If you are a parent looking for empirical research on the effects of homeschooling students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) you may be scratching your head whilst trying to find information. This is because there is limited research on the topic, although there is one commonly referenced study that paints a fairly indicative picture. domain name search generator This study, conducted by Minnesota State University’s Karen S. Hurlbutt, is titled Experiences of Parents Who Homeschool Their Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, and provides a great reference point for parents who want to get an idea of what other parents have gone through in their efforts to homeschool their children with Autism.
Below we reference some of the overall themes and takeaways from this study to give parents a better sense of what they may experience.
Homeschooling Students with Autism
In Hurlbutt’s research, she was able to find nine families who had chosen to make the shift from public school to homeschooling. A common theme amongst these parents (and most parents with children with ASD in public schools) is that Autism presents one, or the most, challenging conditions of all learning disabilities for public school teachers in part to the rapidly changing nature of diagnosis and individual treatment protocols.
Four Takeaways from Parents who Homeschool Students with ASD
Throughout the research, Hurlbutt refers to four major takeaways amongst the homeschooling parents. Most of the parents involved were mothers, all of which were college graduates, a surprising fact that came out of the interviews with the families. Here are the four themes pulled from talking to each of the homeschooling families as well as a central takeaway:
These Parents are Very Knowledgeable about ASD
The parents involved in homeschooling were all very involved with the educational process and their knowledge of ASD far surpassed that of the typical school teacher or administrator in public school. Like most parents, they were very concerned about providing their children the best education possible for their learning disorder.
Curriculum Individualization is Key
Each of the parents referenced seemingly different strategies when approaching their child’s education. There was no underlying pedagogy or instruction that was evident across all families.
Public School Educational Priorities are Misaligned
Parents referenced the fact that the educational priorities of the school tended to be concentrated on all the children of a classroom whereas their priorities were focused on the individual child’s needs. As many public schools are not equipped to dedicate this much attention to individuals, parents were a bit frustrated by the lack of services available. Even in homeschooling settings where parents maintained a relationship with the public school there seemed to be little oversight of the educational process.
Homeschooling Requires Sacrifice
Under no circumstances did the parents indicate that homeschooling was an easy transition. Parents mentioned sacrifices in personal freedom as well as financial security and made it known that the decision presents challenges that should be accepted by both parents before moving forward.
Parents Felt Homeschooling Worked Better
In lieu of all of the challenges and difficulties associated in homeschooling a child with Autism, all of the parents felt that homeschooling worked better than the public schools. While the process is trying, these families benefitted from the education they provided at home more so than that their local schools were able to provide.
For additional homeschooling resources, parents can turn to Brainjogging, a computer-based software that has been proven to rapidly improve a child’s capacity for learning. Learn more about Brainjogging for children with Autism.