This week has been intense to say the least. There's been a lot of stress from a combination of work, school and Jacob's ongoing behaviour issues. And did I mention that Jacob came down with a terrible cold? This week Jacob earned 4 out of 8 stickers for his reward calendar. But that's all about to change.
Last week, we had a school meeting with some of the school staff that works with Jacob, and the ASD resource team. Then this week, I had a meeting with the school SERT and principal. We discussed Jacob's education and how to maybe tweak it to better help Jacob. And what we decided was interesting to say the least.
Firstly, Jacob's day to day classroom activities are going to change. Instead of spending the whole day in class receiving instructions on when to start and stop certain subjects, he will now be given some work first, then he'll go to a quiet place with his EA. This will give him the opportunity to work on things at his own pace. And if he finishes an assignment great, but if he doesn't, no harm no foul.
Secondly, Jacob's reward calendar will no longer be for school performance. It will now be for social engagement and activities. We felt that when Jacob brings school home with him, that it doesn't allow a time for Jacob to relax mentally. Jacob's inability to "turn off" his school mindset may create a more stressful school environment. And rewarding him for school performance should only be in school. And using his after school activities as a reward platform may be more beneficial.
Thirdly, and this is the big one, Jacob will no longer be doing homework of any kind. We felt that his school day is way too long, especially when you factor in homework. Jacob gets up at 7AM and we immediately start talking about school, trying to get Jacob to focus on being a student. Then he's in school until 3PM. After school, he'll have a bite to eat, then do his homework which often takes to after 4PM. That's a total of 9 hours of having a school mindset, which is way too much for a kid like Jacob.
This pattern is evident in many adult lives too. Our work day is often 8 hours. But when you factor in commuting to and from work, plus and work done at home, our work day often grows by up to 50%. This is very hard for us to deal with, and it must be even harder for kids with an ASD.
So hopefully things will improve with these changes. But of course, Jacob is now very sick and missed school on Friday. I guess we'll have to take a fresh run at things on Monday, as long as Jacob's feeling better. It may take a few weeks to get him going, but we pray, that these changes will make things better. And even if things at school only improve slightly, we'll take it.
WELCOME TO JIM'S AUTISM BLOG
Hi everyone and thanks for visiting our blog. My wife and I created this blog to chronicle our experience while raising a son with Asperger's syndrome. Since our son was diagnosed with an ASD at age 5, we've had a lot of questions. Lucky for us we have a great support network in place. And our blog gives us an opportunity to share what we've learned with our readers. We hope you find our blog informative and interesting. Thanks again for visiting.
"It seems that for success in science and art, a dash of autism is essential." Dr Hans Asperger 1906-1980