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imasinger




 
 
 


Post  Fri, Aug 23 2019, 9:45 am
OP, I also have struggled with the dilemma of whether to homeschool an ASD kid who is unhappy in class, or to continue.

If you want to pm me, I'll share my story and what I learned along the way.
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amother




Peach


Post  Fri, Aug 23 2019, 9:49 am
amother [ Green ] wrote:
OP, I feel really sorry for your daughter. Your pride is keeping her from getting all the help she needs to succeed.

You don't want her tied down to a diagnosis, so instead you are tying her down with your silence. You are supposed to be her voice!


OP is telling the teachers there are problems. She just is not giving them the umbrella term ASD.
I strongly disagree with everyone who is pushing her to say ASD. ASD is not a magic term that will make everything better. It is fine to just tell the teacher that your child suffers from social anxiety and whatever else. The teacher is not a prophetess, and the moment the word ASD is uttered she will have a magic solution.
My parents were like some of the posters here. They were so eager to get a label for my brother. He was labelled ASD by a few top experts in the field. Maybe he was, he displayed some of the symptoms. But he is extremely high functioning. Anyway, the teachers were told, the whole school knew. It didnt improve anything, it just ruined his self esteem.

A few years later, other specialists said maybe he doesnt have ASD. Maybe it's something else, or nothing at all. These were sought after experts in New York. There is no blood exam for ASD.

He is a young adult now. Maybe a bit quirky, but he has many friends (in a niche field that he really connected to, where everyone is quirky). In fact his social life is more active than mine. Girls really like him. He is working full time and volunteering too.
When people from the community meet him, they still look at him as the autistic guy. It's very hard to get rid of labels like that.
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amother




Rose


Post  Fri, Aug 23 2019, 9:58 am
I have a son who sounds very similar to your daughter. (maybe a shidduch? lol)

We sent him to a mainstream school (we live oot so its not a frum school) but he was taken out for extra help. Since the teachers knew he has ASD, the help mostly consisted of helping him socialise with his classmates.

My son doesn't know he has ASD, and I don't think his classmates did either. But his teachers certainly did.

I do agree with you that ASD is a very broad term and it bothers me that my son has the identical lable as a person who can't talk and is institutionalised.
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amother




OP


Post  Fri, Aug 23 2019, 9:59 am
#BestBubby wrote:
Hi OP, I am a SEIT.

School is important for socialization especially for child with ASD.

1. I would not tell school diagnosis but say social anxiety.

2. Make sure yr DC is dressed in style and has all the cool accessories.

3. Try to arrange playdates - especially if yr. therapist can observe and intervene if necessary.

4. Read Chaim Walder's Kid Speak books aloud and discuss the situations and how
the hero/heroine solved their problem. Kid Speak books are good bec. shows a child who struggles that other kids also struggle. In the stories the hero/heroine overcomes a difficult situation and you can discuss those strategies. Suggest this to your therapist.

Really reading all fiction is very good for teaching social skills, empathy, other peoples POV.

Hatzlocha!


Firstly, thank you for genuine suggestions. The amount of judgement and assumption in this thread is appalling.

We have discussed with the school the issues that have come up at school in the past. Social issues, overreacting, and even meltdowns. We switched schools due to the number of meltdown triggers at her old school. It seems she did not have any meltdowns in school this year B”H. And the morahs deny any social or emotional issues even though we know they happened and even cited specifics.
She loves learning and excels in school usually so most teachers love her and quickly forgive her issues.

Last year there was a harsh Morah that used bullying tactics. My dd shut down completely and mentally blocked that subject altogether. The ABA spent a lot of time as did we, helping her get through the homework as she had frequent meltdowns and panic attacks. We also hired a private tutor for that subject. We did talk to the Morah, didn’t help. So we reported her comments, which she admitted to making. She eased up after that but was still very intimidating to dd. THIS is why I’m not so sure about school. We had to do damage control instead of progress. If we can build up her coping skills through therapy without her being torn down at the same time, then she will be better equipped to deal with difficult people in the future.

She does have play dates supervised by ABA. She also spent the year doing a social thinking curriculum with ABA.

I posted this in “homeschool” not the special needs boards because I was hoping for advice from homeschooling moms. Either, “here’s some great resources” or even, “we’ve been homeschooling but it’s hard to get socialization.” Etc. DDs dr is in favor of homeschool. DH is not convinced. She has the potential for a completely normal, functional adult life. It is our goal to give her every opportunity to achieve that. Absolutely none of her service providers feel that the school should be given the ASD label for her. That removes her ability to ever get past it! And we all believe she will. No one who meets her has ever or would ever think she was ASD. She only has the label in order to get the therapy she needs. It doesn’t define her as a person. And I will not allow anyone to rob her of her opportunity to define herself as the person she wants to be.
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amother




Lemon


Post  Fri, Aug 23 2019, 11:30 am
OP I am so glad you responded! I was thinking about this a lot last night and was going to post to counteract all the suggestions to disclose to the school. I am so happy to hear you have no intention to do so. We have an ASD diagnosis for a child and the dr herself said high-functioning individuals can and should be in mainstream settings and can and will achieve normative adult functioning. The only reason to give the diagnosis is because it may help you to receive more services, but in frum circles especially, a diagnosis WILL be talked about and follow you indefinitely even if its supposed to be confidential. It never is. You sound like you are really taking care of and protecting your child and trying to give the best possible upbringing. You are really amazing. I'm sorry for the judgment you have heard here. Some ppl are just clueless, I guess.
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ectomorph




 
 
 


Post  Fri, Aug 23 2019, 12:42 pm
Op, if you're worried about stigma, how do you plan on explaining a year of homeschooling to the school? You seriously think no one will put 2 and 2 together?

Ignoring the fact that there is no way the school hasn't picked up on something, and that your daughter might be additionally stressed by keeping her therapy a secret from her classmates and teachers.

I also think you're underestimating the challenge of returning her to a school setting. If your long term plan is to keep her normal in a normal school, pulling her out is the worst thing u can do.

Future schools aren't going to be like, we'd love to have a socially awkward kid who homeschooled for a year whose parents are in denial about a diagnosis. Not saying you are, that's just the way they will see it.
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ectomorph




 
 
 


Post  Fri, Aug 23 2019, 12:43 pm
Also, just to say, you've already paid. What do you have to lose by starting her in school and then pulling her out if you don't like the teacher?
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amother




Puce


Post  Fri, Aug 23 2019, 2:07 pm
I'm sure the school has picked up on issues, especially if your daughter has had crying episodes or meltdowns like you stated.
Just, if you are obviously not being forthcoming, they don't want to say anything when they know you don't trust them. Because they are worried about how you may react. It's a two way street. If you want them to be upfront with you, you need to do the same.
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amother




Pearl


Post  Fri, Aug 23 2019, 2:36 pm
amother [ Peach ] wrote:
OP is telling the teachers there are problems. She just is not giving them the umbrella term ASD.
I strongly disagree with everyone who is pushing her to say ASD. ASD is not a magic term that will make everything better. It is fine to just tell the teacher that your child suffers from social anxiety and whatever else. The teacher is not a prophetess, and the moment the word ASD is uttered she will have a magic solution.
My parents were like some of the posters here. They were so eager to get a label for my brother. He was labelled ASD by a few top experts in the field. Maybe he was, he displayed some of the symptoms. But he is extremely high functioning. Anyway, the teachers were told, the whole school knew. It didnt improve anything, it just ruined his self esteem.

A few years later, other specialists said maybe he doesnt have ASD. Maybe it's something else, or nothing at all. These were sought after experts in New York. There is no blood exam for ASD.

He is a young adult now. Maybe a bit quirky, but he has many friends (in a niche field that he really connected to, where everyone is quirky). In fact his social life is more active than mine. Girls really like him. He is working full time and volunteering too.
When people from the community meet him, they still look at him as the autistic guy. It's very hard to get rid of labels like that.


But isn't it stigmatizing to a child to tell her shhhhhh, don't tell anyone about your diagnosis, or your therapies. Its a big secret. She KNOWS that means that you think its a bad thing, and that people would think less of her if they knew about it. You're not saving her from a stigma; you're creating it.

Of course the teacher won't have a solution for ASD. But that doesn't mean that she shouldn't know about it, to help her understand the student better. One of my kids has processing issues. The teacher knowing doesn't change anything, but it does allow the teacher to understand better.

Just to add, OP, you're interpreting the therapist as saying that your DD should not attend school, when the therapist actually asked about Plan B. There should always be a Plan B. If you think it was more than that, ASK. Don't simply assume.
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amother




White


Post  Fri, Aug 23 2019, 6:12 pm
Tell the school so you can protect your child from bullying.

They can't share that information with students, and if they know about the diagnosis they will be kinder to her.
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#BestBubby




 
 
 


Post  Sun, Aug 25 2019, 12:12 am
To all who say tell school ASD diagnosis.

OP, OP's doctors and some others agree not to.

ASD is not a black/white diagnosis - it is very subjective. One doc may say ASD, another doc may say it's nothing. The ONLY benefit of getting a diagnosis is to get services from gov't or insurance.

As others have related, being labeled ASD is very stigmatizing. There is no reason for the school to know - and classmates may find out as happened to another posters brother - the whole school knew and the brother was labeled "weird". It is enough to explain to the school that the student has social anxiety and the teacher can help by being gentle (no strong criticism) and helping with socializing.

Today every other kid has a label - to get meds or services. But it can be very damaging.
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ectomorph




 
 
 


Post  Sun, Aug 25 2019, 12:17 am
Again, that's fine -if you're not pulling out the kid to home school - which will be equally damaging and stigmatizimg - and good luck explaining to a future school that your kid is socially awkward and you pulled them out for a year at least, but no diagnosis. They'll laugh you away.
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#BestBubby




 
 
 


Post  Sun, Aug 25 2019, 12:32 am
OP, I'm concerned that homeschooling would make the social anxiety worse.

I would look for a school with small classes and teachers who are not harsh.
Don't know if you have many options.

If homeschooling - maybe you could arrange with other HS moms to make a weekly
class (co-op).

Maybe join a group activity like dance, gymnastics and/or sports. Is there a bnos group?
Try to go to shul with DD. Must have lots of opportunities for socializing.

Play dolls with her - acting out different scenarios - playing with friends, speaking to adults.

My DS was shy when adults would engage him. I told him - don't be nervous - all adults ask the same questions: How old are you? What grade are you in? What yeshiva do you go to?
Who is your rebbe?
I practiced with him so that he felt comfortable when meeting new adults.
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Tzippy323




 
 
 


Post  Fri, Sep 27 2019, 6:57 am
Although this thread seems to have petered out, I want to add something. Many schools have a social worker/counselor/psychologist. They can often intervene by observing during recess/lunch and seeing small groups that the child does interact with. I realize your reluctance to inform the school of her diagnosis, but perhaps some in-school support like this could prove useful.
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