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I need some help knowing how to homeschool a 6yo boy with autism. A family friend has her grandchildren moving in with her after numerous problems with the public school system. She has asked for my help in setting up homeschool programs for them. The 5th grade daughter is easy for me, but having no experience with autism, I don't know what to do for the little boy.
He does verbally communicate, can do some counting, does not know letters yet. What are your favorite resources that you have found most helpful? Any tips, suggestions, etc. will be greatly appreciated.
Also, if you have any materials available, at a low cost, this family lost their home in a fire, only a few months ago, and will be living on SSI until their mom can find a job here. Obviously, their budget is extremely small.
Thank you very much for any help you can offer! May God bless you abundantly!
Last Edited on: 8/5/08 4:35 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
If you go to the Home School Legal Defense web site and look under the title Special Needs, you might find some help for curriculum. My son has dyslexia and I found help through Dianne Crafts Right Brain Child curriculum. I know she has some knowledge of Autism too because she was saying how those type of children were responding to fish oil in their diets. Anyway I would be happy to share with them anything I have posted on my bookshelf if it would help.
My 8 y.o. DD has ASD, but she's in public school. (I HS her brother.)
He will most likely be a very audio-visual learner, so anything that supports that learning style is the best. Also, things with lots of repetition (although a lot of my DD's stuff she picks up w/ one time exposure) and things with predicted outcomes, but that he can manipulate.
He'll also need to work in a multi-sensory environment. Most ASD kids also have some Sensory Integration Dysfunction (SID) issues. So allow plenty of breaks for movement, proprioceptive input, and the A/V items.
If he's needing to learn letters, then I *highly* recommend anything from Leap Frog - and the "more the merrier" as their products have similar songs and characters that correlate. There are three reading DVD's and one math DVD. Then the Fridge Phonics & Word Whammer toys would also be great - as would Leap Pad items.
Your biggest challenge, if he's hyposensitive, will be giving him enough sensory input. If he's hypersensitive, you'll need a non-distracting (visually, auditory, smells, etc) area to work in.
Consistency and repetition are the key. Also, known schedules and routines are extremely important. They can be visual (with or without prompts) like a "PECS" board, or visual and auditory (pictures and sound).
Here's a great place to get some free picture cards (using a camera is helpful also:
And some other helpful links:
Most likely, computer learning is going to be one of the best options. The Homeschool Buyers Co-op has some current group buys for some great pc/online curricula!
There is agencies available that will come into her home with everything he needs. I worked for a young autism boy. He went to public school but my agency was contracted for so many hours a week. The goals set up for him on things he was not grasping in school or to reinforce the things he was learning in school.
Barney- My individual loved Barney. Songs were away for him to learn. I have a few Barney VCR Tapes around the house and I will mail them to her. If she does not want that- her public library can lend her the videos and DVD's she may need. For visual- large books with pictures (the ones yous used to read to a group, Giant pages) ( the librarian can give them to her) My individual loved to lay on the floor and look at them. They are absorbing the information their own special way. Every autistic child is different. Let the child lead you in the beginning. Sometimes you don't need alot of things. Keep it simple with a few videos and books and build from there.
My prayers are with you and the family. Check out the local agencies. They are there to help .
With my experience homeschooling 2 boys with ASD, here's the advice I have to give - each child learns differently, and each child is interested in learning different things at different times, so don't plan too much. The further you can get away from a "schoolish" type situation, the better - learning can happen any way, any time, any place! Hook up with local homeschool groups for support and relationship building (for adults and children). I don't know where the boy is on the spectrum, but if his IQ is high, his book learning is probably the last thing anyone needs to worry about - focus on helping him form relationships, learn the ins and outs of daily life, and just experience a more carefree life than school can provide. Sensory issues are a huge obstacle I think - the sounds, the lighting, the textures, etc. - I have a hard time predicting how different situations will affect my boys. And even though they both have ASDs, they are not at all alike. One learns best by touching, one by listening. The extremely narrow interests can be a problem, but I find that when my boys are more relaxed in their lives, their interests expand, but when they are stressed they really disappear into those narrow interests. HTH
Here are a few things I found:
I know there are a few Yahoo groups for Homeschooling special needs children.