big old homeschool question....
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  1. #1
    toile
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    Default big old homeschool question....

    Ok this will be a doozie....

    My son has Aspergers (though mild) and you cant tell it until the bullies show up. We have literally dealt with bullying for years and in all sorts of forms.

    Anyways we have tried literally every educational possibility there is.
    Currently I am in my car 5 hours a day to get him to a SN school. We are on a state scholarship however the gas is killing me.
    Im so sick of the drive I have nightmares about it.
    The school he's in is awesome but its really for severe and profound disabilities etc..

    Heres the thing, no HS groups are near me.
    When I drove an hour to find one my child was left out or bullied.
    So no homeschool support....

    We have only one church where he can go and have fun and ony have about 2 bullies per week. Believe me 2 is low compared to what we deal with....
    However the 2 church bullies did cause my son to stop going to church.

    I'm gonna bottom line this....
    My son is brilliant and teaches himself a lot!
    The actual education part is no problem.

    But please hear me when I say he will get little social because of his disability. GA is just not Aspergers friendly honestly...

    Can the next 4 years truly just be spent with momdad/sisters?
    Part of me says socialization is over rated, but then I remember that Aspies are lacking in the social arena and need lots of practice....

    If your still with me reading this....do you have any thoughts?
    Thanks!
    Last edited by toile; 02-08-2008 at 12:32 PM.

  2. #2
    Registered User warramra's Avatar
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    I don't have any experience homeschooling an Aspie, but I do know that there are quite a few out there that do it very successfully. Like you said they tend to be very focused on their activities and learning, and are very smart.

    But, I do homeschool with very limited exposure to our local homeschool group. I have just not enjoyed very many of the group activities. I and the kids don't miss that interaction. We find other social outlets in activities with close friends and their children, whether they are public schooled or homeschooled. We know the families and the kids and we choose who to be with.

    "Socialization" comes in many forms. My kids are not limited to socialization with age peers. They socialize with the elderly, adults and very young children. They have had to learn to be patient with people of very different abilities. All from being a part of our neighborhood, running errands and so forth. By you being with him he can have the support needed to learn how to deal with bullies and other nasty people, who regardless will always be out there. There is alot to be said about how close familial relationships help to overcome differences - whether they be disabilities or just slow maturation.

    I don't know if this is any help. But I believe that the social opportunities will find you since you don't live in a vacuum.

  3. #3
    Registered User Missy's Avatar
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    I couldn't have said it any better.

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  5. #4
    toile
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    Sorry I left out so much info....
    I was upset when I typed this.

    Let me add......

    I have that child that has zero friend his entire life.
    Aspergers can rather lonely.

    I had listed more info but deleted it to protect his privacy.
    Let me just say that the entire family has been effected socially from having a quirky child. So there wont be friend to get together with etc..

    Sports and activities has been a nightmare and I wont go down that road again. Either my son is beat up, bullied or the coach will say that our son is not really interested and is just going along to make us parents happy....

    Im not referrimg to your typical homeschool social situation here.
    This is for sure the social extreme situation where he cant seem to fit anywhere in the world :......(

  6. #5
    Registered User warramra's Avatar
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    Like I said I don't have experience homeschooling a child with asperger's, but I do empathize with your struggle. I googled Asperger's and Homeschool after your reply and came up with over 15,000 hits. This maybe a place to start looking as I noticed most on the first page almost immediately talked about socalization.

    I still believe that He and you will still experience socialization in some form or another, unless you plan on locking him in a closet , because it is inevitable and at some point he will have to learn how to 'operate' (for lack of a better word) in society before he is an adult. The good thing is with homeschooling you can be there with him helping him deal with his quirks and offering encouragement.

  7. #6
    Registered User Missy's Avatar
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    I think the key of socialization is in knowing that when all else fails, Mom is there and family is there to love and encourage. I wouldn't worry too much about getting him into activities etc until he says he'd like to do this or that. Watching you relate to shopkeepers, your husband or family, people on the street, etc etc etc will go far to showing him how we handle social interaction. Keep it simple when it's directed at him. Step in and field questions if you have to, protect his right to privacy and to say "im not in the mood to deal with this right now". Gosh, any kid, Asbergers or not, sometimes gets over loaded and needs to be able to say that! Heck, even an adult, I do!!

    As for curriculum, there are so many options out there. I am sure with a lttle tweaking of this and that, you will find what works for him. Also, what you start with might be totally different from the curriculum you end up with. It's ok. Homeschool is beautiful that way...in that it is flexible.

    Good luck.

    If I can help, let me know.

  8. #7
    Registered User my4littlebuffaloes's Avatar
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    I have a child that has social problems so I know what you are going through. He has been in preschool now for 3 years and I am pulling him next year to homeschool. The district is not happy about it, and I do wonder how I will make sure he gets the socialism that he needs to learn how to behave appropriately. It is something that I have to work on with him all the time and he is only 5. I would do everything in your power to find some homeschoolers near you with children who have aspergers. Find out how they do it. I also know that here in OH there are camps and activities just for special needs kids. have you looked for things like that in your area? They would have teachers and counselors trained in the areas you need them to be. You might have to drive for them. 5 hours a day is a lot of driving. Even if you find a perfect activity or class for him that is 2 hours away and meets once a week, that is still much better than 5 hours a day. Good luck!

  9. #8
    Registered User Starlight9803's Avatar
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    I don't have any experience with an Asperger child, but here's my two cents. My DD is ADD and has a physically obvious birth defect, and had many problems with her peers while she was in a public school setting. (she is very emotionally immature for her age) This is our first year homeschooling, but she has done well with little peer age interaction. We have only one nearby homeschool group, but it is not all inclusive and just not a good fit for us at all. Now, my DD does have her same-age cousin that she talks to nearly everyday on the phone (sees her about once a month or so) and one of DH's friends has two kids that they are friendly with that they see a few times a year too. She has her little brother to play with (he's 4), and for now it hasn't been a problem. I do occassionally ask her if she misses the kids at school, but she just looks at me like I'm crazy and says "no way". For now, I think she has all the socialization that she needs. If your son is recieving any kind of therapy, you could also ask his therapist (or call a pediatric therapy center near you) and tell them that you would like to find a child for possible play dates with your son. I'm not sure if all of them would do something like that, but some would put the word out with their patients to see if anyone else was interested.
    I know all that isn't much help to you, but children really don't have to have social time forced on to them to be happy and healthy. Good luck with whatever your choice is.

  10. #9
    Registered User monkeywrangler71's Avatar
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    I'm just wondering, on a social level, is he actually getting anything positive out of his current school, or is he simply operating in an environment where other people exist without hurting him?

    I am an extreme introvert and very socially uncomfortable, and I understand what you are saying about needing social practice. However, personally I tend to classify social interaction into two separate categories - ones that I need in order to function in society, and ones that are purely 'recreational'. The former would include things like asking for assistance in a store, the latter would be making friends. I can practice going into a store and asking for help, and it does get easier over time. However, things like going to parties or making friends, don't get any easier - and with each awkward situation that I get into, they actually get harder.

    I have no friends outside of my family. I had some during school, but I can't hang onto them. I find friendships stressful and difficult, I am much happier without them. But, because extroverted qualities are so valued in our society, I spent a lot of years thinking that I was somehow broken and needed to be fixed, which led to really low self-esteem. It took a long time to accept that I can't be that person that world expects me to be, and that I have other gifts that are just as valuable.

    Anyway, my point is that your son may not really need the type of socialization that school provides (I sure didn't). Skills that he needs to function in society as a whole, social skills that are needed to live, those are things that he can practice without organized groups. Playing with friends, well, maybe that's never going to happen no matter what situations you put him into. You say he is academically gifted, as an adult, he will probably need to rely more on his academic/technical skills to make up for any skills he is lacking in the social department. Perhaps having him in a quiet, private environment where he can develop his academic skills without having the distraction of having to fit in will benefit him more, in the long run, than trying to develop social skills that may never really be desired or possible.

    I hope you don't mind me responding, as I understand that Asperger's and introversion are not the same thing and my introverted experience may not be relevant to your situation.

  11. #10
    toile
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    Introverts might relate to Aspies more than you would think.


    My son is age 14. He is requesting to stay in the school because he has his FIRST friend . The other boy is the same functioning level (HFA) and also doesnt want to lose my son.
    We live 2 hours away from each other so this school is working in that....each day they get to learn and be social together etc..
    I just pray this family doesnt chose another school at some point!

    His social skills as far as living life are great.
    Its the more "fun social" he's missed out on or had negative experiences from etc.

    I have thought about all your wise posts to me today and It lead me to another question.

    What if I leave him there and then only do like Saxon math at night?
    The other mom is also thinking of nigttime supplementing.

    I know my questions seem odd to homeschoolers.... but I remember the years and years of rejection from other homeschoolers and I am hestitant to go back to that. It was similar to PS just a much smaller number etc...

    But.....I am worried about the intensive level of work my son was used to?

    At age 14, is math the biggest part of he SAT?
    Is there maybe one more thing I could supplement?

    He reads non stop, but its fun reading usually. Or books like Dangerous Book for boys which is more about Science and fun outdoorsy old fashioned boy fun etc...

    I really appreciate everyones posts and hope I made sense
    He told me this afternoon, that no offense but he likes finally having one real friend.....So that made me happy to know hes finally got that.
    Last edited by toile; 02-08-2008 at 05:38 PM.

  12. #11
    Registered User forHISglory's Avatar
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    Our school had an Asperger child last year that we mainstreamed, and while he was bright and learning, it was a very difficult social situation. This child was what they called "The Little General", meaning that he related to others only by barking out commands to them. He needed everything to remain the same, and if a teacher rearranged the room, this child flew into a rage, demanding that the room be put back the way it was. He accepted no commands from others. That meant that he would not comply with the teachers, with the police officers, or even with other students who might just ask him to hand them something. He could not handle working in small groups, and could not tolerate noise from others. He would scream at the people in his group to "SHUT UP" and all they were doing was working on a group project. One time he threw a desk across the room when someone would not go along with his request. He turned on a computer in the library, but did not use it. When I directed another child to the computer, the Asperger child went into a tantrum and threatened the other child.

    Now......, I do not have special education background, but I think it was unwise to mainstream this boy. I don't know if this situation was typical or not. I never saw anyone bully him, but that was basically because other students just stayed as far away from him as possible. And I did worry a lot about what would happen to this child as he became an adult. Apparently he was unable to handle any kind of stress and it seemed that just being around other students was a terrible stress on him. It would have been best for him to be homeschooled and reduce the stress level, or to be in special education where they could understand his special needs and work with him on his level. But to keep him in regular school was a disservice to both him and other students trying to learn.

  13. #12
    toile
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    Thats why I'm so hesitant to ever mention Aspergers.
    Some are aggressive and actually have dual diagnosis.

    I have the quiet nerdy geeky calm kind LOL.
    Bill Gaites supposidly has this. have you seen him rock as he speaks?
    Thats the area we have thank goodness and not the bad side.

    An Asperger boy almost killed my son in public school. He tried to snap my sons neck.
    Last year a bunch of boys were teasing the other As boy at car riders.
    I witnessed the whole thing. They got him good and mad and guess who comes to the car?
    My son..... My son never tesed anyone. The "typicals " did but my son got punched by the angry asperger boy..... That boy even threw desks!

    I will give you a good example of how MY SON works.
    When we went to China last year we had to travel with 17 other families to adopt.
    Guess who was a dream the whole trip?
    My son. No one had a clue anything was wrong....Most of the parents dont even believe us and they spent 16 days with him.....

    You place him with teasers, agressive kids, bullies.....they can smell him a mile away.

    What I do have t contend with is my sons talks about private matters in public. We dont dare every get frustated with anyone because he likely will say something :O

    When he was a little boy he climbed our wood fence and told my best friend that "mommy and daddy are going on a date, they need a break from me".
    I felt HORRIBLE and realized he misunderstood a stressed out conversation we had.

    We now are VERY careful what we say around him.

    We have seen tons of doctors over the years, and truth be told...my hubbies parents called him autistic as a kid...
    I think my son has the kind where he matured some as puberty hit. Hes still behind but not as drastically as before.

  14. #13
    toile
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    PS its sort of like Tourettes.
    People in my area think that means yelling bad words.
    But the kid I know with it is a sweet heart!!!!!!
    Easy to raise, good grades.
    His eyes just roll non stop and medciation controlls it.

    This is what I dislike about discussing special needs.
    All you ever hear is the horror stories when really those are the more aggressive spectrum of any PDD's (pervasive developmental disorders).


    Anyways I still appreciate hearing everyones posts.
    Just dont want MY son attached to the behaviours of someone else LOL....

    I really should say late bloomer, socially immature ha?

  15. #14
    Registered User monkeywrangler71's Avatar
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    I can see now why you want to leave him in his school, he sounds really happy there. Unfortunate that it involves so much driving - I suppose moving closer is out of the question?

    Do you think you and he can handle extra work in the evening? It just sounds like a reeeeeally long day, not sure how you would fit it all in. Maybe you would do better with extra work on the weekends. Also, is there something you could do during the car ride? Audio books? Is he able to work in the car? I know reading/writing while moving makes a lot of people sick (me included) Maybe you could look up carschooling and see if there are some ideas of things you can do to supplement his education during the commute.

    If he and the other boy both need more challenging academics, can the school not assign them extra work? Maybe during the time they are working together they could be working on something more advanced?

    Don't underestimate the importance of his pleasure reading I think most people get more out of reading about things that interest them than they ever get out of schoolwork.

  16. #15
    Registered User joyofsix's Avatar
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    I just wanted you to know that someone else out here wrestles with the same issues. My 12 yo ds is pretty much socially isolated except for his brother. We luckily have avoided most of the bullying, he simply doesn't interact with anyone. I have thought of homeschooling him since he is very bored in school (he's bright) and not really enjoying the fun of school. I'm unsure though if I will just foster more insular behavior. I wish these darn kids came with instruction books. Good luck with whatever you decide. He's miles ahead having such a concerned mother.

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