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Old 03-04-2006, 10:37 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by TwoLeftNeedles
And Jan, thanks TONS for those links! The Cure Autism Now site had a link to Advocacy Inc in Texas which had a whole big paper on what I have a right to ask for on behalf of my son and how they must handle disciplinary stuff. I know now that I can reasonably ask for a paraprofessional to assist him at recess and during unstructured times and they can't use the money/staffing excuse to turn that down.
thats awesome. im so glad that you know of law on your side and that texas has made that law available. good on you!

DS's AS has snuck under the radar for years (though he was called ADHD) because he can do things like enjoy fiction, tell a lie (yes, that's something lots of AS kids can't do), and he's not hung up on some obscure topic. But other signs he has in spades, like sensory sensitivity, unable to handle eye contact, and utterly unable to read social signals from children.

I know that if I can keep his self-esteem together through childhood, he'll be fine if a bit eccentric as an adult.
i've been suspicious for a while now that my husband is undiagnosed aspergers, and this list makes it all that much more undeniable. my husband has always had uncontrollable tantrums (better since he has been with me. also, i am his first and only relationship), he doesnt like to look people in the eye, he doesnt know how to lie, he becomes obsessed with topics and learns them like a scholar (right now its computer programming, but will only learn the academic languages and has become a resource on the net for scheme), and although he cant figure out people in relation to himself, he is a keen observer of behavior of others in relation to themselves or other people.

as an adult, he is considered eccentric, but i find him to be facinating. and tender.

even with the diagnosis, if it comes to be, your son can grow up to be a happy and fufilled human being. the best anyone can hope for, right?
Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Old 03-04-2006, 11:15 PM   #12
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My story with DD is incredibly long and involved, so I won't even try to put it all down here. We think she probably has a mild case of Sensory Integration Dysfunction, but we haven't asked the school to evaluate her. She's in kindergarten. We don't want to have them misdiagnose her problem (if she has one). We just ordered a couple books a few days ago on the subject and once they get here we'll try to figure out how to get this done. I don't want to start with the school.

There are so many clues to her behavior, and no one on the outside can see how different she is with us from how she is in the classroom. She is so sweet, it's really hard to see her try to interact with the other kids. She plays in tandem with the others, but can't join in because she doesn't understand that they don't automatically know what she's thinking. It's very hard to explain. She does very well one on one, or in her small dance class, but when she's in the schoolroom with 18 other kids it's just too much and she ends up in tears.

This is all so new. We're trying to stay as calm as possible and work things out before we say anything about our suspicions to the school. Her teacher has offered to have the guidance counselor evaluate her, but we asked her to wait a bit. She says that she loves having Emma around (she's really funny and an original thinker), but she's worried that Em will have more problems when she gets into grades where she has to be more self-directed.

The food issues are the most frustrating, but I feel better now that I think it's not just bad parenting on my part! lol

It has also been disheartening to have her put her hands over her ears every time I sing. (I'm really good, honest!!)

Hugs for you.

I hope you find all the help you need. Stay strong, you know him best. Good luck!
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Old 03-04-2006, 11:19 PM   #13
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I do not have a child with Asberger's HOWEVER I work in a preschool for children with special needs (we also have typical kids). DO NOT ACCEPT their plan , especially if it is making things worse for him. His evaluations should be shared and a behavior program should be set up by specialist in that area. Does he have an IEP yet (Individualized Educational Plan)? This is a plan between parents, teachers, and other needed staff (PT/OT/speech/behavior). I hope this helps a little bit.
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Old 03-04-2006, 11:54 PM   #14
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Holy Heck...Hey there--I'm still skimming through this thread but I would be more than happy to help--while I work for a school system--I'm a huge advocate for these kids. I can probably help you through the problems with your school system just by knowing the "ropes". Please PM me some specifics and I'll see what I can the meantime...I'm going to go back and finish reading this thread--just wanted to offer my help!

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Old 03-05-2006, 12:12 AM   #15
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okay, I've sort of caught up and let me say a few things:

I have a million websites to send you to...just pm me...
are you in Texas? My sis's best friend is in Texas and she has a son w/ AS

I tend to disagree that there should be a consequence for your sons least at first. Individuals on the spectrum are typically extriniscally motivated and are more likely to be motivated by activities or primary reinforcers (such as food items). The very first thing that has to happen--behaviorally speaking--is that your son has to be able to make a connection between "appropriate behavior" and it's rewards. By doing this, inappropriate behaviors will enter what we call extinction--the behavior will go away. When your son is able to see that behavior 'A" (let's say raising his hand to be called on) gets the attention he wants (in the form of the teacher's attention) he will be more likely to raise his hand than if he engages in behavior 'B' (yelling out) and is ignored by the teacher. This is a short, very simply put explanation of extinction. If the function of his behavior is to get attention and "A" gets him that and "B" does not, "B" will tend to disappear and "A" will increase. Make sense? The same thing has to happen with his tantrums...He has to FIRST be taught the correct way to deal with frustration (b/c this is not inherent for these individuals) and THEN he needs to be rewarded (in whatever fashion is rewarding to HIM) in order for him to see the relationship between his actions and a desirable outcome. Once he can see that--his tantrums will stop b/c he will begin to understand how one behavior gets a reward and the other does not. Over time, physical rewards are faded away and the appropriate behavior will typically sustain itself. Behavior is very complicated--especially in autism spectrum disorders--but it can be successfully shaped if the function of the behavior is identified and then shaped appropriately. You really need to ask if your school system has a Licensed Behavior Specialist--you're looking for someone w/ their BCBA (it's a behavior certification--it's a national thing so they ARE in Texas too) or at the very least---someone with a lot of behavior experience preferably, in Autism. If they know behavior and they are at least familiar with the basics of autism spectrum disorders...they should be able to help. I would also inquire as to whether or not your school system has an autism specialist and if they do not, I would request that they find one to do an evaluation of his educational programming.

I don't want to get too carried away here--I have a million recommendations b/c this is what I do for a living (hell, who am I kidding...can you tell it's my life/my passion?!?!? along with If you'll PM me, we can go through this more--I'll respond with an email address that I check frequently so we can discuss this w/o doing it on KH if you're interested.

HUGS--I know how frustrating this is--it is a correctable problem!

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Old 03-05-2006, 12:17 AM   #16
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Re: OT: Any moms of Asperger's kids?
Hi there!

I have 2 kids who are on the autistic spectrum. They do not have Asperger's Syndrome, but rather high functioning autism.

Your school is definitely not handling things well. Kids with Asperger's and autism has social and communication deficits. How in the world can they possibly learn how to cope if they are excluded from recess. What your son needs is support and assistance so he can participate and be included in recess.

Too many schools view recess as a "break time" for teachers. Well, okay, but many students -- even "neurotypical" ones -- need structure and support during recess time. Recess is possibly one of the most difficult times of the day for kids on the autistic spectrum. That doesn't mean they should be kept out of recess. That is punishing them for their disability. That is what is happening to your son. Has your school done a functional behavior analysis to determine just why he has problem behavior during recess? Request that they do a functional behavior analysis.

Your vice principal needs education. But of course, you know that already.

Does your school have a bullying policy? Is your son reacting to teasing during the recess time?

Does your son have an IEP? (A 504 plan isn't the same as an IEP and does not carry the same weight.)
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Old 03-05-2006, 12:47 AM   #17
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Bless ALL of you! I am in tears (good ones at least) over the warmth of your support. It's been such a harrowing couple o' weeks....

He has an IEP, but it really only addresses dysgraphia. There was a discussion of a FBA, but it really only addresses consequences. I'm getting a better idea now of what it SHOULD have been.

I have a meeting with the school on Monday, and I know that I need to point out

* that the IEP and BIP don't sufficiently address prevention and intervention but are too heavily consequence focused.

* that they are essentially excluding him from a school activity because of his disability instead of making the required accomodations to make it possible for him

* that the staff who normally interacts with him needs training, or he needs to be placed with staff already trained.
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Old 03-05-2006, 08:48 AM   #18
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Good luck with your meeting!! Remember to make a list of the things you want to address with them. I get very emotional, and then forget half of what I wanted to say.
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Old 03-05-2006, 09:41 AM   #19
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Good luck! Remember, YOU are the expert on your son. Trust your gut, and if you think something isn't going to work, make sure it doesn't happen that way! I'm so glad that there's so much knowledgable support here on KH for you to call on. :D
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Old 03-05-2006, 10:53 AM   #20
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My son is high functioning autistic with aspergers. (a mouthful!) School was not a good fit for him. He was so miserable at school that we ended up homeschooling him. It was the best thing for both of us (actually all of us). We tried getting him special assistance at school, but he went to a school that was so overwhelmed with children with "high needs" that his seemed pale in comparison and we were not given the help we so desperately needed. Fortunately, he didn't have quite the discipline problems that you seem to be going through. His autistic tendencies would cause him to shut down when stressed, so he was pretty oblivious to what was going on. He was labelled a "good child" because he wasn't one of the ones that was jumping on the tables or coloring with marker on the walls or running in circles screaming. He was the child that was curled up in his chair distancing himself from everyone else. The bad thing was that he would come home and literally explode. At home was where we saw all the frustrations and anger and confusion that was inside of him. It was truly sad.

We "unschool" our children and that has been one of the most wonderful experiences for him. He sleeps when he is tired, wakes when he is rested, eats when he is hungry, plays when he has energy and is learning all the time. We have way fewer issues with anger because he is in an environment that is soothing, peaceful, and which I *try* (quite unsuccessfully, but I try) to keep organized.

There are programs that I have read about that are excellent for children with aspergers in the school system. Sadly they seem to be few and far between and when you do find them they are grossly understaffed. I hope you can find something that works for your son. It is a very hard and confusing place for him to be in. ((((HUGS))))
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