The Boy is autistic. He was diagnosed ten years ago at age 8. It has been a rough road to traverse to bring him to this current place in life.
He is a junior. His educational goal is to walk across the stage and get a diploma like his brother did. He is working toward a General Diploma. This is not a special education diploma. It simply reduces some of the course requirements of the Core 40. He has to take regular classes and do the regular class work. There are a few modifications in place, but he works for the grades just like anyone else. And The Boy is a perfectionist. We spend many hours completing homework and studying for tests.
Social connections are not important to him. He wants friends, but he does not have the necessary social skills. I just had a few of my middle school gals asking about him; they feel sorry for him when he sits alone at church. I assured them that he is fine being alone, but that he would also appreciate if they went and sat with him. He wouldn't engage in their conversations, but he would be happy to have them there.
The majority of The Boy's social connection is with dear ol' Mom. It is just the two of us at home these days. I attempt morning conversation, but neither of us is really a morning person! On the way to school, I talk to him about the coming day at school, especially anything that I know will be out of normal routine. After school, I try I get him to talk about his day.
The essential time we spend together is important. It allows me to catch a glimpse into his world. It gives him the opportunity to express himself. We have some private jokes between us that truly would make no sense to an outsider, but he laughs and enjoys the moment.
These are essential times for both of us.