Good morning. I pray your week is going very well.
I have been asked this question many times. I don’t always get offended, although sometimes I do. Chloe is a smart girl and I’m not just saying that because I am her mother. Even if she was totally non verbal I would still teach her as much as she could understand or wanted to learn. She is almost 9 years old and would be in 3rd grade in the public school system. Currently Chloe is learning at a Kindergarten to 1st grade level in most areas. She does read, as I have mentioned, closer to her age level.
There is a difference between age level and developmental level. Those of you with children on the spectrum know what I mean. Chloe’s developmental level varies depending on the area of development. Her lowest areas are speech and social skills. She is 3 yrs and under on those. I am baffled how she has such a photographic memory in one area, but can’t seem to speak to other children or answer a simple question from us.
Whenever I am stressed about her learning someone will say “Does she really need math or spelling when she will always be home with you”? Well even is she is at home with us I want her to know how to read, write and do basic math skills. That way she can sit and read a book, draw and write her friends and understand how much something is or can count how many things she needs. No child should just be left alone and not given skills. Some children with Autism go to a special school where they focus on more life skills first and then work in the academic skills. That’s great too! If we are every able to afford that option I would love Chloe to go a few hours a day to ABA. I am teaching her as much as I can and I think she has made a lot of improvement this year.
When Chloe is in a mood or lacks sleep she doesn’t want to do academics. Do I force her? Depends on how severe the mood is. If she hasn’t slept I do not make her do learning time. I may read with her or we watch a video about animals. That why I love Unschooling. There are so many ways to learn things, even on bad days. I always want to try to teach her as much as I can. I will never say “Oh she is autistic and she probably can’t do math or read”. She lets me know if I am pushing or trying to teach her something she doesn’t understand. I may be doing Kindergarten work with her whole life and if so that’s what it will be. I will not give up!
Chloe’s speech has improved as far as how many words she can say, but we still have very little conversations and she still speaks in scripting, echolalia and sometimes its very robotic. Will I stop working with her? No I will keep on because you never know when a breakthrough will happen. We were told she would never read or be able to understand most concepts in life. She was reading by 6 years of age and is slowly understanding so many things. We passed a fire truck one day and Chloe said “Go put out fires”! She learned that because every time I see one I say “Oh no there must be a fire, they will put it out”. I teach her like I would if she was much younger, but she gets it and that’s why I will never stop teaching her.
Don’t let anyone tell you that your child can’t learn. You just have to figure out how they learn and go from there.
Thanks for stopping by. Hi to all of my new followers. I’m so thankful for you.
Have a wonderful and blessed day!