“engage” in conversation or display acceptable behavior easily. Many Asperger’s students suffer from Hyperacusis (over-reaction
to sounds) which is very hard to deal with
in a naturally loud setting like in middle-school. The fast, loud chatter of the students
overwhelms this child’s sensory system, and
he can’t easily process what is being said. If
they make a comment according to what
they thought they heard and it doesn’t fit the
conversation, they receive strange looks and
rejection once again.
Enter the Option of Homeschooling
Why is homeschooling often the best
learning/socializing environment for these
1. Less commotion, noise, and “stimuli” of
a large group, keeps their nervous system from having to filter out so many
2. Social interactions with peers can be
supervised and monitored to remain
positive, greatly building skills and self-esteem.
3. Curriculum choices fit your child better.
Interest driven subjects are the best for
these curious children and teens who
love to study one topic in depth before
going on to another topic.
4. Special dietary needs can be more easily
followed (many parents have found that
often these children do better with a low
sugar, gluten-free diet for a while).
Dr. Tony Atwood, clinical psychologist
and expert on Asperger’s Syndrome (or
Asperger’s-like syndrome), states, “I have
always found homeschooling to be a positive option that has literally saved the lives of
When homeschooling children with Asperger’s symptoms, parents may explore
three intervention areas to make learning and life easier for them: Educational,
Therapeutic, and Biological. We will discuss Educational Interentions here.
1. Select interest driven subjects (Also,
skip around in each book and be led by
what the child wants to study, versus following the order presented in the book).
2. Use videos to teach history or science.
Do much more discussion of subjects
and require less written output. Author,
Lisa Pyle, observes that, “Traditional
curriculum can often be too overwhelming . . . too much writing.”
3. Use computer learning programs. Many
of these children and teens love the
computer; so use this for some subjects,
but not all.
4. Remediate in areas they need it. Many
of these kids are “gifted with a glitch.” If
they love to read, but have Dysgraphia
(great resistance to writing), it can be
corrected at home. If spelling is behind
grade level, use an alternative approach
to teaching it, rather than just writing.
In the next issue of Ask a Specialist we will
explore the many ways you can provide ther-apies, such as Speech or OT, if needed. There
are many resources for homeschooling parents, and we will list many possibilities. We
will also look at examples of parents who
have found ways to help their child overcome their sensory and socialization issues
Use the inexpensive successful Dianne Craft “Right Brain” Learning System
“I have always found
homeschooling to be a
positive option that has
literally saved the lives
of many children.”
—Dr. Tony Atwood