Nadia Shanab | Uncategorized
18 Jul 2013

Communication and social interaction are  one of the major goals in raising and educating a child with autism. To enable and encourage communication and social interaction to be practiced successfully, kids within the same setting or environment should have some interests in common.

For some children, SDC (Special Day Classes) are not the best match for their needs. The reasons can vary.

1- Sometimes the child cannot fit in any of the offered placements/programs available because of the huge gap of the functioning level. Having very high-functioning kids mixed with low-functioning or severe students can be very frustrating and boring. Contrarily, a severely impaired child will have difficulty following the class pace and work in a group. In any given program, the kids’ cognitive abilities should be more or less comparable.

2- Regardless of the functioning level, some children have severe sensory integration issues. They suffer from the school’s environment. The loud noises (their peers’ screeming and shouting, fire alarms,…), too bright classes and playgrounds, the touch and smell of certain materials (carpets, sand, tan barks…), limited personal space for each child, etc…

3- The lack of speech or poor verbal skills can also be a very frustrating condition for children with autism. To compensate for this deficiency of expression, children throw frequent temper tantrums, or turn very agitated and irritable, and become a real misfit in their classes. In this case, they neither benefit adequately, nor do they let the rest of the class benefit in a full and proper way from their school day.

Those were a few reasons -among many more- that stand in the way of a regular schooling option for some children with ASD.

Naturally, children always like to feel and share some resemblance, equality, or sameness with their peers. When they stand out and become seperated or excluded from their group because or their condition, they will consequently lose the privilege of interacting and communicating with their peers.

If you believe that your child is better off being home-schooled make sure you to fulfill the following requirements:

  • Compensate for the absence of the class setting by exposing your child to her community and the rest of the society
  • Have a well-structured plan to provide the kind of therapies, curriculum, and activities you think your child needs
  • Take advantage of the flexibility of home-schooling to intensify the efforts on what your child knows best. Her strengths may turn into a career in the future

If your time allows, be part of the behavioral, educational, and therapeutic plan of your child. You know your child best. Without academic degrees or certifications you can be the most effective person in your child’s plan. The two most popular examples of parents I know of who home-schooled their children are Temple Grandin’s mother, and the mother of the child in the “Son Rise” movie. In both cases the recommendation parents received from professionals was to institutionalize the children. However, parents decided to listen to their inner voice, their instinct, and intuition. They took in charge the mission of home-schooling their kids. The result was stunning.

Read about Temple Grandin movie here.

nadia shanab

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