New to the site- Questions for those that may help

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ditdhess
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14 Mar 2012, 11:45 am

Hello,
My names Dan. My wife and I have three children 13, 9, 6. T our middle child was DX with Aspergers a little over two years ago. We call T "Over Sweet" what I mean by that is he is very affectionate (hugs for everyone). Problem is that we are now in third grade and though we have discussed the touching and hugging of friends. We still find that there are some immaturity issues that the school is concerned about more than we are. We obviously do not want other students being interrupted during class time however there are some issues that we are unable to fix real quick. We had a conference the other day with the teacher and she had proposed that we set him back not because of academics (we all know who’s smarter) but because of his maturity level. We are obviously new to this and I have tried to gain as much information from the web. New York is a little odd. They indicate that the parents have the power per say but any discussion through the school ends up with we will do what is best. My first question to the school and the teacher was if they had any experience in instructing someone like T. Answer: We have some teacher with experience in special needs. I guess in general I am wondering what some of you have done and is there a concern in singling him out to his other peers by asking for an aid. I personally thing they are just going over board with this maturity issue, but he is my kid so..
Tyler obviously knows in part that he is different than other children I haven’t seen any real signs of depressive behavior and as a part only want the best for him. If someone could give me some advice with the above mentioned that would be great. Any suggestions with regards to his maturity and what to do about his school!
Thank you,
Dan

I am sure this topics has probably been discussed in detail but I was wondering if someone could give me some advice without me having to sift through all the forums- I have found some great posting that I will be able to use later down the line.



the_beautiful_mess
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14 Mar 2012, 12:06 pm

I'm the same age as your oldest child, and I have Asperger's syndrome.

With regard to your son Tyler and his schooling, I would say first that moving him down a year is a categorical no. He may not mind now, but considering you say he's smarter than a lot of his classmates, and he probably is, how will he feel when he reaches his teens, or maybe even before that, and he is so much further ahead than the other kids academically, but the chances are he doesn't fully fit in socially?

I'm in the 'correct' school year for my age, and there was a lot of argument with different teachers, some who wanted me to move up a year, and some who wanted me to move down. This was because I was excelling in some things, and making no effort and failing in others. I wasn't being intentionally difficult (well, I was, but only with teachers who treated me with no respect or differently to my classmates) I was just doing what a lot of us on the spectrum do. It's normal to be good at some things and 'bad' at others. Socially, I didn't get on in a mainstream state school, so was eventually moved to a public school, and gained an academic scholarship. There, it took about a year, but I settled in and made good friends.

I know that's not really what you asked, but hear me out. Surely you just want your son to be happy? If that's so, then it's up to you and your wife to shout the teachers down and say that Tyler is happy where he is, so that's where he's staying, OR. that you agree he should be moved down if they think it will make him happier, even though I advised against that earlier, I don't know much about your situation, and it may turn out to be a good thing for you... but I'm still against it. Option 3 is a little more drastic: you could always try looking into special needs or specifically autistic schools. My parents did, and now it helps to know it's an option if things go wrong at school, because there are still bad days with teachers and pupils who don't understand me. Option 4 is similar: home schooling. It's a big decision, but perhaps one to look into, because, like a special school, it might be the best for the combination of both Tyler's happiness and academic success. I hope I've helped, but I can only look at it from Tyler's point of view really.

8)


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kcal
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14 Mar 2012, 12:29 pm

you have the law on your side.... just mention "least restrictive environment", but it is up to you to decide what is best for your child... we are struggling with the same issues here... academically good, but a little behind socially/emotionally/ability to focus for a 1st grader... not sure if he would eventually just catch up (especially with the progress he has already made) or if he will have to deal with the social/emotional issues anyway, no matter if we hold him back and then he will be bored academically at least for that year... hopefully there is someone out there with older kids/ with aspergers that can help us out with this?

why do you think all the hugging is happening? could it be a sensory thing or a method to get rid of anxiety or is it something that your child thinks is good to do socially? since you have already talked to him about the social implications, I would start to look for other answers...

If hugging is the only issue, your school is being ridiculous to suggest something so drastic at this point... they need to be suggesting ways to try to fix the hugging



jaseysmommy
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14 Mar 2012, 1:12 pm

We're new to this as well and don't really have any advice to offer other then we are going at it with my 9yr olds school as well. I just wanted to post support and remind you what I remind myself everytime I go to bat for my child... and that is fight to the death for the rights of your child. No matter what that is as long as you feel it is the right choice.



ditdhess
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14 Mar 2012, 2:24 pm

Thank you for your postings- Kcal you brought up a very good question and Ill have to investigate it. We preceived his hugging just because of his affection towards us and vice versa. He is kind, polite but very easily swayed to give hugs to anyone. I can indicate that this person here is daddys friend and he assumes since he is my friend that means it must be his friend too. There has never been any other issues other then the hugging. I should have indicated more in detail that the behavior maturity they are indicating is that one he is unable to site for long periods of time, two is that if he is not pleased about something then he kind of starts whinning which is a disruption to the other kids. Right now they have them sitting in groups of four next year they will have their own desks. I will keep reading and posting...

btw: the_beautiful_mess thank you for your posting as well- your very well spoken for 13.. thanks for you personal views.



kcal
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14 Mar 2012, 3:50 pm

I don't know what kind of therapy you all are in....

we had our ABA therapist go to the school to observe, since he was having problems at school that he was not having at home... I know some schools would probably not allow this, and I would definitely approach them with a "I'm trying to help my son and you out and I would like his therapist to observe since we do not see this at home. So we can fix it."

you may even get an OT to observe-- especially for the fidgeting problem

it was helpful to fix the problem, but in our case (which may not be your case) to know that his teacher had implemented everything that we asked her to and that she was doing a great job with my son.... always nice to have another outside opinion, although I wouldn't tell the school that until afterwards

the point is that if he has a diagnosis and they are doing nothing to try to help with these things or not following your suggestions, they must be a crappy school.... my son gets social skills 30 minutes per day and speech twice a week and the school OT does not see him, but has issued him a lap buddy, balloon thing to sit on and has suggested other things for the teacher to try... but I have been told by our ABA therapist that she has never seen a school react so well to everything we ask... but at the same time I go to IEP meetings, listen to what they say, and try to come up with answers myself and communicate with them regularly so I know they realize that I am doing what I can, they are doing what they can and we are a team...



Mama_to_Grace
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14 Mar 2012, 3:50 pm

He should not be held back. He is there for the academics. It is quite common for as children to lag socially and emotionally. He should not be penalized for being on a different developmental schedule than the rest of the class. This is something he will struggle with for many years, teach him that he is capable and acceptable the way he is and tell that school that you will not agree!