lescont01

Need advice

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lescont01

This is our first year homeschooling and we will be doing the level d+e for my daughter who will be in 6th and my son in 5th. My son is high functioning asd and adhd combined type. He reads almost at his grade level and his spelling is terrific (he could spell before he could talk) and his math is advanced. The problems that I have with him are his comprehension especially with literature, writing (composition and sloppy handwriting) and retention. He has a very hard time grasping concepts and themes in lit, recognizing traits in characters, sequencing stories and retaining the information of what he has read. With fact based non fiction stuff it is easier for him. With writing he cannot seem to get a handle on sentence or paragraph structure or how to put together a cohesive piece of writing even when it's just a couple of sentences to answer a question. Even answering comprehension questions orally is not working because he is unable to grasp the content that is being taught. 

So finally my question is does anybody have any tips or trick any advice at all on how I can help my son? 

One of the reasons I chose sonlight is because it is so literature heavy. I am hoping that with all the exposure to the different literature something will break through, but I realize that it will take more than just exposure I am just unsure of where to start.

TIA for any help and sorry I went on forever.

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Mazurka

It might be a good idea to plan on doing a bit of the work alongside him.  Talk about things, and then write them down if appropriate.  Maybe ask him to fill in some small part on his own.   Give him time -- these skills take a long time to develop.  Just work on them regularly.  

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R. A. Olson

I'm no expert, but it seems that with ASD, it would be far more important to use the reading assignments to grow his ability to empathize and understand other's emotions than to remember the specifics of history or other subjects. With so much reading (with or without "profitable" discussion), I think it would begin to lay a foundation of understanding that would help all life long.

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lescont01
8 minutes ago, R. A. Olson said:

to grow his ability to empathize and understand other's emotions

This is what I am trying to do. To get him to understand the underlying issues in literature, which almost always has to do with characters traits, emotions, and reactions. I am just unsure on how to go about this. For me it was always just a natural understanding of these things I dont ever remember actually having to be taught and so I dont know how to teach him. If he is asked point blank for example those kids were calling that boy names how do you think that makes him feel? He will most likely answer sad. But it is more because he knows that is the "right" answer, not because he really understands. And if you continue asking more complex questions that may have been in the book but not spelled out directly he will be completely unable to answer. This is the same thing he struggles with in real life also which is one of the reasons we had to pull him from public school. If things are not said directly and to the point he will not understand. Like if the kids are being mean and excluding him and making fun behind his back he does not understand that these kids dont want to play with him and he will continue to try to engage, unless they say directly to him we dont want you to play go away. And when he is playing with some one and they make a joke he does not understand it's a joke. He can't pick up on nuances. I realize that this is because of his autism and he might never be able to do these things but I still need to try to get him to recognize these things. I think if I can get him to understand character traits, sequences of events, and themes in lit it will actually help him to be able to recognize these things in real life too.

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R. A. Olson
On 7/10/2018 at 9:55 AM, lescont01 said:

I realize that this is because of his autism and he might never be able to do these things but I still need to try to get him to recognize these things. I think if I can get him to understand character traits, sequences of events, and themes in lit it will actually help him to be able to recognize these things in real life too.

Yes, I think you're right. And I think simply enjoying story after story, even with few articulated observations will still build those qualities over time.

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OhElizabeth
On July 10, 2018 at 11:55 AM, lescont01 said:

I realize that this is because of his autism and he might never be able to do these things but I still need to try to get him to recognize these things.

Most of what you're describing are language deficits due to his ASD. A skilled SLP can work on them, or you can buy materials and do it yourself. With my ds I've used

http://www.linguisystems.com/products/product/search?series=27  books from the Spotlight series

http://www.linguisystems.com/products/product/search?series=13  books from the SPARC series

https://www.ebay.com/p/100-Vocabulary-Intermediate-by-Rhonda-Zacker-and-Vicki-Rothstein-1997-Paperback/119039397  I used the primary level book of this, but you would use the intermediate probably

https://mindwingconcepts.com  materials from here for narrative language, the critical thinking triangle, etc. They have free webinars, etc., lots you can learn for free.

I particularly like https://mindwingconcepts.com/blogs/news/36160257-sgm-summer-study-series  where they show how to break down the 6 universal emotions into words with more gradation and nuance. 

https://www.weareteachers.com/15-must-have-picture-books-for-teaching-social-emotional-skills/  This list of books for discussing emotions is AMAZING. Maybe they'll be too young for your ds, dunno. My ds is turning 10 soon, and they fit him really well.

I'd also suggest you get the TNL (test of narrative language) run by an SLP, because odds are his receptive language is *not* as high as you think. When he's not replying and not interacting, it's very possibly because he doesn't understand. We finally ran the TNL on my ds this spring and the results blew my mind. That and the SPELT, which showed he had terrible grammar comprehension. He had done heavy scripting and didn't actually understand language at the word level, on the phrase/sentence/paragraph level. So getting thorough testing done (something more detailed than the CELF or CASL) can help you figure out where to target your efforts. 

There's also a book on the Verbal Behavior Approach by Greene, and not to bore you too much, but the jist is the narratives start happening in developmental step 20, where the other stuff is the earlier stuff you were talking about (synonyms, describing, etc. etc.). So with my ds, what has happened is working on language has naturally caused him to start narrating his play and life more. He now comments on what we read together, which he never did before. 

I think if you want him to learn from the material and not just memorize whole chunks of beautiful language that he doesn't comprehend, you're going to have to drop the comprehension level. Either that or bump his comprehension really fast. You might like the new history readers from Gander Publishing. http://ganderpublishing.com/content/new-additions.asp  They're the Imagine That series for history, but they also have readers for science. The history seems really thorough, like it would make a great spine. I'm looking forward to trying it.

 

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