Asperger's & School-- xpost w/Special Needs - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 02-08-2005, 12:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My mother is going through hell trying to figure out what my niece is going to do for school next year. She'll be five in July, and while she's "academically" more than ready for kindergarten, there are things which she just can't do; for example, she can read and she's just getting to the point where she can answer comprehension questions, but she can't hold a pencil or crayon well enough to circle a picture, to say nothing of writing her name.

The school district told her that there's a class for students like her at one of the schools, but my mother snickered at them because we've got a friend who's a substitute teacher in the district and he's told us that many of the special education classes haven't had regular teachers for this school year; some of them haven't had teachers at all.

I don't think that I could handle homeschooling her. She's a sweet kid, and she's very very smart, but she requires a lot more attention than I think I can give her, since I'm home alone with at least two kids most of the time. So what have you ladies done with regards to the school situation? I'm just looking for ideas here, I have no idea how we'll end up dealing with this, but I'd hate to see my niece suffer through school. It's just so complicated, with the asynchronous development, you know?

Rynna, Mama to Bean (8), Boobah (6), Bella (4) and Bear (2)
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#2 of 8 Old 02-08-2005, 01:12 PM
 
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I do homeschool my son who has Asperger's, but here are some ideas about using the public school:
Firstly, if she has a diagnosis, then she is entitled to an Individualized Educational Plan (IEP), which will allow for her special needs to be met. According to law, she shoudl be placed in the least restrictive environment (regular ed class in her case), and then modifications can be made for her. She should have Occuparional Therapy (paid for by the school, and probably done during school hours) to work on her fine motor skills, but she also should have some sort of modification to the curriculum which would allow her to do written work orally with an aid doing the writing, use a computer/typewriter, or have some other system in place that allows her intelligence to come through without relying on fine motor skills. Also, if she has sensory issues and gets overloaded, or has tantrums frequently, she needs some sort of "safe place" available to her. Her social issues should also be addressed in her IEP- social skills group, buddies system, frienship circle, or something. Education for the teacher, and possibly for the students is also not a bad idea.
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#3 of 8 Old 02-08-2005, 03:20 PM
 
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Hey mama - I'm going to an Autism/Asberger's conference in Mechanicsburg on Friday the 11th - isn't that close to you?
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#4 of 8 Old 02-08-2005, 03:54 PM
 
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I agree, get an IEP. ALso, contact your state FEAT group, they should have resources for you. (Oh, it stands for Families for Effective Autism Treatment, I think.) It varies from state to state, and even from school district, but you may be able to get a behavioral therapist to assist her at school and sometimes to work after school.
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#5 of 8 Old 02-09-2005, 07:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kofduke
Hey mama - I'm going to an Autism/Asberger's conference in Mechanicsburg on Friday the 11th - isn't that close to you?
It's right up the road! Would you mind PMing me with more info?

She'll definately have an IEP; I'm just wondering exactly how effective it'll be. I had an IEP myself and it wasn't all that helpful to me.

Where can I find more information on FEAT? Do they have a website?

Rynna, Mama to Bean (8), Boobah (6), Bella (4) and Bear (2)
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#6 of 8 Old 02-09-2005, 10:07 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eilonwy
She'll definately have an IEP; I'm just wondering exactly how effective it'll be. I had an IEP myself and it wasn't all that helpful to me.

Where can I find more information on FEAT? Do they have a website?
FEAT THere are links on the right to local FEAT groups.

Also, they may be able to help you find an advocate who can come with you (or your mom)to the IEP meetings.

I used to work with kids on the autism spectrum, and usually the best IEP meetings were the ones where the parents had someone else there. Otherwise the school personnel can be intimidating.

HTH
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#7 of 8 Old 02-10-2005, 02:32 PM
 
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no real advice...

but my nephew is an Aspie, and his IEP is working great... the school is so helpful and he's flourishing at public school.

i don't know all the details, and my sis works with him a lot but it CAN work

an example....the principal was worried about his reaction to a last minute substitute (the rule is that they call the nght before, so my nephew can be prepared - otherwise, he has been known to get in his locker and close the door!) so he walked to the bus and met him personally, walked him to class and introduced them

good luck!
aspies can be a challenge but their sensitive souls are a blessing as well
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#8 of 8 Old 02-11-2005, 10:12 PM
 
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Rynna - I assume you weren't there - but one of the speakers mentioned that there is a mom's group in York that is doing absolutely amazing things with Asberger's kids, and that they are achieving social competence that he's never seen before. Thought you might want to look into it - if you need his email LMK.
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