By mid-August, I had written a very sketchy "homeschool plan" for our district, and gotten Tom signed up with a clarinet teacher and speech therapist.
He plays clarinet quite nicely (it was actually his idea, and someone gave us a clarinet) - though at age seven his idea of playing was to stuff toys in the bell. His incredibly sweet and patient teacher had recommended something called a "plateau clarinet," which is an ordinary clarinet with covers over most of the holes (like a flute or sax). This made playing less of a "can you cover the holes" project - and meant he could be more successful earlier on. His teacher also suggested that he start piano at the same time (he had tiny fingers).
The clarinet teacher seemed very solid, and not at all phased by an autistic student (so different from Philadelphia, where we were sent away from several schools with the admonition that no one would want to work with a student who wouldn't make adequate progress...). He recommended a piano teacher - and now we were in good shape.
The last piece of Tom's musical education would be some kind of ensemble opportunity - and it turned out that the school that he would have attended offered an afterschool jazz program. No auditions. It was for "more advanced" fifth and sixth graders, but I figured we'd give it a shot.
Last year, with our support, he played in fourth grade band - and did very well. The up side was that the music was a no brainer. The down side: when the nicest kids tried to greet him, he blew them off altogether - sometimes even saying "go away and leave me alone!"
We try to build on successes ...
Then, there were academics.
I knew about only two "autism appropriate" curricula: Lindamood Bell and Touchmath. Both are terribly expensive, and from what I'd learned about both, I felt I could make it up on my own based on basic info about the method. I read about Charlotte Mason, and again I liked some of what I saw - but couldn't quite figure out the reasoning behind dictation and some of the other curriculum elements... and not being a Christian, Bible wasn't of special interest.
So I had almost nothing in hand, and the fall about to start!