As I was sitting in Fiona’s classroom during the Open House at her high school last week, I glanced at the syllabus that her AP History teacher had just distributed. The thorough explanation of every topic, types of assignments and class expectations were intense. At 3 pages in length, it was intimidating. After reading over each page though, and after hearing the teacher explain his goals for the group, I began to feel a somewhat relieved. The information presented gave me a better understanding of why the course is in fact intense—besides learning as much as they can, teacher and students will work together to prepare to take (and pass!) the AP exam scheduled for next spring. It’s an important exam. Those who score 4s or 5s are eligible to earn college credit. I’m proud of Fiona for thinking she’s ready for such a challenge. If she can follow the extensive list of requirements and meet the expectations that her teacher described, I have no doubt that she will do well.
Over the course of the evening, I was given a few more syllabi to read. They were not as detailed as the AP course syllabus was, but Fiona’s teachers were thorough in presenting their class goals, assignments, and expectations. Half-way through one session, I thought to myself, if only autism parents had a syllabus. If parents knew exactly what to expect and when, imagine how much easier some of life with autism could be…
Course: Life With Autism
Course Description: The Life With Autism course is an open enrollment course. It begins as soon as you find it necessary and will remain open and available with no predetermined end date. The course focuses on the affects autism has on the individual and those closest to him/her. Topics covered include typical behaviors, typical struggles, and typical situations an individual with autism will experience. Students in the course will use a variety or resources such as books, journals, and the Internet. As each person brings a unique set of gifts to the class, you may also be asked to be a resource. Anyone who is caring for a child with autism may enroll in Life With Autism. This course is geared toward parents of children on the autism spectrum, but anyone who is teaching a child on the spectrum or who is providing therapy to an individual with autism, and anyone who is curious about the spectrum disorder, may also enroll. Since autism can be quite costly, the fee for this course has been waived.
Location: There is no designated classroom. Students will learn and experience autism wherever they or their child may be – at home, school, church, and assorted community settings.
Scheduled Class Time: 24/7