My youngest son, Sam, has an autism spectrum disorder. Diagnosed at three years of age, a massive amount of intensive early intervention has reaped rewards, wonderful rewards, but he remains, socially, a babe in the woods.
Now fourteen, he can read and spell well, but has trouble following a narrative. He talks incessantly with a solid vocabulary, but has difficulties maintaining a conversation. He excels at mathematics and computer studies, but often fails to understand the perspective of others. He can read music and play a piano, but could not be trusted to walk safely to the corner store.
Sam was transitioned from a special needs primary school to a mainstream secondary school in 2014, completing year 7 at De La Salle College, Ashfield. The school accepted Sam and the special challenges he presented with open arms, and were supportive in every way. There were some significant struggles, especially early on, but he finished the year well, and even achieved a 2 Bs on his end of year report.
Sam will be doing the year 8 curriculum on the road and the boys in his year will be encouraged to follow this blog. The world will be his learning environment, his classroom, his laboratory. On our return Sam will re-enter in year 9 at De La Salle in 2016.