Exceptional Gains and a Step Backwards

My son Dakota has High Functioning Autism. Most of you who follow me already know that. This year I decided to homeschool my son considering how stressed he was at school. Yes the school did try to be creative and they really did try to accomodate him. However it just wasn’t enough to rid the stress and anxiety of being at school.

I have been really proud of Dakota as I have noticed a lot of exceptional gains he has made since we started homeschooling. One of them is in spelling. Last year he was given 5 words and he could never spell those 5 words. This year he gets 10 words and is on a second grade level and by the end of the week can spell them all. I am really proud of him for that. Math he is on a 2nd grade level at the moment. However we are stuck on simple subtraction. I thought we should move on to the double digits for addition and subtraction but since he hasn’t mastered the subtraction I went and bought him a book on subtraction and subtraction bingo. He was so excited when he saw the subtraction bingo. He says we did this in school and I like it. So I was happy. He has to use a chart with subtraction. With the addition he uses touch point and his answers have been right so we shall see.

Now in Language I had to drop down to a first grade level because he wasn’t making connections. For example with the sentences he knows there is a capital letter and a period at the end but he doesn’t get how to put them in. So to build his confidence I dropped a level and figured we would take it slow. It really built his confidence and so far he is able to read the sentences and put words in them to make them complete.

Science we have been watching the Disneynature videos but are going back to finish up our bats unit. In Social Studies we are still working on Ancient Egypt. He is going to be making an amulet. So this is really going to be fun today.

Now for the step backwards, I noticed that his fine motor skills are regressing. It’s not him acting out they just are regressing. My son has always had fine motor issues especially when it came to writing. When he writes he writes HUGE. When we did the Bats at Sunset art project he had a really hard time just gripping the sponges to dab the paper with paint. So it’s back to the Doctor for a referal for OT. Hopefully he will be approved for that as he really needs it.

We are going to work on a few of these to build his fine motor:

  • coloring, painting and writing (however I am still going to try to get him used to typing so I will be looking for a typing program)
  • putting small objects together
  • puzzles
  • scissors
  • pinching objects between his fingers

Your probably thinking why. Well all these strengthen the muscles for him to be able to function with fine motor.

Along with all these gains he not as stressed so I noticed him being more social. Which is a plus as it’s really hard for him to be social. So overall I am really happy with all the gains and even the step backwards is OK because we can work on it and go forward.

24 Responses to “Exceptional Gains and a Step Backwards”

  • 1
    Lynn says:

    Sounds like you have a great homeschooling program. I’m not homeschooling…yet. I have a feeling that I will be joining you someday. Thanks for stopping my blog and setting up this awesome blog hop! I don’t think that your follow “took” on my blog, but that happens sometimes. Following you now!
    Lynn´s last blog post ..Enter Sandman- Part III- Enter Already!

    admin Reply:

    It did take but it put it in my browser for some reason. I want it to go to my google reader so I have to figure out why that didn’t take right. 🙂 I know there will be times we go backwards with homeschooling. We have changed curriculum already on somethings but I am so glad I went this route. I dreaded it as we were down this road before but now he is cooperating and excelling which has been so awesome so far.

  • 2
    Lynn says:

    Ok, now my follow isn’t showing on yours..what is wrong with Google Friend Connect today??? Let me know if you don’t see it and I will try again….
    Lynn´s last blog post ..Enter Sandman- Part III- Enter Already!

    admin Reply:

    I don’t see it 🙁 But mine finally took now and I am following you 🙂

  • 3
    Thom says:

    Good for Dakota and the progress and I like your attitude about the step back. The overall Stacie seems to be working and that homeschooling is the ticket I think. You are doing a super job and I’m very proud of you and I know I’m not the only one 🙂 Keep us posted 🙂
    Thom´s last blog post ..Thursday Theme Song 10

    admin Reply:

    Thanks Thom. It’s something that Dakota has struggled with and it will eventually get better in time we just got to keep working at it. It just took me a bit to notice. I am so thrilled with how he has been doing so well. I am so proud of him.

  • 4
    Marianna says:

    Came from the Special Needs blog hop. Looks like Dakota’s doing great. A suggestion for working on fine motor skills while doing math, use sprinkles.
    Marianna´s last blog post ..Autism is not an excuse

    admin Reply:

    Thank you for the suggestion Marianna. I do believe we have those here. Will give that a whirl. Thanks for stopping by from the blog hop 🙂

  • 5
    blueviolet says:

    I’ll bet with homeschooling, you are so much more aware of all the little changes and steps forward and back. It’s great that you’ll be able to react and make changes as needed because of it!
    blueviolet´s last blog post ..I Need to Stay Inside

    admin Reply:

    I am still learning a lot of things of what works and doesn’t work for him yet. I forgot to say that he is a more visual type of learner along with hands on. Your right we can go forward and back at his pace which is awesome. I am just so proud of him.

  • 6
    Michele says:

    Thanks for visiting me! I’m on the special needs blog hop (love that idea!).

    Congratulations on becoming a hs’ing mom – sounds like your son is doing so well!

    I’ve also had to step back a bit, with my aspie dd. It’s helping her confidence as well.

    Blessings, Michele
    Michele´s last blog post ..First Fall Farm Trip

    admin Reply:

    You are more then welcome. It’s nice to meet other blogger who blog about special needs. My son is doing very well. I am so proud of him. Sometimes we do have to step back a bit. I love seeing his confidence go up makes me feel like we have a little breakthrough. We are so glad you joined us in the Special Needs Blog Hop.

  • 7
    Michele says:

    Oh, forgot to mention I have you on my blog list now as well.

    Thanks again!
    Michele´s last blog post ..First Fall Farm Trip

    admin Reply:

    Thank you Michele 🙂

  • 8
    Amy says:

    Can I say you are an amazing Mom. He is learning and that is great. Sorry to hear about the school stuff. Have a great day.

    admin Reply:

    Thank you Amy. He is learning smoothly again. The special ed teacher from school that I talk to said don’t be surprised if things start coming out all of a sudden and she was right. He isn’t holding anything back. Which makes me so proud.

  • 9
    Tammy says:

    He could be regressing in the one area because he is making progress in another. If that is the case, he should come back up soon. My little one tends to regress in one area, while progressing in another.
    Tammy´s last blog post ..Special Needs Blog Hop

    admin Reply:

    That could be Tammy I never thought about that. However he has struggled with fine motor for a very long time. The writing was always the hardest thing for him. Maybe it hasn’t gotten worse and I just started to notice. I always knew he needed more sensory input and fine motor work. Just really hard to get OT on the waiver as they limit you because they don’t like paying for it. But now that the insurance companies were mandated to cover autism I might be able to get the OT for a lot longer then we were getting. Well wishful thinking anyway.

  • 10
    Buy Scentsy says:

    I made the difficult decision to home school a few years back, until I found a school more suitable to my daughters needs. But while we were home schooling, it was the most difficult, yet rewarding jobs I have ever had. I learned so much, right along with her and the bond between us was incredible. I cried when I took her back to school, but when you find the right fit its worth it. Keep up the great work Mom!

    admin Reply:

    You are right when you find the right fit it’s worth it. It was a really hard decision to make. I really liked the fact that the school was cooperating but I didn’t want to burden Dakota with all the stress he was carrying. I didn’t think it was fair to him. I was and still will always be worried about his education so that was why I made the choice. I am glad I did.

  • 11
    Mrs.Mayhem says:

    I’m so impressed by mothers who homeschool. No one knows your son like you do, and no one cares as much as you if he grasps the schoolwork. It sounds as though you are doing an amazing job of preparing the subjects and tackling the things he needs to learn.

    admin Reply:

    Thank you. I always knew he struggled and then there were things I know he knows but didn’t want to let out for some reason. I am so amazed at how he is coming along. I am really glad I went with this decision. His therapy is also going to start next week so that is a plus.

  • 12
    Alysia says:

    Hi! Here from the blog hop as well – what a terrific idea!! Thank you!
    I was going to say what Tammy said – I see with both my boys that when they are progressing in one area, something seems to take a giant step backwards (in my house it’s usually sleep related).
    I’m impressed by what you’re doing. You clearly understand your son and are doing an amazing job. Thanks for sharing.
    Alysia´s last blog post ..Motherless Child

    admin Reply:

    Tammy and I were very happy to host the blog hop. It has been a lot of fun meeting new bloggers. My son lately has been going to sleep later and later each night. Which has been hard as my daughter then tries to stay up later and later. The last week she has been getting up at 2 AM just screaming. Thinking she maybe teething as that’s what she use to do when she was teething. Thank you for your nice comments. It’s been a roller coaster but I wouldn’t change it for the world.

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