James Lyons Weiler on A Frightening New Syndrome: Vaccine Risk Awareness
Should Vaccines Be Eliminated?

Schools Been Blown to PIECES! YAAAAAAAAYYYYY!!!!! (Autism and Adulthood.)

By Kim Stagliano

I know that the Alice Cooper classic rock song "School's Out" is politically incorrect. I don't much care.  I am the mother of one, two, three daughters with autism. I'm tired. And I'm often cranky.

Not today. I'm so happy I need to pinch myself to make sure I'm really me.

Check this out:  Here's the report I got from my oldest daughter's new adult day program.  My response is in crayon. Try finding a pen around here.

She attends Monday - Friday from 9:00 to 2:30pm at two programs that are part of a large organization in my county.  Four years ago I said out loud, "Mia will NEVER go to a day program at such and such!"   Dopey me.   So, her core program is very autism specific. The staff is well trained. Kind. Young. Energetic. Underpaid. She is also attending a totally cool Art Cooperative program in a funky space that you or I would be happy to call home every day.  This was the note I got after her first day of adding the art program. Pay attention to this line "No drops."  One of Mia's behaviors is to drop to the floor onto her knees like a sack of cement and remain there when she is not happy with what's going on - especially during transition. In fact, another day program in the area - that shall not be named (yet.... ) all but turned Mia down because of this ooooooh so difficult behavior. Is dropping to the floor a disruptive pain in the  you know what behavior?  Yes. Is it the the worst of possible autism behaviors? Heck no.  

ZERO DROPS is huge, giant, life changing. And it tells me that Mia feels good. Safe. Respected. In control. Honestly, I'm giddy.

I think Mia is thrilled to be done with the constant data tracking of ABA based school.  She's sick to death of prompts and charts and rewards. Life is not prompt based. For any of us. Sure we need reminders and incentives. But the overdrive school models are not relevant to the real world. 

Respecting her and meeting her where she is right now is what's making a difference. The team likes Mia. She's a nice young woman who sings off key with joy and who, when she makes eye contact with you, really connects with  your soul.  She shines. And her new program honors her. 

I've told her team that I'm writing about Mia's journey. 

SCHOOL'S OUT FOREVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We can do this. Take heart. More soon.


Kim Stagliano is Managing Editor for Age of Autism.


Carter's Daddy

I'm so happy to hear of this Kim! We missed that by a day! Wish I'd met her. Next time!


Yay Mia!!!
Yay Kim!!!!!


angus files

That's great Kim sometimes you hit on the right mix that works, long may it continue...


Dan Burns

Read this morning at 6:00am.
What a great way to start the day.

Marie Simonton

Thank you for sharing this, Kim! It's the "little" things that mean so much to families dealing with autism. I think we just get life better than most and that is one of the blessings that come from our burdens. Stories like this help us keep hope alive. Like Andy Dufresne says in one of my favorite movie quotes from Shawshank Redemption, "Hope is a good thing. Maybe the best of things and no good thing ever dies."

John foskett

Kim, i am a 56yo father of an 11yo son with autism plus other disabilities and I cried when I read your post. My son has just finished primary school in England (School's Out) and he got the most fantastic report we could have hoped for. AUTISM WILL NEVER BE A BARRIER TO SUCCESS, ACHIEVEMENT, OR HAPPINESS x

Michele I.

So happy to read this Kim! You gave me happy tears this morning. xxoo to you & Mia :)

Michelle B

Thrilled for you and Mia! ;-)

go Trump


Happy things are going well.

Alice Cooper likes to play golf, perhaps you and Mark and he...

you could at least drive the golf cart and keep score.

Julianne Boise

My heart is SO happy reading this !! It sounds like Mia is in the perfect place : )


Wonderful!!!!! :) :) :)


Kim, I'm so happy to hear that Mia is doing so well in her new day program. The program sounds excellent and I wish we had one like it for my adult son in my state. Keep writing and best to you and your whole family!


I totally agree with you Kim. I have seen SO many kids actually become worse year after year attending the rigid ABA schools. It does nothing but make them, well, more rigid! I hope more parents turn to RPM and then programs like this after school age where the respect for their intelligence and having more productive and meaningful activities and education fill their day. The ABA schools are not the answer in the long run as parents are brainwashed into believing.

Aimee Doyle

Kim -

I am over the moon thrilled for you! Glad that Mia has found a good post-school program. From what I've seen with my son and his peers (5+ years past "aging out" at 21) here in the DC area such high quality programs, particularly autism specific ones, are rare.

Best regards -and here's hoping that more such programs can be created across the country.

Sally Wagter

Kim, I totally love the way you write - I have listened to your book so many times (in my little village on the South Coast of England) - and it always comforts me and gives me things to think about - I have a son with autism and we've been doing the Son-Rise Programme with him for years now. He started off ticking all the boxes for autism diagnosis at 5, but today is having his 14th birthday party - a pretty average teenage party - and he is over the moon! He has lovely friends, writes massive long screen plays (all full of human interactions) makes films and plays piano beautifully - so much has changed for us - I'm writing a book too - called 'Miracle in slow motion' because I wanted miracles there and then so desperately but they took years!!!! Loads to say and I'd love to connect sometime with you - of course, having listened to your book so much, I think I know you, but you of course don't know me at all!!!!!! Anyway, I love your writing and your outlook and please write more!!! I'm so pleased things are going well for Mia, All best best, Sally x


Oh, Kim! I am thrilled to read this!! Look forward to hearing more! :)


So happy to read this, Kim. We have to put at the top of the to-do list, to make sure that the staff is paid a fair wage. Maybe they could divert some of the wasted millions and billions from the NIH and CDC's yearly obscene budget?

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)