Your child is unique, and although a diagnosis of ASD (autism spectrum disorder) is frightening, there are options to help support your child and family. The toughest part of ASD is the unknown. Each individual with ASD varies greatly. That’s where homeschooling comes in. With one-on-one attention, an ability to create your own schedule, and real-world socialization opportunities, homeschooling may benefit your autistic child.
Socialization happens in school, for sure. However, real-world socialization happens outside of a school setting. If you think about it, in school, children only socialize with their peers. In the real world, however, when we step outside our door, socializing happens with whomever we meet. It’s seldom a peer, but a variety of ages.
The ASD child will benefit if you are able to bring them everywhere with you throughout the day, whether to the grocery store or a field trip to a museum. Outside of your home, there are social opportunities abound, allowing your child to naturally learn how to socialize.
A Consistent Schedule
For many children dealing with ASD, a regular schedule without surprises is key. As a parent, when homeschooling, you are able to cater the schedule to your family’s needs, and also keep it as consistent as necessary. In the same way, the flexibility to make quick changes as needed is a wonderful bonus.
Movement and Games
No one knows your child like you do. You can see when they are in need of physical activity rather than sitting, and head outside to kick a ball. You can also allow them to move while learning when it’s helpful. You’ll quickly see the benefit of this as a new homeschooling parent. Some kids just can’t sit still, and when you allow them to move while reading to them, they’ll surprise you with the results.
Games that require using small items and patience or arts and crafts such as jewelry making or painting are a great practice for the ASD child. When homeschooling, you can make this a big part of the day.
Having the freedom, as well as the time to focus on allowing your child to stay active both physically and cognitively through daily games and exercise is helpful. This is because the Autistic child sometimes struggles with controlling both their muscle groups (large and small). When homeschooling, you’re there to make sure this developmental progress is focused on the needs of your child.
You Set the Pace
Are you noticing a theme here? Freedom, flexibility, and time—homeschooling is done at your pace, or rather your child’s, on your terms, and with your schedule. Remember—you don’t need to recreate public school at home. You’re educating your child at home, using methods that suit you and your child.
There will be tough days, just like there are in school. Thankfully, as you set the pace, you can take a day off when you see your child needs it. You can skip bookwork and take a nature walk because the weather is beautiful and you know your child will smile with delight. Each day is yours, and you’ll never regret this time.
Raising and educating a child diagnosed with ASD has its exhausting moments. When it comes to your child’s education and all-around well-being, homeschooling may benefit your Autistic child because no one can love them through every hurdle and cheer every win the way you can.