Asperger's and Online School / Home School

Dusty - posted on 08/27/2009 ( 22 moms have responded )

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Hi everyone I have an 11 year old son with Asperger's. We are considering Online Schooling this year. We think that maybe without all the daily social problem's with other kids and teachers, he will strive better! Looking for some advice if you have your Asperger's child going to Online School's, or are home schooling! Thanks so much!!

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Heather - posted on 09/08/2009

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My 8 year old son with Asperger's (along with Sensory Integration Disorder and Auditory Processing Disorder) has been homeschooled since kindergarten. I AM NOT isolating him from the world. He is about to start his 3rd year of Cub Scouts. He has had wonderful leaders in the past who are very kind, patient and who "get him." My husband has gone with him the past two years but not as a leader. He does well in Sunday School and other church activities. He makes friends with the neighborhood kids. We attend co-ops. He has played sports. All of these he has done with "neuro-typical" children. We have had no problems with putting him in social situations. I don't mean to be rude but some of the comments about Asperger's children needing "socialization" and that public school is the best place to get it really made me angry. Most homeschooling families, even those with special-needs kids, don't keep their kids locked away 24-7.
I have several friends who homeschool their Asperger's children with great success, although I understand it is not for everyone. After being told that my son would have to fail in a mainstream kindergarten setting before services would be offered, I decided that was not the best place for him. He can focus on his work without having to worry about what is "socially right" or "socially wrong." I can adjust and make modifications as needed and not have to go to school to "fight" for what my child is entitled to get BY LAW. Just today he was stimming in the kitchen while he recited back to me what he had just learned about Christopher Columbus. I don't think he would have been allowed to do that in public school!
That being said, it is important for an "aspie" to have social contact with the outside world. There are many different ways to do this - homeschool co-ops, sports, religious activities, neighborhood kids, etc. I know in some states children are allowed to attend public school for extra-curricular activities. Yes, it does take more time and you have to be more deliberate as a parent, but it is do-able.
Sorry if I ruffled anyone's feathers. I am very passionate about this issue. Dusty - if you believe that your son might have better academic success being homeschooled or through an online school, then don't be afraid to try. You are the mom and you know your child best - and you want what is best.

Christina - posted on 08/30/2009

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Hi, I hope this finds you doing well. I have 4 kids on the spectrum. They all started online school last year. One of my sons, Nic, is 13 with Asperger's. He has been thriving and enjoying school again since being at home. It has helped him to be able concentrate and none of the social issues get in his way. We have had better Special Ed help for our kids thru the online school and their IEP's are the best we have had. Withoout having to fight for their needs. I am actually less stressed because I am not having to deal with certain behaviors caused by all the problems in the schools. I hope this helps at all.

Melissa - posted on 05/14/2010

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Dusty, I'm glad you found a solution that you feel is right for your son. I have children who are public schooled and children who are homeschooled. I'm sorry about the well-intended but ignorant comments that homeschooling means you will "isolate your [child] at home" and that "you better be willing to be a den leader since nobody else will understand your child."

Homeschooling your special needs child will mean that he has less needless distractions during worktime, can work at his level in every subject, and will have a large surplus of time in his day to be socializing with people and learning about the world. He will be able to pursue his own interests without being hindered by the school district's influence. For example, if he wants to learn piano when the rest of the kids in his age group are learning recorder, it's no big deal. If he wants to study trains, you can go on a field trip to a train museum whenever you want.

The socialization that homeschooled children develop more accurately reflects that which they will need in the real world. Most people do not go through life only interacting with people who are less than a year older or younger than they are. Who do you want teaching your son those ever-important skills, a room full of little kids, or people of a variety of ages and experiences?

You will likely encounter many people who are critical of your decision to homeschool. Some of them mean well, but most of them are mis-informed. Homeschooled children have many more opportunities to learn than children in traditional schools and typically do extremely well overall. The next time someone bring up the S-word, you can always assure them that next year you're buying a locker to stuff him in and promise at least one swirly by the time he reaches high school.

Jill - posted on 10/02/2009

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My son has always attended public school & I'm lucky to live here in Virginia Beach. He has not had any trouble from his peers, he has other kids he talks to at school, but no real friends....But the only trouble he had in school was in middle school, before we were aware of his diagnosis..He is a junior in high school, attends the technical school ( 1/2 a day) with other children, who have never even heard of Aspergers. My son is loved by his teachers, has no behavior problems at school and concidered a joy to be around. He recieved a round of applause & the respect of his Art class on the 1st day of school. Everyone was asked to find something in the class that related to themselves. He was the 1st one to raise his hand & spoke about how he felt like the bird in the cage. He really wants to be friends with everyone, but feels trapped due to Aspergers. The class treats him just like everyone else & it has always been this way in school.. The only problems he has ever faced is from adult neighboors

I would never take him out of public school and he is planning on attending college after he graduates.

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Brunilda Molina - posted on 11/24/2013

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we came from puerto rico this july. our principal objetive is to find a better education for our aspi......is a nightmare since the first day. I have a very confused incident and now my son is getting a detention for no reason..........I'am in middle of this. so I understand you, maybe you not to me because I'm just learning english right now.

Crystal - posted on 04/12/2012

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I know this question has been here a while and maybe an answer is no longer needed but I will add my two cents anyway, for future readers if nothing else. I have a 13 year old who i have home schooled his whole life he has aspergers and text books and lesson plans do not work for him. I try when I can to incorporate his interest instead so if he is interested in slavery and black history, we will work on slavery and the lives of slaves, civil war ( focusing on its role in slavery ), important people from that time such as life story of Hariot Tubman. and even cover geography of important events such as mapping the route Tubman took in the underground rail road... ect. I do not unschool and let my son learn what he wants, when he wants. I make the lessons each week geared around this weeks interest. their are times when he has no interest in a subject particularly math and I try to tie it to his interest subject when I can like figuring how far the slaves would of traveled to safety, but their are times I have to give assignments that he isn't into and I see i big difference in his learning in those lessons..I find daily reading to him books that cover educational topics help spark his interest in new subjects. Magic tree house books and 39 clues series are two examples my son liked. that brought up lots of history interest. Good luck

Sharon - posted on 10/14/2009

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I am so frustrated with our LEA here in Surrey and so angry with my sons school as they have no provisions set up to deal with ASD children. Even though i've had it put in black & white the things that need to be put in place to help my child, they are failing him !

My 13yr old son whom was diagnosed with Aspergers 4yrs ago and recently (after several yrs of trying to get an OT assessment) he also has "Sensory Integration Disorder and Auditory Processing Disorder ".

He has ADHD, moderate learning difficulties and other complex needs.

He has suffered throughout his schooling as the Education Authority has placed him in 2 different schools for boy's with " emotional behavioral difficulties ".

He cannot stand being in his present school as even though the class size is maximum of 5 boy's, the noise is very intense for him and he is unable to concentrate and take in anything.

He feels like a dunce.This had led to him feeling depressed and he has very low self esteem.

He is behind accedemicaly and has no concept of how important this yr is as he has to choose his options for yr 10 next yr. I'm so worried for him as school is really getting him down.

I found a new school 2yrs ago that only specialises with kids with Aspergers.My son was offered a placement there, but he LEA refused. I appealed but lost at the court (tribunal). The Local Education Authority would not fund it.

I really don't know what to do next.

My heart says take him out of this school and try ' home schooling ' but i do not know if i'm able to do this or do i go back to court again and re-appeal. But i have to proove on the grounds that the school is unable to teach my son and have failed to comply with his 'Special needs Statement of Educational needs ' .

I have spoken to several support organizations about what to do and they say it is really difficult to prove this point in court.

What do i do ?

Shasta - posted on 10/05/2009

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I have thought long and hard about homeschooling my children on the spectrum. And, done alot of research. There are a couple of things that I have learned through out the research. The school district should still help you with alot of the therapies and things that he recieves at school. Also, talk to your school about home bound studies. The school system assigns him a grade level teacher that will put together his work for the week. You pick it up on Friday for the next week. Then turn in completed work on Friday. They also supply all the materials he would need like text books and things. :) Also, join a homeschooling group in your area. Or children still need a chance to socialize and these groups often meet to do activities like field trips. This gives our children a chance to practice those social skills they are working on. Plus it gives you someone to talk to locally for advice and support. I really hope this helps. :)

Lisa - posted on 10/02/2009

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We are trying it this year too. We've done similar things before. The best part is that my daughter (who is 16) doesn't have to interact with the other students. The worst part is that I have to spend a lot more time managing her time, because the teacher isn't in the room with her, to keep her on track.

Alice - posted on 10/01/2009

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Hi I'm a grandmother of a 13 year old with asperger's. He was mistreated in public school because he's "different". He also has vitaligo and attention defecit disorder. My grandson said he wanted to die. He was so miserable. He sees a psychologist who said at some time it may be better to home school him. My daughter put him in private school ( a catholic school) and he only has about 5 or 6 kids in his class. He's now thriving! He loves school his grades have gotten so much better and he's made a few friends. I know there are different levels of asperger's, but, small classes are so much better. The psychologist said it's like having someone playing rock music on one side and beating drums on the other side for these kids. Small classes means less noise. We know asperger's won't go away and I know he'll need to "fit in" to this world, but, parents/care givers need to make the world fit asperger kids while they're growing up. He gets to control his surroundings somewhat and he's learning to cope with a lot of different things.

Judy - posted on 09/07/2009

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my son is almost main streamed and I'm hoping that will come soon. If your teachers in your school work with you he may do very well he is also in a E. S room were there are kids like him in there and dosen't make him feel weird . judie

Christina - posted on 09/07/2009

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I homeschool my children and because of my aspie son. He was in school, and found it was too over stimulating, the kids tormented him, and he was in constant anxiety and tantrums.He begged me to homeschool him and I was terrified. Well, I could not take his torment any longer and pulled all my kids out of school. Guess what??? It is the best decision I ever made. He is thriving, he has relaxed so much that many of his behaviors have diminished, he has his confidence back, and he is making friends.He was having learning difficulty in school, was tested and discovered to be gifted. All the chaos etc in school was literally driving him crazy. Now he can have the calm he desires and is surpassing his peers academically. For the first time ever he is relaxed enough to participate in team sports, (he never could handle it before) and he needs to compartmentalize his friends. School to him is for learning, friends are for after wards. I was worried about socializing, burn out etc. I rely on respite care and keep my self care as important. Also the stress level has decreased so dramatically in our home it is easier for our whole family than when he was in school. I do not use an online school I use Sonlight. But use what ever you prefer.I now have the energy to take him to activities, believe it or not. His tantrums have mostly stopped . He is the most focused and diligent student I know. Even if he is sick he can do school, before we had massive issues trying to convince him you cannot go to school if you are sick. I could go on and on , but everyone who know us, cannot believe the change in our son





I just want to add that I our case the socialization my son was receiving in school was extremely negative and abusive. I know that is not always the case but it was in ours. My children had been in four schools in five years due to moved with my husband job. For us we needed consistency and the safety of home.

Kellie - posted on 09/03/2009

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my son was diagnosed with Aspergers when he was 8,now 10 and 2 schools later he is finding it easier to interact socially because we are lucky enough to have the right balance of people and support around him. It has not always been easy at school but i find that with each challenge we have to deal with he finds that bit more of confidence in himself. I understand that you may feel like home schooling would be the easiest option for you if you havent got enough support for your child, but in some ways I think it may pull your child back socially even more, although i do feel it is a personal choice, you have to go with what you feel is best for your child.

Karen - posted on 09/01/2009

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My son was diagnosed with Aspergers when he started the 6th grade, here in FL that is Middle School. After going to middle school one day my son was not able to go back. he found all the noise and the crowded hallways way over stimulating. We did homeschool by book that yr and Michael did very well. The first part of seventh grade we tried on line school. Michael had a difficult time trying to learn just by reading things on the computer screen. The teachers were very acomodating to his IEP, tests were given verbally over the phone and they allotted him to make up many assignments he had difficulty with but all in all in the middle of the yr we pulled him out of on line school. My husband quit his job over two yrs ago and he stays home during the day to home school Michael. We did attempt to put him back in middle school part time, with many promises made by the staff of this school only to have them broken and after a week Michael was in such a panic we knew it was not worth it. He has started 8th grade and continues to be home schooled by books and a lot of one on one with verbal instruction etc. Michael does not get as much social interaction as i would like, he does go to therapy one time per week and therapeutic horseback riding one time per week. He use to belong to an club for boys with aspergers here in FL but the club broke up after the founders moved, with no notice...that's another story. Anyway good luck to you. All kids with autism are so different it is hard to say what is exactly right for all of them.

Dusty - posted on 08/31/2009

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Thank you so much for all your heart warming stories and opinions!! I'm so thank full for finding this site and meeting other mom's who understand!! My son is going to be starting K12 very soon ( a great online school) . I truely think this is the type of education my son needs at his age (11, almost 12) ! He has always hated school and its been a huge struggle throughtout the years. He was only diagnosed with Asperger's last year. As you know for some children its very difficult to diagnose them. The school is going to set up a new IEP with us, because most of his difficulties are social and emotional with other kids. I am concerned that he won't socialize with others...but he has NO desire to and for now I'm going to let that go.

Kathie - posted on 08/29/2009

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I have a 17 yr old with Asperger's. I have home schooled him since the first grade. Kindergarten was sooooo stressful on him that my husband and I decided to try homeschooling. It is THE BEST THING WE HAVE DONE FOR HIM. As far as the socialization issue? It's a non-issue. We belong to a Christian homeschool group and the kids are together several times a month. Also, we do a co-op with him. We (parents must participate) attend a full day of classes once day a week. We attend five classes every Thursday from 9:00am until 3:00pm. The classes range from Understanding Todays Times to self-defense classes to Phsyical Science. The rest of the week he has homework to do for the classes. Since I attend the classes with him, I know what he is studying for that week and can help him if & when he needs it.
He has made great friends in this group, ones that I am sure will be life long.
We also attend church and he is in Sunday School & youth group. He has been in 4-H for 7 years. There is always social situations for them to be included in. Like I said the socialization issue is a non-issue! Please do not let that stop you.
As far as being with him 24/7? I LOVE being with him 24/7. He is a great kid that just needs some understanding. Who better to give that to him then me. I have a great family & friends that see to it that I get my alone time when I need it.
We lost his Father to cancer 3 years ago and I think being so close is what has kept us both going. Me, taking care of his emotional needs dealing with the loss and him giving me a reason to go on has been good for both of us.

Kathleen - posted on 08/28/2009

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My son is about to turn 22 and has been in a special program since he was about 13. I truly do not believe it is a good idea to isolate your children at home. Yes, there are things like cub scouts but you better be willing to be a den leader since nobody else will understand your child. They need to get used to social interaction and need to learn to deal with how difficult it is. My son still prefers to sit in his room on a computer all day - if he would have had that choice at a young age - I hate to think where he would be socially. They will learn - they are smart. It's the socialization that is most important. That's just my two cents.

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I have thought about home schooling my 11 years old asperger son but since he has being diogonoised the school hase stepped up and I think it is importantant for him to be in social suitations as he will have to deal with them when he is older.

Marisa - posted on 08/27/2009

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I homeschool my 6 year old Asperger's son. He went to public schools in Kindergarten only to be labeled the problem child and being in the office more often then in class. He is doing so much better at home with school work. At home I am able to spend extra time on the subjects he dislikes and give him extra attention for the things he has special interests in. In a school setting it is difficult because it is one teacher with 30 students and all childen are treated equal whether they have difficulties in transitions or other areas of school. He still gets social interaction with other children in our neighbor hood and in outside clubs such as cub scouts and church activities. It can be very difficult at times when he has a complete meltdown because he doesn't want to journal write but I know he is receiving a better education this way. I am luck enough to be able to quit working to stay home and focus on this endevor and maybe one day he will want to attend school again but for now this is the best choice I have ever made.

Beneva - posted on 08/27/2009

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In addition I have not fully researched the online schools so does anyone know if they are equipted for kids with I.E.P.'s?

Beneva - posted on 08/27/2009

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I have seriously thought about the online schools for my 9 yr old son. But honestly I think public school is better for him. I just hate the constant aggravations getting him to go. But if he was homeschooled then he would be with me 24/7 and I would never get a break. I need that downtime. I feel my son needs to socialize and try and adjust as much as possible to the realworld. It's only gonna get harder as he gets older. I really don't think it would be any easier for me to get him to stay on task at home. I want him to feel as home and school are seperate. That way he can de-stress when he gets home. We don't even do homework at home, his Special Ed teacher does it with him at school so that he doesn't have that additional stress. I think you might want to look into a better school if your school isn't helping as much as they can. My son had to switch schools last year to get the help that he needs. It has been much better since then too. But I would love to hear from someone that's child is enrolled in online schools. I know parents who home school and that is not for me. But I will keep the online thing on the back burner just in case.

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