Input please---public high schoo?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by troubledheart, Oct 25, 2010.

  1. troubledheart

    troubledheart New Member

    It has been a long while since I have posted on here. A small update. I have been homeschooling my aspie for the last year and while he is doing well, he really really really wants to go back to school. :laugh:

    I am at a crossroads....I have been searching everything around here, for a place for him to go. I just don't know if he can handle public school again. kids are mean.

    I have to make a decision soon, cuz I have to get started testing with where ever I put him, cuz when I pulled him I was in the middle of the 3 yr IEP review.

    I am just soooooo frustrated. I don't want him to go, but I don't want him to come back to be years later and say "mom, you never even let me try"

    I have had some other health issues with myself and I am rundown physically and mentally.

    does anyone have any suggestions on what to do??? I am driving my self nuts. (sometimes I think I have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD))
  2. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    He is old enough to be part of the decisions about his education. WHat we would do, is a "PMI". That stands for, "Plus, Minus, Interesting". You sit down together and make a list of the good points about going back (vs continuing to home-school); the bad points about them; and the other points that are neither good nor bad, just worth mentioning. You need to both sit down and put all cards on the table. He also needs to feel free to say what he feels, without you getting upset. For example, if he says, "Your lessons are boring," you need to not get offended by this and say to him, "Can you think of a way I could make the lessons more interesting?"
    Similarly, he needs to not get offended if you say, "I find it frustrating how I can't get you started easily on s topic; sometimes you just seem too distracted and don't work well."

    The aim of this is to resolve the overall problems. It also should help determine what he hopes to find back in mainstream.

    Then if after all this you both agree to give mainstream a try, he has a benchmark by which to assess the success or otherwise of this change in direction. After a couple of months you both sit down again and discuss - "How is the reality of mainstream matching with expectations? Are you getting what you hoped? Are there any issues you hadn't been able to plan for? Is the choice still a valid one, or was it a mistake?

    After a process like a PMI, you find it is easier to change direction if expectations don't match what you predicted, because it's like having the rules changed on you. For example, if he says, "Bullying won't be a problem any more because I am more skilled at handling it; plus this school doesn't allow bullying, they're really good with it and anyway, kids my age are more mature than that," but the reality shows that bullying is still going on and he has become a target for it once more - well, the forecast was a good one based on information available, but you can't predict how much people (the ones who told you it would all be OK) are capable of self-deception.

    The thing is, whatever decision is made, he needs to have ownership based on full and frank disclosure. It makes it easier to make considered decisions later in life, also - he needs practice in making his own choices, and beginning now is good.

    In the process of the discussion, you might find that what is bothering him could be more easily solved by a small change in how you do things. For example, a concern often expressed by people about difficult child 3 being pulled out of mainstream, was "What about his social interaction? Because of his autism, he needs more, not less." It was a serious concern, but when we looked into it and especially when we actually began the home education, we found it was not the problem we expected.

    So - find out WHY he wants to go back, what he hopes to achieve form this and then discuss if there are other routes he could aim for. For us, if difficult child 3 said to me now, "I want to stop studying correspondence and go back into a face to face classroom," I would NOT go the high school route, but I would instead enrol him in our adult education college. It actually goes beyond high school but can take students still at high school, but in a more career-directed way. So he could study ONLY computer-based courses, if he chose. Or only graphic arts. If he did well after a couple of years, he could then go to university, where a good portion of his college studies would be given credit, helping him bypass first year uni certainly, and probably a good part of second year or more.

    The aim is education, on a broad base. School is not necessarily the only option.

  3. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I like Marg's idea. Looks like you are facing a tough decision. Kids can be mean, on the other hand, sometimes they can really surprise you in a positive way. What do you know about the local high school(s) in your area? What is the Special Education program like? What does the school district have to say. Just curious, and please don't feel you need to answer this, as to where you are in Wisconsin. I'm in Madison and, overall, think the schools have a lot of good but some disadvantages as well.
  4. troubledheart

    troubledheart New Member

    I have been talking with the local school district and a couple of other school districts. Wiped Out, I am VERY close to you in a small town. The middle school was horrid and I didn't like the way the principal treated my son, and got tired of fighting the system. Even the county juvi PO said that the middle school is horrible, but HS is better for our special ones. They are getting things together for me to help us make the decision.

    Marg~ We have been talking about it, but I like the way you said it and I will do that. We also are making plans with his therapist, and his therapist said he will be there with us and the school (his alma mater) every step of the way to make sure my son gets what he needs if this is the route we choose. I am just scared for him. All the things that have gone on with the children at the middle school. It was a bad year last year, and several parents pulled their children. I don't know if it would be better to open enroll him to the district of the town I work in, or local district. I have a lot of research to do. On a positive note, the local district is seeming to work with me to have plenty of time to re-test for IEP, since I pulled him midway thru the re-evaluation, and have plenty of time for transition. And the school has the same classes everyday, not switching every other day. That threw my son into a tizzy.

    If anyone else has suggestions....they are more than welcome. I am trying to give him all options available, he really is liking this CD programs I have for him this year, but says he wants to go back and have school with his "friends" The thing about that, is he didn't have any :( But in his mind the ones that talked to him are his "friends". And it is hurtful to watch.

    We were at a restuarant the other day, and he was talking to the food at the buffet and some girls about his age walked by, and said "look at that weirdo, he is talking to the food, hahahahaha" I told him and he said he didn't care, he is who he is. I wish he would keep that attitude, but maybe that is showing some maturity? Heck if I know!!!!! :laugh:
  5. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    We took my Aspie out of mainstream HS after freshman year and sent him to an alternative HS with an Aspie focus. It was the best choice for him. Mainstream was not right for him and I could not/would not homeschool him. He graduated HS, went to community college for 3 semesters and is now working and waiting on a civil service job. By the way, most of his current friends are either from the alternative school or through kids he met there. His best friend is the brother of a kid he met there who he stopped hanging out with when the kid got into drugs.