New here and need some direction with education issues

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nunet
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23 Aug 2008, 9:58 am

I have a 10 year old son with Aspergers. Most of the services he receives has been through private providers.

This summer we had additional testing done, and some of his issues were described to us. Like many aspies he sees things in detail, with little "whole picture" thinking. Because of this, he is unable to write stories, answer questions in paragraph form, or think creatively. While creativity is not much of a conern, we do need to help him learn to answer in more than lists of details.

I am not sure exactly what this is called or how to deal with this. I plan on meeting with the school, but without all of the facts, i cannot force them to do anything. I need to tell them what I want. They do not provide any services without me actually telling them what I want.

Does anyone have any direction on where I can start on how to educate him on how to do this type of thing?

Thank you!



schoolpsycherin
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23 Aug 2008, 1:14 pm

It should not be the parents job to come up with services or supports. It's the school's responsibility, those who are familiar with the services they offer and are supposed to be "experts". I think it is usually best to let the school give you their plan first, then take the IEP home to review it, talk to others and then come back to the table with the changes you would like to see and start a discussion in this way.


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ster
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23 Aug 2008, 2:25 pm

being completely new to this can seem totally overwhelming....***hugs***

if you feel like you're in over your head, then i suggest contacting a local parents advocacy center. an advocate can help you sift through all the bureaucratic b.s., and help you figure out what it is you really want for your child.........good luck



donkey
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23 Aug 2008, 4:49 pm

nunet wrote:
I have a 10 year old son with Aspergers. Most of the services he receives has been through private providers.

This summer we had additional testing done, and some of his issues were described to us. Like many aspies he sees things in detail, with little "whole picture" thinking. Because of this, he is unable to write stories, answer questions in paragraph form, or think creatively. While creativity is not much of a conern, we do need to help him learn to answer in more than lists of details.

I am not sure exactly what this is called or how to deal with this. I plan on meeting with the school, but without all of the facts, i cannot force them to do anything. I need to tell them what I want. They do not provide any services without me actually telling them what I want.

Does anyone have any direction on where I can start on how to educate him on how to do this type of thing?

Thank you!


you seem like most parent with As children , very overwhelmed.
you say a few things that "tell" this. you say you need to tell the school what you want, you then say it again, tell them what YOU want.
problem is you dont know what you want, you have asked for help to identify a problem and seek the correct words to tell the school what YOU want.
you use very strong language , such as FORCE the school to doi what YOU WANT, but you dont know what that is.
i dont know why there is a misconception that people with As do not think creatively or are not creative, we are.
this is a misconception like many who give advice on As issues.
you want your child to learn things more than what he is already providing.
have you considered that what he is expressing may be normal for him?
it isnt about you, fighting him, your school and the system to get what you want, it is about what he wants. and if he is happy doing things this way, then let him remain to do the same.


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nunet
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23 Aug 2008, 8:21 pm

Maybe my language is strong, but it is because I have battled this for 7 years. Our district is well known for failure to provide services for invisible disabilities. It was only after 2 years of fighting with them insisting that the numerous (10+) evaluations I had were accurate, hired a special ed attorney and spent $15,000 on private services that they even acknowledged Asperger's Syndrome exists. When it comes to my child, I am not going to sit back and allow them to let him slide through the cracks. He is 10 not 18. Failure to help him now will only increase his struggles. And believe me, he is struggling. Unless I have a detailed plan, they will refuse to do anything. I know this from experience. At this time he does not even have an IEP. Yes, that is right. He was dropped from the program because he mastered his speech delays. He is unable to complete his homework, and he will not ask questions when confused since he sees that as his own failure. His IQ score is in the superior range, yet he cannot explain what the main character of a story felt when she "Stomped up the stairs and slammed her door." No, he is not happy. This is a child who hates school. Being the only child unable to answer certain questions that seem obvious to everyone else in class, being unable to take a spelling test because he cannot get past worrying that his "g" sits perfect on the line, stressing for hours over a math problem even though he answered it correctly because he does not understand the process that got him the answer, is not what he wants. He wants to do well, but he does not know how to get there. It is his desire for help and my inability to provide it, that has brought me to this point over being overwhelmed. And yes, you are right. I am overwhelmed. It is painful to have your child ask you to fix something that you have no idea how to fix.

I apologize that I asked these questions here. I thought the parent's discussion was for the support of parents of children with Asperger's It appears I am in the wrong place. I just wanted some direction on how to make sure he received the resources that would allow him to actually be both successful and happy from those who assumed would understand.



donkey
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24 Aug 2008, 2:04 am

well i am AS, so is my son, so im in a position where i am AS and a parent, so a usefull combination, but as you have pointed out, short on empathy.
the As ideation is a complex one, we try to solve problems and perseverate over things, like "where are the car keys"
and we cant function cant be distracted until we have found them, we tend to be linear rote learners, but also we can link up many different stored experiences and make plenty of inferences and usualyy answer complex questions correctly but when asked how do you do that?
we reply...i dont know.
when i was 10, i was unaware i was AS, and i was a naughty little boy, very similar to bart simpson.
i tried to do the perfectionism that tendsto come with As and do everything, perfectly, and this lead to initial frustration and then i realised that when i try and do everythig right all the time, that nothing gets done. i learned to cut corners and skim on the effort, otherwise i couldnt cope, but i found i did well as the energy saved and the calmness it induced in me outweighed any loss of knowledge ( i am now a Vet) i otherwise thought i was missing out on.

i can give you the words and assistance, of course, but without the empathy, or sympathy, dont come here and expect me to hold your hand, but i will try and help, i cant give a longer response as i am going out soon, but if you want specific questions answered or elaboration then i will help as much as i can.


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donkey
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24 Aug 2008, 2:05 am

well i am AS, so is my son, so im in a position where i am AS and a parent, so a usefull combination, but as you have pointed out, short on empathy.
the As ideation is a complex one, we try to solve problems and perseverate over things, like "where are the car keys"
and we cant function cant be distracted until we have found them, we tend to be linear rote learners, but also we can link up many different stored experiences and make plenty of inferences and usualyy answer complex questions correctly but when asked how do you do that?
we reply...i dont know.
when i was 10, i was unaware i was AS, and i was a naughty little boy, very similar to bart simpson.
i tried to do the perfectionism that tendsto come with As and do everything, perfectly, and this lead to initial frustration and then i realised that when i try and do everythig right all the time, that nothing gets done. i learned to cut corners and skim on the effort, otherwise i couldnt cope, but i found i did well as the energy saved and the calmness it induced in me outweighed any loss of knowledge ( i am now a Vet) i otherwise thought i was missing out on.

i can give you the words and assistance, of course, but without the empathy, or sympathy, dont come here and expect me to hold your hand, but i will try and help, i cant give a longer response as i am going out soon, but if you want specific questions answered or elaboration then i will help as much as i can.


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donkey
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24 Aug 2008, 2:05 am

well i am AS, so is my son, so im in a position where i am AS and a parent, so a usefull combination, but as you have pointed out, short on empathy.
the As ideation is a complex one, we try to solve problems and perseverate over things, like "where are the car keys"
and we cant function cant be distracted until we have found them, we tend to be linear rote learners, but also we can link up many different stored experiences and make plenty of inferences and usualyy answer complex questions correctly but when asked how do you do that?
we reply...i dont know.
when i was 10, i was unaware i was AS, and i was a naughty little boy, very similar to bart simpson.
i tried to do the perfectionism that tendsto come with As and do everything, perfectly, and this lead to initial frustration and then i realised that when i try and do everythig right all the time, that nothing gets done. i learned to cut corners and skim on the effort, otherwise i couldnt cope, but i found i did well as the energy saved and the calmness it induced in me outweighed any loss of knowledge ( i am now a Vet) i otherwise thought i was missing out on.

i can give you the words and assistance, of course, but without the empathy, or sympathy, dont come here and expect me to hold your hand, but i will try and help, i cant give a longer response as i am going out soon, but if you want specific questions answered or elaboration then i will help as much as i can.


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donkey
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24 Aug 2008, 2:07 am

well i am AS, so is my son, so im in a position where i am AS and a parent, so a usefull combination, but as you have pointed out, short on empathy.
the As ideation is a complex one, we try to solve problems and perseverate over things, like "where are the car keys"
and we cant function cant be distracted until we have found them, we tend to be linear rote learners, but also we can link up many different stored experiences and make plenty of inferences and usualyy answer complex questions correctly but when asked how do you do that?
we reply...i dont know.
when i was 10, i was unaware i was AS, and i was a naughty little boy, very similar to bart simpson.
i tried to do the perfectionism that tendsto come with As and do everything, perfectly, and this lead to initial frustration and then i realised that when i try and do everythig right all the time, that nothing gets done. i learned to cut corners and skim on the effort, otherwise i couldnt cope, but i found i did well as the energy saved and the calmness it induced in me outweighed any loss of knowledge ( i am now a Vet) i otherwise thought i was missing out on.

i can give you the words and assistance, of course, but without the empathy, or sympathy, dont come here and expect me to hold your hand, but i will try and help, i cant give a longer response as i am going out soon, but if you want specific questions answered or elaboration then i will help as much as i can.


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laplantain
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24 Aug 2008, 2:09 am

I don't know if this is helpful, but I can tell you that in school, the speech teacher works on pragmatics. I think they also work on that in social skills group, but my son is not in one of those.

At first, my son didn't seem to realize what a question was. It took a month of speech camp for him to realize that an answer was expected of a question. When he started answering questions, they had to be choice-type questions. He was perplexed with open-ended questions. If he couldn't answer an open-ended question, they said to give him a choice or A or B. He could answer by picking one or the other. We also had to explain with toys and in stories the reason people asked and answered questions, and that the asker doesn't know what the askee is thinking, that's why he's asking. Now he can answer questions very fluently, unless he is nervous or talking to someone he doesn't know well.

But basically his speech teacher and behaviorist helped with this area.



ster
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24 Aug 2008, 3:42 pm

nunet- around here, people can be a bit blunt......sorry if this offends, but it is an AS website. you kinda should expect to run into people who are blunt.



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24 Aug 2008, 4:41 pm

schoolpsycherin wrote:
It should not be the parents job to come up with services or supports. It's the school's responsibility, those who are familiar with the services they offer and are supposed to be "experts". I think it is usually best to let the school give you their plan first, then take the IEP home to review it, talk to others and then come back to the table with the changes you would like to see and start a discussion in this way.


I disagree with this statement (the cynic in me). Schools are notorious for trying to wriggle out of providing services.

I have 2 sons with Asperger's aged 10 and 8.

An IEP should address social skills and emotion management. There should be references to written timetables and written instructions. There should be somewhere for the child to withdraw if they are becoming overloaded.

Here is an IEP from when my 2nd son was 7 years old (sorry, haven't got around to putting up their latest IEP's). http://www.smelena.com/daniel_iep.php

I suggest you write a list of your sons's difficulties - maybe you could post them here so other parents can help problem solve.

E-mail the list to the teachers before the meeting so they have time to read it and plan on it. Take the written list of difficulties and possible solutions to the meeting. Do not leave the meeting until you are satisfied everything has been addressed.

Do no sign anything until you've had time to think about it.

I was incredibly nervous with my sons' first IEP meetings. Now I feel confident. I e-mail a written plan before the meeting and go in with the list.

I also take my sons' psychologist to the meeting - expensive but it means I get everything I ask for.

Good luck!!

Regards
Helen



nunet
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26 Aug 2008, 9:32 am

Thank you all very much for your suggestions. You are right! I am quite the opposite of many of the posters here. My emotions are right there on my sleeve, and I read into everyone else's as well. When it comes to my child, I am even more sensitive than I am normally. He is counting on me to help him through this, and I am not exactly sure how to do it. The response that I should just let the school take the lead was enough to make me want to rip my hair out. If I let them lead the way, he will continue to get nowhere. Whenever I think we are on the right track, we have a major setback.

The school has already rejected my request for certain tests to be performed. After speaking to two advocates yesterday, I have been reminded that my district is the worst in the area when it comes to dealing with AS. They simply do not believe that AS is a valid condition that requires any assistance. If these children just work hard enough, they will be fine. My work is cut out for me. I have the name of an attorney, and I have put out feelers to others who can give me some support.

Donkey, your post gave my son some hope. He dreams of being a vet, but he worried he could never accomplish the schooling. It helped him to hear from someone who accomplished it. I almost wish he was a naughty little boy! He is quite the opposite. He will not question authority. (although he is very comfortable doing so at home) Rules are rules, and he will not break them. The first time he actually got in trouble at school, I celebrated!

Thanks again, all..

If there are any tests, evaluations, suggestions you think are valuable please keep them coming.



ster
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26 Aug 2008, 4:45 pm

it's very difficult when you're faced with a school system that questions the validity of an AS dx.....our school system fought us as well. it seems AS doesn't exist 8O
son had an extensive neuropsych done. out of the 22 reccomendations that the dr made, the #1 was to outplace our son. honestly, that's made such a tremendous difference in his well-being....he was finally in a safe environment where people believed in AS & supported him . you'd hardly recognize him today compared to when he first was outplaced......



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27 Aug 2008, 12:32 pm

I am so feeling your pain. I am a mom of an as and probably to some degree display symptoms but I am also a huge advocate for the students and parents. You are at the right place for support and collaboration, you just have to shake off the feeling of "ouch , did somebody really just say that to me" If you are anything like me, it was desperate times that brought me here and it took alot to open up and be vulnerable. So....in saying that, I am sorry for your struggles and most of us realize that a parents agony is non stop, creating sleepless nights, stressful days and a heavy heart. Some parents have children and loved ones that can verbalize what they think is best, what bothers them and what makes them smile....while others we have to try to figure out as we go what is the best course of action now for the long haul. Depending on where you are located, country, state etc. there are alot of resources to tap into and sometimes it can be a poor fit and you just keep plugging along until you find a good fit or you take the matter in your own hands and educate, educate, educate....teachers, neighbors, local groups, churches, community service workers, start a support group and invite speakers that can give you information. Knowledge is key and passing it on helps to create a kinder environment. Dont panic...you are not alone.



prometheuspann
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29 Aug 2008, 6:52 am

General
Curiosity drives learning if it is allowed to do so and not shut down.
Curiosity is shut down via the current system, creating the ADD disorder sudden appearance on the charts. One half of ADD is a person who can’t pay attention. The other half is a boring culture, delivery of information modus
operandi.
Curiosity driven learning involves more brain area participation. If a person doesn’t really like their experience, the subconscious mind edits it and doesn’t learn from it. Using curiosity driven learning potentially accelerates the learning curve such that it would not be unreasonable for the society of the future to expect the equivalent of a multiple PhD education from High School.
The largest obstacle to curiosity driven learning is the current student to teacher ratio. Curiosity driven learning requires a personal curriculum to be developed per child, an enormous labor process for most teachers. The cure is to use peer tutoring, and older child tutoring in conjunction with professional testers. Teachers are being asked do two different jobs, Teaching and Testing. Testing is incredibly underutilized. How can you know what a child is ready to learn if you have not learned from them who they are and what they know already?
The second largest obstacle is a lazy educational system which must be corrected
and re-educated itself. The educational paradigm being taught for use is not the one which is being taught in reform education psychology and sociology classes.
The first battery of tests should be; IQ tests, aptitude tests, Sanity tests, Type of intelligence per intelligence tests, learning style tests, performance tests, peer skills tests, comprehensive topical subject tests, and in general, any test which can be used to effectively appraise an individual child for the purposes of creating for that child a personalized curriculum.
The topics of psychology, sociology, conversational logic, and ethics should be added to the current curriculum for all Middle School (ages 12 to 14 or grades 6 thru 8) and High Schools
Personality differences including learning styles and Types of intelligence
Can mean that people learn in very different ways. Groups of students should be organized without regard so much to age as to learning style. A class full of visual
Learners from 3 age groups is better than a class full of kinesthetic learners and visual learners who find each other distracting and each others interactions with the teacher bizarre. Throw in some introverts and some extroverts and a speed-reader or two, and a teachers modus operandi cannot hope to reach well the different types of Students that s/he is teaching.
10. Our society is composed of a population which is by about 50 percent Anti-intellectual. (As part of a deep and long term attempt at denial of science facts)
The sheeple will crucify the nerds, that’s the end result of pack psychology and anti-intellectualist mob events. Both alleged “Sides” in the great orchestrated argument between left and right are delusional dogmatist simple minded over simplified versions of reality, oversimplified problem solving process, and thus oversimplified and therefore
Usually counterproductive pseudo solutions. Polarity does not contain sanity, both sides are polarized via each other, but the line that connects those two dots at no point in time Ever gets around to the big picture or the whole truth. Evolution and mother nature will on the other hand favor the nerds.

Education reform;
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Educational_reform
http://www1.worldbank.org/education/glo ... ionreform/
http://www.education-reform.net/
http://dmoz.org/Society/Issues/Educatio ... on_Reform/

Curiousity driven Learning
http://www.csl.sony.fr/~py/developmentalRobotics.htm
http://www.idsia.ch/~juergen/interest.html
http://www.childtrauma.org/ctamaterials/Curiosity.asp
http://www.csun.edu/~vcpsy00h/students/explore.htm


Types of Intelligence;
http://www.macalester.edu/psychology/wh ... types.html
http://www.ldpride.net/learningstyles.MI.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multiple_intelligences

Learning Styles;
http://www.ncsu.edu/felder-public/Learning_Styles.html
http://www.ncsu.edu/felder-public/ILSpage.html
http://www.chaminade.org/inspire/learnstl.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Learning_styles
http://www.funderstanding.com/learning_styles.cfm

Student Teacher Ratio:
http://www.edspresso.com/?OVRAW=educati ... C=advanced
http://www.edreform.com/index.cfm?fuseA ... ctionID=97
http://www.dreamagic.com/jesse/isedurat.html

Anti Intellectualism;
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-intellectualism
http://chronicle.com/free/v47/i15/15b00701.htm
http://www.amazon.com/Anti-Intellectual ... 0394703170
http://www.csmonitor.com/2003/0121/p17s02-lehl.html
http://mtprof.msun.edu/Spr1997/TROUT-ST.html
http://www.wayofthemind.org/2006/07/26/ ... ectualism/
https://urresearch.rochester.edu/retrie ... ualism.pdf
http://www.boston.com/news/local/maine/ ... Maine+news


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