April 18, 2021

Kids who ask, “Is there any homework tonight?” are not usually trying to create extra work for their classmates, or earn praise from their teacher.

More likely, they’re trying to protect themselves from the shame and consequences of having missed an instruction. I know, because I’ve been that kid.

Ironically, the shame that we’re trying to avoid often returns to us double, in the groans of classmates and the mockery of teachers: “Oh, you’d like homework? Well, now that you asked…”

Stop it. We’re already terrified of making a mistake – don’t make it worse by punishing our efforts at self-protection.

My best teachers solved this problem through consistency. Either the homework followed a predictable pattern, or it was posted in a predictable place – no questions needed.

And if I did end up needing to clarify something, those same teachers were the ones who didn’t mind.

P.S. I write from my personal experience as an autistic. What I share is not a substitute for advice from an autistic medical professional. Also, some of my opinions have changed since I first wrote them.