Homeschooling Your Child with Autism: Important Tips for Parents


Homeschooling can be a rewarding option for parents of autistic children who want to provide a tailored and supportive educational environment. By homeschooling, parents have the opportunity to customize learning experiences to fit their child’s unique needs, whether that involves creating a calming atmosphere or incorporating specific therapies into the curriculum.

Homeschooling a Child with Non-Verbal Learning Disability (NVLD)

Homeschooling can be especially beneficial for children with Non-Verbal Learning Disability (NVLD), a condition often characterized by difficulties in processing and interpreting non-verbal cues. These children may struggle with social interactions and reading comprehension. Homeschooling allows parents to focus on these areas and develop strategies that might not be possible in a traditional classroom setting.

Key Points:

  • Tailored educational approaches that address social and communication challenges
  • Flexibility to incorporate specialized therapies
  • Ability to monitor and support individual progress closely

Requirements for Homeschooling

Before diving into homeschooling, it’s essential for parents to consider several requirements:

Legal Requirements:

  • Ensure compliance with local education laws and regulations regarding homeschooling.
  • Understand the requirements for record-keeping and curriculum planning.

Educational Resources:

  • Access to educational materials and online resources specifically designed for autistic children.
  • Consideration of sensory needs and learning preferences in curriculum selection.

Support Systems:

  • Establish a support network that includes other homeschooling families and professionals to exchange ideas and strategies.

Pros and Cons to Homeschooling


  • Individualized Attention: Homeschooling allows for tailored instruction that meets the unique needs of autistic children.
  • Flexible Schedule: Parents can adjust the schedule to minimize stressors like sensory overload.
  • Control Over Curriculum: Parents can choose a curriculum that aligns with their child’s strengths and weaknesses.


  • Time-Intensive: Homeschooling requires significant time and effort from parents.
  • Social Isolation: There may be limited opportunities for social interaction outside the home.
  • Resource Constraints: Access to specialized therapies and resources can be challenging.

Homeschool Curriculum Options

Creating an effective homeschool curriculum involves selecting materials and methods that are engaging and beneficial for autistic children. Some options include:

  • Structured Learning Programs: Programs that offer a clear structure and predictable routines.
  • Online Educational Platforms: Platforms that provide interactive lessons and assessments tailored for autistic learners.
  • Therapy-Based Curricula: Curricula that integrate therapeutic techniques to support cognitive and social development.

Sample Homeschool Schedules

A well-planned schedule can help autistic children thrive. Here’s a sample schedule:

  • Morning:
    • Structured learning session focusing on core subjects like math and reading
  • Mid-Morning:
    • Sensory break or physical activity to manage sensory needs
  • Lunch:
    • Social break with family or a favorite activity
  • Afternoon:
    • Specialized instruction or therapy sessions (e.g., speech therapy, occupational therapy)
  • End of Day:
    • Review of the day’s learning and preparation for the next day


While homeschooling can offer many benefits, it’s essential to consider the social aspects of a child’s development. Opportunities for social interaction can be facilitated through:

Participation in Community Groups and Clubs: Engaging in local community groups and clubs tailored to the child’s interests can provide opportunities for socialization. These groups often organize activities such as arts and crafts sessions, sports events, or field trips, allowing children to interact with peers in a structured setting. For instance, joining a community art class or a local sports team can not only encourage social skills but also nurture talents and interests outside of academics.

Virtual Meetups and Online Learning Communities: In the digital age, virtual meetups and online learning communities offer valuable social interaction opportunities. Platforms like Zoom or specialized online forums allow children to engage with peers who share similar interests or challenges. Virtual meetups can include group discussions, collaborative projects, or even virtual game nights, promoting social skills such as turn-taking, communication, and teamwork in a comfortable and controlled environment.

Structured Playdates with Peers: Organizing structured playdates with peers can facilitate socialization while ensuring a supportive and familiar setting. These playdates can be planned with close friends or classmates from community groups, ensuring compatibility and comfort for the child. Activities can be adapted to suit individual preferences and sensory needs, whether it’s a quiet board game session or an outdoor adventure.

Supporting Socialization Skills: While engaging in these social opportunities, parents can actively support their child’s socialization skills development:

  • Role-playing and Practice: Role-playing common social scenarios can help children practice social skills such as greetings, sharing, and turn-taking.
  • Feedback and Reflection: Providing constructive feedback and reflecting on social interactions can enhance self-awareness and understanding of social cues.
  • Building Confidence: Encouraging positive experiences and celebrating social successes can boost self-confidence and motivation to engage with peers.

Balancing Socialization and Individual Needs: It’s essential to balance socialization opportunities with the child’s individual needs and comfort levels. Some autistic children may thrive in small group settings, while others may prefer one-on-one interactions. Understanding and respecting these preferences can ensure that socialization experiences are positive and beneficial for the child’s development.

Homeschooling Autistic Children: A Personalized Educational Journey

Homeschooling offers a personalized approach to educating children with autism, allowing for customized learning experiences and support tailored to their specific needs. By carefully planning and accessing the right resources, parents can create an environment that fosters both academic and social growth.

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