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,
2 thoughts on “Homeschooling children in the autism spectrum and socialization”
I found your blog after reading the article in The Old Schoolhouse Magazine. Thanks for writing such a great article on an important issue! I’m a speech pathologist and homeschooling mama to 3, with one of my children has special needs. Prior to my experience homeschooling, as a professional, I was one of those who thought homeschooling a child with special needs is a disservice to the child. I realize now how wrong I was! Homeschooling my child who has special needs has not only been the best educational choice, but I can’t even begin to describe how it has changed ME. It’s funny how things turn out that way. I’m a huge supporter of parents who have a child with special needs and choose to homeschool. I’ve seen the benefits first hand. Thanks again for the great article to spread the word about homeschooling special needs learners. May your homeschool be blessed!
Thank YOU! And I know exactly what you mean: we really just listen to what the “professionals” tell us without analyzing it. When we stop to really look at things, we realize that their opinion is tainted by that which they are not exposed to!