Kids Refusing To Do Homework

How many times have you said something like, “My child can focus on TV, movies or video games for hours, but getting her to complete homework is like pulling teeth”?


Kids, even defiant ones, usually don’t consciously choose to fail. Yet, your child refuses to do her homework, which causes her to fail. Neither you nor your child know why she is sabotaging herself.

Most moms and dads struggle with getting their youngster to complete homework after school.  Rarely is a kid ever eager to get back to work when she returns home from a long day in the classroom. To minimize “homework battles” (i.e., parent-child conflict over homework), you need to understand why your child is resistant to doing homework in the first place. 

Here are just a few possibilities:

  • Your child doesn’t understand the work and needs some extra help. It’s possible that your youngster doesn’t want to do his homework because he really needs help.  Also, it can be challenging for moms and dads to accept that their youngster might need help with homework, because there is often a stigma attached to kids who need tutoring. 
  • Your child is addicted to TV and video games. Moms and dads often find it very difficult to limit these activities. But, understand that playing video games and watching TV doesn’t relax a youngster’s brain.  In fact, it actually over-stimulates the brain and makes it harder for him to learn and retain information.  Too much of watching TV and playing video games contributes to your youngster struggling with school and homework in more ways than one.
  • Your child is exhausted from a long day at school. In the last 10 to 20 years, the needs of kids have not changed, however the pace of life has.  Most moms and dads are busy and have very little down time, which inevitably means that the youngster ends up with less down time too.  He is going to be less likely to be motivated to work when there is chaos all around him.  
  • Your child is not sleeping enough. Sleep is one of the most under-appreciated needs in our society today. When a child doesn’t get enough sleep, it can cause him to be sick more often, lose focus, and have more emotional issues. Kids often need a great deal more sleep than they usually get.  
  • Your child is over-booked with other activities. Moms and dads want their youngster to develop skills other than academics. Because of this, they often sign-up their youngster for extracurricular activities (e.g., sports or arts).  
  • Your child is overwhelmed by your expectations. Moms and dads want their youngster to be well-rounded and to get ahead in life.  Along with this comes getting good grades.  All these expectations can put a lot of pressure on your youngster and may cause him to become burned-out and want to find an escape.


So, what is a parent to do? Below are some tips that will help your child be less neglectful of his homework assignments – BUT – these ideas will take some hard work on your part too:


1. Be a cheerleader. Some children need a little extra boost of confidence. Let’s say your youngster has a big test to study for, but can’t seem to get started. You can help out by running through the first few problems until she gets the hang of it. Or you might brainstorm with your youngster to help her choose a topic for the big paper she has to write. You're not doing the work for her, rather you're helping her to get going so the task doesn't seem so daunting.

2. Be clear and firm, but don’t argue with your kids about homework. Make eye contact and tell them calmly that they are responsible for the work.

3. Choose a powerful incentive that your youngster will recognize as meaningful. This might be extra time on the computer, a special meal, or attending an activity that she is looking forward to. Incentives can be phased out when kids attend to the homework responsibly.

4. Communicate regularly with your youngster's educators so that you can deal with any behavior patterns before they become a major problem.

5. Consider adding in break times (e.g., your child might work on her math homework for 15 minutes, and then take a 5 minute break).

6. Contact the teacher as soon as you suspect that your youngster has a homework problem. Schools have a responsibility to keep moms and dads informed, and you have a right to be upset if you don't find out until report-card time that your youngster is having difficulties. On the other hand, sometimes moms and dads figure out that a problem exists before the teacher does. By alerting the teacher, you can work together to solve a problem in its early stages.

7. Don't do the assignments yourself. It's not your homework – it's your youngster's. Doing assignments for your youngster won't help him understand and use information. And it won't help him become confident in his own abilities. It can be hard for moms and dads to let kids work through problems alone and learn from their mistakes. It's also hard to know where to draw the line between supporting and doing.

8. Engage your youngster in constructive, mind-building activities – any activity that supports learning (e.g., reading, puzzles, educational games, library visits, walks in the neighborhood, trips to the zoo or museums, chores that teach a sense of responsibility, etc.). Join in these activities yourself.

9. Help your youngster get organized. It's a good idea to set a regular time and place for kids to do homework. Also, stick to a routine as much as possible. Put up a calendar in a place where you'll see it often and record assignments on it. Writing out assignments will get him used to the idea of keeping track of what's due and when. You may want to use an assignment book instead of a calendar.

10. If you understand something about the style of learning that suits your youngster, it will be easier for you to help her. If you've never thought about this style, observe your youngster. See if she works better alone or with someone else. If your youngster gets more done when working with someone else, she may want to complete some assignments with a brother or sister or a classmate. (Some homework, however, is meant to be done alone. Check with the teacher if you aren't sure.) Does your youngster learn things best when she can see them? If so, drawing a picture or a chart may help with some assignments. Does your youngster learn things best when she can hear them? She may need to listen to a story or have directions read to her. Too much written material or too many pictures or charts may confuse her. Does your youngster understand some things best when she can handle or move them? An apple cut four or six or eight ways can help kids learn fractions.

11. Involve your child. As your youngster matures, you should involve her in setting expectations, rewards, and consequences. This empowers her, which may improve her self-esteem and reinforce the concept that she is in charge of her own behavior.

12. Keep the house generally quiet during homework time.

13. Kids are more likely to complete assignments successfully when moms and dads monitor homework. How closely you need to monitor depends upon the age of your youngster, how independent she is, and how well she does in school. Whatever the age of your youngster, if assignments are not getting done satisfactorily, more supervision is needed.

14. Look over completed assignments when possible. It's usually a good idea to check to see that your youngster has finished her assignments. If you're not there when an assignment is finished, look it over when you get home. After the teacher returns completed homework, read the comments to see if your youngster has done the assignments satisfactorily.

15. Make sure your child has enough “space” for doing her work. For some children, this will mean a large work space like a kitchen table to spread out their papers and books.

16. Make your youngster responsible for her choices. All privileges are suspended until the work is done, even if it takes all evening.

17. Model good study habits. Kids are more likely to study if they see you reading, writing, and doing things that require thought and effort on your part. Talk with your youngster about what you're reading and writing, even if it's something as simple as making the grocery list. Also, tell them about what you do at work.

18. Offer snacks to keep your youngster “fueled-up” for the work.

19. Pre-teach. It’s easier to prevent negative behaviors in defiant children than to deal with them after they occur. A very effective tool is to pre-teach behavior prior to an event (in this case, doing homework) or potentially vulnerable situation. This involves talking with the child in detail about what will be happening, why, and what her role and expected behaviors will be. Pre-teaching reduces anxiety, clarifies expectations, and builds confidence.

20. Reward the youngster appropriately for good behavior and tasks completed. Set up a clear system of rewards so that your youngster knows what to expect when she completes a task or improves behavior.

21. Seek outside assistance. If you find yourself becoming overwhelmed by “homework battles,” speak to a professional. It's only natural that you have needs and questions in this process, so seek help when needed.

22. Separate the youngster's behavior from the youngster, using thought rather than feelings. Another way to say this is "disengage" from the defiant behavior. (This doesn’t mean ignore it.) Consistency and follow through on consequences still apply, especially when it comes to “homework refusal.”

23. Set a good example. Children don't always show it, but their parents are very important. They are watching YOUR behavior. Thus, if you are a “follow through” person (i.e., someone who always starts what he finishes), then you will be modeling “task completion” skills for your child, and she will likely follow your lead.

24. Share concerns with the teacher. You may want to contact the teacher if:

  • instructions are unclear
  • neither you nor your youngster can understand the purpose of assignments
  • the assignments are often too hard or too easy
  • the homework is assigned in uneven amounts
  • you can't provide needed supplies or materials 
  • you can't seem to help your youngster get organized to finish the assignments
  • your youngster has missed school and needs to make up assignments
  • your youngster refuses to do her assignments, even though you've tried hard to get her to do them


25. Show an interest. Make time to take your youngster to the library to check out materials needed for homework (and for fun too), and read with your youngster as often as you can. Talk about school and learning activities in family conversations. Ask your youngster what was discussed in class that day. If he doesn't have much to say, try another approach. For example, ask your youngster to read aloud a story he wrote, or discuss the results of a science experiment. Another good way to show your interest is to attend school activities, such as parent-teacher meetings, shows, and sports events. If you can, volunteer to help in the classroom or at special events. Getting to know some classmates and other moms and dads not only shows you're interested, but helps build a network of support for you and your youngster.

26. Talk about the assignments. Ask your youngster questions. Talking can help him think through an assignment and break it down into small, workable parts. Here are some sample questions:

  • Do you understand what you're supposed to do?
  • What do you need to do to finish the assignment?
  • Do you need help in understanding how to do your work?
  • Have you ever done any problems like the ones you're supposed to do right now?
  • Do you have everything you need to do the assignment?
  • Does your answer make sense to you? 


If your youngster is still confused, ask:

  • Are you still having problems? Maybe it would help to take a break or have a snack.
  • Do you need to review your notes (or reread a chapter in your textbook) before you do the assignment? 
  • How far have you gotten on the assignment? Let's try to figure out where you're having a problem.


27. Talk with educators early in the school year. Get acquainted before problems arise, and let educators know that you want to be kept informed. Most schools invite moms and dads to come to parent-teacher conferences or open houses. If your youngster's school doesn't provide such opportunities, call the teacher to set up a meeting.

28. Tie responsibilities to privileges. When your youngster chooses to do her work reliably, she may then expect to participate in activities that interest her.

29. Use a broken record technique to respond to any rebuttal your youngster may offer (e.g., "I hear you, but I want you to start your homework now").

30. Use a timer. Some moms and dads find that using a timer for “homework time” is a good way to build and reinforce structure. Setting a reasonable time limit for completing homework helps train your youngster to expect limitations, even on unpleasant activities like homework. Giving your youngster a time limit for completing his work is useful, especially if you reward finishing on time.

Homework is a major struggle in many homes, but it doesn’t have to be.  Recognizing why your youngster might be fighting it is key to establishing healthy homework habits.  By doing this, you may find you have fewer battles to fight on that front.

My Out-of-Control Child: Help for Defiant Children and Teens

Defiant young people with Aspergers and High Functioning Autism are under the mistaken belief that they are in charge. Their defiance has worked for them in the past, and they have learned to use it to their advantage. Luckily, there are several steps moms and dads can take to get a resistant youngster to do homework. Since no two kids are alike, there is no one-cure-fixes-all method. Mothers and fathers must use what they know about their youngster to determine which course of action works best. Very often, more than one method must be tried before a solution is found.

Whichever steps are taken to get a defiant "Aspie" to do homework, there are some things all moms and dads must keep in mind when managing these difficult homework situations:

1. Be available for help— You don't need to sit with your Aspergers youngster, but you need to be close enough that they don't have to search for you if they require help. If the youngster has to get up from their work to find you it will disrupt their focus and they may become distracted by someone else in the house. You don't want to waste time refocusing them. If the youngster fusses ignore their complaints. You know they have to get this work done and so do they. Keep redirecting their attention to the work at hand. Use statements like, "Show me how you do this." and read the question out loud. Reading the question to your youngster while they sit in front of the page gets them to focus. Use your finger to point to each word; this motion will draw the youngster's eyes to the page. Be interested in what they are doing. Your interest will show the youngster that their home work is important to you.

2. Be calm— Often the frustrations of moms and dads come through to the defiant Aspergers youngster and make the situation worse. It is always best to be calm and if a mother/father feels upset with the youngster it is better to step away and ask the other parent to step in for a while. Another good idea is to decide that one parent will work on English and Social Studies while the other parent works on Science and Math. As a result is varies who is the person enforcing the homework. Also if there is such a push for perfection on the assignments that the youngster feels he or she can't be perfect, it can lead to defiance. It is acceptable for the youngster to get a problem wrong once in awhile. Don't push for perfection.

3. Be flexible— When the Aspergers youngster comes home from school don't pounce on them to get their homework done. Give them several minutes to shake off that school smell, get a snack and relax. Try to keep the time that home work is done standard. If you choose after dinner, then make sure that every night after dinner there is time to complete homework. If there is a disruption in routine, make sure that the youngster is well aware of the change and the reasons for the change.

4. Be steadfast— Under the pressure of defiance, moms and dads sometimes lose their will to enforce good homework practices. There is a temptation to be worn down. Keep in mind if the youngster wins and just doesn't do the homework, it is a long term loss. Will the fact that one assignment doesn't get completed on one night affect a youngster's education? No, but over time the youngster will have missed out on many learning opportunities and eventually it can cause a student to be behind other classmates academically. As the youngster becomes older, there will no doubt be situations that will have more at stake than simply a grade and yet the defiant youngster will have had defiance rewarded in the past. It may lead to more defiant behavior in the future.

5. Clarify— Sit down with your Aspergers youngster to ensure that they know what is expected of them by their teacher and that they have the skills they need to complete the work. Homework is a time for practicing skills they have been taught in the classroom. Many kids who are struggling in the classroom become defiant at home when they are unable to perform the tasks set out in the homework assignment. If your youngster cannot explain the task to you, chances are high that they do not understand it for themselves. At this point, it is crucial that you be able to re-teach the skill, or contact the youngster’s teacher right away for an explanation.

6. Do not argue or threaten— If you argue with a youngster, you have already lost. Threats do not work. Kids are pre-programmed to push the envelope and to call our bluff.

7. Establish a routine— Schedule a time for homework. Start homework at the same time as often as possible. Many dedicated moms and dads feel that kids should start homework the minute they enter the house. However, some kids may need time to play, relax or regroup after a stressful school day. Choose a time that will fit into your schedule and be productive for your youngster. Establishing a stopping time is also important. Add a timer to your homework materials kit and let your youngster know that when the timer goes off, homework is finished. Very few kids can endure more than an hour of homework, but less than thirty minutes will probably not be enough to accomplish much. Consider your youngster's age, needs and frustration level. At first, this structure may seem ineffective. However, your youngster may begin to see defiance as wasted effort once homework becomes an inevitable part of the nightly routine.

8. Establish time and place— Routine is important to Aspergers kids. Homework should become a routine just as bedtime, bath time and brushing teeth. Usually it is best to start the homework as early as possible. Once the youngster is tired, there is a greater likelihood that the youngster will become defiant. If homework is a consistent part of the daily routine then the youngster knows that there is no wiggle room for defiance.

9. Go with a reward system— If the youngster has several sheets of homework or one sheet of a particular subject that causes your youngster stress then break up the homework session. Have the youngster complete some of the homework and then let them take a break by engaging in an activity that relaxes them. Set a timer and make sure the youngster knows how much free time they will have.

10. Hold fast— Do not give up. If the youngster must miss out on something they want because they have not yet finished their homework, then this is what they need to experience.

11. Low traffic area— Make sure the room they do their homework in isn't a major traffic area. If you have to use a high traffic area then make sure everyone in the house is aware that this particular block of time is homework quiet time. Tell any other kids that may not have homework that for a particular period of time you will be off limits, unless there is an emergency. Let the other kids know they will have to be somewhere else until their sibling is finished working.

12. Make it visual— Consider a visual way for the Aspergers youngster to see accomplishment on homework. For younger kids it may mean taking a link off of a paper chain or putting jelly beans in a container. It can be a marker board or calendar to mark off the items completed. When the tasks are made visible to the student, the student develops a stronger sense of accomplishment. For older kids, it can be as simple as having an in-box and an out-box. Don't put everything in the in-box at first.

13. New person of authority— Sometimes a great tool is to bring in a new person to be the authority for awhile. Many students improve by having a relative or a tutor come in to work with them on homework for awhile. Kids tend to think that moms and dads don't know anything, but when someone else tells them the exact same thing, the student begins to respond. Another factor in this is when kids see the negative attention from a mother/father as attention. Bringing in someone that does not have that emotional tie can help with a change in behavior.

14. No rewards before completion— A common mistake is to allow students to watch a little television or play a few video games before tackling homework. It must be established early on that completion of the homework comes before pleasure. If it is the other way around, a defiant youngster will continue to be defiant because of the desire to continue the pleasurable activity.

15. Offer win-win options— Offer options that get everything done, such as allowing the youngster which thing they do first, math or writing.

16. Praise— Once the youngster has completed their homework praise them for doing their work. Acknowledge that they completed it nicely. If you make the youngster aware that you noticed their good work habits, they are likely to repeat them.

17. Proper working conditions— For some Aspergers kids, an improper working environment can cause them to be defiant. Students are hungry and thirsty when they come home from school. A few minutes for a snack are certainly appropriate. Consider having the youngster sit at the counter while preparing meals so the mother/father is available for supervision and questions and yet it is not overbearingly looking over the youngster's shoulder. Make sure that the student has appropriate supplies and that the study area is clean and neat. Cluttered desks, tables or other study areas are not conducive to studying for many students. Do consider playing music lightly in the background or allow an MP3 player as it can help some students to focus and then the homework is a little more pleasurable. Finding the proper working conditions may require a little experimentation.

18. Provide reinforcement— Show your youngster that refusing to do homework has negative consequences while making a true effort has rewards. Choose two or three behavioral goals for your youngster and write them on a chart that your youngster can understand. For example, if your youngster's screaming is the worst part of homework time, you could include "Speak in a calm voice" on your chart. Other goals may relate to staying seated, following directions, or reading aloud. Try to phrase them positively; most students will not respond well to a list of items that all begin with "Do not __________". At the end of each homework session, discuss your youngster's behavior. If the youngster has met the goal, record that under the date. You can use stickers, stars or a certain color. If the youngster has not met the goal, record that with a different mark, such a minus sign or a frown.

19. Ground rules— Set down ground rules, such as no television, computer games, friends, or other entertainments until their homework is done.

20. Show interest in their work— Homework does not need to be painful or a power struggle. Stay positive, use rewards and read the work over with our youngster. Showing an interest in your youngster's' work helps to create a positive feeling in your youngster and home work will not seem like such a chore.

21. Small successes— It may be necessary to begin with small steps with rewards. The defiant youngster can rebel because homework seems daunting and overwhelming. Break the assignments down and then take a small break or have a snack. Often times when the student knows that a break is coming after one task, it will be tackled with more gusto. Eventually the student may indicate the desire to do a little more before taking a break. To start the goal may be finish five math problems or read one page in the book. The small goals make kids feel like it is a surmountable task.

22. State your expectations— Habits take time to develop and are difficult to break. This is as true for good habits as it is for bad habits. Good study habits take time to develop and bad study habits are difficult to overcome. By remaining firm and calm, and providing clear explanations when they are needed, your defiant youngster will learn that some battles simply are not worth the effort. In surprisingly little time, your defiant youngster will learn better study habits, if only so that they can have more time to do the fun things that they want to do.

23. Stay calm— Getting angry simply tells the youngster that they have won; they control you when you lose control of your emotions.

24. Stay positive— Your positive approach will help your youngster maintain their good mood when completing their tasks.

25. Work with the School— Talking to and enlisting suggestions from the youngster's teachers is a valuable step. Do not keep the youngster out of the discussions. The teacher, administrators and counselors can be there to reinforce the expectations. It helps to make it clear to the student that everyone is united. Do not see the professionals as enemies. They are able to look at the youngster objectively and not emotionally.

In summary:

  • Be available for help.
  • Be consistent about what time of day the work will be done.
  • Be patient when they make the same mistakes over and over again. Maybe they need to be taught using a different approach.
  • Be realistic in your expectations on how much time it will take. Remember this is all new for your youngster and they are just beginning to build their logic and knowledge base.
  • Have everything the youngster will need ready before they start.
  • If the youngster has lots of work, ask them what they would like to start with. This small gesture helps the youngster gain some control over an activity they don't like.
  • Keep the work time as quiet as you can.
  • Use a rewards system.

With these tools in mind, parents can help the strong-willed Aspergers youngster to take ownership of his/her homework.


My Aspergers Child: Preventing Meltdowns at Home and School 


COMMENTS:

•    Anonymous said… Don't punish him twice, he's already been punished at school. Eventually he'll get anxious about going home knowing he'll be punished again. A lot of parents in the USA are getting medical cards for cannabis and their children are doing really wel. Hope that helps x
•    Anonymous said… Give the boy a break. He is struggling to cope with the workload. He is only 8. He has loads of time to find his way in the world. X
•    Anonymous said… He may have low muscle tone and if he does, it hurts to write. If that is the case, no wonder he is having behavioural issues.. Less stress, less melt downs. Less expectations on these kids. Does he alway have sensory processing disorder too? As if so, school is enough. Just play and relax once home. He would be in total sensory overload. Good luck.
•    Anonymous said… He needs less work and more positivity and praise. His self esteem will be at an all time low as he's constantly being punished as he can't do his school work. He will feel he can't achieve anything. Give lots more positive attention, fun times, praise each tiny achievement he does and his behaviour will improve along with his self esteem. Plus your relationship with him will massively improve. Since we did this with our son his behaviour, self esteem and our relationship has improved. He's opening up to us more. We still have a lot of bad behaviour etc but it's much better generally. Hope it helps.
•    Anonymous said… He probably can't control the yelling in class. He should not be disciplined for behavior he can't control. Positive reinforcement Always wins out over negative reinforcement! I would definitely meet with school, discuss classwork and homework at meeting to reduce the amount and frequency. Don't take away fun activities at home, because he may be looking forward to that safety and security at home, if he feels out of place at school. Also, therapy and medicine for anxiety can help if you aren't already doing that. These things have helped my three sons, that are all on the Autism Spectrum.
•    Anonymous said… Heartbreaking! Something needs to changed at school. Homework should be no more than an hour. He seems to be stuck in a negative downward spiral. I pray this is all turned around.
•    Anonymous said… He's not gonna want to do better if everyone is constantly negative with him.Its like being thrown in a snake pit day in and day out.Should be focusing on the positive building him up instead of tearing him down with long homework that is to much and too long and punishment.Id talk to school about nipping that.And be extra positive and fun to build him up and help him decompress his anxieties and anger.He shouldn't be punished twice.
•    Anonymous said… I am a teacher.. though I teach highschool, we are taught the same with homework. Children should not be given homework, only sent home with work that was unfinished at school. There are many sites and scientific studies to back this belief. Do a little research and write that teacher a note. No child should have that amount of homework!
•    Anonymous said… I don't think the school is doing him any favors. Having a HFA child on the write repetitive sentences is ridiculous, and to him probably seems pointless and causes more stress. You on the other hand seem to be trying different positive strategies to manage the situations, I believe negative reinforcement/attention is not good for any child, but especially not for HFA. Although I didn't have the same situation as you, home schooling my daughter is a good option.. Good luck to you and stay strong
•    Anonymous said… I hate homework for this reason....it seems so pointless. There are so many studies that show homework is unnecessary for young children...and I have to admit, we have made a family decision to skip it. We do so many learning activities with our son and he is showing us ways he enjoys learning and we try and capitalize on that, but it is NOT worth the struggle to get him to do a couple poxy worksheets a night.  :( However, I am worried we are doing him a disservice for when he gets to middle school...he is 8 as well.
•    Anonymous said… I would completely refuse to do homework at home. Home is safe and family is first. I would also call an iep meeting asap. He is overwhelmed by their regular work and then they pile a ton of useless activity on top of that? Who wouldn't throw a fit? It sounds like he needs regular sensory breaks and a new approach to what they expect. Sadly, having said all that, none of it worked for my son and he's much more successful homeschooling. However, the tantrums were much less when he wasn't overwhelmed by the school piling it all on and trying to send it home. I also had it written into his iep that he could not have recess taken away as he needed the sensory input.
•    Anonymous said… I would have been a nervous wreck as an 8 year old in this day an age...to then learn differently in addition to the already high demands we place on our children now. I've had to release the reigns with my son at home, also HFA, it's made a world of difference. We have more play time than most! Do teachers understand and agree, some (not all), but that's okay, his mental health is more important.
•    Anonymous said… I would refuse the homework. My daughter has Aspergers and as far as she concerned school is school and home is home, she used to freak out if homework was mentioned. I had a word with the school and she's now coming along great as all her homework is done in school time.
•    Anonymous said… If this kiddo is anything like mine, the small amount of "homework" sent home should take ten minutes but because of adhd and meltdowns it takes 4 hours.  😞 my 1st grader had 20 spelling words to study each evening and it is quick some days and some days take all evening. Depends on how her day is going. I want her to do well but my cut off is one hour after school and 30 minutes before bed if we don't finish beyond that... well i tried but I'm not making my child miserable after all day away from me at school.  😖
•    Anonymous said… Insist on an IEP team review meeting as soon as you can. Having him write that much and the punitive nature of writing repetitive sentences is not meeting his needs. Get a sped advocate involved if the school won't listen to you. As a teacher and parent of a specially wired child, this breaks my heart. Listen to your child, advocate for them, listen to your parental gut, and educate the educators about the need of your child. Any decent education team will listen to and respect that, but I know it isn't always easy.
•    Anonymous said… Keep everything positive, build him up, tell him that he'll get more attention/fun if he does the "steps" required. break assignments into short segments, use questions about his assignment/look to different learning styles. my son likes to talk/learn while moving so we do assignments while walking or in the car where there are not so many distractions. my son also loves the history channel. find his focus area and try to use this in his learning Good Luck! We are now working on college credits
•    Anonymous said… Keep school punishment and home punishment separate. Tell the teachers that they are to let him finish at school his work. What is left should be given the next day. At home do positive things with him. He is being bombarded by school and home. He deserves a safe place. A place of love, peace and joy. Let that always be his home. Writing sentences for a child on the spectrum is not beneficial. I'm not sure they should disciple him but use a reward for him for good behavior.
•    Anonymous said… Look at his diet. We are trying to eat additive and preservative free (or mininals) which means a bit more baking and cooking from scratch and learning what to buy at the supermarket that has 'no nasties' as my kids call them. When we are onto our sons diet (we aren't always) it takes the edge off the anger and the length of his tantrums/meltdowns.
I thought we add pretty well until I did a course that made me look at the numbers and names of ingredients in products and the findings are scary, known carcinogenic ingredients, mood disrupters, causes aggregation and confusion. All in our food, very scary. I did a course through sistermixin they have fb page and I have the chemical maze app and book. Worth a look into.
•    Anonymous said… Many of these kids don't like to write so that's crazy to think that's going to make him get his work done any better. Reward, don't punish. Punishment doesn't work with these kids! You need to call a parent/ teacher conference and together figure out how to motivate him or it's just going to get worse. I'd also put in his IEP no homework.
•    Anonymous said… Maybe traditional school that is meant for those that can sit still for 6 hours at a time is not for him. Look for alternatives within the community, like a half day program. No child should have to do 4 hours of homework a night, no matter what the circumstance. I went through this with my son who graduated this year. We ultimately used an online program for his core classes, and then public school for electives. Freshman and Sophomore years were horrible in high school, but when he tested into the running start program to enter college early, things turned around for him. He took 2 honor music classes at the high school, and two college classes. He made friends in college, FRIENDS!! It was the best decision we ever made. He just graduated with honors in the arts. 

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