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Featured School Experiences for Aspies and Autistic

Discussion in 'Education and Employment' started by Dadwith2Autisticsons, Jun 12, 2017.

  1. Dadwith2Autisticsons

    Dadwith2Autisticsons Well-Known Member

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    As my wife and I have 2 Autistic sons, one verbal and higher functioning, and one nonverbal with hyperactive issues, we were wondering what your schooling experiences were like, and whether they were mostly neutral, good or bad, to determine any future decisions for our children, though we are homeschooling them now.

    You might want to answer one or more of the following questions, or explain things in your way. Did you have any or many friends in your earlier school days, and up through your high school years? If so, were they the geeky type friends, or shyer type? Or other? Or did you feel alone? Were you integrated with NT's, or seperated? Did you yourself ever have a preference?

    How did the teachers and most other students treat you? Different? Or just as part of the class? Were you given any accommodations? Did you feel like the instruction was above your abilities and expectations, or lower than? Did you get bored easily, or have much anxiety? Did you have any unusual quirk or interest in school? A certain aspect of school you hated most?

    Did you like the teaching style, or did you prefer being taught in a different manner? What recommendations would you have made to make your school experiences better? What were the good things about your school experience? Feel free to answer what you want, no matter how brief or long, as we are interested in learning more about Aspie and Autistic educational experiences. Thanks.
     
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  2. FreeDiver

    FreeDiver How long can you hold your breath?

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    Stick with homeschooling. School was a living hell for me. Both Public, Cathloic, and boarding. Bullying was relentless.
     
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  3. Rich Allen

    Rich Allen Well-Known Member

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    Whatever you do DON'T send them to mainstream school.

    They will be bullied, especially the non verbal hyperactive one, throughout their school life, I speak from experience.
     
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  4. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    Life went downhill for me socially around when I was between nine and ten years old. When boys seemed to become very "tribal" and aggressive. Worst of all, downright predatory. Something I couldn't relate to or even understand and it made me stand out as that much more of a target. Some of the worst years of my life...fifth and sixth grades.

    Things got a little better after that, but again plummeted for me in the tenth grade.
    Made the rest of high school rather sad, though kids tended to leave me alone after I badly beat up one of the bullies...who happened to be the junior varsity quarterback. Right in front of one the PE coaches too. That was really bad- for him.

    After that they feared me more than they ridiculed me. Things improved only after moving onto college.
     
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  5. FreeDiver

    FreeDiver How long can you hold your breath?

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    I was completely alone. There was no geeky kids at all in my school and the shy one never hanged around me. I think they had there own problem to deal with.

    Like $h!t.

    except for special ed. NO! Special ed was more like a "one size fits all", and it wasn't in my size.

    Yes. both on the above and the lower. mostly on the lower.

    O-hell yes!!!

    I hated it all. except one class. I took theater and I really enjoyed that class despite it being a subject that I has no interest in.

    I prefer to teach myself. I am a self tought person and I wouldn't have it any other way. It would've been nice if I could ask the teacher questions in a "one on one" situation. But in a classroom setting with other students. I tend to not ask for fear of embarrassment and ridicule.
     
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  6. kay

    kay Well-Known Member

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    Hated recess. Anything we had to work on as a group was a disaster. P.E. was traumatic all the way through.

    Trying get down the halls in jr. high and high-school was nearly impossible. I'd end up crying in a bathroom stall and skipping class quite often. It was so crowded, loud, confusing, and the smells of over cologned, perfumed, and hairsprayed kids made it even worse.

    Oh, lunch. Hated lunch.

    Everyday of school was pure torture and that's not even counting the bullying. That was just a little added bonus bit of suffering.

    I of course was not diagnosed and they would not been required to provide much in the way of accommodations even had I been. In large schools there is only so much you can do if the problems are sensory.

    Some stuff could have been done, though. Help could have been given for executive functioning problems, I could have been given more time to get between classes so I could have avoided the crowds. Perhaps they could have let me eat my lunch somewhere other than the cafeteria. Could have been excused from PE or allowed to walk the track everyday instead of group activities. When I was younger they could have let me do leaf collecting instead of having to play dodgeball.

    Some other things that really would have been nice is not having the teachers yell at me, laugh at me, or ignore me. Sometimes the teachers were just about as bad as the students.

    If you can home-school, please do it.
     
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  7. MrSpock

    MrSpock fascinating

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    I had some friends in school, not many. I was undiagnosed so got no special autism-specific treatment. In some classes I got treated a bit differently as I was unusually able. In other classes I was sometimes bored. My experience would certainly have been improved if all my teachers were competent in their fields.
     
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  8. Dadwith2Autisticsons

    Dadwith2Autisticsons Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for replying. We are sorry your school experiences were not at all good. You deserved better. School is supposed to be a good and enjoyable learning experience. Personally, I was bullied a lot , too. Did not grow in school. Learned outside of school. If anything, I grew to fear more in school.

    With regards to Aaron, we tried public pre-school for him when he was three years old. He is seven now. Those three days he tried such in a special needs classroom admittedly did not go well, as my wife was present watching in a corner, and he had his own routines and needs, and they had theirs.

    They wanted him to sit on a floor. He wanted to sit in a chair. They wanted to do basic flash cards with the class, but he was far beyond that and got bored. They wanted him to use their new tooth brush and toothpaste. That was not his routine, as he had his own brush, toothpaste he liked and only tolerated.

    The teacher wanted him to nap, but he could not, as he was not tired. They wanted him to be quiet and listen, but he wanted to talk and participate. They wanted to have Fun Food Fridays with the class, but food for him was not a reward, but if anything a punishment, because of his limited and difficulties eating.

    They wanted him to not use a cup with a straw, but to drink like the others. He loved his own cup. Aaron's routine was he always drank before he ate, but just changing that cup made him not eat during those three days. He lost weight, so we had no choice but to pull him out, for that and the other reasons.

    This is not to say, things could not have gotten better with time, but things could have gotten worse as well. Bullying we always worried about, and sweeping that issue and other potential abuse and neglect type issues under the carpet. It did not help the teacher seemed aggressive in her demeanor.

    We personally at home try to find unique creative ways to teach each child, as each is different, with different likes, limitations, needs, and abilities. What works for one child does not always work for the other.

    Also, we make sure sensory triggers are not present as well, and we try to get the children out to learn and socialize in other ways too, like at museums, parks, businesses, play places, etc. We always try to make things interesting and fun.

    We use educational dvds, workbooks, floor time activities, music, art, games, reading books, and do hands on learning, and finding a way to teach something in almost everything they do. We watch for signs of boredom, and let each learn at their own pace and desired order.

    But, this does not mean I never wondered if we were not doing the right thing. Aaron says he does not want school, but Dylan cannot verbalized what he wants. We just know right now he is way too hyperactive for us to consider school anyway.

    We purposefully chose to relocate to a more home-schooling friendly state, once we made that schooling decision then. This is not to say that we are against public or private schooling, as I did better at a university, and as many parents and children may prefer that, or need that for practicality.

    Thanks for your post.
     
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  9. Danny 74

    Danny 74 Well-Known Member

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    Absolutely hated school, i was undiagnosed in them days.. But really hated going as i had no interest in what we were being taught...! Im autodidact so have taught myself what i really need to know and want to know...!
     
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  10. Dadwith2Autisticsons

    Dadwith2Autisticsons Well-Known Member

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    I dreamed of beating up a few bullies when I was in school. I wish I had the courage to do something then, like even if it was dumping a large bowl of taco sauce over their head during lunch. But, I had no trust in the school system, as I felt I would likely have been the one punished. Bullying seems to be swept under the carpet, even these days. Schools do not want headlines, yet they get more headlines when they do nothing.
     
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  11. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    It was nothing to be proud of. Yet I suppose that just outlines the difference between them and me. I wanted no part of being inherently predatory towards anyone. I never picked a fight with someone just for the hell of it. Though I certainly finished a few with good reason.

    "Speak softly and carry a big stick." - President Theodore Roosevelt

    I'm just an old man now, but I still carry a "big stick". Funny to think a poster once suggested I might be "feeble" because I use a Yorkie for an avatar. :p
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2017
  12. Dadwith2Autisticsons

    Dadwith2Autisticsons Well-Known Member

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    Thanks much for answering those questions. It sounds like your experiences were almost totally bad like mine. I hated everything, but for me I liked Math. I knew there I would not have to likely talk, and it came easy to me. Lunch and activity periods were the worst, and speaking out loud, as nobody would sit with me, or hang out with me, and I could not talk but a wavering yes, no or I don't know.

    I was voted most shy in my senior high school year. The school got that right at least. It was not hard to mess that up, as I was that way my entire school years. I learned on my own, and in my own mind mostly. I was bored and totally anxious at school. They say school is where people socialize. Really? For most persons, maybe. Not for me. Unless you count socializing with myself, and being introspective and batting around ideas, feelings and thoughts that way.
     
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  13. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    All that "alone time" in between classes. Just another thing that made me stand out with my peers.

    It hurt. Much like any form of passive discrimination. :(
     
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  14. WereBear

    WereBear License to Weird V.I.P Member

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    I had trouble making friends at times, and in junior high the bullying was relentless.

    By high school I was going to a large enough place, and had acquired more social skills, that I was happy to fall in with an "art crowd" who were not fixated on conformity and appreciated my own talents for writing.

    I would say that homeschooling is probably far better than they could get in a classroom situation, and the only reason for the classroom situation is for learning social skills. And they are probably better off learning social skills in small, non-pressure, one on one situations. Like if they get old enough to have a hobby, or are interested in something where there are group activities available.

    I was often a target because I would want to know why we were doing certain things, and would hate to do things that made no sense to me. This was anathema to my peers, who wanted nothing more than make everyone the same.

    I had to find a group which was also "different" and shared my interests.
     
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  15. ksheehan88

    ksheehan88 :)

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    Did you have any or many friends in your earlier school days, and up through your high school years? If so, were they the geeky type friends, or shyer type? Or other? I had one friend in school, who I didn't hang out with outside of school. I had two friends (within a group of many aquaintances) who I hung out with outside of school. They were all outcasts - goths, mainly.

    Or did you feel alone?
    Despite the friends mentioned above, I still felt alone most of the time.

    Were you integrated with NT's, or seperated? Did you yourself ever have a preference? None of my friends were on the spectrum. I didn't even know what Autism/Aspergers was back then.

    How did the teachers and most other students treat you? Different? Or just as part of the class? I was a very bright troublemaker, and most of the people I was at school with acted as if I wasn't even there. The rest bullied me.

    Were you given any accommodations?
    No, because I was just a naughty child, I didn't know I had Aspergers then.

    Did you feel like the instruction was above your abilities and expectations, or lower than?
    I don't understand this one.

    Did you get bored easily, or have much anxiety?
    Bored, always. Anxiety yes, because of bullying.

    Did you have any unusual quirk or interest in school?
    I ate the same lunch everyday for the whole 5 years I was at secondary school.

    A certain aspect of school you hated most? The other students.

    Did you like the teaching style, or did you prefer being taught in a different manner?
    Aside from one teacher, the rest were too much textbook textbook textbook! rather than trying to get us involved.

    What recommendations would you have made to make your school experiences better? Teach the teachers to engage rather than dictate, and treat bullying seriously.

    What were the good things about your school experience? That it eventually ended.
     
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  16. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    In my school the nerds were every bit as cliquey as the jocks and cheerleaders. I felt like Charlie Brown.

    Doomed.

    I had to move onto college to find a group of people who were socially open-minded. Then later onto the workforce where I once again encountered cliques. Though after so many years I actually managed to be a part of a rather exclusive clique at work. With a lot of faking NT behavior though. Go figure. o_O

    Decades before I actually surmised at being on the spectrum.
     
  17. Dadwith2Autisticsons

    Dadwith2Autisticsons Well-Known Member

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    Same here about hating groups. For P. E I was sort of ok, as although I was the smallest, I liked sports. I was always picked last though despite being pretty good. I guess it is not cool to be a very shy person, or they prejudged based on looks.

    I used to get bumped into lockers by bigger students, or called names. I would never react back...Yes, I agree about the cafeteria thing. I wished I could eat elsewhere, alone. And I wish the teachers would have asked if everything was ok at home, or at school. Even if I did not reply, at least I would have known they cared.

    Yes, we have been homeschooling, and will continue until the school system proves they can do better, which I do not think will happen anytime soon. Yes, it is time consuming, doing things ourselves, but there would be more stress and anxiety fixing wrongs committed, and.more problems than benefits, with traditional schooling, we feel.

    In general, we feel most schools do not individualize things, and students may be taught often in a more general or less creative way. We feel they may focus on doing what is best for the masses, but not what is best for our children or those on the fringes. We feel most will deny wrongdoing, and put their systems first, but we put each of our kids first.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2017
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  18. Joel's Hear

    Joel's Hear Member

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    I agree with every single post here. I have had countless bad experiences in school. Locked in a room in preschool because I pooed myself. They wouldn't help me or let me out. My mom dropped me off everyday an hour late dressed in short, bright red gym shorts. The teachers with the hard-ass reputation were usually the nicest, while the supposed sweeties would watch me be attacked and do nothing. Others, while not evil, were a bit sexually perverse and shouldn't be teaching.

    Physical bullying from other students was fairly prevalent in lower grades. I was not diagnosed at this time, because my grandfather insisted I was normal, despite much feedback to the contrary. Sort of like Judge, bullying only stopped when I turned myself into a behemoth, lifting weights every night at my house through the winter.

    Teachers never would treat me indifferently: I wish they had. I was either HATED by some teachers or made into some sort of prodigy/pet by others, which made students hate me too or resented for he extra "attention".

    As to friends, I eventually got a few in middle school and high school, and they were decent enough people, but after school we all knew the paths laid out before us were so different we haven't spoken since.

    My personal recommendation is to never send either boy to school. I know you have your hands full with Dylan, and Aaron gets bored at home. I can recommend, however, something my parents sent me too when I was a kid (you might can find something like this): I hated, no abhorred camp, being even worse than school, but I did go most summers to a horse camp, from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm. It was for normals and autistics. It had all the bad attributes of school, but to a much lesser extent. We rode horses, went swimming in pools or springs, worked hard (sometimes), or played pool. A middle-aged woman ran it. We brought our own lunches. I don't know if something like this is an option, but I was very autistic, and I usually enjoyed it, despite my limitations.
     
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  19. Dadwith2Autisticsons

    Dadwith2Autisticsons Well-Known Member

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    One teacher I had seemed very unfit to instruct. He would say like, "Big Stuff" to describe the galaxy, or write those words on the chalkboard and underline it. Then move on to the next topic and say something corny and briefly about that.

    He was like this for most topics. It is as if he thought he was a professor or a 2nd grade teacher instead of a eigth grade teacher. So, in my notes, that is all I would write, Big Stuff. So on my test I would just state what he had said or written, too. This class seemed like it would never end.

    The only sort of friend I had was a very overweight boy. We would play chess on rare occasion. His locker was next to mine. He got embarrassed easily too, and was picked on a lot. I was not overweight, but small and timid looking. We often said hi to each other throughout the day. There were a few very quiet girls I liked to have been friends with, but I worried they would think I wanted to date. Nowhere ready for that.
     
  20. Dadwith2Autisticsons

    Dadwith2Autisticsons Well-Known Member

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    What is a Yorkie? :) Are you referring to a Yorkshire Terrier? I use to be a Yorkie from New York. Those I hung around were old there, though...I agree with that Roosevelt quote. I still am more the quiet type, but more confident now. I like making noise in other ways, through writing to bureaucrats, doctors, writing books, etc.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2017
  21. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    Yep, a Yorkshire Terrier. "Yorkies". :)

    [​IMG]
     
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  22. Dadwith2Autisticsons

    Dadwith2Autisticsons Well-Known Member

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    I am glad you werebear gained more social skills by high school, and that you fit in with that art crowd where you could be more yourself. High school was the worst for me, as although being quiet in elementary school is cute, as students age it is less acceptable.

    We are currently taking Aaron, our seven year old son, to art therapy weekly, and he has singing music lessons each week, too. He loves them both. He is doing wonderful at both. We like our children to find interests they decide on, and then pursue that.

    We know Aaron loves Science, Math, and writing, too, as he loves numbers and figuring out problems, creating science projects at home, and typing short imaginative stories. He loves going to science museums, and corn mazes, too. Whether one day he gets into a science or a math field, or art, writing, or singing professionally, it is up to him. Or if he later chooses something else. As long as he is happy, we are.

    We just know he does not see learning as homework, but fun. So, that is a good sign.
     
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