I am SO thankful that my stepson is graduating from high school! YEAH!!!
Now, most of you are probably saying, “Ok, that’s nice.” But you really don’t understand the challenge of educating an ADHD kid with Asperger’s Syndrome! [For those of you who may not know – Asperger’s Syndrome is a form of autism]
When I married my husband 6 years ago, Bubba (yes, we ARE in Texas) was struggling in junior high. He was in regular classrooms for some subjects, but still mostly in special education classes.
Bubba had been living with his mother when he came to live with us for his 8th grade year. He was placed into regular classes for ALL his subjects that became TORTURE!!! The school was claiming that he had accommodations, BUT we literally spent from 4pm to 8pm doing homework every night! I began finding notes and drawings of him drowning and being chased by sharks.
Alarmed, we called a meeting with the school’s special education committee. The committee refused to place him back into any special education classes claiming that he had enough accommodations stating that “he’s just lazy.” They decided that he would have mandatory tutorials after school every day. (They wanted to take the pressure of homework off of me and my husband.) And do absolutely NOTHING for our son!
Two weeks later, we decided that since we were teaching his school work to him at home anyway, we might as well withdraw him and homeschool him. This was a tough decision considering my husband taught at Bubba’s school.
Even though we faced skepticism, even among family, it was the BEST decision we could have ever made for our son! For our family!
For two years, Bubba flourished with his education. He finally learned to divide. He learned how to cook macaroni and cheese and other dishes. He learned how to wash his own clothes. History was fun! Civil War re-enactments are the best learning tools!. He joined 4-H and began enjoying photography. He entered the county science fair and won $75 his first year.
However, in dealing with infertility, I made the decision to return to work 3 years ago. We enrolled him in the private school associated with our new church home; however, cliques are cliques are cliques no matter what high school it is, even if it does teach conservative Christian values. Bubba’s social challenges, probably due to his Asperger’s Syndrome, began causing a marked change and he began showing signs of anti-social behavior. Additionally, the school was unaccredited and did not know how to deal with kids with special education needs.
With all of the behavior and academic struggles, for this school year, we decided to enroll him in the public high school where my husband teaches.
This senior year has been better, but getting him to do his homework has still been a struggle. Thankfully, the school has a website that allows parents to monitor grades and missed assignments. Finally, we could see the light at the end of the tunnel. However, his interest in Welding has waned this semester and we’ve even been sweating whether or not he was going to graduate until last Friday when he passed his Welding final with a 75.