Friday, November 11, 2011

Home Educating Our Autistic Spectrum Children

Home Educating Our Autistic Spectrum Children: 
Paths Are Made by Walking
Edited by Terri Dowty & Kitt Cowlishaw
This book fits both the All Grown Up Monday
and the Education Friday category, so I'm writing about it late
Friday and probably no one will read this until Monday.
I started reading this book with a great deal of skepticism and with two
major expectations:
1 All the children (despite the inclusive title) would have Asperger's.
2 The case histories would not give the nitty gritty of education.
To a large extent this proved to be the case, and I didn't realize that 
some case histories would be from the U.K. and even Australia. Sure, Education
Otherwise sounds like a great resource, but Americans can't access it.
But the book succeeds in what I see as the editors' main goal-
showing that people can and do home school their children with autism
and that this can be a valuable and viable option for many families. 
Yes, most of the parents are writing about home schooling their
kids with Asperger's. And many of these kids seem perfectly suited
to home schooling, easily accomplishing academic tasks with minimal
direction. But not all. Greg, for instance, required a different, more intensive,
and more creative approach. His parents basically gave up on a family life to 
educate him, but "a different life need not necessarily mean a lesser one."
The common denominator among these parents
was that they felt their children would learn better at home than at
school. Any parent may make that choice.
Personally, I am very, very grateful that my son has a supportive 
team at public school helping him learn. But the stories in this book
made homeschooling a child with autism seem a little less daunting.
-Spectrum Mom

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