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Thread: autism...Using Tog?

  1. #1
    I would like input from those who have a child with autism (autistic disorder or High Functioning to Moderate Functioning Autism).

    I am using TOG with my two boys. I would love to have my dd do some of the work but it would have to be in the Lower Grammar level. She has no interest in learning. Right now our main focus is getting her to read and write and start math.

    She is 7 yrs old but in Kindergarten still. She is extremely smart but hates school here at home. I know sad huh?? I would like some input from you as to how you handled this type of problem.

    DH said maybe not have her to do TOG at all for now but just focus on the 3 basics (math, reading and handwriting) and that is it.

    I will have to eventually transition her to TOG at some point but need help in figuring this out. Anybody been there done that??


    Rhetoric son
    Dialectic son
    Lower Grammar daughter
    Yr 3 DE

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    My 13yodd and 11yods were diagnosed with Sensory Integration Disorder 10 years ago. Although this is not autism, they have some similarities. My ds has few problems, my dd has far more. It took her longer to learn some basics. In desperation last year, I held her over in 6th grade to focus on her weakest areas which I finally realized would forever hold her back unless we tackled it: oral expression, writing, reading comprehension (silent and oral) and vocabulary building. Wow! Once she got it, she knew it. I've heard some moms of Asperger's Syndrome (high functioning autism) say the same thing. It just takes a while to get a new concept. A friend of mine has an AS 10yodd. She is focusing on the basics, with short duration but lots of frequency throughout the day. She is finally getting some basic concepts. Therefore, your dh has a point about sticking with the basics. But if your dd hates school, perhaps you could toss in some of the fun aspects of TOG inbetween lessons: read aloud some of the books and do some of the art projects. Some of the art projects are great sensory integration activites (paper mache, playdough, clay, etc), which I know is good for autistic as well as average kids. Also, I know in my own kids, change is difficult (from what I understand that is true of autistic kids too). So this would be a way of easing her into TOG, just using it as a buffet for a few read alouds and art projects. We are new to TOG just this year; however, had I known about it in the beginning, I would have started then, gradually easing them in to it. HTH

  3. #3
    My son is 8 years old and autistic. He doesn't hate school he just hates transitions into school hehe. What I have been doing is reading all the books to him and than we focus on one point to learn per week. I know there are tons of stuff we aren't getting but it's ok. We just can't learn more than one thing because he has a hard time focusing. I found out he loves to cut and paste and color sooo what I have been doing is taking the one focus for the day and making a notebook page out of it. I have him draw or color a picture. Then he copys a caption that I have him dictate to me for the picture. He copies a title for the page than he cuts them all out and glues them to the page any way he wants to. I let him do all of this himself and he is really enjoying it. His pages are so adorable too. He uses markers or crayons or colored pencils anything he wants to write out his captions. I just let him pick it. He can't read yet. I did some phonics with him but it wasn't sticking so we are taking a break. I read somewhere that it is normal for a child to not beable to read until 10 years old. Some children pick it up faster so I wouldn't really stress it. Just read to her and enjoy some one on one time with her. Let her color or do things she likes to do and incorporate it into her school. Nothing says they have to learn at a certain rate and nothing says they have to learn everything all at once. Take it slowly and really figure out why she might not like school. For my son it was the transitions that he didn't like not the school itself. I give him triggers to let him know like in 5 minutes we will be doing school and he knows that in 5 minutes he has to stop what he is doing and we go read. Learning shouldn't be something they hate.

  4. #4
    I have a 9 DS with Asperger's Syndrome and he will also tell you that he hates school! I also have a 7 DD (neurotypical learner).

    One of the most helpful things that we use is a visual schedule of our day - a picture with word to describe what comes next. That has taken a lot of the stress out of the day. It has also helped me to think through what we can fit into a day realistically.

    We also break up school with short playtimes and sensory breaks like dancing, outdoor play, mini-tramp.

    We are focusing on the basics also Math and Phonics and are simply reading together the LG history books and putting together the lapbooks.

    I allow them to color pictures when we read the Bible stories or draw their own picture. I have also taken to allowing them to sit at their tables, lie on the floor, curl up in a cushion with a blanket or whatever seems to make them comfortable but still respectfully listening.

    We have had to try to get away from "traditional" school busy work like worksheets and copy work just for copying. We definitely lost our love for learning quickly. We use a lot games for math and break things up into 20 min. work segments. Altogether we work for about 2 to 2 1/2 hours in small segments with lots of mini-breaks.

    Handwriting creates the most stress for my son and so when we focus on handwriting we simply copy something. We do not attempt to correct handwriting when we are doing spelling or creative writing.

    We have tried many different approaches for Math and Phonics/Handwriting so if you would like any suggestions feel free to contact me.

    It is certainly challenging without a doubt to help a child who is so very bright but does not fit into a traditional learning approach. This is where we live outside the box and need the Lord's creativity on a hourly basis.

    Blessings to you today Holly and be encouraged that you are not alone.


  5. #5
    I know this is an old post, but I am new to the forums so I thought I would add my 2 cents. We will be using TOG redesign Year 1 in the fall. My 8 yo DS has Aspergers; dyslexia; dysgraphia; sensory integration dysfuction; expressive language and receptive language disorders. My 6 yo DD is gifted; my 3 yo DD is most likely also Aspie and my 4th 2 yo DD is NT.

  6. #6
    UPDATE from OP:

    Hello all!!

    My daughter is now 11 yrs old. According to her levels she is in 2nd grade as far as her reading levels and math levels. However I put her in 5th grade in a co-op so she can be with her peers. (She really is supposed to be in 6th grade. I couldn't put her in a 6th grade co-op class so 5th grade is close enough to be with her peers socially)

    She still struggles with reading but loves being read to. She is now in Beta Math U See. Still in Lower Grammar TOG. She enjoys the arts and the literature reading. The history she is not liking it but will sit through a reading with me. I use a lot of videos for history (Yr 3). Still focusing on 3 basic R's. I am using Susan W. Bauer's Writing with Ease program with her (Level 1) and she is liking it very well. She is slowly catching on and is doing well considering when I look back when she was 7 yrs old....she really has come a long way!!

    I am greatly pleased!! Classical approach has helped us to meet her needs even though we had to back off on tog with her for several years.

    Thank you!!

    Rhetoric son
    Dialectic son
    Lower Grammar daughter
    Yr 3 DE

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