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Question on breaks in homeschool day for ADHD son


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#1 nwahomeschoolmom

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 10:58 PM

Hello,

My son is 5.5 and most likely has ADHD  and possibly something else (to be evaluated sometime this calendar year.)  So I know I've read its beneficial to give more frequent breaks and possibly shorter lessons to children with ADHD.  But I mostly find myself having my son power through a few subjects (and struggling with all kinds of hyperactivity, impulsiveness and distraction), because if I give him a break when perhaps I should, I fear it will be so hard to reel him back in.  Is there a strategy for giving an ADHD child a break without everything unraveling?  Or spending another 5 or 10 minutes or so after the break getting the child to re-focus?   I'm trying to get through the subjects that require us to work together while my 4 month old is napping so being derailed for 20 minutes is significant.  

 

Today, we had a lighter school day and did things differently from normal and I gave him a break way earlier than usual and again at the normal time and it seemed to help, but we had extra time today....


Edited by nwahomeschoolmom, 11 January 2018 - 11:00 PM.


#2 PeterPan

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 11:26 PM

There are a bunch of strategies for that. One is to take a break but not have it be a break from you. So you stay in control, you change the activity, you work the plan and he just complies. So for instance the list might say:

 

math1

puzzle

math2

doodling

etc.

In that way he's working the list but he never transitions away from you or away from compliance. It's just boom boom boom. We worked like that with my ds with ASD for the first couple years, because the intensity suited him. His "breaks" that we actually called breaks were if he had gone yellow zone or red zone (see Zones of Regulation) and actually needed a BREAK, like to leave the room. 

 

Another way is to find his currency, what is calming to him or motivating, and use that for breaks. Again, you may end up needing to do it with him. My ds is very kinesthetic, so for one of his years we kept a bin of beanie babies in the room and every break was playing catch or beanie baby snowball fight. Every break. And he got like 12 breaks in 2 hours, lol. I don't remember exactly, but it was a lot. He needed about half of every day (2-3 hours) in breaks to stay calm. So it was work 10, break 5, etc.

 

We actually did *double* breaks with him at one point, and that was like work 5, break 5, break 5. The breaks would be on the list and different, like maybe one was doodling and the next was beanie baby toss, but both were preferred and both were essentially breaks. 

 

Also visual schedules can help. We had a stage where we used visuals from Autism Classroom News/Christine Reeves in her TPT store. When we started ABA, they moved him over to written lists. Now I use a visual structure. Structure, predictability, clear expectations can help. With my straight ADHD (no SLDs, no autism) dd, same gig, lots of structure, clear expectations, timers, work the plan. With her, because it was straight ADHD, she could go run laps around the table or house and then come back. She didn't have transition issues, and I didn't have to work so hard to get her back into my world or to keep her on the group plan or worry about losing her the way I do with my ds. With my ds, it's like sharks and blood in the water. You ahve to be so ON or he is just GONE, poof.

 

Other things that help? Well my ds' behavior improved radically when we got his reflexes integrated. If you haven't pursued that yet, it's definitely something to do. Also Mighteor is good stuff. I'm not saying either of those will "solve" what you've going on, but they could be pieces and useful and cheap(ish) while you wait for the full psych evals you're trying to make happen.

 

You can try super low doses of caffeine to see if it makes a difference in his attention. 


Edited by PeterPan, 11 January 2018 - 11:27 PM.

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#3 Targhee

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 11:43 PM

Breaks are short, non-engrossing activities (like jumping jacks, having a snack of small handful of grapes, or running around the house). They are NEEDED for ADHD kids. Also, your day should very short. At 5.5 I wouldn't do more than 1.5 hours of school. Mom of 3 with ADHD
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#4 nwahomeschoolmom

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 04:28 PM

Thanks for the help/advice!  Yes, we do a 1.5 hour or less school day.  My son runs around the house a lot while I'm getting the next subject ready..  Mighteor looks very intriguing,  Ill take a look it. 

 

The reflex integration things seems a little foreign and overwhelming to me...what would be the first step to figuring out if he needed that?

 

Thanks!



#5 EKS

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 04:37 PM

We didn't do breaks.  Instead, I would alternate between hard or disliked and easy or liked tasks.  We would do desk work first this way, then project/activity work, and finally reading aloud on the couch at the end when everyone was tired. 



#6 HomeAgain

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 04:40 PM

Something we use here are musical cues.  When break is nearing an end, I play a short song on my phone.  That tune ALWAYS signifies the same thing: come back to mom, it's time to do something new.

 

DS7 realized he does not do well with longer breaks and just asked me to shorten them to half the time.  We'll be trying that next week and see how it goes.


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#7 PeterPan

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 09:12 PM

I used an OT and later a PT to work on the retained reflexes. You can at least find videos for the *tests* on youtube and you might find exercises for them too. Our PT who was successful with us swore by Pyramid of Potential. So that's multiple paths, all of which could work.

 

Some of what's going to work and what you need will depend on what's going on. To me, I read what you're saying and I assume your something more is spectrum. I don't know what you're thinking, just saying what I was assuming. So how the child responds to these ideas will depend on what's going on and the reason he's hard to get back. In Social Thinking we talk about this idea of *group plan*. So then as kids have social thinking deficits (which are really hard to assess with a 5 yo, btw), it will show up as not getting the group plan. So the child will wander off, be on their own plan ,their own path, and they really don't get like, hello, there's a plan, we're a family, get with the plan. So then if that lack of a sense of group plan is part of the issue, you can use social thinking materials, help him understand there's a plan, bring in some motivators, and boom you're over the hurdle. Something like that can be *part* of the problem or *part* of the solution, kwim? For my ds, it was part of the answer. We had to get inside his head and help him realize the plan and agree that he was part of the plan and would work the plan.

 

Motivators are good. To use them, obviously you first have to figure out what is motivating for your dc. Then you have to have demands (things you're trying to make happen, goals, tasks, asks, whatever) that are within reach. 

 

What is he doing when he is worn out and leaves and doesn't return? That will be really telling. Is there a repetitive nature to it (lining up things, running in circles, using a toy repeatedly the same way, humming, using something that he uses perseveratively in the same way), or is it that he's just in motion and gone? With my dd, straight ADHD, honestly, I didn't usually lose her. That just wasn't a word I would have used. She needed lots of breaks, but she could return and then be non-compliant, lol. She didn't have an issue with returning. With my ds who is not returning, that's a transition issue, that's his autism. And for him, some of it is going to be that he needs a break to self-regulate. 

 

That's where, at least for my ds, powering through is actually the opposite of what he needs. For my ds, we take MORE breaks, not less. At first they had to be separate breaks, because he couldn't take a break and be together and get calm, but we kept working on it till he could take together breaks, in the room breaks. It was a process, a gradual thing. 

 

If the dc is stimming or doing anything repetitively on his breaks, then that's really a sign that he's trying to self-regulate. That, to me, would be where I would be like ok let's take MORE breaks, lots more breaks. Like maybe he's not really telling us how many breaks he needs. Let's take so many breaks that he's a ROCK STAR and can stay in the room and never even NEED to ask for a break because he gets so many breaks.

 

That's when you get to that successful thing and some positive momentum, because then he gets used to ok my session with mom is 1.5 hours and it's all going to be together and it's all going to be in control and chilled. 

 

But yeah, if your *something additional* isn't spectrum, maybe all that's sounding like hooey, don't know. 

 

My straight ADHD needed a lot of time to process. She fatigued easily. That's something you learn about in the evals is their processing speed. One of your breaks can be lunch. Does your dc rise very on the ball or very slowly? My dd was a slow riser, so I gave her a LOT of time in the mornings. Trying to go sooner was counter productive. She liked to have time to read for an hour, etc. So if he's one of those, then you could have a masterful morning, a later start, and lunch could be a really good, helpful break. 

 

My ds wakes up really on the ball, so for him we go into our therapy routines and then eat breakfast and get straight to work. If I let him go, I'll hardly get him back. That's just where he is and his reality. Too many issues transitioning. So when you say that if you let him go and you're not sure if you can get it back, you can watch and say ok is this a *transition* issue. 

 

When are your evals going to happen? This is the unfun stage, waiting for information that would unlock things.



#8 nwahomeschoolmom

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 10:46 PM

Thanks again for all the helpful info PeterPan...we think he has ADHD and mild Aspergers...I know they don't use that term anymore but I still think it's the most appropriate term for him. He is slow getting going in the morning. He has a very strong, argumentative personality but then other days like today he is just my quirky, cute lovable boy with a few minor issues today. There is just always something with him...like, no you can't bring 15 baby blankets to the school table ( I had to set a rule of three blankets but he recently gave them all to his baby brother..I was thrilled), no we can't play "characters" (sort of like pretend) while we do school, he always wants to tell one more joke (from a book or nonsense), or one more fact about whatever he is into...always something lol. It's just hard to get him focused again. And he does ask the same questions sometimes daily in like a OCD type of way. "Why can't we play characters during school again?" he is generally focused on something distracting him but the things can change frequently and cycle back. He runs in circles a lot especially when he is excited and thinking. He will answer math problems often like "1, 2, 3, 4, 5 Five" ( if the answer is five) and so on while running in circles. I always thought that was the ADHD and maybe some boredom with math facts. A few people are starting to see what we see and why we are going forward with evaluation. Not sure when it will be...I have to talk to ped...we don't live in a big city so I'm guessing a shorter wait.
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#9 PeterPan

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Posted 14 January 2018 - 12:19 AM

The frustrating thing about evals for spectrum in homeschooling is that there aren't necessarily enough people seeing the behaviors to make it easy to get him diagnosed. The system is set up for people in school and wants you give forms to multiple people. We did that, but nobody was ever seeing him in longer than 20-30 minute snippets and usually in preferred settings, like a swim class. Makes it really easy to get unhelpful results. :(

 

You should do the evals, but I'm just giving you the heads-up about that issue. If you don't have people with him enough to see what you're seeing, they can't mark it on the forms. And yes, what you're seeing sounds like important stuff. Some of that sounds like perseverating (being stuck on things) and repetitive behaviors.

 

Why can't you play characters while you do school? I mean, I'm all for getting instructional control, blah blah, but every professional who has come into my home and tried to work with my ds MET HIM WHERE HE WAS. You're going to get a lot farther meeting him where he is than rigidly telling him this is what school looks like. 

 

You can look for Play Project by Solomon to see what it looks like. I've been reading the book, and it's a lot like what our behaviorist has done with us. If you could find a Play Project trained therapist, they might be useful to you. It's just a really good lead-in to homeschooling, because homeschooling is so driven by relationship, communication, integrity.

 

I have no doubt he's both challenging and charming. :)

 

You try starting a thread that says suspected aspergers and K5 and see what you get. Or keep reading the boards and using site search. My ds has SLDs on top of his autism, and honestly his support level may be a bit higher than your ds'. With my ds, I could do really out there stuff (looser, less predictable) like Barton, but it made it really hard to get instructional control. We switched over to very predictable, incremental materials. They fit his SLDs and lower his anxiety. I'm not saying you should do that, only that I did. Initially it was to make our ABA go better, because my workers couldn't work on behavior AND do really out there kind of teaching. And I can teach him now, but honestly it's just astonishing how CALM he gets with running through a pile of really predictable work. 

 

Again, I'm not saying turn all your world into that, but you might just see. And if what you're doing fits him, fine and dandy. Just saying it works well for my ds. I use a lot of printable workbooks I get from Teacher Created Resources, Evan Moor, Carson Dellosa, etc. I was just downloading more tonight. So anything I might have been wanting to do with a more typical school subject or homeschool curriculum, I look for from these publishers. I'm able to hand him one page at a time, keeping a consistent predictable structure, and it just lets him get in a groove. 

 

One of the things my workers wanted was a balance of independent work, seat work, and together work. Does he have behaviors with waiting? Can he busy himself in a non-preferred setting? My ds couldn't, so working on independent work is actually a huge goal, because it's helping him go oh, I could sit down with something and make a choice and busy myself. Not the falling into the aut, getting lost in a pile of things by lining them up for an hour kind of gig, but actually just choosing to work on something either handed to me or from a list of choices. That was really hard for him. For that I use super simple things like word searches, dot to dots, mazes. Anything at his level that he has done enough with you that he can do them independently could be put on his list. For K5 age, you're talking a super short time, super short. It could even be something like look at picture books or play apps on the computer or whatever. It's just another category.

 

Yes, it's super hard to tease apart the ADHD piece and the Autism piece, sigh. My ds *looked* astonishingly ADHD but he passes attention tap tap computer tests with flying colors. He failed one before he got his reflexes integrated, but now he passes them. So my own two cents of advice would be to see how far you can get with OT and getting any retained reflexes integrated, bring in a behaviorist to help with the behavior, and then if his behavior *still* impedes his ability to access his education or he is a danger to himself or others, then pursue the meds. 

 

My ds needs a LOT of movement in his world. We just got back his genetics testing, and ironically it turns out he has fast twitch muscle fibers and another gene associated with muscle strength. Like literally when his coach was telling us to get him in running, that he's a sprinter, it was for real. 

 

Is your ds doing well on the list of things in your sig? Is he getting through it? He seems very advanced. The advice I've been given a lot is to focus on behavior with my ds, because the academics are, in a way, the easy part. It's something to consider. Like not in a hard slam, crack down kind of way, but more of an equal effort, bring the social and the behavioral pieces online. When we got our diagnoses and got the behaviorist in, we were able to bring in Social Thinking materials. If you bring those in, you're going to use up some of that brain power. He might be putting tons of energy into math and you're like this is awesome, this is a super power! But in a way, it's really imbalanced. If you divert some of that energy to Social Thinking, to learning about self-regulation and Zones of Regulation and 5 Point Scale and whatnot, it might literally slow down his academics. It has for my ds. Any are where we do a lot of therapy diverts brain energy and slows down progress in other areas. But it might be kind of welcome in the end and might balance him out a bit and make him easier to live with. 

 

And you know, if he's driving it himself, way awesome, so awesome, go for it. But it's just something to watch for, that it might slow down or balance as you step in some interventions. Sometimes I feel bad about that with my ds, but I don't. He's more balanced that way.

 

Fwiw, given how high he's performing right now academically, I wouldn't go to a small town, local psych. You might get more helpful evals if you go to a psych who specializes in gifted who has a lot of experience with autism. You'll get a more thorough analysis and better advice on how to proceed. You might get validation of out of the box things you're doing, rather than pat or inexperienced answers. Evals are a big deal and worth driving for.



#10 Tsuga

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Posted 14 January 2018 - 04:36 AM

How long are you teaching him in each stretch?

 

I'm not one to teach seat work to a child under 6 anyway if it can be avoided, so my answer will probably be unhelpful, but I think the length of each lesson will affect the length of the break.

 

Why not fourteen blankets to the table? Can you make your life easier by not arguing about the non-essentials?

 

I also would re-thing teaching during the napping times. That puts a ton of pressure on you, it probably stresses you out, and he can sense that and that's not going to do anything for his behavior either. I understand why you wouldn't want to teach a child while dealing with an infant, however, knowing that you don't have to finish during the naptime could be helpful.


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#11 PeterPan

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Posted 14 January 2018 - 10:16 AM

My guess is that where Tsuga is not doing formal seat work, she probably *is* doing things together. One of the benefits of doing *something* and having intentional interaction is that you're working on that togetherness to counteract the autism and falling into the aut (aloneness). It's also giving you compliance work. 

 

Almost anything could give you that work on being together, connected, and complying. It could be math games, puzzles, dot to dots, coloring, painting, making cookies, anything. You can weave compliance work into ANYTHING. It's more the intensity and intentionality.

 

The great challenge in working with these kids is knowing when to back off working on academics and be focusing more on compliance, connection. That connection will let you get farther in the long-run, and the gains you make without behavioral or instructional control aren't durable. I taught my ds through Barton 4 with no instructional control. He's gifted, so of course I could do that. I totally rolled with him and he could learn. But he was a total hell hole of a mess to work with. Instructional control and compliance are worth a lot, and we actually had to focus on them to get them. Some people will even say I don't have enough! Fine, whatever. But it's a balance. I'm just saying, for me, with my ds who is pretty challenging, I had to see what I was working on and be honest about that. For my ds, keeping going at that level of higher academics without instructional control and compliance was non-sustainable, unsafe. It also makes it challenging for anyone ELSE to be able to work with him, and I need that back-up. I can get sick. I could die. Reality was, the behaviors and lack of control with me were happening EVERYWHERE. So focusing on that has improved behaviors across the board, in every setting. 



#12 PeterPan

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Posted 14 January 2018 - 10:27 AM

This is a total rabbit trail, but one of the things that I didn't grasp initially was how compliance work *is* going to lead to self-driving, self-regulation. It doesn't start out that way, but as the child is able you move it over to that. By getting control and establishing what calm and controlled looks like, you can begin to teach THEM to use their tools THEMSELVES to stay in that state. And maybe the number of tools the dc needs depends on the particular severity and mix of the dc. My ds seems to need a lot of tools!

 

When we started, I viewed my ds as a victim of his neurology. I wrote off behaviors saying he has autism, he can't do better. The behaviorist walks in the house, looks at him having behaviors, and goes "Are you making a CHOICE..." and I'm like choice, he can't make a choice, he's got autism! So the irony is that we so want to be child-led in our academics, so want to roll with their gifts, but then we don't empower them to make choices on behavior. It's really hard stuff to teach and hard stuff to learn how to do. When we teach them to use their tools, to say they need breaks, to use a break list, to accept scheduled breaks and transitions even when they'd keep going, to do Zones check-ins, to realize how they feel, etc., we're empowering them to control their own emotions, just like we're saying we want them to be controlling and empowered with their academics. 

 

For many bright kids who get enough intervention, this social thinking and awareness actually becomes a STRENGTH! It can happen. 



#13 nwahomeschoolmom

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Posted 14 January 2018 - 06:21 PM

Thanks again for more helpful info and things to think about.  He is doing well academically...mostly because he learned to read really fast.  We just started to do the Patterns of Nature book together twice a week.  I wouldn't have him do that alone....I'm using it to transition us into doing science more regularly.  He was an only child for over 5 years so doing worksheets with him (that he chose from a big stack) was a good way for me to get a break from constant playing.  He enjoys learning now.  He would probably be in the same place without our formal homeschooling, but I guess it is "compliance work" of sorts...I just never realized it.  I would tell people that we were homeschooling in this way when he was 4 to counteract him being an only child/the spoiling.  That he could actually be on the spectrum has just been on our radar a very short time since now social deficits are starting to show. Before it was just what we thought were ADHD/OCD behaviors.  I never knew he stimmed until I learned in a forum that what he does regularly is considered stimming.  So we'll see...

 

About the no characters doing school, at first we went along with it, but it became kind of an obsession where he wanted to play characters all the time, even out of the house. (The way he approaches it would be found odd by same age peers.)  So I tried setting a boundary like "Characters is actually called pretend.  Its a game for playtime that has a beginning and an end.  You can't play characters at piano lessons or Little Gym.  And besides, we love who you are!"  He has actually been taking to the rule, though he still asks about it...so its working.  

 

Same with blankets...he took to the 3 blanket rule pretty easily so it became a non-issue pretty quickly.  It was just an example of his quirkiness and how there is always something going on distracting him! 


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#14 PeterPan

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Posted 14 January 2018 - 08:07 PM

Sounds like you're doing a really good job! Those are definitely the kinds of limits you can make, the compliance you can require. Just because something is ok or good doesn't mean it's good in *your* situation. 

 

Yes, if you've been burdened feeling like his behavior was your fault, like you spoiled him, etc. etc., time to release yourself from that! Most parents don't have to work THIS HARD to get reasonable behavior. 

 

For me, I had so many unschooling friends and friends that were more go with the flow that this kind of high structure, very predictable, worksheet-driven approach seemed really contradictory and un-child-friendly. Really though, he's calm, he's happy, he's learning. It fits a boy personality to want to get down to business, do it, and be done. My ds likes efficiency, lol. Or you could say, he likes speed in his academics as much as he does the rest of his life, lol. 

 

So yeah, don't give yourself a hard time or make apologies. It really sounds like you're doing a good job making limits, teaching him, explaining the expectations, enforcing things consistently. It's all good stuff!

 

So what is his area of special interest? I agree, the blankets thing is curious. Is it for sensory? 



#15 Tsuga

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Posted 14 January 2018 - 09:54 PM

My guess is that where Tsuga is not doing formal seat work, she probably *is* doing things together. One of the benefits of doing *something* and having intentional interaction is that you're working on that togetherness to counteract the autism and falling into the aut (aloneness). It's also giving you compliance work. 

 

 

Well, my kids were in formal pre-school while I worked outside the home, however, I sent them to the German kindergartens where they only have choice seat work for kids up to about 7, when they enter first grade. They also did outdoor after school. So their schedule was almost no enforced seatwork. It was all play-based. Minimum 3 hours every day outdoors no matter the weather.

 

Over the summer when we home-educate, we absolutely did things together but I didn't and couldn't have my girls sitting down before about 7. Public school at 6 was hard and mainly relied on sheer native ability vs. learning but hey free daycare. Now in 3rd grade I will allow for 45 minute stretches.

 

FWIW where I work, most of the engineers, analysts and managers do frequent breaks and they are grown adults. Most of us take a few walks around the building when we can. The Pomodoro method is really popular:

 

https://open.buffer....breaks-at-work/

 

The reason I hearken to work schedules is that basically... if you wouldn't expect a 35 year old college-educated engineer to do it, why would you expect someone to do it at the age of five?

 

That said I cannot overstate my understanding that OP is homeschooling a kindergartener while a four month old naps. That is very, very stressful and time-sensitive.

 

 

Same with blankets...he took to the 3 blanket rule pretty easily so it became a non-issue pretty quickly.  It was just an example of his quirkiness and how there is always something going on distracting him! 

 

 

We did compliance for health and safety only. I regret that, because it didn't give me space to compromise. Whenever I said something we had to do it. So I see the point of setting arbitrary limits. But he is only five! If he were nine, that would be a different story. I think if he's complying, that's very within normal limits. A lot of people who homeschool have unusually compliant children (believe me, if your kid isn't compliant one of you is going to end up in the psych ward or public school pretty fast). So the standards are really high. But what you are describing is sounds like a great situation and a great kid.

Same with blankets...he took to the 3 blanket rule pretty easily so it became a non-issue pretty quickly.  It was just an example of his quirkiness and how there is always something going on distracting him! 



#16 PeterPan

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Posted 14 January 2018 - 10:21 PM

With my ds, the social thinking deficits really screwed up his ability to figure out cause effect, figure out who was in charge, etc. I'm really, really cool with child-led, but a socially typical child in a child-led situation still figures out who is in charge, who we listen to, why we listen, etc. They figure this stuff out. My ds did NOT figure it out. He was 5, 6, 7, 8, and he had NO CLUE. His paradigm for a while was that he obeyed whoever was biggest. He just had no clue. 

 

It wasn't safe, didn't transfer, wasn't workable. So when I talk about compliance, I'm really not talking about obedience. My ds is on the cusp of grasping obedience, ie the idea that he has an opinion and I have an opinion but that because I'm in charge he's going to defer his preference and do what I asked in a reasonably speedy/expeditious way. He isn't there yet. We keep working on it. What he HAS got is compliance. To whit, he follows along with the plan because it gets him what he wants. Dog training. 

 

We expect very young children to go through stages of doing things for motivation, doing things with teacher or parent control, and to gradually pick up the clue phone (around K5 age actually) and begin to use some self-control. There's a lot of normal development that happens there! A LOT of what happens in K5 is about discipline, obedience, learning self-control so they don't need so much teacher-control. 

 

My ds was just very behind that curve, so he needed to be at a higher level of support longer. He had these gaps in his understanding. The confusion left him angry and frustrated. We had to meet him where he was in his understanding developmentally, get him on board with some social thinking (there's a plan, there's a group, you're part of it, get on board, you'll like being onboard), and start moving him forward. NOW he has some self-control and self-regulation, but we had to meet his understanding where it was.

 

So that's something you can look at. My ds also had no clue phone on family structures. He really just didn't GET it or get why anyone could/should tell him to do anything. It was really crazy to work with. 

 

So we actually do overt compliance drills. Some of it is what smart grandmas do when a kid comes over. They set them to doing some tasks, boom boom boom. They make demands. And when you do enough of that, issuing 15-20 orders (demands) that he complies with, it kind of gets his brain back in gear like OH THAT'S WHAT I DO... Then everything runs smoother! And there are tricks to it. Like you can make the demand as he's doing it. Doesn't have to be a huge deal. It can be a really small ask. It can be something he's going to want to do. You can totally set him up for success. So it's not a negative thing, when we talk compliance drills with autism. It's a positive thing of getting some momentum. Makes my ds WAY easier to work with. 



#17 nwahomeschoolmom

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Posted 15 January 2018 - 09:57 PM

Tsuga....I think you are right about having the mentality that I wanted to get school done while baby was napping was causing stress, even if I wasn't a super stickler about it....it still added to stress that I thought that was ideal.  I changed it up today which works better for our new math curriculum anyway.  Now we do math in the morning, which is a bit more independent after some instruction (i.e. baby on blanket with toys and son on other side of me doing math) and language arts in the afternoon when my baby is too tired for much attention anyway and/or may be napping.  Much more relaxed day!  (Of course we had snow today so no pressure to go anywhere.)   I've realized my son has plateaued a bit in language arts since he can't progress much more at his current maturity level so taking PeterPans advice, I am going to rework our schedule to do less school work and more things like daily chores, etc.  Of course, we had all day due to snow which we usually don't have!  Still need to sort out breaks...sometimes hard to plan since sometimes he gets super long breaks when I have to tend to baby anyway.


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#18 nwahomeschoolmom

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Posted 15 January 2018 - 10:20 PM

 

 

So what is his area of special interest? I agree, the blankets thing is curious. Is it for sensory? 

He doesn't have a constant interest, but he is currently fixated on: the built in accompaniment music on his new piano keyboard he got for Christmas, the fly and turtle characters in a subtraction workbook I picked up used over the weekend, and making letters from these characters using his dinosaur stamp set.  I have already given him like 30 envelopes in the past 2 days.  He puts little notes in each one.  He is handmaking pretend stamps for them, after seeing a sticker that looked like a stamp.  He was really fixated on the Christmas Carol story for a couple of weeks and was always Tiny Tim and walked around with a crutch made of some building toy for a few weeks, until he saw the Peanuts Christmas movie.  Now he spends some time every day as Charlie Brown.  His break from school today included pretending to be Charlie Brown and writing math problems on the board for me to do.   He has also been really fixated on math lately.  He cycles between being fixated on math or reading.  


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