HELP FOR PARENTS OF CHILDREN WITH ASPERGER'S & HIGH-FUNCTIONING AUTISM

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Home Schooling Your Aspergers Child

"I've been thinking about home schooling my 6-year-old Aspergers child. Are there any critical issues I should examine before making this move? I'm undecided at this point and want to make the right decision."

When faced with questions about how to educate your son or daughter, the challenges become all that much more difficult if you have a child with Aspergers or High-Functioning Autism. Home schooling is an option for many children, and it could be the best educational choice for a child with Aspergers.

The first decision to make is whether or not the family has the resources of time necessary to home school the Aspergers student. Special learning techniques may need to be learned, and parents who home school need lots of patience and a level head.

It may be interesting to try your child out at a public or private schooling situation before deciding on home schooling. Some Aspergers children fit fairly well into the classroom, while others are quickly labeled “freaks” and are shunned by their classmates. Teachers of regular classrooms may not have the time or energy to deal with the intricacies of teaching an Aspergers student and, by observing what’s happening in the classroom, a parent may find that home schooling is one of the few viable options.

Some challenges of home schooling include dealing with a child that is a visual learner who might not learn as well by listening. Some Aspergers children become so obsessed about having everything perfect that they will throw away papers that have mistakes on them. Aspergers kids often have very narrow focuses of interest so that the parent-teacher needs to find ways to tie in other subjects or to teach other subjects in a way that is interesting to the child.

There are always critics who argue that home schooled children lack the necessary social skills that children who go to a regular school get on a daily basis. With Aspergers children, social skills must often be taught in a structured setting, and parents have the opportunity to do this and to explore putting their child on a sports team or other social organization (e.g., band or music programs), which will give them social skills without overwhelming them.

In general, a parent who teaches to the innate interests of their child will not only be successful, but will have succeeded in giving their child a better education than they would get in a noisy chaotic classroom. 

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

I would keep them in school, just pick a charter if you can. My 12 year old feels isolated enough and already wants to retreat from people. Having him in school is the only "normal" he has and the only chance to make friends including others like himself.

Anonymous said...

Yeah they will be missing out on 30 hrs a week of socializing practice, they need a forum to rehearse social scenarios and school is the best one. If your set on taking your child out you will need to find alot if other ways to make up that time.

Anonymous said...

Our son is 5 and we homeschool. We belong to two different homeschool groups so socializing isn't a problem at all. Actual school work during the day doesn't take that long and we go on lots of field trips and we have weekly park days and workshops and lots of other great things to keep our kids socialized. I was worried about this as well, but his Dr. said it was fine, that they get the socializing skills they need from us, what they get with their peers is practice. Besides, he gets a lot of good socializing practice with the community this way, not just sitting in a classroom with a bunch of kids all day. Some days it's tough, it really is, but so far so good :) Good Luck in whatever you decide!

Anonymous said...

No socialization with homeschooling is a misconception. It's not what people think anymore. I homeschool my 12 year old and he has plenty of socialization. I consider it better than what is available in public schools. He was bullied and the schools did nothing and reversing the damage from that has been harder than finding socialization chances. There are groups, sports, dances, feild trips, anything you can think of. On top of that he can go at the pace he needs. He is so advanced in science that by the time he hits high school he will be at college level. The things he does need help on can be addressed more accurately. His therapists actually recommended I keep him out of the public schools. Of course everyone has a different experience in them, however, if socialization is what is stopping you, don't let it. There are so many things for homeschoolers now that its not an issue.

Anonymous said...

I homeschooled my aspie son fotlr Kinder and 1st grade. early in the 1st grade year I began to see his need for extreme routine. I tried very hard to provide that but just couldn't. The co-op options available for PE were not meeting his needs either. He has been in public school 2years now and is much happier. His advisor is amazing and always helps him and us with social issues. I know we are extremely lucky with this school. I would go back to homeschooling if this wasn't working so well, but it would be quite hard on me.
46 minutes ago via mobile · Like

Anonymous said...

Homeschooling has been an absolute lifesaver for us, for almost 7 years now. :)

Academics don't usually take very much of our day, then he's freed up to pursue HIS interests which will most likely lead to a nice career one day. He fixates on a topic and researches it to death. ;) Then draws, builds things he's learned about. If he were in a traditional classroom setting, he would be overwhelmed, stressing out, learning very little. At home, the atmosphere is relaxed. No worries about bullying and 'fitting in'. His mental energies are freed up for important things and he is a HAPPY child. If he's having a bad day, we don't 'do school'. When he's having a good day, we get SO MUCH done!

Socialization. When homeschooling, we don't stay home 24/7! We do leave the cocoon. ;) Many home educators are involved in so many outside activities, they are 'out' more than they are at home. That doesn't work for us, but my point is YOU are in control and make choices that best suit your situation. My son IS learning how to interact in the REAL WORLD, with people of ALL ages. In school, everything is peer-focused, 'fitting in' with kids your age, wearing the 'cool' clothes, doing the 'cool' things (don't get me started). Most communities have homeschool support groups where your kid can interact with other kids/families and do all sorts of fun, educational things. There is scouting, 4-H, etc., etc. So many possibilities! And you have FREEDOM to make choices that are right for YOUR child. In the school system, you're basically told what to do, whether it works for him, or not.

If you're looking for specific "social skills training," there are resources online, free and paid, and you can get 'therapy' at some universities, students working with special needs kids. If you web search "Jill Kuzma, conversation skills," you'll find FREE info. Useful stuff! :) There are social story books out there. The most notable author is probably Carol Gray. "Super Duper Publications" also has resources for social skills training. I have one book by them called, "204 Fold & Say Social Skills," that's pretty good. After you read through things like this, you can write your own specific social stories and try them out when you go out-and-about. Oh, the possibilities are endless, in a good way, when you educate at home. :)

Homeschooling has been such a blessing to my family. I wouldn't have it any other way. Sure, we have tough days. We have great days. Just like any other family. But there is PEACE OF MIND (can't put a price on that!) in knowing that my child is not worrying about what others think of him, he's not being bullied behind my back, and he's getting the best possible education BECAUSE he is in his own comfortable environment, where he can work to his fullest potential.

I wish you the best in whatever you decide to do! :)
7 minutes ago · Like

Anonymous said...

I too have been contemplating homeschooling, however I am first trying many things with the school first. A daily schedule on his desk that the teacher discusses with the whole class first thing (a weekly schedule seemed to have too many differences for him to accept). He is very frustrated with his writing and will use a computer for the majority of the day and 45 min before the day is over he goes to the special ed classroom for quiet time and working on writing or other skills that need to be improved. So far this is an accomplishment. I have homeschooled another child and the biggest challenge is being hard on your children. Many times I find myself not punishing outside of schoolwork because we have had a rough school day. If you can get the school to try different things until you find something that works, it usually is best. Best of luck to you!!

Anonymous said...

I homeschooled my daughter from the start was great when she wanted school she went, every time it failed, at the last 2 she was beaten quite severely but at 15 mainstream is what she wants now

Anonymous said...

I nearly did that too due to school refusal. In the end we changed schools and it is much better as my daughter is too willful for me to teach her. She accepts institutional rules (as long as they are not 'stupid') more readily than what I want her to do. But had I been in a position to not send her again at such a young age (4) to primary school, and to keep her home till 6-7, I would have done.
53 minutes ago · Like

Anonymous said...

For "socialization", think of this: are other 6 year olds really qualified to teach socialization? Young kids don't always understand these differences, and can be mean. I do not think anyone should use socialization as a main reason for putting your kids in school; there are a plethora of homeschool groups--even in small communities. In our experiences, my kids interact withe kids of all ages--babies to teenagers--and have a much more rounded social experience and acceptance of others. We have the options to drive 45 minutes once a week for a homeschool band, and also a homeschool choir. We have homeschool co-ops and field trips to air & space museums, ice cream factories and the water treatment center. My kids have many friends and our group gets commented on when we go on fuels trips for being so mannerly and respectful, In my findings, homeschool families are very tolerant of all different kinds of families and kids--everyone homeschools for their own reason and therefore more likely to be accepting. As far as covering the basics, there are all inclusive curriculum packages you can get, or you can pick and choose what you study--just google what the homeschool laws are for your state. (a homeschooling mom of a 9 year old Aspie, a 7 year old, 3 year old and 10 month old...I probably never would have considered HSing if it weren't for my oldest, but now I can't imagine life without it). Some good books that touch on socialization, etc: The Ultimate Book of Homeschooling, and The Homeschooling Book of Answers

Anonymous said...

I will be homeschooling my 9 year old son beginning next year. We are counting down the last few days of public school. The elementary school where my son attends has not been supportive and we've fought for years for a basic 504 plan that wasn't even followed or communicated to other staff. We are tired of fighting an inadequate, and uncooperative school system and would rather focus our energy on giving our son what he needs. I believe that homeschooling will benefit our entire family and not just our aspie son. It's nice to hear from those of you already in the trenches.

Anonymous said...

Socialisation is key, in the long run it is better to find a good school and support them there because what education should be is about learning for independence and being able to get on in the world around you.

Anonymous said...

"I homeschool my son and it has been wonderful for our family. Socialization is not an issue. We have a large community and activities. It also gives me the opportunities to meet his needs in a one on one way and a public school could never offer him what I do. I am not against public schooling by any means...but for our family...homeschooling has been great."

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