Homeschooling any child can be a huge challenge, but homeschooling a child with autism can be a much bigger challenge then you ever imagined. Any parent, who has more than one child, knows that each child is so uniquely different. Although kids with autism have some similarities in behavior and temperaments, they are just as unique as everyone else. If you’ve homeschool a typically developing child before, you need to start with a fresh mindset because this will be a much different homeschool experience for you and your family.
- Know your states laws about homeschool: Every state has different laws regarding homeschool, and state standards for each grade. Some states have you stricter rules then others, and it’s important for you to know what is required of you, if requested.
- Talk with your child’s doctor: Your child’s doctor, who treats the ASD, is a good resource. The doctor knows a lot about different techniques and new methods for kids with autism. If you need more help, your doctor should be able to refer you to someone who can help you with making a plan.
- It is really important to know where your child is developmentally: This is very important, so you aren’t frustrating yourself and your child, but you are challenging your child at the same time. You want to start teaching your child material he can understand, and is at his level academically.
- Don’t compare your child to any other children: If you have other typically developing children, it is easy to find yourself comparing your children. It’s important to remember that every child is different. You just need to help your child be the best that he or she is able to be.
- It is probably going to take longer for your child to retain the material you’re teaching: Kids all learn at different rates, so it shouldn’t really come as a surprise if your child takes longer to teach. Don’t feel like you have to keep up with anyone else. Just work on doing what’s best for your child.
- Join a homeschool group: Joining a homeschool group will give you a great support system, and help for ideas with different curriculum. A homeschool group is fun for the different outings and field trips, as well.
- Try different methods to see what works best for your child: Depending on the age of your child, there are many different great homeschool curriculum options. While they are younger, you can use word cards, printable alphabet, numbers, colors and shape sheets, puzzles and a chalkboard. A couple of great homeschool curriculum companies are Abeka and Christian Liberty.
- Don’t stress out; work on things little by little: Everyone has days that are rougher than others. Just take it one day at a time, and work on things little by little. Stressing out is not going to benefit you, and just causes your child to feel stressed out, as well.
Homeschooling kids with autism can seem intimidating, but once you make a plan, and get started you and your child will begin to get into a routine. You can have so much fun trying different things, different arts and crafts, and spending quality time together.