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Homeschooling an Autistic Child: Why?

It became apparent that the school was allowing Woodjie to get super-frustrated so that he'd act out.  They'd document everything to use against him later.  I have charts and charts and longwinded sheets on "the things your kid did today" from teachers.  They couldn't wait to get rid of him.  He was the kid no one wanted to deal with.  In fact, we're saving them so. much. money. by doing everything ourselves that they rightfully should be sending us a stipend. 

It's early in the game, so I'm still working on trying not to be bitter.  Can you tell?

I feel more than a little betrayed by the way that school district treated my child and our family.  They refused to allow our specialists in, but insisted on using their "autism specialist," who concocted a plan that actually made things about ten times worse. By not adequately supporting him with staff, the teachers and aides had a nightmare on their hands and I became the unappreciative parent who didn't understand what the teachers were going through. 

My child is six years old and he is a public school push-out.

We really gave that school district every chance it should have and then some because Woodjie does have some problem behaviours and he does elope.  Couple that with the fact that after my third hernia surgery, the surgeon warned me that I can no longer lift over 20 pounds if I want my intestines to remain inside my body, and you can easily see where we'd have some reluctance with this whole homeschool thing.

Yep.  I've homeschooled two autistic children for several years and I was still reluctant to take this little guy on.  But it was time. 

Right now, our "why" is, "Because we feel we have to."  I wish we didn't feel that way.  But we do.  Instead of spending money and time fighting a system and administrators that don't care about my child anyway, we're going to find something that works. 

Comments

  1. So sorry! Public school is such a horrible place for kids who are not neurotypical.

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  2. I am so sorry for what you have gone through with the school!! You are such an amazing mom, and I will be praying for you as you seek the best plan for learning at home with Woodjie! ((hugs))

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    1. Thank you, Sue. I know you are a veteran on making things work in a family situation where everyone has different abilities and strengths. We're just starting... so I sure appreciate the kind thoughts and prayers.

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  3. Praying here too. I'm so sorry the system was working against you. Super frustrating. I'm getting tiny doses of that now and again with working with the school for "my German" (my cousin living with us for a year). At parent-teacher conferences the History teacher told me she wanted my cousin to write her papers "more like American papers." I asked her what that meant and if she could help by making it clear what she wanted. She said she'd help. She sent my student a sample paper and said, "Like this."

    ...uh... thanks. You "clearly" understand what it's like to be from a different language/culture. [sigh] So, yeah, I've got a little taste of what it's like to have a non-typical student in "the system." But it's only a sliver of what you're going through. I can't imagine...

    Hang in there. And may you find something that works and does no require any lifting [smile].

    ~Luke

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    1. Gracious, Luke, the least she could have done is sent a grading rubric with the sample paper, and offer to help revise before the due dates.

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  4. I know what you mean about not having the time or money to fight it. I so wanted Ben to go to a special school where he was the norm, not the exception. Fifteen thousand a year was too much for us to pay out of pocket (as it was over half our take-home), but we didn't have the bucks to hire a lawyer. What if we lost? That's what usually happens. Schools can't be forced to do the right thing. Obviously...So only the rich get a F.A.P.E.

    Poor little guy probably elopes because of how he's treated...Ben, only one time, in kindergarten, walked out of the playground and started walking home, about 4 blocks, but with a BUSY intersection to cross. He had had enough!! Luckily, he was caught in time, and it never happened again.

    It isn't easy. My prayers for you, too, that Woodjie's homeschooling works out. You are too much like me. Your child is more important than what others think. And we may be poor, but we're proud.

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    1. Thank you so, so much for your good thoughts and wishes. I know you understand that rueful bitterness. It's very hard to deal with.

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  5. First, I love your new look! I haven't been on in a bit, forgive me. <3
    Secondly, it made me so sad to see this transpire over the past few months. You saw it coming and there was no way to head this off without Woodjie paying for it. Sadly, you feel cornered, but this was the safest and most reasonable solution to protect your son. Ridiculous to think there are families that their child would only be further flushed down into the system because their families cannot homeschool. You saved him.
    You have my love and prayers, if I can do anything at all, even just listen on the other end of the phone when you are frustrated or need a moment, you call me. Love, love, love you...and I know you will be amazing for Woodjie. <3

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    1. Thank you so much, Blondee. As you well know, "safest" doesn't always mean "safe." I'm sad, but unsurprised, at this point. Your prayers are always coveted.

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  6. Sorry you had to pull him out of public school. Maybe he can adjust better with some homeschooling and get back into public school in a few years.

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    1. Thanks, Dad! I hope so... I am not sure how it will go as Woodjie has several difficulties. I will do the best that I can. THANK YOU for that college education. I'm hoping it will help on my endeavour. :)

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  7. School is ok if there are no problems. I have a friend who teaches slow learners and special needs children, she is wonderful at this most teachers are not, and most schools here only have regular teachers.
    Merle............

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    1. We had a special ed teacher and three aides in a class of ten. It wasn't enough. They just didn't want to spend on a one-to-one para, which is what he really needed.

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  8. I'm so sorry you are struggling, and SO VERY SORRY that they didn't treat your precious baby right. I can't imagine anything more upsetting than my child being mistreated/manipulated/slighted. My thoughts are with you, Mrs. C.

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    1. Thanks, Deb. I need all the good thoughts I can get. :)

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  9. This sucks and it's scary. And you are paranoid, or so they probably said. And this is why I hold mine so close as to almost smother them ... haha!

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    1. See, but the key is ALMOST smothering. Almost. Did you see that news story about a local kid who just wandered away from school and showed up at home later? The parents are understandably mad.

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  10. Those teachers should be so ashamed, but I bet they aren't.
    How could they deliberately do that??
    Of course, they'd prefer an "easy" class of "normal" children.
    What is normal anyway? Normal is relative. Normal cannot be accurately defined.
    In this case, I'd say Woodjie is better off without them.

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    1. Thank you, River. The administrators should be ashamed more than the teachers. I can recognize that the teachers can only do so much... it doesn't excuse their behaviour, though.

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  11. That just sucks. Poor Woodjie, and poor you. At least you know he is better off with YOU, even if it is an added burden on your intestines. *sad face*

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    1. Thanks, Chris. My intestines are fine, but the stuff holding them INSIDE is pretty weak, so I have to take it easy or else. I am hoping we can work intensively with Woodjie so that I don't have to worry too much about that.

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  12. Praying for you and for your guts to stay inside!!! It is hard to know what to do with an autistic child with challenging behaviors and do it in a way that respects the child while not disrupting other students in a class. Somehow, I think Common Core is only going to make it harder, not easier for teachers and administrators to know what to do with our kids.

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    1. I think in our case it was more "cheap school district that doesn't want to be examined by outside experts" that was the problem. Not that I love Common Core! :)

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  13. I am going to sit in on an appt today for a close family member... but similar situation... really mad right now.

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    1. Ohhh... I am so, so sorry. I know that horrible helpless mad feeling. I hope it went well.

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  14. Thankfully I can work from home, I can get a webcam, I can get erectile dysfunction meds, and I can buy shoes and purses!

    I am so. tired. of spam on this post.

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