Find a good support group for homeschooling autism. It’s important to find other homeschooling families in which to socialize as well as find support. This is the place where your children will find friends that are similar to them. For some children, like mine, they are usually odd man out when asked about school. There are several homeschooling families in our church but we are most definitely the only ones homeschooling on both sides of our family. A support group will help to show them that there are other homeschooled kids just like them.
Find a good support group for homeschooling autism
In the homeschool community, there are two types of homeschool groups, Christian and secular. I happened to pick a Christian homeschooling group with a number of large families when we first started homeschooling. Let me explain why it worked out really well in the beginning. Most large families bring all of their children to field trips and events, young and old. There are therefore a plethora of ages to choose from at any event. This translated into Logan could play with whatever age child that was developmentally appropriate for him. Most moms of large families don’t think anything about older children playing with younger children as it is perfectly normal in their world.
The support you get from other homeschooling moms can not be dismissed either. I remember when Madison was having a terrible time learning to read. She clearly wasn’t get it in 100 Easy Lesssons no matter how hard I tried to help her. One wise mom suggested we start over and do it again. I was aghast at her suggestion until she gently pointed out that the beauty of homeschooling was going at the child’s pace. That advice changed our homeschool forever.
The caveat to this is that it may not be the right fit when the children get older. Those same parents were not as understanding of Logan as he grew taller but still wanted to hang with the younger children. We were lucky in that Madison was at the same age as his developmental level. I just made it appear that he needed to stay with me. As Madison got older, those same mamas were very condescending in my perceived parenting faults as well as cliquish. The same reason why church started not working for us was exactly why we left the Christian group for a secular one.
Secular groups are more understanding of a child’s quirks in my opinion. There is less stigma when a child doesn’t behave a certain way or looks different. They were all aware that we were a Christian family but never batted an eye about it. They were quick to include Madison in the activities regardless of Logan’s involvement. Maybe it was because they were already used to being treated as outcasts or different than religious society.
If I had to do it over again, I would start with the secular group. It would have saved us from so much drama and heartbreak. The lesson in this to not be married to a group. If it’s not working for your child then leave. Don’t wait too long in an effort to make it work. The damage you will do to your child’s self esteem will not be worth it. By all means, try several of them out before deciding on one.
What should you do if you can’t find one that fits locally or there isn’t one available? Don’t discount the option of an online support group. Other mamas walking the same path as you are invaluable sources of information. There are several Facebook groups out there for support not only in autism but in homeschooling as well. You can ask the same questions as in a real life group but when it’s convenient for you. There are local online groups that only coordinate field trips as well. They can be an invaluable source of information regardless of if you have a local support group or not.
- Special Needs Homeschooling (faith based but inclusive)
- Life In Autismland (autism only, faith based but inclusive)
- Gameschooling Homeschooling (secular but inclusive )
Remember that it’s hard to do this alone. Whether you have a local support group , an online one , or both doesn’t matter. What matters is that you have people to ask advice, vent frustrations, and get ideas when you are completely stumped. The support is immeasurable. Sometimes just knowing that others have walked or are walking the same path you are makes the day a bit easier.
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