Why are the school bothering you about this? Education is not just about maths and english and science etc. They are the ones that should be putting together a social interaction and social skills programme to improve on his skills. What are they expecting you to do, wave a magic wand?? As part of his diagosis of Aspergers specifically includes 'difficulties with social interaction', they should be addressing this need through his IEP and specifying how they will meet this need in school.
Does his current school have any experience or expertise in autism or aspergers. Are there other children with this diagnosis at the school?
I would start by writing a letter to the principal saying that you 'agree that your son needs help with his social interaction and social skills because that is a recognised area of difficulty that is part of the clinical diagnosis of Aspergers', and ask them 'what they intend to do about it'. Ask them 'to contact the Educational Psychologist and Speech and Language Therapist to assess these skills and to put together a programme that can be worked into his daily timetable within school for those skills to be taught to him by a designated key worker'. Also state that you 'want those skills to be generalised (ie. learnt in other environments apart from just school eg. on the bus, at home etc'), and you should 'be given instructions on how you can achieve that at home'.
I would also recommend you get in touch with a parent support group, especially one that meets so that you can meet other families in a similar situation. I would then find out where they are sending their children to school and I would go and visit those schools to see if it would be worth moving your son to a school that has a better understanding of his needs and is better able and willing to support him in those areas.
My son also wants to play but doesn't know how to go about it (he is 7). His school have devised a support strategy whereby he has a choice of 2 things to do at playtime and he chooses which one he wants to do. Then he has a choice of 2 children to do it with and he chooses which one he would like to play with. (These are children who have already been asked and have agreed to play with him). Then a teaching assistant oversees the play and helps my son interact and join in. This seems to be working very well. My son finds spontaneous play quite difficult and tends to want to re-enact something he has already seen on TV, so he needs alot of structure in his play.
My son also goes to dinnertime clubs so that he isn't left to fend for himself during unstructured free time. If your son has something he is interested in that could be made into a club, then maybe a teaching assistant could oversee the club and your son would enjoy the subject matter. A social skills club could help teach him ways of interacting more successfully. They can learn these skills, but they do have to be taught and they will never come automatically. But school needs to put in the time and effort to achieve this. Even the fact that he doesn't understand personal space can be addressed and taught to him. But it must be taught because he isn't going to pick it up automatically on his own. If he could then he wouldn't be on the autistic spectrum.
i had some of the same issues while my 9 yr old was in school, i pulled him out and we have been homeschooling for a month
it got to the point where, i knew i would be dealing with someone in the school system complaining about my child, and i prayed about homeschooling then i did alot of research, now that my son has been removed from public school we no longer address alot of the issues he had while maintaining in a traditional classroom setting, i had worked with the school for years and it just was not what our family needed
our life has impoved so much,,
today after learning time, we went to our first monthly pokemon gameday, a large percent of the children there had aspers., yet everything was relaxed and fun!! none of the children felt the need to "fit in" and they all played well together
then we drove downtown and for our weekly homeschool social group, as a group we took a relaxing walk, the children played the moms talked about curriculims, problems and solutions,
basically i had to give up the idea that public school was some how better able to give my child what he needed, they do not have the time to help each student and by the time he got home from school we had no time at home to address his needs, school is your childs first job, as an adult we can change jobs if we get to a point where it is causing more harm than good, but children have little choice, as parents it is our main priority to find that certain something that will get through to our kids
what i found may not work for you, from your post i gathered that you have had your child in school for a long time and its just not working, they are telling you all the bad things he is doing and this has already negativly affected his self-esteem, i suggest that you contact a representative in your area through the department of disibility... tell them you need help, explain to the school that there is only so much negative feed back you are willing to deal with, so many kids are dropping out of school now, and people wonder why, its because the education system has turn into a government institution, leaving the children feeling empty and alone,
they dont have to feel this way, and you too are not alone, i have been through the negative comments, infact at one point i would cringe driving through car-line because i knew someone was going to say something bad about my kid, enough is enough!!! there came a time when i felt like i had a bad child and i was a bad mother, but these feelings were based by other peoples opinions, i no longer feel that anger toward my son, he is doing the best he can and actualy does well with me with in every subject but math....so i asked my support group what can i do to help him with math, several moms shared suggestions and now we are using math u see....there is always a solution ,, no problem is ever to big, and no matter where i am in life,, there is always someone who has been through the same problem that is willing to help me out
You are amazing!! Thank you! Just reading what you wrote gives me a better direction to go.
He does have an IEP but they're not doing as they should. We are currently awaiting an OT to come in and evaluate, but in the meantime, kids see him as "bad" because they don't know any better and surely haven't been addressed.
I will request all of the above and see what they will do. Perhaps your wording will go over better than my begging. :)
Anthony enacts what he saw on TV as well and having a 15 year old brother who watches Scrubs religiously has proven to be quite the interesting conversation starter.
"Ma'am did you know when told there was no teacher and another child said "let's have a party", your child said "let's get a stripper". I could have said what episode and who used that line, but instead I got "bad boy baad boy!" attitude from the guidance counselor and asst principal.
Social skills aren't even breeched at his school. There are no children like him, and no one has a clue. They all THINK they do, but when it comes to the 11th hour action, they all call me with "I don't know what to do with him!!!" messages.
Thank you again! You have given me hope! :)
definantly get your son around people he can be himself infront of,
i forgot to mention that i too have what apears to be aspers, i need to be around people who can expect the unexpected, i may say something completly innapropriate or i may hug someone i just met, as an adult i have found "real" friends who love me no matter what, i remember wanting so much as a child to fit in with others at school but thats not what i needed, i needed people to fit in with me!!!
i am reading a book right now on the social benifits of homeschooling, its really helped me discuss the issue with people who do not feel homeschooling is the best avenue for children, most of these people have never sat in an iep meeting
the book talks about the same stuff i witnessed while being room mom for a self contained class room
basically the kids cannot talk to each other while they walk down the hall, they cannot talk freely to friends during lunch, they have 20 minutes of free play once a day at recess, the friends they do make change when they move up a grade, i never knew the families of my sons friends, even as room mom i had little access to the school, i had to spend two weeks with my son to find out exactly what he was good at and what he needed help with, school does not promise meaningful friendships, i get alot of "Of, but arent you afraid your son will be behind "school kids"? i smile and say "no, he was behind, now we are working hard to get him on grade level while addressing other needs such as spiritual principal, work ethic and developing social skills?"
please do not feel as if you or your son has to "fit" in society...these days it is best seek a different road
i am a member of several internet forum, this is a post from a very young girl on a suicide/depression forum....fitting in is not just a problem people with special needs have, its all of us, no matter what age or what problem you are dealing with, i never want my kids to feel as alone as this young girl, and i knew that my oldest son was heading that way
""""""""Seriously, I’ve been through the lot now. I’ve tried to be friendly, helpful, funny, generous, I’ve tried partying and drugs, concerts, or any combination of the above, but I just cannot seem to make one single friend. I desperately need someone to be there for me, someone I can talk to - but it seems I’m doomed to be a loner forever. Contemplating suicide, should I just **** off and leave you lot to be better off without me or am I going to bother getting up for another mindless droning day? I honestly don’t know. I don’t know what’s wrong with me."""""""""""
i read this and i wanted to shout WAIT!!! there are people who will love you no matter what,, sorry to post this under your thread but i was reminded of this girl when i read about your son desperatly wanting friends, we all need people around us who love us and support us, people who can look past our deepest defects of character, if you lived near me i would invite you to the next pokemon day, no pressure to fit in just unconditional love
maybe you can find a group like this near you and sign your son out of school early one day a week, or heck just sign him out of school early tommorow with balloons in your car and declare it WONDERFUL KID DAY! grab some hot coco and head for the park, send a note the next day that says "my dog ate my homework" a relationship with your child last forever, your relationship with the school system is short and not as sweet.
We had similar problems with our local school. We ended up moving our daughter to another school within our intermediate school district where they actually do "get" her! The difference is amazing! Explore ALL of your options, even if that means going outside your local school. Homeschooling is a great option. We are worried about next year because the program she is in now doesn't go any further. Good luck to you, and know you are not alone!
You don't need to beg or apologise for your son. You both have rights. Find out what they are and then make sure you put your requests in writing. Start filing all your letters. If anyone phones you or talks to you about your son ask them to put it in writing. Keep all files for years. They are your evidence of what you have said and what they have done.
Through a parent support group, or through a legal advocate that specialises in special educational needs, you should get a much better picture of what your child is entitled to. Schools receive budgets to meet the special educational needs of our children.