Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Homework Battles (yep again)

When I say homework battles I'm not talking about the typical fight with the kids to do their homework, that's not a problem. The problem is the actual homework. It's like these teachers have no clue how to change the curriculum for a child with autism.

my Facebook post last night:

This is a question from Rogers homework: How does the protagonist view himself/herself in your story? Identify a page number and example from the text. His response I don't know I am not them. WHY can these teachers not get it through their think heads that he seriously cannot put himself in someone elses shoes and tell you what they think of themselves. UGGGG Oh and I was informed he is to write an essay on this as well, this should be fun.

It took us three hours and finally he came to he feels good, reason because another charter in the book said so. Ok works for me. I know I am going to get some note home that it is incomplete and not acceptable and again I will have to point out the IEP. A friend of mine said I should send a note in with the homework saying " How does the student who is incapable of taking anthers perspective feel when his teacher assigns him homework requiring him to do exactly that?" honestly how can she expect him to do something she obviously is incapable of doing herself."

I was looking at his next section of questions and they are Give a specific example of how the protagonist has changed? And what have you learned from the characters?

Those should be fun. The teacher also said she will have him reread the book to make sure he understands it before he writes the essay. wait what back up a minute. The problem is not his comprehension. He understands perfectly what he is reading you actually have him reading about 5 grades below what he can do. It's the questions you are asking you know he has problems putting himself in a fictional characters shoe and telling you how they feel. Heck the kid can't tell you how he feels a lot of the time. If you do not really understand your own feelings how can you understand and explain someone elses?

I have sent a email to his case manager to let her know that he solution of oh we will just punish him and make him reread the book is not going to solve the issue. The questions need to be reworded. So we will see what happens and if they take time to listen and work with him and his needs rather than what some curriculum states.


  1. As a former teacher, now ASD mom I suggest having him go through the story/chapter/book and highlight or write down the exact examples of when the character says "I feel/felt..." or "I think/thought..." those key phrases so he has concrete examples to work with. Write them down on index cards with the page/paragraph number, then line them up chronologically hopefully he can better piece together the puzzle. At least then he can say "at first on page 3 the character said he felt scared but by page 10 he said he felt relieved." If there aren't enough examples with those phrases maybe guide him with a word bank of "emotion Words" such as cried, laugh, yelled, sighed, etc. A police detective doesn't need to know the motive (doesnt need to understand why the criminal did it) but can find the evidence to prove the case. Explain to him he doesn't need to truly understand/empathize with the character but can be an "emotion detective" and gather the clues to answer the question. Hope that helps some :)

    1. That's pretty much what he did. He went back and found the words he needed and then wrote what he came up with. It's not that he can't answer it's the wording of the question throws him off so much that he loses it. One it is reworded he does just that goes back and finds the words needed to answer.

  2. Yes that wording "view himself/herself" is pretty vague for even NT kids that age I would venture to say. Awful for more literal minded ASD kids. But to me it sounds like he did a good job with the assignment. I say kudos to Roger and Mom! Did the assignment come back as incomplete or were they satisfied with how he handled it? Just curious as a follow up to know what is coming down the road for my boys :)

    1. Have not seen it yet. I'm really confused with the grading because he is being graded by two different teachers in this class. One being his case manager who didn't like it when I told her him dropping from A's to C's in a month (in all her classes his other classes stayed at A's) is a reflection of her not doing her job and making sure the IEP is followed.