Mixed feelings? Definitely. Maybe our children with special needs are not the ones who are most in need of learning social skills. Compassion, tolerance, understanding and forgiveness are some that seem sadly lacking in their peers.
amen to that, Father of Four. Exile the bullies to a special school, and the mildly autistic children wouldn't need to seek refuge elsewhere.
I like it! Maybe I'll talk to the education department about that on Monday. I will be talking to some other parents this weekend so why stop there? Totally exasperated!
... talking to other parents about how their sons are behaving, that is.
Unfortunately, the above will never happen, nice as it would be!! I lay awake at night and worry about this very issue. My oldest began middle school this year. He has ADHD but is smart, athletic, has lots of friends and is generally well-liked. Still, he has had a rough start as have some of his very with it, smart, socially savvy friends. (It would be easy to blame it all on his ADHD making it difficult for him with all the changing classes, all the new kids, all the new responsibiilities, but he is not the only one having growing pains since starting middle school!!) I can't imagine how Alec will navigate such a tricky social environment where teasing can happen simply becuase you are a 6th grader, never mind a 6th grader with ASD. I have stated there isn't much of a private school option here - and there isn't in our county. But we are not far from Herndon, where one of those schools is located. Let's just say I will keep this in the back of my mind. Thanks for posting this Laura!
Amen to father of four.Laura, this is something that's not on my radar yet. I'm curious to hear your mixed feelings on teaching social skills.
For three of our children school is not an issue. It's easy for them (mostly). Not so for our eldest son. The things that make a difference: 1. a principal who is engaged; 2. a committed, caring teacher; and 3. class mates who are good role models. I look for those things now. It works best when we advocate for him.
I second the motion to hear more about your mixed feelings. I'm also just not there yet, but I find myself wondering, what ARE social skills? I mean what do we mean by that? I have read elsewhere that there is a common misperception that "socialization" occurs best with peers in a school setting, but that the studies belie that, by the way. The material I was reading may have been biased, but I thought the reasoning seemed sound: namely, that children really do learn best from adults and we're wired that way. Children learn what is modeled for them, and if they are placed in a peer environment, well what gets modeled for them is the behavior of a bunch of other children who also have no social skills. The claim is that a well educated home schooled child is actually better "socialized" because he or she learns manners etc. from mature adults, and models adult behavior. I have to say, that really made sense to me. When I was growing up, school was CRAZY. I mean the kids were crazy. And how many films are there out there that are all about nothing but cruel cliques of adolescent girls? I'm thankful my boys are not yet 3 and I still have time to try to figure out how to do this, but I have some serious reservations about schooling. And "social skills."
by popular demand, I shared some thoughts on socializing our kids. Nyx, I hear you. I don't per se disagree with homeschooling if it's for the right reason.
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