I don't understand much about autism and why things are the way they are. Casdok was kind enough to leave a link for me in my comments section and I want to share it with you:
Like her, I'm finding the website helpful to see a little more clearly how to interpret "problem behaviours." Interestingly, Amanda Baggs (the author) talks about how she does in fact react to people in her environment. Just maybe not how you'd want her to!!
Reading the various entries about her schooling makes me more convinced than ever that we're doing the right things by home-educating Elf. My goodness, the things we've probably saved him from!! At home, he doesn't have any demonstrable "problems."
But at church, the classrooms were all changed, the teachers changed and all the classes COMBINED. We literally found this out at the last minute as I was dropping Elf off. I thought he would be ok. He was NOT OK in this class. I feel embarrassed and ashamed for him and our family. No doubt everyone will talk about it. The pastor apologized and said they REALLY didn't think about how it would be a problem. I believe him. It's not something you think about unless you deal with it every day. I know he is on my side.
Everyone else, though...
I wish I could just hide under a rock and keep Elf with me there. Things can just be so hard.
What puzzles me greatly is how things can seem JUST FINE for a while. Then you learn that things are not fine and it's a rude slap in the face. My children have autism, but it's mild enough that every now and then, you can fool yourself into thinking that your kids are just like everyone else's. You get comments from others about how "normal" your kids behave, how they look "just like any other kid."
Right before your kid has a meltdown.