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Ds turns 5 next month. He has high functioning autism. He is actually really high functioning. He luckily doesn't have problems with socializing so much as he does with speaking and behavior. We have had him in speech therapy for 2 years now and it has made a difference, but I also work with him a lot at home.
We recently moved to Florida and they have a special program for autistic kids here, but because ds is so high funcitioning they don't want to put him in it because they think he will regress (he copys others behaviors to an extreme). I am conserned because we have been doing sort of a preschool curricalum at home kind of following his lead. We do coloring and letter activities, he loves the letter m. We count everything and sing songs and do crafts. We take him down to the water (about 200 yards away) and look at crabs and talk about the fish and things like that. He is extremely bright.
Ok this is getting long. I really want to homeschool him but our psychologist says we shouldn't and that we need to have him in as many social classes as we can. I worry that he will get overwhelemed by this as he gets overwhelemed very easily. We plan on putting him in karate in the next couple of weeks and he has friends from church. So my question after all this rambling is, can I help him get the socialization he needs having autism while still homeschooling? And how is the best way to do this? We just moved here and are still getting to know people, not to mention I am very shy. Has anyone homeschooled an autistic child? Dh wants us to start him in school, he is supposed to start on the 12th and its an all day preschool program. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
 

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We've been homeschooling our 9 yr old son who has Asperger's since his K year. When he was in preschool, all of his energy was used in dealing with being in the group situation with all of the overstimulation that goes along with it. At the end of the day (a half day preschool program) he was just zonked. Half the time the therapists couldn't get him to participate in therapy, and there were no "normal" peers who could model appropriate social behavior. I knew that when they added "academics" in K, things would really fall apart. Homeschooling was the best choice that we ever made for him. I'm not surprised that a school psychologist woudl discourage you to homeschool a child with Autism. Most don't knwo enough homeschooling to give an opinion either way, but that doesn't seem to stop them. They usually site "socialization" as the main reason kids should be in school. Honestly, I don't want my kid "socialized", I want him to learn to have meaningful relationships and manners. He can certainly do that at home. Many kids are overwhelmed by the amount of social activities they are involved in. I think two regular thigns a week is more than enough, although I do highly recommend finding a local homeschooling group that you can feel comfortable with. Anytime your son has contact with another person- it's a social skills lesson. Wether that is you having breakfast, the mainlman delivering a package, the cashier saying hi at the store, playing at the park with another child, or talking on the phone to grandma. These are all the normal types of interraction that normal people have. Whoever decided that 30 kids of the same age spending six hours together wass "normal" I will never understand.
 
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