Self Advocacy via PowerPoint

The Boy has a love affair with PowerPoint.  He could whip one up faster than just about anyone, and it would be engaging (if you were interested in Sonic the Hedgehog or Mario and Luigi), and you would say, “An 11 year old made that?”  In fact, I had no sitter during an evening school event the other night, so I set The Boy up in a quiet office space with my computer and PowerPoint primed and ready to go.  Not only was he self-sufficient the whole time I was occupied, he wasn’t ready to go when I was done because he wasn’t finished.

Our kids (those with autism) have so many fascinations, that those of you with kids on the spectrum are saying, “Yeah, so??” because your own kids have talents and abilities, and often they don’t seem to have any real purpose, right?

This past week, I got The Boy’s report card (pretty stellar, besides the “need improvement” in doing homework part – haha!), and his IEP progress report (again pretty awesome), and had parent teacher conferences with both his ASD and general ed teachers.  And I was made aware that The Boy’s writing has developed by leaps and bounds this year.  Writing is difficult for kids on the spectrum, because they have a hard time creating and voicing new ideas.  For example, when asked to give characters a name (even back when we bought a Webkinz!), he becomes almost paralyzed until you suggest something, and then he will automatically agree to whatever name you suggest.  Creating new ideas is hard.  Also, staying on topic is hard.  But The Boy is doing extremely well, and even developing his own “voice” in his writing, which is something that even NT kids (and adults) have a hard time with! (I am SO excited about this, being a writer-type myself.)

In any case, here’s the point of my rambling, the “why” of this whole thing: The Boy used PowerPoint to help himself become a better writer.  He developed his own graphic organizer using PowerPoint to help him with paragraph structure, and uses it daily to write his journal.  He doesn’t need to be asked, and he didn’t get any help.  And it is working.  And I am so incredibly proud of my self-advocate.



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