Schooling vs Home Schooling for Autistic Children from Parental Perspective
Autism homeschool vs public school is a dilemma for many parents who raise an autistic child. What to decide and how to choose between these two options.
Today there is a very insightful discussion on Christian Parents of Autistic Kids Facebook group, where parents discuss public and private schools for autism vs home schooling. Here are some opinions from parents with autistic children on how they decided between public schooling vs home schooling and why.
Benefits of Home Schooling for Autism Children
We are currently homeschooling alongside with in home Aba my 6 1/2 yo daughter. We started this after Christmas. It is going wonderfully and I'm convinced this is what's best for the moment. Our current Aba therapist is the best we have had and so much learning is taking place, I'm convinced more than if she was in school. I think so much of this decision depends on the child, what the school and staff are like, and what outside resources are available if you homeschool. For us, I don't feel there is a good option for my daughter at school. Reg ed classroom would be too much for her but want her with NT peers as much as possible. School services usually are stretch and can't provide the quality as private can. And if the kids are in school all day, I think it's a lot to do private therapy in addition. Also a huge benefit of homeschooling is that I am in charge. If I want more speech, I add it, no need to fight for it or having to go through IEPs etc. And like I said we have a great Aba therapist at the moment.
We do a homeschool co op, Sunday school, gymnastics class etc for the social. There are parts of school that I sad we are missing but I do feel this is what is right for our family at the moment. Oh, some of the other benefits, diet/food. If your child is on a special diet, so much easier to do with them at home. Also sleep. My daughter is usually a great sleeper but for some reason she was up at 4 am this morning. Finally went back to sleep and I was able to let her sleep in till after 9 without having to worry about getting to school.
Home school! While the diagnosis came later in age, we always knew our daughter had challenges. While the local PS does sometimes offer beneficial services, many times they are understaffed and ill-equipped to really be of help. If you can homeschool, do it! There are tons of resources available (some free, and some not) and more is available all the time! Depending on your location, in most states, I think they are still required to offer services. You can tailor the education to the child's learning style, and if they're having an "off" day, you can mix things up, and reduce melt-downs.
Jennifer Boyer Froelich
I tried public school for kindergarten, but my son didn't do well, so I homeschooled until 7th, when I started him at a middle school taking just three classes (they were very cool about it). He wanted to go full-time in eighth grade and continued that way through high school. He's doing well in college now. I am glad I homeschooled him when he was young and had trouble with attention, anxiety, etc. but also glad he learned to learn from other teachers in middle school and high school. It was the perfect combination for him.
Rosa Greg Wright
I tried public school for kindergarten. It stressed my son out so bad that I had to take him out after Christmas break. He is high functioning and verbal. I had been working with him at home trying to give him an advantage academically. The problem being that he was too advanced so our school district decided he needed no services, no aide, no anything. I spent 2 days in his classroom after break and got to see all the stuff my son had to deal with, like being put on time out for crying, while the kids that teased him until he cried got nothing done to them. There was nothing in place to help my son, so I decided to homeschool him through the k12 online school program. They send you a loaner computer and materials. They have teachers to connect with, but you are responsible to be a learning coach ( at home teacher ) to teach and supervise the daily lessons. No brick and mortar school buildings for us ever again. It isn't always easy, but my son isn't stressed out any more. You have all day to complete the lessons at your leisure. The work is no more than the homework your child will end up having.
We homeschool. I decided on that long before I had kids because I wanted to give them a Christ centered education.
Also see: Parental Social Isolation and Autism.
I homeschooled my two oldest (one is in college now) and I hoped to homeschool her too but felt she would do well in the ASD program that the PS offered. So far I've been very happy with my choice. I re-evaluate every year. So far so good.
Benefits of Public Schooling for Autism Children
We did private Christian school. In the early years it was primarily for learning to be in a social environment, emotional Regulation and social skill development. I homeschooled afterschool because he didn't have the ability to manage the environment and perform academically. As time went on, I did less and less afterschool. It always took a lot of time working with him to get through homework even when he is older.
Catina Marie Claytor
We are using a public school for my son because he loves to play with kids his own age and get the extra help he needs with the aba therapy.
Hannah Beth Hunting
I always had it in my heart to homeschool. Then my son was diagnosed and his behaviors were too much for him to be at home all day. He needed routine and for his brain to constantly be stimulated. He is almost 7 and is doing great at school!! He has a 1:1 and gets OT, Speech, sensory breaks and whatever else he needs. It's a small school with a big heart and we are blessed.
We do school because we are lucky enough to live in a small and good district. My son will start kindergarten this fall after preschool the last three years. The kindergarten teachers they are planning to use for the special needs kids have been to the preschool to meet the kids, and went to a school with a downs syndrome/autistic child to see what they do and how they do it. I guess they have some good programs in place already so our school wants to learn and implement some new things.
School or home school? What did you decide and why?