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.

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  • It sounds like something that needs challenging, whatever you do. For what it is worth, there is a boy with autism in one of my English classes, and he definitely does have challenges with writing, both with coordination and with organising his ideas. Last year I showed him a colour code grid with which maybe he could organise a chaos of ideas into paragraph-size ideas. I did not want to fail him on the basis of non-completed writing tasks because I have noticed he retains my explanations for the grammar far better than the other children do, and he actually can and does speak English (as a foreign language). He is also a good team player, to use a horrendous cliche, in that he is always the first to offer to write a word for games of Hangman and so on - the other teens are too inhibited.

    Not to say I think don't he isn't occasionally lazy too. He surreptitiously reads his fantasy novels it plays games on his phone as much as I catch the others at it too.  I know he may have issues with self-organising, but it surely should not take him too long to get his books out of his bags! That is where the line is for me on how much typical adolescent laziness ends and autism begins.

    Luckily the school is more understanding that yours seems to be as I now know I don't have to test him on written work now, I need only test his comprehension on verbal understanding, which does lie within his abilities. He will have an extra year before it's time to do finals and will be able to use a computer to do his written work.

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