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Tori0326
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15 Jun 2015, 8:13 pm

I've been homeschooling my Aspie son for two years. He was speech delayed and did not speak until he was 3.
He did not seem ready for kindergarten, educationally or socially, at four and a half so I decided to work with him at home.

He struggles a lot with writing and reading. He just recently has been able to recite the whole alphabet and recognize a few 3 and 4 letter words. He does good at math and other subjects, it's just his language skills that seem to be a problem. Unfortunately, he's become very resistant to doing schoolwork and it's become a daily struggle to get him to cooperate. I am frustrated and exhausted more often than not.

My mother took him last week to the library for a craft event and she is now very concerned because he seemed to be so far behind his peers. The library workers running the event expected him to be able to read and write seeing he's 7 but he can't. Now my mother is pushing hard for me to enroll him in school this next school year.They do have specialist to help him with his issues but I still don't know how he would do in that type of environment with all those people all day.

I am not officially diagnosed with Aspergers (as no one really know what it was when I was younger) but I really struggled in school myself. Mostly with understanding instructions from teachers and other kids harassing me. I want to spare him from all that unnecessary anxiety but I'm not sure I'm doing him any favors if he still can't read.

I am really torn and was wondering if other parents here have faced this dilemma.



zette
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15 Jun 2015, 9:19 pm

The first thing that jumps to my mind is that he might have dyslexia! It's primarily a language based disability. My DS struggled greatly in K and 1st without anyone recognizing the symptoms. Schools are notoriously ill equipped to identify and treat dyslexia, so I doubt he would have made any better progress in reading if he had gone to public school.

Watch these videos about the symtoms of dyslexia:
http://www.bartonreading.com/dyslexiaSy ... art03.html
http://www.bartonreading.com/dyslexiaSy ... art02.html

If your son is exhibiting some of these symptoms, I suggest you seek out a dysexia evaluation. Here are two good articles of what that testing looks like and the specific tests you need to have done:
http://dyslexiahelp.umich.edu/parents/l ... evaluation
http://dyslexiahelp.umich.edu/parents/l ... tion/tests

If he does have dyslexia, you can still continue to homeschool if that is your preference. There are several good dyslexia curriculums such as Barton Reading and Spelling, Sonday System, and Logic of English that are designed for a parent to tutor their own child. You may find that once you are using a program that works for him, he becomes much more willing to do schoolwork.

If you want him to go back to public school for other reasons, you might still need to tutor him yourself after school -- in most districts you can't rely on the school system to teach dyslexic kids to read. :(



cakedashdash
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15 Jun 2015, 10:44 pm

Seek out an evaluation

I do part time homeschooling or after schooling



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16 Jun 2015, 5:47 am

It is hard to say he would be reading better if attending public school. But he would benefit from language and reading tools developed for kids on the spectrum.

Kids with ASD & ADHD learn differently. Many respond well to music (there is a common genetic reason for this), require visual object/concept to word mapping especially early on, so benefit from/require visual sight words. and can only tolerate a certain amount of information per page or screen. Once neural pathways are built they can learn in more traditional ways, but will always do better with visual & kinetic. To start with, Sing-along Songbooks are joyful multi-sensory ways to building the eye to mouth pathways supporting language (http://www.4mylearn.org/Bookshelf/BooksSong.html ). This develops reading, verbal, and interaction skills. When put on a large screen tv, you can position yourself between him and the screen, so your face is near his. Start by singing to him, and encourage him to make up hand and body gestures (like rolling along, put your right foot in, shake all about) to increase imitation and joint attention skills. The song Bingo develops very important response inhibition skills. If he enjoys it do it every day. These songs are very well enunciated to build language and reading.
It does sound like he is still at the Kindergarten level for reading. Try http://www.4mylearn.org/Bookshelf/Phoni ... nicsK.html
for a fun multi-sensory reading program, with visual sight words. Click on one of the units to see the kids page.

http://www.4mylearn.org/Bookshelf/Phoni ... nELAK.html provide the Common Core Kindergarten English Language Arts ”Ican”s that your son should be able to demonstrate at the end of Kindergarten. He also should have some ability for at least the first 3 Reading Critical Thinking "I CAN" statements (http://www.4mylearn.org/Bookshelf/Phoni ... Think.html ).


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zette
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16 Jun 2015, 7:59 am

If you homeschool through a public umbrella charter, you should be able to get an IEP and speech and OT services.



zette
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16 Jun 2015, 8:29 am

We faced the reverse of your situation. We had pulled DS out of public school to homeschool after the first quarter of 1st grade. I had twin 3 year olds at home and within 2 months was finding that either they needed to go to full time daycare or we needed to find a school for DS. Luckily I saw an ad for openings in a special needs school that specifically serves kids with Aspergers. We decided to give it a try, paying $15k per year. Within months, the behavioral issues that DS had been having at public school were largely gone. The school was just the right place for him.

Unfortunately, by the beginning of 2nd grade, DS still wasn't learning to read. Homeschooling still wasn't a good fit for our family situation. We had changed districts and hired a top educational advocate to try to get the new district to pay for the school. The Aspergers school was perfect for him, but I concluded that if they couldn't teach him to read, we would have to homeschool and pay for something like Lindamood-Bell, a very expensive tutoring center for dyslexia. It seemed crazy to be paying thousands of dollars to get the district to pay for a school we might then turn around and leave.

Luckily there was another boy at the school who had just been identified with dyslexia, and the director brought in a consultant who recommended a program called Sonday System. When I first saw it I was skeptical, it just looked like more phonics flashcards, and we already knew flashcards and phonics programs hadn't worked. But I figured with a mastery test every 3 weeks we'd quickly have proof of whether or not there was progress.

DS's progress with this program has been amazing. In a year he went from struggling with Green Eggs and Ham to reading easy chapter books. He has also gone from struggling to write a single sentence to writing a full paragraph. Orton-Gillingham is the gold standard method used to teach dyslexic kids to read, the original program requires many months of training. The programs I mentioned earlier (Barton, Sonday, Logic of English) are commercial versions of Orton-Gillingham, adapted for home or small group use. You learn how to teach them from watching a DVD before each lesson. The key features of this program are that it uses multisensory techniques to recruit motor memory to make the initial connections between symbol and sound. The reading instruction sequence is highly structured, introducing only one new concept at a time (blends like sl, st, sr, and sw would each get their own lesson). Each lesson also has highly systematic review of previous lessons built in. Most importantly, the child never moves on to new material until the current level has been mastered. I consider it phonics on steroids.



Tori0326
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16 Jun 2015, 5:29 pm

Dyslexia did cross my mind at one point. I'm watching the Barton videos now. I will have to find out where I can get him evaluated locally.

I'd prefer to teach him at home if I can make progress with him. We are currently living in a rural area and school options are really limited to public or church schools, none of which have high ratings. Changing to a specific curriculum that's focused on Dyslexia and/or ASD may be exactly what is needed.

I am feeling much more encouraged about continuing his education at home.



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16 Jun 2015, 8:57 pm

I'm a big fan of the Logic of English curriculum. (I haven't seen the others mentioned, so I cannot fairly compare them.). Know that if you get Essentials, you will need the game book also (some lessons say, play such-in-such game in the game book...without further instruction.).

Actually, if you go with another one, I'd still recommend the game book as an optional add-on, because there are some fun and useful ways of practicing spelling in there.


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markitzero
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22 Jun 2015, 3:01 am

I am not a parent but I do sometimes browse the parent forum sometimes, but if the issue is dyslexia check this out http://opendyslexic.org/ there is computer fonts for dyslexia. There are other site out there that have fonts that can help people that have dyslexia.

If it is glad to if some input if not maybe this will help someone else.


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timf
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22 Jun 2015, 3:42 pm

I am really torn and was wondering if other parents here have faced this dilemma.

Boys in particular can be developmentally delayed in reading. Research has shown that pushing boys to try to read before they are developmentally ready can harm their reading ability.

Dr. Raymond and Dorothy Moore were educators in the true sense and are sometimes called the grand parents of the homeschooling movement. They were researchers and investigated various approaches to learning and had a lot of research on not pushing reading too soon especially for boys.

I have found that sometimes science fiction can motivate someone to take a stab at learning to read.

Starship troopers
Citizen of the galaxy
Have spacesuit will travel
Starman Jones
by Robert Heinlein (watch out for his later stuff)

Flying Sorcerers
By Larry Niven and David Gerrold

These can be books that draw a boy more into reading. The easiest is Have spacesuit will travel.



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10 Jul 2015, 5:17 pm

I can't say that there are days that I wish I would have sent him to school around that same age, as sometimes I wonder how his life would have been. My son is 14 and has been homeschooled since age 5. At age 7 he also could not read. There were MANY things he could not do. Math is not his best subject. HOWEVER, at 14, he reads just fine. Maybe not as good as the best reader in a 8-9th grade class, but MUCH better than I thought he would. Probably better than I remember I could. His math skills are still behind and I worry, however, it is crazy to see how when I pushed him on math, he became incredibly frustrated and when I just let it go and then attempted math a different way, videos, etc. he seemed to pick it up.

Honestly, he has 3 pretty good friends that I have made sure he forms a good friendship with, all teens. They are 13/13/15. ALL of those kids are in school and have ALWAYS been in school. NONE OF THOSE CHILDREN have any real friends or friendships OUTSIDE OF MY SON. Their only TRUE friend is my son (and somewhat each other as I invite them ALL to my house, etc). One 13yr old is non-verbal, sometimes has major tantrums, nobody knows why. :-( In school for years and still is unable to communicate. This at a private school costing over 25K per year. Another 13 yr old is in public school and has been bullied so much, she is on anti-depressants, pulling her hair out, etc. and constantly bullied at school, even with an aide. Another was in a prestigious regular private school and was bullied. His parents pulled him out and put him in another prestigious school and he was bullied again. I mean private schools costing close to 50K with NT kids. My son? He is the happy go-lucky kid among ALL OF THEM with no depression, high self-esteem, fun, etc.

There is no amount of schooling or being caught up that to me is worth my son going through what the other kids have gone through. I think there are many ways to teach, through videos, KhanAcademy, etc. that you can use. I decided to not just homeschool but kind of unschooled as well. It has worked out, although I am sure he might have to be in "school" a bit longer than other kids. No problem with me. He is very sure of himself and has friends, that's good enough for me.

PS as far as reading, my son loves Sonic, etc. I buy him Sonic books, comic books, etc. and he reads..he also reads PLENTY on the computer



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10 Jul 2015, 6:18 pm

The only point I want to address is your note that the local schools don't have good ratings. Honestly, that tells you little to nothing about how appropriate the school might be for your child. Both my children attended schools that had official "poor" ratings but that were actually amazing schools. The test scores had to do with the needs of the population (or, more specifically, half of it), not the quality of the teaching. In fact, the schools drew the most dedicated teachers out there. Point being, you don't know without visiting the school and talking to staff how suitable it might be for your unique child.

Beyond that, I do know it is a very difficult and very personal decision, so I don't advocate for one or the other. A good school district that understands ASD can be an amazing partner, but it is also possible for a child to have so many sensory issues that the quality of a school can never overcome the effect of being around too many kids. And, then, some schools are simply horrible. There is no way to really know without trying the options on, to whatever extent possible.


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11 Jul 2015, 8:58 am

Is there a reason you would not want to have him enrolled in the school and evaluated to see what services he might qualify for? It seems to me that you know little about the school, but you do know that he is not progressing at home at level consistent with his peers. Right now, I don't know how you would know if he would be doing better in school or not, since you don't have that information.

The right school district can be an amazing thing. The district my kids go to (both with special needs--daughter mild ASD, son severe ADHD and mild/moderate NLD) is fantastic for special needs kids (and typical kids, too!) Both of my kids have gotten services without even needing to be on an official IEP or being classified. The district has a strong RTI program and is very strong on character education (which has meant bullying is not tolerated and is quickly dealt with. To the extent that my son once complained that a kid knocked his books out of his arms in the hallway and the school searched the security video, found the kid, and spoke with him about it).

It would seem to me that you cannot rule the school out as an appropriate place for your son without more information. I mean, there is a chance that you would send him to school and he would still not be able to read. But there is also a chance that they would have different ways of helping him and he could catch up and not fall further behind.

FWIW, my son was a very poor reader when he was younger. Behind his peers. Then, the summer between 4th and 5th grade, he picked up The Call of the Wild, and has been at grade level ever since. With both of my kids, I find they often lag behind, then have a huge spurt, and then either match or even sometimes surpass their peers. Also with my son, traditional teaching methodologies rarely work, even though he has an above average IQ. All through Middle School, he went to the learning center for alternate forms of instruction in his classes. In his 8th grade year they actually put him in the integrated classroom. It made the world of difference for him. Because the classes were all co-taught and there were extra supports in place, the teachers were able to work more closely with him to figure out HOW to teach HIM, specifically.

If you do keep your son at home, you are going to need to challenge yourself to heavily research a variety of instructional methods, implement them, and keep with the ones that work. It is possible your son's learning needs do not match your current approach. To be quite honest, although I am of superior intelligence (technically speaking), I would not be able to successfully homeschool my kids. I do not have the requisite organizational skills.


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ktayman
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11 Jul 2015, 12:04 pm

Hi - I am a graduate student at Arizona State University and am in the Special Education w/focus in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) program. I also have a personal connection with ASD. I have to interview a parent who has a child with special needs about their experience collaborating with their child's teacher(s) for an IEP in K-3. Would anyone be willing to chat with me? I won't need any personally identifying information - just your experience. We are working hard to make school collaboration more effective for parents/teachers. I've sat through many IEP meetings myself, so I understand!!

Thanks so much for considering....



ASDMommyASDKid
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11 Jul 2015, 1:34 pm

ktayman wrote:
Hi - I am a graduate student at Arizona State University and am in the Special Education w/focus in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) program. I also have a personal connection with ASD. I have to interview a parent who has a child with special needs about their experience collaborating with their child's teacher(s) for an IEP in K-3. Would anyone be willing to chat with me? I won't need any personally identifying information - just your experience. We are working hard to make school collaboration more effective for parents/teachers. I've sat through many IEP meetings myself, so I understand!!

Thanks so much for considering....



Hi, You might want to get this moved to a new thread of its own. We get queries like that on the regular, and it just makes it easier for people to see it and respond, if applicable to them.



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11 Jul 2015, 3:41 pm

Great idea! Thanks