BANGOR, Maine — Jacob Lewis did not enjoy the fourth grade. He said he regularly felt cornered and frustrated in class. He got into trouble often, but he did not know why. He could understand instructions from teachers, but he didn’t get why they were given, so he didn’t follow them, prompting teachers to scold him.
When frustration overwhelmed him, Lewis would shout, push things off desks and knock over tables and chairs, his mother, Amanda Morin, a former kindergarten teacher and early childhood development specialist, recently recalled.
Lewis, now 12, was diagnosed with a mild form of autism during the summer before fourth grade, his mother said. The diagnosis he received can include children who have all the basic traits of autism but are able to perform well in school, according to Andrew Kahn, the psychologist who diagnosed Lewis.