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Topic: Anyone ever get anxious or sad about having to make the choice to homeschoo

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Subject: Anyone ever get anxious or sad about having to make the choice to homeschoo
Date Posted: 9/15/2009 11:08 AM ET
Member Since: 12/7/2005
Posts: 7,143
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Today I am feeling really depressed. I think it's that I'm grieving a bit because my life hasn't turned out as I had planned. I love my son dearly, but it's really hard dealing with Autism at times and I want the world for him. He really enjoys pre k. This is his second year there. However, I've spent alot of time in his classroom last year and this year and so I got a first hand look at the environment and I just know he won't learn anything from being in a classroom with so many kids other than he is learning socially. I'm just really stuggleing at the moment. On one hand I see how much he enjoys being with the other kids. His face lights up being with the other kids his age and it makes me feel happy for him. On the other hand he isn't learning from the teacher. He doesn't get one on one teaching which is what he needs. Which is why I have thought to homeschool him. My mind is pretty much made up that we'll be homeschooling him next year, but at the same time my heart hurts that I will have to pull him out of the public school and he won't get to be around these kids. I know I will have to find ways for him to get the social interaction eventually. I also hurt because as much as I enjoy spending time with my son and would love to have him with me 24/7, I do enjoy when he is at school and I get time to myself at home. I know I will miss having time to myself at home when I'll have him with me all day. But, I'm gonna do what is best for him no matter what it does to me. I just want him to be happy and be able to learn and grow up knowing that I did all I could for him. It's just hard and a bit scary not knowing if I'm making the right choices for him.



Last Edited on: 9/15/09 12:45 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/15/2009 3:13 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2006
Posts: 181
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If you feel so strongly about this in mid September why not consider pulling him out THIS YEAR? Why lose another year?

 

Yes you will have to find new friendships for your son or see who he knows from school that is a REAL friend that he can see outside of school hours on weekdays or weekends for social time.  Such as who is he friends with now that you see in after school hours that you can keep seeing in after school hours after HSing starts?

Even if you do choose to HS in one year you can start making local connections with HSers in your area now.  See if there is a group for moms who HS kids on the spectrum too.

 

My kids have always been home with me, since birth, they are 12 and 9 now, so I don't know what it is like to have 6 or more hours alone Monday to Friday. I only get a break when I put my kids in a paid class for homeschoolers or when DH watches the kids & I go out alone on nights or weekends when DH is not working. I chose to be a mother and I chose to homeschool so I chose to not have tons of "me time". I really enjoy my kids and have fun in their company so it's not like I'm tortured to be with them or anything like that.

 

I have felt bad at one point when I found out my older son had an eye tracking learning disorder and I didn't know sooner. Many kids, many schooled kids, go without a correct diagnosis and do struggle in school so this is not just an issue for homeschoolers. But I beat myself up about it for a while.

 

Focus on your goal and meeting that goal. Figure out your son's need and how HSing can meet it and then allow yourself to feel happy about those good things rather than only focusing on the bad parts like less time for you to be alone or worrying that he won't have friends.

HTH.

Date Posted: 9/15/2009 10:00 PM ET
Member Since: 12/7/2005
Posts: 7,143
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The reason I'm not taking him out this year is because he has made friends and he enjoys it so much. I also need time to get myself organized and I'm still learning about the laws for my state. As far as time to myself, you'd have to understand that I get no help from my husband. I do everything on my own when it comes to my son and always have.  Also, having a special needs child isn't the same as having a typical kid. My son when he's home goes 24/7. He is always running. He still needs help feeding, pottying, brushing his teeth, dressing etc and he's 5 1/2. Most parents are done with this by now. He's also on over 20 supplements ordered by his dr. Just the supplements take up the day on it's own. The dr. also has him on melatonin to help him to bed at night. Without it, it used to take 4 hours to help him get to sleep every night. Then, he's on a special gluten free/casein free diet, chealtion and more. Then there's cooking, cleaning the home, laundry and all the other things that's part of keeping a home running. My day doesn't end. So, when he started school this year I felt like I was on vacation for a few hours a day. So, it's not that I don't want to have my son home. I enjoy being a mom. But, for once I get to breath or just lay down when I need to. However, I have spent several weeks last year and this year and I've seen how things are done in the class and I don't see him learning in that environment. If I can get things organized at home and feel I'm ready to pull him out later in the year, then I will. But, I want to make sure I understand the state laws and what I need to do.

Date Posted: 9/17/2009 2:24 AM ET
Member Since: 1/6/2008
Posts: 3,639
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Last Edited on: 2/3/15 8:18 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/18/2009 3:28 PM ET
Member Since: 12/7/2005
Posts: 7,143
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Michelle, thanks so much for posting that! I know in my heart too that it'll be worth it for he and I.

 

One question I have is how do you know what you will teach them? Do you find stuff online? How do you prepare lessons and such or do you just take each day as it comes and see what they are interested in and go with that?

Date Posted: 9/18/2009 5:01 PM ET
Member Since: 1/6/2008
Posts: 3,639
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Last Edited on: 2/3/15 8:18 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/26/2009 3:51 PM ET
Member Since: 6/18/2005
Posts: 30
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Hi - 

I don't know if you'll even catch this note.  I do know what I'm about to say is not mainsteam thinking.  I suspect you and many others may take offense to it and that's okay - I'm only meaning to give a different perspective.  So here it goes:

If your son has severe autism, what is the point of needing to put information in his head?  *Why* does he need to "learn" in the academic sense?  

I say this as someone who has seen adult autism and know where the severest cases end up regardless of the thousands of hours spent in "school" (that includes homeschool).  Make no mistake about what I'm saying: each person with autism/mental issues is unique, a gift from God, and perfect as they are.   But that does not change the fact that academically they may never get past first grade reading levels or be able to participate in society ways that people consider "normal".  

As long as he is enjoying himself and you know that he's safe and you can take a break, I don't see an actual problem other than your expectation that he needs to be different than who he is.  You will be a much  better mother with the breaks and proper rest.  When at home, you can focus on what he really needs to learn: impluse control, how to take care of himself, how to understand when situations are best/bad for him.  If it is highly probable he will need guardianship at some level for the rest of his life, I'd stop worrying about an academic education unless you truly enjoy teaching that and can make it joyful for him as well.  

I'd guess, personally,  I'd rather try to shoot for joy for both of us with what little time we have on the planet than spend time trying to shape someone else into something they are not. :(

Date Posted: 9/27/2009 9:31 PM ET
Member Since: 3/21/2009
Posts: 4,812
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Wow !

Amy, you blew me away with that.

Even the profoundly mentally retarded enjoy learning about colors and signs, you can teach them to sing, to recognize their name etc, etc. Autism is not about mental retardation. There are, but a very small percentage of people with Autism that are retarded. The majority of that population has been misdiagnosed as retarded because they haven't had any training or education. Autism is a neurobiological, neurochemical, neurological disorder. There are several types of Autism. Some are brilliant and are corporate CEO's, one type gets worse and worse with no hope of recovery. I think C.E.child is not retarded, nor is he not a candidate for academics. It appears to me that he has the potential of being an independent adult with the appropriate parenting, training and education. I say this because I am the mother and grandmother of a son with Asperger's and PDD-NOS respectively. They are both forms of Autism. My son is brilliant, my grandson is of average intelligence and if I hadn't taken the time to supplement his schooling in Pre-K, Kindergarden and 1st grade and then homeschool him this year, he would definately not be speaking, nor asking me questions like "why are people sad, when people die". A profound question for a 7 year old with or without Autism. He would not be enjoying the friendship of his peers if he couldn't keep up both socially and academically, they would reject him. He wouldn't have learned to be friendly, have manners or not run away from children from fright if I hadn't taught him all those things.

It is a rare child that cannot benefit from some kind of academic education.

I would have rather you put your post in the form of asking questions about Autism rather than taking the risk of damaging a Mom's self confidence.

Your post has brought out the mother bear in me.

I'll tell a story of a child I worked with for 6 years, Monday through Friday 9-5.. She has Cerebral Palsey, was blind, couln't roll over, was profoundly mentally retarded. I kid you not. Without surgery, she is sitting and reading elementary school books. Knows her colors, understands most everything that she hears and is definately not mentally retarded. She uses a computer to communicate and she is not blind. She never was mentally retarded and she never was blind. The doctors wrote her off as a lost cause. After one evaluation I could see her potential. I didn't know how far she could go but I knew she had potential. I was laughed at and rejected by the medical community until she showed them wrong. They thought she was a miracle. There was no miracle. It was hope, faith and a whole lot of work. A whole lot of work and a whole lot of sweat.

I wouldn't write off any child, unless their brain has a flat EEG and is made of mush. I believe in taking a child as far as you can. You just don't know how far a child can go if you don't work with them.

C.E. You go girl. Put him in school part time and homeschool him part time if you like. If it were me. I would homeschool and teach give him a good foundation, give his the best you have. I can feel it. Your child is going to be just fine.

PS My son was hyperactive and aggressive when he was a young child.I had to be at an arms reach at all times. I had to restrain him when he got older, regularly. We all taught him well. He is a fine,non-aggressive, pleasant,  functional young man, with a great personality, and I am proud of him.

 

Elona

Date Posted: 10/6/2009 2:08 PM ET
Member Since: 12/7/2005
Posts: 7,143
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Thank-you Elona very much for your post! I applaude you!

My son is not severe with Autism. He's more mild to moderate. He can learn and is smart in alot of ways! His speech is the one thing he has alot of trouble with. He was non verbal until he was about 4. At 5, he can speak 2-3 word sentences.

 

I agree 100% with all you said and will add that people can't put all kids with Autism in a box and label them as being all the same. Just as each normal child is different, so is each child with Autism. They all have their strengths and weaknesses. I do hope one day my son can live independantly. I do know that I will do ALL that I possible can for my child so that he can have the best life possible for himself. There's nothing I won't do and I will always have his best interests at heart. Alot of people don't believe homeschooling is the best for a child, but I know my son better than anyone and I know what will benefit him. I learned why the school doesn't want parents to homeschool and it's because they lost $10,000 for each child and more if the child is special needs. No wonder they tried to talk me out of it! 

Date Posted: 10/6/2009 2:13 PM ET
Member Since: 12/7/2005
Posts: 7,143
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In reply to your post Amy. I am not trying to turn my son into something he is not! I am helping him to BE ALL HE CAN BE! Is it stressful at times, Hell yeah it is! But, I refuse to give up on my son and I'll fight for him till my dying day to help him have the best life possible for him. Which is what most parents want.

Believe it or not, he LOVES to learn! The trick is finding way to help him learn. But, he can learn and he's shown me that time and time again. And I know that homeschooling him will help him so much more than being in a class with 20 or so other kids and the noise and chaos. I just need to find ways to let him be around other kids because I know he needs that too. I'm looking into finding groups in my area that we could go to.

 

Hi - 

I don't know if you'll even catch this note.  I do know what I'm about to say is not mainsteam thinking.  I suspect you and many others may take offense to it and that's okay - I'm only meaning to give a different perspective.  So here it goes:

If your son has severe autism, what is the point of needing to put information in his head?  *Why* does he need to "learn" in the academic sense?  

I say this as someone who has seen adult autism and know where the severest cases end up regardless of the thousands of hours spent in "school" (that includes homeschool).  Make no mistake about what I'm saying: each person with autism/mental issues is unique, a gift from God, and perfect as they are.   But that does not change the fact that academically they may never get past first grade reading levels or be able to participate in society ways that people consider "normal".  

As long as he is enjoying himself and you know that he's safe and you can take a break, I don't see an actual problem other than your expectation that he needs to be different than who he is.  You will be a much  better mother with the breaks and proper rest.  When at home, you can focus on what he really needs to learn: impluse control, how to take care of himself, how to understand when situations are best/bad for him.  If it is highly probable he will need guardianship at some level for the rest of his life, I'd stop worrying about an academic education unless you truly enjoy teaching that and can make it joyful for him as well.  

I'd guess, personally,  I'd rather try to shoot for joy for both of us with what little time we have on the planet than spend time trying to shape someone else into something they are not. :(