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Giving up on Latin with my s/n son.

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    Giving up on Latin with my s/n son.

    We have tried quite a few latin programs with my special needs son, and I think it is time to move on. He has been enjoying using the Greek Alphabet set from MP, so maybe he will want to go further with greek, but I thought I should at least do roots along with common latin sayings, prayers, and hymns. I have Roots of English, and it seems to be something he could handle. I know I can find various prayers and sayings online, and I have Lingua Angelica somewhere. If we can’t do a full latin program, does this seem like a reasonable substitute? Any ideas or recommended resources would be appreciated. We are Catholic, so any resources for prayers or hymns would be especially appreciated. Thanks!

    #2
    giving up

    I know this is a hard one. I have had to accept that the education that my other children are receiving is not what is going to work for my son who is autistic. The rest of us love to read; he can read but doesn't particularly enjoy it. We love history; he knows only the tiniest number of American History facts. My other children think Latin is like their secret code language; he is never going to learn it. But then again, there was a time that I thought he would never speak, so I am grateful for the sentences he can now say, no matter how stilted they may be.
    I wouldn't push the Latin too hard. I did think ASL was very helpful when my son was in preschool, and it is used as a bridge to verbal communication for many special needs children. Chances are your son might get more use out of ASL, if he is going to spend any time with other special needs individuals.
    I would still play him the Lingua Angelica music and listen to the prayers, just translating as you go along. Then when he is at Mass, and he hears the Agnus Dei, he will know they are singing about the Lamb of God. I think the Sanctus is another good one to learn, as it does get some use occasionally. Unless you are planning to attend Latin Masses, I wouldn't worry about it much. Play to his particular strengths.
    Blessings,
    Jude

    Comment


      #3
      Hello.

      I have something coming up that you may be interested in. We are currently working with a mother of 2 special needs children to publish her book on the benefits of a classical education to special needs children. Her name is Cheryl Swope, and she is coming to speak at our conference this year in June.

      I'm not sure when we will get the book published, but it would benefit you to come listen to her in Louisville if you can swing it. She is a huge proponent of classical education in the special needs classroom.

      She will do a plenary talk as well as workshops at our conference which is June 27-29 in Louisville.

      We'd love to have you join us!

      Cheers,

      Tanya

      Comment


        #4
        Latin & special needs

        *
        "We have tried quite a few latin programs with my special needs son, and I think it is time to move on....I thought I should at least do roots along with common latin sayings, prayers, and hymns...."
        *
        May I encourage you? My name is Cheryl, and Tanya invited me into the conversation. With a master's degree in special education and a strong desire to bring the benefits of classical education to my children, I have been homeschooling my nearly-17-yr-old adopted, special-needs twins from their infancy with classical education. Both are on the autism spectrum, one tests "borderline mentally handicapped." Both have significant learning disabilities & face medical challenges too. Lessons move much more slowly for us, but with modifications we have found Latin to be the single greatest help to their classical education. We were tempted to give up years ago too, especially when it seemed no one else was doing this with special-needs kids! I'm so thankful that we didn't.
        *
        Your inclination to emphasize the beautiful, edifying elements of Latin is so important. Like you, we enjoy Lingua Angelica hymns and Latin prayers as devotional materials. I would just encourage you to continue the formal program too, but even more slowly and with much greater review than recommended. Memoria Press resources such as Ludere Latine I, LC I flashcards, & LC DVD's helped us to provide ample review at each step before we moved on to the next lesson in LC I. [As an older mom learning Latin for the first time, the review always benefits me too! ]**
        *
        Thanks for letting me step in--
        Cheryl Swope, M.Ed.
        Last edited by cherylswope; 03-05-2012, 12:59 PM. Reason: spelling error

        Comment


          #5
          I would love to hear Ms. Swope speak but unfortunately can’t make it to Louisville this year. Perhaps in the future... I will look forward to the book. Perhaps MP would consider a virtual conference in the future? I will rethink my decision on Latin, perhaps take a bit of a hiatus and focus on prayers and such.

          Thanks for the thoughtful responses!

          Dana

          Comment


            #6
            Homeschooling special needs - forward to Cheryl Swope?

            I would love to have more information about classical education and homeschooling children with autism, if you should come across anything. I have a twelve-year-old son stuck pretty much in the middle of the autistic spectrum (not high-functioning, but not low-functioning). He had been in a wonderful elementary special education program prior to this school year, where he had the same loving teachers and therapists for six years. But middle school is truly a different world, and looking ahead to the high school environment, I can see the need to remove him from the public school system.
            He has an amazing memory and taught himself to read when he was four. Unfortunately the autism mainly affects his communication skills, so accurate testing is impossible. I am dreading his upcoming IEP, as I can very much see how the school system tries to fit special needs children into a one-size-fits-all idea of what should be learned. By the time he gets home at 4:00, he is not interested in doing anything remotely academic. I would love to see him exposed on a daily basis to the true, the good, and the beautiful with our other children. He is on spring break right now, so I am reading him Charlotte's Web and trying to teach him R.L. Stevenson's "Foreign Lands."
            Any ideas or suggestions would be most appreciated.
            Blessings,
            Jude

            Comment


              #7
              Hello, Jude.

              Tanya forwarded your post to me. Your inclination to bring your son home for the remainder of his education sounds like a wise and loving thing to do. Tony Attwood, author of helpful books on autism, says that middle school & high school are "social land mines" for kids like ours. Social rules with peers become much more complex, organizational expectations increase, and multiple teachers/classes make things even more challenging. Homeschooling avoids many of those issues & allows for an emphasis on academics.

              Homeschooling also allows time for the intense interests common in children with autism. Like your son, my twins on the autism spectrum tire easily. If we did not homeschool, they would not be able to enjoy all of the outside interests they have. They both volunteer at a local history museum, because, unlike many of their peers, they love history!

              Classical education has raised eyebrows for doctors -- "why are you doing all of this college prep??" In truth, they love to learn. We have just modified everything, so the love of learning has remained. Their curriculum is Latin, Logic, Literature, History, Mathematics, Theology, and Natural Science, but on an adapted level, and certainly not "every area, every day," as in a regular high school.

              Like you, I just wanted my children to be able pursue that which is true, good, and beautiful. Follow Memoria Press suggestions & use the excellent materials, but just take everything much more slowly and at a lower level. Do some exercises orally, instead of all written. The benefit is that while others may feel pressure to move along at a fast clip, you can relax with the materials a little more and even enjoy some supplementary resources, such as Ludere Latine, as I mentioned in my first post. Your son's memory will be a great asset. I have seen this with my children too.

              As for therapies, if he receives them, often you can find speech, OT, and PT privately. We have incorporated therapies into academics, with regular consultations from therapists. From what you have already described, I know you can do this, if you decide to try. I suspect that your other children may even be helpful in the endeavor.

              Blessings to you--

              If you come to the conference, please introduce yourself!
              Cheryl

              Comment


                #8
                giving it a try

                Hi Cheryl,
                Thanks for your timely reply. This decision has been causing me a great deal of stress. Part of me says I am crazy to try and take this on right now, but I don't think I can ignore the deficits in his current program any longer. I had my husband start reading "Homeschooling the Child with Autism" last night, so he can see that it has been done before. Now I am looking at what parts of the MP curriculum he could manage, if I break them down into smaller chunks.
                I will definitely not be at the conference, as baby number seven will be making her appearance in either late April or early May. Looking forward to your book, as most of what I find seems to apply only to high-functioning ASD children who are college-bound. Your reassurance has meant a great deal to me.
                Blessings,
                Jude

                Comment


                  #9
                  Struggling Student Forum

                  Thanks to Brian and Tanya, we now have our own forum for K-12 students with special needs!

                  Please locate this new forum if you have any questions, suggestions, or encouragement regarding children with specific learning disabilities, autism spectrum disorder, language impairments, or other difficulties.

                  If possible, please post or add to your signature a brief introduction. I will serve as one of the moderators. We can all help each other.

                  Cheryl

                  classically homeschooling mom of 17yo adopted boy/girl twins:
                  autism spectrum, specific learning disability, severe mental illness, mild cerebral palsy, medical conditions

                  Comment


                    #10
                    My son said something this morning related to the post below, even though the original message was months ago.

                    Michael suffers from schizophrenia, learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder, and autism.

                    "Latin is so meticulous and systematic, it takes my boggled mind and sorts it out." Michael Swope

                    He added, "I want to study Latin my whole life."

                    We have continued with Latina Christiana II, because my children crave familiarity and loved Latina I. We spent three years in Latina I with supplements.

                    They especially enjoy the translation and prayers in Latina II. When we finish, even if after high school, we hope to begin First Form for review and more comprehensive grammar study.

                    After rereading your post below, dsmith, I wonder if you might enjoy a teacher's guide or single student book of Latina II. Inside you'll find many Latin sayings along with the Gloria, the Sanctus, and the Doxology.

                    Perhaps you found your Lingua Angelica. The songbook and CD have provided us with years of good Latin hymns.

                    Cheryl


                    Originally posted by dsmith View Post
                    We have tried quite a few latin programs with my special needs son, and I think it is time to move on. He has been enjoying using the Greek Alphabet set from MP, so maybe he will want to go further with greek, but I thought I should at least do roots along with common latin sayings, prayers, and hymns. I have Roots of English, and it seems to be something he could handle. I know I can find various prayers and sayings online, and I have Lingua Angelica somewhere. If we can’t do a full latin program, does this seem like a reasonable substitute? Any ideas or recommended resources would be appreciated. We are Catholic, so any resources for prayers or hymns would be especially appreciated. Thanks!

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Yes, I have managed to locate Lingua Angelica. We have decided to give Prima Latina a try again, but tweak it a bit. I've been making flash cards for the vocabulary, with pictures when I can. I also have been making matching exercises, writing each line of a prayer on an index card for him to put in order, along with other things to take writing out of the equation. I'm trying to modify our curriculum (not just latin) to work for him instead of looking for something new to buy. It's a lot of work! (But worth it!!)


                      Originally posted by cherylswope View Post
                      After rereading your post below, dsmith, I wonder if you might enjoy a teacher's guide or single student book of Latina II. Inside you'll find many Latin sayings along with the Gloria, the Sanctus, and the Doxology.

                      Perhaps you found your Lingua Angelica. The songbook and CD have provided us with years of good Latin hymns.

                      Cheryl

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Dear dsmith,

                        This is so encouraging. Congratulations to you for making the necessary efforts. I especially love this:
                        I'm trying to modify our curriculum (not just latin) to work for him instead of looking for something new to buy.

                        Thank you for the idea of separating lines of a prayer for placing in order. This is excellent. So many special-needs workbooks offer such activities, but this effectively incorporates your own classical Christian curriculum.

                        Your matching exercises reminded me of a grammar activity I had forgotten. We played many times in our living room to review English grammar. We could easily play it again now with Latin words. This time my children could make their own cards. This would not only reduce my time investment but also increase their spelling practice.

                        At the time, my twins enjoyed (required!) movement, so at the end of our grammar lesson they stood ready with individual stacks of various "word" index cards. On the floor we had 8x11 signs for four categories: verbs, nouns, adjectives, adverbs. [By this time, the children had already received much instruction in categorizing and in the parts of speech. Their language therapist insisted on it, and this coincided perfectly with our classical curriculum.]

                        Their task in relay form -- place one card in its appropriate category, return to the line, wait for the other twin to place his card, etc. Then we totaled correct placements at the end. They received instruction if any errors occurred and congratulations on successful decisions.

                        You're right about the extra time, of course; although after I had taken the time to make the cards, we repeated this simple activity many times simply by shuffling the "deck." Such activities serve as enjoyable, effective exercises for our children.

                        I suspect nearly everyone on this forum has created something similar. I would love to hear more ideas from anyone willing to share. Such suggestions spark more.

                        Thank you again for your helpful post. Very happy for you and your son!
                        Cheryl

                        Comment

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