When Is It A Good Idea To Homeschool Children With Autism, And How Would I Go About Doing That?

Question: When is it a good idea to homeschool children with autism, and how would I go about doing that?

Answer: In thinking through the possibility of home-schooling a child with autism, my first thought is that it's really a very daunting task. If we talk about it taking a village to raise a child, it truly takes a major metropolitan area to educate a child with autism. And so, I would again hope that the family in making this decision would think through this full range of needs: academic needs, social needs and behavioral needs. The social needs are very primary for all children with autism and again, in choosing a home-schooling program, it needs to be given thought about how that social need would be met without the availability of peers in a classroom and it needs to be thought through in very formal way.

Most of my thoughts on this subject relate back to our experience with the birth to three population where the early intervention program is a set of home-based services with families often overseeing a set of experts or specialists who are

Lisa Shulman, M.D., Assoc. Prof., Pediatrics, Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva UniversityPlay

>providing services again along these three domains. And in thinking through a home-schooling program for older children, the model that makes most sense to me would be the parent as truly the expert in their child pulling together a team of experts such that the educational expertise that's needed and the social curriculum that's needed and strategies for dealing with maladaptive behaviors are all able to be addressed. But I would really discourage kind of going it alone, but rather viewing the parent as overseeing a whole team intervention approach for a home-schooling program.