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SimplyGreen 11-01-2011 06:58 AM

To Homeschool or not Homeschool with Asperger Syndrome
Ok Mamas I really want to hear what you all have to say about homeschooling or not homeschooling a child with Asperger Syndrome.

My son just got DX, he is 4.5 we attempted preschool last year (before we new about our dx). He hated it. He is so socially awkward, but really enjoys the outdoors, has tons of motivation for hard pyscial work. We are just getting started with some therapies but We were planning on homeschooling I'm hearing so many different things.

For those of you that homeschool... what are your days like?

For those of you sending your kid to school are they mainstream or in special school?

my4blessings 11-03-2011 10:48 AM

Re: To Homeschool or not Homeschool with Asperger Syndrome
My daughter is 10 now. She has been in public school since Pre-k. We have had our battles with the schools, and every year I consider homeschooling her. (My other kids would be outraged if I suggested homeschool for them.) However, we have decided that she will need to know how to operate in a social world in order to survive on her own later. She has struggles in school with transition times, and P.E. is a nightmare because of the competitive nature of most of the activities (we are in the process of trying to exempt her from P.E.). The other kids are not really a problem at this point. They have been in school with her for awhile now and most of them know there is something "different" about her. She has a good group of girls that usually watch out for her. She is academically gifted and does well in school. For the most part, the exception being PE, she loves school. Most of her teachers have been great with her. I do worry about what middle school will bring us, but we are taking one day at a time. She has come a long way. She has very few meltdowns anymore and is beginning to take more control. She still has occupational therapy and couseling sessions (for social situations & controlling emotions), but she has met all of her speech, language and conversational goals, so she is no longer is speech therapy. My fear with homeschooling her is the lack of social interaction. I feel that she needs to be around other kids to learn how to behave in social situations. But, there are days when I just want to hold her close and not expose her to the outside world!

Suzi 11-03-2011 01:34 PM

Re: To Homeschool or not Homeschool with Asperger Syndrome
My first grader has only been tested at school and barely fits into an aspie diagnosis. He is in public school since I'm single and work full time but we have to study quite a bit at home to keep up. Pros for us: he has made friends, he does get challenged, and there are parts of school he likes (he really likes art, music, and pe). Cons: he has gotten bullied some, he makes some horrible playmate choices, he's kind of vulnerable to the other kids, its hard for him to learn in a group setting so we do have so much study time at home.

He has a resource teacher that helps in the classroom but he doesn't get pulled out.

If it was an option I think he would do great at homeschooling. 1:1 he learns so much better. I feel bad about how much time we spend studying now.

mg5g 11-10-2011 09:58 AM

Re: To Homeschool or not Homeschool with Asperger Syndrome
For a different opinion - we homeschool our ppd-nos (with some aspie traits) son.

He went to public school for k - 2. This is our first year of homeschooling and he is doing SO MUCH BETTER! He had a lot of anxiety and depression which is TOTALLY gone now that he isn't in a situation that he has no control over. As I used to think when he was at PS - how awful would it be to be stuck day in and day out in a world where you don't understand the language.

On a side note it makes it easier to co-ordinate his Dr's appointments too since he is no longer "missing" school to get the help he needs. My son has several other medical complications too but this would really hold true to most kids in any sort of therapy - there is only so many hours in the day to get it all done.

I found school wasted so much time - time lining up - time watching movies - time waiting for the teacher, other students etc. We are able to do an entire day of school in three hours - it would be faster but his older brother is being homeschooled now too and we have other children so our day has lots of playtime and breaks for babies.

As for being social - we have joined several activities and have found that there is just so much more time now to enjoy life and do the classes, arts, social things - that our kids wanted to do but we couldn't fit into their schedules.

The best thing about schooling my boys at home is I am able to MAKE sure they understand what is going on. We can take our time and go slowly through the concepts they aren't getting. We can devote entire days to science projects - just because they like them. I KNOW my kids are "getting it" and not being rushed ahead because the class is moving on without them.

As a first year homeschooler I am not going to lie and say it is perfect all the time. We do hit bumps - in learning - in scheduling (my extended family has a REALLY hard time accepting that 9 - 12 is NOT time for anything else.) I've lost my temper - we still have trouble with transitions -

BUT at the end of the day we haven't seen a psychiatrist for 5 months for our boy. He is the sweetest, loviest, little guy - he just couldn't handle the stress and worry and seperation. (He was never picked on, it wasn't a bully issue - he just couldn't cope.) He tried REALLY hard to fake it - to be a "good boy" but every few months as he aged it would slip. No 5 - 6- 7 year old should ever suffer from depression - childhood is too short!

ajjulian 01-26-2012 08:50 PM

Re: To Homeschool or not Homeschool with Asperger Syndrome
I home school my 6yr old with aspie. It is difficult some days. I try really hard to keep our days routine. He is really afraid of people. Sending him to school is not an option so we muddle through. I have worked enough into our schedule so that if he has a really bad day we can skip it and stay on track. We use a lot of praise and a lot of rewards. I also did a ton of research and went to a curriculum fair before deciding on a curriculum for him.
it is really hard some days but super rewarding and I know it is what is best for him. We do socialize him but in small and structured settings. Children his age send him into a frenzie as do a lot of adults. Ok I am rambling. Hope it helps.

Suzi 01-27-2012 06:12 AM

Re: To Homeschool or not Homeschool with Asperger Syndrome
I should add that I also have a son that is autistic, more classically autistic. He has greatly benefited from school since the social deficits were his primary ones. He has made friends and is learning to get along as part of the group. His day is about 2/3 mainstreamed with a para helping him and one other special needs boy. He gets pulled out for reading since he is so far behind, he goes to the lifeskills pe since he can't keep up with his class and then he has another pull out when they do social studies to help him catch up wherever he needs.

ralenth 01-27-2012 07:40 AM

Re: To Homeschool or not Homeschool with Asperger Syndrome
I debate this every year. My 10 year old aspie is in public school. I worry (no matter what I do) that it's not the best choice for him. His biggest issues right now are social ones, and I don't know how to teach that. I fear that if it pull him, he will slide backwards. That said this year has been a horrible school year. Just horrible. He is back to hating school again.

iris0110 01-27-2012 12:33 PM

Re: To Homeschool or not Homeschool with Asperger Syndrome
My 10yr old is on the line between pdd nos and aspie. He is due for a new evaluation this year. Over the years since he was diagnosed as "severe Pdd NOS" at age 3 he has experienced the public schools PPCD class room (something I would never even consider doing again), a public charter school in a main stream class room and home schooling, our entire family prefers homeschooling. I won't mince words, the public school told me point blank that they would never offer my child anything other than a self contained class room and possibly, when he is older, "life skills lessons". Like all parents I want more than that for my son but that is the current ISD policy on handling ASD children. Should his diagnosis change, and with the DSM V threatening to change the diagnosis of many previously ASD children it just may, that may very well be a reality, but for now he has no hope of ever receiving a proper education in our local school district. I will admit that after my youngest son was born our old insurance company denied our claim for therapy and I was at a loss as to what to do for him. I felt desperate and agreed to try the PPCD program. There are no words for how horrible it was. Private therapy is far superior to anything the public school can offer and all they were offering was daycare with defunct therapy thrown in. Not all school districts are like this of course, but I would be loathe to send any ASD child to a school district that did not strive for mainstreaming.

The charter school experience was not all bad. They did their utmost to make a place for him in the class room and he found friends there. Most of the other kids were very sweet and quickly understood that he was "different" but didn't seem to mind. He had several little girls who went out of their way to mother him and help him out. The problem was that the school was small and while that was also one of its greatest assets it meant that if you had one teacher who wouldn't apply his IEP your hands were tied. He would spend 8 hours a day at school and come home with 4+ hours of homework, most of it math. Kearnan is a whiz at math, he understand concepts without even needing them explained to him. The issue was his teacher was not following his IEP to keep him on task so he wasn't doing his work in class. He came home with his entire days worth of work to do and they had a lot of busy work (they used Saxon curriculum). No matter how many times I discussed it nothing was done and the teacher started taking it out on him. He became increasingly anxious in her class. He spent part of his time in K, part in 1st and part in 2nd. It was the 1st grade teacher we had trouble with. He became so anxious he was vomiting each morning before school. At first I thought he had a stomach bug and called him in sick but by the third time I figured out what was going on (my brother and I also have nervous stomachs). Well of course after three absences the school called to complain so on top of everything else I was feeling pretty frustrated that the school essentially owned my child. I told the principal I would be happy to send him to school vomiting if that is what he preferred and he should have a talk with his 1st grade teacher. He wound up finishing his year spending half of his time in the library/councilors office. The senior girls turned him into a project, teaching him to read and dance. I didn't care as long as he was away from that teacher who apparently the principal didn't care to stop from bullying him. I love the concept of the Charter school, the way the kids can move at their own pace between the grades and the students get to interact. The whole family feel is great and all of the kids were really sweet, but certain members of the faculty were pretty messed up and it suffered severely from underfunding. If I had to send my kids to school for some reason I would probably choose there or a similar program, but I hope to never have to do so.

We moved back to homeschooling and we are all very happy now. The anxiety melted away almost immediately. Kearnan is due for a new evaluation and to start more intensive therapy again (including social skills group). I keep him active in TKD for social interaction. He has really blossomed in our present TKD school because it is a good school. The kids there accept him for who he is, they don't care that he is different. The pride he gets from leading warm ups and teaching the lower belts can't be earned anywhere else. He is also active in several other hobbies including doll collecting and anime conventions. So I guess he is a nerd but he is a happy nerd.

jac1976 01-30-2012 12:14 PM

Re: To Homeschool or not Homeschool with Asperger Syndrome
My DS (dx'd Pdd-nos several years ago, now more aspergers that he has caught up verbally) goes to a regular private school. Our public school told me that he would fail in their classrooms, but he was too smart to qualify for help, so I had to search for other options. The small class size is exactly what he needs, and it allows the teacher to pay close attention to him if he needs help. The school has a strong character education program, so I don't have to worry about bullying. It is an all boys school, so physical activity is incorporated throughout the curriculum. And they can give him so much more than I could at home. He is thriving academically.

Making friends hasn't been easy, but he did find another boy who he plays with, and since bullying is absolutely not tolerated, we haven't had any negative experiences. We have worked a lot on the social stuff at home. His best friend lives across the street and is over several times a week. By supervising th play dates I can help DS learn from the various social situations.

walking-iris 02-04-2012 06:27 PM

Re: To Homeschool or not Homeschool with Asperger Syndrome
I have always wanted to homeschool since I was pregnant with my ds (9 years old) and getting a diagnosis of PDD-NOS/OCD-anxiety and sensory issues at 3 just cemented my decision.

He gets plenty of social interaction from friends, cousins, family and community activities and co-op. I know that putting him in a school situation where it is overcrowded and overstimulating (which I know our local school to be) would be too much for him. I truly believe these kiddos deal better with quality friendships and social interactions and not quantity.

I also feel that he can get a top notch education with me providing one on one time and by having the ability to change things that are not working. As his mother/teacher I can change things immediately to help him---no going through an IEP process and having to convince so many different people that he has a unique need that wastes time. It's not working---it's changed. Period.

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