Anyone using Waldorf principles with a child with developmental delay/ASD? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 01-28-2013, 06:27 PM - Thread Starter
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I need help and ideas on how to best approach my 11 year old DS. He has a diagnosis of PDD-NOS, anxiety, and sensory issues (given at age 9 but probably starting around age 4). We are now homeschooling after a long history of extreme school anxiety. DS has no learning disabilities that we know of and did "well" in school. However, I have come to see his "success" in school more fueled by social anxiety resulting in a high degree of perfectionism and student compliance. To me, DS seems to really struggle to express ideas or come up with solutions to even fairly basic problems. For example, when I have tried to have him apply math concepts to really basic real-life situations, he's at a loss. Socially and emotionally, and perhaps even intellectually, he is more like a typical 8-9 year old than an 11 year old about to turn 12.


I am wondering if perhaps I should "adjust" his age and my approach to better meet his needs where he is, not only academically, but spiritually/emotionally as well. Sometimes I really wonder if some of his delays may be due to unmet needs. I don't want to go into to much detail but suffice it to say I was very stressed during the pregnancy, he was born into a bad marriage that was ending and his early years had a lot of emotional upsets and changes. He entered daycare at 3 when we divorced and never adjusted and carried that anxiety with him throughout his school years despite being in loving supportive environments. I was often lost in my own emotions and not as stable for him as I wish I'd been. I don't fault myself too much, it was an awful situation and I did my best, but I know he's is experience the lasting effects of that. 


Do you think it would be helpful for me to "go back" in time a bit with him when it comes to Waldorf principles of learning and growth? Consider him more at the beginning of the second 7 year cycle rather than the middle? Maybe back even further? What can I do to perhaps meet those needs now to help heal his anxiety? We are doing nutritional therapy and I am looking into homeopathy and herbs as well, but from a spiritual/emotional standpoint I want to apply Waldorf concepts to help him heal and to meet his needs. I just am not sure where to start. 


I know its a complicated issue. Any advice or ideas appreciated!

Mom to DS(17) autismribbon.gif DS(15) autismribbon.gif DS(12) autismribbon.gif My gifted, quirky, wonderful teens!

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#2 of 5 Old 02-16-2013, 09:40 PM
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I'm going to bump this so it shows up in new posts again.

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#3 of 5 Old 02-17-2013, 11:15 PM
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I have done this with several of my kids. I have an almost 12 yo bio ds who is ASD. Who I just went down a grade in some curriculum choices to meet him where he is at. As well as my bio dd who is 7, but was a preemie with a traumatic pregnancy and birth. She needs to be meet on a younger level in some different areas at the moment. 


I also am a "therapeutic parent" with my fost/adopt kids, and going back and filling in some gaps of things they were missing for whatever reasons has been a HUGE help in getting their anxiety into a better place, and help them to heal from some things they have been dealing with. 


I have worked a lot lately with a holistic therapist in learning about how we can go back and fill in any gaps so kids may have for one reason or another. The calm nurturing ways of Waldorf are such a beautiful example of that, and being able to see where are children may be, and what it is they may need. 

 Waldorf Mom to 9 blessings ~6 by birth and 3 by fost/adopt~

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#4 of 5 Old 02-18-2013, 03:51 PM
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Does anyone have some links to research on this topic, or even someone writing about it anecdotally?  My kids are a bit younger but DS is on the ASD spectrum, and our whole family has had some pretty emotional issues, pretty much for their whole lives... several cross-country moves, hospitalizations, a separation (marital) and reunion, a traumatic pregnancy where I was on bedrest... they've coped well enough but I think we need a period of healing as a family.

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#5 of 5 Old 02-18-2013, 04:06 PM
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Perhaps look into the Camphill movement? Or search for "therapeutic" along with "Waldorf" or "anthroposophy". You may even try looking at "Waldorf extra lessons."

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