Every individual is unique and a ‘good education’ is a broad definition at best. Every child goes through a period of adjustment within an education system, and suffer categories such as ‘early bloomers’ and ‘late bloomers’ while in their formative years. What if you’re raising a child with autism? If you think results of mainstream education is not favourable, homeschooling might be a solution.

Lets look at our own yardstick first. Think about this – ‘comparison is the death sentence of sanity’. Your ultimate goal should be to prepare your child for life in the world, preferably without constant help from you. You job certainly not to educate the next football star or math genius who can do algebra in her sleep. Your goal is simple. Prepare your child for life as a well adjusted adult.

Think of learning as a process, with goals set to challenge the child based on their personal capacity. Read that last sentence again, and remember the term ‘personal capacity’. You don’t need to prepare a list of towering achievements for presentation at the next family gathering. Your relatives and friends are not part of the successful equation. You and your child are.

Assessment of a child’s learning capacity is a delicate process. It has to be done in such a way where the challenges of learning are manageable but not a cakewalk. Get professional help to plan your child’s education if you need it. Also, get emotional support from a close group of friends and family who understand your situation. They should be supportive, but not to the point of condescension. Let people close to you know that you need understanding and coffee breaks with a kind face once every few days.

While a support group is great; you want to minimise your dependence on external help. Do so by making the homeschooling process as pain free as possible. Heck, make it fun! You will need a great deal more planning, but it will be worth it. A ratio of planning to teaching would probably be 3:1. Keep in mind that’s a ballpark figure, and it will vary based on the needs of your child and you.

How exactly do you make something fun? Use gamification.

Gamifi-whut you say? Gamification in very simple terms means making learning fun by making it competitive, with rewards at the end of the activity. Just like a game.

Homeschooling a child with autism is a pain. It will always be that way(start accepting it, eh?), and reading this article should help you minimise it as much as possible. Just remember :

• Minimise comparison with others as much as possible,
• Pace learning within your child’s capacity
• Make it fun!

Put these principles into practice, and you just might start to enjoy preparing your child for the years to come.