Monday, May 10, 2010

How do you help a child with Special Needs?

I really hate this time of year... It's IEP season. For those who do not know what this is an IEP is what is known as an Individual Education Plan. This is a step taken when the schools perform a Multi Factor Evaluation on/for a child to find out if there are any educational delays.

Many of my readers know that I have a child on the Asperger Syndrome range. It's basically a high functioning autism, though until the new diagnostic book comes out (from what I have read anyways) Asperger is kind of on a range of it's own and right now not like a child that is located on the Autism Spectrum. There are many types of Autism, and not one child is alike on this spectrum.

My son is in 7th grade; soon to be moving to 8th. The IEP team has met at the school to come up with his new IEP for the 8th grade year. I always get all torn up when it gets to this time in the year because yes you want your son to excel; yes you want to see him be able to do the work and yes you want to see good grades... but exactly how much help do you try to get him?

My problem is that I am a hover parent with my son. I know of his problems he deals with and I have tried to help him with these problems. I now look back and wonder how much of the help he has received- both here at home and school- has hindered his abilities. I am trying to not implement so much that he expects the help all the time and that he does not rely on that help. He needs to learn how to do things on his own. So how and when do you draw the line? How do you help loosen the apron strings so that he is learning responsibility and also supporting his needs? I really think there is a fine line here.

My son is scheduled to graduate in 5 years... I am afraid that if I don't start implementing now that he is responsible for what he needs, how he deals with people, try to work on executive functioning skills, and his social interactions how will he EVER learn? It's a fine line, and it's a line that needs to be gently walked. This is not something I take lightly because it's my son's life and I want him to grow up and I want the best life that he can possibly have.

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