I am new here! I feel alone and beaten down today. My daughter is 15 years old and on the spectrum. The "catch all" PDD NOS. My dilema is public school/cyber school. She is struggling in High School, no friends, no desire to learn and it's a fight every day! IEP in place, emotional support classroom, but no one really knowing what they are doing.
by dawncsFebruary 4 at 4:28 PM
Welcome to the group! She is in the wrong placement, but it could be due to her intelligence making the Autism classroom the wrong one for her in school. She might be better off in the learning support classroom placement to help her best. You can learn to be a better participant in the IEP meetings at http://www.wrightslaw.com/. Next year, she should qualify for a job coach which would help her find the best jobs for her skill ability which will be very useful to the two of you. You might want to read these websites for advice to help her: http://www.autism-society.org/, http://www.autismspeaks.org/, http://www.thearc.org/, http://www.easterseals.org/, http://www.ldonline.org/, and http://www.aspergersyndrome.org/. You might also want to check out http://www.ncil.org/ for future reference. For recreation, you might want to check out http://www.specialolympics.org/ and http://www.usvariety.org/.
by nancylynnFebruary 4 at 7:00 PM
I have a 16-yr-old daughter with Asperger's Syndrome. We've tried it all: Public school, private school, online school, and charter school. There are pros and cons with each option. I believe there is no perfect place for our kids during the school years.
Where do you live? In California there are a few tuition-free charter schools. Have you looked into smaller private or charter schools? Sometimes they can be a better option for our kids because they are less overwhelming sensory-wise, and there tends to be more "quirky" and academic-type students and less bullying. I think cyber/online schools are a decent option if the brick and mortar schools are too traumatic, but the problem I had with online school for my daughter was that she felt a bit isolated. The other thing I would recommend is that you meet with whoever is in charge of the "emotional support classroom" to see if they can help her find a nice group of girls that would at least let her eat lunch with them so she can feel a little bit connected.
February 4 at 7:19 PM
Dawn, thank you for the web site suggestions. My gal is in several learning support classes along with emotional and autism support. She has an attorney that also attends the IEP meetings to insure that she is getting the most from the School and that they are accountable. Our District is of average size and has no idea what they are doing with kiddos on the spectrum. She seems to be the only one. Everything is trial and error. Mostly error. I will definately spend some time checking out the web sites!
February 4 at 7:32 PM
Nancylyn, I am currently checking out Charter Schools. We are in central Pennsylvania and there are several Cyber, Charter and home school options. We have suggested that they would find an older girl/mentor for my daughter to talk with. She does not have any friends or relationships with her peers. She has melt downs and that seems to scare off anyone who would want to approach her. It hurts my heart. High School seems to be 70% social and she has zero desire to attend school. I want to make life a little easier for her, but education is a must. Thanks for the reply!
Diana, your reply to Nancylyn really touched me. Although my daughter with aspergers and generalized anxiety disorder is only 11, I also think the meltdowns scare off any possible friends. I have seen my daughter sit down at a picnic table with other girls in her class and have the whole table get up and move. Yesterday in a class the kids were allowed to sit whereever they wanted. No one would sit with my daughter. At lunch she says she wanders from group to group - she says she moves on when no one will talk to her. It makes me feel so sad. Her only possible friends are through social skills group and 4H. We keep working on it but I know that I will face the very things you are facing with your daughter. It is just a few years down the road.