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  1. #1

    Default Curriculum suggestions for autistic 6 yr old?

    My 6 year old son has asperger's. I also have a 19 yr. old with asperger's, but he was and is much higher functioning than my 6 year old so I didn't have to change my teaching methods much for him. I'm at a loss on how to homeschool my younger one. So far we've been using Teach Your Child to Read(slowly) with success. We read science picture books and he listens very well to the fiction books from Sonlight(as long as he doesn't consider them "girl books" or history which he hates. He plays legos and trains, builds stuff with boxes, draws pictures, plays with playdough, and will play for short periods with his older sister before wandering off. I used the Thinking Co. Mathematical Reasoning A with him this year which he liked, but I don't feel is very complete, but I know he would hate anything more difficult. He hates anything to do with the computer so anything online is out. I'm not pushing him, because he's only in K, but I'm worried he'll never be ready for much school at all unless it's "fun".
    So what I'm asking is what have people in similar situations used? I'm not looking for general suggestions like "math games", but specific curriculum/games you've used or heard about. We don't have access right now to outside help for him, and I just want to feel I'm accomplishing something with him each day. Thanks!
    Homeschooling mom to three elves(7yrs,6yrs, and baby), and two homeschool-graduated giants(21 and 20)
    My Blog: Three Owls Homeschool

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  3. #2

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    Right Start has an excellent math card games set that is set up to teach a ton of topics and begins with a lot of good kindergarten games. I highly recommend it. If he responds well to manipulatives, Right Start might be a good program for him in general.

    Really, it sounds like everything you're doing is great. He listens to books, does a lot of things that are good for small motor development, is slowly progressing in reading, and has a way to work on math skills. Asperger's or not, that would be plenty for any K'er.
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  4. #3

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    The boy is high functioning and a very hand's on learner. If I put a worksheet down in front of him he balks. We are not looking at a curriculum for this year but I am mixing and matching my own for summer.

    Right now I have pulled out some of my books from my early days in college and using this as a guide of what I am looking for. The boy likes math and science so I am looking at ways to put those into all the other subjects. As of right now I have one book "Science of the ancients" and trying to figure out what to match it with. I would be interested to hear other's ideas.

  5. #4
    Senior Member Arrived dbmamaz's Avatar
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    my youngest is not, i dont think, autistic, but he's the most stubborn child i've ever had. Everything has had to be to his liking and very, very light. I kinda take it one year at a time. In first grade and second, he did use time4learning. i read to him, we played a few sight-word games, and we did some math. Second grade we started doing a lot of math readers, and working through Usborne's world history encyclopedia - just reading and talking about 2 2-page spreads a day. He hated it, but i felt it was reasonable. I think we did hadnwriting without tears in 1st and copywork based entirely on jokes in 2nd. and he started reading elephant and piggy books, and garfield. Science we struggled to find anything that worked and went through a lot of curriculum and watched a lot of videos.

    idk, like that . ..
    Cara, homeschooling one
    Raven, ds 10, all around intense kid
    Orion, floundering recent graduate
    22 yo dd, not at home
    Inactive blog at longsummer

  6. #5

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    Thanks for the suggestions. I don't know. Today was just one of those days. I looked at my sweet boy, as he sat there in his cloud, and I just kind of freaked out. I want him to be able to function as much as he possibly can as an adult, and I feel like I'm just not doing enough. He's so bright. And that's one of the hardest parts of being a parent of someone with autism. You have a little professor in the body of a kid who can't take a bath without screaming. He can tell me the names of any dinosaur, but can't brush his teeth without help. I'm tired. Tomorrow will be better. Today I'm going to eat cookie dough and stop obsessing. Thanks for the help.
    Homeschooling mom to three elves(7yrs,6yrs, and baby), and two homeschool-graduated giants(21 and 20)
    My Blog: Three Owls Homeschool

  7. #6
    Senior Member Arrived dbmamaz's Avatar
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    Trust me, I get it. My 17 yo would refuse to go in to his preschool classroom until the second teacher came and took half the kids upstairs, because it was too noisy. He was constantly in trouble in elementary school because he couldnt sit still. he was suicidal at age 9, on all sorts of meds, and went from being in the gifted program to special ed. I finally started homeschooling him in 8th grade - dh finally gave in - the 7th grade IEP meetings focused on how to keep him away from the phone so he wouldnt call me.

    The first two years of homeschooling I had to sit next to him almost constantly. This year he works pretty much entirely alone (with me loading up his checklist every day with assignments). He has matured SO MUCH just in the past year, I cant believe it!

    Eat the cookie dough and think about how many years it still is until he needs to function in the big world, and trust him to go through the stages he needs to go through in the order he needs to go through them.
    Cara, homeschooling one
    Raven, ds 10, all around intense kid
    Orion, floundering recent graduate
    22 yo dd, not at home
    Inactive blog at longsummer

  8. #7

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    Cara, thank you. I needed a little perspective. And it's good to hear from someone who has been there. We know so few people with special needs kids and it sometimes feels as if we're the only ones who go through this kind of thing. Thanks for answering.
    Homeschooling mom to three elves(7yrs,6yrs, and baby), and two homeschool-graduated giants(21 and 20)
    My Blog: Three Owls Homeschool

  9. #8

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    You are not alone!! We cannot take my son to the movies, he hates big crowds, and anything that seems to loud is immediate grounds to leave. I bought some shooting noise blocker headphones, but he hates them on his head. He once flipped out in a parking lot when a car alarm went off next to us, he ran out between the cars and almost got hit. He hates to wear anything but sweat pants and basketball shorts because everything else feels yucky. We cannot do anything "yucky" because he hates new sensations. We made slime one halloween and he cried until I could get it washed off. After that he would not leave his room till we had not only thrown it way, but took it outside to the trash can. We have to build up anything new so he is prepared for it, and if something changes atomic meltdowns will follow. Some days I wonder how he is going to make it in the "real" world, then I just shrug and prepare him to turn the real world on its arse. He can make the world whatever he wants, he has the smarts to do it! When that positive thing does not convince me, I go to the fridge and eat a pound of my adult gummie bears. Lol!
    Last edited by Keiran'sMom; 03-10-2014 at 10:21 PM. Reason: tyop

  10. #9
    Senior Member Arrived ejsmom's Avatar
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    My kid had an ATEC of about 55-60 when he was 6 and we started homeschooling for K. Severe sensory issues and we were doing a TON of OT because he couldn't hold a pencil, dress himself, or tie shoes. We really took the alternative route, which most people don't or aren't comfortable with, and I understand that. Today he no longer has SPD or ASD or OCD or any of the other many diagnoses he had at one time. He does still really struggle with anxiety from time to time, however, which is more trying for me than I think it should be. I think I'm just tired, and with everything else he's overcome I am frustrated that we just can't get over this last hurdle. Yet.

    Anyway, sorry to ramble - been a long day here. We used an online program and while that taught me that I was capable of homeschooling and I could do it better than an online school, it did show me the structure my son needs and how much he wants to learn. However, if I could go back and do it over again, I wouldn't use it. I would use OM - as a spine, because of how gentle and nature based it is. One of the reasons we kept my kid home for K was that when we looked at public school when he aged out of his private special needs preschool, they tested him and it wasn't the autism that freaked them out, but his giftedness they had NO idea how to handle. I wish.....I had spent more time that first year following his lead more. I didn't realize how he just....absorbed things without being taught. I never taught him to read. Just his letters and their sounds. He just did it. He was barely verbal - but reading.

    It was tough because he wasn't very verbal, and the curriculum had some things that really did help like puppets to cut out and color (helped integrate his OT into our daily life/education) for him to act out the stories he read, so I could see that he DID really understand on a deep level what he was reading. If your child is verbal, you have an advantage, there.

    Looking back, the BEST thing I did with him was to take him out into the world, slowly, in small chunks of time, that HE could manage. When I could see he was reaching his limit, we left immediately. We would go to the park or nature preserves mostly. Pointing out things to get him "outside" of himself, interested in the world around him. For example, "look at that cloud? I think it looks like an elephant. What do you think?" He'd shrug. We'd go home and I'd get out cotton balls and paper and watercolors and he'd make elephant clouds. So - stuff was getting through, IN to him, and he was, in his way, expressing stuff BACK out! It was a start.

    As far as specific curriculum that we DID use at that time, that I would recommend: we relied very heavily on Handwriting Without Tears, and Enchanted Learning for ideas on projects and worksheets and crafts to follow his interests.

    I had to learn that as advanced as he is/was in many things, he still is behind emotionally and I have to not expect too much from him as far as the amount of work. Pressure to produce is a surefire way to a meltdown.
    homeschooling one DS, age 13.

  11. #10
    Senior Member Enlightened sells_kate's Avatar
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    You say he doesn't like the computer, but what about iPad apps? There are some truly great educational apps out there. Dr Suess books are easily found and much loved here. We used The thinking Co mathematical Reasoning for my 4 yr old and I think it's a fine book to use. We did notice that some things we're redundant, so if your son understands something that's 4 pages worth of problems, just ask him to do one or two. If we had done EVERY page of our book we couldn't have gotten through it.

    My daughter is supposedly supposed to be able to ride a bike by now, per her pediatrician. They were always hounding me because she has been a "toe walker" since 9 months. She is far above her age in intelligence, but behind in some motor skills. She just learned to skip and she still cannot dress herself (which in all honesty, I don't make her try to). My son did not talk until recently and now we can't get him to be quiet (he's 3). Both of my kids hate getting dirty, or touching anything gooey.
    It will all turn out to be fine in the end, you're the mother and believe me, you know best. You're doing a great job and can do so much more for your child than anyone else.
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Curriculum suggestions for autistic 6 yr old?