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Looking for help homeschooling an autistic student?

Dear Let's Go Learn: I am new @ Homeschooling. My son is 6. 1st grader. Autistic - Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (PDDNOS). Speech Impaired. The schools refer to him as High Functioning. Academically he is a bit ahead of his peers in this Special Education class. He can read very well. He can spell up to 75 words. He's starting to write 1 to 2 sentence stories. His phonics are great, and he is good in math. However, his school refused to approve of additional therapies that I strongly believe he needs. The system disappointed me by failing to provide a free appropriate public education in addition to other issues. Nevertheless, I have decided to homeschool my son. By the way, all the skills mentioned above that he acquired, I worked very hard during the summer with him to learn and he did. As far as academics, I have so much material that I have bought that I know my son has and continues to benefit. My questions are: Will my son be better off in Homeschooling? Where can I get 1st grade curriculum for autistic children with speech impairments? and, where can I get assessments to have data on hand as a comparison so that I can compare his skills now (before starting homeschooling) and at the end of the "school year". I plan on doing a "year round" schooling-the 5 days of school from 7:30 am to 1:30 pm to include Math, Reading, Spelling, Writing, Good Citizenship, Science, Social Studies, Speech, and Imaginary Play. Oh lunch and recess time also. Well, I would really appreciate your responses and I am looking forward to hearing from you soon. Thanks.

 Hello, Thanks for your email. Funny that you emailed me today, I was just talking with a colleague last night about some of the PDDNOS kids that I have worked with in the past. Here are my thoughts:

1. Will my son be better off in Homeschooling? Well, it is impossible for me to know that but I do know that he will be better off with individualized instruction. However, kids with PDDNOS also definitely benefit from social interaction. I suggest that he have some kind of regular interaction with a group of kids.
2. Where can I get 1st grade curriculum for autistic children with speech impairments? This one I can't answer. All of my work with autistic and other developmentally delayed kids was specifically with reading and language comprehension and acquisition. I suggest you take a look at the http://www.canfoundation.org website, perhaps someone there can answer your question better.
3. "Where can I get assessments to have data on hand as a comparison so that I can compare his skills now (before starting homeschooling) and at the end of the "school year." Let's Go Learn offers an online assessment. You could use that to track his progress over the year if you feel that he would work well with an online assessment. If you want to choose a more conventional assessment, try a language or reading specialist in your area.

Overall it sounds like you are on the right track. I know sometimes schools can make it seem like progress with your son is impossible. That is poppycock of course. Even after working with adult PDDNOS students, I know that progress can certainly be made.

Tags: homeschool assessment, homeschool instruction, autism

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