13-year-old diagnosed with ASD, now what?
I'm at a loss for what to do next. My 13-year-old son was recently diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum as well as having executive functioning challenges and slow processing speed. We initially had him assessed NOT because we suspected ASD; rather he was exhibiting some strange behaviors more closely associated with OCD, depression, and anxiety that we thought were exacerbated by Covid-19. At first, we were shocked by this diagnosis but now as I become more familiar with ASD, I've learned that no two ASD people are alike and now his diagnosis makes more sense. The place that did the assessment recommended we have him on a 504 plan at school to give him more time for taking tests, put him near the front of the classroom, etc. They also recommended ABA therapy focused on social skills. However, my son is very resistant to all of this. He does not want to get special treatment at school and is one who likes to blend into the crowd, so much so, that he wears a hoodie everywhere. His grades are ok, but as he goes to high school next year, I know things will get harder. He has a good group of friends but he spends most of his time online gaming with them; they don't hang out very much after school in each other's homes. When he games with them, rules are clearer and his self-esteem gets a boost since he's good at gaming. But other than that, he has no interest in anything else. He just started therapy for social anxiety (set up b/4 the ASD diagnosis). Is there anything else you'd recommend? Summer camp for autistic kids to build social skills? I appreciate that he's different and don't want to mold him into something he's not, but also don't want him to struggle or be misunderstood. Thank you for sharing any experiences you might have with this and what helped/didn't help.