In this article I am going to outline the key factors that any parent must know when deciding to home school their child. Home schooling the child with Asperger’s can be beneficial because you know your child better than anyone else. In the home school environment, routine can be maintained because there is not the impact of the needs of other children or other interruptions. Further, you have the ability to teach to your child’s strengths that may not be readily recognized by others within the school system. Because as I am sure that you know it is often not the individual teachers that are at fault but overcrowded and under funded schools are often the bigger problem.
It may also help your child avoid the affects of bullying that is often associated with any child who is different. A great deal of research indicates the problems of bullying in Asperger’s children can be very significant and of course very damaging. Luke Jackson in his excellent book “Freeks, Geeks & Asperger’s Syndrome” talks about the problems that he experienced as a teenager in school with bullying (an excellent book that is well worth a read).
The child with Asperger’s Syndrome lacks social skills and the ability to fit in with their peers, yet they usually crave this type of interaction. So this can be a very problematic area for a child with Asperger’s Syndrome. All children learn a great deal of their social skills in school and it is no different for the child with Asperger’s Syndrome. Interacting with other children will not only provide them with the opportunity to develop some social skills, but develop life long skills that will be important to them later in life. At some point in his or her life, your child will need to develop skills that will help them interact in society. They will also need to develop the ability to make decisions in your absence. It is not likely that they will have the opportunity to learn these skills in home school, unless you are very active with other social skills groups. So this element of your child’s development is one that you must address and consider when thinking about home schooling. This can include looking at suitable youth clubs, sports and leisure groups that your child may be interested in.
You will also need to work on emotions, social situations, Feelings etc. as part of the home school curriculum. This can be through discussion, emotions cards, role-playing, using specially designed computer software and obviously getting out there in to the community for real life lessons and social skills testing. There are now many websites dedicated to home schooling that I would advise you to take a look at such as:
It is also important to remember that there are certain protocols and legal requirements to follow for home schooling which you will need to check with your local education board.
In summary – home schooling can be excellent as it can better meet your child’s needs and help to reduce bullying. But social skills and interaction also need to develop and this has to be properly considered for the home schooled child. As well as this any parent must take good advice on the subject and thoroughly research before taking such a significant step.