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Motivation Tips for SNs 9yo


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#1 HSsquared

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 07:37 PM

We have daily struggles to keep my son on track to complete essential core subjects.

INFO: He is on the AS, SPD. I believe he has a good environment to learn in-our living room with neutral color pallet etc. Currently, he has “homework”
(that’s school work he didn’t do during a lesson if it’s not done timely, even w extra allowance for handwriting) no media (iPad, TV, etc, until it’s done either, etc). He basically pulls a toy in to play with or will just sit and stare off. This is his norm. I accept and honor he needs breaks and he gets them, but it’s simply physically taking a toll on me for him to take as long as he does. He doesn’t want to grow up, doesn’t have a drive to become something, he enjoys being a kid. He has the option to use the laptop if he wants to instead of handwriting, too, but declines more often than not.

?? So, what do you do, not do, etc to make it happen without feeling like you’re both just slap worn out by days end?


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#2 kbutton

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 10:31 PM

You might talk with a board certified behavior analyst (BCBA) for some behavioral strategies.

 

Does he have comorbid ADHD? 

 

Also, if he is encountering problems but doesn't know how to ask productive questions, this can be one way he's responding. A lot of kids on the spectrum have trouble with problem-solving and asking questions. There are some good tests that give insight into this, such as the TOPS testing (called TOPS-2 or TOPS-3, depending on which age range the test covers). It's often administered by speech therapists.

 

Does he have some tried and true approaches to new things that help grease the skids? (Graphic organizers, previews of material, a set order for doing various common tasks, etc.)


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#3 OneStepAtATime

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 11:11 PM

:grouphug: 

 

What kbutton said... :)  

 

This sounds very frustrating and tiring.  Hopefully there will be helpful responses.  It might help respondents to have some specific information.  What materials are you using and how many subjects are you covering each day?  How long do you give for each lesson and how much direct instruction and supervision?  Does he do better in the morning or afternoon?  If you scribe for him does his ability to finish his assignments improve?  Does he have any areas of interest?  How well does he read, as in decoding and fluency?  How well does he comprehend what he reads?  How well does he comprehend things read to him?

 

FWIW, I am uncertain what you mean by he doesn't want to grow up.  Do you mean he still likes to play with toys?  Or are there other behaviors that concern you regarding his emotional maturity?  I would consider that maybe expectations should be adjusted for "growing up" and "drive to become something".  Many kids with learning challenges/non-neurotypical issues can take longer to mature, sometimes years longer.  Some on this board have been told by professionals to see their child's emotional level as multiple years below their calendar age and development may be in non-linear fashion, meaning sometimes a few or a lot of steps forward followed by several back and so on.  Plus, there are a lot of 9 year olds that do not have a specific drive to become something.  9 is still pretty young.

 

As for his having the option to type his responses on the laptop if he wants to, how proficient is he at typing?  At 9 I am assuming he hasn't done extensive typing?  Has he truly mastered this skill?  Following that, there is a difference between being able to "copy" type something already written and typing up answers while thinking through and organizing thoughts, remembering how to spell, remembering proper grammar/punctuation, etc.  Again, FWIW, my kids can type but it has taken years for them to be able to actually write out answers by straight typing them.  They needed daily practice and reinforcement and support before they could type fluently with any speed at all and then it took even longer for them to be able to type up answers.  In fact, DS is still working on this skill and he is 13.

 

Anyway, I hope you find some useful answers.  Best wishes and good luck.

 

 


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#4 Pegs

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 12:01 AM

My ASD 8yo is at a stage where he needs me at-elbow for everything, including short stints of independent reading.

Even then, he drags his heels a whole lot over non-preferred activities.

I find that sometimes it helps to acknowledge that he isn't ready to focus. I give him a specific count to get himself together and ready for school, and I set a timer. When it rings, we put all nonsense behind us and start lessons without a fuss. I try to model this by not holding a grudge about the hold-up, which is WAY easier said than done. I find it really frustrating to feel like homeschool is dragging on all day, but I'm also careful not to turn lessons into a punitive time suck for DS. When I can get him on board and focussed, I get him through them as efficiently as possible, then quickly move him on to a preferred activity.
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#5 Pen

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 12:02 AM

At that age, I usually was at my ds's elbow for most schoolwork, and we used a timer.  When the timer went off that segment of schoolwork was done for the day, or until the next timed session.  "School" took about 4 hours total, including reading remediation--but not 4 hours in a single sitting.  More like 1/2 hour and 1/4 hour segments with play time in between them.  There was no "getting a lesson done," just time on task.  Math would have been 45 minutes; reading (with remediation) about 2 hours in 15 min. segments; and anything (everything) else in the hour and 15 min. left, and most of that was audio, or audio-visual content.

 

The everything else included time with SOTW audio playing as we drove, documentary movies, and so on.

 

The first motivation was getting to go play for a break as soon as each defined segment was over, and getting to play for most of afternoon.

 

Additional motivators were getting to play video games, or go ice skating, or other things like that once per week if the whole week went well.

 

 


Edited by Pen, 10 January 2018 - 12:19 AM.

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#6 PeterPan

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 12:58 AM

Amazon.com: Autism: The Potential Within: The PLAY Project Approach to Helping Young Children with Autism eBook: Richard Solomon MD: Kindle Store

 

I'm not much of one to read every word in a book, but I started this one on Lecka's recommend and have found it WELL worth the reading. It has a section, I forget which chapter, where it finally clicked in my mind *why* my ds was doing what yours does. That whole gig with the not attending even though they have good attention is an autism thing, and that process of engaging them and getting them to cross the bridge and come over to your world (via ABA, via Play Project, via whatever) is what eventually gets things clicking faster.

 

We were faster, and now after a break we're slow again. How were things last semester, before the holidays? Just checking. My ds was doing 15-20 pages of worksheets in under an hour. Like he was TOTALLY ENGAGED, totally able to just sit down and bang it out. Now we're back to needing a LOT of supports. Monday we did 19 pages in 7 hours (ish, I lost track). Today we did 19 pages in 5 hours. That's not work, work, working. That's me needing to give him lots of breaks and transitions and supports, because he was not ready to be intimately connected and just bang it out.

 

But the bang it out stage, where they're finally connected and really attending and working with you, Solomon talks about this. Or else something he said made it click in my mind. In any case, you might read the book (it's cheap) and see if anything clicks for you or gives you some vision.

 

What works with my ds is really clear, predictable expectations, same set-up every day. And starting in his world and bridging to mine. And then getting him so comfortable that he can transition back and forth. And then having him realize it would be just as fast and make his play better if he clumped. But with my ds, that took MONTHS. I'm guessing you have high levels of interaction goals. Like you're really trying to make things happen! So like you can play with him with his preferred toy his way and say hey, let's do this for 5 more minutes with a timer, then let's go ahead and do this first task on our list while I scribe for you. Then go right back to playing his thing, kwim? That's how we do it and that's how the ABA people who came into my home did it. It seems sucky slow/tedious, but if you do that, eventually he gets back in the groove, figures it out, realizes he can stay calm, needs less breaks and less preferred activities to stay calm, and he starts getting through stuff faster.

 

But yeah, it feels wicked hopeless when you start back into it. Right there with you. But play with him, give the support, try to get transitions and use the preferred to keep him comfortable.


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#7 kbutton

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 12:04 PM

My ASD 8yo is at a stage where he needs me at-elbow for everything, including short stints of independent reading.

Even then, he drags his heels a whole lot over non-preferred activities.

I find that sometimes it helps to acknowledge that he isn't ready to focus. I give him a specific count to get himself together and ready for school, and I set a timer. When it rings, we put all nonsense behind us and start lessons without a fuss. I try to model this by not holding a grudge about the hold-up, which is WAY easier said than done. I find it really frustrating to feel like homeschool is dragging on all day, but I'm also careful not to turn lessons into a punitive time suck for DS. When I can get him on board and focussed, I get him through them as efficiently as possible, then quickly move him on to a preferred activity.

 

I used a lot of transition strategies like that when my son was younger. In general, I've found that timers save our bacon a lot. :-) 


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#8 CPSTAnne

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 03:14 PM

What curriculum are you using? Is it things that engage him and interest him? My DD9 has SPD, ADHD, and GAD. It's been a journey finding things that work well for her. If it doesn't click, she doesn't seem able to just tell me she doesn't like it. It instead results in dragging feet, lack of focus, frustration, sometimes meltdowns. 

 

As I've found topics that engage her and curriculum that meets her needs, it has gone smoother. Very clear expectations has also helped. I use homeschool planet to plan our weeks and print off her schedule every morning. 

 

How well does he write? SPD can cause difficulty with writing due to coordination issues. DD9 has always struggled to keep up with the output typically required at her age. This year she has made a lot of improvement, but at the beginning of 4th grade her writing ability was closer to that of an early 1st grader. So if I find ways to require less pencil to paper, it's not as daunting. Sometimes that means just sitting next to her and she does something orally. Sometimes it means just abbreviating things (seriously, she will even just write N instead of NO or the first letter of a word if she's filling in blanks from a word box). If she is supposed to rewrite a sentence, I may let her edit the sentence and write only the adjustments. Every little bit of writing requirement lifted helps her to focus on the actual subject. And then we work on advancing her writing ability and stamina separately. Every day she writes sentences. At the beginning of the year we did one. Now she is up to three. At that time writing the sentences is the only focus. 

 

She still needs me right. there. through everything. She needs a lot of reminders and help staying on track. When I give her short breaks I like to be specific about what she should do. If I just let her break for 5 minutes she will sit and play with a toy or get involved in something. So then besides not getting the sensory input she needs, she also becomes reluctant to come back to work. I tell her to go jump on the trampoline or to do cartwheels on the tumble mat or to wrestle with the dog. Things like that get some energy out, give her some input, and they're easy to come back from. 

 

I'm also pretty clear that school work is a priority and if we can't do that, we can't do other things, either. So if behavior made us not finish work, then no electronics or special outings. Work first and you can play. Drag your feet and you use up your play time. I'm not mean about it and I don't present it in a way that makes school work like a chore that we must slog through. It's just a simple fact that if daddy gets home at x time and you want to be able to go with him to grandma's, we have to be done with our work. Friday is our fun day when we do only math and writing and then we do art, cooking, field trip..... the fun stuff. If we're not getting through much work during the week then I might mention that "we'll just add that lesson to friday". And sometimes we do end up doing more work on Friday when we play more throughout the week. I don't make a big deal of it. But she's come to realize she would rather do the work when it's time for it than have it carry into her play time or our fun day. 

 

These are just some things that have helped us navigate homeschooling a kiddo with SN. It's far from perfect around here and we still have a lot of things to improve on. But I do feel we have made a LOT of progress over the last year. 

 

Oh, one thing that probably helped DD a lot isn't a realistic thing to try just for this result....She went to PS for most of 3rd grade last year. This taught her the lesson that mommy wasn't being mean when I made her do school. She had always kind of viewed it as having to do school instead of play. By going to PS for several months, she realized the alternative to doing school at home was not play at home, it was doing school at school. One way or another, she needed to be educated. She has been much more willing to work since we pulled her out in March. 


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