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How do you educate your autism spectum child/ren?

  • public school

    Votes: 5 41.7%
  • homeschool

    Votes: 7 58.3%
  • private school

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • autism centered therapy school

    Votes: 0 0.0%
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been grappling with this for some time now. My dd is diagnosed autistic, age 3 1/2. I had been planning to homeschool her since birth. However I know she needs the social interaction, and I cant seem to find anyplaygroups/ playdates for her {we're not from here and moved recently}. Ive had a lot of pressure on me from well meaning family members to put her in some kind of a program. I looked into the local preschool for developmentally delayed kids and it just wasn;t for us - the only therapy offered was 1/2 hr/wk of sp ther, and the therapists' style clashed with my dd who would hardly speak to her or make eye contact, etc. etc. I found a different sp therapist and am currently paying out of pocket for an hour a week with a therapist my dd enjoys. If I could afford more therapy I would do so. We are still homeschooling and looking into playgroup options - we may start going to the kids' hour at the museum or something like that.<br><br>
She counted to 3 yesterday for the first time!! Yea!<br><br>
aside to any homeschoolers:My family acts like I have to prove homeschooling "works" or I should just send her to school. How about yours?<br><br>
edited - I'm new to this whole polling thing bear with me please. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1">
 

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homeschool. We tried private school this past school year, with less than desirable results. She needs far too much attention & help staying on task. Which her ever-so-anti-special-needs teacher was helpful enough to write on her permanent record. so it's back to full time HS'ing for us. It's going to be rocky with a new baby, a new home and all of that, but we'll make it through.<br><br>
I think all mainstream people expect homeschoolers to have to prove their worth and abilities. Those of us with special needs kids just get a lot more pointed questions and people seem to be more vocal with their doubts...
 

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nak.......... my soon to be 5yr old ds is PDD/NOS and has been in public preschool since he was 3. He goes M-F 9:15-11:45 and a summer program M-Th 8-12. He also receives 10 hrs/week of aba therapy at home. He is entering full inclusion kindegarten this fall <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"> The teachers at his school are great!! His teacher this year also specialized in special needs teaching. He is in a class of about 15 4-5 yr olds with about 4 of them being special needs. He really has come a long way since that first day.
 

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Mine is homeschooled, not due to her issues but avoiding IEP nightmares is a perk. Her older Brub has been hsed all along.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">aside to any homeschoolers:My family acts like I have to prove homeschooling "works" or I should just send her to school. How about yours?</td>
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I don't really have family, but hub's hates the idea. They didn't expect me to prove it, they just flat told me it was wrong. Thankfully these are my kids and they have zero say in the matter. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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I didn't vote b/c he's still too young to be considered homeschooled as per several MDC mamas <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll"> , but I do work with him at home. He qualified for sn preschool for being devel disabled thru our county (EI) so they are working out his curriculum and schedule now. We'll just have to see how it goes. I think he'll be going 3 days a week for about an hour each day, but I'm not sure. I've been thinking about this a lot, actually. I have no problems continuing to teach him at home, but I think that especially in the area of OT that he needs outside help.<br><br>
CONGRATS on her counting!!! You must've been so proud of her! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"><br><br>
Oh-about h's'ing-my family thinks that is a less than optimal form of education. I don't really care, b/c I know how far Ian has come, and I also know it is b/c of MY hard work in helping him maximize his potential.
 

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My student attended a public EI "autism classroom" for three years and it was awful. (during that time, I worked with him 5 hours a day 5 days a week at his home using ABA/Floortime/dynamic teaching methods) This past year (K) he was included in a regular kindergarten class at his local elementary school (no more bussing!) and got 4 hours a day from me. It didn't work out as well as we hoped, mostly because the school really didn't provide the support his 1:1 aide needed. Next fall he'll be attending a new special day class within his existing school with only about 4 other students, and he'll be assigned to a specific first grade for as much mainstreaming as he can handle so he can still see his friends from his current class and not be segregated.<br><br>
IMO - success in the public school system depends on:<br>
a) how much training the student's teacher and 1:1 aide have,<br>
b) how much those adults work on establishing a relationship with the student<br>
c) how much support the school provides if the student is included in a regular class<br>
d) how included those who already know the student are in creating IEP goals and finding the student's best learning methods<br><br>
For example, my student's first aide quit in April and he got a new one. This new one has been much more successful with him, I believe, because although she does have a mild-moderate credential, that's not as important as the fact that she really loves him and spends time fostering their relationship. He's very sensitive to other people's emotions and energy levels and we can see how much he picks up on her's.<br><br>
Another thing that has really helped - and unfortunately this just happened - was that he was evaluated for augmentative communication and assistive technology devices and he now has several he can use in the classroom to more easily interact with peers, give messages to people, ask questions, etc. And these devices are really neat and so his peers are really interested in using them with him.<br><br>
So, to sum it up, I think that both a home and school component to education are very important for children with autism. I think the 1:1 attention, quieter environment, and environment filled with toys and objects and activities a student likes that he/she couldn't do at school is very important to provide motivation for learning new skills and activities. But unless you plan to have your child in a 1:1 setting for the rest of his/her life, he/she also needs to be included with typical peers who will model appropriate language, play, and social interactions; plus you want your child to be able to learn how to negotiate the "typical" world with sensory distractions, people, various interactions, etc.
 

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Ds is almost four and I voted homeschooling. Technically we aren't teaching him yet, but we do work with him at home. He recieves one hour a week of speech therapy through the school system. They would like for us to have him enrolled in the PPCD program but I said no way. I won't send my 3 yr old to a school classroom 6hrs a day 5 days a week to learn bad habits from the teacher and other students. They were furious, but hey I'm the mama. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/mischievous.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="mischief"> This is the second year in a row we have refused PPCD and will be refusing special ed K next year. Actually Ds is doing so well now that he may out grow his speech delay and PDD NOS diagnosis in the next few years any way. Of course we will still have to work on the SID, but who is better equiped to handle that, me or the public school system?<br><br>
As for proving that homeschooling works, some people in the family seem to feel that way. My mom keeps telling me I need to push him to do worksheets, "He'll never do school work for you if you cant get him to settle down now." She just doesn't understand that ds isn't the settle down and learn from a worksheet type. Dh's parents are supportive, but his siblings aren't. Oh well, I don't think they are doing the best thing for their children either. :LOL
 

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I voted hs. We tried a private school for pre k- thinking the smaller setting would be better for him. He was miserable. The children teased him. The teacher nagged almost every day that he was too far behind and not ever going to catch up. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">:<br>
After about 5 months we pulled him. We are all much happier now. We found a large hs group in our area. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"> He thrives on one on one, but loves the group activites. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks to everybody for responding. I wanted to get an idea of what other ap minded parents do for their asd kids.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">But unless you plan to have your child in a 1:1 setting for the rest of his/her life, he/she also needs to be included with typical peers who will model appropriate language, play, and social interactions; plus you want your child to be able to learn how to negotiate the "typical" world with sensory distractions, people, various interactions, etc.</td>
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I totally see your point here. Thank you for your observations. I think it is possible to provide these kinds of interactions while homeschooling however. I personally havent gotten that far yet. Soon. {Im buying a car w/in a month}
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>PikkuMyy</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">So, to sum it up, I think that both a home and school component to education are very important for children with autism.</div>
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I agree with this whole-heartedly. I didn't vote because we do both. Our school district is wonderful, and my kids have done very well with the people who care (emphasize *care*) for them. BUT -- my oldest son who has autism has always been happiest when learning, so I have always had lots of school time at home as well. We used to do lots of picture schedules, and I used to structure his free time like his school time. Now we can be more flexible, but our summer days are going to be filled with learning opportunities. I even have lesson plans written out because my kids thrive that way. I've never believed that schooling needs to be *either* homeschooling *or* an educational setting.
 

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I didn't vote because we are in flux. Ben has attended a private church based preschool (2 days per week, 9-12) for the past 2 years and up until this spring, really did well there. He didn't have any behavioral problems, cooperated with the teachers, talked about school positively. But something happened in April (at home, at school? we have no idea) that sent him into aggression and then this "no talking" thing.<br><br>
So while he is registered for 3 mornings a week next fall, we are also in the process of getting him evaluated for the special needs preschool. He is familiar with the teacher, because he has been going to speech at the elementary school for the last year and she always took him into the SN class for social communication work. I would not send him all day, 5 days/week because from what I understand, there is more flexibility in the SN preschool. (Ha, but as soon as the kid is 5, its all day-every day or nothing!)<br><br>
So I think him having some schooling with someone who can view his autism as something to work with will benefit him. At the church preschool, they just ignored his quirks and let him be for the most part. Good in some ways, but when he is just wandering around the playground by himself, its not so good.<br><br>
And on a "selfish" note, since I am having a baby in Nov, I think it will be better for everyone if I could get at least a few mornings a week with just the baby.<br><br>
But most likely, I will be HSing with supplemental therapy after this year.<br><br>
We have autism schools around here, and I will look into those as well, but Emory is an hour away with no traffic and much more than that if we had to get him there at 8 or 9am.
 
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