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Curious where to place daughter?

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    Curious where to place daughter?

    Our daughter will be 5 in a few weeks, she has been diagnosed with Autism. She is very high-functioning. She is on par with most skills for her age as far as letters (recognizes all letters upper and lower case and knows most of their sounds), numbers (knows almost all numbers to 100), colors, shapes, days of week etc... She is probably a bit delayed with printing/fine motor skills. She is really just starting to color (though when she does she is PHENOMENAL, she has incredible control and attention to detail, she's almost OCD about staying in the lines), yet is struggling some with learning to print. She has a VERY low frustration tolerance. She doesn't enjoy drawing. We suspect that there are some visual tracking/processing issues going on, that makes it hard for her to look at a letter and then copy it. She is still a bit delayed with receptive language, and is a very literal child. Ideas have to be concrete and simple. She's a phenomenal problem-solver. Her biggest issue is that she is very socially/emotionally delayed - roughly 2 years. In many ways, seeing her behavior, hearing how she speaks, how she interacts with other children etc... she's on par with a 3 year old.

    Her attention span is about 20 minutes of sit-down, and she has demanding/controlling tendencies. She is fairly typical with ASD in that she far prefers a video screen to a book, though she is starting to get interested in reading. She LOVES workbooks.

    So... I guess I'm not sure where to start her. Should I start her on one of the Simply Classical programs, to meet her emotional needs even though the academics will be a review, or should we just go ahead with academics and try and work on emotional stuff on the side? She's so young emotionally for her age, and she has other medical issues going on as well - her life has really always revolved around doctors and tests and appointments and illness. Every year seems to slowly improve, which is the good thing, but it's been a long road. I admit that my mother's heart would almost prefer to just take it easy for a year, let her catch up, have some time for emotional growth. But then I feel that pressure to PUSH! She knows her numbers she needs to keep moving forward! Kwim?

    Open to any input and insight, please.

    #2
    Originally posted by mshanson3121 View Post
    Our daughter will be 5 in a few weeks, she has been diagnosed with Autism. She is very high-functioning. She is on par with most skills for her age as far as letters (recognizes all letters upper and lower case and knows most of their sounds), numbers (knows almost all numbers to 100), colors, shapes, days of week etc... She is probably a bit delayed with printing/fine motor skills. She is really just starting to color (though when she does she is PHENOMENAL, she has incredible control and attention to detail, she's almost OCD about staying in the lines), yet is struggling some with learning to print. She has a VERY low frustration tolerance. She doesn't enjoy drawing. We suspect that there are some visual tracking/processing issues going on, that makes it hard for her to look at a letter and then copy it. She is still a bit delayed with receptive language, and is a very literal child. Ideas have to be concrete and simple. She's a phenomenal problem-solver. Her biggest issue is that she is very socially/emotionally delayed - roughly 2 years. In many ways, seeing her behavior, hearing how she speaks, how she interacts with other children etc... she's on par with a 3 year old.

    Her attention span is about 20 minutes of sit-down, and she has demanding/controlling tendencies. She is fairly typical with ASD in that she far prefers a video screen to a book, though she is starting to get interested in reading. She LOVES workbooks.

    So... I guess I'm not sure where to start her. Should I start her on one of the Simply Classical programs, to meet her emotional needs even though the academics will be a review, or should we just go ahead with academics and try and work on emotional stuff on the side? She's so young emotionally for her age, and she has other medical issues going on as well - her life has really always revolved around doctors and tests and appointments and illness. Every year seems to slowly improve, which is the good thing, but it's been a long road. I admit that my mother's heart would almost prefer to just take it easy for a year, let her catch up, have some time for emotional growth. But then I feel that pressure to PUSH! She knows her numbers she needs to keep moving forward! Kwim?

    Open to any input and insight, please.

    Welcome! What an excellent introduction. This is very helpful.

    To recap -

    -Nearly 5
    -Dx'd with autism
    -Concrete/literal

    Strengths/Advantages
    -Can work in 20-minute sessions
    -Already strong in pre-academic skills
    -Starting to develop an interest in books
    -Loves workbooks
    -Excellent problem-solving skills


    Concerns/Challenges
    -Possible visual tracking or processing (or both) difficulties
    -Low frustration tolerance
    -Controlling/demanding tendencies
    -Receptive language
    -Social/emotional maturity


    First -
    1. Vision & OT
    You might consider, if you have not already, obtaining good vision & OT evaluations. I realize this only adds to the countless appointments, but seems warranted based on your description. As you know, early is always better on such things.
    (Have you read Simply Classical? If yes, refer back to "portable classical education" for some encouragement. Most of us here can relate. My twins have 4 medical appts over an hour away later today. They're resting now in preparation!)

    2. Humor
    To assist our overly-literal children, Amelia Bedelia often comes to the rescue. Young Amelia is so absurdly literal, even our most concrete-thinking children can begin to see and even enjoy the silliness with practice. These books can also help lighten the mood around the house. You might gently sprinkle Amelia books into your read-alouds, so your daughter can begin to relax her thinking over time.

    3. Social Stories
    I have boy/girl twins on the autism spectrum. As young children, both wanted to "script" playmates in their play. My children appeared demanding & controlling, but they were simply trying to create "order" out of human beings. We used very simple Social Stories, such as one I entitled, "Ask, Don't Tell," to help them see the need to ask the playmate what he wanted to do, rather than telling their guests what to do. This gave us a reference for coaching throughout the day.


    To your real question:
    Placement - Should I push her academically, or should I restrict/relax academics for the sake of her emotional development?

    Neither! I think you can have the best of both worlds. This is exactly why we created the new Simply Classical Curriculum. Based on everything you said about your daughter, I think Level C would be helpful for you. SC Level C is a program that will be:

    1.) Rich in oral language, books, & stories, so you can develop receptive language, reduce rigidity, and cultivate imagination. These are age-appropriate "skills" in themselves. Your daughter needs time and methods to develop these.

    2.) Strong in academic skills, especially fine-motor readiness, yet teachable in short sessions to maximize her strong thinking abilities & minimize her frustrations.

    3.) Intellectually stimulating, because even though she is somewhat emotionally immature, she is not "babyish" in her intellect. In Level C, we include extensive animal studies far beyond those for a typical same-age child, just for this reason. The accompanying advanced Animal Alphabet coloring book offers advanced vocabulary and the opportunity to color in excellent ways, just as she already enjoys.

    One side note:
    The only area you might want to accelerate - but would not need to - is arithmetic. She might be able to move to R&S 1, which is featured in our Level 1 program. If you wanted to add R&S1 to her curriculum, you could order this separately. Even if you decided to add the math, I would still recommend utilizing the existing arithmetic/number lessons within Level C, because your daughter will gain fine-motor practice and number review through these. (This particular recommendation would not work for every child, but because your daughter loves workbooks, she could enjoy Level C number lessons as assigned independent work!)



    Bonus - toward the end of Level C, she will begin learning to read.




    Feel free to follow up.

    Cheryl


    Simply Classical - the book

    Simply Classical - the curriculum

    cherylswope.com

    Comment


      #3
      Hi MsHanson

      Was just going to echo Cheryl (partly -- she has far more resources and insight than I!) and say Level C would be a lovely fit with (again) accelerated math. Your daughter and my son sound a lot alike.

      Here's the good news:
      LEVEL C WAS A GODSEND FOR US. Go over to the thread "Answer To Prayer" in this forum section and read the success stories. Level C has truly helped my son, Winston, bloom emotionally, academically and socially. He is a much more VERBAL, cooperative, attentive, ENTHUSIASTIC child now. We started with short sessions each day (about an hour), which meant breaking Level C lesson plans into bite-sized chunks. It took us several days to complete one single day of material at first. But as each school day is fairly uniform, we progressed pretty rapidly as he caught on to the routine. Soon his mastery, enthusiasm, ability, eagerness and ATTENTION improved and now, a typical school day is about three hours. THAT IS HUGE FOR US.

      So, welcome! And even if you have to start slowly, keep going -- you will see wonderful gains.
      Boy Wonder: 12, Seton and MP Electives (Special Needs)
      Joy Bubble: 10, Seton and MP Electives (Special Needs)
      Snuggly Cowboy: 8, Seton and MP Electives
      The Comedian: 4, Seton/MP Pre-K, though she’ll probably zoom through that in a week.

      “Have no fear of moving into the unknown. Simply step out fearlessly knowing that I am with you, therefore no harm can befall you; all is very, very well. Do this in complete faith and confidence.”
      ~Pope St John Paul II

      Comment


        #4
        Thank you, both.


        I definitely think that her "controlling" issues are trying to just maintain a handle on her world, what with the ASD issues, medical issues etc... We also really struggle in our house with daily routine/structure. Partially because of the way life is with appointments, therapies etc... but then also because I am struggling with the personal discipline to keep us on routine. Partly just due to my own personality, and partly because when life gets hectic, I get exhausted.

        You also nailed it on the head, when you mentioned that even while she is socially/emotionally delayed, at the same time, she's not. One of our struggles is she has bowel damage, and she is still in pull-ups. This bothers her because she is aware enough to know that most children her age are NOT in diapers. Yesterday was a bad day with messes that required showering her off, twice. And the second time she stood there saying, "Don't tell anyone I poop Mommy, okay? Don't them them I poop my pants, or they won't like me." And it just BROKE my heart, that at not even 5, she's feeling this way. So, she's delayed and yet not.

        I'm curious, we do Handwriting without Tears, so with that is there anything in Level C that I wouldn't need to buy?

        Comment


          #5
          Control is huge for kids on the spectrum. As you said, it creates order in their world. Because they inherently know they are different, even if they can't quantify how. My Winston has known where we are in the car, at all times, since he was 18 months old. And that high need for control has meant that if Mommy turned "the wrong way" there would be a gigantic temper tantrum. He has gotten much more flexible, but still has issues with where we choose to go -- even now, at 7 years old.

          It can be hard as a parent to keep that regular schedule that ASD kids thrive on. There are many days that I just want to relax and "do nothing", just kinda' putter around the house. But I can't. It is frustrating. But! As we create a routine and grow the kids' tolerance for "puttering", the stretches of getting to "do nothing" (like pull weeds in the garden or paint crafts) become more frequent.

          Love your daughter like mad. And give her (and your) struggles to God Praying for you.
          Boy Wonder: 12, Seton and MP Electives (Special Needs)
          Joy Bubble: 10, Seton and MP Electives (Special Needs)
          Snuggly Cowboy: 8, Seton and MP Electives
          The Comedian: 4, Seton/MP Pre-K, though she’ll probably zoom through that in a week.

          “Have no fear of moving into the unknown. Simply step out fearlessly knowing that I am with you, therefore no harm can befall you; all is very, very well. Do this in complete faith and confidence.”
          ~Pope St John Paul II

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Anita View Post
            And that high need for control has meant that if Mommy turned "the wrong way" there would be a gigantic temper tantrum. .
            Yes, yes, YES! We have had MANY of these. And we have learned not to tell her ANYTHING about where we are going, what we are doing etc... unless we know it's not going to change. She does NOT like change in plans.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by mshanson3121 View Post
              Yes, yes, YES! We have had MANY of these. And we have learned not to tell her ANYTHING about where we are going, what we are doing etc... unless we know it's not going to change. She does NOT like change in plans.
              A little off-topic, but amusing:
              I tested this one day in the car, shortly after we moved to another state. We didn't have anything to do that day and I was exhausted. It was also about 1000 degrees in the shade that day and my husband was away on business. We were getting to know the roads around our new city and we're starting to be able to find our way around. So I put all the kids in the car and asked Winston where he wanted to go.

              Sneaky grin

              Every time we reached an intersection, I asked, "Left, right or straight?" And he would direct me. It was startling how well he knew the area. He took shortcuts we had never even been down before. He knew EXACTLY where we were. We went to see some favorite landmarks (train tracks, the River, certain bridges and fountains) and then he navigated me home. All from the third-row back seat. So after that, when we had the time and the gas money, I would "take a Winston trip" with the kids. He always returned home calmer and less frustrated (we moved three times in four months and our family was stressed TO THE MAX).

              So now, when he is upset about the route we are (or aren't) taking, I tell him which route we are taking next and ask him to look for the sign. If we are getting on a certain highway headed north, for example, his job is to find the exit sign. It doesn't always get him to 0% stress, but it helps calm him. And we can work on reading skills, navigation and math (speed, distance over time) all at once. It also gives him that sense of CONTROL he craves. I imagine in the future this will evolve into my son arguing with me about which way to go to get someplace, but I'll take it! If it means I never have to worry about him getting lost.

              I actually have two (possibly three, waiting to see) kids on the spectrum. So when plans changed when they were younger it sounded like a bag full of angry howler monkeys in my car. Not amusing on the interstate. They have mellowed quite a bit as they have aged and I hope (hope!) that continues.
              Last edited by Anita; 04-23-2015, 12:52 PM.
              Boy Wonder: 12, Seton and MP Electives (Special Needs)
              Joy Bubble: 10, Seton and MP Electives (Special Needs)
              Snuggly Cowboy: 8, Seton and MP Electives
              The Comedian: 4, Seton/MP Pre-K, though she’ll probably zoom through that in a week.

              “Have no fear of moving into the unknown. Simply step out fearlessly knowing that I am with you, therefore no harm can befall you; all is very, very well. Do this in complete faith and confidence.”
              ~Pope St John Paul II

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by mshanson3121 View Post
                I'm curious, we do Handwriting without Tears, so with that is there anything in Level C that I wouldn't need to buy?

                If you have time to do both, HWT might be a nice supplement to Level C, but it does not directly replace any content in Level C.


                Regarding your conversation with Anita:
                Yesterday afternoon we navigated the maze of medical buildings. Such layouts always confuse me.

                I asked my son while we were walking, "Michael, do you remember where we go for Tower A?"

                Calmly accustomed to being my personal "human GPS," my 6'2'' son smiled. "This way, Mom ...."

                Comment


                  #9
                  Okay, so I have DS figured out - on to DD

                  I'm wavering a bit, but how does this sound - I'm basically picking bits and pieces.

                  I'm going to do the K-enrichment with DD and DS, so that takes care of literature, art, music, social studies and science.
                  Math: Ray's Arithmetic
                  Recitations: Pre K
                  Bible: will join in with her big brother for daily scripture reading and prayer, hymn sing, Bible story and Bible verse memory (which we'll include in recitations)
                  Handwriting: HWOT
                  Early Phonics: Alphabet Books 1 & 2 plus coloring book
                  Extra Fine Motor: I think we'll use Finding the Answers

                  Then we'll spend time working on social skills, pragmatics, speech etc...

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Is this the same daughter from the beginning of this discussion thread?

                    If so, I would be concerned that this proposed plan might miss a good window for teaching your daughter to read.

                    You mentioned that she already knows all of her upper-case and lower-case letters and most sounds represented by these letters.

                    With the Level C phonics/reading, she would receive a solid foundation in rhyming, phoneme & phonological awareness with multi-sensory, multi-modal presentation to promote learning & retention of material at every step. With this sequential foundation, she would then begin reading by the end of the program. All is integrated in the Level C read-alouds, crafts, and teaching activities to promote this important process.


                    If you did not feel as though you could teach the Level C Core, I would consider adding a strong, sequential reading program to your proposed plan.

                    (If I'm missing something, perhaps you could recap your plans for each child. I looked briefly on K-8 but could not find a quick summary of all.)

                    Thanks-
                    Cheryl


                    Simply Classical: A Beautiful Education for Any Child
                    Cheryl Swope, M.Ed., with foreword by Dr. Gene Edward Veith

                    Simply Classical Curriculum - blending therapies with beautiful books

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by cherylswope View Post
                      Is this the same daughter from the beginning of this discussion thread?

                      If so, I would be concerned that this proposed plan might miss a good window for teaching your daughter to read.

                      You mentioned that she already knows all of her upper-case and lower-case letters and most sounds represented by these letters.

                      With the Level C phonics/reading, she would receive a solid foundation in rhyming, phoneme & phonological awareness with multi-sensory, multi-modal presentation to promote learning & retention of material at every step. With this sequential foundation, she would then begin reading by the end of the program. All is integrated in the Level C read-alouds, crafts, and teaching activities to promote this important process.


                      If you did not feel as though you could teach the Level C Core, I would consider adding a strong, sequential reading program to your proposed plan.

                      (If I'm missing something, perhaps you could recap your plans for each child. I looked briefly on K-8 but could not find a quick summary of all.)

                      Thanks-
                      Cheryl


                      Simply Classical: A Beautiful Education for Any Child
                      Cheryl Swope, M.Ed., with foreword by Dr. Gene Edward Veith

                      Simply Classical Curriculum - blending therapies with beautiful books
                      We have two children, our daughter turns 5 in a few weeks, our son 8 this summer. We're going to use mostly Mott Media and MP 2nd grade products for my son. We're on a strict budget right now, which is why I can't just buy the "C" program, so I've been picking and choosing top resources, trying to piece together with what I have, as well as what I can combine the kids in. So, I'm actually going to use the Kindergarten enrichment set for both of them, so my daughter will be doing that alongside my son. I also thought we could use the PreK recitations. She'll also join DS in our own daily Bible stuff that we do (we're Catholic, so we read the daily gospel reading, then pray, do some singing (either hymns or the Glory to God, Kyrie Eleison) and finish with a Bible recitation (3 days a week of a memory verse, then one day we practice the Lord's Prayer, the other the Apostles Creed).

                      I was kind of thinking that we could start with the two letter books, let her work through them at her own pace, and then move into phonics when she finishes those.

                      But maybe we shouldn't bother and we should just start in with the First Start Reading? Whatever we do for phonics has to be HEAVILY workbook based, as that is how she prefers to do her learning. That or videos

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Thanks for the summary. Yes, you can help her work through the Alphabet Books and then move to First Start Reading.

                        Because FSR blends printing, phonics, and reading, she will receive the writing she enjoys! A Teacher Guide sample is now available for you. You might also appreciate this article "Why First Start Reading?"


                        You're receiving good help on K-8 this morning. Your plan sounds strong.

                        Rest assured that your own family's faith life, combined with nurturing one-on-one teaching at home, will give your daughter far more than she could receive in other settings!

                        I hope you have an excellent year.

                        Cheryl

                        cherylswope.com

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