Sunday, October 7, 2007
Teaching Tommy: The Journey Begins
We moved from Philadelphia to Cape Cod this summer. We wanted to move; we wanted to live near the sea; we wanted a different life. But the central reason for the move was this: a better place to homeschool our older child, our son, Tom.
Tom is now 11 years old. When he was three, he was diagnosed with "pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified" (PDD-NOS). Otherwise known as high functioning autism. So from the time he was three (actually younger), Tom has been labelled, slotted, pigeon-holed and "specially educated."
Now, Tom is being homeschooled.
Up until now, school has been a bit of a disaster for Tommy. Booted from daycare, kicked out of preschool, and required to have a 1:1 aide just to be included with "typical" 5 year olds at a private preschool (our third, and NOT our first choice), you'd think he was a walking disaster area.
He's not. In fact, he's a delightful kid - bright, verbal, funny, creative. But from his "public record," you'd never know it.
His first "boot" out the door was for standing in front of a mirror with objects in his two hands- and saying too little. The second was for throwing a sweater at a teacher (at age 3). By the time he entered kindergarten, we had already been through two IEP's - as well as several 1:1 aides and a slew of therapists. By the time he finished third grade, he was already more than a year behind his peers - which everyone seemed to think was perfectly reasonable.
It was then we decided to homeschool.
Now, two years later, we've finally worked out the details and gotten started. It's October, and already we know we made the right choice! But what will work - what won't - and why - will be the subject of this blog.