We are going to home school our son for kindergarten next year. I don't really consider it "next year" in my head, because we already do things, but for other peoples reference, I say next year.
We've had trouble getting our son help through the school system, or even through therapy. He was diagnosed with autism this past summer, but to be honest, we don't even agree with it. We just did the evaluation so we could maybe get our insurance to cover speech therapy, but they did not. When we went through the school, it took 8 months to even get an IEP meeting. They told me they cared more about their paper work than our son, so I told them to shove it.
In their evaluation, they said he had an IQ of 52. My head almost exploded. He was not even 5 years old. He knew his upper and lower case letters, all of his letter sounds, was showing signs of wanting to learn to read. He knew/knows all of his shapes, colors, numbers to 20. He can draw a detailed stick person and some letters. And because he didn't want to cooperate the day of the 15 minute evaluation, they said he was "below 2% in intelligence for his age". She even said "He did the stuff right for (the OT) but since he didn't do it the first time I asked, I didn't give him credit." Yet, the forms they had DH and I fill out, based on our answers, he was just below average according to my forms in his development, and above average related to his peers for DH's. I filled mine out based on his absolute worst behavior, and DH just did his on his normal days. So I decided that wasn't the best path. I believe we should focus on his strengths and branch from there. Not label him as something they even admit he is not, and not expect him to reach his full potential.
My step MIL however, says he NEEDS school. She's a preschool teacher, btw. She says any two year old that throws a temper tantrum needs an evaluation because there's "something wrong with it". Her words, "something wrong with it" if a child that is TWO has a temper tantrum. She also says all children should be potty trained by 2, or they have bad parents and something wrong with them. Yet, I still let her words bother me and make me doubt. Then I think, if she is a person who works with these children, and openly talks about how stupid she thinks her other grandchild is in front of that grandchild, how can I expect strangers to teach my child and give him the confidence he needs to succeed? Not all teachers are like that, but I am not going to risk that with my kid. I was in the school while he was getting an eval, I saw that they swatted at a preschooler who was literally moving her hand while in line. Those kids weren't allowed to move, talk, or do anything during their lunch. It was unreal.
We stopped occupational therapy and speech in May. I've seen more gains in DS since then than I ever saw going. When we started OT, he could use regular scissors. They trained him to use safety scissors then sent paper work saying he couldn't use scissors to his pedi to keep him enrolled. They TRAINED him to not be able to use regular scissors, then said he couldn't. He was also left handed. They wouldn't let him use his left hand, even at my protest, and then said he had poor fine motor skills, because of course he couldn't grasp the pen firmly in his less dominate hand. These are the reasons I pulled him from that. And guess what? Working with me, he's mastering both again.
I feel there is a war on kids right now. I never suspected our kid had autism, nor did 4 different doctors in his first three years. But he did have an obvious speech problem. It was then that things spiraled out of control. The speech therapist then sent us to the OT. They sent us for a diagnosis, with papers that already said autism. So they didn't listen to us there either. They literally told us "When we get an autism referral, 99% of the time, it's right. So you have to prove to me otherwise". The school was a joke. They didn't want to help, and when they did the evaluation, I TOLD THEM he is slow to warm up to adults, yet two women took him alone into a room for 30 minutes total and supposedly performed an OT eval and a psych eval, complete with an IQ test? Bull crap.
I'm just venting, I know what I'm choosing to do is right and best. It might not be the path others take, but so far, it's proving to be the right one for him. Perhaps we've had a case of bad luck. Perhaps this is the universe trying to lead us on this path, I don't know. I know public school is wonderful for so many children, but for mine, I don't think it's going to be the right fit. I knew thought I'd homeschool. It was never in my mind, or thoughts, or even a possibility when we chose to have children. Funny how life works like that, isn't it? It can take you on a direction you never meant to take!
This long winded story is to let you know where we are coming from and to see if there have been any other mothers to follow a similar path. Perhaps we can be friends and go through this journey together!
Wow, what a crappy experience! Most people I know have had good experiences with OTs. On the other hand, many of us are here (homeschooling) because the schools weren't able to give our children what they needed. We can relate. Don't worry about grandma, it isn't uncommon to have at least one family member that is negative about homeschooling. Sometimes, they end up being the biggest supporters in the end, but not always. Either way, you can either vent here or ask for advise. Most of us have. :-)
Welcome to the board. Welcome to homeschooling. I hope that you and your son enjoy it as much as we do. It isn't always perfect, but it is the right choice for us. That knowledge helps us get through the hard days. Good luck!
Mom to three very active girls Anna (15), Kayla (12), Maya (9).
Thanks! I hope to prove them wrong. :) I got another comment last night on "socialization". It seems to be the first thing out of peoples mouths. I try not to get huffy and say "There are ways to socialize and home school at the same time."
She even said "He did the stuff right for (the OT) but since he didn't do it the first time I asked, I didn't give him credit."
She says any two year old that throws a temper tantrum needs an evaluation because there's "something wrong with it".
I TOLD THEM he is slow to warm up to adults, yet two women took him alone into a room for 30 minutes total and supposedly performed an OT eval and a psych eval, complete with an IQ test? Bull crap.
This stuff drives me bonkers. I once went to an eating therapist when dd1 was 3yo and she commented negatively that my daughter couldn't focus. Right. In a roomful of cool toys she would have loved to play with, and she made the choice to not eat for the therapist but to play with the toy birthday cake. OK... am I just missing that all other (medically normal) kids are compliant and immediately trusting of strange adults? I thought that was rather unusual, but apparently I'm wrong.
Good luck to you. It sounds like he's thriving.
"She is a mermaid, but approach her with caution. Her mind swims at a depth most would drown in."
Exactly. After what we have been through, I am convinced that unless someone comes into a home with a child and spends a couple of days with them, then their "opinion" on my child isn't relevant. I've talked to multiple people whose children were diagnosed with autism who were in the same situation as us. (a tiny 4 foot by 4 foot room with no windows that was extremely hot, limited toys, and a practitioner who had already made their mind up about a diagnosis before they even began.) A child isn't going to interact with you if you don't interact with them. I teach my kids not to go with strangers, but then I'm like "Ok son, go with this lady and perform for her or else..." Boggles the mind.
Like you, I never thought I'd homeschool but circumstances conspired to push me onto this path. I am so happy I discovered homeschooling and unschooling. It has opened up a world of opportunities for my kids and they are thriving. I am sorry to hear about what your son went through. The bottom line is no one knows your child as much as you do. No one could ever advocate for him as well as you. No one has more vested interest in his success than you do. You already know all this. That you have come to this understanding means your homeschooling journey is starting off in a stellar manner.
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