If you have the choice of letting your autistic child stay at home just until they are mature enough to attend kindergarten, are you going to do it? Your answer will be dependent upon some vital factors, which include:
- Your community’s provisions and open-mindedness to an autistic child
- Your child’s preferences, needs, and challenges
- The accessibility of school (or out-of-school) therapists at a rate that you can afford
- The availability of a proper preschool program
- Your personal capacity and commitment to work hand in hand with your autistic child on learning and developing social interaction skills.
Home School Advantages And Disadvantages
Advantages: Homeschooling can be suitable for preschoolers with the spectrum. It offers a secure and convenient setting that is customized to your child’s requirements, and it can be an appropriate place for tough therapy that is frequently suggested. Sensory input is controllable, and outlooks remain stable throughout the day. Numerous therapists believe that because home is a familiar setting, it is favorable for learning and that parents make the best teachers and therapists.
Play therapies like floor time and Relationship Development Intervention are commonly provided in a natural setting by parents. Specialized schools and facilities might not even have these types of platforms. If you are offering developmental therapy, then the home setting might be the most appropriate choice.
Disadvantages: Conversely, the option of home care and schooling implies that a person, most probably a parent, must be capable and willing to stay with the autistic toddler at home. So the stay-at-home parent is expected to be incapable of having a regular job, as he will not have the energy and the time to work outside of the house when he has spent most of his time caring for the autistic preschooler. In addition, most kids on the spectrum do well in a very predictable and repetitive setup. If you have other kids or an online job, homeschooling may become chaotic, loud, and erratic.
Perhaps the role of a parent as a home teacher or therapist to a child on the spectrum might not be for everybody. The role typically involves being a therapist during the day, dealing with your child’s behaviors and moods outside the home while going to the parks or when shopping, and being a case manager for the numerous medical professionals and therapists that you might now include in your life. Unfortunately, some parents can efficiently handle this type of challenge, but others find it tough, draining, and depressing.
Preschool Advantages And Disadvantages
Advantages: In numerous communities, full or partial-day preschool is accessible and often free to all families. Kids with ASD get academic guidelines as well as some in-school therapy. Many aspects also offer at least some private preschool platforms geared towards kids with special needs. A private preschool might be a good match, depending on your kid’s offerings and needs as well.
Preschools or kindergarten schools also provide a very important benefit to a group of friends and their parents, and that is quite hard to establish from scratch going up if you have a child on the spectrum.
Disadvantages: A preferable preschool setting can be wonderful, but it is also a fact that numerous preschools are far from idyllic. You might notice that your autistic child is getting very little in terms of experience or perhaps having an unpleasant experience. You may realize that the known ‘trained’ personnel are essentially teacher’s assistants who previously attended lectures on Autism Spectrum Disorder. You may also discover that other kids in your child’s circle are less disabled than your child, which makes learning and socializing difficult.
If your autistic child is at a normal preschool, despite early interventions, you might notice that normally developing kids might be less keen to reach out to your child during their school and out-of-school activities and other social events.
Regardless of your option (home school or preschool), it is vital to remember that you have the option to change your decision. In fact, you can even choose to try both. There is no definite right or wrong. The decision you make will relate most especially to your family, your place, and definitely, your child. As you take into account your decision, consider these questions:
- What does the possible parent think about performing the function of a stay-at-home teacher of an autistic child? Would they probably feel fatigued, overwhelmed, or resentful? Or, otherwise, will they feel eager, energized, or encouraged?
- Can you afford to have one parent stay home and not have a regular job?
- What do the rest of your kids need? Will managing an autistic preschooler at home take too much of your time and energy that you won’t be able to care for your other kids?
- If your autistic child is comparatively engaged or social or fits suitably in a prevailing preschool program, it might be better to give it a try. On the other hand, if your child seems to require a lot of personalized therapy, homeschooling would be a more beneficial choice.