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I've mentioned before issues we've had with our OT, not giving me any ideas for work to do with Anna at home (although I specifically asked) and really not seeming to do anything that will give us any benefit during the half-hour-weekly sessions, other than 5 minutes of Zones work, which really haven't come to anything much. (She hasn't even given me any ideas for implementing Zones at home, I've just been using techniques I've seen online, and followed some of OhE's recommendations posted here.)

 

I'm really at a loss...They're the only OT within driving distance, and it's still a long drive for us every week, and a lot of money, and for what? I sent an email 3 weeks ago (thank you to those who helped refine it) asking the therapist what her goals were for the coming weeks, and instead of writing or calling back she took half of Anna's session to basically tell me that her current goal is to make Anna less excited and overwhelmed when she sees the equipment. Huh????

 

I also wrote her another email this week, and haven't heard anything back. I assume she plans to take up another 15 minutes of our Monday session to tell me nothing.

 

So...now I'm wondering if it makes sense to continue, much as I know she needs help. Heavy work is good at regulating her as long as I catch her in an early-Yellow stage, and I could maybe use techniques from The Out-Of-Sync Child books...I just don't know what to do at this point. For anyone interested, along with general issues with praxis, this is what was noted on her eval a couple of months ago, some based on observation, some from a checklist I filled out:
 

Overall, results from the indicate Definite Dysfunction in the Hearing, Body Awareness, and Balance & Motion as:

 

Hearing: Makes noises, hums, sings, or yells during quiet times. (Frequently)
Speaks too loudly or makes excessive noise during transitions.
(Frequently)

Yells, screams, or makes unusual noises to self. (Frequently)

 

Body Awareness
Chews or mouths clothing, pencils, crayons, or other materials. (Frequently)

Runs, hops, or bounces instead of walking. (Frequently)
Spills contents when opening containers. (Frequently)
Moves chair roughly (shoves chair under table or pulls out chair with too much force. (Frequently)

 

Balance & Motion
Does not perform consistently in daily tasks; quality of work varies widely. (Frequently)
Is unable to solve problems effectively. (Frequently)
Has difficulty correctly imitating demonstrations (movement games; songs with motions). (Frequently)

 

Anna’s total SPM score was detected in the Definite Dysfunction range.

 

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You mean should you drop this particular OT?  Yes.  

 

Do you know the therapies to do everything on your own that she would benefit from?  No.

 

There's definitely a lot you *can* do, and I don't think you should have any hesitancy about dropping someone who is completely wasting your time and money.  So just throwing out some options here... Have you checked:

 

-neurofeedback (Zengar, whatever) providers?

-RMT providers?

-SIPT certification list on wp's site?

-BalavisX providers?

-Therapeutic Listening (Vital Sounds) providers?

 

TL has some kind of new app thing you download where you can then buy the music.  You could talk with them and ask if it's the modulated music like on the therapy cds or not.  I don't know.  If it is, that would be an extremely smart thing to look into.  BalavisX you can get the dvds for and learn yourself.  Neurofeedback has provider lists, and you can rent.  

 

You can take the money you've been putting into ineffective OT sessions and use it to go to a Zones workshop.  Look up their site and see if you can get to a location doing both the basic *and* advanced.  If you're going to have to pay to travel, do both, kwim?  Socialthinking.com also has training workshop lists.  They would help you will the extras you'll need to plug into Zones to do it effectively.  Alternately, you can buy the books.  The workshops would be really good and jumpstart you.

 

You can go to SuperDuper and buy kits (Yogarilla, etc.) that you can use for calming techniques.  The OT we're using right now, who's getting good results with ds, has NO major equipment where we work.  All the stuff you see like swings, blah blah, nope.  And yet, here we are, getting progress.  And that's the kind of stuff we're doing.  The *most* calming thing for him right now is the Therapeutic Listening.  Everything else is really good (kinesio tape, RMT for retained reflexes, blah blah) but the music, WOW the change.

 

Are there any ps near you?  Are they providing OT?  You could hire their person.  Seriously.  These private OTs are able to be so voodoo, stringing us out.  PS OTs have to contribute with IEP goals and actually say what they'll get done and what they'll change.  It's totally the flip of what I expected.  I assumed private would be better, but in our area at least the ps OTs are really better because of that discipline, because there is the expectation and accountability for change.

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I would vote for a longer drive if you can find a better O T. It would be better to drive less frequently with a better home program. Occupational therapy is such s broad field that most OT's learn their niches on the job through workshops and networking. Your OT might be great with rehab, but it doesn't sound like she is knowledgable where you need it. I wouldn't waste any more money of time on this one.

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Hearing: Makes noises, hums, sings, or yells during quiet times. (Frequently)

Speaks too loudly or makes excessive noise during transitions. (Frequently)

Yells, screams, or makes unusual noises to self. (Frequently)

 

Side question...do they attribute this to anything in particular? Did they suggest a specific therapy for this? Just curious--we have that here.

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Thanks for the responses. A lot to think about...

 

Side question...do they attribute this to anything in particular? Did they suggest a specific therapy for this? Just curious--we have that here.

 

Nobody's attributed it to anything or suggested therapy, but I know ADHD kids are often loud, I feel like it's centering for her. There are so many thoughts going on in her head, that she needs to talk in order to have something central to focus on. It may also be sensory seeking, where silence is uncomfortable for her. She can't play, or even eat, without making noise of some kind, really the only time she's silent is when we're reading. At our first meeting the therapist jotted down (I glanced at her notes) "Loud voice! The Listening Program?" But nobody's followed up to suggest that we do some kind of therapeutic listening. I have no idea if that would make any difference, and the therapist must have questioned it too because it's never come up again.

 

I wish we could find someone else, but the closest therapies are in the city about an hour away. She already has a hard time with our drive, especially the drive home, and she gets carsick so I'd hate to subject her to two hours in the car. As I mentioned above, I wonder if they'd let her try The Listening Program, to see if it makes any difference? I know it's different from, but also a similar idea to TL, so I wonder if it's worth a try...There's a neurofeedback place also an hour away, but it's much more than we can afford right now, especially for a treatment that might make no difference, and I don't even know if she'd be able to sit through it. Re: BalavisX, I doubt there are any providers, but didn't realize they had materials you could learn at home. From what I've seen, it looks like it requires a lot of dexterity, and Anna has dyspraxia. Ideally it would actually help her with motor planning, but does it start at a level easy enough for a kid who can barely catch a playground ball against her chest? If it starts early and builds up, that's definitely something I'd consider.

 

I did look into the Kuypers training earlier, after you'd taken it. But with the travel again not something I can afford at this point. I'm going to buy the manual, though. (Is there a new version coming out soon? Should I wait for that?) I wish she'd offer training online!

 

There are two ps near us, I'd never even thought of using their OT. I wonder if that's something where I could contact the school and ask? I also wonder if she'd be able to use their OT room...Probably not allowed since she's not a student, but maybe?

 

I'd looked at Yogarilla a couple of months ago, it seems really cute and like something DD might enjoy. It might help her with body awareness, so it's worth picking up, thanks for reminding me.

 

Thanks so much for the ideas, I guess I'll see what the current therapist's response to my last email is and then decide from there. I've just been so frustrated and disheartened by this whole process.

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You might look at Beating Dyspraxia with a Hop, Skip, and a Jump. His basic thesis is that 80% of the symptoms of dyspraxia can be improved by improving strength, so he gives you a simple, easy to implement strength training program.

 

Yes, she could do BalavisX just fine.  I got the manual on amazon used for maybe $18.  It was an inexpensive suggestion.  When we were doing it before we started formal OT, it would give us a couple hours of peace and focus to get some Barton done.  Now the OT does it with him every week.  She would like me to do it at home too, and I told her to take a flying leap on that one.  ;)  I can hardly even do 2 balls, and they're now doing 4 and 6 balls!!!   :lol: 

 

Neurofeedback is passive.  They literally just sit in their chair and watch their favorite movie.  My ds does just fine with it.  I'm not saying it's affordable.  I'm just saying if you have the option and want to try it it's doable.

 

No, not a new manual for Zones but an advanced manual I think.  It's really a huge framework, and she had so much material to add that I think she's making a 2nd book.  You can go to the training later, if it works out.  This is not a need that is going away, so maybe start watchign the locations and see if you can work it out for a year from now, kwim?  Then you can start saving your $20 a month and have it.

 

Whoa, you never even asked your ps?  Dude, I totally would.  In fact, honestly, given how frustrated you are, just toss her in school for a month.  Seriously.  Like just drop her off at the door, say look did you know the gov't funds christmas parties for kids and they're all day for a month!, and leave her there.  Then when she does all this stuff (and gets through the honeymoon period and really starts doing it), they'll give her therapy.  If they balk about treating homeschoolers, then do it.  Because, yes, the IEP process forces OTs in the ps to be much more goal oriented.  

 

Our ps decided on OT for ds based on the SPD, *not* on fine motor.  They'll usually assume you mean fine motor.  You have more of a hurdle when you're talking SPD.  They're going to take their jolly time.  If you put her in, make sure you still make that formal written request immediately, in writing, with a date, to start the timeline going for evals.  Otherwise they'll just screw around and say they're just going to observe.  The IEP process can take 120 days, and to get services you have to go through it.  So my advice would be to make your request Monday morning, get that timeline officially going.

 

Just to clarify, our current OT works in schools but sees ds privately.  Private OT through her has much longer sessions than what you'd get in school.  And, you know, that's another way to approach it.  If your insurance is funding this or you are, find out who the ps is using and contact them.  I just like the discipline of the IEP process.  It's much less voodoo in a field that can seem very voodoo.  They may not all be good, but your dd is NOT unusual.  The ps OT was a HUGE advocate for us in the IEP process, because she saw, when she was in our home eval'ing, how astonishingly hard he can be to work with.  He can sit with you for 45 minutes, be totally compliant, and then with the transition he's ramming into you, throwing things, etc.  SHE was the one who said things that made people's ears perk up, because she saw it.  I don't know if they're all good, but I like the two I've dealt with so far.  Maybe you'd have some luck there too.  Find out the law, find out what they're required to do, quote the law, use the law.  Or, if you want to pay for it yourself, simply use their person privately.  Some OTs are actually contracted through a larger OT company, so they can hire them yourself, without going through the ps.  And it's true, the ps would give my ds 15 minutes a week and with private he gets an hour.  So see what you can find out.

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Nobody's attributed it to anything or suggested therapy, but I know ADHD kids are often loud, I feel like it's centering for her. There are so many thoughts going on in her head, that she needs to talk in order to have something central to focus on. It may also be sensory seeking, where silence is uncomfortable for her. She can't play, or even eat, without making noise of some kind, really the only time she's silent is when we're reading. 

 

This is what my ASD kiddo does to stim or relax. It's his all-purpose stim. Much of the time he doesn't know he's doing it, so he doesn't really do the talking out loud. He can be a motormouth, but it's separate and not for the purpose you are describing. But the rest is spot on with what he does. It droves teachers nuts in school, though thankfully, a huge portion of his noises are singing (and he has a beautiful voice). That's not quite as bad as all the other noises he makes because they just feel good. :-)

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Oh I wish she'd sing sweetly instead of droning on for 16 hours a day! Or rather she does often talk in a singsong way, but her voice is hoarse and she seems to be completely tone deaf, haha.

 

It just occurred to me, isn't your son on meds? (Or is that your other son?) If you're seeing this even with meds, then does it mean it actually isn't related to ADHD after all? (That would bum me out a little, because I was hoping one of the perks of starting meds someday would be that she wouldn't be a constant assault on the my eardrums...I like my zen, and I just can't find it until the end of the day when she's asleep.)

 

OhE, thank you for all the info. I'll try to find BallavisX used online, I'm sure it would help with coordination and motor planning. And I'll buy Zones, hopefully even without the training (yet) it'll give me a better idea of how to approach it. At this point all I'm doing at home is the 3-4 check-ins a day you mentioned on your training post, as well as trying some tools and walking her through them, trying to help her look at herself and notice how they affect her. Oh, and I've done the size-of-the-problem thing (she insists everything is a 5), and tried to show her how certain of her behaviors make me and others feel. She understands which emotions go with each zone, and can even sometimes name what zone she's in, but I haven't seen any improvement at all in self-regulation. She seems to LIKE being in yellow (the silliness) she doesn't have any wish to get back in control, which makes me wonder if Zones is ever going to be effective for her.

 

Re: the school OT, I'm going to have to look into it more. The way she's acting recently, with the constant bombardment on all my senses and patience, the idea of dropping her off for 8 hours a day and letting somebody else deal with it is so appealing, haha. I really feel like I'm at the end of my rope half the time, and by the end of the day it takes every molecule of strength to stay patient. But I also feel like she'd have such a hard time there, and be completely miserable. I don't know how they'd treat someone like her at school, I'm foreseeing major meltdowns, bolting, constantly talking, knocking things off the table...and then having a teacher take away recess or put her in time out, which would escalate everything. I'll put some feelers out and try to talk to the school OT, though. I wouldn't be against paying even more if it actually could make a difference.

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Oh I wish she'd sing sweetly instead of droning on for 16 hours a day! Or rather she does often talk in a singsong way, but her voice is hoarse and she seems to be completely tone deaf, haha.

 

It just occurred to me, isn't your son on meds? (Or is that your other son?) If you're seeing this even with meds, then does it mean it actually isn't related to ADHD after all? (That would bum me out a little, because I was hoping one of the perks of starting meds someday would be that she wouldn't be a constant assault on the my eardrums...I like my zen, and I just can't find it until the end of the day when she's asleep.)

 

Meds do help, because they help with some self-regulation. 

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AM, burnout is VERY real.  Although people with more typical kids will say oh, take time for yourself, blah blah, I think reality is for us not everyone can watch our kids, not everyone can watch them for very long, but getting them effective interventions (to where they're easier to live with) helps with burnout.  

 

Someday Zones will be good for her.  It's like her motor is going, going, going, and you're (figuratively) saying to her STOP, SLOW DOWN!!, and she CAN'T because her motor is going, going, going.  The sensory seeking, the stimming, that drive to get more and more, effective OT will calm that down.  She can't even BEGIN to apply Zones, because she has never felt differently.  She has to be in green zone and know what it feels like before she can think about getting back there.  She needs OT to get her most of the way there, and then Zones will just polish it off the remaining 20%.  Zones is NOT a substitute for effective interventions.  

 

I think you'd be fascinated by what could happen in school.  She's still young enough that there's a lot with stations, interaction.  My ds was only there a brief time (I forget, maybe 1 1/2 hours?), but it had lots of structure and was intriguing to him.  He knew some of the kids from his gymnastics class.  Herd effect can be really helpful with these kids.  I'm not saying what you should do or what the best decision is.  I'm just saying you know Christmas is coming, it's a brief, really fun time, it would give them some time where they see her, and you could do it in addition to making the formal written request.  Then you could get the IEP going and pull her out if you wanted, retaining services.  School districts vary as to whether they'll provide to homeschoolers or not.  I'm just saying it's an *option*.  It wouldn't make everything go away, by any means, but it might not go as badly as you think.  Or it could.   :)

 

Remember, yours is not going to be the only challenged kid in the class.  At our ps, they're like oh ASD, who cares?  They actually said, multiple times, in very clear terms, that they have "lots of kids with ASD walking the halls with no IEP."  And you have kids from other kids of backgrounds, with other kinds of challenges.  Zones is not only being used for ADHD/ASD.  It's also getting used for kids who have been brought in from war torn regions, kids who have experienced instability who maybe need some extra help.  

 

I don't notice the stuff my ds for sensory.  I have a shocking tolerance for pain, noise, etc., so I just don't notice.  My dd16, however, is unusually sensitive, and she wants to move out.  Like she's that frustrated.  I've heard some other, sensory typical moms that it can be very aggravating to live with.  Can you use the "when you do x, I feel y. I need you to do Z, please."  Does that work?  Can she replace or trade the behavior, even for an hour?  Like give her a token board and reward her for every 6 minutes she is quiet (without the behavior) and get to an hour.  There's even a technique on Christine Reeve's site where you reward being LESS.  So like you could pick a time frame (half hour of quiet time), figure out how many times she normally has the undesired behavior, then reward if she does it one time LESS during that time frame.

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You may be able to access O.T. Through a 504? I think it is called as a homeschooler. Maybe someone with more experience in navigating the sxhool system can chime in?

School O.T.s are only supposed to work on things that would impair the child getting an education, so have lots of examples ready of rthe forms. The O.T. There may or may not be be trained in what you need, but it is worth a shot and it could be free. If you could hire the O.T. Privately, and she/he would be what you need that would be the best route for getting more O.T. consistently without the long wait and possible denial. Hth,

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AM, burnout is VERY real.  Although people with more typical kids will say oh, take time for yourself, blah blah, I think reality is for us not everyone can watch our kids, not everyone can watch them for very long, but getting them effective interventions (to where they're easier to live with) helps with burnout.  

 

Someday Zones will be good for her.  It's like her motor is going, going, going, and you're (figuratively) saying to her STOP, SLOW DOWN!!, and she CAN'T because her motor is going, going, going.  The sensory seeking, the stimming, that drive to get more and more, effective OT will calm that down.  She can't even BEGIN to apply Zones, because she has never felt differently.  She has to be in green zone and know what it feels like before she can think about getting back there.  She needs OT to get her most of the way there, and then Zones will just polish it off the remaining 20%.  Zones is NOT a substitute for effective interventions.  

 

She actually is in Green reasonably often, especially when outside, or when I read to her...and when she reads to me, she reads in the softest, sweetest voice, I really cherish it. (I keep thinking, is THIS the real girl under all the ADHD has done to her?) And right now she's humming away calmly while creating something. I draw her attention to the calmness when I think to, trying to make her realize how good it feels. But when the wildness comes out, always in public, and often when she's schooling or interacting with me in other ways, or doing things that are more physical, she seems to revel in it, it's a kind of joyous silliness. I feel bad for not enjoying it more, but when you're around it for several hours a day every day, and being tackled once or twice an hour with hugs/kisses/proclamations of love, wonderful as that sounds it gets to be too much. Ugh, seeing myself write this makes me feel awful. Consider it a vent, it's been an especially loud week, and because DH has done late nights this week and needs to work long hours this weekend, I'm not getting my usual break.

 

I think you'd be fascinated by what could happen in school.  She's still young enough that there's a lot with stations, interaction.  My ds was only there a brief time (I forget, maybe 1 1/2 hours?), but it had lots of structure and was intriguing to him.  He knew some of the kids from his gymnastics class.  Herd effect can be really helpful with these kids.  I'm not saying what you should do or what the best decision is.  I'm just saying you know Christmas is coming, it's a brief, really fun time, it would give them some time where they see her, and you could do it in addition to making the formal written request.  Then you could get the IEP going and pull her out if you wanted, retaining services.  School districts vary as to whether they'll provide to homeschoolers or not.  I'm just saying it's an *option*.  It wouldn't make everything go away, by any means, but it might not go as badly as you think.  Or it could.   :)

 

Remember, yours is not going to be the only challenged kid in the class.  At our ps, they're like oh ASD, who cares?  They actually said, multiple times, in very clear terms, that they have "lots of kids with ASD walking the halls with no IEP."  And you have kids from other kids of backgrounds, with other kinds of challenges.  Zones is not only being used for ADHD/ASD.  It's also getting used for kids who have been brought in from war torn regions, kids who have experienced instability who maybe need some extra help.  

 

I'm thinking about this more, and I considered it this summer as well...I have so many reservations, I know she'd love the social aspect, but then again she's so quirky, would the kids really accept her, especially coming in so late in the year when they've already made friends? And when they'll realize soon she doesn't have the discipline they've probably developed by now, I'm sure would interrupt continuously, wouldn't stay in line, etc., etc. so would be the "bad kid." I think of her wanting friends so desperately but being an outcast, and it breaks my heart. And to put her into that just because I could use a break, how selfish is that? I don't know, I wonder if they'd let me bring her in to sit in on a class, to see how she does and whether she enjoys it, before formally registering. Maybe it's something to ask about.

 

I don't notice the stuff my ds for sensory.  I have a shocking tolerance for pain, noise, etc., so I just don't notice.  My dd16, however, is unusually sensitive, and she wants to move out.  Like she's that frustrated.  I've heard some other, sensory typical moms that it can be very aggravating to live with.  Thank you for this...I think I'm moderately HSP, I get frazzled with loud noises, especially sudden loud noises. And it's the early mornings that get to me most, barreling out of her room and into my face before I've had my coffee. Can you use the "when you do x, I feel y. I need you to do Z, please."  Does that work?  Can she replace or trade the behavior, even for an hour?  Like give her a token board and reward her for every 6 minutes she is quiet (without the behavior) and get to an hour.  There's even a technique on Christine Reeve's site where you reward being LESS.  So like you could pick a time frame (half hour of quiet time), figure out how many times she normally has the undesired behavior, then reward if she does it one time LESS during that time frame. It's interesting you say this because I needed to concentrate to get something done yesterday, so I set a timer for 5 minutes and said if she could stay quiet till the timer went off I'd give her a pom pom for her jar. She was completely silent for 3 minutes, which literally is the longest I've ever seen her not make noise. And then she came to me with a note that said, "Can I tok now plese?" LOL. But definitely a new tool to keep in my back pocket, I wonder if I'd be able to build it up to 15 minutes of quiet time.

 

 

You may be able to access O.T. Through a 504? I think it is called as a homeschooler. Maybe someone with more experience in navigating the school system can chime in?

School O.T.s are only supposed to work on things that would impair the child getting an education, so have lots of examples ready of rthe forms. The O.T. at the school may or may not be be trained in what you need, but it is worth a shot and it could be free. If you could hire the O.T. privately, and she/he might be what you need for getting more O.T. consistantly without the long wait and possible denial. Hth,

 

Interesting, I'll have to look into this! I wonder what they'd actually provide, if it's only work related to academics I'm guessing it's mostly fine motor, which I do pretty well at home anyway. Maybe some sensory to give the kids who need it sensory breaks, although I'm sure they don't have the techniques OhE mentions above, and might not be much more effective than the sensory diet we do at home. If they did Zones, it might be worthwhile...I'll definitely try to find out more!

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I can comment a little on bal-a-vis-x.  There is a level where kids can start with sand bags instead of bouncy balls.  

 

My older son had an IEP goal in 2nd or 3rd grade that was to catch a ball, of a certain size, thrown to him at chest height, on 3/4 attempts.... something like that.... that was (from my understanding) out of the bal-a-vis-x sandbag program.  He met that goal! 

 

My younger son also does some bal-a-vis-x with sandbags.  

 

I do not know a lot about it at all ----- but my impression is, the sandbag stuff is very good, it is helpful, it can lead to improvement.  

 

Does that mean the improvement will be:  able to do complicated things with bouncy balls?  No!  That is not what it may mean.  Or, that may take a long, long time.  

 

I think don't get oversold on bal-a-vis-x as something where kids do complicated things with bouncy balls.

 

I think it is a VERY different kind of program for someone who is doing it to help with coordination challenges, versus someone who truly does not have coordination challenges but who is really benefiting from improvements in attention and focus by doing the complicated routines.  

 

If you are doing it for coordination, you could almost think of it as a different program.  

 

On the burnout issue ------ my kids are in public school.  It is not perfect, but they are having a good experience.  You are picturing your daughter as if she received zero accommodations, zero modifications, and as if the teachers and other students would be hostile towards her.  Now, maybe that is what would happen. But, maybe not.

 

It is hard when you have a child with difficult behavior, to remember, there are a lot of people out there who have had a difficult-er child.  There are a lot of people out there who love their difficult-er child!  Or, maybe it is their older brother.  Or, their younger sister.  Or, their cousin.  Or, their neighbor.

 

If you give a chance ------ you might find out that there are a lot of people who love kids who are extra-this and extra-that, either b/c they just find them interesting, or b/c they are close to someone and so they see all the good sides and the lovable sides, they do not just sit back and judge.  

 

You are really fearful of people not liking her, and not having patience with her. 

 

That is NOT the same as being fearful that your daughter could have a bad experience and it not work out.

 

I believe, sadly, that there are times when everyone is trying really hard, and there is a lot of goodwill, and yet some situations cannot be modified and accommodated to the point where it is the best situation for a child (compared to home school).  I think that is a real thing.

 

But thinking that even with all possible supports and a positive and caring school, that things might not work out...... is different from assuming that your child would be rejected from the school and never given a chance, labelled as a bad child, treated poorly, etc. etc. etc.  

 

Imagine for me, though, when I am having a GOOD experience, and sometimes I meet people in my town who say things like you are saying, about how it might be good for their family in various ways to consider public school, but they just can't b/c they are so sure it will b a bad experience.  Of course in many places it would be a bad experience!  And even within an overall good experience, there can be bad experiences that people have different levels of tolerance for.  Your tolerance level would probably need to be above zero, with an expectation of working through some things, advocating, talking to teachers, etc.  It is true that is a pain and it is a new task to take on.  But I do not find it so onerous.  I like the feeling of collaboration, too.  

 

But anyway -- you are not saying that you KNOW your local schools are a poor fit.  You are saying you are AFRAID they MIGHT be a poor fit for her.  

 

But honestly -- okay, so they don't do Zones at my kids' school.  But for all you know -- maybe your daughter could do Zones if she went to school.  Maybe they have it.  Maybe they don't.  

 

But I think it would be different if you looked more and found out, "okay, it doesn't seem to be an option." or "oh, it turns out there are some positives here."  

 

There might even be some kids she hits it off with at school, out of a wider group of kids.  I think you have to keep in mind how much self-selecting there is with people who homeschool, people who like to take their kids to the library, etc.  There might be some kids who would hit it off with her great.  Sure, there might be some quiet, serious girls who get annoyed with her, but they are in 1st grade and working on being tolerant of other children, too.  And, seeing children as multii-faceted beings who might be good at one thing and bad at another.  

 

If you are starting to get frustrated, if you are having trouble staying patient:  that is NOT the only option to consider.

 

Can you try a quiet time?  Can you have a break in the early afternoon?  Can you take her to a fenced park and sit and read?  Can you try to encourage more independent activities while at home?  There are a lot of options, that are not "oh, you should do public school."  But I don't see why it can't be on the list.  

 

But if you see you are getting frustrated, look at your day.  Add more things for you.  It is worth it to keep your mental energy up!  It will help your daughter when you are more refreshed.  It also is showing her a good example, I think.  

 

I think if you are just venting, that is fine, too.  Sometimes just venting is good, you vent, and then you realize, oh it is not so bad, I can do this!!!!!  But sometimes you think, oh, I wasn't just venting, I need to try to make some changes of some kind.  But there are a lot of options.  But I think adding something you like, making some kind of boundary where you get some quiet time, going outdoors where the sound doesn't carry, and reading a book, are all things that can be helpful.  They can be good starts in feeling better mentally.  Think about things that go really well for both of you, and do those more, too.  That is a really good thing to do, too.  Think about times you have felt relaxed and your daughter has been content, and try to expand on those times.   

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Can't help with specifics but is your OT the owner of the business?  Are there others in the office so you could request someone different?  What about a referral to another OT, even if really far away, just for a few sessions so you can see if/how they differ from your current situation or have any better advice for you.  It does sound like the ps option discussed above might really benefit you both for the time being, or at least to find a private OT out of the deal.   

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This is separate, but I think some kids have times where they need the mom connection to be purely emotional, and not:  mom/school teacher, mom/therapist, mom/activity leader.  

 

I see this with activities and church --- when parents are the group leader, often their own kids have a hard time with it.  They have a hard time with the parent acting in both roles or the change of roles.  Not all kids -- but a lot of kids do this.

 

My older son is not like this now, but for a couple of years, he was very tired of me being mom/reading coach and mom/speech generalizer and those kinds of mom/therapist or mom/;tutoor roles.  

 

He wanted just plain mom.

 

Now I don't think it is like that anymore, but he had a phase.  And, there are kids who get like this, and then they can feel more comfortable when the roles are more separated, and then the mom is acting in the more nurturing ways.  

 

Like, it is the difference between me being the enforcer, and my son has no emotional outlet to complain to, without complaining about me, to me.  Now -- if he is frustrated and having to work on something and needs help, and someone ELSE is helping him, then a) I am not mentaill and emotionally exhausted from helping him and in need of my own break!  That is just one thing, thouigh.  I am am also a different person in a different role.  My son can tell me "I was haivng a hard time" and it will not offend me, b/c I am in the nurturing role and the "let's talk about it" role, and my son can really need that.  If I am the one being the tutor, it is hard for me to turn abound and be the one who nurtures him wrt his frustrations with tutoring....... and oh by the way, his frustrations with tutoriing can merge rinto frustrations with me as I am the t utor.  

 

That is not the whole story, but it can be like that.  

 

I see that for kids where learning is a joyous process of discovery, learning together with a parent would seem to strengthen the bond, with no negatives.  Then you are just growing closer and having wonderful shared experiences.  

 

I am close to my son, and he knows I have got his back.  That is important and valuable.  But we have a lot of shared experiences of frustration and trying to get through things that are hard.  And, the truth is I don't think that is the experience that a lot of parents are having with their kids.  It is not just this beautiful rainbow thing.  I know what that is like, too, b/c there are the things that click easily and are easy and pleasurable (with all my kids).  I have one daughter where we just do not have any of those frustrating experiences (yet, at age 7).  I have it with both my sons.  

 

For my sons -- I have gotten to where I value being the comforter.  And, I have plenty of work to do with them even without being their only and primary teacher and therapist.  It is much more than just being a mom, to take on those things. I still have a large role that is involved with everything.  

 

But, I do not have that fearful feeling of "my boys will be treated bad" or "nobody can watch them but me" b/c I know they are more difficult, anymore.  I have felt like this about both my sons. 

 

I am much happier personally since I changed that thought process and gave some things chances.  Now ----- I am first to admit, it worked out good for me, and I know it does not work out good for everyone.  It is no guarantee.  But honestly moving for a better school district is an option.   You can find ones that are not just the most expensive --- it can be what they value, and sometimes places that value being the best might not be the best for kids who are not cast in that mold.  

 

But anyway -- I hope you can find some people where you feel like they really enjoy your daughter and see her good side, and not be worried she is going to offend or alienate those people.  Sure she will for some people.  But if you just have some people where it is not an issue, it is so worthwhile.

 

There might also be a church that is known to be more welcoming.  

 

It is not my church, but I am aware in my town, that there is a church that has a lot of kids who have ADHD, and the pastor's 3rd son has ADHD.  I have heard it is a rambunctious group, but that it is great, and they are valued in the church.  I have heard a few families changed their membership to this church, for this reason.  I think things like that can be so worthwhile, b/c you go from feeling worried and nervous, to feeling like you are part of the group.  

 

If there is ANYTHING like that, or if you can think to yourself, "where are the kids like my daughter in my community, what activities might they be in, etc." then I think that can be something to really try to look for.

 

It is so disheartening to be in things that are not a good fit..... I cannot stand it.  But it is so nice when things are a good fit.  

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Like, there was a thread recently about taking a child to get a shot.  

 

Now, for me, when I take my kids to get a shot, I am doing a lot on the preparation side.  Then, I am doing a lot on the "after the shot" side.  I am also doing a lot on the "during the shot" side.  

 

But, I am not ALSO the person who is giving the shot.  

 

How much easier is it for my kids, if I have all the roles I have in that scenario, but another person is giving the shot.  

 

It is also obvious there -- that even though *I* might appear to be a useless appendage there, b/c hey, I am not the one giving the shot, all I have done is driving my child there, sat there, and then driven my child back home again...........  I think we all know it is much more involved than that.  

 

But then ----- I can totally see, that there could be parent/child combinations where it would be better and easier if the parent did give the child the shot.  That could be easier and better for a lot of kids and parents.  They would not have anxiety from being with a non-family person, etc.  They would feel closer.  Etc.  All those good things.  Maybe the child would do much, much better with getting the shot from the parent b/c of the comfort level and trust.  I think those are VERY real things.

 

But I don't think that you can say for sure, that all kids will have one reaction or the other.  I think some kids can just do better with one thing or another, b/c that is the personality that they have.  .

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Ability to participate in social settings is not a fixed thing.  I'm right there with you, so I'll just point out that if she CAN'T do age-typical social things (wait in line, follow instructions, look around the group and correct behavior to match theirs, etc.), then you have a problem to work on.  Doesn't matter if she's in school or out, those things have to move up the priority ladder.  

 

People think I'm crazy with my ds at the Y so many times a week, but I can tell you one thing, he is learning these skills.  He's in super small settings getting immediate feedback from teachers (and peers!) in a non-punitive way, and he's learning these skills.  It has taken time, and I've had to talk with him before, after, during (oy), etc. about EXPECTED behavior, how other people feel if you use behavior that is not expected, etc.  We've had a LOT of lessons there, and we're by no means done.  But if you look at it from where we were a year and a half ago till now, we're making progress, kwim?  He still struggles with needing to be first, guiding, inappropriate touching, etc., but he's not actively instigating fights and aggravating everyone around him constantly with inappropriate behavior.

 

So you have plenty of options for *how* you work on that.  I personally don't think school is necessarily the best place to learn social skills.  It's certainly not the ONLY place to work on them.  I think they're best learned in small settings with people who will take the time to guide, mentor, teach and confront.  That's why I like our Y, because I can get him in with mature adults, grandma and grandpa type people, with a broad variety of ages (because he needs to be able to interact with all kinds of kids, not just agemates and not just kids he selects), in a setting with quite a bit of structure but just enough freedom that things still come up.  We also stay afterward to play with kids, giving him even more social time (with observation, with Mom there to intervene if there are problems) for free!  

 

You could go to library read aloud times.  That probably would have been really boring for my ds, lol.  He can't sing, wouldn't know the songs, wouldn't sit.  But, you know, maybe that's another way.  And if you have a Y near you, ask about putting her in daytime classes or a preschool program to start with.  Our Y is really cool about letting my ds take classes where he fits in *socially*.  Sometimes we put him in a class where he can have peer models.  Then we REALLY have to be careful and talk about expected behavior, oy.  But really, for him, even in a preschool class most of the kids there will have stronger social skills (reciprocity in conversation, etc.)  For him, being in with younger kids (typically 4-6 in what we're doing) is still instructive.  He blends in for playfulness, and he gets to work on things he needs (listening, waiting turn, self-advocating, responding to peers, personal space, conversation, etc.).  

 

Sorry, that's a rabbit trail.  I'm deep in a poetry photobook for my MIL and my brain is FRIED.

 

Kuypers had a line about "I can see you're in green zone because your body is..."  I've been beginning this with ds, just planting the ideas.  It's from one of the Zones lessons, and it's a concept you can explore at a lot of levels for a long time.  You can do it by photographing or videoing her (if it's safe, oy).  You can do it just by commenting on it or drawing together.  Right now I'm just *telling* my ds things I see.

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Lecka mentioned taking a chance.  I think if you get really stuck and think as social skills as being fixed (she has a problem), then you're not getting anywhere.  You're going to have to, as she says, take that chance, make some changes, get her into situations where it's a *bit* of a stretch where you can TEACH her and pretalk with her.  You want situations where the person is capable of taking accountability for what happens.  It was a teen who nearly drowned my ds last year (hyperbole) by not catching him.  Some people are not ready to handle things.  But there can be a variety of situations where that *can* work, where you can get someone who is mature who can give her a stretch and some new experiences for an hour.  Then you stretch that to a 2nd day or other situations or more classes or more teachers. 

 

After all, we'd like our kids to be able to have appropriate behavior lots of places.  The play area at Ikea or a nursery at church.  At the park.  In a swim or sports class.  In a group music class.  While waiting in the grocery store line.  With non-structured pick-up play at a gym or playground.  At a funeral.  (Oy, don't ask, I didn't even try that, lol.)  But social skills grow with work.  They're not going to improve just by waiting around wishing.  You're going to get what you work on, and she'll learn what you teach.  Or she'll learn what you expose her to.  The Model Me Kids videos are good (I haven't gotten them yet).  Children's literature can help your dc process and learn social skills.  My ds uses Beverly Cleary audiobooks this way.  Some kids use Disney.  

 

The obvious question then is how much the OT is affecting the social.  In our house, they're separate issues.  The OT issues make it *harder*, but his understanding gap is big enough that merely improving the OT stuff doesn't make it disappear.  He's then just calmer while inappropriate, lol.  

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My kids have different issues. My oldest is just off the tops extroverted, but we were butting heads all the time. She was constantly throwing tantrums. And I was working my butt off trying to meet her social needs but just failing. So I put her in a private school on a trial basis, and it was a miracle. She was just so much happier. It was an amazing turn around. Despite that, I never thought my youngest, who has ADD and severe anxiety and an alphabet soup of LDs would succeed. She was hiding under the table in Sunday School and melting down in private tutoring. But I had tried everything I could do on my own. I really didn't expect school to work but tried it on the theory that if it bombed, we at least had tried all the first line interventions. But it did. She still struggles, but she does much better than she did at home. She is happier and our relationship is so much better since I am mostly just being supportive and am not having to be the one asking her to do things that are hard for her. (She does get special Ed services.). I think Elizabeth's idea of tossing her in school for a couple months is a good one. If nothing else, you have another data set.

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I've homeschooled my (merely ADHD) dd for, what, 12 years now?  Something like that.  I worried a lot, but really she's a dream.  School was never on the table for her, not needed, not a good fit, would have held her back on some things while being nicer on others.  And after 12 years of homeschooling, I can say if I had the higher level of funding (to pay what it would take) and had the school close enough, I would be EXTREMELY tempted to put him in school.  Maybe not today.  Maybe not till he's 8 or 9 like Jenn's ds.  (She's my hero!!)  He's pretty complex, so I feel it's important that he gets extra special attention right now to make sure ALL the little details get attended to.

 

But do *I* need to be the one teaching him everything?  I just know, like the others, the dynamic we have when I take him places, when he's working within someone else's structure, is really good.  I think it's because of the extreme executive function problems, because stability, routine, structure, the HIGHLY STRUCTURED environment of school can be really good for them.  

 

I kind of hit a wall when we did our IEP, because I had to admit the school was nice, the people were nice, the structure would be nice.  I had to know *why* I was making the choice to keep him out, because for him those would be good things!  And for right now we have a really good dynamic going with our outside classes.  He gets a lot of variety this way and isn't able to get lost in rigidity.

 

I wouldn't want to see him shut down because of his disabilities.  Right now he's ok and has a very positive attitude toward his disabilities, use of accommodations, etc.  He has a very pure love of learning.  But if that changes as we go on and things turn south, if it's not working, nuts if I'm just burnt out, I'll find a way.  

 

Fwiw, the way we keep our peace now is by focusing on what is foundational and not what is expected.  I pay NO ATTENTION to grade standards, what 1st graders need to write, or any of that crap.  We do something he's able to engage with.  I think tomorrow we're going to do the graphing math activity from TCR.  It's the free sample and it's a turkey.  Fun!  We have a K'nex coaster we're working on.  He's reading his Barton readers with token charts.  If he wants more audiobooks, more history videos, whatever, we roll that way.  We put MOST of our energy into getting more stable.  We don't fuss over ANYTHING freakish like oh my the world is ending because he's 1st grade age and not doing X.  Our only goal for the year is get more stable and be ready to learn, able to wake up and connect with us in peace.  Everything else is bonus. So if building with K'nex every day helps him connect with me and be with me (not off isolated somewhere), then that's good enough.  And we work on social skills and turn taking and colors and skip counting and not getting angry when you're frustrated and other good things, hehe.  

 

I'm just saying if your picture is we're all sitting here doing 3-4 hours of this idyllic WTM stuff, it ain't happening.  It's totally different.

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Thank you all so much, you've given me so much to think about here.

 

I've been talking this over with my husband (who, btw, is very much in favor of us trying school even though he'd be much less affected. Maybe because he sees my stress some evenings.) I know it's at least worth looking into more closely, to see what services they'd be able to offer her right away. Since we have written evals, would they be willing to give her an aide to help her through times she's most challenged? Do heavy work with her every couple of hours? Take her out on walks when she needs them? I don't know, I'll need to ask because I think those things would be critical to her being able to survive a 7-8 hour school day.

 

Right now our schooling is so relaxed, other than read-alouds, co-op and field trips we get it all done in less than an hour each day, a little more if we do science experiments, art, piano or nature study all of which she loves. So less than an hour of things she wouldn't choose to do on her own. This is the first year I've even scheduled schooling into our day, we used to just play around and wing it...The adjustment to a full day would be huge, even though I'd probably put her into K where she wouldn't actually learn anything academic. (And would that be worse? That hour has been enough to keep her at or above a 1st grade level, and I'm guessing they're still learning CVC words and basic math. What if she starts acting up more because she's bored?) I think I need to get a better idea from them of what their Kindergarten day is like, how much seat-work it involves, because I've read so many horror stories so think I'm only getting one side.

 

The truth is, I do enjoy her much of the time, I don't think that's come through in my previous posts because I was just so overwhelmed and frustrated. The idea of her being away all those hours makes me so sad. And of course, after all this, yesterday she was ridiculously calm, sweet and quiet except for about a half hour of wildness when she was tired, and has been calm this morning. I think somebody up there must be messing with me. ;)

 

It's definitely worth looking into, maybe worth a try. As everybody always says, nothing is permanent, if it was a disaster and she was miserable after the first couple of weeks and things clearly wouldn't improve with adjustment, then we could always just take her out. And those couple of weeks wouldn't damage her irreparably, so maybe I'm making a bigger deal of it than I should.

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You sound like you're not doing *enough*.  She might be bored.  And not having enough to do means she doesn't have the STRUCTURE, and structure is what makes kids more comfortable.  She's an only, yes?  Find some things you can sign her up for.  I mentioned library time.  Zoo homeschool classes, art classes or science classes or gymnastics classes.  Some things are free.  Find things to give your lives some structure, routine, variety.  Remember, when someone is working with her for 30 minutes, you're getting a break. And she's getting the routine of we have an alarm, it goes off, we get ready to go on our outing, we pack our bag using our visual schedule, we arrive on time, we wait...  Good stuff.

 

And yes, men are problem solvers.  Doesn't mean they have the only answer, but they're definitely going to try to problem solve and not just listen and empathize, lol.

 

 

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I am saying this more b/c it is ironic, not b/c I think it applies to you.  

 

My younger son went to pre-school and Kindergarten, both very lovely.  Not about "seat work, seat work, seat work."  

 

1st grade does have more seat work.  The structure is different.  They do not have kids sitting on a rug in front of the teacher.  They are more likely to be sitting in a chair at a desk, than on the floor.  They are still moving around, not sitting more than 15-20 minutes, etc.  It is still on the side of being age appropriate.  It it not like things that i also read about that are horror stories.  

 

But anyway ----- my son struggled and struggled with sitting on the rug.  He got a lot better with practice and supports.  But, it was harder.  

 

So ---- of course I worried that more desk/chair time would be even more difficult for the same reasons.

 

But ironically ----- it is much easier on him!!!!!!

 

The resource teacher told me that they see this sometimes, that the desk/chair is proving a more comfortable structure/boundary for kids, and that it is actually EASIER for some kids than going to sit on a rug.  On the rugs -- they have blocks printed on them, or they sit on a carpet square, or the teacher puts down masking tape, etc,.... they do things to create the sense of space and boundary for kids.  But the desk/chair is easier for my son, it seems.  Also, it seems that it is an easier transition for him to move from one desk/table to another (when they do some stations) than to move from the rug back to a table.  They are more similar things for him.

 

It makes sense in a way, b/c he had some times he sat in a little rocking chair and a little chair at the back of the rug, in pre-school, and that did help him.

 

But it is just the thing of:  you don't know some things until you try them.  It can be hard to predict.  The resource teacher couldn't predict for me, "it will work out this way."  She has to wait and see, too.  But she can say, "ah, I see some kids where it does work out this way."  

 

So, 1st grade demands can be easier than K demands.  

 

And a lot of pre-shool is so focused on social/emotional, that for some kids who are weak in that but strong in academics, it can be a little easier to move up and start to have strong areas and not just weak areas.  I have known about that, though.  I had not heard about the desk vs. rug thing before, though.  

 

Also ----- you don't know, *maybe* your daughter would be able to be in a higher reading group.  Here K is all reading groups.  My kids are always in the lower groups, and yes, my daughter in 1st is working on CVC words.  But there are kids in higher reading groups, and they mix the younger kids together across grade levels.  With my older son -- it turns out, that 3rd grade is the last grade where the kids are in all different reading groups.  In 4th grade they are not in different reading groups, but some kids have different assignments.   A few kids still have outside reading groups, but most kids are back together, but still having some ways to work at different levels.  

 

So -- I see that is a concern and a question to ask, BUT maybe the answer is "oh, she can be in the reading group where they are at that level, she will have a nice little cohort to be with."  That would be ideal.  You might get some answer that seems like it is not a good answer, too, and might make you think "this is not the best choice to make right now."  

 

You have got a lot of options.

 

I agree with OhE -- there are a lot of ways to work on things.  But hiding or being afraid, well, we all *totally* get that.  But sometimes we have to take our kids out and put them in situations for them to have opportunities to make progress.  That doesn't have to mean school.  It could mean church, it could mean clubs, it could mean activities, it could mean outings, etc.  

 

I have mentioned before, too, this is something about my older son.  I know how he is in summers and when he was a younger child.  I know this about him.  The high level structure of school is easier for him than when it is summer.  He has a harder time in the summer, b/c the structure is not there.  And, when there is structure, it is NEW and it is a lot of effort for him to do new things.  It is all so much work.  For non-school activities, what we see is that kids change, kids come sometimes, kids don't come sometimes, etc.  That is all much harder for him, compared to school, when he can expect a high level of consistency for what kids he is going to be around.  

 

This is just my son's personality in some ways.  In some ways -- I am not going to make a drastic change in it, but I can try to plan things in the way that will be easiest on him.

 

But I know summers are harder for him.  Now, if he could just stay home, summer would be fine.  But it is very hard on him to do all those things that are out of the house in the summer.  

 

I have feelings like it would be very hard for me to get him out of the house if I homeschooled, and that it would be hard on him when inevitably we would be involved in things where sometimes some kids come, and sometimes other kids come.  And, they would be new.  And, I doubt (realistically) that they could rise to the structure level of his school.  B/c that is usually not what people are going for, you know!  Many  kids do not NEED it and some kids even do BETTER with a much LOOSER structure!!!!!!  So I feel like ----- this is what I know about options in my community, and this is what I have found out about my son.  

 

But I didn't have the chance to see him thrive in ways in the high structure, until I actually sent him.  Before that, we had a lot of "one day this, one day that" things, and it was good in its way.  It was structured in its way.  It was regular in its way.  But he does do better with that structure.  

 

But that is just HIM.  Your daughter does not really sound like either of my sons in some of the ways that I am saying "it really does have benefits."  There are kids where the exact things that are benefits for my sons, are not benefits at all, and instead are stifling to them.  

 

I think more -- maybe it would just let you see, let you see if you should be worried.  You seem worried and in the apologizing stage.  I have had an apologizing stage, too.  It is nicer to be in the "this is my kid, some people like him, some people don't, the people who like and accept him as he is make so many efforts and chances worthwhile" phase.  But to get to this phase -- you have to cut down on apologizing and an apologiaing, overly noticing differences, and move on to just "well, this is what it is."  There is still a mix.  But your child does pick up on your signals, and other people, and when you think she is great while also doing what is necessary, that can go a long way.  I also understand you may be venting a lot here.  But sometimes people are aplogizing a lot, or have that mindset, and then we move past that.  It is nice to have some movement past that, even if there are still times when we are still having to do the awkward things and the noticeable things.  And the "yes, my child is the noticeable one right now," times.  You can be in that situation and feel like there is goodwill towards you as a good parent who is making efforts to help your child. 

 

I think some of that is mindset and just finding places where you feel comfortable and accepted.  It seems like you are short on that, and it is very worthwhile.  

 

If she goes to public school, well, just by numbers, there are bound to be 3-4 other kids her age who have ADHD, at least.  That is enough kids that she is not going to be "that one different kid" like she may be in other places.  

 

I feel much happier with my younger son being in elementary school instead of pre-school, b/c I feel like there are more kids with autism around, he is not "that ONE kid" who is standing out.  Kids are used to it.  People are used to it.  It is not a big deal.  People are nice.  It is such a better feeling.  

 

But I do agree ----- public school might not be that answer, and, it may not be the choice you want to make or the best choice.  

 

For my younger son, it is a different situation, too, b/c he would not be able to be accommodated into a lot of non-public-school activities right now b/c; he is not in a situation where we can send him to things.  It is not his mix of strengths and weaknesses or his current level.  But if you have good options ------ maybe you can just hold your head up and try some things, try things with more supports, take for granted you will be doing the extra talking, investigating, etc, before you do activities (etc).  I think that is a great option.  It really can matter a lot for different kids.

 

It is also something I will go ahead and say:  my younger son does have full-day one-on-one support.  So -- for me, I am asking myself, well, can I do better than one-on-one support?  I can't.  Then -- after school, I am at my best!!!!!  I am not tired out by then.  There are also opportunities my son has in school, that would be hard to re-create, and he has those opportunities *with* one-on-one support.  Plus, for him personally, he needs to generalize to other people (he has had times in the past he has skills with me, but then does not have those skills without me ----- this is an autism thing).  

 

But if OhE's son CAN do Y stuff my son can't, but, my son DOES have one-on-one support and maybe OhE's son wouldn't at school, but she wants him to have that level right now, and she wants him to be focusing on social more than they would be at school for him........ you just start to see, it is hard to ever say one thing is better.  But, it is also hard to say "oh, no, I am scared of this and that."  That is just not a good mindset.  

 

I don't like pushing kids too much, either, but being too afraid is not good, either.  

 

It is different, too, when people are just "scared" (but not really scared) of public school, but it is more just "I don't want to do that."  

 

That is different than feeling like "my child will be rejected, my child will be treated poorly."  That attitude is not about wanting to homeschool b/c you don't choose public school, or the public school is ppor.  That is a feeling that will be everywhere.  It is just a sad feeling and not a feeling conducive to giving kids a lot of chances to have things go well.  A chance to have things go well, is also a chance to have things go poorly.  Things going poorly can hopefully be a learning experience, too.  That is the best case.  That is what I try to focus on.  And then, long-term growth, hopefully.  That does not mean:  put kids in a known bad situation, or leave kids in a known bad situation.  But hopefully some questionable or difficult situations, that have potential, can get better.  

 

It is hard to take the chances, but I think it gets easier over time, and you feel less like "oh no, I hope no one notices us."     

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I also think it's possible to visit a school, *learn* from them, and them come home and do those techniques.  Schools work for these kids because they provide STRUCTURE.  *We* can provide structure.  Structure is clear expectations.  They need to know the plan.  You can use techniques of environmental control with your dc.  Lecka is right that they have these techniques and they have it nailed, how to create structure that helps all kinds of kids succeed.  

 

Structure isn't going to be just while you do your 1 hour of academics.  Structure is all day.  It's knowing boundaries, knowing the plan, having clear expectations even when it's choice and free time so they know what's coming next.  You can have environmental controls, like we play with this toy here on this sheet to contain the pieces, not there.  You can have alarms that go off to tell them to clean.  I'm not sure why I don't do that, because that's a crazy good idea come to think of it, lol.  We have alarms on my ds' kindle for EVERYTHING.  Alarms for when to eat breakfast.  He can eat earlier, but if he hasn't started by that time then he MUST eat it when the alarm goes off.  Alarms to remind us to eat lunch (because I forget, lol).  Alarms for quiet time, which is when I can say go to your room or play quietly because I have my needs.  Alarms for everything we're going to.  

 

School would have that kind of structure.  It might vary, with some days being art days and some having more things than others.  But even alarms, not just rolling, are part of structure.  

 

I find the whole school thing very wistful and destabilizing for me.  I'm saying if that's not something that's on the table, at least LEARN from them because what they do sometimes really WORKS.

 

PS.  For me, visiting the local autism charter made things click, because they took everything farther.  Then I could go back and see the techniques playing out in mainstreamed classes.

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I honestly have some limitations with what structure I can provide to my older son..... it is my younger son who has autism.  And, I have kids within 3 years of each other.  His little brother and sister are twins, and even before Eli had autism, it has always been something where I have attention going towards my little kids.  And my older son Needs Structure and it is difficult for me to provide it.  I can do it.  I do it.  I am very thankful that public school provides so much, though.  It is hard in the summer.  My little kids also have a much easier time going places and doing new things.  But still -- I have many supports to provide for my son who does have autism.  And then -- there is my older son who Needs Structure.   

 

I know what you mean about feeling wistful.  I can feel wistful.  But when things are going well, it is easy to feel like "whew, things are going well."  

 

Things are going pretty well for us right now.  

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DS11 is in school for the first time this year (fifth grade), and he is thriving on the structure there. During his years at home, it was very difficult for me to keep him adequately busy. I had three other children that I also had to attend to, and he was only able to be productive independently for fairly short periods of time. He could spend 20 or 30 minutes on his math, for example, while I worked with another child, but he could not then follow that up with something productive to do on his own. I had to provide and supervise all of his activities, and I just wasn't good at it, because I had so many other things demanding my attention. Some people find workboxes to be helpful for this, because the student knows to move on to the next thing, but I was so overwhelmed I could not manage to plan enough things ahead of time. So he had too much free time.

 

Also, at home DS11 tends to be hyper (ADHD) and deliberately stirs up trouble with his siblings. Or has an inappropriate emotional reaction. And he argues. It takes a huge amount of my energy to deal with these things. But guess what? He presents no behavior issues at school. He is able to hold it together while he is there.

 

Now, he does kind of disintegrate into his normal hyper self when he gets home, so getting the homework accomplished can be hard. But I think he benefits from having those hours of good behavior at school. My thought is that we become better at the things that we practice well. So if he practices being on good behavior for all of those hours, I think he is developing some skills that will eventually carry over into the rest of his life.

 

You might be surprised. Your daughter might really respond well to the structure of school.

 

As far as whether they will provide an aide....you would have to go through the IEP process to figure that out. They won't do it based on outside evaluations that you have, but will evaluate her themselves. If you are really thinking of putting her in school next fall, you might want to get the IEP process rolling now, so that she can have one in place by the time she is in the classroom. And if you decide not to enroll her, you'll have the benefit of another set of evaluations.

 

 

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I'm sorry. I didn't read past OhE's comment on OT in your PS. I laughed with the comment b/c its soooo true!

 

Your tax dollars fund the PS. They HAVE to give you services even of your not enrolled.

Do what OhE said. Seriously, just show up there one day. That's what I did to get the ball rolling and my son was 3 and couldn't go to early start anymore. So, put my texes to work for me ;)

 

They have to and...I agree with her. It probably wouldn't hurt to enroll her for maybe even just. Semester. Let her get kick started, recommendations made, bring her bome, then take her there for her thereapies or spec ed class thst would be fitting.

 

Alot of people don't realize. You don have to be enrolled in a PS to partner with them. Be it exta cirricuar activities, therapies, what have you.

YOU pay for thst PS. Use it girl ;)

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I have read a few more of the posts. I so emathize annasmom and feel hour pain.

 

At heart n deed , I am a homeschooling mom. Graduated my 2 oldest oldest from homeschool and my ds who is now 20 did his senior ur at the PS for very first time ever being in PS. The most any of my kids have gone to PS is ds 11 with seriously....the alphabet soup of issues. He went for 5 yrs. 3 of them being the sn preschool program.

 

I have those 2 with issues, and both my daughters have issues. Oldest was born with mild cerebal palsey and had series of castings , OT ,PT SPT. she's worked hard. They all have . the only one who didnt have a disability in some way is my youngest bio ds now 20 ( he went to ROTC at the school and was too time demanding to be home so...we enrolled him for thst and last yr only.)

 

I say all this to tell you.....we have between the 5 of the with 4 having varying disabilities and from 2 different PS..have ~never~ had the chilren loom at my kids and go....oh. You're different... Let's move over hear way from them.

 

I agree with what lecka and OhE are saying...your child will not be the only child and I can almost say with a decent amount of certainty....there will be kids in her class even who are having bigger issues ( behavior, academics , or both) than your DD. I have seen this time and time again. Even my 11 y.o. who is severely deficit in alot of areas ...he STILL wasn the worst lol :)

 

I feel you. I really do. I've homeschoed consistently for 18 years now ( oldest about to turn 26) and I ** did not ** want to drop off my 2 very sweet little big hearted, loving, caring men to the big bad wolves. Even tho I had positive PS exp. In the past when my girls were in kindy...I STILL felt that way .

 

But, I promise, it was very good for both of them and exactly what they needed * at that time* when it no longer worked and we did get to that point...then ibr

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Sorry.

 

Then, I brought them home. This is our 3 rd year homeschooling them, tho I did a large amount of afterschooling like the type of thing lecka talks about.

 

They will stay at home until they graduate h.s. or, need a better different situation.

 

Remember....nothings permanent. I say give it a try. School and meds . at least the therapy and possibly spec ed math or reading or w/e would help her.

If you don't like it? Then stop it. No harm no foul and at least you KNOW ...this didn't work for my child at this time.

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Your tax dollars fund the PS. They HAVE to give you services even of your not enrolled.

 

 

This actually varies, depending on where you live. In our state, the public school must evaluate homeschoolers for disabilities, but they are not required to write an IEP, and they are not required to provide any services. Some school districts DO assist homeschoolers with services, but they are not required to by law.

 

Perhaps other states require the public school to provide services to homeschoolers; I only know what is true where I live.

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When I researched it and was part of HSLDA that was the case federally. Now, that can and definitely does change. I haven't looked at it in about hmmm. Maybe 3 or 4 years or so but I used to hold fed statute in hand just in case they tried to deny. They never did.

I know throgh following HSLDA some stats in the past have tried writing their own laws on the matter and when challenged, HSLDA or another attorney intervened and the PS had to.

 

Like I said though. Things do chance. I wasn't aware of this change. I have alot of friends homeschooling in this and other states and usually out homeschool co-op stay utd on this .

 

Maybe the fed law was challenged and changed ( have not heard a word of this) or maybe your state is one of those who has written their own laws concerning the matter. They wouldn't b the first....but. Fed trumps state so....maybe worth looking into if your wanting services without enrolling.

 

If it has changed I'd like to know what you may find out with the federal law. That's where you'd have to check...the state won't tell you lol :)

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Ohhhhh. This is special needs.

 

I had just been, when you provided the link, was coming back to make what the federal law used to hold was ...unless child would be deemed failure to thrive in anyway and soec needs would def call into that category .

 

I didn't make the distinction in my head even when I remembered the failure to thrive clause.

 

Yes. States can def deem our spec needs kids failure to thrive in .any and imho goofy ways.

 

I had in my brain recal mainly the older kids who participated in anything we wanted , we ' remediated out' the issues with my youngest daughter by the time they wanted to do a sporr . funny. They never wound up ,except for my son, doing a PS activity. Lol

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Interesting the article says about 90% of spec needs funding comes from the state. I'm sure that has an impact on why.

 

Wonder what the current laws are concerning non sn. Alot of moms have both. Ps's get federal grants and other monies.

 

Sad. The kids who would need those services most are the ones that possibly have the most potential to be denied. I didn't look at which states did or didn't. Would hope more would than wouldn't .

Our PS had homeschoolers coming in everyday for SPT, OT, small math class , etc.

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Ha-ha....well hi there storygirl, and thank you :) greatly appreciate :) I need to fund out how to do those cute lil doo-hickeys. Haba. That's a ' real' word right? ;) yee hee

 

I'm very happy to be here. Gosh. I've learned so much from all of you.

 

I've taken notes from a few . OhE, Lecka, and heathersmom??? Maybe??? Lol. Bad with names . The metronome mommy! :) man, worked so well for both my lil guys.

 

Thanks again storygirl for the welcome. Happy to ' meet' you :)

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