Friday, May 07, 2010

Clinic Notes: School and Autism

Many parents who have children with autism have problems deciding on what to do about school. Most public schools put children with autism in special ed classes along with children with a variety of other diagnoses. Usually, the education and behavioral management is not adequate in these special ed classes for the child with autism. The school may say that they offer ABA, which usually means that they have sent a special ed teacher to a one day ABA workshop. If parents home school the child with autism the child may fare better because sensory issues are often less and the parent can target their child's educational needs. The downside of home schooling is the lack of socialization. A recent study in Australia found that children with autism who went to weekly play groups developed social skills. A lack of exposure to play groups delayed social development on the other hand. I think some parents, depending on their child's special needs, should consider home schooling in the early years along with weekly playgroups. Home school curricula that meets state requirements are easily available and if the parent can get some ABA training then this may be a better option for many children with autism.

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