I am doing Cyber School with my son but everyone keeps bothering me with him going to real school for the socialization? Are there any homeschooling/cyber schooling moms out there with any ideas of socialization instead of me having to send him to the traditional brick and mortor school? Thanks
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Marj - posted on 04/17/2009
I would suggest that you take him to the park, the art museum, if they are close by.
Also you could look on yahoogroups for homeschooling groups in your area. They do lots of activities and fun things to get the kids together to socialize.
How old is your son?
P,S. Have them look up in the dictionary what Socialization really means. It will surprise you.
Amy - posted on 08/01/2012
I am considering the cyber school route for my boys one of which is an Aspie. I respectfully disagree with the person above on the lack of social context and conflict resolution outside the classroom. Free play is one of the best things that a child can use to develop social and peer relationships. The pressure my son is under during school time does not help his social learning skills at all. I have found he does much better in outside activities with interacting with friends. I find that the aspect of one on one is the most effective learning style for my child and using the computer to complete school work instead of writing things out has helped tremendously. Swimming is my favorite activity for my son. It has enough down time at the swim meets for interaction with peers, it forces him to concentrate, because he would sink if he didn't keep moving. Everyone competes, no one really gets benched and you compete against your previous times.
Jen - posted on 04/10/2012
I disagree about the whole concept of cyber schooling kids with Asperger's or high-functioning autism. Even though parents are convinced that their child is getting the proper socialization by setting up play dates with other kids and such, these kids are missing out on the learning/observing the key components of socialization: maintaining friendships/relationships and conflict resolution. Everyday in school, kids watch conflict and are even put in the middle of conflict and this is how they learn! Aspergers kids CAN learn, too! By sheltering them in our houses behind the PC benefits one person. And that person is you....so you don't see your child fail on a daily basis dealing with other children. Let's put it this way....isolate your child at home by cyber schooling until they are 18. By that time, they want to have a girlfriend or a boyfriend. How the heck are they going to last in that relationship when, for the last several years, they have been hiding behind the computer? How are they going to handle the social pressures of the real world? Sometimes its best to "throw them in with the wolves," so to speak. I work with autistic kids and I have a mildly autistic child, by the way.
Maria - posted on 04/14/2009
I heard a teenager with autism give a speech once...and he said "no matter how much you 'socialize' me I am still going to be autistic, I am still going to have some problems in social areas. Do what you can, and until there is a huge study that proves making a child sit in a desk for five to seven hours a day helps autism, keep on doing what you think best!
I hate this! My kid is in school but last year I got so angry about the attitude of focusing on his social skills! I ended up yelling at his teacher "He may NEVER get it - STOP beating him over the head with his failings and START educating him!" and that is still the way I feel. School is a wholly artificial environment, the likes of which you never HAVE to face as an adult so why force it on kids it doesn't suit?
I don't expect my school to be a 'one stop therapy shop', I expect them to be a school, thus I expect them to deliver an ACADEMIC education and leave me to get my child the specialist help I think is appropriate.
So, don't feel guilty about not socialising your kid - does your kid miss it or need it?
Also, check the web and ask everyone you know if they know other homeschoolers - in our area there are groups (co-ordinated and communicating through yahoo groups) of homeschoolers who organise small group lessons for things like music, drama, art, etc - areas of the curriculum that are difficult to cover if you lack the appropriate knowledge and equipment. They also get together just to play quite regularly.
Angie - posted on 04/13/2009
After a dreadful year of kindergarten in public school, we began homeschooling my son this year. My best recommendation would be martial arts. My son has been taking taekwondo for a year and a half and I have noticed marked improvement in his attitude and his ability to control his emotions and reactions. It also gives him time with kids his own age, and even gives him a chance to take on leadership roles.
Don't worry about socialization. I get asked the same thing quite often, but people don't understand that kids like him don't do well sitting in a classroom all day with other kids. My son had plenty of interaction with other kids, as well as with adults and can hold a conversation with just about anyone.
Maria - posted on 04/12/2009
I agree with trying to get him with other kids at pool or playground. Also, maybe little kids sports teams? My nephew with ASD plays soccer. You could also get him involved in choir or art classes with kids his own age. Good luck!
Cindy - posted on 04/11/2009
I'm a homeshooling mum. He's in grade 1 now. He doesn't have any problems socializing, and onee on one teaching was recommended by his developmental pead, and his psychologist. Keep up what you're doing. It's what's best for him.
Leslie - posted on 04/08/2009
I know it's been a while, but I just saw this. The bottom line is that if your son has any kind of struggles related to autism, any school is going to essentially assign him to an IEP, Individualized Education Program, he'll be separated from most if not all of the other kids for good portions of the day, and his "socialization" will be limited anyway. If they don't do this, they are probably putting your child at risk for a host of other problems stemming from them not treating him on an individual basis. As a homeschooler, the only thing you are avoiding is a bunch of red tape and headaches if you understand autism and are willing to work with and around his unique struggles.
I know how much pressure people put on homeschoolers because they don't understand our choices in general, but socialization doesn't happen by being with other people all the time. Socialization is the process of learning how to function in your society in an interpersonal way. You have the opportunity to teach him how to respond to people in individual situations in a non-threatening environment and the power to expose him as little or as often as he needs to both keep the peace and stimulate growth in his development. You have to explain to "them" that when your kid is on the autism spectrum, their idea of socialization is forced torture for him. They get overwhelmed so easily that it causes lots of other behavior problems that then affect everything--academics, attitude at home, depression, etc.
It is really hard for people to understand the concept of a social disability, which is essentially what Asperger's main component is. (My son is "high-functioning" on the spectrum, which basically means "not so obvious as the kids who can't communicate at all") People generally do not understand that more is NOT better for these kids. Slow, consistent, measured steps involving teaching people skills like other people teach reading skills IS better.
We are taking my son's education whichever direction it needs to go to produce results that keep him whole, allow him to be different, and explain "how people are." He is a third grader and right now we are pretty eclectic, meaning we mix it all up: some worksheets (for days when he can handle it), some computer games, some TV shows (Discovery, History channels, etc.), lots of field trips and hands-on stuff. There are a lot of days that two or three hours (total, broken up) are spent talking about why his sibling reacted this way, or why his response was not acceptable, learning the language to express how he was feeling when he had an outburst or ran to his bed and shut the world out. Having him home allows for that.
When he went to public school for kindergarten, I spent every day worrying about what he would do to get sent to the principal's office, trying to figure out what actually happened on the bus, never getting anything resolved, and just exasperated. Every day!
Now that we homeschool him, while he still struggles with some things, when we ARE in social situations at church, homeschool co-ops, in the library (where outbursts are a no-no), people who know what we deal with on a daily basis tell us what an improvement they see and what a great kid he is now that the chaos has subsided.
When he was in school, the whole family ended up revolving around him because what happened in school affected the rest of the evening, be it talking with him, his siblings taking the brunt of his frustration, and on and on. Now we have peace for the most part. And peace is worth a lot. He CAN learn now. He LOVES to learn now. He HAS FRIENDS now. Because the time he spends with them is precious, but mostly because it's not too much.
I know I'm a rambler, but I truly hope this is helpful to you. And I ardently cheer what Tamara had to offer!
Tamara - posted on 04/03/2009
Who is this 'everybody'? Your pediatrician? Any professionals in your child's life? Friends and family? You of all people, know what is the best for your son. You know how he learns the best, and if cyber-schooling him works, and he is doing well, don't sacrifice your hard work by putting him in school, because of what 'everyone' says.
Socialization isn't learned at school. How to behave in an institution surrounded by kids you may or may not in any other case choose to associate with, in a highly structured environment where there is so much other crap to deal with. Teachers, aides, physical environment (lighting, noise, crowding, etc).
Your best bet is get him together with other kids in a low pressure environment, like playdates. The swimming pool, the playground. Find friends for him. You don't say how old he is, or what his particular tics are, so at the moment, it's hard to give specific advice. (Ie, playdates may be terribly innappropriate for a 16 yo...lol) Get him engaged into some sort pf sport activity, (not team oriented), where he can learn to socialize while doing something he enjoys.
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