Autism Does Not Make Homeschooling Impossible
Public schools are not structured to accommodate children with autism. They combine every aspect of life that autism rejects, including noise, instability, and chaos.
Autism in the Public Classroom
The classroom environment and routine are constantly changing, and children are always interrupted during tasks. They become overwhelmed the inter-workings of the classroom and all the stimuli they deal with on a regular basis. Over time, they become more isolated and begin to reject the idea of school.
You may have some initial hesitation about homeschooling, but I'm here to let you know that autism does not make homeschooling impossible.
Because of the structure needed by a child with autism, many parents choose to homeschool.
In comparison, homeschooling allows for a quiet learning environment. Because instruction is given by someone who understands the problems the child faces daily, he or she is more likely to succeed.
For Those Considering Homeschooling their Autistic Child
Homeschooling a child with autism requires lots of patience and understanding. Your child needs to be carefully transitioned from one topic to another. At the same time, they need to be pushed just enough to slowly build a tolerance for necessary transitions.
Essentially, you need to accommodate the restrictions autism places on their mind while helping to loosen them. It is a careful balance that must be reached and understanding that balance only comes with careful practice.
Who knows your child best?
The first thing you should consider is who knows your child best.
What is it about your child's current public school that has you reading this article? What problems does your child currently face that could be solved by a change in teaching practices? If you are like most parents of children with autism, lack of understanding will be your answer.
Since every child with autism is different, it is impossible to train teachers for every situation they will face. Because of this, just like with any other child, they approach teaching with a pre-fabricated curriculum (pre-fab curriculum). No child responds well to a pre-fab curriculum, and autism makes it almost impossible.
If there is a problem large enough to bring you here, you are ready for homeschool.
Homeschool Curriculum for Autism
Homeschooling a child with autism can be approached in many ways. Many parents choose to use an online based curriculum that is adjusted to fit their child's needs. Others prefer to write their own curriculum so it can be tailored to their child's strengths and weaknesses.
Homeschool Curriculum for High Functioning Autism
The best homeschool curriculum for high functioning autism depends completely on your child. Most children with high functioning autism can use a standard curriculum. You can modify this curriculum to accommodate areas they need to strengthen. Like most children, you may notice that your child accelerates in particular subjects, but requires a lot of work in other disciplines.
Some children with high functioning autism test below grade level in certain subjects. Typically, these subjects are ones that require a lot of reading. You can meet these custom needs by adjusting a standard homeschool curriculum.
Autism and Homeschooling
If you choose to write your child's curriculum, you should confer with their health professionals. Their counselor or psychologist can help ensure that you are not counteracting anything your child is working on in therapy. You can also incorporate the aspects that your child is working on in therapy. This will help with emotional and social growth.
You may need to change your curriculum frequently to accommodate your child's strength and weaknesses. This may seem like a lot of work, and it is. Keep in mind the reason you decided to homeschool. You are homeschooling to give your child a better education, which makes the long hours worth it.
If you are not yet ready to approach curriculum writing, you can always use an online curriculum like Time4Learning. You could also enroll them in an accredited online homeschool.
There are many different homeschools available online. If your child has autism, you will need to screen all potential schools to ensure they will be able to accommodate the special requirements your child's individual needs.
Online homeschools that are popular for autistic children are Time 4 Learning, Willow Star, and Zane Education. These programs help you determine your child's exact grade level and what their individual needs are. They learn about your child's strengths, and where they need extra help, This allows them to create the perfect curriculum for each child who enrolls in their program.
Autism Homeschooling Resources
There are a lot of resources available to parents who are homeschooling a child with autism. Websites like Time4Learning, provide insight into the trials you may face while homeschooling your autistic child. Indiana University also offers excellent resources, from curriculum to individualized advice on for specific educational materials.
After the initial transitioning of your child into a homeschool environment, you will have plenty of resources to turn to. There are also countless online groups for parents who have decided to homeschool their autistic children. These groups are for parents helping are based on parents helping parents. They are a great place to get and give advice, answer questions, and allow you to answer questions from other parents. Since these groups are made for parents homeschooling their autistic children, you can get honest, helpful advice.