To those wondering if my son leads a “sheltered” life, far from the more socialized peers, he does get socialization with children his age, children younger than him, children older than him plus some significant adults.
In __________ Center where I teach every MTW, he attends a small group that I teach called Social Language and Conversation.
Here we do social skills lessons, listening skills, following instructions, all incorporated in different language components like inference, comprehension, comparison and contrast, answering questions appropriately.The other two children in this group are also six years old.
He gets to play with children younger than him. He gets to talk with children older than him. He gets to interact (though this still has to be worked on further) with significant adults like the speech-language therapists as well as occupational therapists as well as the office staff that I work with, three times a week. Now, wouldn’t this be too little? I think it could be but then he learns more valuable lessons here.
Like patience in “dealing” or playing with some of these children.
These children have special needs, with language and communication problems, with inattention problems, with listening and following instructions problems and with inappropriate social skills behavior problems (Well, of course, not all of them have these all at the same time.) So what kind of socialization is that?
Here, he tends to adapt himself to these children and their being different, having special needs that have to be worked on. When he tries to adapt, he learns patience, which is not exactly his virtue in dealing with others.
Yes, there were numerous times that I saw him with his temper flaring because he did not like what the other child(ren) did, he had his fist up ready to hit but then I had to explain to him how he is not supposed to do that and why.
One of the downside I see here is he tends to pick up the terms we use so he applies labels to the children. Like when a child is unable to sit still, he asks if the child has ADHD. If a child acts different, he asks if the child is autistic. Here comes another lesson in life that not all children or people are the same. And that we do not need to put labels on people just because they are different.
What about competition? Well, he challenges himself, pushing himself to the limit with his skills.
Challenging himself alongside others? Oh, there are a lot of challenges. He is challenged because some students have better fine-motor skills than him: writing, cutting, coloring and drawing. He is is being challenged by us because these children who are supposedly going to the center for speech/language therapy are not shy about expressing their feelings and thoughts by speaking, which is the skill he lacks when dealing with other people.
Well, if truth be told, I have to ask him to do errands for me just so he could talk to the staff and other therapists in the center. Our joke is I might have to get him a session for him to overcome his being shy.
He also gets to socialize with my own students on Fridays and Saturdays. Well, not those in the morning because most of the time, he is still asleep. He is able to talk cars with my teenage students, preferably KJ and JE. They also talk about movies, TV shows, games and gaming as well as share jokes.
All in all, I am not complaining. Making a schedule for him is not easy but we still manage. Even if we started late in the program, we still manage to get by. In fact, we are done with Christian Living education except for the test and Hail Holy Queen prayer which he, I’m sure, will be memorizing by himself.
The oral book report? He was able to memorize several books, verbatim. And explain what these stories are all about. We are starting to gain ground on Filipino and Sibika which he didn’t like at first so we are a little behind these lessons, specifically in Sibika. Math is not a problem since he can do the four basic operations even before we started homeschooling.
So when would he go to a “real school”? Maybe when he doesn’t have frequent asthma attacks at 3 or 4 am which keeps him awake, which in turn keeps him asleep till 9am or 10am. It is all up to him to decide.