HELP FOR PARENTS OF CHILDREN WITH ASPERGER'S & HIGH-FUNCTIONING AUTISM

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Home-Schooling Your Aspergers Child

Question

From a mother who home-schools:

"My son has Aspergers and is highly intelligent but very easily distracted and not motivated for doing schoolwork most of the time, esp math which he used to love. Sometimes it takes hours to do 1 page of 1st grade math, because he is not interested and I have to literally sit there and remind him every second what he was doing! It makes me crazy! He hates writing, but he can do it motor skill wise.

Is there a way to make this less painful, do you know any techniques I can use or a curriculum that would be better suited for him? I don't think computer ones are appropriate right now as he is just learning to write and reads at a beginner’s level (as he should be in 1st grade,). I have thought about Mozart to help.

He takes probiotics daily and that helps a lot and avoid red food dye, otherwise he is HYPER. We avoid MSG too which very negatively affects all my children's brain functions at school time.

Also, he is very whiny and cries all the time, and I read an article about that being very common, but it's still driving me crazy even when I use those techniques- at least I think I used them- maybe I didn't understand? They weren't giving a lot of examples. Help!"


Answer

Consider trying Math Drill apps for an iPhone. Some cost money and some are free. The ones that cost money are usually less than $3.00. Examples include:

• Cute Math
• Flash Cards
• Math Cards
• Math Drill Lite and Math Drill
• Math Magic
• Mental Maths
• Mighty Math Lite
• Number Rumble
• Pop Math Lite


As a home-schooler, there are other considerations that should be factored in as well:

1. A daily routine is critical.
2. Bear in mind that positive reinforcement works well for Aspergers students.
3. Do not allow the Aspergers student to keep asking questions or discussing an obsessive topic endlessly.
4. Ensure the environment is safe and as predictable as possible.
5. Ensure the student understands what is being said to him/her. It is common for a child to simply repeat what is being taught without understanding the concept.
6. Incorporate visual rewards for the Aspergers student. Working toward a goal is a great motivator, and any area in need of attention can be addressed, including time-on-task, sharing, following directions, behavior charts, and academic objective and goals.
7. Keep special activities or changes to the schedule at a minimal.
8. Keep transitions the same for as many activities as possible.
9. Know that Aspergers students are highly sensitive to their environments and rituals. When these are thrown off, they can become very anxious and they worry obsessively about changes in routine
10. Limit obsessive behavior about topics by setting a specific time in which the Aspergers student can ask the focused questions.
11. Realize that many Aspergers students do not understand some of the common social interactions and social contacts.
12. Recognize that the Aspergers student may not understand some jokes and may be unable to interpret body language.
13. Remember that Aspergers students are overwhelmed by even the smallest of changes.
14. Simplified lessons may be required.
15. Since concentration is often a problem, develop a system of nonverbally reminding the Aspergers student to pay attention (e.g., a pat on the shoulder).
16. Spend time preparing Aspergers children for any special activities (e.g., create a schedule using pictures that includes a "special activity" segment).
17. Teach the Aspergers student about social cues and help them to make friends.
18. Use a variety of behavioral  strategies, including: assigned duties, clear expectations, consistent consequences for behaviors, cooperative learning, modeling behavior, organization, routine, and visual schedules.
19. When Aspergers students accomplish a desired behavior, compliment and praise them – even simple social interactions should be praised.
20. Teach social skills - be patient.
21. Chunk information presented. The child won't retain a lot of information at once.
22. You may have to limit their 'special interest' time as they can become quite self absorbed with it.
23. Instructional strategies should focus on teaching concretely.
24. Complex tasks should be broken down.
25. Find an area of interest for the Aspergers student (e.g., trains), and then incorporate this area of interest into the subject matter of little interest (e.g., math). In this example, you can have the Aspergers child learn subtraction (using pictures): “If you had 12 trains at the station and 6 of them departed, how many trains would still be at the station?”

The Complete Guide to Teaching Students with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism

9 comments:

Tammy said...

I have been down the same path with my home-schooled 2nd grader. We had great success with Hooked on Math last year, and are doing Teaching Textbooks on the computer this year. In addition, we were able to drastically reduce the amount of wasted/dawdle time once we implemented Sue Patrick's Workbox System.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Tammy for the very specific curriculum ideas! I'm going to look those up. And thank you MyAsp Child for answering my question so thoroughly.

Anonymous said...

I have a 16 year old daughter who has Aspergers and possibly bipolar. She is now being home schooled. She used to be very bright. Now I can hardly get her to do any work at all. I get at the home school store whatever books that are easy and will help her. She has no self esteem, hides as much in her room that she can. She avoids her 13 year old sister,, she can't sleep at night so thinks she can sleep in the day. She is like waking the dead. I am frustrated. She is home schooled because she quit going to school. The county was going to take her away, under truancy. She needs to know so much more, but refuses to do anything I say. Has not had any friends for 5 years. Anywhere we go that are my friends, or dr.s she is so rude and swears just to embarrass me. Won't go to any more dr.s she is sick of them. Refuses counceling. Tried to committ suicide in June. She is so miserable I just feel for her. Is there any thing I can do that I am not doing? I could go on and on of what I have done for her. Hospitals only drug the kids. No faith in them. I love her to death but am scared for when we are gone. Husband is in denial. Works 70 hours a week.

Anonymous said...

Since our son has been off school for the summer he has calmed down and been wonderful!

Homeschool may be the only way for him to really get an education because of his high sensory issues! He did fine
until he went to public school and has learned very little the last three years.

Tony Attwood has said that some kids with Asperger's do better in an off campus - one-on-one environment and can get their
social needs met other ways. It seems to fit for our son.

Thank you, Anne

Anonymous said...

My wonderful Aspie son is currently in public school. I've been pushing the school to deal with bullies, to assign an advocate / assistant, and to understand that he doesn't function well during the "work on your own" segments. They are in the process of revamping his IEP (finally) and his teacher is great about contacting me regularly to keep me in the loop with things going on. However. It feels like I'm talking to a brick wall most of the time when I discuss things with his Special Ed teacher. HE wants me to put my son back on meds so that he's "more compliant like he was before".

I'm considering homeschooling him, but I feel kinda bad that they've gone through all this work only for me to tell them "Yeah, thanks but I'm taking him out of the school system." There's also the question of how to get started, who I'm supposed to report his progress to and all KINDS of other questions. Suggestions?

Mouse said...

Every year we re-did the iep and taked to death about how to make next year better but never got any where. So we took him out. Everyone in his school tryed but we found he still was slipping though the cracks. Where homeschooling this year and it's better at least I know the work is getting done how ever we also have a hard time with math and he shouts done on me alot. He is not a self starter and to be reminded lots to be on tack. I have 4 other boys one how is gifted and there always things going on in my home.

Tina said...

I Can Relate To your situation So Much. I Worked For four Years With My Sons School and Ieps. Same Thing, They Were all Wonderful But The Bottom line was Brandon Was Falling father Behind Every Year. Finally I said Thats it.Brandon Must Come First Nomatter Whose Feelings Get Hurt. I Did My research On line And Probed Other Homeschooling Moms And Then Took Him Out. I am So Glad I Did. He Is Relaxed, Happy More Confident And Alot Easier To Teach at Home Than I ever Exspected.

akolley1 said...

I also homeschool my 9yr old with Aspergers and ADHD. She is sooo much better since Casein/gluten/soy/dye free. Also Lugals Iodine drops in juice did absolute wonders for the crying! Iodine helps them detox properly. I got my sanity back!
God bless.

Karalinda said...

Hello.I'm a homeschool mom of a 7 years old girl and all I can say is, she's been diagnosed since she was 3, started to be followed by a psychologist and later on by an occupational therapist but after a while she started to regress in school instead of progress, every progress she'd made during the summer and day-by-day with me was set back. I gave public primary school a try last year but I was being called constantly about how she wasn't performing how they wanted her to, she was crying all the time and to get constantly grounded in school and without eating properly... but enough was enough and since I was allowed to do so, I started homeschooling her... all was great she was thriving,happy, responsive until now, so I ask you, how do you cope when your ex starts to undermine all of your "work" with your Asperger child? He, lately, started to tell her she's dumm, that she's not learning anything with me, that she can't learn anything with me because I'm not a teacher (officially). She's starting to get depressed and struggling a lot... everything I've been preventing from happening... please help me... (he refused to accept that she has Asperger, even with a professional diagnosis...). Besides that, I'm searching for new ideas, apps to work with her (2nd grade), I've been working mainly based in the Charlotte Mason method but I would like to diversify a bit... I've been using youtube a lot, spanish/english videos (math, science, nature, words..)& documentaries (she loves them & she retains most of the information, she also repeats them several times)...

My child has been rejected by his peers, ridiculed and bullied !!!

Social rejection has devastating effects in many areas of functioning. Because the Aspergers child tends to internalize how others treat him, rejection damages self-esteem and often causes anxiety and depression. As the child feels worse about himself and becomes more anxious and depressed – he performs worse, socially and intellectually. Thus, the best treatment for Aspergers children and teens is, without a doubt, “social skills training.”

Click here to read the full article…

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Meltdowns are not a pretty sight. They are somewhat like overblown temper tantrums, but unlike tantrums, meltdowns can last anywhere from ten minutes to over an hour. When it starts, the Asperger's child is totally out-of-control. When it ends, both you and the Asperger’s child are totally exhausted. But... don’t breathe a sigh of relief yet. At the least provocation, for the remainder of that day -- and sometimes into the next - the meltdown can return in full force.

Click here for the full article...

Parenting Defiant Aspergers Teens

Although Aspergers is at the milder end of the autism spectrum, the challenges parents face when disciplining a teenager with Aspergers are more difficult than they would be with an average teen. Complicated by defiant behavior, the Aspergers teen is at risk for even greater difficulties on multiple levels – unless the parents’ disciplinary techniques are tailored to their child's special needs.

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Aspergers Children “Block-Out” Their Emotions

Parenting children with Aspergers and HFA can be a daunting task. In layman’s terms, Aspergers is a developmental disability that affects the way children develop and understand the world around them, and is directly linked to their senses and sensory processing. This means they often use certain behaviors to block out their emotions or response to pain.

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Older Teens and Young Adult Children With Aspergers Still Living At Home

Your older teenager or young “adult child” isn’t sure what to do, and he is asking you for money every few days. How do you cut the purse strings and teach him to be independent? Parents of teens with Aspergers face many problems that other parents do not. Time is running out for teaching their adolescent how to become an independent adult. As one mother put it, "There's so little time, yet so much left to do."

Click here to read the full article…

Living with an Aspergers Spouse/Partner

Research reveals that the divorce rate for people with Aspergers is around 80%. Why so high!? The answer may be found in how the symptoms of Aspergers affect intimate relationships. People with Aspergers often find it difficult to understand others and express themselves. They may seem to lose interest in people over time, appear aloof, and are often mistaken as self-centered, vain individuals.

Click here to read the full article…

Online Parent Coaching for Parents of Asperger's Children

If you’re the parent of a child with Aspergers or High-Functioning Autism, you know it can be a struggle from time to time. Your child may be experiencing: obsessive routines; problems coping in social situations; intense tantrums and meltdowns; over-sensitivity to sounds, tastes, smells and sights; preoccupation with one subject of interest; and being overwhelmed by even the smallest of changes. The hardest part is you feel like you’ll never actually get to know your child and how he/she views the world.

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