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

After school activities/music lessons for ASD kids???

(42 Posts)
RnB Mon 22-Sep-08 11:40:48

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streakybacon Mon 22-Sep-08 11:49:50

Ds is nearly 10 and has been having guitar lessons for a year and a half, and started piano around February. He loves them both, does OK, but to begin with struggled to accept his imperfections. We had to work on that a lot - he hated making mistakes (does that sound familiar?!) and hated having to go over it again till he got it right. He's better now but it's been hard at times.

Have you thought of martial arts? Ds has done karate for over three years now and it's been very good for his confidence and sense of respect/courtesy. You may need to shop around for a good instructor though.

Drama is a good idea too, though I don't have any personal experience of it with ds. I know it can help children with ASDs to understand emotions and empathy.

magso Mon 22-Sep-08 12:10:04

Ds went to perform classes (rather pricey)for a while which is aimed at 4-8s acting with music (they have an 8+ group too). I saw other children flourish (it was too challenging for ds - who has LD and ASD), we also tried gymnastics ( brilliant instructure accustomed to sn).

magso Mon 22-Sep-08 12:10:31

Oops instructor!

dustystar Mon 22-Sep-08 16:22:10

Ds has AS and ADHD and has done karate lessons and drumming for a year. His karate instructors are great and give him space when he needs it plus lots of praise. His drumming teacher has taught other children with SN and is really good with him. I stay for both lessons even though the drumming is 1:1 as I worry what would happen if he had a meltdown. He's been fine with drumming and apart from 1 or 2 tantrums he's done pretty well at karate too.

I think one of the most important things is getting an instructor who has an understanding of ASD.

jimjamshaslefttheyurt Mon 22-Sep-08 16:36:50

God no.

Although ds1 has taken part in SN climbing. It wasn't really a class as such though, so if you wanted the extra benefits of classes (listening to the instructor, doing the same as everyone else) then it wouldn't really be suitable. Last week he took part in surfing for autistic kids, this is an annual event but there are apparently surf schools around the country who have now been trained in teaching children with autism to surf (they use special 2 person surf boards) - ds1 can't swim really, but that didn't seem to be a problem!

RnB Tue 23-Sep-08 12:58:38

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Buckets Tue 23-Sep-08 14:37:05

Saw on your profile you're in East Sussex, any of these near enough? Natural Voice Practitioners have lovely relaxed teaching methods. Maybe you could join a choir together?

drowninginlaundry Tue 23-Sep-08 15:58:15

I'm teaching DS1 to play piano using a sort of improvised colour coded notation system, there's is a really awesome music notation system which is used teaching children with SN in Scandinavia - it was developed in Finland and I have no idea if it has been translated though. My sister is a SN teacher and runs music/orchestra classes for ASD kids and apparently they absolutely love it and totally surpass any expectations - as always with these kids, if you find an appropriate way to teach, they'll learn anything.

Football? Swimming? horse riding if you are happy to dish out the £££...

jimjamshaslefttheyurt Tue 23-Sep-08 16:02:45

Drowninginlaundry VERY interested in that. DS1 is very musical but utterly unteachable. I would love to be able to access that skill for him. I probably know enough about music to be able to do it with him if i knew how.

More info please!

nicky693 Tue 23-Sep-08 18:08:22

my son does horse riding at a stables which has lessons for disabled children and children with learning disabilities it is less than half the price of a regular lesson and he seems to love it. Its good for me as well coz while hes on the horse i dont have to worry about him running around and creating mahem!!!! The horses are very placid and do not respond even if C is playing up on the horse.

jimjamshaslefttheyurt Wed 24-Sep-08 20:20:11

oh I found information about the Finnish notation system. It's being translated into English/introduced to the UK by someone in Scotland. He will email me again when it's ready to roll.

tortoiseshell Wed 24-Sep-08 20:23:47

jimjams, my friend with a son with fairly severe autism has just found a piano teacher for him - will let you know how he gets on, and what method they use.

tortoiseshell Wed 24-Sep-08 20:24:10

(the teacher is a teacher from his school which is a specialist unit for autism)

jimjamshaslefttheyurt Wed 24-Sep-08 20:26:20

oooh yes please. DS1 gets music therapy some terms, which he likes, but they had to change their usual method..... He has a good ear (can sing perfectly in tune) and likes music.

hecate Wed 24-Sep-08 20:27:33

My boys both have swimming lessons (1:1). ds1 has music lessons in school, ds2 did have piano lessons after school for about a year, but got bored after that grin. They did beevers and cubs until the summer hols, but they have not gone back this term because they want to join an athletics club instead. As long as they have someone allocated to them in the activities they do, or we pay for 1:1 lessons in something (like the music & swimming for example), they are fine, and they really enjoy the stuff they do. - we've been very lucky with groups because they've all bent over backwards to accommodate my boys. They've been truly welcomed into everything.

Marina Wed 24-Sep-08 20:29:18

I can ask a friend who is a professional musician and also a teacher at a school for children with PMLD (secondary).
She might have some thoughts of a general nature. This is London btw RnB
It is a huge shame there is not better funding for music therapists in the UK. The work they do is just astounding and awe-inspiring (work with trainees in the field).

hecate Wed 24-Sep-08 20:29:38

karate shock cor, you're a braver lot than me! I wouldn't like anyone to teach MY two the fine art of lethal hand to hand combat wink

drowninginlaundry Wed 24-Sep-08 21:31:38

jimjams good work! a direct translation would be 'shape notation' - there's no staves, the music is written in shapes (triangles, circles, squares etc) and colours. I really like the look of it as it teaches musicality, it's very easy to follow and can be used on any instrument.

The music therapist who developed the system (he calls it Figure notes) is Markku Kaikkonen, the website says that english materials are available if you email him. His email is
markku dot kaikkonen at luukku dot com

i've ordered the Finnish books. Now all we need is a few more kids and we can put together a band! grin

jimjamshaslefttheyurt Wed 24-Sep-08 22:45:32

Oh DIL we're so close we must meet. (And form a band ) Thursdays are often good....

Thanks for that- it is Figure Notes that I found. I will email Markku- thank you!

silverfrog Thu 25-Sep-08 08:29:53

DIl - when your books arrive, could you let me know how you get on? (and jimjams, if you start too?)

Dd1 is incredibly musical, and would love to be able to teach her, I think she'd get a huge amount out of it.

mimsum Thu 25-Sep-08 10:10:51

for my two after school activities have been fine as long as it's been something they're really interested in - for ds1 it's swimming - he loves the feel of the water, all the exercise is good for him and he can get really obsessive about technique without anyone thinking he's weird ...

for ds2 it's cricket

I was a bit worried that I'd have to go in with a long explanation of their difficulties but all their coaches have been fine - no-nonsense, firm boundaries etc which work really well

coppertop Thu 25-Sep-08 10:15:59

Ds1 usually hates all sport with a vengeance but really loves his taekwondo club. From an ASD point of view it's probably the perfect sport:

They all have to stand in rows and each has their own set place to stand;

Instructions are always short and to the point rather than long-winded "And now we are all going to do xyz."

Lots and lots of repetition.

Enough discipline to make sure that the rules are obeyed.

PheasantPlucker Thu 25-Sep-08 14:20:30

For anyone in Merton there is a bi-weekly club for children with ASD held at Polka Theatre every other Saturday and run by Merton Crossroads.

FioFio Thu 25-Sep-08 14:24:11

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