Homeschooling a Child on the Autistic Spectrum

by Mary Ann Kelley

But all children with autism are going to do better if they get really good educational intervention. And there’s a lot of controversy as to which programs you use. I have found that the most important thing is a good teacher… you need lots of hours with a good teacher in these really young kids.

~ Dr. Temple Grandin, from “A Conversation with Temple Grandin” on NPR

Many parents have found that homeschooling their autistic child is rewarding and productive. If you decide to bring your child home, here are some resources that can help.

Suggested Reading

Books:

Home Educating Our Autistic Spectrum Children: Paths Are Made by Walking by Terri Dowty

From amazon.com School can be a nightmare for children on the autistic spectrum. Far from learning social skills at school, they may find themselves in a hostile environment where they suffer teasing, bullying, and social isolation. Homeschooling can provide a positive – and workable – alternative. In this sympathetic and readable book, parents who homeschool their children with autism or Asperger Syndrome tell their personal stories: how they reached the decision to educate at home, how they set about the task, and how it changed their children’s lives. A chapter on getting started answers frequently asked questions about teaching materials, curricula and socialization.     Read more at amazon.com


Homeschooling the Challenging Child: A Practical Guide by Christine Field
From amazon.com Often, families will choose homeschooling because they have children who cannot cope or thrive within traditional educational environments due to special physical or emotional needs. Homeschooling the Challenging Child addresses these special education issues, offering potential and current homeschooling families qualified and expert advice. Experienced homeschool mom and author Christine Field will offer hope and direction for those seeking to offer their children the best educational opportunities available. Read more at amazon.com


Homeschooling Your Struggling Learner by Kathy Kuhl

From amazon.com Whether you homeschool, are considering it, or just want to help your child after school, Homeschooling Your Struggling Learner helps you teach your child at home. Kathy Kuhl homeschooled her struggling learner for 4th-12th grades. After he graduated, she interviewed 64 homeschoolers with children with different learning problems, including autism, learning disabilities, AD/HD, and other conditions. She distills their wisdom while conveying her own experience and insights.     Read more at amazon.com


Homeschooling the Child with Asperger Syndrome by Lise Pyles

From amazon.com Packed with inspiring ideas and tips that can be used with any curriculum and on any budget, Homeschooling the Child with Asperger Syndrome explains how to design a varied study programme built around the child’s own interests, making use of simple material as well as computers and on-line resources. Parents planning to homeschool their child with Asperger Syndrome will appreciate Lise Pyles’ encouraging and practical advice, including step-by-step instructions on how to assess and improve body language and social skills, accommodating the child’s need for ritual or perfectionist tendencies, and how to develop handwriting and coordination skills.     Read more at amazon.com


Homeschooling the Child with Autism: Answers to the Top Questions Parents and Professionals Ask by Patricia Schetter

From amazon.com This practical, highly accessible guide answers parents’ and professionals’ questions about teaching children with autism spectrum disorders at home. The book helps parents decide whether to homeschool and guides them through the process of beginning and maintaining an effective homeschool program.    Read more at amazon.com


Articles & Websites:

Unschooling With Aspergers – Susan McLeod-Harrison discusses how, with parental commitment, unschooling can help children on the autistic spectrum because they are driven to learn about what interests them.

My Aspergers Child – Observations and resources from Mark Hutten, a Counseling Psychologist, Home-Based Family Therapist and Online Parent Coach

Reports from a Resident Alien –  Reports from a Resident Alien is an intriguing blog for any parent seeking insight into the thought process of someone with an autistic spectrum disorder. Content may or may not be suitable for children; the blog is a journal of an autistic woman and unselfconsciously addresses a wide variety of life experiences and autistic topics.

What’s Your Opinion: Public or Private School for Kids with Autism?  – Lisa Jo Rudy, About.com’s Autism Guide, shares about their decision to homeschool her 11 year old autistic son.

Autism Homeschooling Resources  – From About.com’s Homeschooling guide

Homeschooling Carnival: Autism  – Beverly Hernandez shares lots of detailed information and resources about finding a diagnosis for her autistic grandson

Aut-2B-Home Blog Ring  – This blog community is a collection of families who homeschool their autistic spectrum children full-time or part-time.

7 Tips for Beginning to Homeschool a Child With an Autism Spectrum Disorder  – “Homeschooling for autistic children makes a lot of sense for a variety of reasons. It is not necessarily less stressful than sending your child to school. But for many families the stresses that come with home schooling their autistic children are welcome as parents see the needs of their children truly being met in a loving and compassionate way. At the request of a couple individuals I have begun compiling information from various sources about homeschooling with kids with autism spectrum disorders.”

Homeschooling Kids With Autism Spectrum Disorder  – An interview with Anne, a homeschooling parent of a child on the Autism Spectrum, from The Autism Life.com

Tammy Glaser’s Homeschool Page  – Lots of resources from Tammy Glasser who has been homeschooling her 18yo autistic daughter Pamela for 12 years

ASLearningAtHome – “If you are a family dealing with Autistic Spectrum Disorders and you are homeschooling or considering the option, then this is the list for you! This groups was started in 1999 to support and encourage each other as we homeschool. This is a great group of families from around the world and we all have different educational, child rearing and religious philosophies. If you can respect other’s differences then you are welcome to join. This is a high volume list.” Membership requires approval.

Aven’s Corner  – “Welcome to Aven’s Corner. Aven is our 3 year old son with autism… We wanted to get Aven involved in using the computer but we found that most online games for kids were too busy, small, and cluttered for Aven. He needed a game that was full screen with no distractions and a unique reinforcer that would stimulate his mind. My wife and I decided to write a few simple games to teach Aven how to use the computer and turn his fascination with certain objects into a learning experience. Aven quickly learned how to move the mouse over items and eventually learned how to click on objects. He responded so well that I have continued making games for him and Aven’s Corner was born. All of the free kids games at Aven’s Corner are developed with young children with autism in mind, but they appeal to all children because of their simplicity. We have also included fun online kids activities for parents and teachers to do with their children. We hope that our site is beneficial to your child and you have a great time at Aven’s Corner!”

Advice for Parents of Young Autistic Children   – Receiving a diagnosis of autism can be devastating to some parents, but for others it can be a relief to have a label for their child’s symptoms. Many parents can be overwhelmed by fear and grief for the loss of the future they had hoped for their child. No one expects to have a child with a developmental disability. A diagnosis of autism can be very upsetting. Joining parent support groups may help. However, these strong emotions also motivate parents to find effective help for their children. The diagnosis is important because it can open the doors to many services, and help parents learn about treatments that have benefited similar children.

Using TEACCH* At Home  - TEACCH is the Treatment and Education of Autistic and Related Communication Handicapped Children and was developed by University of South Carolina. This website goes into detail about how to adapt the program for home use.

Donna Williams  – Autistic author, speaker and screenwriter

Dr. Temple Grandin  – Temple Grandin, Ph.D., is the most accomplished and well-known adult with autism in the world.

Autism Speaks  – Autism Speaks was founded in February 2005 by Bob and Suzanne Wright, grandparents of a child with autism. Since then, Autism Speaks has grown into the nation’s largest autism science and advocacy organization, dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism; increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders; and advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. We are proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish and look forward to continued successes in the years ahead. Autism Speaks. It’s time to listen.

Suggestions and advice on TheHomeSchoolMom.com are for general information purposes only and should never be considered as specific to your individual situation, nor are they a diagnosis or treatment advice for any kind of medical, developmental, or psychological condition. TheHomeSchoolMom may be compensated for any of the links in this post through sponsorships, paid ads, free or discounted products, or affiliate links. Full terms of use and disclosure