Son's teacher is leaving...Anyone homeschooling your autistic child? Preschool level? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 06-20-2007, 04:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm thinking about trying it for the rest of the summer before our move to Gainesville, and just pulling him from the program he is in now. He already gets OT and ST privately, and we're doing RDI which is fantastic..

Anyone homeschooling your autistic child? If so, how's it going, what are you doing? Specifically preschool and with another preschooler at home (2.5 yr old Sophie), how do I do a "curriculum" for him that allows for his sister?

Tips, links, would be greatly appreciated, thanks
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#2 of 6 Old 06-20-2007, 05:57 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Megamama View Post
I'm thinking about trying it for the rest of the summer before our move to Gainesville, and just pulling him from the program he is in now. He already gets OT and ST privately, and we're doing RDI which is fantastic..

Anyone homeschooling your autistic child? If so, how's it going, what are you doing? Specifically preschool and with another preschooler at home (2.5 yr old Sophie), how do I do a "curriculum" for him that allows for his sister?

Tips, links, would be greatly appreciated, thanks
I did! I homeschooled A. until he went to third grade. I'd have loved to keep doing it too, but circumstances wouldn't permit.

It was HARD. He had a lot of trouble focusing. We had a terrible time learning to read. He couldn't connect sound and symbol, just couldn't do it. Phonics totally baffled him, and whole language was slow going.

The really fun stuff was science, math and so on. We did a lot of cooking together, which is very mathy and has all sorts of neat ideas. We planted and raised a garden. We went to zoos and museums constantly. He wouldn't tolerate being read to, but his brothers loved it. When he was older the first book he'd allow to be read to him was Harry Potter, and he loved the whole series. Before that any kind of book reading led to howling meltdowns, complete with rolling on the floor, scratching himself and attempts to destroy the book. We found lots of other stuff to do, though. He likes to build things and will spend hours taking things apart to see how they work, or creating things. He is pretty amazing when it comes to inventions.

The hardest part was making sure his little brothers got enough attention and schooling. If I could have sent them off to preschool for a few hours a day, just to give me some one on one time with him, I would have.

Kiley
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#3 of 6 Old 06-20-2007, 07:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Cool! Thanks for your input I'm going to talk things over with Tom. Oddly I think my 4.5 year old is actually reading. He seems somewhat obsessed with phonics lately and is just coming up with things that lead me to believe he can already read some things. I'm really not worried about the "education" part so much. He and Sophie are smart little things and they already know a lot. But I think doing a garden and cooking together would be cool. Eli is really showing an interest in cooking since starting RDI because some of our activities are sort of in that realm. Today he stood with me at the stove (on a chair) while I taught him to use a spatula on his tortillas..pretty cool. I figured since he was already trying to do it w/o my supervision, I had better show him with it.

The biggie for me this summer is getting both of them toilet trained. Eli right now changes his own diaper. He even throws the old one away in the bin..I have to check them to make sure they've actually got stuff in them most of the time. I really want him to get the toilet part now..he's very intelligent, just missing a link or two there!

Anyway, I think Sophie (the younger one) will go to a preschool program in the fall, but I'm not sure I'll send Eli as I am starting to feel like RDI is giving me a unique opportunity to teach him right now. In some ways I really want to give that a go until he really is more ready for classrooms. My husband is not so convinced, though.
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#4 of 6 Old 06-20-2007, 08:16 PM
 
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We homeschool our DS1, who is autistic and has many medical issues as well. We had been doing a verbal behavior model of ABA but with our 2 1/2 year old becoming MUCH more curious and interested in everything that really has been difficult to implement properly. I am looking at RDI now and in the meantime have just really switched around our approach - trying to hit the same concepts in a more generalized manner. It has been hard some days, but part of that is I am also 22 weeks pg with our third child so my energy has been up and down the past few months. It is wonderful, though, to be able to be there when certain concepts "click" and for all the little moments that I would miss were he still in school. He did a year of preschool but couldn't handle it medically, plus I felt the program was not a good match for him anyway. He is VERY pre-academic with global delays and is non-verbal. In many ways our 2 1/2 year old is passing him developmentally. Having him at home has really allowed me to focus on the areas that we feel are important that we would not have been able to address as intensely with him gone all day, such as self-feeding and dressing, etc. However, there are days that I wonder if I am shorting DS2 because of the enourmous amount of time and attention that DS1 requires. I am coming into a compromise with everything, though, and right now feel ok with where we are. I have also hired a friend who does tutoring and has worked in Spec Ed (now is retired) and she works with him two days a week for a couple of hours at a time. It really helps him not become too rigid in his routine and it is good for him to work with another person in a different environment. (We go to her house for that.) It also allows us to set up small group activities with her and I and the two boys.

Anyway, overall I am happy with our decision to homeschool. I'm not sure how many years we will continue but we will reassess as necessary as we go.

Good luck with whatever you decide!

Mamma to three boys : We love :::
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#5 of 6 Old 06-21-2007, 08:57 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks Cathy...I can't recommend RDI enough, honestly..Eli was barely talking before it, and his sentences have exploded since we started. I do recommend getting a consult though even though it is so expensive. Very worth the money. The activities you do with him won't take too much of your time and are very effective when you have the right ones.

Down off my high horse..decision making needs to happen soon..his teacher's last day is today. I really think he'll be better off with me for the summer at least until we move to Gainesville and then I can re-assess. My DH is worried I'll be worn out with two "toddlers" in the house. He might be right.
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#6 of 6 Old 06-22-2007, 12:53 AM
 
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Are you aware of the RDI-Homeschoolers list on Yahoo? It's pretty active, has a good group of people, and there are quite a few people homeschooling preschoolers. It has seemed to me that many people followed a Story/activity based on the story type format, but I know that you can check archives. I think it makes sense for RDI activities to remain your focus, and having him home gives you more to work on, more time to do favorite activities.

Sherri
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