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Just a curious thought...My DS has ASD and is currently in a wonderful, integrated pre-K. We just love this little private school, but he ages out this year<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> Also, he's been acting up a lot lately at school- lots of attention seeking behaviours like screaming during story time or pushing someone unprovoked to see who will do what, KWIM? We're definitely worried about his recent escalation in behaviour- so worried that we're seeing a behavioural analyst tomorrow<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/gloomy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Gloomy">:<br><br>
Anyway- my mom suggested possibly homeschooling him until he's a little more mature. I know that socialization is a BIG deal for these kids, but part of me would like to do this. I'm scared about sending him to public school next year, in a mainstream Kindergarten with pull-out support services (speech, etc). He's kind of a "follower" and I'm worried about the bad influences he'll encounter, KWIM? I also know that he'll fight MADLY for attention.<br><br>
What do ya'll think about homeschooling a kid on the spectrum? He's already in private speech and OT, so that would obviously continue, so that's not a concern. Thanks for your thoughtful replies <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"><br><br>
Jen
 

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We actually just decided a few days ago to take the plunge and homeschool our daughter who is HFA and has severe sensory issues. She's only 3 but supposed to be starting in May a 4 day/week special needs preschool. We had originally planned on homeschooling but my confidence took a big blow when we realized the issues that dd was having and we were struggling with just daily life. I realized that I was only saying yes to putting her in the preschool because I had been made to feel I needed to hand her over to a professional by her therapists. After a really long discussion my DH and I decided that we felt that we had all the necessary components to make schooling at home work okay for our daughter.<br><br>
I think that with the right amount of outside activities, a dedicated parent (which I'm guessing you are or you wouldn't be asking this <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"> ) and your child's personality/temperment/needs it could be a really good thing. I think there can be alot of "pros" to homeschooling an ASD child: working with that child's specific needs and learning style, quieter environment for kids with sensory issues that need that (like my dd), and a teacher <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"> who is absolutely focused on what is best for that child, rather than the entire classroom. Obviously there can be some cons like socialization issues, but I think that they can be possibly be worked through. I'm guessing what level of functioning a child is at might affect the decision to homeschool also.<br><br>
I must admit I've always been a homeschool advocate, but I have to say recently making the choice to not send dd to preschool was really much harder than I thought. I think really working out a good plan to start with is really going to be important for us. I plan on having her involved in outside socialization activities and helping her practice interacting with her peers (one of her weak points). For us the socialization was a big factor of why we thought she needed the preschool. I realized that I have learned her learning style and specific special needs and I can help facilitate her interacting with others until she (hopefully) figures it out herself. We are going to be going to a friend's house once a week for a coop "preschool" and then once a week to some sort of activity like gymnastics class.<br><br>
I think if you are flexible and willing to work hard, you can definitely do it if you want. On the other hand if you either don't want to homeschool or it doesn't work out, school can be a good option if you stay involved. Best of luck to you in what you decide is best for your child and family!<br><br>
Rebecca
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Bensmommy</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7930686"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I know that socialization is a BIG deal for these kids...</div>
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Socialization is a big deal for spectrum kids in that it doesn't come easily to them, but I don't think that means he "should" be in school to be "socialized". Rather than try to force the issue with a young child, why not wait until it might be a little bit easier? He won't "fall behind" in socializing just because you don't put him into an intense social situation as a wee tyke--if anything he'll have a stronger foundation to build better social skills later.
 

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We hs our DS1, who is autistic and has multiple medical and developmental struggles. It has really allowed me to focus on what I feel is most important RIGHT NOW for his health and development. He is not able to participate in group activities in the cold/flu season due to other health concerns and low immunity, but in the summer he is quite active in and has really blossomed in many ways since pulling him out of preschool. We may consider a school setting in the future, but will base that decision on how he is doing in the future. For now, we plan to keep him home for at least 2-3 more years unless circumstances change and we feel school would be the better option. FWIW, when he was in preschool they really didn't know what to do with him, so he was allowed to wander the room pretty much at will, joining group time as he felt like it, which really meant he would sit in his chair for a couple minutes and then get up and go back to spinning his pie plates. The therapists pretty much went from one idea to another aimlessly without any clear idea of how to help him. Overall, the experience was not positive and in almost four years of PS services (home based and school based) he gained a wopping one month in development according to their tests. Other families we know whose kids are in different schools in our district have had much better experiences, so the teacher and therapists really can make a big difference! We will do a lot more research ahead of time prior to sending him back into any school setting.<br><br>
Good luck in your decision!!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Bensmommy</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7930686"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I know that socialization is a BIG deal for these kids, but part of me would like to do this.</div>
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Homeschooling will give you a great way to socialize him with kids.<br>
Really school does not socialize kids, the tell the kids to sit down and be quiet and listen. I think for any child that is hard and for my son who has sensory issues and maybe aspergers that would be torture. There are so many classes and groups out there that you can join for him to have friends and opportunities to socialize.<br><br>
Here is some great info:<br><br><a href="http://www.nathhan.com/forbes.htm" target="_blank">http://www.nathhan.com/forbes.htm</a><br><a href="http://www.geocities.com/Athens/8259/special.html" target="_blank">http://www.geocities.com/Athens/8259/special.html</a><br><a href="http://autism.suite101.com/article.cfm/autism__rethink_home_schooling_" target="_blank">http://autism.suite101.com/article.c...ome_schooling_</a><br><br>
Also go on over to the homeschooling group here on MDC, I know some mamas have special needs kiddos over there and are homeschooling.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">
 

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HSing doesn't mean "no socialization". often for kids who struggle, it means you get to control it to be more appropriate to their developmental level.<br><br>
that said, I have always been a very pro-HS person. Until my son's needs make public school more appropriate. So, for now, he's actually in school because of ASD, not in spite of it. And it's been good for him, and he'll be there as long as that's the case. Remember you can go in and out, sending him to K is not a lifelong commitment.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Individuation</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7931662"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Socialization is a big deal for spectrum kids in that it doesn't come easily to them, but I don't think that means he "should" be in school to be "socialized". Rather than try to force the issue with a young child, why not wait until it might be a little bit easier? He won't "fall behind" in socializing just because you don't put him into an intense social situation as a wee tyke--if anything he'll have a stronger foundation to build better social skills later.</div>
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That's where I stand. Also, what kind of social experiences are most likely to provide the right amount of challenge for your child--one where learning happens and there may be stretching moments, but it feels good and he does well overall. Maybe that's socializing with you and having some playdates each week instead of dealing with lots of people at once.<br><br>
I honestly believe that if my son were in school, he would need a full-time or perhaps a shared with another student aide just to help him function in that setting without being disruptive. He probably would learn something about maintaining control in a very overwhelming setting, but he'd be under a lot of control that he doesn't have to be put under at home.<br><br>
It can be hard, but I prefer homeschooling (my DS has not been evaluated, but I'm confident he's an Aspie kid and would be in 1st grade next year).<br><br>
Slowing things down academically has also been good for us. His interest in learning math and letters has really blossomed around 6 1/2, it would have been like pulling teeth at 5 1/2.<br><br>
Sherri
 

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Jen..I know that Eli's old ST in Roswell had/has social groups. If you homeschool, you can get him into one of these kind of groups where there are trained folks around to help him learn the social aspects he needs for regular school later if you choose it.<br><br>
I am positive if you join the local homeschool groups (the one that Christy and Tracey are in is fantastic and connected with that homeschool learning center in Cumming) that you will get some opportunities for social contact with other kids there too. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">
 

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I tried homeschooling the beginning of this school year w/ my oldest, who has Asperger's. It didn't work out, but I realize it was my fault. I didn't know what I was doing. I was trying to do a sort of directed unschooling type approach. As in, I wanted to let him to do what he wanted, but if he didn't want to do anything, I'd try to make him do something. Uh uh! No go! He needs a rigid schedule to know exactly when he's going to be doing what. I'm planning on homeschooling him next year, but I've signed up for a virtual charter school that adjusts to each individual kid's level. THey'll help me come up w/ a personalized daily schedule, which will be the biggest help for me. I'm excited to give it another go and ds is happy to try again as well. He chose to go to public school this year, but it was really a disaster. His current teacher is nice and works well w/ him, but the school principal, other teachers, counselor, etc, are another story. If I end up not liking the virtual school, I'll buy some other curricula and make sure I have a schedule we can stick to.<br><br>
Oh, and I think the socialization aspectof public school is grossly overrated as some other posters have pointed ou. THey're told to be quiet most of the day. THey have 45 minutes at most where they're actually ALLOWED to talk to the other kids. And even then, they're only learning how to talk to kids the exact same age as they are. THey aren't learning how to talk to adults and kids of various ages. I think homeschooled kids have an advantage in learning social skills.
 

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Just FYI, your child can still get the special needs services he qualifies for from the school district, so if there's anyone you want to continue working with, you can.<br><br>
Also, when you take a child out of school who has an IEP, the IEP still remains in effect and you _do_ have to come to IEP meetings they ask you to unless you get the IEP suspended (difficult if the child is in obvious need of services). So you have whatever is required by the state plus what is in the IEP--this isn't always a bad thing, other people end up paying an advocate to come with them to those meetings because they have to fight for services and fight against encumbring requirements that don't help their child.<br><br>
Sherri
 

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Also, I have no financial connection with this or anything, and I really like Noble Knights of Knowledge for grades 1-4 math. Works well for a visually oriented child. There are certain things the child sees well before he gets to use them, and it builds anticipation.<br><br>
It's at livelylessons.com<br><br>
Sherri
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thank you all sooooooooooo much for responding. I kept DS home today because he only got 5 hours of sleep last night<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">: and I knew it would be a recipe for disaster at school <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> . Since he's been home (he's usually in Pre-K 1/2 day), he's been doing really well, despite no sleep. It's really got me hard core thinking about HS him next year (and beyond). I've always thought HS was the way to go, but when DS showed his special needs, I kinda counted it out.<br><br>
Long story long- I'm going to really start delving into learning more about HS. Does anyone know how I should begin? I'm in Florida and don't have a clue about the state requirements for Kindergarten (gonna have to google that one <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"> ) and I'm absolutely in the dark on curiculum. I'm gonna breeze over to the HS area here, but anyone's personal recommendations are very welcome!<br><br>
Sherri- I'll check out the Noble Knights! Thanks for the tip!<br><br>
Jen
 

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wow...i totally thought you were someone i knew in GA!! so sorry! I am in Jax area of florida..I know that you have to do more here for homeschooling than you do in GA but beyond that I haven't investigated because Eli is only VPK age next fall.
 

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Usually the best way to start is to begin searching for local and statewide homeschooling organizations. You could also join some special needs homeschoolers groups and ask people hsing in Florida to pm you.<br><br>
Another thing I wanted to tag on about your child having special needs meaning that you shouldn't homeschool--while I don't mean to dis early intervention and special needs pre-K, it is important to be clear about what your goals and your child's best interests are and make sure they match the goals of the program. A whole lot of programs have getting the child ready to attend kindergarten with all the other kids as a primary goal. That shapes a lot of things.<br><br>
I hope you enjoy the excitement of homeschooling.<br><br>
And don't stress too much about curriculum, read a lot first and see what appeals to you. It can be very challenging to find the right mix of structure and flexibility.<br><br>
Sherri
 
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