Homeschooling a child with Aspergers??? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 3 Old 10-16-2008, 05:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Ok - here's our story:

DH and I both WAH. We have a lot of flexibility in our jobs as far as when to work, how much work to take on, etc.

We have two children - ages 6 and 3.5yo. The 6yo was diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome last year. She's always been a challenging kid for us.

We have always wanted to homeschool, or perhaps go through a charter school that would allow us to do the work at home. But with our 6yo, we got a little nervous about the whole idea. She has been so hard to deal with, and we just didn't think we could stand homeschooling her. Literally, we need a break from her on a daily basis. We did try to send her to a Waldorf preschool when she was 4yo, but the teachers wanted us to take her out - they couldn't handle her.

We finally got her enrolled in the local elementary school in 1st grade, with a full IEP, a skills trainer all day, lots of support and structure, and she is thriving. Honestly - she is doing very, very well in that environment. She tested so high academically that the staff strongly suggested skipping Kindergarten entirely. It's not the type of thing we would have gone for - it is a highly structured situation, but it works for her because of the Aspergers. She needs very clearly defined rules and consequences, because she just doesn't "get" subtle messages or social cues, etc. She needs things really S-P-E-L-L-E-D out for her.

The thing is - although I know this school environment is agreeing with her - I really miss the idea of homeschooling. I hate the rigidity of the schedule - having to be there at a certain time, being there on certain days, no flexibility at all. Maybe it's all about DH and I? I hate to think we are being that selfish. But I just can't see continuing on like this forever.

The other part of it is - I wish the school had more to offer academically, socially and emotionally. We would have been fine with her being at the Waldorf school, or even a Montessori school - if being in school is what is best for her with her Aspergers. But this local elementary school is just offering the basics. The staff there are REALLY nice and that is a plus. But the academics - well...

I don't know where I'm going with this - I wish I had a specific question.

I guess I'm wondering if homeschooling is possible for us at all, when DD has Aspergers and when it is so obvious that being in a highly structured environment has been good for her. She doesn't melt down there, she follows directions and enjoys learning, she likes her teacher, she is making friends... I mean, how can I say that pulling her out of there and teaching her at home is any better?

I would LOVE to have her home, but I would need structure for her. She is just a desk-type of learner. I think...

Any thoughts? Comments?

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#2 of 3 Old 10-16-2008, 01:11 PM
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There's a really active yahoogroup for parents homeschooling aspies. I really like it.
Can you replicate at home the things she's thriving with at school- the structure and schedule? You could put a plan in place, pull her and give it a try.

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#3 of 3 Old 10-16-2008, 10:52 PM
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My son is 6. He has sensory issues and we believe high functioning Asperger's (like his dad).

We homeschool and he loves it, but he knows no different.
We have always homeschooled.

I would guess that the change involved with taking her out of school and changing her schedule could be very difficult for her and your family. That does not mean it would not be worth it though, in my opinion. Have you talked with her about your idea of homeschooling? You could set up a schedule like she has at school and make sure to keep her on a daily routine that she is happy with.
We have a rhythm to our day, no schedule and possibly down the road you can have that as well if she is open to it but I am guessing she will need "sameness" to adjust.

I would make sure you know her learning style, is she a
visual, auditory or a tactile/kinesthetic learner?
My son is a HUGE visual learner. He has a very hard time listening and it does not add up when I am just speaking, he becomes highly frustrated when I "talk" to much when I am sitting and teaching him something. He likes to hold things and look at them etc. He does alot of his work on his own. Right now I would say we are mostly "unschooling" or learning through life. He does LOVE his math book though, I am using K12. Other than that book we also have a time book which he enjoys.
We use the library alot and the internet and just have fun learning through daily life.

Please ask any questions you may have!
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