Life after middle school

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-23-2010
Life after middle school
8
Thu, 09-23-2010 - 11:27pm
Hi this is Millie - i.m new to ivillage ,looking for some helpful hints and suggestions to make my life a little better.
my son is 8 years old and is dx'd with pdd 3 yrs back. He is goin to third grade now and really a struggle for me with an infant during this transtion time. He has iep in place since kindergarten. But I'm really worried abut his next years.
Looking for moms who r already been there and done that and what is it like to have a pdd boy in middle school and how his life goin be after that?
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-07-2008
Mon, 10-18-2010 - 10:20am

We have just transitioned to what you would call middle school, and we call high school. It's been a mixed experience. On the one hand, going from one classroom teacher to 12 has proved a slight nightmare, because his support co-ordinator has gone off sick. This means there's been no co-ordination of agreed supports or his IEP and he's struggling. They've dropped the ball, but it's up to them to pick it up...

On the other hand, some things are better. More structured lessons around subjects certainly appeals to DS. He can get really stuck in to subjects he likes and is good at, and if he doesn't like a teacher or area, it's only a 40 minute period and its over. Moving between classes has not been the nightmare I thought because he has maps and a helper and it has actually made him a lot more independent. After school activities around his interests really help him to socialise in a safe, structured way and he is gradually finding a small group of peers that are like him. And despite the fact that *I* am spitting tacks at the the school's failure to implement his staged intervention plan (our equivalent of the IEP), actually, he isn't that bothered. He's fairly relaxed and happy about the whole thing. He can now walk home himself after activities and manages to do most of his homework.

I can sort of envisage an independent future for him, which didn't seem possible a couple of years ago. I think with good supports and teachers it can be a positive, overall.

Kirsty, mum to Euan (12, Aspergers Syndrome) Rohan (7, NT) and Maeve (4, NT)

"My definition of housework is to sweep the room with a glance"


Follow my blog on http://mumsnet.com/blogs/kirsteinr/


 

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-26-2010
Mon, 10-18-2010 - 8:10am

I hope my reply doesnt scare you. It isnt meant to. I have a 15 year old aspergers daughter. She was bullied in middle school for almost 3 years. I tried to work with the school on ending it but they did nothing to help. So in 8th grade I took her out of school and we now home school. I dont want to scare you with this. Not all schools suck as bad as hers did. Our town school system is bad. But there are answers and home schooling works out for us. I like having her home. She is happy and not stressed anymore. I am sure a lot of aspergers kids do well in school. My town school did nothing for her so we gave up.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-25-2007
Sat, 09-25-2010 - 7:30am
We have also had a very positive experience with middle school. I moved my Aspie to an interdistrict magnet school for middle school and he has absolutely soared there. The school's focus is Engineering and Science so it suits his special interests perfectly. It is a very "hands on" curriculum which suits his learning style as well. For example in 6th last year you could find them out in the parking lot practicing their multiplication facts by doing "relay races". Moving around is important for boys particularly those with sensory issues. My ds does not do well with long "lecture" type classes. Another interesting thing is that this "magnet" school has drawn kids that are very similar to my ds. They are smart, quirky little science loving geeks. One mom mentioned at an open house that her son feels so at home here. At his old school he would have been teased but everyone is a nerd here! They group the kids by ability and half of his group (himself included) ended up in TAG this year. Socially he is doing really well. His idea for a class name was chosen and kids are always greeting him when we go to school functions. As one of the pp said, maturity is also a big factor. I could not have imagined my son being where he is today when he was 8. The middle years of elementary school were brutal for all of us. He is getting 4 hours of homework a night and I won't say he likes it : )
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-05-1998
Sat, 09-25-2010 - 7:25am

My DS, who is now a HS senior, actually did better in middle school (which was grades 7/8 in our district).

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-25-2005
Sat, 09-25-2010 - 12:32am

My AS ds did great in middle school last year as a 6th grader. He had some really great teachers and a wonderful school psychologist who organized a really nice social club disguised as a game club. Ds got good grades and teachers were happy with him.

Ds was mistreated by a few kids, but ds wasn't always aware that they were being mean to him, so he didn't find it a miserable experience even though he was a bit confused by it.

This year in 7th grade ds seems to be struggling a bit more. He's gone from all A's to having E's in a couple of his classes, primarily from disorganization. Usually ds is fairly compliant about going to school and has even liked going to school. This year he's not enjoying it as much.

I'm not aware of any specific conflicts ds is having. I think it's just that school's getting more challenging and he's getting more hormonal. My NT ds was a bit more moody in 7th grade, too.

Thankfully ds is able to continue in the social/game club that he was in last year. They have lunch together once a week and meet after school once a week. It's given ds some friends, so he doesn't feel completely alone. Ds teachers tell me that ds is in classes with a generally good group of kids who get along.

One thing that I really appreciated about middle school was that each grade level was kept separate from the other grade levels. The 6th graders went to class, PE and lunch, only with 6th graders. Each grade also met in classes in their own grade's wing of the school building, so the different ages/grades really didn't co-mingle. I think that was helpful for making the transition less challenging.

Our most difficult school experience so far has been the high school transition for AS dd. It was not pleasant at all. There are so many more kids -- and so many more losers who find great pleasure in tormenting weak kids. Dd had a horrific freshman year of school. She's a junior this year and doing a bit better, but it's still not a great experience.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-23-2010
Fri, 09-24-2010 - 3:20pm
Thank you for ur response - it definitely put me at ease. Wondering What r the main constraints that the school looked to put ur son in general Ed room? Also does he still have assistance like TA( teacher assistant )
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-28-2008
Fri, 09-24-2010 - 2:27pm

We are just entering middle school here. Graham started 6th grade this year.

Academically, he's making out fine. Honestly, I think he finds some of the work more engaging than his elementary worksheets as the teachers are giving more project based work now. We've had an IEP for him since kindy and we're in a triennial year which is good since it's an entirely new team who don't really know him yet. If anything, they've been handling him with kid gloves and I think they could push him a bit more.

Socially, the adjustment to middle school has been a bit rougher. His anxiety level is high and his stims have been very active. He is getting some teasing for being so emotionally reactive and he's gotten into some trouble with other students and teachers - the problems have been dealt with in a fair way, I think. He's actually shown some signs of maturing recently, he's not nearly as fragile as he once was and is showing some signs of wanting some independence. But it is a stressful environment and he needs some extra support, which he is getting.

The recent maturing has given me some hope that he will continue to mature, albeit more slowly than his peers. We judge him to be about 2-3 years behind emotionally and socially, with the added challenge of the mind-blindness that comes with the diagnosis. Things are looking fairly good, I think. And I have hopes that he can have a semi-independent future.

So that's our experience so far this year.

Andrea, mom to

Graham
Miles
Anson

Andrea, mom to

Graham
Miles
Anson
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-25-2003
Fri, 09-24-2010 - 9:27am

My son is in the middle of middle school (7th grade)

He started out in Kindy in a special ed class. He gradually mainstreamed over the years, going fully mainstream in 4th grade.

We were concerned that Middle school would be tough for him, as it is such a big change. We gave him a very comprehensive IEP. He amazed everyone by doing stupendously in 6th grade -making the Honor Roll twice for his high grades.

He still has a IEP, but it is a little less restrictive now in 7th and he is doing well.

Everyone's story is different, but I think you are right to be building the foundation for middle school now. I totally credit the help he had in elementary -even preschool for that.

-Paula

visit my blog at www.onesickmother.com

-Paula

visit my blog at www.onesickmother.com