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Topic: looking for homeschoolers who have special needs kids

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Subject: looking for homeschoolers who have special needs kids
Date Posted: 11/14/2007 10:25 PM ET
Member Since: 10/30/2007
Posts: 98
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Are there any other homeschoolers out here that have a kid with some type of disability (ADHD, ODD, Aspergers, etc.)? I'd love to contect with someone to swap ideas on how to stay sane! :-)

Rhonda

Date Posted: 11/15/2007 12:44 AM ET
Member Since: 5/13/2006
Posts: 2,157
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Hi - I have two surviving children.  We lost our youngest, who was severely disabled and very ill three years ago.  My oldest (14)  has Fragile X  and survived a stroke at birth.  She has lots of related diagnosis: GERD, Ausitsm,  language delay, hemipresis. etc.  I'm not sure if I have any advice about staying sane, but I will share my profound relief that my daughter learns at home where I know she is safe and surrounded by people who love and respect her.

Date Posted: 11/15/2007 4:51 AM ET
Member Since: 6/10/2007
Posts: 10,401
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Rhonda, my daughter has adhd. Feel free to PM me whenever you feel the need. A couple quick things that I find help:

  • Code words. If she starts to mentally wander, I say COME BACK, B----(name). If she starts reading poorly (choppy, skipping words, whatever), I say STOP THE CHOP. I have others, too. Point is, say the same thing every time.
  • Exercise. We start the day with prayer, then exercise and singing to get the wiggles out.
  • Regular breaks after every subject or two
  • Consider your child's sleep needs and preferences. Don't start school at 8 am if you know that your child functions best at 3 pm. It's okay to rearrange the day. We start around 11 am usually.
  • Short lessons. We follow Charlotte Mason style education. She advises short lessons, about 20 minutes each for the younger grades. This is very helpful for kids with short attention spans!!
  • Hands on everything. PLAY with your lessons.

Also, find something that really drives your child. For mine, it's a few things...bugs, rocks, and guitar. GO WITH IT! Learn all you can about those subjects. The learning desire will naturally flow into everything else eventually.

Date Posted: 11/15/2007 6:53 PM ET
Member Since: 7/14/2005
Posts: 232
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My son is 14 and has Asberger's Disorder.It does get testy at times but Mom and Dad take time outs.We have recently been approved for Respite care.It has not come through yet but when it does that will provide much needed relief.I would suggest something like that to others with disabled children.It is available at no cost to you through Alta Regional centers.

meowysmiles

Date Posted: 11/15/2007 8:38 PM ET
Member Since: 3/20/2007
Posts: 931
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I have a DD who was born at 22 weeks, 4 days gestation (before viability).  She's almost 8 now and has cerebral palsy, autism, GERD, developmental dyspraxia, verbal apraxia, non-verbal, sensory integration dysfuntion, feeding issues, fine motor delays, but is one sharp cookie.

I do, however, have her in public school.  I HS her profoundly gifted brother (having one on each end of the "spectrum" is trying at times!) so the way I stay sane is to continue to have her in PS until her brother gets a bit more independent in his studies, and/or when her need for so much therapy (that we need the school to pay for) decreases.  Her need for physical therapy has nearly ended, but she still needs a lot of OT and ST.  Our insurance coverage for that is minimal and she doesn't qualify for any charities other than Shriner's Hospitals.  So we don't do much private therapy any more.

There are a lot of HS'ing groups online for parents of kids with different dx's, and those for HS'ing special needs kids in general.  I like having a place to vent online for those who have BTDT :-)

Date Posted: 11/16/2007 9:11 AM ET
Member Since: 6/6/2007
Posts: 89
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My son is 10 and has Aspergers - I stay sane (most of the time?!) by taking a lot of my direction from him.  I went to a conference on Aspergers where the speaker said something that has always stuck - You can't have a dictatorship if you have a kid with Aspergers.  They do not (as probably NT kids wouldn't) respond well to plans that don't involve their own needs, capabilties, etc.  Negotiation is the key for us - there ARE certain things he has to do but if he gets them done he knows he can do the things he wants to do (computer, read books on his latest obsessions, etc.)  For the most part it does work and there are only a few meltdowns once in awhile. Homeschooling is very hard but I don't think I could ever put my son back in ps - (he was there through 3rd grade) it has given us a chance to breathe - give my son a chance to explore and learn things he never would in ps.

What is is that is making you insane? I would love to listen and help if possible

Jane

 

Date Posted: 11/16/2007 9:42 AM ET
Member Since: 10/30/2007
Posts: 98
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Thanks all for the posts. My daughter is 14 and has ADHD, ODD, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and Depression. She also shows many traits of OCD and being a hypocondriac.

This is our first year homeschooling. Each year in public school got worse and worse. I knew neither of us would survive public school through high school.

I'm still pretty scared with the concept of making sure she is ready for college when that comes. She is very intelligent, but gets off task EXTREMELY easy and is quite defiant when she doesn't want to do something. You never know from day to day, hour to hour, when the definace will come.

We are doing tons of therapy work....expressive art, music, skills worker coming into our home once a week, cognitive behavior therapy. Of course, these are all life skills lessons.

I'm frustrated that at 14 years old I am literally going to have to sit with her the WHOLE time she is doing assignments, chores, getting dressed, etc. to make sure she stays on tasks. If I don't, the day goes terribly but I have other things I have to get done too. We are hooked up with a really good home school association in our area (350 families) and that is nice. But, I apparently am the only one with a special needs child. It gets frustrating to hear the mothers of other kids (10+) talking about how their kids do their assignments on their own. The mother just gives the assignment, the kid does it, and they discuss it.

I guess I'm feeling sorry for myself some, still trying to come to terms with the fact that I can't have 14 year old expectations of my 14 year old (probably more like 10), and still trying to navigate the homeschool thing. She has a 14 year old body (hormones especially) and processes things socially and emotionally like she is 10.

We are suppose to be getting respite from a local program. It wasn't working for months (the provider was never available) and they got us set up with a new one this week! This will help a lot!

I am feeling alone in my quest. Does that make any sense?

What are some of the support groups on line that was mentioned? I really need to hook into one of those! I love my daughter tremendously, otherwise I wouldn't be homeschooling. I TRULY feel this is the best choice for her, but I need to figure out how I am going to survive the next four years. She was hospitalized for 10 days a few weeks ago due to some medication changes and MAJOR mood swings. I'm just REALLY stressed out right now.

Thanks for listening and the advice!!

Rhonda

Date Posted: 11/16/2007 1:57 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2005
Posts: 68
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All three of my children are special needs to varying degrees.  My oldest daughter (now 18 and moved out) is ADHD however I believe she has grown out of it.  My son is 10 and is visually impaired and my youngest daughter (7yo) is learning delayed.

Date Posted: 11/20/2007 2:52 AM ET
Member Since: 11/11/2007
Posts: 469
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Hi! I'm new around these parts. ;-) (I joined PBS last Sunday, just over a week ago, and am hooked!!! For life, I think.)

Anyway, I have three boys on the autism spectrum. They're 8, 4, and 3, so sanity is a big word around here. ;-) N2MU! (ALL of you!)

Date Posted: 11/20/2007 8:19 AM ET
Member Since: 5/14/2007
Posts: 337
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I am homschooling my 3 teen boys and it is challenging many days.  The advice given by others has been very good, like beginning the day at the time they function best and not trying to copy public school.

LaDonna.

 

Date Posted: 11/20/2007 9:05 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 422
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Have a gifted but special needs son (ADD, OCD, anxiety), Just know that by bringing your children home is a priceless gift to them. It's not easy, but IMHO is the best for them. Just like we shouldn't compare siblings, we shouldn't compare our children to other homeschool kids.  It's tough, because we want our children to be successful. Just remember that success is different for every child, even though that don't have "issues".

Aside to Rhonda: the "hypocondriacism" goes with the OCD and/or anxiety. Treat those and that symptom will decrease. Never fully goes away. I think I have her odler brother in my house ;-) Hang in there! (((Rhonda)))

The thing that works best for us is to be organzed but flexible. Sounds like an oxymoron, but it isn't.

 

Date Posted: 12/11/2007 10:07 PM ET
Member Since: 12/7/2005
Posts: 7,143
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My son has Autism as you can see from my blinkie. He's almost 4 and I am planning to homeschool him. Just learning actually what I need to do to get started once he's old enough to begin. Any info. anyone can pm me would be helpful.