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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We'll have to be registering and notifying the State that we are homeschooling. I am having some trouble trying to adapt HSing ideas that I find to working with MJ. Any ideas would help!

I couldn't find a thread about this and couldn't decide where to put it, so if Mods want to move it to Special Needs Parneting feel free.
 

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I didn't really know what type of advise you were looking for but I just wanted to let you know that my ds is special needs and we're homeschooling. He's only 5, though so we don't realy have much experience. My ds has asbergers and apraxia, among others. We don't usually like labels but it's helpful when trying to network with people in similar situations and researching.
 

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A huge support for me when ds was in the process of being diagnosed (he has Tourette's plus some sensory integration stuff, and an anxiety disorder and clinical depression that "magically" disappeared when he started to hs
) was a Yahoo group that I actually helped to found (and how proud am I to see it all grown up now,
). It started out as an off-shoot from a TS board, but has grown now to be a very general special needs homeschooling board with parents dealing with all sorts of special needs.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/HS-Plus/

This was the one place where I found not only support, but a whole community of parents who knew exactly what I was going through before and after I pulled ds. I haven't been active on there in a long time, but I still get the digests and it seems to be a very knowledgeable community for all sorts of info/accomodations/advice.
 

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My five year old has been diagnosed with SID/SDI. I don't know what the extent of your daughter's special needs are, but for my daughter, "adapting" to her needs mainly looks like unschooling, as she functions much better when she structures her environment to meet her sensory needs.

Namaste!
 

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Another momma with a homeschooling SN kiddo. My middle kid (Dd1) is currently Dx'd with SID and we are on the waiting list for a specialty clinic to go through all the testing to find out what all else is going on. When she is getting therapy you wouldn't know that she had any issues unless an extreme situation popped up, so her not being in therapy for the last six months has been no fun at all. We are hoping to be into the testing by the end of the year.

May have pushed that we should be structuring her days like it would be at school. But until she is in therapy again I don't think that is going to work.

I'm not sure what kind of information you are looking for but I'm sure that between all of us we can figure each others hurdles out.
 

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Unschooling with a special needs kid here. YoungSon is 10, and dx'd with PDD-NOS, SID, PTSD, depression, and I don't remember what all else. The majority of his "symptoms" simply don't exist at home. He was in public school and OT and ST, preschool through half of first grade. I saw little or no progress in that time, academically or therapuetically. His behavior was never violent or disruptive, but he was totally unengaged with the program. We moved then and I never got around to setting up services in the new town. By the time we were settled in the new house, it was nearly summer vacation, and after summer, I kept him home. The difference was dramatic! Much of his anxiety was gone, and he became the happy little boy he was meant to be. His speech blossomed in that time; whether that was due to neurological maturing or less pressure, we will never know.

Last year, our situation changed and I had to go to work full time (single parent). I enrolled the kids in the local public school, and within a couple weeks I was getting near-daily calls from the principle to pick him up early. New IEPs were done, and he was sent to a different program that was HORRIBLE! Long story for another day, but I sent him there 5 days, and pulled him. It has been over a year, and he still hasn't quite recovered, but things are better. I cut my work hours to 3 days, and spend as much relaxed time as I can with the kids. YoungSon now sees a specialized (dyslexia and autism) tutor for reading, and in just a couple months has gone from zero to 2nd grade level! The school system was not able to reach him, although I give the first school lots of credit for trying.

Homeschooling for us means mainly museum trips and my reading to him. He flourishes with little or no structure. He helps in our home business, in the garden, and plays with one friend. He is returning to his "real" self - an interesting, insightful, and funny guy, who functions perfectly well in the world we have created for him. If he were back in school, I suppose they could somehow learn to control him, but I know it would break his delicate spirit. Or maybe they wouldn't, and his "uncooperative" side would turn violent. Don't know, and I don't really care, as I know I won't be trying that again. I like having my kid back too much.
 

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Welcome back to MDC Bonnie!!!!

I'm HSing a child with ADD and emotional problems, but my DD's needs and abilities are completely different than what MJ is dealing with. The last time we chatted MJ wasn't able to talk- is that still the case?

The only thing I can definitely suggest is to read to her a lot. I can't give any more specific advice without knowing what her current abilities are.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ruthla View Post
Welcome back to MDC Bonnie!!!!

I'm HSing a child with ADD and emotional problems, but my DD's needs and abilities are completely different than what MJ is dealing with. The last time we chatted MJ wasn't able to talk- is that still the case?

The only thing I can definitely suggest is to read to her a lot. I can't give any more specific advice without knowing what her current abilities are.
Thanks, it's nice to be back
MJ is now 6 and we have to declare HS or Public school here in FLA. I really want to homeschool her as I think they will tell me she is *too functional* for a fulltime para and I have zero confidence that they can train her in school. Plus we have had 3 teachers in the last couple years arrested for abusing non verbal special needs kids.

Here is the short rundown on MJ for everyone.

She has a rare type of brain damage called Polymicrogyria (PMG) and pachgyria it has to do with the way the folds in the brain are forming in the second trimester, they don't know why it happens, but in MJ's case they are pretty sure it was the drugs and alcohol. Because of this brain damage, she has:
*Autism (Hypersocial, low functioning [so many ppl tell me that our neuro is wrong and she can't possibly have it, sigh] she scored 5o+ on the Autism Behavior Checklist)
*Cerebral Palsy affecting mostly her left side (her brain damage is on the right)
*Feeding Issues she's been on a feeding pump since she was 15 months old and most likely always will be
*Vision and hearing affected on the left side
*Global Developmental Delays
*Epilepsy
*Speeh Issues (She says a few single words clearly, more that only I can understand, a LOT that no one can understand, including me, frustrat8ing for both of us.)
*Auditory Processing Disorder

and the following that are not a part of the PMG/Pachgyria
*Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
*S-curve scoliosis
* Damage to the soft tissue near her spinal opening that mimics Spina Bifida
*No control over bowels or bladder may relate to above damage

I do use sign with her, but she has a hard time with it (physically) and she still won't string words together at all only twice has she used three words together and only once was it an actual sentence. Kids with PMG usually have some level of mental retardation, we haven't had her tested yet. I have been unschooling, basically trying to teach whatever I was doing (for example we go to Animal Kingdom at WDW 3 or 4 times a month) so before we go I will brush up on facts on a certain animal and tell them to her, but she never responds and I am not at all sure that she is getting it. I've also been doing a lot of self help skills, she still can't dress herself, brush her teeth, etc....I've also got Before Five in a Row, but that is way over her head. We do a lot of trying to learn objects names, learn the alphabet, numbers, etc....so far, no success at all.....

So I guess my question is how do you follow a kid who is clearly way younger than physical age....on a good day she might be 3 (although every three yo I know talks better than her, dresses themselves, is potty training (that may be physical though)) I am feeling a little discouraged, she is clearly never going to be a workbook sort of kid, but how do you get enough progress to show them at the end of the year for evaluation?

Sorry it was so long....
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by MommytoMJM View Post

So I guess my question is how do you follow a kid who is clearly way younger than physical age....on a good day she might be 3 (although every three yo I know talks better than her, dresses themselves, is potty training (that may be physical though)) I am feeling a little discouraged, she is clearly never going to be a workbook sort of kid, but how do you get enough progress to show them at the end of the year for evaluation?

Sorry it was so long....
Think of how an IEP is written - specific skillls assessment, with specific measurable goals, i.e.:

Communication skills: MJ now uses 15 signs - by June she will demonstrate receptive understanding of 10 new signs, and use 5 expressively.

Self-care skills: MJ now needs full assitance to brush her teeth. By June, she will bring the preared toothbrush to her mouth independently, and participate in brushing with hand over hand assistance.

Those were just examples - I have no idea what skills she has, or what you would want to work on (or say you are working on). Anyway, I think if you can document her current level in specific terms, then at the end of the year can show some progress in those areas, you will let the evalutors see some advancement. Progress doesn't have to be academic.

Good luck - I wouldn't worry too much about it if I were you. I think if they can see that you are concerned, not neglegtful, they will be happy to keep their noses out.
 

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my DD is special needs also

*ETA* after reading 2 posts above with your dd's diagnosis list, i was SHOCKED at how closely Abbi relates to your DD.

Abbi is 5. On a GOOD day she acts MAYBE 2/3.

She has global development delays, dyspraxia, feeding issues (currently dealing with some failure to thrive & not growing as a result), sensory integration disorder, auditory processing disorder, mild cortical visual impairment, epilepsy (myoclonic & aestatic seizures), speech issues (only says a few words clearly - just like your DD!!!), sleep issues (currently on 3x the adult dose of melatonin to help), mild hyperactivity and low attention span (not DX'd as ADHD but not eval'd for it either). She is also not potty trained.

We are just focusing on her current development level and teaching pre-k/preschool lessons. We're working mostly on life skills and communication in addition to sensory therapies and fine/gross motor skills. My major goals for Abbi are to learn to be more independent. those are the first steps i think for us.

i'd love to keep in contact with the other SN homeschoolers - support is key!
 

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My 3 year old son is special needs. he suffered a stroke before he was born, and suffers weakness down his left side. This makes it interesting as he is a predominant leftie, preferring to step out with his left foot, as well as prefering to write or color with his left. To make up for the tiredness and cramping, he has learned to start swapping to his right so has been becoming ambidextrous. The plan is to teach him to write with both hands, letting him choose which hand he holds the pencil in when.

he also has a few other related issues and other unrelated issues LOL
These issues meshed toether to cause a lot of problems!

They were/are:
he had a severe tongue tie...his tongue was heart shaped, and he could not swallow, chew, or speak. Treatment lottery meant one hospital refused to cut his tongue free until he was 4 or 5 and still having issues , so change of drs and hospital got him sent to a specialist children's hospital where he underwent the surgery on his 2nd birthday, and learned to eat, speak, sallow, etc after a lot of hard work from me and the occasional visit by a speech therapist to our home.

he had severe GERD and breastfeeding did not help. he was put on Ranitidine as well as powdered Gaviscon. The acids were destroying enzymes he needed to digest certain foods, so he also ended up on Nutrimagen formula and high calorie formula. He had to be fed using special bottles and a tube in his mouth due to the tongue tie problems.

Once he had his surgery and was on mushed up solids, the GERD reared its head again despite the meds. Not wanting to pump him with more meds, we sought advice from a homeopath, who advised that pesticide traces in foods might be irritating his inflamed gut and oesaphagus. We switched to organic and saw a dramatic change . We also introduced lactase enzyme back into his body, and live yogurt made with soya. His guts began to heal and we were able to reduce his meds. Anyways, i digress.

All these problems caused him to be delayed developing and he could not move about. After a lot of therapy and lifestylle changes made for him, he looks like any other 3 1/2 year old pretty much, but he is not. In addition to the weakness down the entire left side, the neurological damage has had other effects, such as the fact that while he will be 4 in early may, he just now is on a 3 year old level socially, emotionally, and in some of the cognitive ways that indicates "school readiness" for things like reading and writing.he also shows signs of having mild Aspberger's.

He is mostly potty trained, being wet most nights.

Homeschooling him has been fun. We are doing a lot of preschooly type activities, adn will continue to do so, tailoring to his progress level in the different areas as time passes. We are told he shows a very high IQ with teh cognitive difficulties being delys that he willc atch up on. Indeed, the "experts" tell us they are not really 2delays" as such as many children are not ready to read and write until 7 and the the benchmark is arbitray because of school class structures. he knows his ABCs to sing them, can pick out and beginning to "write" the numbers and a few of teh letters, and what not, so i am certain with time and support, when he has progressed to the correct point he WILL read.

Sorry to waffle on.
 

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has apraxia and dysarthria in addition to hand birth defects. We do all the toddler stuff with him in addition to him home oral motor exercises. Right now our OT wants hime to color on paper tapes to the wall. Apparently coloring while standing up is a good way to learn how to hold a crayon correctly. (He has 2 thumbs and 4 fingers.)

His older brother is 10 and has Asperger's. He's brilliant yet immature (wipes his dirty hands on his shirt, traded a $5 for a $1 just to get a soda in a drama class he was taking). He likes workbooks. I tried unit studies and less school-y things but he likes predictability and things concrete like problems on paper! LOL!

My girls are neurotypical. They like art and making things with FIMO clay.

Sincerely,
Debra, homeschooling mom of 4 ages 10, 9, 7, and 45 mos

*I live in FL too; Central FL.
 

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My DS is special needs, although not to the extent that many are. I have long ago given up the labels but basically he is "emotionally handicapped" according to the school system. I've found that homeschooling has allowed so much more learning than the school system did, just because I can go with my gut and teach him what we feel he should know and what he can handle, in ways that work for him.

I would say go with your gut. Every experience in life is a lesson waiting to be learned, every walk, every book, every step. You made a great decision, bringing your child home.

I second the vote on reading all you can, as well. Learn as much as you can about how a child with these disabilities learns and the hurdles they can face, and how others have helped children with the disabilities that yours has, and use what works, and discard what doesnt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thank you all so much for responding, this thread has been a great help already, it's hard for me since I was schooled regularly (although I dropped out at the beginning of my Sophomore year, I got two AA's later on) I am a very schooly type of person and MJ is most definitley not. She likes to explore and bring things to me (for example she wanted to watch my tapes on HI and now is using my mortar and pestle to mimic the guy making poi on TV) to talk about and I get all hung up on needing to have *lessons* to really be schooling her...maybe I need a progress Journal...hmmmmmmmm

Quote:

Originally Posted by kandkrose View Post
my DD is special needs also

*ETA* after reading 2 posts above with your dd's diagnosis list, i was SHOCKED at how closely Abbi relates to your DD.

Abbi is 5. On a GOOD day she acts MAYBE 2/3.

This is soooo MJ

She has global development delays, dyspraxia, feeding issues (currently dealing with some failure to thrive & not growing as a result), sensory integration disorder, auditory processing disorder, mild cortical visual impairment, epilepsy (myoclonic & aestatic seizures), speech issues (only says a few words clearly - just like your DD!!!), sleep issues (currently on 3x the adult dose of melatonin to help), mild hyperactivity and low attention span (not DX'd as ADHD but not eval'd for it either). She is also not potty trained.

We are just focusing on her current development level and teaching pre-k/preschool lessons. We're working mostly on life skills and communication in addition to sensory therapies and fine/gross motor skills. My major goals for Abbi are to learn to be more independent. those are the first steps i think for us.

i'd love to keep in contact with the other SN homeschoolers - support is key!

They do seem to have so much in common, too bad you don't live closer, I am having a heck of a time finding MJ playmates (she just met one a week ago, she's 10)but that is it, all her other *friends* are adults. MJ has been on heavy duty sleeping meds since she was 15 months old, otherwise she only sleeps 2 hours at a time (ugh) It would be great to exchange ideas since the girls are so similar, I'll PM you!

Quote:

Originally Posted by mamarhu View Post
Think of how an IEP is written - specific skillls assessment, with specific measurable goals, i.e.:

Communication skills: MJ now uses 15 signs - by June she will demonstrate receptive understanding of 10 new signs, and use 5 expressively.

Self-care skills: MJ now needs full assitance to brush her teeth. By June, she will bring the preared toothbrush to her mouth independently, and participate in brushing with hand over hand assistance.

Those were just examples - I have no idea what skills she has, or what you would want to work on (or say you are working on). Anyway, I think if you can document her current level in specific terms, then at the end of the year can show some progress in those areas, you will let the evalutors see some advancement. Progress doesn't have to be academic.

This is where I get stuck to some degree.....

Good luck - I wouldn't worry too much about it if I were you. I think if they can see that you are concerned, not neglegtful, they will be happy to keep their noses out.
That helps a lot! I am really worried about the school district here, they don't seem to want to do therapies on SNK's who are HS'd so I think I have an uphill fight if I want help from them....

Quote:

Originally Posted by AuntLavender View Post
has apraxia and dysarthria in addition to hand birth defects. We do all the toddler stuff with him in addition to him home oral motor exercises. Right now our OT wants hime to color on paper tapes to the wall. Apparently coloring while standing up is a good way to learn how to hold a crayon correctly. (He has 2 thumbs and 4 fingers.)

His older brother is 10 and has Asperger's. He's brilliant yet immature (wipes his dirty hands on his shirt, traded a $5 for a $1 just to get a soda in a drama class he was taking). He likes workbooks. I tried unit studies and less school-y things but he likes predictability and things concrete like problems on paper! LOL!

My girls are neurotypical. They like art and making things with FIMO clay.

Sincerely,
Debra, homeschooling mom of 4 ages 10, 9, 7, and 45 mos

*I live in FL too; Central FL.
We live right behind the Magic Kingdom (literally) do you know of any special needs homeschool groups? I can't find any and the few NT groups I tried she didn't fit into.
 

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You have a lot on your plate with her.

Our son was diagnosed PDD-NOS and he has Asperger's. My Grandfather had it. I'm choosing not to get diagnosed, but my dh firmly believes I have it. My dh has ADD. Our youngest has Apraxia.

We have tried public school twice at two different schools.

It just didn't work for us. My oldest with AS is a bit behind in some areas and farther in others. I try to remember that when I work with him. I try not to but heads with him either. We both get set into something and it's hard for us to back out. But, I'm the adult, so I try to model good behavior.

There is a really good site for a woman who's child is on the spectrum. My son is very high functioning. Her daughter is not so much. But, I am so impressed with her love and dedication.

http://home.earthlink.net/~tammyglaser798/authome.html

I think she shows how she works with her daughter. I was really moved by it and it really built my confidence in working with all three of my boys. My boys are happy to be back home again. My oldest was picked on terribly by a few bullies. He won't fight back because he is really into being fair and good.

Anywhoo...I'll stop gabbing. I hope you got a lot of encouragement and you will find some other's nearby to help support you.
 

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I haven't read all the replies in detail so my apologies if I am repeating stuff ...

We HS our 5 1/2-year-old son who has autism and global delays. In some areas he is a little ahead of his 2-year-old brother, but in most areas he is quickly falling behind or has been behind all along. We do a form of ABA for his home program and he is still very much pre-academic/self-help in his program goals. We use the ABLLS (Assessment of Basic Language and Learning) to determine his target goals, where to go next when he gains skills, etc. We have mimimal supervision through our Center for Disabilities with a behavior therapist but mostly do stuff on our own. The ABLLS covers pretty much everything except play skills for basic skills through roughly 5 years of age, or what a typically developing child of that age would be expected to have for abilities and self-help skills.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
SandyBeachBums, thanks for the link, it was great, I have it bookmarked. I have been thinking this week about what to do and am still trying to figure it out. I have several HS books, it's overwhelming to look at them, so I have decided to set most of them aside for now and focus on 2, The Homeschool Journey by Susan and Michael Card and HSing the Early Years by Linda Dobson.

I also really want to find a good board that has a lot of info and folks HSing that I can ask questions of and a local HS group that has Kids with Exceptionalities in them so that MJ can have some playmates...if anyone has any idea how to do those things I am open to hearing it.

I also am making it a goal to get up and take Andrew to work one or two days a weeks so that I can take MJ on some field trips.

So what is going on with all of you guys lately?
 
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