Home Tutoring Not Home Schooling
Home Tutoring, not to be confused with Home Schooling, are completely different scenarios. We have been home tutoring our daughter long before she began “full time” school and continue to do so. But as we have recently found out DECS is tightening up on students that do not attend school five days a week, however there is a system of exemption which can be applied for, more on that to come soon. Click here for update on exemptions.
Early Intervention is The Key
From the very beginning, even before Isa was diagnosed and we thought she just had a speech problem, we were aware of the concept of early intervention and that seems to be the way forward for many developmental problems.
We found an excellent special early learning centre – The Briars, unfortunately after Isa turned 5 she had to leave, this centre gave her an excellent start, she thoroughly enjoyed going there and the staff were excellent, they loved her and she loved them back, and learning was a breeze for her in such a friendly and loving environment.
Training The Trainer
The next big step was when Liz went to the Option Institute in America to do the start up program. There they taught her the concepts of the SON-RISE program and the basics of home schooling/tutoring. When she got back we started to put into action what she had learned, we built a special therapy room where she does her learning, and with the help of volunteers, specially trained therapists, the MINDA association and other support groups, Isa is moving ahead in leaps and bounds. Other activities which she also has participated in and loves doing are:
- Swimming – RAPID Swim, Gators swimming, WAPID swim and school swimming lessons
- Music therapy – she now loves listening to music at home and in the car as well.
- SAMONAS auditory therapy.
- Kinder gym – when she was a tot.
- Playgroups – quite a few over the years.
- Occupational therapy – professional and at school.
- Speech therapy – professional and at school.
- Visits to shopping centres, and many other everyday activities.
- Gepps Cross Velodrome cycling for disabled program.
- Horse Riding for Disabled program
- Tennis SA tennis for tuition for persons with special needs.
- Premier Reading challenge – has won awards and has read up to 180 books in 2009 alone!
Ever since Isy began “full time” school she has only attended four days a week, the one day off from school she is home tutored with a variety of tutors including, Liz, University students studying – (Psychology, Occupational therapy, Speech therapy and Disability studies), ABA trained therapists, and dad – (mainly through providing computer based tutoring like Powerpoint flash cards with sound etc).
Mental and Physical Training For Children With Autism
Overall, Isy gets quite a thorough, well balanced, mental and physical workout and she is certainly showing the results. Her reading and comprehension skills are excellent. Right now we are concentrating on her social skills and she attends or has attended programs to help develop her social skills such as:
- I Modelling Program.
- Girl Guides group
- YMCA sharing the fun
- Port Adelaide Fitness program.
- Stop Think Do. Program by Lindy Petersen
- Phys kids, physical education for kids.
- Interacting with other kids her age including cousins and friends.
Social Interaction and the ASD Child
These are just some of the social skills strategies that Isy has been or will be tackling soon.
It is extremely important that children with ASD are exposed to social interaction from an early stage. In most cases children with Autism can be difficult to introduce into social behaviors and in particular to changes in their routines, however we have found that by taking the right approach it can be achieved quite successfully.
Liz has developed a method of using well prepared visual and written social stories to prepare Isy for new and different changes to her schedule and it works a treat. More on that to come in the next post..
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