Autism Awareness Month
As is the case with any child, a decision to homeschool is a big deal. Not surprisingly, homeschooling requires preparation and planning before you start in order to get yourself into a groove. Homeschooling a child on the Autism Spectrum requires that you consider a few more things. Nonetheless, people homeschool children on the spectrum every day; in fact, some believe homeschooling to be better for these special children with such varied and individual needs.
As the mom of an Asperger’s child, I wouldn’t have had his education provided to him in any other way!
Want to Homeschool a Child on the Autism Spectrum?
Many homeschooling parents ask me about how I was able to homeschool my son. Let me say that it was one of the best experiences of our lives.
But, one of the first things that you’ll want to consider when prepping to teach a child on the Spectrum is the method that suits you and your child best. With so many homeschooling methods out there, you can help narrow this down by considering the type of learner your child is and the types of things that make the material stick with him (e.g. visual aids, audiobooks/lectures, etc.).
One important thing for parents of children on the Autism spectrum to consider is which method is going to allow you to continue with the therapies and treatments your child needs with little to no interruption. For this reason, some parents of Autistic kids find a more relaxed or unschooling approach to work best because these are the most flexible methods. On the other hand, some parents find a structured approach that allows flexibility to be the most comforting. In both cases, homeschooling gives you the ability to work around the therapies and treatments you already have in place.
Whichever style you choose, you must also consider what will work best for your child. Some Spectrum kids don’t deal with change very well, so you may not have the ability to change curriculum programs midway through the year like parents of other children. This is something important to keep in mind as you choose your program for the year.
That said, one of the biggest advantages to homeschooling a child on the Spectrum is that you can suit the curriculum around your child’s specific needs, incorporating life skills along the way. Rather than relying on the school to have a heart for your child, you know no one has his best interest at heart like you do.
Whether you’re homeschooling a child with Autism, or a “neuro-typical” child, there are several things to keep in mind as you teach and learn with them. Take time to consider how you’ll accomplish this task. The time investment upfront can save you many months of hair-pulling for the rest of the year.
Decide which method will best suit you and your child, find a homeschool support group of other parents who are homeschooling children with special needs, organize your day in a way that benefits the whole family, and take the plunge! Most of all, enjoy this new journey because the memories are going to last a lifetime. My Asperger’s son homeschooled all the way through and it was one of the best decisions we ever made.