Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Teaching an autistic child at home
I am the mother of an autistic teen named Mark who is 19 years old. He is severely speech delayed, (he cannot talk much at all), he does not walk very well, and although he is 19 years old, he has the mental ability of a 4 year old. Mark is a very loving person, but he does not understand things as you and I do. Unfortunately, this is the life of so many people with autism, and teaching them is quite a challenge, especially for a homeschool mom. However there is an online program that is inexpensive compared to other online programs that are educational, and a lot of fun for someone with autism, even if they are 19 years old. Time4learning.com is an online curriculum that I have been using for my 9 and 10 year old kids for the past year now, and I am getting ready to start my autistic son on it as well. I tried the demo with him and he just absolutely loved it! They have a special program for special needs children, and my son was able maneuver the site and interact with the program with little help from me.
We pulled Mark out of public school when he was 12 years old, because the school was not only not teaching him a thing, there was also an issue that got so out of hand that he screamed and threw major fits about going to school to a point that he began having seizures on a daily basis. Mark is also epileptic, so this was not a good thing at all. Since we pulled him from school, we have tried everything to teach him, with little success. What he does learn from though is computer based programs. I don't know if he will ever be able to write, or talk, learn his ABC's in terms that we know, but what I do know is that when he does preschool or kindergarten work on a computer based program, he does learn, I can only see his accomplishments through watching him as he is working, but watching what he can do in a computer program is simply amazing. He loves strategy games, and Time4learning is built up of some really fun games that teach children. Mark recognizes certain numbers and letters, and can match them up in matching games. He can run through an obstacle course once and will remember every move each time after. He has an awesome memory for computer based work, but yet he cannot function at all hardly away from the computer. I really would like to be able to get Mark a facilitator, but that will have to wait until we are more financially stable and can afford the high cost of one. Until then, Time4learning is an inexpensive alternative to that, and he likes it.
If you have an autistic child, or a child with other mental disabilities, and you have struggled with the school system and now want homeschool your special needs child, but don't know where to start, we suggest starting with Time4learning. You can try them free for 14 days to see if your child likes the program, and how well it will or will not work for you and child, so there is nothing to loose, and everything to gain.
Visit Time4learning at - http://www.time4learning.com/learning-special-needs.shtml
Visit The Dunkin Academy online at - http://www.thedunkinacademy.com