I met Tommy’s mom through a mutual friend. He is a handsome, strong, respectful young man. He was 16 years old. He has autism.
He talks, but repeats phrases that he has heard, mostly from movies, rather than generates original conversation.
His mom and I have developed a relationship because she sees her son’s “light” and what he is capable of doing. She wanted more, academically, for her son.
He has spent most of his schooling in an classroom for students with autism. He has learned ABA exceptionally well. Tommy is extremely polite and well behaved. But at the time, he was not being given much academic work to do.
Because his mom felt that he could learn, she requested that his placement be switched.
Because he was only given a standard IQ test, not a non-verbal version, she believed that his score was unfairly low, and requested the appropriate re-testing.
Because, when I tested him with the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test he was able to understand some abstract concepts, which was remarkable given how little academic learning he had received, she asked that he be given the opportunity to learn to read and use the FastForWord program, which has been used with students with autism.
Because she saw academic abilities in her son, she also pushed for him to receive ST Math, which teaches math concepts non-verbally.
The school district listened to Tommy’s mom advocate for her son. Yesterday, she shared two videos of how he is doing in his new setting. Take special note of his brilliant smile.