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Placement Help

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    Placement Help

    Hi I need some help choosing curriculum for my son. He is a 13 year old, nonverbal young man who has moderate to severe autism. Through God’s wondrous grace, care, & guidance, he has had a breakthrough in his communication through typing & writing! He has shown us he is far more advanced than we ever imagined. Through various informal & formal assessments, he has tested at 11th-12th grade mathematics (“geometry, pre-calculus, calculus, or even college calculus!”), 11th-12th grade reading comprehension, & 7th-8th grade grammar! I was & am still blown away! His expressive language has never gone farther than “I want (insert food or stimming activity)” - that’s it! We were doing SC 1 before this awesome blessing; he’s never passed the readiness assessments beyond that level before this. I kept asking him over & over, “How do you know that?!” or, “Who taught you that?!” because he has never been exposed to that level of education. He doesn’t get on the internet, or watch TV (except for children’s DVDs). He always, ever time, gives the credit to Jesus or “Papa” (God)! He types they’re “good to me”!! Isn’t our God amazing!! ❤️❤️❤️ It’s been an incredible journey trying to assess his potential for his new curriculum
    While he has wonderful memory (amazing scripture knowledge❤️), reading, & vocabulary comprehension, his expressive language is still quite a struggle. He can label grammatical content in sentences, but he struggles typing complete sentences. He can remember & answer questions almost verbatim from a reading passage, but severely struggles forming his own, independent thoughts in proper syntax lest of all writing essays or even a paragraph. He types in short phrases. It’s fascinating, yet, I’m sure infuriating for him.
    I absolutely love Simply Classical’s curriculum! Thank you so much for this beautiful work! The pace, repetition, scripture, prayers, poetry, music, art, structure, books, therapeutic activities, & helpful guidelines & suggestions have been an absolute God-send! Thank you!
    He still needs the slower pace & modified curriculum (breaking things down into smaller steps, less writing work, frequent breaks.) What would you suggest given these comprehension results, yet, his struggling expressive language/writing composition?

    #2
    Hi, BlessedMomma, I'm sure you'll get lots of placement help from those more qualified than I, but I just wanted to say that your son's story really touched and uplifted me. What an amazing son you have, and you were obviously meant to be his mom! It's so comforting to know that God stays close to our special needs children and that they sense His presence in such a real way.

    Peace and blessings to you and your son as you continue your learning journey together!

    Gina
    Honored & Blessed to be teaching my children at home
    (since 2001)

    DS-sophomore in college
    DD-soon-to-be college freshman!
    DD-9
    DS-8

    Comment


      #3
      Thank you Gigi! That means so much to me ❤️ From what I’m seeing & hearing, God is VERY much a part of our special needs family. I get amazed, & then think, well of course, that is so Him! 😉

      Comment


        #4
        Wow, wow, wow! The Lord has been amazing in our lives, too. I wasn't sure my child would ever talk after being given a similar initial diagnosis (which was later changed but still entails great challenges), but God has worked incredible miracles in my son's life. We agree with you and thank Him and give Him praise for all He's done.

        With that said, you should definitely wait to hear from our pro Cheryl. In the meantime, I have two thoughts.

        1) You have every right to split the instruction if it helps. You can work at the level of SC-1 for phonics and writing as it relates to spelling and copywork as he's able. You didn't specify whether he was a perfect speller or whether his typing relies heavily on autocorrect or predictive text for spelling. If, as it turns out, he's also gifted with spelling, then it's up to you whether you should even bother with handwriting and phonics. I would switch to Latina Christiana at a year-long pace and see if his reading abilities increase even more. If he can master parts of speech through the gentle use of LC, his English writing and sentence structure might increase.

        2)Then, work at an age- and abilities-appropriate level for subjects like Classics, Science, Math and Christian Studies. I'm at a loss for where to tell you to start because my eldest is only starting 3rd Your handsome, bright son might enjoy really getting into some lit guides (with typed answers...you modeling answering in complete sentences as much as you can) and Classics Studies. See what Cheryl Swope says, but look into Greek Myths if you feel like he can handle the adultness of it. He is 13, but many of our special kids need to wait a bit for all that craziness. Once he has Greek stories under his belt, he could move through all the FMOG, FMOR, etc with deeper understanding. I bet he'll really do well with it, but lay the foundation first. Finally, really sink into Christian Studies I, soaking up memory verses and the guides as best as he can.

        I have a step brother who had severed dyslexia move to typing in 4th grade, never really learning to write by hand, and he went on to become a very, very successful lawyer. Copywork can really lay that foundation for language, but don't let the verbal or written component hold him back if deeper concepts bring him joy, sense of accomplishment, or empowerment.
        Mama to 2, Married 17 years

        SY 19/20
        DD 8-3A
        DS 5-SC C

        Comment


          #5
          Thank you! He’s spelling is great, too - rarely misspells & did great on some 8th grade spelling worksheets I tried him on. As far as Latin, he has actually shown me he knows some (which once again, I definitely didn’t teach him!) I don’t know how much though; I stopped quizzing him somewhere around Latin numbers & “Passive Indicative” tenses. He could match them up in a range of 6 choices! Out of my depth there, so I’m not really sure which Latin level/package to try. Would you still recommend starting at LC level?
          His handwriting & cursive (which I did not teach him 😧) are actually pretty good, but he still needs help with his grip & keeping his arm moving to the right. He forms the letters nicely on his own, but I have to help him keep moving to the right of the page, especially past a certain point. I don’t know if it’s a crossing the mid-line issue or range of motion in his arm/elbow; he won’t always keep the arm moving or elbow extending in flow with his hand as he writes.
          Thank you for the great suggestions!!

          Comment


            #6
            Uh....I would contact your local university with an education department and see if they have any guidance for the upper level of his abilities. Can he just see it and make it work? That's pretty profound.

            Did they do WiSC V and Woodcock Johnson? IQ testing? I would start there if you haven't already.

            I think you're going to have to decide if you want a traditional school experience where you give him advanced but decently appropriate work for his age and maturity level or whether you want to test the upper limits of his abilities at a university level, should that be where he's testing. It's highly important to remember to take time daily to soak in God's Word so you can discern the direction and spiritual shepherding of his life. Being able to demonstrate retained information is one thing, but being able to embody the virtues needed to apply that information morally takes years of discipline and determination. Don't forget his character formation no matter what you do. Myself and Others 3 or 4 might be a good starting point until you figure out if you want to jump right in to an MP core like 8 or 9 with some subs for precalculus/trig. But again, I would wait to see what others say.

            Mama to 2, Married 17 years

            SY 19/20
            DD 8-3A
            DS 5-SC C

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by BlessedMomma View Post
              Hi I need some help choosing curriculum for my son. He is a 13 year old, nonverbal young man who has moderate to severe autism. Through God’s wondrous grace, care, & guidance, he has had a breakthrough in his communication through typing & writing! He has shown us he is far more advanced than we ever imagined. Through various informal & formal assessments, he has tested at 11th-12th grade mathematics (“geometry, pre-calculus, calculus, or even college calculus!”), 11th-12th grade reading comprehension, & 7th-8th grade grammar! I was & am still blown away! His expressive language has never gone farther than “I want (insert food or stimming activity)” - that’s it! We were doing SC 1 before this awesome blessing; he’s never passed the readiness assessments beyond that level before this. I kept asking him over & over, “How do you know that?!” or, “Who taught you that?!” because he has never been exposed to that level of education. He doesn’t get on the internet, or watch TV (except for children’s DVDs). He always, ever time, gives the credit to Jesus or “Papa” (God)! He types they’re “good to me”!! Isn’t our God amazing!! ❤️❤️❤️ It’s been an incredible journey trying to assess his potential for his new curriculum
              While he has wonderful memory (amazing scripture knowledge❤️), reading, & vocabulary comprehension, his expressive language is still quite a struggle. He can label grammatical content in sentences, but he struggles typing complete sentences. He can remember & answer questions almost verbatim from a reading passage, but severely struggles forming his own, independent thoughts in proper syntax lest of all writing essays or even a paragraph. He types in short phrases. It’s fascinating, yet, I’m sure infuriating for him.
              I absolutely love Simply Classical’s curriculum! Thank you so much for this beautiful work! The pace, repetition, scripture, prayers, poetry, music, art, structure, books, therapeutic activities, & helpful guidelines & suggestions have been an absolute God-send! Thank you!
              He still needs the slower pace & modified curriculum (breaking things down into smaller steps, less writing work, frequent breaks.) What would you suggest given these comprehension results, yet, his struggling expressive language/writing composition?

              Welcome!

              Your son sounds as delightful as he is fascinating. A few thoughts:

              Therapies
              He already receives any speech/language, OT, and PT he needs, yes? If not, I would seek evaluations for him to see if he qualifies for these. Include these in your daily routine alongside the various therapeutic activities you find helpful & appealing in SC.

              Language Basics
              I would continue with SC 1 and SC 2 for any basics. He will benefit especially from these two items from SC 2:

              1) SC Writing Book One, Bible edition -- Tip: Use the Holy Scriptures for this adept young man, rather than a story compilation. Plan to have him complete an entire week's lesson in one day. Then move to SC Writing Book Two, Bible edition from SC 3.
              2) New American Cursive Book One -- This is the instruction level. It opens at the top for ease of use and offers a very large font size, so I would teach this as written but use the SC Individual Lesson Plans for Cursive. (If you purchase the SC 2 Curriculum Manual, these plans will be included. If not, purchase them separately via the link. Scroll down to Special Needs, SC Level 2, Cursive.) He will practice to classical music. We provided an SC 2 playlist, or you might focus the entire year on one composer.

              Advanced Academics
              Note that if these were standardized scores, rather than placement tests, his test scores might have been reported as Grade Equivalents. If so, this will not mean that he is actually ready for 11th-12th grade work, but only that he scored as a person in 11th-12th grade might score on those same measures. You will want to take placement tests in math to determine his actual level of study.

              Even so, everything you report is thrilling and clearly opens doors for him academically!

              To ensure that he receives a systematic, thorough education, I would teach from these:

              1) First Form Latin through Fourth Form Latin. These are available with DVDs and CDs. Emphasize derivatives for his English vocabulary comprehension.
              2) Pre-Algebra if needed, then Algebra I & II Set with Online Instructional Videos. When Videotext becomes available through MP, consider these.
              3) Consider SC 5&6 for Literature. Emphasize vocabulary found in your Lit Teaching Guides.
              4) For enrichment, consider SC 5&6 Greek Myths, Christian Studies, and Science. Emphasize vocabulary in each of these.

              Overall
              Because he needs short lessons and shorter academic days, I would focus first on writing basics (his challenging areas) at his best time of day. Then he can explore the higher areas of Latin, math, and literature.

              If time permits, enrich with any of the art, poetry, history, geography, classical and Christian studies your heart desires and time permits. These might be from SC 5&6 as indicated above, or you may use any SC or MP offerings for these.


              Let us know if we can help further. We are pleased that you are here!
              Editable Lesson Plan Templates  Primary School  Buy Digital $10.00  Grammar School  Buy Digital $10.00  Upper School  Buy Digital $10.00   Latin  Prima Latina Lesson Plans  Buy Digital $8.00  Buy Print $9.00  Latina Christiana: 1 Year Pace Plans  Buy Digital $8.00  Buy Print $9.00  Latina Christiana: 2 Year Pace Lesson Plans  Buy Digital $8.00  Buy Print $9.00 [...]

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by enbateau View Post
                Uh....I would contact your local university with an education department and see if they have any guidance for the upper level of his abilities. Can he just see it and make it work? That's pretty profound.

                Did they do WiSC V and Woodcock Johnson? IQ testing? I would start there if you haven't already.

                I think you're going to have to decide if you want a traditional school experience where you give him advanced but decently appropriate work for his age and maturity level or whether you want to test the upper limits of his abilities at a university level, should that be where he's testing. It's highly important to remember to take time daily to soak in God's Word so you can discern the direction and spiritual shepherding of his life. Being able to demonstrate retained information is one thing, but being able to embody the virtues needed to apply that information morally takes years of discipline and determination. Don't forget his character formation no matter what you do. Myself and Others 3 or 4 might be a good starting point until you figure out if you want to jump right in to an MP core like 8 or 9 with some subs for precalculus/trig. But again, I would wait to see what others say.
                One of the many times I’ve sked him how he could possibly know these things (like Latin), he typed, “PAPA (God) GIVE A CHILD LEARNING CHILD REPEATS KNOWLEDGE PAPA GIVES.” He also typed I’m to “FIND DECADE.” When I asked what that meant, he typed, “LEARN WORDS ERECT LOAN OF KNOWLEDGE.” Daunting, exciting, & incredibly blessed ❤️
                The academy just did a standardized performance test. We did online assessments through Saxon, Math U See, & K12, too, after I gave up trying to informally test him on my own in SC & MP grade level curriculum. I’ll have to look into the other tests you mentioned. Thank you!
                I think in the beginning, I’ll have to build up his communication, composition abilities, & confidence; plus, confirm there aren’t any possible gaps because he actually performed better in the placement tests rather than the standardized test. (Not as well in Geometry or PreCalculus.) I don’t know if it was the test or maybe he was sick of testing, but my gut tells me he very well may know it. I’ve seen him do some of them in the placement tests. I suspected he fluffed off the last few pages of the Math U See assessment where they suggested Pre-Calculus, so after the Saxon assessment said he was ready for Calculus, we did the Math U See assessment again. They said we may wish to look into whether he is ready for the AP Calculus AB test or a college Calculus course. 😧 So . . . I think now I’m going to study the standardized test results again (she emailed me a report that may show gaps); the placement results; & all the wonderful advice you & Mrs. Swope have given me & go from there. 😊
                And thank you so much for your words of advice concerning Scripture! I agree 100% ❤️

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by cherylswope View Post


                  Welcome!

                  Your son sounds as delightful as he is fascinating. A few thoughts:

                  Therapies
                  He already receives any speech/language, OT, and PT he needs, yes? If not, I would seek evaluations for him to see if he qualifies for these. Include these in your daily routine alongside the various therapeutic activities you find helpful & appealing in SC.

                  Language Basics
                  I would continue with SC 1 and SC 2 for any basics. He will benefit especially from these two items from SC 2:

                  1) SC Writing Book One, Bible edition -- Tip: Use the Holy Scriptures for this adept young man, rather than a story compilation. Plan to have him complete an entire week's lesson in one day. Then move to SC Writing Book Two, Bible edition from SC 3.
                  2) New American Cursive Book One -- This is the instruction level. It opens at the top for ease of use and offers a very large font size, so I would teach this as written but use the SC Individual Lesson Plans for Cursive. (If you purchase the SC 2 Curriculum Manual, these plans will be included. If not, purchase them separately via the link. Scroll down to Special Needs, SC Level 2, Cursive.) He will practice to classical music. We provided an SC 2 playlist, or you might focus the entire year on one composer.

                  Advanced Academics
                  Note that if these were standardized scores, rather than placement tests, his test scores might have been reported as Grade Equivalents. If so, this will not mean that he is actually ready for 11th-12th grade work, but only that he scored as a person in 11th-12th grade might score on those same measures. You will want to take placement tests in math to determine his actual level of study.

                  Even so, everything you report is thrilling and clearly opens doors for him academically!

                  To ensure that he receives a systematic, thorough education, I would teach from these:

                  1) First Form Latin through Fourth Form Latin. These are available with DVDs and CDs. Emphasize derivatives for his English vocabulary comprehension.
                  2) Pre-Algebra if needed, then Algebra I & II Set with Online Instructional Videos. When Videotext becomes available through MP, consider these.
                  3) Consider SC 5&6 for Literature. Emphasize vocabulary found in your Lit Teaching Guides.
                  4) For enrichment, consider SC 5&6 Greek Myths, Christian Studies, and Science. Emphasize vocabulary in each of these.

                  Overall
                  Because he needs short lessons and shorter academic days, I would focus first on writing basics (his challenging areas) at his best time of day. Then he can explore the higher areas of Latin, math, and literature.

                  If time permits, enrich with any of the art, poetry, history, geography, classical and Christian studies your heart desires and time permits. These might be from SC 5&6 as indicated above, or you may use any SC or MP offerings for these.


                  Let us know if we can help further. We are pleased that you are here!
                  Thank you for your help!

                  Therapies: He’s been evaluated & recommended for all, but we can’t afford them all; plus, we live in a small town about an hour away from therapies. We are going to contact the public school for possible therapy services again, but see if they will come to our home because he eloped/got away from them 3 times in the past. The initial reason we chose to homeschool, but so much more now

                  Language Basics: I was thinking we’d definitely do those. 👍

                  Advanced Mathematics: Good point! We did do placement tests in mathematics with Saxon & Math U See. Saxon said Calculus, & Math U See said Pre-Calculus first & then college Calculus the 2nd time we took it. Most of the free assessments for Language Arts were for elementary, except the K12 (“through middle school”). He didn’t do so well on the Language Skills section, but I don’t know how well I can rely on that testing. He might have been pretty burnt out on testing by that point. I’d redo that one, or it could make perfect sense considering how hard expressive language can be for him. He couldn’t do the writing one at all, but tested out of the reading comprehension. Maybe I should dig up some more placement tests for language skills. But given his Lexile score was 1305 & his vocabulary knowledge, should we be doing a higher level of adapted material for reading, or are SC 5/6 reading materials necessary building blocks? It’s fascinating to me how he can know words like ‘emaciated’ & struggle so with his own communication

                  Thank you so much! This was a lot of wonderful information!! And thank you for sharing your wonderful book & family with us! Not to mention the beautiful SC curriculum!! So grateful & blessed - thank you!!


                  Comment


                    #10
                    You are welcome! His expressive language is far different from his receptive language. When you create a plan for him, you can keep that distinction in your mind. If your son can comprehend literature at higher levels, feel free to let him enjoy those higher levels!

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I have no idea if this contributes or not. If I'm reading correctly, it sounds like he understands (receptive language) so much more than he can express.

                      Is he a visual learner or auditory learner?

                      I ask because the IEW program for learning to write uses a lot of visual models for helping students to "create" sentences. Rather than assuming it comes naturally, it teaches the "framework" of what a sentence really is and what it looks like and helps them build the backbone of the sentence before actually trying to compose it. Maybe that formal structure and framework could help him compose his thoughts so that he is able to create more original complex sentences. It looks to be a very "visual" program. It's a DVD course too.

                      Having said that, I haven't used it yet. I may use it eventually, but I decided on Intro to Comp for my rising 3rd grader because I have receptive issues as well and I thought that the double-up on the literature between the Lit guides and the Intro to Comp for the same books would be beneficial to him and his receptive understanding.

                      Good luck Mama! That's one amazing kiddo you have there!
                      Melissa

                      DS (MP2) - 8
                      DS (MP1) - 7
                      DS (K) - 5
                      DD (Adorable distraction) 2

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by MBentley View Post
                        I have no idea if this contributes or not. If I'm reading correctly, it sounds like he understands (receptive language) so much more than he can express.

                        Is he a visual learner or auditory learner?

                        I ask because the IEW program for learning to write uses a lot of visual models for helping students to "create" sentences. Rather than assuming it comes naturally, it teaches the "framework" of what a sentence really is and what it looks like and helps them build the backbone of the sentence before actually trying to compose it. Maybe that formal structure and framework could help him compose his thoughts so that he is able to create more original complex sentences. It looks to be a very "visual" program. It's a DVD course too.

                        Having said that, I haven't used it yet. I may use it eventually, but I decided on Intro to Comp for my rising 3rd grader because I have receptive issues as well and I thought that the double-up on the literature between the Lit guides and the Intro to Comp for the same books would be beneficial to him and his receptive understanding.

                        Good luck Mama! That's one amazing kiddo you have there!
                        Thank you! (Sorry, been scrambling for teen conference at church & then summer camp 🤪)

                        Comment

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