If your child is on the autism spectrum, it can be very difficult finding the right school for their education and learning. Teachers can offer only so much support when their classroom is full, and some specialized schools may not be available in your area. You may have considered homeschooling as one option, and there are many benefits for this option. But keep in mind that it is a huge undertaking to homeschool your child, plus adding in the autism spectrum learning. 

Do Your Homework

Simply deciding to homeschool your autistic child without really formulating a game plan can be a cautionary tale waiting to happen. Of course, you’re already familiar and knowledge on how to interact with your child on a daily basis, which is the number one rule of thumb when selecting a teacher. But changing your role from parent to teacher multiple times a day can be a big change for you and your child. Your role is definitely going to be different, so it’s vital to set guidelines and reminders of these situations before you start teaching. How you’re going to teach your child is going to be different as well, so ensure your teaching curriculum and workbooks will do the trick when your first day of school begins. And unless your curriculum is specifically designed for autistic children, you’ll have to change the timeframes of the learning modules to fit that of your child’s learning pace. 

Play To Their Strengths

You know what your autistic child prefers, so use that to your advantage when teaching. If your child is having a hard time comprehending information, utilize one of their favorite items or subjects to try and engage them more. If they like dinosaurs, for example, use some dinosaur figurines to help them learn addition and subtraction.  And remember to give them frequent breaks, as this can help them retain the information easier and give them time to prepare for the next session.  Increasing physical activities can help your child feel less stressed and focused on learning with something fun and outdoors. Playing outdoors can be a breather for your child or a new way of learning that may be easier than sitting and learning. 

Choosing to take on your child’s learning and education is a huge step, and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Although it’s highly noble, it may not be the right choice after all. Make sure to do your own research and figure out a plan that could work for you and your child on the spectrum before fully committing. This will ensure a great school year for both of you! 

Katie Kyzivat