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Thread: Asperger's Syndrome.....

  1. #1
    Is anyone else here homeschooling a child with AS?
    Our 11yodd has this and I am wondering how to coach her along in writing. She has trouble with both the physical act (her little hands get really tight) and with putting the ideas together. Like many AS kids, she does not like fiction, just the facts, ma'am. So I am wondering how she will do with the reading. I am thinking I will have to do a lot of reading aloud, which is fine because I have younger kids as well.

    Becky G

  2. #2
    "On teaching the writing process, I've struggled but I also think I hadn't found the right curriculum. Most curricula I've tried have not addressed the writing process- that of organizing one's thought's for writing, etc. in the kind of step by step fashion that my daughter needs. I think the Write Source materials Marcia recommends might just be what we need."

    Something you might want to look at, too, are the WIN (Writing in Narrative) program books carried by Elijah Company. They teach a very formulaic way of writing, which might be useful.

    (I have them, but have not used them as yet, so can't really comment that way--yet!!)

    Just for info, I have a 9yo son diagnosed Pervasive Developmental Disorder (the 'umbrella' disorder under which Asperger's, autism, and all that stuff occurs.) Although we have hs'ed our other 2 children for the last few years, this will be my first year with him! In many ways I feel as if I'm beginning all over again (many mixed emotions <bg&gt.

  3. #3
    This is my first post in any TOG forums, so I hope this works! I looked at this special needs topic because we have a pre-schooler with Down syndrome (as well as eight older kids which have all been homeschooled--three now in college) so I'm just learning about "special" education. But this year I've found a writing curriculum you may want to check out if your child wants "just the facts". It's called the Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW), which I heard about from several satisfied users, some in TOG forums. It is a very structured approach to organizing writing--with outlines and writing from them--and introducing "stylistic techniques". Assignments are specific, so grading or comments are directed at those specific skills being worked on. It's a teacher's workshop on video or DVD. I've found it easy to use, and my kids (16, 13, and 11) who are using it are enjoying writing, finally! The website is

  4. #4
    I have a 10 year old with Aspergers. Or at least that is how he is diagnosed. As he grows I wonder if it is the right diagnosis - but maybe he's just growing up and getting the help he needs to overcome this? Anyway...

    Writing is a NIGHTMARE in my house. I too think, well maybe if I just try a different curriculum everything will be better. But its not. I'm not sure how to teach him either. But I guess the real fact is that he needs more practice and extensive work on it. In my case my son is also dyslexic/dysgraphic So we are also trying to find ways around that.

    I think part of it is the kids don't expect writing to be hard work and it is. Even my highly gifted, very verbally advanced 9 year old dd doesn't like to write - and she's good at it.

    Doubt this helped - but at least you know you aren't the only dealing with this

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    South Bend, IN
    Hi, I'm just going to be starting TOG in the fall, but I have been homeschooling my son (who has Asperger's) for 8 years, and I think another of my children also has AS. I would second the recommendation for the Institute for Excellence in Writing program. It gives specific small steps that the student can do to improve his writing. This works well with my AS children.

    Other things that have worked well for us are charts or lists of activities to be done; daily schedules; routines. Any routines you can get down are immensely helpful, whether it's a grooming routine in the morning, the pattern of putting away materials after using them, or the habit of looking over your assignment carefully before beginning and when finished. It's a lot of work to teach kids with AS to follow routines, but once they have mastered a routine, it will be set solidly. (Just try to change it!!!)

    A challenge that I see with using TOG will be the student planning time. I do want my son to learn to do this (he is 15yo). But I know it will take a lot of time, teaching, and patience to help him learn to plan out his own work. Time well spent, I think. I plan to spend August working through this process with him, so that (I hope) when we officially start, it won't be such an unsettling experience for him. (He's used to me planning out his work.)


  6. #6
    I too have a child I believe is AS. We are just looking into it, he is 11. It's been a nightmare over the years hsing him.

    This was our first week with TOG and so far, day 2, he is so behind it's not even funny. I gave him the vocab assignment, showed him how I wanted him to do the cards, gave him the list. We "practiced" with one word. He never did any more. Thought that was all he had to do. *sigh* Reading has hardly been started.

    I am going to go back through this thread and read the suggestions again. I really need to get a handle on this before I lose my mind.

  7. #7
    As a general rule, PLEASE consider joining the if you have a child with special needs and have ANY concerns about how well he or she is doing. Tapestry users can get $20 off the membership fee by including our discount group code (299872) when you sign up. I was an attorney at HSLDA for 14 years, and I can assure you that special needs families get WAY more than their money's worth by joining. You can join online or call them at 540-338-5600.

    In particular, HSLDA's special needs coordinator, Betty Statnick, has helped countless families homeschool a child with Asperger's. She's very knowledgeable about how to adjust a program to work for your child.

    If you aren't able to call Betty, the next best choice is to look at the entire set of learning levels in TOG and pick and choose between them until you find what works for your child. Children with special needs may easily span multiple levels--they may be doing rhetoric level math and lower grammar writing, or vice versa. That's okay--God knew exactly what He was doing when He created your child, and we made TOG so it could be used that way.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Palmdale, CA
    My son has AS, ADD and Dyslexia and most likely I have AS (although I haven't been diagnosed). I have found that when it comes to reading, and writing any kind of adjustment it is beneficial to him and to myself if I let him listen in on the reading from my other kids and I let him give oral essays into a recorder and then listen back himself. He is very auditory. He also does well with all the hands-on activities. We work on writing skills all together separately so he doesn't feel pressured and I am more relaxed. I hope this helps a little.

    P.S. (His writing will come with time, mine did.)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Houston TX
    I have 2 with mild autism (PDD-NOS) - one is 9yo girl, the other 7yo twin son. (at present all are in PS, but planning to bring DD home next fall)

    About the writing... Have you tried any modifications? Public school uses them - why not home, too?! With 3 in special ed (other twin is Bi-polar... yes, really), I'm a 'whatever works' kinda person. I have to be.

    Try different size (thickness of grip) writing implements or add slide-on grips. If that doesn't work or grip is not the problem - why not use a keyboard. My autistic son LOVES working on computer, so much so that the school is even letting him use a special program to do some of his assignments.

    Could your child type assignments on the computer? - Or at least do a mixture of both to ease the writing load?

    I'm probably preaching to the choir, but kids with learning disabilities often have trouble getting their intelligent, wonderful thoughts on paper - be it a motor problem, a thought processing issue, a visual/spacial issue (running their words off the edge of the page, etc.), or a mixture.

    We adults sometimes take for granted all that goes into our lovely writing; organizing our thoughts - while nearly simultaneaously - communicating that to our hand with the pen, judging how many more words will fit before we reach the margin, etc... We have to be flexible and try many differnt things to find what works for the individual child.

  10. #10
    I have 1 asperger son (13) and 1 pdd-nos developmentally delayed sensory seeking/sensory overloaded daughter (9).

    My son will write if he can type on the computer. I can also expect most of his papers will deal with things exploding or otherwise being destroyed.

    My daughter will write if she chooses the topic. Her papers are mainly about animals and nature. She will venture off into fiction if it is entirely silly. Think along the lines of Cloudy, With a Chance of Meatballs.

    I'm always trying to nudge them from their comfy little boxes. They have made huge improvements and will actually write something these days.

    When the frustration levels rise, they dictate and I type. Then we edit structure and grammar together.

    Keep encouraging her and I'll bet she'll amaze you.


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