Autism Spectrum Disorders are much more common today than they have ever been in the past. In fact, 1 in 110 children currently has autism according to Autism Speaks. For this reason you will find that there are a lot more homeschooling parents who actually have one of these “special needs” children. These parents have come to realize that the best thing that they can do for their child is to work with their inborn temperament.
They have also come to understand that “special needs” is a school term that they don’t need to use whenever they are unschooling their child. In fact, Sandra Dodd actually states that since the goal of unschooling is to work with the whole person to help them gain a better understanding for the world around them, then unschooling can most definitely work for someone who has Asperger’s Syndrome. Of course, there are some things that also must be taken into consideration.
Socialization When Unschooling A Child With Asperger’s Syndrome
Unschoolers feel that the child’s social skills and needs should be left up to the child. If the child doesn’t want any help with this then they should be left alone. These parents believe that their child can actually tell them whether or not their current social needs are being adequately met. Of course, this can be difficult if the parent really wants something to happen and it’s not happening.
The parent may then want to push their child to do more even though the child is perfectly happy with a lot less social activity. This is because the parent themselves feel as though this is either “abnormal” or “wrong.” Of course, every parent may occasionally worry about their social schedule, if you have chosen to unschool, then you must remember that you have chosen to trust your child. In this regard it is important to drop your fear and just ask your child how he feels about tour activities. He will tell you.
A Word About Playgroups
There are a lot of playgroups and homeschool co-ops available today. It should be up to your child whether or not they want to socialize with other children in this manner. It should be up to them if they want to leave the comfort of their own home to do this. If your child isn’t interested in hanging out with other kids, then don’t worry about it.
A lot of children are fine spending most of their time with their family. Others want to spend more time socializing with adults and older children, but not children who are their same age or younger than them. You simply need to figure out what your child is comfortable with. This may lead to the discovery that play dates work better than playgroups because you are there to help them solve their problems, which is something that can’t easily be done in a large group.
Radical Unschooling And Therapy For A Child With Asperger’s Syndrome
The issue of therapy is a difficult one. There are some things that can be helpful while others can be learned and done at home. For instance, speech therapy can be pure drudgery for some children while it can easily be done at home. Of course, you will find that any therapy can be drudgery for a child if they are not interested in or open to it.
If this is the case, then you can easily find a lot of homegrown, interest based therapies to use instead. Things that may be helpful include art, playing a musical instrument, taking a dance class and doing play therapy just to name a few. The important thing is to allow your child to decide what they want to do and how they need to do it, especially since you are an unschooler.
Your child’s happiness will be a great reward. Regardless of what you choose to do, trusting your child to tell you what they need is more important than anything else whenever you are unschooling. There really is a lot of room for choice. Of course, there is also a lot of help and information available for you to use as well. In the end you may be surprised to find that you can’t even tell that your child actually has Asperger’s Syndrome.