The year I was born, John Howard Griffin, a journalist and civil rights movement ally, published a book that told the story of the journey he took in order to understand Black people. He had studied, sympathized with their struggles for equality, but he did not understand them. What he did was nothing short of shocking. He made an agreement with Sepia Magazine, who funded Mr. Griffin’s journey in exchange for publishing a series of articles on what happened to the white native of Dallas, Texas during this adventure. Then, he went to a doctor and had a series of treatments to make himself Black.
Mara Fritts is the mother of four, she is diagnosed AS, and she sits on the AWN Board of Directors.
I started Homeschooling when our oldest son was 7 years old, after fighting a school system that would not listen to my pleas that there was something different about him. I saw it. Why didn't they? Why did they say that our son was normal when his teacher said there was something different with him? I saw him as being alone and not understanding why he was having issues at school. Why didn't all the children throw gravel at other students when they were frustrated ?
When our son was 5 years old, he started Kindergarten in a private school. They said that he was too immature, so they put him into the preschool. Our psychologist at the time said our son has Attention Deficit and Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) and that he needed additional observations. We were told the public school would also do testing on him, so we sent him.
From the beginning, we had issues with getting the school to observe our son. They were supposed to look at him at the beginning of the school year. After several months of not hearing anything and many phone calls, they finally had the Occupational Therapist (OT) and the school psychologist look at him. They said that everything was normal. His homeroom teacher, who was a former resource teacher, disagreed with this. She helped us place him in a behavioral program from the local university. It was the only help she could offer. It was based on rewards, but he wasn't really interested in earning anything. Over that summer, our son went to a private OT to help with the hand weakness and balance issues that his pediatrician diagnosed him with. The balance issues were something else that the school missed.
I am currently homeschooling three of my four kids ( My nine year old, my 6 year old and my 3 year old) . All three are on the spectrum and they each have their own unique challenges.
Last year I went with Seton for my oldest son. They did have special ed help availible but I decited to do the regular program and it really proved to be too much for him. I got more understanding out of less work. Something that I was really not expecting.
What are some of the curriculums that you have done in the past or are currently doing now?
I am still using some of Setons books but I have added others, such as the Spectrum books. (But the funny thing is they have nothing to do with being on the Spectrum.)
I'm wondering if parents who have either home schooled or had their kids in restrictive educational settings and then reintegrated them in general education settings would be willing to speak to me about their children's experiences.
Our son has attended two SDCs and a non-public school since leaving his gen ed placement. He is autistic and bipolar, smart, highly verbal. We are hoping to reintegrate him in ninth grade and begin with a partial mainstreaming program next year (eighth grade).