Year 6(11 Posts)
My DS is in Y6. He has a diagnosis of ASD but has no help as he is unstatemented.
We REALLY struggle to get him to do any homework. It causes so much stress at home as he has complete meltdowns over it.
He is perfectly capable of doing it but coupled with the fact that "school work should be done in school" and the fact he is lazy he has to be forced to do it.
He starts senior school (mainstream) in September and I am wondering if it is now time to start backing off from constantly being on his case about completing it.
I really don't want him to get into trouble at school but if I keep forcing him to do it (and so experiencing the fall out) then am I just stopping him learning a huge life skill too?
In my ideal world he would realise that not competing his homework means it has to be done in detention, which will make him motivated enough to complete it at home.
Someone please come and wave their magic wand and make him want to complete it!
Advise and thoughts please.
I sympathise. It must be incredibly stressful for you.
basically, in 7 months time your DS will be at secondary school where he will be expected to take responsibility for his own learning. If he doesn't do his homework there, the school will subject him to their punishment regime either ceaselessly, or half-heartedly (depending upon the sort of school).
Then either that will work or it won't and if it doesn't then your son will be making a decision that will make his life a lot harder.
As his mum that must be incredibly difficult to contemplate and in your shoes I woukd be desperate to get on top of it.. It looks like what you have been doing so far isn't working with your son. Is there a different approach you could take e.g punishment or offering rewards or trying to make him feel that he has a say?
ime they get less homework in y7 than they did in y6.
And ime, you can't make the horse drink no matter how pretty the water.
I think it's the start of letting go.
Point out consequences, talk up benefits, encourage & praise, but don't let the situation stress you out any more.
We do the praise and reward thing etc. Unfortunately due to his Aspergers he can only see his point of view and is (of course!) never wrong.
Due to this he has no concept of consequences and is unable to visualize what will happen if he doesn't do it.
Of course him not doing it and then getting in trouble will not be his fault - it will be mine as he hasn't done it..... He then has complete meltdown at school when they enforce the detention (because it isn't his fault that he hasn't done the homework of course!) - and is now aggressive with it - throwing chairs etc. I then get called in which adds to the stress level.
If he doesn't flip at school he saves it for me at home.
My Ds is in year 11. He also has a diagnosis of Aspergers but no statement.
I really understand the struggle with homework as I have been there and it is so stressful. My Ds hates written homework with a passion and will spend ages without getting anything down on paper. Strangely exams are easier as he works better under pressure and less distraction.
I found the school planner helped a bit. In his secondary homework is timetabled so a maximum of 4 subjects per night. In year 7/8 especially if a teacher gave homework on the wrong day he wrote it in on the day he was timetabled to get it and would never consider doing it early.
He still does it last minute and I am afraid I still intervene sometimes.His teachers email me when he is struggling. He does sometimes get detentions for not doing work but mostly accepts this, as it is the same system for all pupils who don't do homework. It is also in the schools written homework policy much clearer than primary.
In year 8 I thought I should leave him to his homework, organising his books etc. It was a disaster as he was not recording his homework in his planner. In his IEP the school agreed that all teachers are responsible for checking that he has recorded his homework and he is responsible for doing it.(written record). This has worked well especially when changing year groups. I have had to remind new teachers sometimes when he got into trouble for not doing homework he had not recorded.
I am sorry this has been a bit long but having a stubborn,opinionated, disorganised but lovable teen with AS has taught me that having things clearly written out sometimes helps. However there is no magic wand.
My ASD DD loves routine. Can you get him to agree to a routine on getting home from school which incorporates some down time and a bit of homework, with the reward being something he really likes to do scheduled in immediately afterwards?
Or maybe rewards chart..if he manages his homework for a few nights in a row without a meltdown, he can have something he really wants? Gradually extend number of nights of homework needed to get the reward
For what it's worth, my DD will do her homework but doesn't want to shower or clean her teeth!! Same 'discussion' every night about the importance of hygiene etc... Same arguments.
Actually, might try that rewards chart myself....
We had massive homework struggles with DS2 (Asperger's, ADHD) when he was at primary school. Sometimes I would have to break the task down into the smallest steps: Write the title. Now underline it. Now write the date...
Since starting secondary school in September, he just gets on with it. He is able to write the task in his planner, prioritise tasks if he is given several on the same day etc. I have had minimal input and he has handed every single piece of homework in on time.
This sounds miraculous, but the school helped by inviting him to transition afternoons where they explained how to use the planner, prioritise homework etc.
I printed out a list of reminders for each piece of homework: include the title & date, underline with a ruler, use paragraphs etc.
I have also set up templates in Word, Publisher etc with headers that include his name, form and the date which automatically gets updated.
We also have a timetable (he loves timetables) for the morning (eat breakfast, brush teeth etc) and one for after school (hang blazer up, unpack bag etc). Doing homework is on the timetable, so he does it.
After a few weeks of Y7, he spontaneously thanked me for helping him develop a routine and be organised.
Just to say that your son may see your pushing him to do it as 'the problem'.
It's counter intuitive - but often Asperger's/ ASD see any form of externally enforced structure as deeply 'unfair'.
Although as Schmedz suggests some find routine helpful - it is about your DS finding his solution to this problem. He may or may not want your help with this - and that can be really hard to stand back and let happen.
One possibility is to try and work with his present primary school on this. Explain to the teacher that you want him to develop the organisational skills to handle the responsibility of remembering and doing his homework - so you are going to try and leave homework to him to complete without much reminding from you (or support). I suspect the school will be willing for this to occur if you promise that you will support them in any handling of the repercussions of not completing homework on time.
I know that one family at our school intentionally have not interfered with their DS and whether he's done his homework, which has meant he didn't for a few weeks. At first, he was kept in at lunch to complete it for a few weeks. After a while he got the message and it no longer is a problem. He could see that his Mum's approach - do homework first thing you get home & then you can play video games worked. He doesn't fight it any more - as long as their is a snack to hand.
Would he be able to cope with understanding that you will fight his corner not to do it in year 6, but then he must do it in year 7 without fussing?
If you think the break of nagging him to do it/him stropping will mean he can settle down to do it next year when he has to do it, then I would go for this.
If you saying he doesn't have to do it this year will mean he feels that he won't have to do it next year, then I would continue making him.
I know with my (much younger) ds, if I said he didn't have to do something one week, he would be much worse about doing it for the next month. So I make sure he always does it. Dd1 and dd2 can be reasoned with in the "I'll let you off now, but I want no fuss next week", so sometimes I will use that if i think a break will do them good.
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