View Full Version : Special Needs Schedules

03-09-2011, 10:41 AM
Can I take a peek at yours?

Here is my situation. My thunderstorm #1 is 8. He is my trying little man. Asserting his pride indeed. He has Functioning but Severe Autism, ADHD, and Sensory. My other little one is 5. He is on the list with many red flags to be tested for Autism/Aspergers but already confirmed ADHD, Sensory and a Cordination Disorder.

I would love to see your HS schedule to see how I could tweek mine. I often struggle with am I doing enough, or the wrong/right things.

I am a strict planner and organizer of the home in general. It helps everyone run better as even DH is just like my two kiddos. I am in my element when I am planning something lol.

DS 8 is a very visual kiddo, very hands on. Hates work sheets. Strengths are math and responds great to teaching textbooks. Actually is a grade level above with it. Handwriting and such is of course a struggle but so much better then it was.

With him he has hit this argue stage. The grass could be blue or purple, he is right. But I will admit the new year brought many new things for us. Insurance brought a change of Drs, new eval for in country needs from a move, and therapy. It really has been a 3 ring circus. The school room was moved from one spot to another. This is all for a transition kid who well, does not transition. But we really had too do these changes. The school room took place to accomadate less distractions with the new ADHD dx.

I feel now we have hit a wall and I am not sure how to help him climb back down. What once was a sweet child is now combative and argues. Will take 2 hours to do the math he soars through and loves, but will still score 100 on.

Next I have snowflake #2 eager for attention more so than ever. He wants MORE school and wants it yesterday lol. It is a chore to keep up with him. He is the academic driven one. But social wise and skill wise he lacks, but bores and fights here too. He is also struggling for moms attention when brother is in a melt and has it to himself.

I admit, I am only 1 person and have failed at the clone machine. So how do we do it? How do you HS 2 kids, especially 2 Special K's? I would love to see your schedule? I really think once were back from our early Spring Break coming up we need to go ahead and set a routine in place. Were used to yr round anyway.

So I am concerned how to calm down the behaviors of #1?
What does your HS schedule and school books/online look like? Hours?
What hae you tried that works for your visual child and have not?

Tips and tricks? I am open for advice from the pros!

03-09-2011, 12:04 PM
Hey there,
I have one kiddo, age 8, who has one foot in Aspie like behviors, no DX, but does have Sensory and Central Auditory Processing disorder (he hears everything, and understands no-one in a noisy environment). We do our work usually starting by 10 or 11am, take a lunch break and back at it. My younger son, age 7, highly motivated and we are awaiting his glasses, so not too much I can push visually until he has those (hopefully today!). I was doing all teaching at the same time and recently let them pick what they wanted to work on. For my 8 year old who 'thinks' he is bad a math- he is actually unable to visualize the numbers because he is thinking about 10 other things, when it is quiet he can get through things quickly.
Yesterday I started sending one out of the room to play legos, have free time, while I work on their hard subject together. So for about an hour, I spend 30 minutes doing math with the 8 year old then the other 30 doing reading skills with the 7 year old. Everything else they can either do together or while they are in the same room.
On wednesdays my 8 year old has therapy, so we get very little done, some days I just don't even push it, other days we get 6-8 hours in (and it is fun not sit at the table and do worksheets).
My 8 year old also has writing and spelling problems, so I am having him just do a lot of copy work. I know plenty of adults who are poor spellers and I can't read my husband's handwriting (and he is doing very well).

I find HS is where I actually have control over the pressure and stress in their lives and while I am still trying to balance that each day, it is so much better than PS. We also do watch a lot of TV, myth busters, Treasure Quest, build it bigger . . .they are currently watching Ocean's Blue. While I know that TV watching is passive, I am amazed at the stuff my 8 year old does put together from different shows.

Good luck, every unique child is unique, and so is every family!

03-09-2011, 02:30 PM
Welcome, Emagine! My seven-year-old has ADHD and also some characteristics of high-functioning autism and sensory processing disorder. We do not have a set schedule, but have short lessons scattered throughout the day. I try to take care of "seat work" like writing and math in the morning. Other things that work for him:

Short lessons, changing subjects every 15 to 20 minutes. I lump together two or three subjects, then take a break.

Stories, not textbooks. He loves to listen to any subject if it is couched in a narrative or at least a picture book. Historical biographies, Magic School Bus, and travel stories (geography) have been a big hit.

Flexibility to let him choose what he wants to work on first, which gives him a little control. I also let him choose what to write for handwriting.

Lots of reading material for him (easy readers, chapter books, non-fiction about whatever interests him at the moment), so that he can amuse himself quietly for a half an hour while I work with his sister. We get a lot of mileage out of our library card!

A calm, cheerful attitude from me (oh, this is hard sometimes!). He responds very negatively if I raise my voice, show frustration, or get on his case about every little thing. Countering with humor (or sometimes tickling) and picking my battles make the day go more smoothly. One hour of quiet time every afternoon and getting out of the house for a couple of hours on the weekends helps me recharge.

Good luck!

03-09-2011, 02:51 PM
How do you do your hours or know your doing enough teaching/learning?

Has anyone else had any luck with any other sites or books or anything? We do use some Time4Learning because of the visual needs. I do have a hiccup about next year as I have already reviewed 3rd grade and the mature jump from 2nd to 3rd on it. This year I actually held him back in T4L when he could not do the 3rd grade. His reading was not good and the way it went from the lack of entertaining to the mature level so fast of read this or listen to Peedy (which is hard to understand) only frustrated him.

03-09-2011, 03:20 PM
Just want to ask - are you sure his adhd meds are HELPING? becuase it sounds like he started on adhd meds and got harder to work with. If adhd meds dont actually improve his attention, then they are probably not the right meds for him. I've just heard of too many kids who react badly to them - esp if they are actually bipolar (my son is) but mis-dx'd as adhd. Lots of things can cause a kid to have attention problems, and not all of them are addressed by adhd meds. ok, sorry if that was too long!

My kids are very different ages, but my days are like this:

Orion does Khan Academy or Tell Me More french while Raven and I read in Raven's room
Raven has free play time while Orion and I do MCT language arts
Raven does T4L while Orion and I do math
walk the dog
history from Usborne together
Raven and I do handwriting while Orion does assigned readings for history and science

Its a hard adjustment to make, but worrying about 'is it enough' isnt really productive. You have to learn how to work with your kids, and just as you think you've got it, they mature in a different stage. You have to keep monitoring and thinking, and you'll know when they are ready for more. And if its driving you crazy, you probably need to tweak some more!

And really, you have your hands full, too, so remember - there are no educational emergencies!

03-09-2011, 04:11 PM
Neither one of the boys are on medication at this point. Most of the behaviors began to grow when transitions and changes began to unfold. Sadly it was our faults and I am unsure how to really change. We are just taking it slow :) Easy Peasy :)

With the new year brought new insurance, new Drs, new Dx due to moving from out of country and so on. Just a heap of mess. Toss all that on a kidlet who does not even like transition or leaving the home much and you have a Tornado :)

03-09-2011, 11:31 PM
ahh, I'm sorry, you said "adhd dx" and I was thinking "adhd rx" Definitely, huge transition will take a lot of time to work through. Dont take this wrong, but it makes me think of a very funny blog entry about 2 dogs being traumatized by a move cross-country. Let me know if you want the link. You'll be crying, its that funny!

03-10-2011, 01:55 PM

No worries... I tend to do a good bit of shorthand due to my years of working for Drs before having children. Now add that to a laptop that has had its share of slobber and juice in the keys I do good to have it become productive when I need it to be :)

I would love the blog entry. TY Kindly

03-10-2011, 02:54 PM
ahh, I'm sorry, you said "adhd dx" and I was thinking "adhd rx" Definitely, huge transition will take a lot of time to work through. Dont take this wrong, but it makes me think of a very funny blog entry about 2 dogs being traumatized by a move cross-country. Let me know if you want the link. You'll be crying, its that funny!

I need a good laugh/cry...share, please!! :)

03-10-2011, 03:06 PM
Hey there....

Emagine---WOW do you have your hands full! In truth, it sounds like we all do---but so comes with the territory of having special needs kids, I guess. (sigh)

My youngest--now fifteen--is "multi-diagnosed" with over five primary and ten secondary confirmed diagnosis. The root of her challenges stems from two rare disorders that impact her brain. That being said, in some areas (reading, for one) she's actually twice exceptional, reading well beyond a senior high school level. This is our first year of HS---a decision I made after two disastrous years in PS. Up to that time, she thrived in PS....then we had to move to a different school, with different staff, and all of the sudden their preconceived perceptions took over. Anyhoo, she too has a sensory disorder, has trouble with transitions, etc. Our homeschool day, for the most part, is structured for routine, but relaxed. She wakes up around 8:00, and lays in bed watching tv for about half an hour so her body starts to work for her before I come in and get her dressed. Then we eat breakfast....anywhere between 8:45 and 9:10ish, during which time I read one to two chapters in whatever current novel she wants to "read". (due to visual challenges, and the difficulty it is to find the sort of material she likes in any sort of modified print, I do a lot of reading out loud). We then move into finishing language arts, which will consist of one more in depth assignment supplemented with some smaller focus studies that we're doing long term, such as Aesop's Fables. I use News2You a lot, the advanced editions. She really likes these, and because I can increase their level of difficulty, they work out well with offering text that she can see, comprehension questions and written answer questions. After LA we move into math, which we use Time4Learning. We are not moving through this program quickly, as she tires easily. On average, it takes us 2-3 days to finish one "section". Math is the one subject that she will be doing all year, so that we can maintain some consistent momentum. After math we work on either science or history/geography. I don't have a set curriculum I am using for these subjects. I put together my own lesson plans utilizing lapbooks, notebooking activities, etc. We've incorporated Magic Tree House books and supplementals for quite a bit of history. I also like to use the John Stossel CD's. Her science curriculum consists of active engagement and hands on activities, with the set up mirroring an outdoor education program. Winter is hard for this, so we head out to the indoor nature centers a lot to complete work during this time. She has an extended break for a snack and tv before we head out for her gym class and, currently, a home economics class. (She attends these last two classes as a part time student through our PS with teachers not affiliated with the ones that caused problems. For us, this is working out really well) When she gets home about 90 minutes later, depending on how tired she is or her mood, we may do any catch up or just put it off until the next day.
I tend not to push too hard, as long as we continue to get things done and move forward. If she wakes up, is having a really hard time and can't seem to pull it together within the first hour, we stop for the day. We've been known to work on a lesson here or there over the weekend to make up for these days and for us, it hasn't been an issue for her. She has a significant amount of control over what she wants to study in the areas of science and history/geography. I give her five choices for the upcoming week(s) and she picks which one sounds the most interesting to her at the time. Language arts is multi-modality, in that we incorporate her reading, writing, spelling, vocab, etc. into novels, newspapers, weekly visits and participation on internet blogs through YoungZine and National Geographic for Kids, News2You supplements and Time4Learning.

So far, this arrangement seems to be working well. I'm also tweaking....hopefully over the next year I'll feel like I'm a little more solid! :)

03-10-2011, 03:13 PM


03-10-2011, 10:36 PM
I guess you guys didnt find it as funny as my boys and I do?

Stella M
03-10-2011, 10:53 PM
I love that blog!! I fall out of my chair laughing. i read it aloud to my ds - I skip any profanity - and he falls out his chair too...the dentist one is his favourite...I only have to say 'parp ' to him and we both crack up. Anyway, just so as you know you're not alone in liking this humour Cara.

03-10-2011, 11:03 PM
We have a high-functioning Asperger's kid about the same age as yours. As someone already said, carefully placed humor helps move things along when a rough patch comes by. As for transitions, if we think there's going to be a problem, we remind him, "Okay, in 10 minutes we'll switch to doing _____." "Remember, in 5 minutes we'll start ______." Things like that. Usually works pretty well, so much so that we don't even really need to do it much anymore.

It's not easy, for sure, but it sounds to me like you're pretty in-tune with what's going on. Just keep your eyes and ears open and respond according to what your senses tell you. That should help you most of the time. Best of luck!

03-11-2011, 04:30 PM
Ok the blog about the dog was funny. I did show a 'little' to the oldest only because he is on this huge dog kick. We are in the process of getting an Autism Service Dog to assist in and out of the home. We do not leave much at all. But he especially loved the one where the dog was puking *go figure*.

So let me just say I threw all things out the window. Sad Eh? I just decided the last 6 weeks with new Drs and things have really made all of us on edge. Just as soon as we were back on routine we were packing up my oldest to go out of the home again. He does not like going many places at all unless you can promise pizza, train or roller coasters. So with that we just took a break. Wed & Thur we did nothing as planned. We took R&R days. We homeschool year round so I am not out to force days on paper. Today we had a 3 hour OT/PT Eval and of course I made no HS plans anyway. Days like this you might as well mark off. BUT, hind sight is 20/20... the kiddos still engaged in their favorites like Magic School Bus CDs on the computer, reading their books and today it has been about Earthquakes. Some learning has been accomplished.

I do feel the relaxed mode has helped to 'reset' the state of mind and moods. I have seen less behavior issues and I have been more in tune to hearing the tone of the home instead of what is next etc. I am hearing a lot more laughter this afternoon and even a few hugs :)

03-11-2011, 04:43 PM
That sounds good! sometimes mom needs to remember that the purpose of homeschool isnt JUST to check off the subjects!!

03-11-2011, 06:25 PM
We're starting the evaluating process to diagnose DD1 with Sensory Processing Disorder. A LOT will be changing in our HS. We have already put forth several things in the last week or so that seem to be helping. Snacking while working. This, for some reason, seems to get her working. So we've set up a drawer of healthy snacks, pre-proportioned out that she can help herself to. Another thing was adding concept videos and DVDs from the library. Listening to me tell her something new or reading about it sinks in a little, but she's constantly having to go back to the explanation. With the "school movies" she's getting told, reading AND seeing the concept. It's sinking in a lot better. In fact today she asked to watch another one! I've also dropped our schedule drastically. We HS year round so are in no hurry, yet I had her doing as much if not more than she needed to to finish a "school year" in less time than PS! So I've cut her "to-dos" in about half. It makes for a much less stress filled day. We'll figure more out as we go.