What makes for a good middle school/high school program?

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BeeBee
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15 May 2005, 12:25 pm

nocturnalowl and others got me wondering what makes for a good school program?

What would you have like to have done differently or, maybe, what worked well for you?

BeeBee



Feste-Fenris
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15 May 2005, 12:47 pm

Understanding staff and plenty of books...

That works for me at least...



pyraxis
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15 May 2005, 1:26 pm

Lots of opportunity for independent study. AP/advanced classes so that the pace doesn't have to be dropped to the lowest common denominator. Choice of subjects and lots of electives (I would have loved the freedom of picking your own schedule like you can at college, but at the middle/high school level).

Flexibility about rules, to accomodate different learning styles.



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15 May 2005, 9:14 pm

Being that I am noncturnal! I would say I study
best after midnight, and this applies to most things
that I do. Thus, therefore I can say a special
midnight to 2am study group would most functional,
and all you need to do is go to Denny's on a good
day between midnight to 2am and LO-AND-BEHOLD
there they are.

So if You supply the coffee! and offer the individual
students(I asume you are discussing highschool
here) this owl'ly option and watch them peck away!

Hmmm? Fascinating?
Ghosthunter



nocturnalowl
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16 May 2005, 3:31 am

Well for starters, have students who are taking a psychology class in HS do a lecture on autism instead of just ADD/ADHD and others. I think teachers have seen enough reports and essays on pica.
That would be a good start. Maybe students can promote some autism and AS awareness in school.

Helping teachers decide which path an aspie or HFA could go while in school could help since we here have different social and behavior traits leading to different class levels.

The problem with advanced classes in my opinion is that some aspies may not be able to keep up with the academic and social aggression but it may work for some of you, while Special Ed of course can keep us back. That's what happened to me.

What about an autism/Aspergers department in school counseling? Gather diagnosed students and individually help them with Aspie issues such as communicating, speech and responding to social cues.



nocturnalowl
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16 May 2005, 3:36 am

Guided Study, or Independent study could work. I took the former in school.

Usually reserved in Special Ed to get extra help. Other students can take the course to receive credit and do homework at school.



BeeBee
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17 May 2005, 9:27 am

Thank you for your help.

I am trying to **make** a program for my 12 year old. He's been mainstreamed except for speech therapy and pull-out for writing for most of his elementary school years. In the later years he felt a lot of stress and this year, 6th grade--first at middle school, has been very tough on him. He currently has pull out for writing (English) although we dropped speech. He is in in adepted phy-ed (he wouldn't change in front of the larger group and the noise in the gym was making him sick) and goes with the school councilor to teach social skill classes to pre-schooler once a week. Adapted phy-ed is 1/2 the time of regular phy-ed and he is allowed to go to the library for the other 1/2.

Tentatively, for next year, he has a similar schedule execpt that that he will be in gifted math, and they don't have a writing class per se....the English class is almost exclusively reading next year so he'll be mainstreamed in that again. They are suggesting we drop his "Communication" class so that the time may be spent working on writing. He is still at the second grade level there. Communication is a research and speech class. We have it written that he will be tutored in the reseach skills he is missing from being out of Communications, so really, what he is missing is the speech part.

Its a workable plan....but....

The school personnal is now also suggesting we look at the "Center Based" program for HFA, NLD and ASers.

I guess I won't know until I observe the class next Monday if its a good fit but your posts have helped me to think up questions and concerns.


Quote:
Understanding staff and plenty of books

The staff is a big part of it. Some of the current staff just don't get him. I'll particulary watch the staff on Monday and perhaps ask about credentials.


Quote:
Lots of opportunity for independent study. AP/advanced classes so that the pace doesn't have to be dropped to the lowest common denominator. Choice of subjects and lots of electives (I would have loved the freedom of picking your own schedule like you can at college, but at the middle/high school level).

Flexibility about rules, to accomodate different learning styles.

I'd think the Program staff would have to be more accomodating but I'll see on Monday. I certainly hope so as that's one of the big reasons for moving him.

One thing I dislike about this program is that it LIMITS their electives. I truly feel that is going in the wrong direction. The reasoning is that they want to be able to have an aide in each elective selected so that the aide knows what is being covered in class and can help at study hall, if necessary. I'm pretty sure I can get D out of this by insisting he be fully mainstreamed for electives and "free time" (resses). He and I will agree to be responsbile for any homework or whatever in those classes if need be.


GH, your post made me laugh. The college I went to had a large percentage of working adults so most classes were avaialbe in the evening. I tried to schedule classes from 6-10PM and then study in the library until it closed at 2AM. Now I work a 8-5 job so my son will have to have similar hours to me ie normal hours. He can do the noncturnal thing when he is older!

Quote:
Well for starters, have students who are taking a psychology class in HS do a lecture on autism instead of just ADD/ADHD and others. I think teachers have seen enough reports and essays on pica.

I can't tell you have much I like this idea!

Quote:
Helping teachers decide which path an aspie or HFA could go while in school could help since we here have different social and behavior traits leading to different class levels.

I'm really hoping the school sees it the same way. I'll fight to get a good fit for D but it would be nice to have the school meet me 1/2 way.

Quote:
Gather diagnosed students and individually help them with Aspie issues such as communicating, speech and responding to social cues.

Right now D does have that. The councillor works with D on skills and then D "teaches" them to a preschool group. D likes doing this.
I'm getting mixed signs on what happens in the program. It is one of the things I need to check out on Monday. This will continue next year wither D is in the program or mainstreamed.

Quote:
Guided Study, or Independent study could work. I took the former in school.

I think this would work for D later, in high school. Or maybe on-line study. I'm worried about the social aspects of that though...would he miss not interacting as much with others, would it be better for him to force himself to mix as he will need to do some of that later in life? I don't know.


This is a long and rambling post but it's really helped to get my thought in order. Thanks guys.

BeeBee




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pyraxis
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17 May 2005, 12:09 pm

On guided study and independent study...

BeeBee wrote:
I think this would work for D later, in high school. Or maybe on-line study. I'm worried about the social aspects of that though...would he miss not interacting as much with others, would it be better for him to force himself to mix as he will need to do some of that later in life? I don't know.


I think it's best to have a balance of both. Social things may be intense or painful but they are a necessary skill. But if he's spending all his time trying to keep up socially, that takes a lot of mental resources away from academics and could really hurt his progress. It may be that he needs to get his book-learning from independent study and his social-learning from the classroom.

I've done a number of independent studies. The longest was a year of English (grade 8 ) which I spent analyzing the writing structure of the books I already loved to read and writing a novel. Even though it was fantasy, and the average classroom teacher probably would have considered it entirely irrelevant, the writing skills I learned that year have lasted me all the way through college. I've also done shorter studies, one month to one semester.



nocturnalowl
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18 May 2005, 12:08 am

A guided study course in my words is an extra period in school where a student can be given extra help in subjects which take take a regular course in. This can really work when it comes to English and Math.

I would prefer these periods be taken during afterschool periods (like a seventh or eighth period)

I know there are tutoring programs at schools, but to me, a guided study course involves staff that is familiar with a student and can keep an eye on them.

As a special ed. student, we were able to gain some help from the teachers, or maybe even a special tutor, or a instructional associate the "classified staff".

But then most students just use the class as an extra time to do homework. Not all students capitalize on the study time for extra help, but can still receive extra help just in case it was needed though.

I remember for one semester going back to my school after graduation and tutoring some of the Guided study students in math. I guess I did okay and I am sure the students did well. At least I was on the list and received some payment for my services.