“We moved to England for 4 years after living in Germany. From 2012 to 2016 we were at RAF Lakenheath. I kept Angus back to repeat 7th grade after homeschooling him for two full years. Homeschooling got him away from being aide dependent and he figured out how he learned, how he felt and how to start advocating for himself. He gradually started back to school 1/2 time through 8th grade and then attended high school full time on base. He joined the golf team and his dad and I pitched in with helping coach and supplying snacks. Angus helped build the golf team back up and opened the door for other kids on the spectrum. When he started with the team it was only 8 kids. By the time he left at the start of his junior year the team was up to almost 30 players!
Angus had a phenomenal sophomore year, he lettered in golf and traveled with the team to Spain, he worked at the commissary bagging groceries, volunteered for the Red Cross at the post office, got invited to join the NHS and discovered his favorite place we traveled was Scotland.
We moved stateside in Oct 2016 and Angus handled the transition well. We beefed up his IEP before leaving the DODDS system, so he had many accommodations and lots of aide hours.
Can't believe he is a senior now! He has taken the ACT for college 3 times now and they will take his best score. He is looking at MSU here in Minot ND and his interest is on computers. The college has alternative programs of support that Angus will hopefully qualify for due to some intellectual, social and academic weaknesses.
It's a bit frustrating because he is not "severe" but he still needs support in place to make this transition and not get "lost."
Angus has impressed us with his continued motivation to be independent and happy. He is learning to drive and we bought a used truck for him and his sister to share.
He carries a copy of his IEP with him and asserts/advocates for himself with teachers and staff. He has modified his own homework when needed and pushed for test modifications (true/false has always been tough). Of course I still monitor and check in but Angus has really shown me he will ask when he needs my help.
He tells me when he feels like a certain teacher is not listening to him or respecting him and then I show him how to address that teacher or that teachers supervisor. He is learning that his case manager and his paraprofessional don't always have good communication with his teachers or with each other and it's his job to follow up and make sure everyone is on the same page to support him.
His self awareness is amazing. He does sometimes get angry at having the autism spectrum label but he does understand that everyone has strengths/weaknesses.
Angus is on his way and I am not as fearful for his safety and future as I was when he was 6 or 7 and we started ABA  journey.
I can't thank you and your wonderful, empathetic, creative and professional team members enough. Everyone we worked with brought something new to the table to build on and gave us the tools/structure/motivation my son needed to move forward. The positive aspect of the learning and the behaviors continues today!

Robert, Nadine, Allison, Mike, Silva.......I think I may have forgotten a name or two......
You gave us back our family and taught us how to give Angus the tools he needs for life!
I am forever grateful and I hope to cross paths with some of you again one day.”

Mary (mother)

 

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