As the mother of a child diag- nosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), I have always known that I would homeschool my son. Within three months of
his birth, my husband and I firmly made
the decision to homeschool, after much
prayer, thought, and consideration. Our
decision did not change three years later
when he received a diagnosis of autism.
We knew that it would be more challenging, but we also knew that we were not
willing to relinquish our God-given right
and responsibility to homeschool our
child because of his diagnosis.
However, the decision to homeschool
is typically not as straightforward for
some parents of children with autism.
Instead, homeschooling a child on the
autism spectrum is often a hasty decision
that is made after disparaging trials experienced in the public school system. As a
result, these parents may become quickly
frustrated and often doubt whether they
made the right decision to homeschool.
Typically, the reservations about this
educational option are focused on the
age-old concern of “socialization.” If this
is the case, their doubts and fears are
even more pronounced because they are
now charged with the task of finding appropriate ways to socialize a child with
a social disorder. While their anxiety is
well-founded, their energy is often mis-spent on rummaging through the wrong
resources trying to find the right answers.
Instead, the practical solution is to
prayerfully consider the best methods
for socializing a child on the spectrum.
In doing so, a few factors should be examined. First, it is important to evaluate the purpose of socialization. Second,
it is vital to consider the role that the
child’s overall health will play in his or
her ability to properly socialize with
others. Third, it is crucial to set measureable and attainable goals for finding
the right kind of amenable social environments for the child.
The Purpose of Socialization
When looking for a means to socialize
any child, we must first understand the
purpose and goal of socialization. The
and the Homeschooled Autistic Child
by Teri Brogan
Appropriate settings for autistic children are often significantly different than
settings that are appropriate for neuro-typical children.