Zoom Autism Magazine Issue 1 Fall 2014 - Page 43

If you ask students what their least favorite part of the school day is, you might hear answers like “math” or “taking tests.” But for those on the autism spectrum, the responses might sound a little different. Playing by the Rules tion, no matter how simple or predictable it seemed. When I was a kid, I always I could not begin and end enjoyed the structure of conversations, and I found school. There was assigned the unwritten rules to be seating, students were mystifying. Forced to sit expected to sit still and with a group of talkative, not roam around, and the restless kids, I struggled adults were the overseers, to make my way through the enforcers of the rules. every single interaction. That structure was imporI grew up struggling with The awkwardness I genertant to me, not because I sensory issues and social ated never failed to elicit pragmatics. No matter how liked the rules, but because negative responses. Conchallenging a subject or test it offered a buffer between versations would happen. myself and the other stuwas, I could at least enjoy I would pause, think, and the relative quiet and sense dents. I always found social then offer up seemingly of order that the classroom interactions to be deeply random statements. Kids confusing, so the rules that would laugh or tease. Bulprovided. But, if you had were imposed during the asked me about my least lying was not uncommon. classroom hours were a favorite part of the school Lunch became a daily relief. day, I would have given nightmare. the same two answ