Aspergers, IEP's, and HOD-- requesting advice please =)

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SarahBrant
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2016 1:34 pm

Aspergers, IEP's, and HOD-- requesting advice please =)

Post by SarahBrant » Fri Feb 24, 2017 9:57 pm

There is so much information I could type up regarding my 9 yo in Bigger, so I will try and keep it as concise as possible for the sake of time. =) Our 9 yo has aspergers (recently screened for it-- not officially diagnosed yet-- long story). He has been receiving speech therapy through the public school since he was 7. He has always only had an articulation goal through the school. He is receiving speech therapy through the school, and he recently began receiving physical therapy and occupational therapy privately. The place where we receive private therapy is called Wiggles and Giggles. At Wiggles and Giggles they asked us if we would be interested in working on other speech goals with our son that are not related to his articulation-- the ST at the school would continue to work on articulation with him and at Wiggles and Giggles the ST would work with him on other speech goals. I have no idea what these "other" goals would look like or really be. I spoke to my son's psychologist and she said I should just ask if the school could expand his speech therapy services. When I asked the school, they told me they would need to reevaluate him to see if they can approve him for more services through the school. The speech therapist he works with at the school is very good and the private speech therapists have trained under her, so we are very comfortable with her providing 100% of his speech therapy. A bonus is that we don't have to pay for it if we get ST through the school. Which brings me to my question/problem/hangup......

To reevaluate him to see if he qualifies for more speech services, they would need to do a new evaluation that would apparently cover all aspects of his development and academics. So not only would they test his speech but they would test his academics to see if he has gaps and there would be a resource teacher who would be available to work with us on filling those gaps.... I'm not entirely sure how all this looks or how all of this plays out. That said I am finding myself very uncomfortable with him being evaluated for academics by the school. He is HIGHLY, highly distracted and requires a lot of hand holding from me. He has never taken a "test" in the traditional sense as he has always only been homeschooled using HOD. He is a 3rd grader in Bigger. We are not set to be finished with BIgger until end of summer due to having a new baby. I am concerned about the academic portion of this evaluation because I'm sure HOD's scope and sequence and goals are different from the schools in some aspects. Our HOD kids are still doing a lot of copywork, my son is learning cursive (he has BEAUTIFUL cursive), he's basically doing HOD as written and not composing too many original sentences of his own just yet. I'm also concerned because the public school's year is further along than ours is, as we won't be finishing until summer. We are in Singapore 2A and we haven't started multiplication yet, and I know the 3rd graders at this school are already on multiplication. The point is that I think I am probably more uncomfortable this than my son actually would be. =)

If anyone has any advice, has been through this process before and could tell me what this may look like for me, I would love to hear it. Our other option is to simply go with private ST over public school ST. I understand that there may be some gaps between what my son has learned and what the public school kids have learned. I'm more concerned with the end game than I am with these differences, so long as we keep moving forward. Please pray for us! Thank you!

chillin'inandover
Posts: 147
Joined: Thu Jul 25, 2013 9:05 am

Re: Aspergers, IEP's, and HOD-- requesting advice please =)

Post by chillin'inandover » Sat Feb 25, 2017 9:35 am

I've been in your shoes. We entered the school systems special education department. In order to qualify for services my daughter was labeled to receive services. We had her privately evaluated by a team of 5 professionals and received a different diagnosis. The diagnosis was a medical vs educational diagnosis was public school's explanation. Although she had an IEP and qualified for multiple services at the school district we chose to withdraw her from that. We had private therapy that we paid for. It wasn't covered under our medical insurance, nor did it apply towards our deductible. It was a costly route, but gave us peace of mind. We were able to schedule therapy when it worked in our schedule rather than the school district's schedule. I would think it would be more convenient to have it at the same location. Often they can schedule appointments so that they're all on the same day. Having the evaluation by the school district was stressful and then attending the IEP meetings were stressful. At times I disagreed with the IEP and I either had to agree, petition, or withdraw from services. It seemed they wanted to fit my daughter into their services rather than truly meet her needs. I was an OT so I came to the meeting with personal and professional insight. I've had my daughter re-evaluated since withdrawing from IEP and discontinueing speech services. She no longer needs therapy services. HOD has met her educational needs and always has an activity that provides a skill she needs. My daughters latest evaluation determined that she has word retrieval issues, and not stuttering. In Bigger and Preparing there are vocabulary words. Oral narration, DITHOR, CTC writing, etc have improved her word retrieval and speaking skills. Plus at home we can be in the Word. This has been my experience. Praying for you and your family.
Tammy
Wife of 30 years
Mom to 4
DD 27 Technical Manager FA, Playwright, Producer, Lighting Designer
DD 26 Master in TESL, ELL teacher 3rd grade
DD 17 College AAS welding
DD 13 MTMM, US2 Astronomy, US1 Government
Home Educator since 2000 HOD LHTH-US2

SarahBrant
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2016 1:34 pm

Re: Aspergers, IEP's, and HOD-- requesting advice please =)

Post by SarahBrant » Sat Feb 25, 2017 2:11 pm

Thank you SO MUCH for taking the time to reply to my post! It is great for me to hear your experience. I agree with you 100%, I believe that the reason my son is as well off as he is academically and developmentally is due in large part to HOD's emphasis on skills. I believe my son may have word retrieval issues also and I can't say enough good about what a Charlotte Mason education has done for his vocabulary and speech. I also agree with you that being in the Word is so important. God's word is so powerful. A few weeks ago we had an interdenominational prayer service together with 3 churches in our city. The prayer and praise and worship were so powerful and as we were sitting there I looked down and my son was tying his draw string over and over again like how he would tie his shoes. It was a breakthrough moment. He ties his shoes now. We just can't overestimate the importance of having our kids in the Word, in God's presence, teaching them to worship and read the Word for themselves. God's Word is amazing and powerful! Really makes me think about how important it is to raise our kids in God's house. I thank God for continually leading us and guiding us.

my3sons
Posts: 10548
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2007 7:08 pm
Location: South Dakota

Re: Aspergers, IEP's, and HOD-- requesting advice please =)

Post by my3sons » Sun Feb 26, 2017 8:44 am

Tammy and SarahBrant - This kind of thread just tugs at my heart! I love to see how the Lord connects just the right ladies through HOD, bringing just the right 'help' at just the right time from just the right person! Thank you for your insight - surely others will benefit reading this as well - God bless!

In Christ,
Julie
Enjoyed LHTH to USII
Currently using USI, RevtoRev
Wife to Rich for 24 years
Mother to 3 sons, ages 20, 16, and 13
Author of Women's Devotional https://www.ebay.com/itm/293355757184
Blogger https://my3sons-julie.blogspot.com/
Sister to Carrie

bethelmommy
Posts: 263
Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2011 6:34 pm
Location: Alaska

Re: Aspergers, IEP's, and HOD-- requesting advice please =)

Post by bethelmommy » Mon Feb 27, 2017 3:59 am

If you can afford private therapy, I would personally go that route. My son has Autism and Cerebral Palsy and has been receiving speech services from the school since age 4 (he is 10 now). We have always done PT/OT privately. Anyway, a new SPED director entered the picture and decided that homeschoolers/private schoolers should not receive special education services (unless we enroll our child in public school). Several children in our small community have been affected by this decision, so we decided to exercise our parental rights and speak up for our son and give encouragement to others in the community that have suffered the same discrimination. However, as a result our son has gone through a lot more testing than would usually be necessary and it is taking up a lot of family time. This is on top of the regular ESER/IEP meetings and evaluations that regularly occur as part of public special education. While our son has received excellent therapy through the school system for the past 6 years, if I could go back to the beginning and start over, I would just go the private route and avoid all the extra hassle.

However, to encourage you regarding academics- that area of evaluation has NOT been a problem. In fact, it is in part because our son tests particularly well in several areas and "meets standards" overall that special education services have even become an issue. I truly think HOD works well for most children, but I have found it especially helpful for my oldest son. The daily structure and routine, the slow and steady skill building, the emphasis on daily written work at appropriate developmental levels, the fine and gross motor activities, the clear directions and steady progression toward student independence...all of these HOD elements have contributed (along with intensive therapy) to helping my son be as functional as he is. Whichever route you end up taking, please don't let public opinion (or the professionals) cause you to second guess your educational choices for your child. Ultimately, you are responsible to God, and if you are following His leading, you are in good hands :D . I will be praying for clear direction and peace of mind for you and your family.
Grace and peace,
Alicia
DS 13 RTR, DITHOR 6/7/8
DD 11 CTC, DITHOR 4/5
DS 8 Beyond, DITHOR 2/3
DD 6 LHFHG, Emerging Readers
(Previously completed LHFHG, Beyond, Bigger, Preparing, CTC, and DITHOR 2/3, 4/5)

SarahBrant
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2016 1:34 pm

Re: Aspergers, IEP's, and HOD-- requesting advice please =)

Post by SarahBrant » Tue Feb 28, 2017 12:50 am

Thank you Alicia! We were all set to say "no" to this evaluation. He's never had to have one before even though he's been receiving speech services for two years, but his IEP is almost up and apparently it's based on age? I'm not real clear on that. We met with the psychologist again today who is diagnosing him. She's a mom of 7 kiddos, majority of them with special needs, and a homeschooler herself. It's really nice to speak with someone like minded. However, today she seemed like she thought that doing the IEP and doing speech through the school would be a positive thing. She was saying they test IQ and a all that. My issue is, my son does not perform well when he is in a new setting due to sensory issues. The psychologist said that all her kids had IEP's and it was handy for her to know what their IQ's were because it helped her to know what to expect out of them. Personally, I think it may be very difficult for me to hear if he didn't score well on the testing. I know how smart he is, but he just doesn't perform well on assessments because it's always a new environment. If we switched over all the speech services to private therapy, we could get that all done one day a week. Right now we have speech on tuesday, thursday, and PT and OT on Friday. Plus we also have been meeting with the psychologist to work on social skills, etc. on Mondays. Definitely will need to keep praying about this. Thank you so much for commenting. I sincerely appreciate you sharing your thoughts and praying for our family. =)

SarahBrant
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2016 1:34 pm

Re: Aspergers, IEP's, and HOD-- requesting advice please =)

Post by SarahBrant » Tue Feb 28, 2017 12:56 am

Julie, thank you for commenting! I truly love and appreciate HOD and the blessing that it is to our family, particularly to my oldest son. HOD took him from not writing so much as his name, to having beautiful cursive handwriting now in 3rd grade. I have researched a lot of other curriculum options and I feel confident that HOD is the one that will build his skills and equip him over time with the ability to work independently. I see the "end game" and I know this is where we need to be!

Nealewill
Posts: 1611
Joined: Sat Sep 14, 2013 5:08 pm
Location: Cincinnati, OH

Re: Aspergers, IEP's, and HOD-- requesting advice please =)

Post by Nealewill » Tue Feb 28, 2017 11:45 am

I apologize but I have not read all the other comments. I can only share with my son's experience.

My son was nonverbal when he was younger and only spoke about 15 words by the time he was 5. We didn't know anything about HOD at the time that we started school so he used a different program for learning to read but he also when to our local Children's hospital for speech therapy since he could only annunciate 1/2 the alphabet. Then we discovered that he really didn't understand when we told him to do things. So he was in language therapy for another year. Then, when he was 7, we discovered that he had anxiety so he went and saw a psychiatrist for a while. At that same time, he was struggling with fine motor skills so we put him in OT. At 9, we had him tested for auditory processing disorder and we found out that he had it. So he started Language therapy again. We stopped doing language therapy last summer because we felt we reached a point where we weren't sure where to turn and the therapist was struggling with giving us stuff to help him. At therapy, she worked on things with him that we wanted done but it came to a point where I didn't know what he needed done.

This January, we had my son put through quite a battery of testing to see if anything else could be going on. They tested him for autism, asperger's, ADHD, and anxiety. Well, he came back that he doesn't have autism at all but he does have anxiety and ADHD along with his auditory processing disorder. They have also recommended that we get a reading assessment done to see if he has a reading disorder since his language skills are so far behind his peers (it isn't severe but it is listed in the disability category). And the only reason I think he reads as well as he does is because he has to read several things with HOD. If it weren't for all the great and interesting books read to him and him reading himself, he would definitely be farther behind than he is.

As an encouragement to you, HOD has really been the only curriculum that has "worked" for him. Now, he is on the oldest end of the age range but that's okay. He is able to read the instructions and complete his assignments in Preparing fairly well. He enjoys the majority of what he is learning about. He has really impressed me with how well he can write and his willingness to do it. Is he a good writer? No, not really (yet) but I think he will be with time. Will he progress into CtC seamlessly? I sure hope so! But that is where the therapy has been really helpful for us. It has helped him to learn strategies for paying attention and learning how to figure out something if he doesn't understand. Truth be told, I am not sure what his future looks like but I couldn't imagine doing it with any other program.

And - one last thing - I wouldn't worry about whether or not he knows what school kids know. My guess is that the test is more basic and more similar to standardized test. And they aren't evaluating you, they looking at certain skills specifically. For my family, we have chosen to go the private route. Yes, it does cost money but we would prefer to use private therapists rather than the school. This is only because we have felt like the private therapists are more interested in our life goals rather getting on par for his grade level, if that makes sense. But if you love the therapist at the school, I actually wouldn't necessarily shy away from the testing. It may provide addition information that you hadn't thought about before. That was a major reason that we pursed the additional testing. We wanted to see if there was anything that we were missing. And we wanted to make sure we customized his therapy to his deficiencies as exactly and specifically as we could. Would I use trust the school system to be able to do this? Yes. But we felt like the schools would take more time to get this done than Children's and we just wanted to streamline everything as well.
Daneale

DD 13 WG
DS 12 R2R
DD 10 R2R

Enjoyed DITHOR, Little Hearts, Beyond, Bigger, Preparing, CTC, R2R, RevtoRev, MtMM

my3sons
Posts: 10548
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2007 7:08 pm
Location: South Dakota

Re: Aspergers, IEP's, and HOD-- requesting advice please =)

Post by my3sons » Fri Mar 03, 2017 10:40 am

SarahBrant wrote:Julie, thank you for commenting! I truly love and appreciate HOD and the blessing that it is to our family, particularly to my oldest son. HOD took him from not writing so much as his name, to having beautiful cursive handwriting now in 3rd grade. I have researched a lot of other curriculum options and I feel confident that HOD is the one that will build his skills and equip him over time with the ability to work independently. I see the "end game" and I know this is where we need to be!
Your son's progress is worth celebrating - thank you for letting us join in the joy of the progress he has made by sharing here! HOD shares in the impetus for that progress, but you as the homeschooling mom taking time each day to work diligently with him, to love him as he makes this journey through his education of the heart/soul/mind, YOU deserve much due credit as well! Keep up with the hard work! I am one year from graduating my first son, who was born 8 wks premature, who needed speech therapy for several years, who I taught to roll over/ to crawl / to walk side by side as these things did not at first come naturally, and who now is a straight A student - 6 foot 2 inches tall - healthy as can be with a heart for the Lord and a bright promising future! The days are long, but the years fly by, and the end of the journey with HOD is the sweetest. Press on!

In Christ,
Julie
Enjoyed LHTH to USII
Currently using USI, RevtoRev
Wife to Rich for 24 years
Mother to 3 sons, ages 20, 16, and 13
Author of Women's Devotional https://www.ebay.com/itm/293355757184
Blogger https://my3sons-julie.blogspot.com/
Sister to Carrie

Gwenny
Posts: 750
Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2011 1:07 pm
Location: Texas

Re: Aspergers, IEP's, and HOD-- requesting advice please =)

Post by Gwenny » Sat Mar 04, 2017 7:58 am

It is so helpful and encouraging to hear your story Julie! It's a long hard road with some of these things--there are a bunch of us struggling and when people share the struggles as well as the successes it helps to know that we are not alone.
Nancy
Dd29 married (w/2 sons 1/2/14, 5/24/16), ds27, dd25 married (w/dd born 8/9/16), dd25, dd22
Dd 19 HS in special ed
Dd14 RevtoRev
Ds12 RevtoRev
Ds 9 Preparing
Dd 5 LHFHG

SarahBrant
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2016 1:34 pm

Re: Aspergers, IEP's, and HOD-- requesting advice please =)

Post by SarahBrant » Thu Mar 09, 2017 12:19 am

Thank you for sharing, Julie! Your son's story brought tears to my eyes. I can identify with a lot of what you said. When our son was younger we had to find ways to motivate him to sit up, to stand, to walk. He met all his milestones within the "normal" time frame but there are just some things that aren't intuitive for him that, once he learns how to do the new skill, he continues to do from then on. So he just requires us to be super intentional about making sure all his bases are covered in regards to skills. Thanks for the encouragement, it truly means a lot. <3

my3sons
Posts: 10548
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2007 7:08 pm
Location: South Dakota

Re: Aspergers, IEP's, and HOD-- requesting advice please =)

Post by my3sons » Thu Mar 09, 2017 4:56 pm

Gwenny wrote:It is so helpful and encouraging to hear your story Julie! It's a long hard road with some of these things--there are a bunch of us struggling and when people share the struggles as well as the successes it helps to know that we are not alone.
You are encouraging to me on this board, Gwenny - thank you! Oh yes, there are struggles along the way. Looking back, it has been the trials that that have drawn me closer to the Lord, and they drew our family closer too (though not always at the same success rate :wink: ).

In Christ,
Julie
Enjoyed LHTH to USII
Currently using USI, RevtoRev
Wife to Rich for 24 years
Mother to 3 sons, ages 20, 16, and 13
Author of Women's Devotional https://www.ebay.com/itm/293355757184
Blogger https://my3sons-julie.blogspot.com/
Sister to Carrie

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