How to help a teen with English lessons?

My 15 yr old son has HFA. He goes to a special needs school and is doing great, apart from his English lessons. Even though he is at this school, he was getting held back with his Science and maths lessons compared to class mates.So for those lessons he goes to the normal secondary school in the same complex, a couple of hours a week and he is getting on great and enjoys it. But when it comes to English and other lessons where writing is involved, it's a disaster. He's struggles with writing stories, descriptions, his hand writing is only just readable, so how the heck he is doing so well in science is beyond me. His teachers seem to have given up on him, accusing of "putting on the autism act, because he can  skip off to his Haughton lessons happily and get them done". This was said between his teacher and a TA within earshot of my son and one of his class mates heard it as well. What has been said is out of order, but I know that this is getting frustrating for everyone especially with GCSE's coming up soon. Has anyone any advice on how to help my son? We are not sure if it's a psychological problem or if there is something wrong medically   Thank you to those who read this and thank you for any help you may be able to give.

Parents
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  • I always hated having to write stuff for school, in whatever subject. With maths, it was so easy that I could just write down the answers, but to write an essay was horrible, because it took time that I could spend doing more enjoyable things. I knew the rules of grammar just fine, but to actually sit down and write something seemed like an unsurmountable task. The worst thing was starting an essay. Once I got going, it was better, and now, as an adult,  I can write twenty pages or more at a single sitting. I think I just had no motivation to write anything, because I knew that I was good at maths, but I wasn't so sure about writing. I think that's an autistic thing, I never did anything until I was absolutely sure I could get it perfect, even as a small child. I didn't walk until I knew I could do it without falling down. Once I started walking, I never did fall down, or so my mother tells me.

    I think it's the same with your son. He needs to know that he can do something well before he will try it. It has to do with confidence. It's not laziness, but more lack of motivation. Since he doesn't have the motivation from within right now, it needs to come from the outside at first. To hear people accuse him of "putting on the autism act" is not going to help with that, as people on the spectrum are particularly sensitive to criticism. He needs to be encouraged and praised, with a gentle non-judgemental nudge in the right direction if he makes a mistake. Start with something easy to do, like maybe have him write about something he is interested in, and go from there. It seems that he is a bright individual, so he can do it. He just needs to know that he can do it.

Children
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