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I Just Need Some Help. Please

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    I Just Need Some Help. Please

    This may not be the most eloquent post for which I apologize upfront. I am about at my wit's end with G. He's my "likely ASD but no actual diagnosis" son. We have devolved to the point where he will not do any schoolwork without extreme tantrums. If anyone saw my other 'Where Should We Begin Again?' thread, then you can see what we have been working on. He LOATHES the video lessons (except he says science is ok though he refuses to read the textbook or complete the wkbk pages). He just wants to be done to play each day though he knows he cannot until he finishes. He keeps saying he hates change and refuses to look at anything new curriculum-wise. For example, I pulled up 2 choices for possible writing lessons. He threw a fit and even tried to keep D from looking at the samples. I cannot get this kid to write. I pulled out First Lang Lessons and Writing with Ease as I had them, and they are familiar to him. He will not write diddly squat outside of the dictations in WWE but will dicatate to me. How do I get him to learn/actually to write beyond WWE? He knows how to write a basic 5-sentence paragraph but actually doing it is another thing altogether. He will not let me teach him math or anything else. He just wants to do it all on his own but not write anything or think (it seems). He will be 14 soon, too. I try to remind him that this is all helping towards his goal of being an architect and that does seem to help a little. (He wants to build houses for people who don't have homes.) He's kinda being a bully or trying to be. That does not work on me. Academics do come easily for him. He gets frustrated fast when something is even the least outside of his comfort zone. We have clear expectations and a routine (though that admittedly could be better). I know it is likely hormones, too but he is wearing us all out. I cannot and will not send him to school but I have told him no school is not an option. He may want to spend all day playing/creating on MineCraft, playing Yu-Gi-O, or watching stuff about those 2 but it is not happening. He also refuses to do anything chore related. He sends himself to our Time-Out/Cool Off space a lot! I feel like he just wants short-cuts and cannot see the value of what he is doing. I feel like I need to streamline his day, but it's about as streamlined as I can get it already. Most days I have to ignore him (or he sleeps) cause I have 3 others to deal with, too.

    I want/need to have him tested but I have no idea who to trust for that or even what to ask for. Pedi was not helpful. She gave me a list of psychs. We have had BAD experiences with psychologists in the past with the older guys. It is also a money issue which is a problem even with insurance. And time.

    He is causing stress for D because we now live in an apartment where sound carries everywhere (and no classroom) so D cannot focus then he gets mad and stomps off. F is being VERY difficult right now, too. (Please tell me she will grow out of it.) M just wants to bring me books to read to him all day. S does not drive so I am carting him to and fro to community college. (Dh usually handles that part but his father died last week so Dh flew back to Scotland for the funeral and help with things.)

    Anyway, perhaps this is mostly a vent post. I just do not know what to do to make this better.
    The Homeschool Grads:
    J- 6/96
    S- 11/98

    Still Homeschooling:
    G- 4/04
    D- 5/05
    F- 7/08 (my only girl)

    Future Homeschooler:
    M- 9/16

    #2
    Re: I Just Need Some Help. Please

    Originally posted by Enigma View Post

    I want/need to have him tested but I have no idea who to trust for that or even what to ask for. Pedi was not helpful. She gave me a list of psychs. We have had BAD experiences with psychologists in the past with the older guys. It is also a money issue which is a problem even with insurance. And time.


    Anyway, perhaps this is mostly a vent post. I just do not know what to do to make this better.
    Big hugs for you until Cheryl chimes in. <3

    Regarding finding someone for testing --- there's a chapter in Simply Classical that addresses part of this issue. Backstory -- it took me 2 years to FINALLY get our sons testing. (one is complete, one is scheduled in a few days) I did everything I could do short of a psychoeducational eval, because of insurance coverage. The cost was astronomical, and my husband wasn't on board. Hindsight being 20/20, I would have fast tracked this process, but I don't think it hurt our sons. I basically treated them at home with an 'assumed' diagnosis of dyslexia.

    Anyway --- to find a psychologist or testing center that fits your needs can be a challenge. Luckily, I had a friend here locally with a daughter who has dyslexia and autism, so we chatted about her psychologist. Even though she was a dyslexia expert and came highly recommended by my friend, I was still a wreck before testing. When we arrived for testing, she greeted us, wearing a big Miraculous Medal. God has little ways of putting my mind at ease.

    So -- I think I'd start with what you think you're dealing with. You mentioned ASD -- can you look for autism experts in your area? Look at parent support groups and see who they have had success with? I was lucky that we had a wonderful psychologist recommended to us quickly.

    Money -- obviously, it's a BIG cost. Our original quote was $1800, and we have twins, so double that. That was the primary reason my husband flipped out. Even maxing out our flex spending account didn't cover it. I finally bit the bullet last year and took a loan from my retirement account to pay for orthodontic work AND the testing for the boys. It also helps that she now takes our insurance plan, so there's a PORTION that's covered.

    And, a note about the testing, insurance coverage, etc. This testing for our son was EXTENSIVE -- two 4 hour sessions with a battery of testing. She was stymied by some of the results she saw on the C-TOPP (phonological processing), so she dug further. *some practitioners would have stopped here, with numbers that were just slightly below average* We left the post testing rundown (meeting with parents a few weeks later with scores, diagnosis, recommendations, etc) with a 25 page report. I wasn't surprised by any of the results, but I'm armed with information about what my son needs and how to help him.
    Plans for 2020-21

    Year 10 of homeschooling with MP

    DD1 - 25 - Small Business owner with a STOREFRONT
    DD2 - 14 - 9th grade - HLS Cottage School/MPOA - equestrian
    DS3 - 12 - 5A Cottage School - soccer
    DS4 - 12 - 5A Cottage School -soccer
    DD5 - 8 - 3A, Cottage School -equestrian and Irish dance
    DS6 - 6 - MP K - home with Momma

    Comment


      #3
      Re: I Just Need Some Help. Please

      Good morning, Enigma. Your father-in-law just died, you cannot be there with your husband and the family; your husband is away in Scotland and grieving or otherwise dealing with deep emotion without you there; you are in an apartment where extra sound is felt by all, your son is arguing and alternately sleeping or playing but not working, you are not confident in your curriculum choices, and more than one of your children is disrupting your homeschooling efforts.

      If it were me, I would go to a place that will refresh everyone, whether they want refreshment or not. This might be an expansive quiet art museum, a state Park with hiking trails, a zoo, or the welcoming home of extended family. No phones, no devices, no disconnectedness. Devote a day early this week to getting out of the disgruntled apartment and reconnecting to something beautiful, nature-rich, or loving. Everyone needs it.

      Only then re-group regarding curriculum choices. If your 14yo son responds better to your husband, prepare for your son a curriculum plan that YOU know is best for him. He lacks both the wisdom and work ethic to determine what you will teach him and what he needs to know. Then have your husband present it when he comes back.

      Spend some time @ empoweredparents.com (I think that's the website). You need to re-equip yourself to be the strong and capable leader of your homeschool. You can forge ahead with a good daily schedule that involves 1) your teaching, 2) everyone's quiet and respectful leisure that YOU approve, 3) sleep/wake times that YOU set based on individual needs, and 4) work times YOU determine, so 5) YOU have a little time to yourself each day.

      Other thoughts:

      1. Work Ethic
      Your son does not need passive video education, and he is not doing well with it anyway. He needs a strong teacher. MPOA, while delivered via a screen, would teach him respect and accountability with a live instructor. Even one course could be helpful. If his abilities are not high enough for any MPOA class, consider a local tutor or taking the whole crew to the library to work, and you teach him there. It is amazing how differently we may teach in an outside-the-home setting. Everyone in the home school needs to acquire a more professional, respectful work ethic.

      2. Curriculum
      If his writing skills are low, consider our SC Writing 2 American History with the American History read-alouds. This will give him good content and regular writing practice in a context he can master. A switch to structured, predictable, and sequential in ALL areas may alleviate the "negotiation" pattern that has developed.

      3. Grieving
      Spend time praying as a family for your husband, the extended family, and anyone grieving the loss. If you have any family photos of your father-in-law, or if you have any ancestry information, share this with your children. Talk about Scotland. Bring your children into this time of possible confusion or sadness. Maybe they miss your husband or wish they could have gone with him. Maybe they never knew their grandfather, or maybe they did -- gather them all together either way.

      4. Simplify
      You are in a new living arrangement. This might be a good time to evaluate the order and beauty of your surroundings. Anita and SusanP have shared the difference it made to dramatically pare down, take family walks, study art (Art Posters K-2 are not just for K-2!), and otherwise focus on healing. If you have not yet subscribed to the free Simply Classical Journal, you might appreciate the article Susan wrote, and this is online.

      5. Volunteering
      Your 14yo might benefit from volunteering somewhere. This would give him a more consistent schedule, give him accountability to an adult other than Mom, help him practice more respectful behavior, and give him a new way of looking at his life: as one of service.

      Echoing, too, Diana's urging to help your son know himself through a good evaluation, if at all possible. At 14, he might not say he wants help or self-knowledge, but he needs both.

      Thanks for posting, eloquent, or not!

      As you continue to evaluate the individual needs in your home -- and yes, in many cases this too shall pass -- feel free to rely on us for help with specifics.
      Last edited by cherylswope; 02-20-2018, 10:09 AM.

      Comment


        #4
        Re: I Just Need Some Help. Please

        Originally posted by cherylswope View Post
        Good morning, Enigma. Your father-in-law just died, you cannot be there with your husband and the family; your husband is away in Scotland and grieving or otherwise dealing with deep emotion without you there; you are in an apartment where extra sound is felt by all, your son is arguing and alternately sleeping or playing but not working, you are not confident in your curriculum choices, and more than one of your children is disrupting your homeschooling efforts.
        Yes!
        If it were me, I would go to a place that will refresh everyone, whether they want refreshment or not. This might be an expansive quiet art museum, a state Park with hiking trails, a zoo, or the welcoming home of extended family. No phones, no devices, no disconnectedness. Devote a day early this week to getting out of the disgruntled apartment and reconnecting to something beautiful, nature-rich, or loving. Everyone needs it.
        We went to the library for 2 hours yesterday while S was in class. It felt great and M slept soo well after toddling around for that long.

        Only then re-group regarding curriculum choices. If your 14yo son responds better to your husband, prepare for your son a curriculum plan that YOU know is best for him. He lacks both the wisdom and work ethic to determine what you will teach him and what he needs to know. Then have your husband present it when he comes back.

        Spend some time @ empoweredparents.com (I think that's the website). You need to re-equip yourself to be the strong and capable leader of your homeschool. You can forge ahead with a good daily schedule that involves 1) your teaching, 2) everyone's quiet and respectful leisure that YOU approve, 3) sleep/wake times that YOU set based on individual needs, and 4) work times YOU determine, so 5) YOU have a little time to yourself each day.
        I tried the link above but it redirected to an eating disorder site. He certainly has zero problems eating.

        Other thoughts:

        1. Work Ethic
        Your son does not need passive video education, and he is not doing well with it anyway. He needs a strong teacher. MPOA, while delivered via a screen, would teach him respect and accountability with a live instructor. Even one course could be helpful. If his abilities are not high enough for any MPOA class, consider a local tutor or taking the whole crew to the library to work, and you teach him there. It is amazing how differently we may teach in an outside-the-home setting. Everyone in the home school needs to acquire a more professional, respectful work ethic.

        I checked out MPOA and while I would love to be able to afford that, I can't, plus he won't do it. I know even if I could afford it, I would be most concerned about him disrupting the instructor and other kids. I think we all have become a bit lax. It seems to be a yearly thing and Daddy is gone so that is even more 'off'.

        2. Curriculum
        If his writing skills are low, consider our SC Writing 2 American History with the American History read-alouds. This will give him good content and regular writing practice in a context he can master. A switch to structured, predictable, and sequential in ALL areas may alleviate the "negotiation" pattern that has developed.

        I agree a switch is needed. For example, he does much better and asked for daily lesson plans as opposed to the weekly ones I had made. I am going to check out the book you suggested. Would just doing the R&S English writing lessons also be enough? I was thinking of 5M, actually, but keeping our current math and adding MegaWords instead of SWO. I would need to remake the plans for him, though. No biggie. I think another issue he is having is the shear number of subjects everyday. Everything is everyday. If I can pare that down to one resource for grammar AND writing, one for history AND geography, one for spelling AND vocabulary, etc. he would not balk so much. Alternatively, I rewrote 4NU for F so she has only one day each of Myths, Science, Geog, Christian Studies, and Art (Atelier). Maybe the same idea might work for him? Just thinking online here.

        3. Grieving
        Spend time praying as a family for your husband, the extended family, and anyone grieving the loss. If you have any family photos of your father-in-law, or if you have any ancestry information, share this with your children. Talk about Scotland. Bring your children into this time of possible confusion or sadness. Maybe they miss your husband or wish they could have gone with him. Maybe they never knew their grandfather, or maybe they did -- gather them all together either way.

        We are all really missing Daddy this time. (Plus I keep getting hurt! February has it in for me this year!) G especially wanted to go when dh went in November and this time. The kids knew GrandPops via imessaging video/SKYPE and the 2 times he and Nanna came years ago. We have been praying every day at every prayer for our family there and Nanna. When GrandPops went in hospital, we told the kids he was dying and that they might feel sad, angry, confused or nothing at all. All these feelings were ok, and they could come talk to us about it. Mostly the kids have expressed saddness that they did not know him well but happy that he is back with Jesus and not in pain anymore. We believe families are forever and so they are comforted knowing they will see him again.

        4. Simplify
        You are in a new living arrangement. This might be a good time to evaluate the order and beauty of your surroundings. Anita and SusanP have shared the difference it made to dramatically pare down, take family walks, study art (Art Posters K-2 are not just for K-2!), and otherwise focus on healing. If you have not yet subscribed to the free Simply Classical Journal, you might appreciate the article Susan wrote, and this is online.

        When we sold the house, I sold most of its contents, too. I am naturally a very organized, minimilist person so it was a challenge to pare down even more. The books especially were hard to let go, but everyone choose their few favorites to keep. I am grateful we are still in the same general area as before so I do not need to find where all the cool parks are! I will look up the article. I can tell a difference in all of us when we can get out for playing or walking. TX is not the most outdoor friendly place, as dh and I often lament, so we try to take advantage of the few days when we can be out and not roast, get soaked, freeze, or be carried off by misquitoes.(It has been a very strange winter here.)

        5. Volunteering
        Your 14yo might benefit from volunteering somewhere. This would give him a more consistent schedule, give him accountability to an adult other than Mom, help him practice more respectful behavior, and give him a new way of looking at his life: as one of service.

        I have considered this but his compliance level is so low no matter where he is. I would not feel i could trust him to follow another adult's directives. Even at church youth group, dh goes and sits there.

        Echoing, too, Diana's urging to help your son know himself through a good evaluation, if at all possible. At 14, he might not say he wants help or self-knowledge, but he needs both.

        Thanks for posting, eloquent, or not!

        As you continue to evaluate the individual needs in your home -- and yes, in many cases this too shall pass -- feel free to rely on us for help with specifics.
        Thank you to you, Cheryl and Diana for your encouragement, insights, and advice. I was a little nervous about saying anything.
        The Homeschool Grads:
        J- 6/96
        S- 11/98

        Still Homeschooling:
        G- 4/04
        D- 5/05
        F- 7/08 (my only girl)

        Future Homeschooler:
        M- 9/16

        Comment


          #5
          Re: I Just Need Some Help. Please

          I'm glad you did say something. Each post helps more than just the person who posted.

          Three quick tips:
          1. Refresh often, as you did with your library visit. You have your hands full! When we lived in an apartment the nearby parks, the YMCA, and the library became our extended "living room" by necessity.

          2. Empoweringparents.com -- that's the one!

          3. If not an academic eval, consider a psychiatric eval for your oldest. Because it is medical, your insurance might cover. I know it sounds drastic, but if he is not compliant or agreeable even with adults at church, at 14 he needs help. Reference those Assessment chapters, as well as possibly the Behavior chapter in Simply Classical. A good adolescent psychiatrist might become, as happened with my son at 14 and beyond, your greatest in-person (non-family) asset.
          Last edited by cherylswope; 02-22-2018, 09:48 AM.

          Comment


            #6
            Re: I Just Need Some Help. Please

            This is old, but wanted to jump in about the volunteering. If it can be tried, I highly suggest something with animals (as long as he is safe with them). Volunteering with animals has been life changing for my son. The animals NEED him. He sees his effort immediately pay off (hungry bird is now eating an happy, etc), and the animals don't judge them, don't make demands, etc. There is something healing about that.

            And yes, seek out help. My son that was acting that was was depressed. We made huge strides with talking with him frankly about mental health, and what does and doesn't support it. Learning self care, learning that sun and exercise and volunteer work and helping others helps, and junk food and screens and games do not. Stuff like that. He didn't want meds so we did a trial without them, with the idea that if things didn't improve we'd try them. He's done very well (not perfect) and I credit most of the improvement to that volunteer work.

            Comment

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