going back to school after 2 yrs at home

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-06-2009
going back to school after 2 yrs at home
4
Mon, 05-17-2010 - 5:57pm

I'm totally going to ramble, since I don't have too much time, my toddler will be up soon.

Well, after two years of doing an online school from home, we are considering having our 9 year old try school again to see if it's right for him, since we moved to a new district and he's back to himself. (we might just pull him out again if he doesn't do well, it's like night and day with him at school and home)

He has gone from throwing fits, arguing, touching at school, teachers who were done with him, regressing in his writing, and too much frustration to a wonderful boy who enjoys learning, does a lot of writing, sets his alarm so he can get up to do his schoolwork, never throwing a true fit,awkward sweetheart. With a diagnoses of course- mild aspergers. Of course he hasn't had the pressures of being around so many children.

The old school had him go from grade 1 to 3, then he was to redo grade 3 in the gifted program to be with his age peers. We pulled him right out in grade 3 and started him on gr 3 work. So now he's doing grade 4 work, and is seen as a 4th grader in his online academy, but he's only grade 3 aged. He's even taking the grade 4 state testing, today actually.

I made an appointment with the learning specialist at the local school, which I heard is good academically and doesn't have as much of a problem with bullies. We'll have a tour, to show my poor DS that it's not going to kill him, and the learning specialist said she'd do academic testing to see which grade is best.

But you know what? He's always tested above grade level. In kindergarten he went to grade 2 for an hour a day, in grade 1 he went to grade 3 for reading (tested at 4th or higher, not sure since the test didn't go past 4th), since there wasn't anyone near the same level. BUT he didn't do much writing in that class... I would say he has age appropriate writing... when it's not too open ended or abstract.

But socially? He likes to play. He's emotionally behind. He has aspergers! So of course it's hard for him to understand others, work in groups, etc... and if he goes to grade 5 next year, that will be his last year before middle school. Scary. He's the type of kiddo I have to remind to brush his teeth, wash his face. It takes him a long time to tie his shoes. He doesn't have much concept of time.

Wow I think I'm rambling here. I just don't know. Send him to 4th- his age peers, possible boredom unless other kids have caught up, two yeas to prepare for middle school, OR send him to fifth- the grade he's technically supposed to be in, more at his grade level, minus all the writing and abstract things...

He can be convinced to go to either grade (another scary thing, he's so gullible).

What do you guys think??

Thanks!! :)

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-06-2009
Mon, 05-17-2010 - 8:55pm

I forgot to ask for general help for when he goes back! Regardless of grade. He was not diagnosed when he was in school last.

Do I tell them about his dx right away? Or wait until he's already in school a while? Do I give them the evaluation from the Dr. who dx'd DS? Let the school do their own testing?

Once he's in, then what? What could they *really* help him with?

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-12-2008
Tue, 05-18-2010 - 7:26am

Personally I would give them the evaluation from the dr. with your son's dx. The school should know ahead of time so they are prepared to deal with any issues that arise.

You have to think about all the things you do during the day that helps your son be successful and those are the things you want to ask the school about. Like picture schedules, timelines, etc.

Start telling social stories about going back to school. What your son can expect, how to react, that sort of thing. It's a scary world when you don't always understand the people around you.

I think it will be great for your son to try school again and gain some of that social interaction. Good for you mom!! Keep us posted as to how things go. Oh and you may want to ask the school for psych/ed testing. That way if he needs and IEP he can get one. And remember you don't have to have a delay for an IEP. Kids that are in the gifted program also have IEP's.



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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Tue, 05-18-2010 - 8:37am

Assuming that you are in the US (and forgive me for not remembering) I would ask the school to complete an educational evaluation for him.

                                

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-07-2008
Tue, 05-18-2010 - 8:49am

TELL THEM. And get an IEP, or equivalent, if you can. Most of your son's difficulties, as you describe them, sound to me like a clever boy who wasn't given the kind of support he needed to do well in school. There are a lot of accommodations, support and good ideas out there that can help (things like visual timetables, additional time to complete tasks, structured rewards, social stories, help with transitions and unstructured time, help with organisational skills, mentoring/befriending schemes) that we know *work* with kids with Asperger's, but they can't be implemented if the school don't know. And the problems will not just go away: it isn't so much about what age/grade is appropriate for him, it's more about what kind of support does he need for specific things. If he's anything like most Aspies I know, he could be off the scale on some things (my 11 year old is doing university-grade physics) and waaay behind on others (he can't tie his shoelaces or get dressed communally for phys ed). anything that involves social/emotional skills (group work, recess, etc) is likely to be very difficult, anything that is focussed on his strengths/interests is likely to be easy.


Schools do struggle with Aspies who can seem so 'bright' and yet so challenged at the same time. A good IEP will be able to break down the areas he needs support in, and what kind of support, and with the right supports in place school can be a joy. Without them, it's a nightmare.


Kirsty, mum to Euan (11, Aspergers Syndrome) Rohan (7, NT) and Maeve (4, NT)

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