Autism from a mama who has been there. I am going to try to post every day this month. Please feel free to ask questions in the comments.
Junior High, when your kid gets taller than you and goes through puberty! 😥 And has a ton more teachers and homework and stressors and lists and requirements...
Have a meeting with your teen's teachers to go over IEPs and 504 accommodations. Find out if each teacher is willing to work with your teen. Some won't, and it is better to find out before school starts (I'm looking at you, Mr. Wr#$t.).
If your teen needs time away, have that in place before school starts. The library, the counseling office, nurse’s office, the ISS room; this is between you and the school. There must be a safe, quiet place that is available at any time. Your child needs to understand that this is a privilege, and it is not to be abused or taken for granted.
IMPORTANT TIP! If your child's school is doing 7 or 8 periods a day, only do the first 3 or 4 classes on the first day. That will be overwhelming enough! (Work with the school to decide how to work this out.) And the rest of the classes on the second day. Rotate the first week until your teen is comfortable with all the transitions (And we all love changes, don't we?). This may take longer than a week.
Have a written plan for each teacher. Stay in touch, especially in the beginning, when your teen and the teachers are getting to know each other. Most autistic children couldn't do two things at once; my son could take notes from an overhead projector or listen to a lecture, but not both. Help each teacher understand what works for your teen and find how each teacher will work with your child. You should have the same goal, a successful learning process.
My son could do the work but not at the same speed as others, so his 504 halved the amount of work. Odd or evens or ever third question, he was getting the same exercise but doing fewer problems.
The target (for bullying) on your teen is more significant now, his or her support team needs to be more substantial and more reliable. People are confusing, people are fake, people lie, your teen will need help navigating all of this. If you don't have a psychologist, get one! NOW. A social skills class can be beneficial.
Don't be surprised if there are violent episodes. This happens, prepare the school, and decide together how you want to handle it. The school's resource officer needs to be involved in the process. What happens if they can't get a hold of you? Our plan was to make sure he was safe, that others were safe and that I be contacted immediately. If they couldn't reach me, then the police would be called, and they would take my son to the hospital (instead of the police station), and his doctors would be called.
I don't want to scare anyone, it may be entirely different for you because each experience will be unique. The schools have had 25 years to work on it; hopefully, things will go well.
Celebrate the small stuff. Be flexible. Laugh.