homeschooling your special needs child

Homeschooling Children with Disabilities

homeschooling your special needs child

Homeschooling Children with Disabilities

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This pandemic has forced many parents to consider homeschooling their children, especially those needing extra support or having medical reasons (to avoid exposure to COVID-19).  The logistics nightmare in dealing with schools flip-flopping from onsite to virtual has pushed even more parents to consider homeschooling.  

Deciding to homeschool your child is a big decision impacting the whole family especially the homeschooling parent’s own self-care.   If you are on the fence about homeschooling, we recommend that you take a little quiz we have put together to help you decide. 

For those who are starting or already homeschooling, we have collected six key tips to help homeschooling families. 

  1. Have an organized and consistent schedule.
    • Start off with breakfast and then move into lessons.
    • You can base the schedule off of your child’s school schedule if that is the best for him or you can make a new routine that works best for your family.
    • If it helps your child, she can pretend to get on the bus or get in the car to go to school.  
  2. Have a dedicated workspace.
    • Whether it is a separate room or a corner, try to make it feel like a space for learning.
    • You can ask your child her favorite part of her school classroom and incorporate that into the workspace.  
  3. Have a few ground rules.
    • You and your child can come up with your own guidelines about taking breaks, listening, etc. or you can use his familiar classroom rules.  
  4. Make time for socialization.
    • Connect with friends and family via phone or video conference or schedule a social distance playdate to avoid isolation.  
  5. Schedule breaks and physical exercise.
    • Combine these two activities by taking a walk around your neighborhood. You can reference our guide to making walks more exciting here.  
  6. Include your child in the planning as much as possible
    • As you plan your homeschool environment be it the space, schedule, activities, snacks, learning guidelines, etc., you will much better results if you include your child in the planning and execution.  

If you are looking for educational resources and lesson plans to supplement classroom work, you will find a plethora online. In addition, Autism Speaks compiled a list of learning activities (as well as curated lists for many other activities that are worth a look) that you will find here.  

Additional resources for homeschooling

Take this quiz to see if homeschooling is right for you?

Take this course developed by Jennifer Rainey (homeschooling parent of an autistic teen and social worker) on homeschooling

Talk to Jennifer one on one about homeschooling

Talk to Heidi one on one about homeschooling


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