The Old Schoolhouse was seeking some articles about homeschooling and special needs. I was fortunate enough to be chosen to write about a subject near and dear to my heart: how homeschooling children in the autism spectrum can provide wonderful and intensive opportunities for socialization.
This is counter to what many educators will tell parents. Often, we are told that these children MUST be in school for socialization purposes. I was told this. I was told this at least 3 years into intensive therapeutic interventions for my son in the autism spectrum and having a Master’s degree in teaching that included additional graduate level credits in special education and specifically in teaching children with autism.
But I was told that I didn’t know what was best for my son–and that I would be crippling him for life by keeping him home. In fact, he’s come farther than they anticipated was possible and note that his recent evaluator (who can spot a spectrum child in 2 minutes) was unable to peg his spectrum diagnosis until she was more involved in his testing–where it was unquestionable. She sees kids like mine daily and is involved in many research studies. It comes with new challenges but even she conceded that some of his surprising areas of functionality were undoubtedly the result of the “intensive” or frequency of training he gets at home.
Certainly your family situation, your child’s severity of impairment and your access to services are HUGE factors in this decision. But for those who have figured out the rest and the final sticking point is socialization… or if socialization has prevented you from even trying to figure out the rest–I invite you to visit my article on this issue at The Old Schoolhouse and let me know what you think.
Does this raise new thoughts for you? Concerns? Challenges? Awakenings? Opportunities?
Much love to you,
I have now lived in Illinois for 6 years. In all of that time, I think the closest I have come to the ocean has been the breath of salt air during a ferry ride between Jersey City and Manhattan during one of my early trips back east.
And I think the lack of salt air is really a problem for me. Continue reading Mama is planning an escape…
I think this is where we might be derailing from unschooling and child-led learning. I’m not sure yet. But if we are, I’m totally okay with that. Continue reading Mama is not ready for high school. Neither is my BigGuy (or is he?)
So often I find myself wondering what to do and how to facilitate learning at the direction of my children and in the last year, I have struggled most with Girly.
And it’s kind of stupid because for one, she TOLD me what she wants. All I needed to do was follow. I didn’t. So that was the first mistake to correct. Continue reading Focus on forgotten fundamentals: exposure and experiences
Girly was placed in our home at 12 days old. From birth, she had very little human contact and there are a lot of reasons for this–but it was what it was. I didn’t grasp how “big” that was. Twelve days didn’t seem like a long time.
As an ignorant adoptive parent who didn’t know what I didn’t know, I have since learned an awful lot. And one of the things that I learned a lot about (and continue to learn about) is race. My now-7yo daughter started teaching me that as an infant in ways I never expected. Continue reading She is brown…
I don’t know what happened… One minute, we were really happy and free and loving. Then we kind of got thrown into learning–driven by BigGuy’s goals and desires as I floundered to figure out to support him. Then I thought I had it, but I was neglecting Girly’s needs. Now, as I plot ahead for the next school year, I am already overwhelmed. And that’s stupid because as unschoolers, there really shouldn’t be a lot for me to do. Seriously. But I’m noticing that our recent realization that BigGuy is high school-eligible has given me temporary brain shift and with it came a wave of crazy expectations…. Continue reading What happens when you are helpless to having expectations
I am sitting in the waiting area of the Belin-Blank Center Clinic as BigGuy does his second (and last) day of psychoeducational testing.
The trip alone with him has definitely shown me some things… Continue reading Mother-son road trip
A week or two ago I attended BigGuy’s Gavel Club end-of-year presentation. BigGuy is 12 and by public school standards–he would’ve been in 6th grade this year. The local Gavel Club had a junior high “section” or “division” or whatever you want to call it.
A friend’s daughter was graduating out of Gavel Club that day (there is a curriculum to complete and she was finished with it). She told me that she had not put her son (a year older than BigGuy) in Gavel Club because she wanted to be able to use it for high school credit… Continue reading Surprise! It looks like we have a high schooler
People always talk about how much it costs to homeschool. To be honest, it costs about as much as you want it to and/or can afford for it to. What you don’t pay in dollars you might pay in effort. The internet and library make for an extraordinarily rich education for the parents willing to exert a few ounces of effort.
Continue reading An eye-opening look at the finances of homeschooling
Mama… I feel ya. Sometimes the days just seem to blend one into the other. Suddenly, you seem to have lost your sense of self and everything is being carefully juggled just to maintain the status quo. You don’t even know how tired you are. Continue reading A Letter to the Mom of the Challenging Child