(Inside: Why should you homeschool your autistic child? I get asked this all the time! So today I’m sharing 5 reasons to homeschool your autistic child, even if the world thinks you’re crazy!)
The first question anyone asks when they find out I homeschool A-Man is, can you homeschool an autistic child?
Once that’s out of the way… I get “why in the world would you ever want to!?”
Sometimes it’s more thinly veiled. Like, “I get that you can homeschool your autistic child… But is it really something you should do?”
And I get it…
Even most homeschoolers who have disabled children choose to put them into the public school so that they have access to school programs and therapies.
We chose not to do that with A-Man, and today I’m going to share 5 reasons to homeschool your autistic child…
5 Reasons to Homeschool Your Autistic Child
Now before I really jump in, the standard disclaimer.
These are reasons to homeschool your autistic child that work for my son and my family.
Your child may not need these same benefits. Your child may thrive in a public school environment.
That’s totally okay.
It’s great even, I pinky promise.
But I get asked about this often, so I’m sharing my 5 reasons to homeschool an autistic child.
Your mileage may vary… Ok? :)
Homeschooling Offers a One on One Learning Environment
My son really struggles with focused learning, and he needs constant one on one attention to complete most traditional school tasks.
While homeschooling, my entire class is three kids, and one is doing preschool so he barely counts.
My husband and I can give my son plenty of one on one attention in our homeschool, and he learns things much quicker because of it.
You Can Modify Homeschooling to Fit Your Autistic Child
Homeschooling does not have to look like traditional school at all.
You don’t have to sit at desks or complete worksheet after worksheet.
Or go through a grade-level in one year.
Or even use a curriculum at all.
Homeschooling is completely up to you, and you can do it whatever way is best for you and your autistic child.
We don’t use many formal curriculums for A-Man yet, even though he’s going into “second grade” this year, and we definitely don’t do an entire grade level each year.
You can go at your child’s pace, and use whatever methods help your autistic child learn best.
Autistic Children Feel Safe at Home
Anxiety is a really common comorbid disorder that happens alongside autism, so it’s worth addressing when homeschooling your autistic child.
Often times autistic children who struggle with anxiety have extreme anxiety surrounding the school day.
Getting on the school bus, the chaos of all the kids, transitioning in and out of the classroom, being expected to sit and not fidget all day, completing confusing assignments and more…
There’s a lot to be anxious about!
Most autistic children are naturally more comfortable at home because they’re in their safe space.
Children learn better when they feel safe.
Homeschooling Allows More Time for Autism Therapies
While I am definitely not a proponent of ABA therapy where autistic children are in therapy for 20-40 hours a week, I do think allowing time for helpful autism therapies is important.
At one point we had A-Man in 3 separate therapies, on 3 separate days.
If he went to a public school there would just be no time.
Let alone the time for completing therapy activities at home!
Since we’re homeschooling, we can fit our therapy sessions and therapy activities into our schedule wherever they fit.
You Can Homeschool in a Sensory-Friendly Environment
I touched on this early, but traditional schools can lead to sensory overload and sensory meltdowns FAST.
When you homeschool your autistic child, you have more control and you can create a sensory-friendly environment.
We have fidgets everywhere, flexible seating, calm down spaces, sensory-friendly curriculum, and the ability to have the kids go outside to burn off energy at any point in the day.
Overall, a lot of the reasons to homeschool your autistic child center around having flexibility that just isn’t available to most children who go to a traditional school.
We’re able to teach our son how he best learns, in the best possible environment for him.
We have increased access to therapies.
Homeschooling has been incredible for our family, and we wouldn’t change it for the world.
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