Homeschooling is an excellent way to protect children from bullying and aggressive teaching methods. But it can present unique challenges to the parents of nonverbal and autistic children.
Autistic children cannot process or tolerate the same level of stimulation as other children. Teaching your autistic child at home gives them the opportunity to learn at a pace and at a level of challenge and stimulus that is optimal for them.
An autistic child needs a program that is integrated with regular therapy, specifically tailored to suit their abilities. Teaching methods should complement the strengths of the child with autism, and build on them.
You may need to work with a child development professional who specializes in autism in order to best construct a curriculum, schedule, and approach to teaching your child. Distance education provides wonderful opportunities to access areas of expertise that we, as parents, may not have.
Start With Language Oriented Fundamentals
Children with autism and verbally impaired children are subject to critical challenges to communication. It is important to begin by building a basis for rudimentary communication so that learning in general becomes practicable.
When teaching the autistic child, it is key to keep in mind that their personal boundaries are larger and more sensitive than those of persons without the condition. We should respect those boundaries as we expect others to respect ours.
We may begin with very gentle question/answer sessions. These can take the form of flash cards, for example. Combining these with techniques used in therapy can be especially helpful.
For the verbally impaired, it is important to teach them International or American Sign Language. If you are learning to sign yourself, this creates a wonderful bonding opportunity as you learn the basics together.
In the most challenging circumstances, simply interacting with your child can fulfill the early language component of your curriculum. Talking with your child, reading to them, singing the alphabet together, and other rudimentary communication teaching methods are a great place to start.
Teaching your nonverbal or autistic child at home is a wonderful way to ensure that she or he can learn in a safe and loving environment. As a parent/teacher, you have taken on a great responsibility. When done well, homeschooling will help to create lasting bonds and teach nonverbal and autistic children that learning does not have to be a painful experience.