

I would think you'd definitely want an updated evaluation from age two when he was pre-verbal.....

#7 Mrs.W

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Posted 24 April 2017 - 07:38 PM

Thanks everyone! I've started the process for getting another evaluation. I remember that way back then it would take months and months to get set up, so I'm hoping that's not the case anymore.