Homeschooling with disabilities


#1

Hello there! I am wondering if there are any others out there who are homeschooling their children with disabilities (any kind). My son has Tourette Syndrome, ADHD and is on the spectrum. He is doing so much better with 1 on 1 instruction than at school. However, the biggest struggle is to keep him focused. I know it is tough for most children to stay focused, but with his conditions, it seems to be even tougher.
I am currently trying a positive point system where he gets a point for every class he starts and finishes while remaining focused. when he gets X amount of points, he either gets a movie and dinner with me or something else. while it works, I would also like to make sure he is still doing this because it is the right thing to do, not just to get something out of it, ya know?
Anyone else with special needs? What are your tips/tricks/advice?
I’m really wanting to connect with other mamas that homeschool :slight_smile:


#2

My daughter has attention issues as well. We try to make sure that she gets up and moves regularly, which she has learned to regulate herself when she feels the urge to move and she is working independently, then she comes back and can focus better. It helps her when she is listening to material being read to her to have something to fidget with, she really likes the Tangle Jr. series and the fidget cubes, they are helpful to her but can be distracting to siblings without attention issues so she has to use them up off the table where they aren’t loud. This is also why we don’t have any fidget spinners. She also learned a technique called Bal-A-Visics through an Occupational Therapist at our Co-op that is designed to create brain breaks with specific movement exercises that improve hand eye coordination and balance. These exercises are also helpful to her. We have friends with attention issues who have successfully used a rubberband underneath the chair or one of the balance chair things. Basically these kids sometimes need extra stimulation in order for their brains to be able to focus, which again can be distracting to those who don’t need it (so it may be challenging for you or others in the learning environment). My daughter also really likes music and learns it easily, so we have had success with finding musical YouTube videos that teach various facts (math facts, books of the Bible, state capitals, etc.), then she watches the videos, memorizes the songs and then knows the information too, but it can cause problems when her sisters find her singing the song to recall the information annoying. I find that strategies that use multiple senses or parts of the brain and capitalize on strengths have been most successful for us. She’s an auditory learner so music works for her. If you have a more kinesthetic learner, actions might be helpful for memorization for example.


#3

Thank you! We use indoor AND outdoor trampolines to help with his wiggles. He also has some fidget toys he uses. The school OT has recommended a giant rubber band for the chair, which we may incorporate :slight_smile:
I also like that most days we are done within 4 hours, which seems to be beneficial to him. Some days we don’t get a ton finished, but I know he is learning, and that is a step forward to me. I feel for my daughters who come home from an 8 hour school day and still have homework.


#4

My son also has ADD, working memory, and executive functioning issues. He will be 10 next week. We do a token economy also. Each completed assignment done with good focus and minimal redirection gets a button. Buttons are turned in for privileges. Privileges are earned through schoolwork. Things like time with friends, PlayStation time, etc. I also bought him a timer clock that he keeps on his desk (it shows the time when not timing). When he is struggling, we set the timer for 30 or 60 minutes, depending on the subject. He works much better as he can see how much time he has for something. This makes the amount of time he takes on something more concrete rather distraction wasting the entire day. Once the buzzer rings, he sets that work aside and moves on. This keeps him from getting so frustrated with one subject, he gets more accomplished, and he can come back to what he didn’t finish later when he has finished everything else. On days we use this, he will get most of his work done by lunch. Without it, he will drag on late into the afternoon. We also take moving breaks. Sometimes initiated by him, other times by me. He will run around outside, do jumping jacks, push ups, etc. Anything that gets him active to release some energy, then he get himself back to work. Hope that helps!!


#5

I use the same sort of thing with my son - when he does an assignment respectfully and with little disruption, he gets a point. Once he gets so many, he gets a small treat. Then they add up toward bigger ones as well, such as dinner and movie night with mom. It works pretty well.
The timer is an idea I’d love to try! Thanks :slight_smile:


#6

I homeshcool my son who has Autism.