Home-Schooling Your Aspergers Child


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!"


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 (high functioning autistic) 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


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.

Angela 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)...

Raising Kids with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Parents' Grief and Guilt

Some parents grieve for the loss of the youngster they   imagined  they had. Moms and dads have their own particular way of dealing with the...