Did you know that one in forty-four kids has autism spectrum disorder? While there is nothing wrong with having ASD, the condition can make it difficult to learn and behave in a traditional learning environment.
When it’s time for your child to go to school, you need to start weighing the pros and cons of different education options for individuals with ASD. That’s why we made this article.
In it, we’ll go over the different options and the advantages/disadvantages that come with each of them. That way, you can be sure that your child is getting an education that’s tailor-made for their specific needs.
What Are the Options for an ASD Learning Environment?
You have three options when it comes to choosing a learning environment for your child. The first one is a public school, which you’re likely familiar with.
This option is paid for by your taxes, which makes it the most affordable option for many families. The second option is private schools. Though the state regulates these institutions, their tuition is paid by you.
The last option is homeschooling. With this option, you turn your home into a classroom. So, what’s the best option for you?
Well, it depends on a lot of factors, like your availability, your child’s level of need, and your budget.
You should also listen to your child. What do they want? Never decide without consulting them first. To get you started, we’ll dive into the pros and cons of each of these options.
Pros and Cons of Public School
Public schools are the most common type of learning environment, but they’re also the most rigid. You don’t get to choose which school your child attends. That’s determined by where you live in the city or state.
That being said, there are some benefits. The first is the cost. Your taxes cover public school education, so you will never need to worry about tuition. And you don’t need to worry about the learning environment itself.
Children with ASD are entitled to an appropriate education. So, your school must provide added services that support your child’s strengths and weaknesses.
If your child is severely affected by autism spectrum disorder, they’ll likely go to a special classroom. Again, all of these options are free. That being said, there are a lot of drawbacks.
First, many public schools offer poor autism programs. Many of these programs generalize instead of addressing specifics related to each child.
In addition, many of these teachers are not properly trained to handle children with ASD. Finally, there are the other kids. Children can be cruel and they may taunt your child if they’re different.
Pros and Cons of Private School
The next option is private schools or charter schools. As we mentioned, these are schools where you pay for the tuition. Most private schools are religious. However, some of them are non-secular.
The first benefit is specificity. There are specific private schools for autism. That means that the staffers have a much greater understanding of neurodiverse learning styles.
So, they’re able to accommodate the needs of the child. Private schools also have smaller class sizes. That means the teachers can give the child the supervision they need. If any bullying occurs, they can address it.
Finally, there’s the choice. With private schools, you get options that simply aren’t available when you go with a public school. So what are the drawbacks?
The most obvious one is the cost. Private schools can be a huge expense if you aren’t financially equipped for them. Next, there’s the segregation factor.
When you choose a school that’s specifically made for people with ASD it can not prepare them for the neurotypical people they will have to interact with after graduation.
Pros and Cons of Homeschooling
Homeschooling involves teaching your children either yourself or hiring a tutor to hold sessions with them. There are a lot of benefits that come with homeschooling.
You get to spend time together with your child which strengthens your bond. You know your child best, so you’re able to provide lesson plans that are specifically tailored to them.
What’s more, you can make the lesson plans that they’re learning from more diverse. For example, you can teach them about cooking, gardening, shopping for groceries, animals, or whatever else interests them.
This keeps their education engaging. And, it’s a great option for children that can’t stand being in a classroom all day. However, there are drawbacks. First is the cost.
Homeschooling doesn’t cost as much as a private school, but it’s still expensive. You will need to pay for things like tutors, extracurricular activities, and online courses.
Next, there’s the lack of social opportunities. When your child is spending all day around you, they aren’t getting to socialize with their peers. Socialization can already be challenging for individuals with ASD.
But, delaying it can only make it worse. Finally, there’s the time commitment. As a parent, homeschooling will likely become a full-time job.
That means you won’t have a lot of time to devote to a career or building friendships and connections in the workplace.
Want More Content? Keep Reading
We hope this article helped you find the best learning environment possible for your child. Remember that no two cases of ASD are the same. There’s not a one-size-fits-all option for autism spectrum disorder education.
Instead, you need to weigh your child’s level of need with the financial resources you have on hand. Then, find the best school that fits both your, and your child’s, needs.
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