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Anyone with an elementary DC with Autism?

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My oldest son has a form of high functioning autism. He complains that he doesn't like school and I've tried tweaking it so many times it's really head spinning! Here's what we do,


Bible: I read them a story and we discuss it.


Language Arts: We do a lesson from FLL, WWE and a page of spelling.


Handwriting: I'm teaching them HWOT cursive right now.


Math: Math Mammoth 1B-2A for my second grader (autistic) 1A for my 5 year old first grader.


History: I read them a story from Pioneers and Pilgrims and do some study branching off of what we learned.


Science: Exploring Creation with Zoology 1, We read a few pages, discuss and add some facts to our lesson lapbook that I bought from Currclick.


Typing: They use Jumpstart typing


Italian: Rosetta Stone Italian




I try to add in lots of games, but he still says he doesn't like to do it. He wishes he were 17 and done with school already. My younger son just LOVES school, so I don't know if it's the autism or just a personality difference and him not wanting to do it. If any of you have a child with autism, did you find it hard for them to enjoy school? What did you do to spark their interest and get them to enjoy learning.


My son used to love learning, and hound me all morning to "do" school. Now he groans when I tell them to come to the table. Please help! What he once loved, he now hates. :confused:

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Were you doing anything differently before, when he loved school, or do you think it was the novelty of the situation? Once the initial glow wears off, it can be difficult to find what works best.


Typically (although not always), autistic spectrum kids are high visual and kinesthetic. Your lists include a lot of sit-down, paper- and book-based learning. Can you replace at least some of that with educational videos, for instance, for your ASD son? There are some wonderful history and science DVDs and TV programs he might like. He might soak up the same information about animals if you offer it to him in the form of Animal Planet specials or the like (I don't have a TV, so I don't know the names of any of the shows kids like, but other people certainly will).


Can you buy him some science kits and let him make stuff? Mythbusters has some kits to go along with their shows; they're relatively pricey (nearly $20 in the stores), but you might find some cheaper on the internet, and they're easy to work with although you would have to do the reading of the instructions -- they're on really visually distracting paper and the print is quite small. Does he like Legos? Lego has all kinds of physics-based kits in their educational department, besides wonderful machines in general. Let him build, take pictures of what he makes, describe it to you, and either you or he write down what he says. Can you take him to a pet store or zoo or natural history museum of some kind and have him spot the animals you're currently reading about? Maybe taking photos of real animals and putting them in the lapbook would make it more lively for him?


If he seems to like visual/kinesthetic versions of what you're doing, you could have him vary spelling by using Scrabble tiles or magnetic or plastic letters or letter tiles of some kind. Unless you need paper copies of his math to turn in to some supervising entity, let him experiment with doing his math on a big whiteboard with different colors of dry erase markers. Peggy Kaye's Games For Math has some fun games that involve jumping around or moving a bit, and you could easily do them with both kids. I've tried to think of things you could use with both of them.


The kids on the spectrum I have known so far have a very difficult time sitting down and focusing for extended periods of time. If you can break up the book and paper-based work with movement, DVDs, and different tactile materials, he may find it more interesting.

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Ds doesn't love school, however, he does know that he has to do schoolwork. He's happier about it when he knows he's earning something. I've been paying out a Hotwheels for getting his work down cheerfully and well and that's the best 77 cents I've spent in a while. When that wears off, I'll go back to paying $1 a day toward a bigger toy. You can adjust the prizes according to your son's taste and record his progress either on a paper checklist or a small dry erase board. It's easier to manage behavior when it's not about making mom happy or sad, but rather about objective criteria that lead to concrete consequences.


I agree with KarenAnne about making the content subjects as autie-friendly as possible. Ds has picked up a large store of general knowledge from videos, science museum visits and classes and me throwing out tidbits at appropriate times. For some reason, videos don't count as school in my kids' minds and they'll happily watch science and history content and retain it.


Now, I'm off to look for KarenAnne's Mythbuster science sets. My kids are going to be thrilled!

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