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Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on SN.

Language people/ABA people-I have £1000 to spend and starting home schooling

(25 Posts)
someoneoutthere Sat 10-Sep-11 13:14:44

Some of you may remember my previous thread about DS. He is 6.2 and has a dx of classic autism. We have been doing ABA very successfully and he is now nearly borderline asd. I say nearly borderline because he has still severe speech delay, he only ask where questions for example and have no understanding of why questions, although can answer what questions (will occassionally ask what questions). The area he has made huge improvement since starting ABA is behaviour. We have no problem with going out, eating variety of foods, sleep issues are sorted, no problem doing new things, don't need prior warning about changes etc. His social communication is still very behind though, he will not interact with his peers, but he has been consistently playing with his little sister and doing a lot of imaginitive play with her.
The reason I am starting this thread is that I am having problem with his ABA provider. At present he goes to an ABA school run by his ABA provider. It's a small school with only about 12 kids and it's all one to one. So he is doing well learning wise. But with this also comes the social problem. All the kids at this school are mainly non-verbal and have severe autism. Whenever, I am there all I hear is either shrieking noises, children bolting, different therapist are working with them according to their abilities. Unfortunately, DS also imitates other kids and as soon as we walk through the door of his school, he changes into a different boy. He does no bolting when we are out of about, and makes very little noises. But when we are at the school his stimming goes through the roof, he runs around like crazy, he thinks it's alright to go and bump onto people and it (stimming) increases at home too on the school days. Over the weekends, he is a different boy, hardly makes any noises, can be easily diverted, will do good work with me.

I have now come to the conclusion that his ABA school is no longer appropriate for him as he is learning socially inappropriate behaviour there for not having good role models. I tried to talk to his school manager to see if we can have his therapy at home or get him to do work alone where he can't see other kids, but it did not work out. So I am going to start home schooling. I am also very concerned because they at the school follow no curriculum, so ds is academically falling behind despite having no learning difficulties. So I need your help on setting up a ABA programme (we are in the U.A.E and I have not been able to find another ABA provider), I have a budget of £1000 and the books I have are-

It takes two to talk-hanen
300 games to play with your autistic child
Language for thinking (I can't use this book yet as he does not get even the most basic concepts on this book)

We are also doing headsprout, and subscribed to education city. I have a printer. What else do I need?

I want to follow ABA techniques into his learning and following a curriculum. I have sat in to enough of the sessions to see how the therapists work and what they do. I want the programme to be more education based.

Thanks in advance. I have also booked DS into having an hour traditional speech therapy a week to see how he goes and for social stuffs, I have joined the homeschooler's group here, so he will get to see his peers once a week (he has not played with his peer group for two years now as his ABA school has not been able to sort out a school placement for him).

Just to let you know that all my effort to put him into a normal school with an ABA shadow failed as SN education is not that good here, so no school will take him and I am continuing with my effort to send him back to mainstream school (his ABA school is happy to provide a shadow for him).

Jaxx Sat 10-Sep-11 14:05:43

Teach Me Language by Sabina Freeman would be an excellent resource. We used it a lot to teach our son WH question discrimination, and there is some good early academic stuff in there too. There is a forms book as well - we didn't get, but probably should have.

You can buy it from or amazon/alibris. Postage may be quite high as it is pretty heavy.

I have a couple of other books in pdf form you might find useful. PM me your email address and I'll send them to you.

Something else worth considering is an Ipad. My son loves it and it can be very educational. Superduper Inc have started releasing apps, including some based on Fun Decks, which Moondog has recommended in the past. Stories2Learn has proved very useful (picture, text, sound based social stories) and has loads of stuff which might be of use.

Good luck.

someoneoutthere Sat 10-Sep-11 15:21:18

Thank you Jaxx. I have in my basket (different roads to learning) the flash cards on wh-questions saved to order next time DH is in States for business (should be around November). If I get the book, do I still need the flash cards? I am planning on getting a lot of things ordered at the same time so I can save on postage plus customs smile.

We also have an ipad and have most of the superduper apps and apps. I have not heard about Stories2Learn, so will look into it when we get the ipad back from service (it has broken down, luckily we are still within warranty period, but dreading about whether we lose the apps we paid for).

I have pmed you my email address. Thanks again.

sickofsocalledexperts Sat 10-Sep-11 15:47:05

I am not sure what level he is at academically, but if he is behind in terms of an average 4/5 year old starting school, the VB Mapp is very good. I also used the Jolly Phonics scheme to teach reading (especially the DVD, which you can get from Amazon, but mainly for the bit called "Saying the Letter sounds" on the Extras). Are there any swimming clubs, football clubs, drama clubs, cub scouts etc you could join for social reasons. Or any pals you can organise regular playdates with their kids and do games like Hide and Seek?

Good luck!

moondog Sat 10-Sep-11 17:34:31

Numicon resources and perhaps some consultant visits to set you up (llo on website-may be some in UAE)
Any of Michael Maloney's Teach your children well resources 9widely used by homeschoolers in the USA)
Copies of what is required at each key stage of curriculum
Membership of a martial arts club (nothing better for developing listening, co-operation, releasing energy and having fun.)

someoneoutthere Sat 10-Sep-11 17:56:40

Thank you sickof. DS should have started yr-2 this september if he was in school. He can only count to 25, but he also understands what the number means. He knows his phonics sounds and can read some sight words. He is also starting to blend few words, although this is not consistent. If I look at education city for reception stage, he can't do most of the things on it. But it is probably because of not understanding the instructions. He was like that when he started headsprout, but now he can do an epidsode without any help from us.

If I understand it right, then most children learn to read by the end of year-1, so DS is behind on that. But I only started a reading programme with him not more than few months ago (I was thinking that they will change his programme at school to include educational stuffs, but his ABA supervisor has been refusing to follow a curriculum saying academic side is not important yet for him). He is progressing well at home with reading and writing although he only gets to do it only over the weekends.

I have the jolly phonics workbooks and dvd, I am not worried about academic side atm, DS seems to be learning really fast. I am more worried about speech and social sides. I can teach him the academic stuffs and he is able to learn quickly from me. I don't know what to do with the speech side of it as his school is refusing to be involved if he stops going there (to be fair they have a long waiting list, they don't need to come to our home for a student ). He still has severe speech delay and will continue to need professional help. This is why I have booked him sessions with a traditional speech therapist (it's easier to get them here than ABA therapist it seems). He starts that next week and it will be interesting to see if that makes any difference.

He also does two hours a day after school activities which involves him doing group activities like judo, football. I admit that I have not made an effort to make friends here much as I found at the beginning most people were really judgmental about DS (Autism is not obvious in DS's case unless you spend time with him and I had neighbours who stopped their precious children playing with my children because they felt that their children were learning naughty things from DS!!). Now that I have joined the home schooling group here, I am hoping that he will get to meet some of his peers. He does swimming and ice skating etc, but it's all individual one to one thing, so not much scope to learn social skills.

I feel that I will have to do a lot of speech therapy (trying to do excercises I got from books and MN on language) myself with him. I am hoping that his current school will at least continue with the two hours after school sessions, but who knows? They don't agree with us that DS is learning inappropriate behaviour from the school, they think he can control it if asked to, so we should just be on his case 100% and stop the behaviour as soon as it starts. We would rather not expose him to that behaviour at the moment, although we know that he will have to learn by himself what's appropriate and what's not. But he is a child with autism, if he could do that he could do a lot more things.

someoneoutthere Sat 10-Sep-11 18:09:42

x-posted moondog. We are doing headsprout and now he is progressing well (we got to episode 34 and now he can do it without any help from us, although not getting the blending yet). Numicon is next on my list to order-I remember it from your previous thread. I have not heard about Michael Maony, so will have a look.

I also had a look at buying year one curriculum, but got a bit put off by the price tag (£350), am not sure if it's wise to spend that much money on it. I don't know if it has more than what I can find free on the net (on the govt website).

DS does wrestling, Judo, Swimming, football and tennis. So he burns off all the energy for sure, but although he follows the instructions of the teacher, he stays away from other kids.

oodlesofdoodles Sat 10-Sep-11 19:16:28

Are there any drama clubs near you? He may need to go in with a younger age group, but it could help his language and social skills. That's great that he can follow the teachers' instructions at sports clubs.

willowthecat Sat 10-Sep-11 20:22:17

You will not lose apps. If you log back in with same user id you can re download free as payment is logged in your account.

PipinJo Sat 10-Sep-11 23:20:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

someoneoutthere Sun 11-Sep-11 06:47:58

Thank you everyone, as usual lots of good ideas!! Sickof, what is a VB Mapp? I have not thought about drama, because DS is more sporty type. I will look into it for social skills, we can try out for a term or two to see if he gets into it. We were doing hip hop dancing, but the time table for it has now changed and we can't make it any more.

I am really pleased that I can re download apps, was worried about that. Because we always had professionals doing all the therapy with DS, I have never had to do much of the speech stuffs. So it is a big challenge for me. PipinJo, I am going to look at all the language materials, but want to start with something simple. I am not sure about my own ability to do things with him yet.

moondog Sun 11-Sep-11 10:14:54

DISTAR?SRA stuff is fantastic. Highly recommended.

VB Mapp is an assessment tool which allows you to closely track progress in nearly every area you can think of. Your son may be past the stage of it being useful though.

someoneoutthere Sun 11-Sep-11 12:48:35

What does SRA stand for? Google is giving me 'solicitors regualtion authority' and I am sure I am not looking for that.

moondog Sun 11-Sep-11 12:55:24

Not sure to be honest.
Zig Engelmann is the living legend who started working in this manner and set up DISTAR products so you could ask him direct.

Website a bit tricky to navigate I feel but this man-!
I would crawl naked across broken glass to use anything he designed or get any advice from him.

someoneoutthere Sun 11-Sep-11 12:55:37

There is a book called 'teach your child to read in 100 lessons'. Is that the one you mean pipinjo?

moondog Sun 11-Sep-11 13:47:27

Also excellent, that one, Someone.

zzzzz Mon 12-Sep-11 12:41:09

Learning to read has definitely helped ds's language [he is a few months older than your ds]. Many children do not read competently till the end of year 2 [UK so 7+] and typically it is the boys who lag, so don't be too worried. My children are all back in full time school now, but we have home educated for odd terms here and there and I think it can be great.

It sounds like your ds does an amazing amount of extra curricula activities. Well done. I wouldn't be too concerned about group activities but would try to find someone who would be willing to do play dates with you. Sometimes if you go to the pool at the same time every week you will be lucky and hit a family who are friendly. Younger children can be a huge help as their play is less sophisticated. Try to focus on the skills that will help. Prelearned sentences like "I'm XXXX do you want to play?", "Can I play too?", etc help enormously. Above all practice how to join in with ds.

The most useful thing I found was to write a "syllabus" for the next term. Just get a sheet of paper and stick titles down on it of what you want to cover, so it might be split into 2 parts Academic and Self Help, Your aims can be things like counting to one hundred, counting in 5's or 2's or 10's, adding one more, knowing all letter sounds, drawing a picture or making a scene from a story, sharing a book with Daddy, gluing, snipping, threading, following a line with a pencil, writing letters......and..... cleaning my teeth, washing my hair, putting on my shoes, laying the table, emptying the dish washer, doing up my own seat belt, blowing my own nose/wiping myself after the toilet, saying thank you, saying when I need a break,....whatever stage you are at. The problem I found was keeping the momentum going. By not being rigid as to what we were covering each day, I could just look at my list and think "How are we going to do counting today?". For us it helped to keep to a structure for the day so we did the same "subjects" at the same times every day.

We found that it helped to have some stuff coming at intervals through the post, it always injected a little excitement. So we got things like anatomy set [hamleys] and lots of different kits delivered every so often and just went off topic.....grin.

games like snakes and ladders and backgammon are brilliant for learning adding and can really help other adults/kids to let your child join in. Piano is also another thing that ds used to find relaxing and I would say a good music teacher would be very helpful. It is amazing how other people are fine about a child who spends time practicing a piece of music, but not one that sequences in other ways wink.

Keep mailing, it will be interesting hearing how you are going. My boys are 6 one nt and one with very disordered language, if you are interested in hearing what they would be doing at school here at any point as a sort of bench mark I would be happy to pm you.

PipinJo Mon 12-Sep-11 20:32:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

someoneoutthere Tue 13-Sep-11 17:57:05

Thank you ZZZZZ, that such good advice. It gives me ideas about how to start. He is still going to the SN school, I am trying to put things together before I take him out of the school, ie. getting all the resources together so I have a plan in place. I really think I need to start him with the reception curriculum as he has hardly had any formal schooling. I would love to know what a 6 years old do in a school as a guidance to know what I need to aim for.

PipinJo, if I end up getting the right material on google when I search it and If I do get it, you can definitely have photocopies. I am having a very stressful week with DS, after nearly two years of being 100% compliant, he is rebelling now, and I am exhausted.

StarlightMcKenzie Tue 13-Sep-11 18:14:58

Compliance is important, - of course, to be able to access adult directed learning,

BUT children also need to practise testing the boundaries and negotiation.

PipinJo Tue 13-Sep-11 21:51:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

someoneoutthere Wed 14-Sep-11 08:45:09

DS is definitely trying to push the boundaries. He thinks it's funny to be non-compliant atm and laughs about it. I do need that DS needs new things in his learning as he is bored of his old programme, but I am not sure his current consultant feels that way.

PipinJo, I would love to hear about the changes you made with your DS's programme. Do you mind telling me a bit more or pm me if you don't like to share it on the net.

joad Sun 25-Sep-11 21:47:09

Message deleted by Mumsnet.

someoneoutthere Tue 27-Sep-11 05:42:45

I have now got the 'teach your child to read in 100 lessons book' and it's brilliant. We have covered a lot of it with headsprout and sight words though, but it's a brilliant book to have for blending exercises.

Joad, I have downloaded the apps you suggested, DS is great on following instructions, so he had no problem doing them, he loved the space ship. It's more expressive language that he has trouble with.

graciousenid Tue 27-Sep-11 08:07:10

Joad thanks for the app, my ds loves it (he has receptive language issues & hates that kind of exercise usually) smile I showed in to our SALT yesterday & she thought it was pretty good.

I taught my dd (nt) to read using 100EL (it was very popular with HEers about 5 years ago) we got to about lesson 40 & then she started reading everything. She was by school standards a late reader (6ish) but when I had her tested at 9 & she had an adult (well 16.3 years) reading level - she isn't gifted or anything but it does give a great foundation in blending. She absolutely hated it, I've yet to find a child who didn't tbh - I think she started reading just so I wouldn't make her do it any more wink

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