Homeschooling My Autistic Son Is Worth the Challenges

A new homeschool mom discovers the rewards are worth the challenges of homeschooling her son who has autism.

I am a new-ish homeschooling mama to two awesome little boys. This is our second year homeschooling. My oldest has special needs, the most challenging when it comes to schooling is autism.

I always wanted to homeschool, but for years was scared I could not do him justice because of his special needs. I finally took a giant leap of faith after he was mistreated at school, and started homeschooling him beginning in fifth grade. It has been a challenge! 

Teaching a Child Who Has Autism Is Challenging

He is behind academically, and does not learn in typical ways. I am always trying new ways to teach, trying to find something, anything, that will make school easier for him. 

I have to give him a 5 minute warning before starting school work. If I don't give him that warning, it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to get him to start his work.

At the very beginning of our school day, I have to tell him how many pages we are going to do. He will keep track and once we reach that number, he is done for the day. He is ok with readings and videos, but don't try to go over the number of worksheets!

His attention span is very short.  He needs to be redirected to stay on task at least once every minute. He tends to get lost in his thoughts, or stare off into space, or make trains out of his pencils. He needs frequent prompts to remain on task.

His comprehension skills are weak. Because of this, he is unable to work independently and needs somebody to sit with him while he works. He needs somebody to explain what to do every step of the way on his assignments. 

The Rewards Are Worth the Challenges

Despite our challenges, he has made significant progress since we began homeschooling last fall. 

Each day brings it's own set of rewards. Seeing him make progress and learn new skills is so rewarding. Since bringing him home, he is more verbal, he laughs more, he is less stressed, he sleeps better, he eats better, and is a much happier child.

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Elizabeth Walker is a stay at home mom, raising and homeschooling 2 boys. Connor has special needs, and Hudson is neurotypical. She enjoys farming, gardening, taking care of her many animals,  homesteading and crafting. 

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