Homeschooling has grown in popularity over the past several years, with many people deciding to teach their children themselves rather than sending them to a public or private school. There are many factors that go into a decision to homeschool.
Homeschooling offers parents a unique amount of impact on their children’s lives. It allows them to know what their child is being taught, and they can watch their child grow. It gives the child freedom to learn at their own pace. It also lets the child or their parents choose their companions as opposed to having to spend large periods of time with a group of their peers that they did not choose.
On the other hand, homeschooling involves much more work for parents than simply sending their children out the door to school, especially if the child has autism. In addition, there is the cost of the autistic curriculum to consider, although there are free resources available for an autism homeschooling curriculum. Some worry that their child will not have enough social interaction if they choose to homeschool.
Why Homeschool an Autistic Child?
Above are reasons that parents in general choose to homeschool. However, some wonder if there are benefits to having those with autism homeschool. Below, we take a look at a few benefits of autism homeschool.
One benefit to autism home school is that children with ASD can learn social skills at their own pace. In a public or private school setting, the child is often thrust into an environment with a large group of children their own age, as well as with teachers and other staff. Since children with ASD often struggle with social interaction, this can be an enormous obstacle to be faced. However, with homeschool, the child will interact most with their family, as well as with friends or with their parents’ friends. This will lead to the development of more natural, real-world social skills, as opposed to skills learned from a group of children. Those with ASD may also be subject to bullying or unkindness from other children at school. If parents want to avoid putting their children into this kind of environment, autism home school is an option.
One-on-one attention from parents is another of the benefits of autism home school. Children with autism who are in public school are often in a larger group of people. Even for those who are put in special needs classes, they may get one-on-one attention only occasionally, since there are many other children that also need help. With homeschooling, the parent can give the child the time and attention he or she needs to complete an autistic curriculum.
Children with ASD whose parents use an autism homeschool curriculum or homeschools autistic child curriculum benefit from minimized distractions. While siblings, pets, or toys may be distracting at home, distractions at school are unfamiliar and thus more confusing. A familiar atmosphere, along with an autistic curriculum, is often most conducive to learning for those with autism spectrum disorder.
Another benefit of autism curriculums for autism homeschool is that they are often customizable. Parents can tailor the curriculum to fit their child’s interests. When searching for the best homeschool curriculum for high functions autism, best homeschool curriculum for Aspergers, autism homeschooling curriculum, or autism curriculums in general, it is important to keep the child’s learning pace and interests in mind. Since those with ASD often develop very specific interests, it is important to choose an autistic curriculum that allows them to explore these interests.
In addition, homeschooling allows parents to avoid having to deal with the school system to make sure their child gets the care they need. Often, parents of autistic children who send their children to public school find themselves having to fight for the care and special education that their child needs. Though many schools are equipped to deal with autism, parents may, depending on the school, find themselves unsatisfied with how their children are being taught. This is another reason to research homeschooling and try to find an autism homeschooling curriculum.
How to Homeschool if Your Child Has Autism
In “Six Tips for Homeschooling Your Child with Autism Spectrum Disorder,” an article from friendshipcircle.org, Jessica Parnell shares pointers for those who have decided to homeschool their child with ASD. One of these is to “work with topic fixations.” Children who have autism often develop a fascination for a very narrow subject. Parnell advises parents to bring that subject into the material they are teaching. Rather than a distraction, parents should view their child’s fascination as an avenue to teaching them.
Another piece of advice that Parnell shares is to “encourage real-world socialization.” People who choose autism homeschooling may worry that their child will not learn to interact with people outside their family. However, if a child is homeschooled, parents have the option of teaching them to interact with people of all ages, as opposed to a large group of children near their own age that they would interact with in a school setting. Parnell offers the idea of helping children socialize in the area of their particular interests. For example, if the child is fascinated by music, take them to see a concert. If the child loves cars, take them to visit an auto mechanic.
Another tip is to make a schedule and stick to it, but plan for frequent breaks. This predictability will be much less frustrating for the child. Parnell also suggests incorporating physical exercise, as this will give the child the sensory input that is necessary for them to be able to then sit and learn. A final tip that Parnell offers in her article is to ask for help. Parents should not feel locked into doing everything on their own, and they don’t need to feel they have to know everything either. They should feel free to seek help, whether it is with autism curriculums or any other aspect of autism homeschool.
Finding the Best Homeschool Curriculum for Autism
An important step in autism homeschool is finding the best autistic curriculum for your child. This may include finding the best homeschool curriculum for high functions autism, best homeschool curriculum for Aspergers, or simply the best homeschool curriculum for autism.Whatever the case, check out this list to find a homeschools autistic child curriculum that works for you.
Note that there are many homeschool curriculums available that are not specific to those with autism; however, we include here those that are specifically designed in a way that helps those with autism. These curriculums are not all comprehensive autism homeschool curriculums that teach everything that the child would need to learn; rather, they are designed in a way that those with autism find accessible. Some are specific to one subject, such as math or social skills. Others are more comprehensive.
ACE ABA Software System
This autism homeschool curriculum is designed to help those with autism develop their social and behavioral skills. ACE is an ABA software system that, according to the website, has everything that is needed to run an ABA classroom. ABA, which stands for applied behavior analysis, is the practice of studying why people behave the way that they do and using this knowledge to improve their behavior. The ACE software system is not necessarily designed with homeschoolers in mind, but it can be used by parents of autistic children. This program could be paired with another curriculum that teaches more academic subjects in order to ensure that the child learns everything he or she needs to know. This may be a good fit for parents who want to apply ABA principles to their autism homeschool curriculum.
TeachTown offers help to those whose children have been diagnosed with disabilities, such as autism spectrum disorder. Its website states that it offers “exceptional solutions for exceptional students.” It offers quite a few resources for those with ASD and other disabilities, such as TeachTown basics, which is an ABA program for children ages 0-2; enCORE, which is a core curriculum for grades K-8; and Transition to Adulthood, which is for the secondary through post-secondary levels. Most of TeachTown’s resources are designed for a combination of online learning and teaching, which is, in this case, done by the parent. TeachTown offers a detailed autistic curriculum for parents who want a structured approach and are looking for the best fit for an autism homeschool curriculum.
Gemm Learning is an online learning center that offers learning solutions for people with disabilities, including autism. Their language teaching program, Fast ForWord, has been shown to be effective for those who struggle with language, including in the areas of grammar, reading, and spelling. Those with autism, according to the program’s website, make the same mistakes as neurotypical children, only they make more of those mistakes. Those with ASD often have trouble with auditory processing. This is the problem that Gemm Learning targets with their autism software. They also have a curriculum specifically designed for use as an autism homeschool curriculum; according to their website, it is easy for parents to use and helps with many of the learning difficulties that children with autism face.
Time4Learning is an online homeschooling resource. Its curriculum is designed to be interactive and interesting, making it a good fit for many homeschoolers with autism. Learning takes place with the help of pre-recorded lectures, animations, and reading activities. Time4Learning also offers resources to help parents plan out their school year, found in the Detailed Activity Planner. For parents who would rather take a flexible approach, Time4Learning offers a Curriculum Calculator. Time4Learning’s program is well suited to those with special needs, as it offers the option of extra practice times. It also offers students access to material one grade above or below their current grade level. The curriculum offers multisensory activities to help children interact better with the material. Time4Learning is approved by the IBCCES as a Certified Autism Resource.
WiloStar3D is an online homeschool curriculum. However, it is not a typical online curriculum. WiloStar 3D has created a 3D learning space, complete with 3D desks and avatars that the students can design to fit their personality. This curriculum moves at the learner’s pace, and it is especially ideal for creative thinkers. The 3D immersive education helps develop critical and creative thinking skills in a unique way. Their website describes the program as being uniquely suited to those with Asperger’s Syndrome, since it is effective at teaching the material students need to learn without the added burden of having to interact in person. Many students with Asperger’s prefer online or technological interaction to in-person interaction, due to their difficulties with reading social cues. WiloStar 3D offers options for those who want a unique online curriculum for autism homeschool.
This website, while not specifically an autism homeschool curriculum, is a great resource for anyone who wants to homeschool. It is an online homeschool resource store that offers lots of options for curricula, allowing parents to tailor their child’s education in the way that would be best for the child.
Miquon Math is a hands-on math curriculum. It is not specifically designed for children with autism, and it may not be a fit for those who do not learn well in a hands-on way. However, it is included here as an example of the kind of curriculum it is possible to find and use once you have discovered your child’s learning style. There are other curricula for different learning styles; this is just one option!
There are many, many homeschool curriculums out there. Not all are specifically designed for kids with ASD. It is up to the parent whether to use a curriculum that is specifically for autistic homeschool, or to combine a general homeschooling program with an autism learning program, or to simply invent their own curriculum using tools like Timberdoodle or Miquon Math. Whichever way the parent chooses, homeschooling their child allows them a great deal of freedom and allows them to tailor their child’s education to fit the way that their child learns.
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