Jessica Sillers, Homeschooled K-12, Writer
Rather than wondering if homeschooling is best for autistic children as a whole, ask yourself whether homeschooling is the best fit for your child and your family situation. Homeschooling will give you increased control over your child's learning environment, consistent one-on-one attention, and flexibility to pace your child's curriculum according to his or her needs. However, homeschooling also requires significant time investment, which can be hard if both parents work even part-time, and homeschooling families need to be proactive to offer enough social opportunities for students. Ask yourself: - Am I considering homeschooling for primarily academic or social reasons? Do I know where to find support from like-minded families in my area, and where to buy curriculum supplies? - Do I have time to research education materials, participate in homeschool support groups, and work closely with my child if he or she is not able to study independently? - Will homeschooling help me balance my child's education and any other regular needs, like therapy sessions? - If I am homeschooling to prevent my child being bullied, do I have a plan to build a supportive social environment? Are there options I can discuss with teachers or the school board to improve my child's school environment?
Considering I don't know where your child falls on the autism spectrum, consider what you know about his or her academic and career potential (I have known autistic students who excelled in graduate school, and others who will require care throughout adulthood)? Either homeschooling or traditional school enrollment can prepare your child for college and beyond. It's important to ask which option will offer your child the best support in the long run, regardless of the ups and downs of the current school year.