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    New to Aspergers & Autism
    TheWildWest posted:
    My 9 year old has just been evaluated & is somewhere in the neighborhood of Aspergers. During the evaluation I was mortified by my son's behavior but the doctor said that what I was seeing was sensory, not bad behavior. I work with special needs children as a one on one aid but still a bit baffled with my own son. He has always been a tough kid to manage & over the past few years gotten progressively worse, especially in school. I moved him this year(3rd grade) to a charter school due to smaller class sizes & needing a fresh start. The staff are so positive with him & he is doing better but teachers are still working so hard. I feel so bad for the staff & my son who is trying so hard to improve. The doctor said his report can get him an IEP & an aid. I'm all for the IEP but doubtful an aid will be possible due to all of the chaos with school budgets cuts(I live in AZ). I've heard a lot about young kids & Austism but would love to hear from parents who have school age children.
    PMNoble1 responded:

    My son is now 6 and has PDD-NOS (Austism) and has been in ABA therapy , speech therapy, and occupational therapy since he was diagnosed at age 2 1/2. The acroynyms can be overwhelming to say the least and no one is going to be a better advocate for your son than you. Don't be put off by the school budget cuts. Yes, the school will try to tell you an aid may not be in the budget, guess what, they are required by the Govt to supply special ed aids to kids who need them based on their IEP. The good news is that the law is on your side, but it's up to you to push the issue if the school tries to back out of its obligation. I give educators a ton of credit for what they do, but the don't know the law when it comes to special ed kids. They are trained to control budgets, manage student/teacher ratios etc , so there are times you are going to have to fight to get what your son is entitled to under the law.

    I appologize if you know some of this already with regard to what kids on the spectrum need. Many of the kids are just fine academically, many often times are way ahead of their peers. Their issues are social integration, and sensory processing. My son for example, could count to 100 when he was 4, started reading spontaneously at 5, and now can tell you more about sea life than many high school biology teachers! What he can't do is sit an play with another kid his age without difficulty. He cannot carry on a conversation with his peers in class because he can't focus on the interpersonal skills needed to do so. He is in a public school setting with speech therapy assistance and has several therapies outside of school as well. He is doing tremendously well, but at a price ( all worth it believe me!)

    The thing is with ASD is that all kids are different. There is no one treatment that fits all of them. You are going to have to try different things and have an open mind to some therapies that can seem a little outside the box.

    For example, one of the therapies that worked really well for my son is called "Listening Therapy". It involves typically play activities but the kids wear headphones that play music that has sounds in tonal ranges known to stimulate certain parts of the brain. I was skeptical ( I usually am) but he responded really well to it. I didn't think they would even be able to get the headphones on him in the first place but he loved it.

    The point is, the therapies were for him, not me; so I had to put my skepticism in the closet because my perspective was "This wouldn't work for me", well of course it wouldn't I don't have Autism so how could I know if it would help.

    Well, I've rambled on a bit but I hope some of the comments were helpful. Best of luck and never give up!!!
    pmw68 responded:
    If you have the committment for an aid on the IEP, it is up to the district to provide the aid. As an aid yourself, just make sure they are trained in special education. All aids are not equal, especially to a child with sensory overstimulation. Also, check with the department of education (special education) to see if you can get a hold of the budget allotments. This is really NOT your problem, but if that ever comes into play while talking to administration, it is always best to know your facts. I live in CT and a recent article suggested that the average school system spends about $10,000 per pupil, but that does not mean that is all the budget will spend. If you don't ask (or require), the school won't act. Again in CT, the state has a grant that will cover anything above $45,000 per pupil. That means there is money, but you (the parent) needs to advocate for it.

    If your son needs an aid for educational progression, then the state is required to provide that for you. Just make sure the aid is one on one and is not being utilized in other ways to save money. Sometimes occasional observations may help keep the school "honest".

    Please know that the schools are not bad, but they are a business and need to count pennies. Just make sure those pennies aren't being counted at the expense of your child.

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