Home

High functioning Autism

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Forum -> Parenting our children -> Our Challenging Children (gifted, ADHD, sensitive, defiant) A Safe Haven

View latest: 24h 48h 72h


amother




OP


Post  Wed, Jul 10 2019, 12:35 pm
I am looking for some guidance regarding my child who has recently been diagnosed with HFA as we look toward schooling and its associated challenges. We have reached out to some friends who have shared similar (but not ASD) challenges, but their children are different ages and genders, and while helpful, we are looking to expand our knowledge by learning from others' experiences as well. Right now, we are being recommended to send to a regular classroom (in-town Jewish school just to give more perspective), not a special-ed one, but because I know my child is not typical, I am concerned.

I am wondering:
1. How did your child adjust to beginning "real" school at 5 yrs old? Were there any unique challenges arising from the transition from preschool/playgroup to elementary school?

2. Where there any measures/supports you put in place to help him/her? Were they in-school or out-of-school?

3. How did the school respond? Did you disclose his/her diagnosis and associated challenges? Did you prefer to let things develop as the school year progressed?

4. Are there any things you look back and wish you had done differently and why?

5. Is there any advice that you can offer for both parent and child being in the "frum" school systems.

Any other words of wisdom pertaining to other areas I'm not thinking of right now would be hugely welcome too.

If you do choose to share, please know I value your responses enormously and thank you from the bottom of my heart. We are still figuring all this out, and every little tidbit of information that people share is kind of like another guidepost along the way and makes us feel a bit less lost and uncertain.
Back to top

amother




Linen


Post  Wed, Jul 10 2019, 2:34 pm
I'm assuming he's already receiving some form of therapy? If so, try to keep it consistent as he transitions into school so you'll have people ready to help him adjust in whatever areas he may end up struggling. If he isn't, think about what areas he's most likely to struggle in and consider starting therapy now, both preemptively and to have something in place for when it's needed.
Back to top

amother




Amethyst


Post  Wed, Jul 10 2019, 3:30 pm
I can share my hindsight with you.
I wish I had put my son in a special ed program for ASD for a few more years after specisl ed preschool. Enough to give him a better foundation but not too long that he will have a hard time integrating into yeshiva. Turns out, every year it gets harder and harder for him to remain in mainstream because the expectations for focus, behavior, social skills, organization, and general executive function get higher each year. Those deficits are starting to impede his academic progress in Hebrew where he actually needs to work at learning vs English that hes ahead in almost all subjects.
He has made amazing strides with social skills likely due to intense therapy in every area and regular peer role models.
We live in a very frum city so the schools available all learn hebrew most of the day and that is a challenge for my son. I would love to have the option of a more modern school where there is less hrs of Hebrew and the subjects are more varied, not just limited to chumash and mishnayos. Also, I think the English curriculum could be more differentiated to accommodate his giftedness in those subjects.
Another thing to consider is that alot of children on the spectrum also have symptoms of ADD. Research if the Montessori method is right for children with HFA. I know for my son sitting all dayevery day is pure torture.
Back to top

mha3484




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Jul 10 2019, 4:09 pm
My son is 8.5 and finishing 2nd grade tomorrow in a mainstream yeshiva in the midwest. HE is a crazy mix of severe ADHD, gifted in his verbal expression and enough ASD traits to get in the way of being socially successful.

1. How did your child adjust to beginning "real" school at 5 yrs old? Were there any unique challenges arising from the transition from preschool/playgroup to elementary school?

2 and 3 year old playgroups had some rough moments but we kind of felt like he would mature and get past it. 4 year old nursery was when things really imploded. He could not sit for one second, did not make eye contact, had poor body awareness, struggled with playing appropriately with the other kids. With a lot of help he has managed to outgrow all of those issues but now as he gets older the issues that do remain are the subtle ones like perspective taking, understanding the difference between friendly banter and being made fun of, what is his role in a negative social interaction. As kids get older they get less and less tolerant of this kind of thing so we put a lot of effort into this. Social Thinking has been super helpful.

2. Where there any measures/supports you put in place to help him/her? Were they in-school or out-of-school?

We have done OT, Talk therapy, behavior charts, Social Thinking, The Explosive Child, Meds and finally a year of a combined program with his yeshiva and a theraputic program.

3. How did the school respond? Did you disclose his/her diagnosis and associated challenges? Did you prefer to let things develop as the school year progressed?

I think the school has been mixed. Rebbeim/Moros wise we have had 3 good years and one disaster. I am not in love with the Administration but I feel like for my kids issues this is the best environment for him. He is exceptionally gifted in Judaic studies so I think he would be bored in a school that places less emphasis on torah learning as well as getting made fun of for being more yeshivish so I am happy I am pushing to have him mainstreamed in the school he is at even when I want to bang my head against a wall some days.

4. Are there any things you look back and wish you had done differently and why?

My main regrets are more from the years he was too little to go to school which does not really apply here. I also wish I was more aggressive medication wise earlier on.

5. Is there any advice that you can offer for both parent and child being in the "frum" school systems.

I think you have to trust yourself as as parent that you really do know best and advocate advocate advocate. My son now is a real pleasure to be around most days lol.

I hope this was not too long.
Back to top

imasinger




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Jul 10 2019, 4:40 pm
My advice- Make sure to have a top BCBA on your team, then communicate, communicate, communicate.

With your kid, with everyone in the school, with your support team.

And recognize that life isn't always smooth, but we learn from the challenges.
Back to top

amother




OP


Post  Wed, Jul 10 2019, 4:41 pm
Thank you so much for all responses.

Very very much appreciate you sharing your experiences and thoughts.
Back to top

amother




Ginger


Post  Thu, Jul 11 2019, 4:15 am
I've worked in special ed for a long time and I find it depends a lot on the level the child is at-how regulated they are makes a big difference. How does your child cope when there's a change in schedule-if the regular teacher didn't show up, how would they react? If a child comes too close to yours? A big crowd? Loud unexpected noises? Unexpected surprises?
Would your child have one to one support within the mainstream class? Would they be present in the class the whole day, or are they going to be taken out for private lessons? Would there be a safe space within the classroom that your child can go if they're overstimulated/overwhelmed etc?
I can't emphasize the importance of strategies like visual time-tables to help children with ASD cope on a daily basis, especially if something might change.
Depending on how much intervention your child has had, depends on how they can cope. I've found the average child was usually more like 6 or 7 when they were ready to integrate fully, with full time support.
It's the older child that always hurts me the most-the child who wasn't given enough support earlier and they've been struggling for years and that affects their confidence and self-esteem. Long term, often an extra year at a younger age can help push a child's level up so that they don't need as much intervention as they're older.
Hatzlacha with your decision-I know it's not an easy one.
Back to top

amother




Papaya


Post  Thu, Jul 11 2019, 7:35 am
amother [ OP ] wrote:
I am looking for some guidance regarding my child who has recently been diagnosed with HFA as we look toward schooling and its associated challenges. We have reached out to some friends who have shared similar (but not ASD) challenges, but their children are different ages and genders, and while helpful, we are looking to expand our knowledge by learning from others' experiences as well. Right now, we are being recommended to send to a regular classroom (in-town Jewish school just to give more perspective), not a special-ed one, but because I know my child is not typical, I am concerned.

I am wondering:
1. How did your child adjust to beginning "real" school at 5 yrs old? Were there any unique challenges arising from the transition from preschool/playgroup to elementary school?

2. Where there any measures/supports you put in place to help him/her? Were they in-school or out-of-school?

3. How did the school respond? Did you disclose his/her diagnosis and associated challenges? Did you prefer to let things develop as the school year progressed?

4. Are there any things you look back and wish you had done differently and why?

5. Is there any advice that you can offer for both parent and child being in the "frum" school systems.

Any other words of wisdom pertaining to other areas I'm not thinking of right now would be hugely welcome too.

If you do choose to share, please know I value your responses enormously and thank you from the bottom of my heart. We are still figuring all this out, and every little tidbit of information that people share is kind of like another guidepost along the way and makes us feel a bit less lost and uncertain.


I'm so happy to add my experience and help out another ASD mom!

My high functioning ASD son just completed fifth grade. He was diagnosed at at 2 and spent 2 years (til age 5) in a special education public school classroom that provided the full gamet of services.

When he started primary we were encouraged by the school not to put in any services and to see what happens. They saw a sweet, brilliant, adorable little boy, and couldn't really understand why we'd gotten so much and such varied therapy for him the first place. This has for the most part been our experience with the school administration all along. Our son's challenges are subtle. He has no academic or disciplinary challengs, quite the opposit, he is at the top of his class academically and an enthusiastic and attentive student. His main challenges are social. Perspective taking, understanding nuanced intention, social flexability are his main challenges.

It was a terrible mistake to not have any support in place. The first half of DS's primary year was a disaster. DS couldn't follow socially, and was overwhelmed and scared. Most days he came home crying. Things improved when we joined an agency that provided in school support: OT, SLP, floortime and many hours of ABA. I still regret not having done this before he ever entered school. My son still remembers the fear and pain of that school year.

By second grade DS was thriving. Over the years we pulled back some supports, put in others. For two years, 3rd and 4th grade, he worked weekly with a Social Thinking therapist. We've done several bouts of OT over the years. We are currently working with a wonderful floortime therapist. These past two years have been overwhelmingly busy for our family, but things should (hopefully!) be quieter in september and we hope to restart OT, are looking for a new Social Thinking therapist, and would consider a round of traditional counceling.

Looking back, I have some things I would do differently. Obviously, I would have started support services at the very start of yeshiva. More than that though, I probably would have tried to keep him in public school for another year or even two. I've never had that level and quality of support for him again, and I don't think I ever will. In the long run, considering how bright he is and how quickly and easily he picks up anything academic, I don't think he would have missed out on much had he skipped jewish studies in primary and first grade. I also probably would have really benefited from counceling when he was first diagnosed. I was so anxious and felt so lonely.

The other thing I'd add is that it never ends. I don't mean this as discouragment, but I wish someone would have been there to prepare me, realistically, for the challenges ahead, prepared me for the long haul. Even with all of our successes, we still struggle. My biggest concern for my son at the moment is his self esteme. While he has a really lovely group of friends who truly value him, DS is starting to contemplate his place in his class. There has been some incidents of bullying this year that have bought up many memories of primary. At this point my son has the awareness to know that he is vulnerable to bullying, that he doesn't always instinctively know how to handle teasing, to remain calm when things don't go the way he wants them too. He knows he can act in ways that are unexpected in these instances- crying, or getting angry- and how that makes others respond to him and view him. This awareness of others perceptions is wonderful and is hopefully the next step in the process of being able to respond in more and more mature and thoughtful ways, but for the moment, my son views himself as emotionally weak, and has been talking about how he wishes he was stronger, both physically (he's not athletic in a culture that really values athletisism) and emotionally.
Back to top

amother




OP


Post  Thu, Jul 11 2019, 1:21 pm
Oh, g-d. I am near tears. For the struggles all our kids have had or will have and for all you incredible moms who persevere. I hope I can be as awesome as you all sound. Thank you for sharing.
Back to top
Recent Topics

Page 1 of 1 View latest: 24h 48h 72h


Post new topic   Reply to topic    Forum -> Parenting our children -> Our Challenging Children (gifted, ADHD, sensitive, defiant) A Safe Haven

Related Topics Replies Last Post
High school discipline help
by amother
51 Sat, Oct 12 2019, 8:38 pm View last post
Comparison of MO High Schools in NY/NJ
by amother
12 Thu, Oct 10 2019, 9:50 pm View last post
Naaleh girls high school in Ridgewood
by amother
2 Mon, Oct 07 2019, 10:53 pm View last post
Post-High School Programs for Girls in Israel? 4 Thu, Oct 03 2019, 2:07 pm View last post
High School Hashkafa, s/o other side of mechitza
by amother
47 Wed, Oct 02 2019, 5:13 pm View last post

Jump to: