Over the years I have probably tried every method, at least twice.
Sometimes, what didn’t work before did the second time around. Other times, my desire to use a certain method or curriculum was circumvented by my kids’ learning styles.
Working with a child on the Autism Spectrum really forces me to scrutinize curriculum prior to buying.
While I may love the way a curriculum is put together, often there are parts of it that would make using it so difficult for my son that it just wouldn’t be worth it. We have learned this the hard way.
Autism is a funny character. It makes what we feel should be simple, incredibly difficult. It also makes things we neurotypicals feel are difficult, incredibly easy for the Autistic brain to comprehend.
My son has been tested extensively.
We learned, very surprisingly, that his strength is language, of all things. Language. From a kid with a communication disorder. Not surprisingly, his biggest deficit is writing, which is also language based. He can read, but doesn’t enjoy fiction. He can write and has good penmanship, but it takes him so long as to make his progress extremely slow.
His favorite learning modality is visual.
I am constantly on the hunt for curriculum that will work for him. Some of the biggest wins we’ve found almost aways include the use of video instruction.
This is the one who shut off the power AT THE POWER PANEL in the garage, flooding our basement in the process because the sump pump had no power and we didn’t realize until it was too late. He’d only seen my husband flip a switch in the panel ONCE. He was 2 when that happened. At the age of three, he started my van!
Due to his amazing acuity at learning through visuals, videos and movies are an easy way for him to gain large amounts of content, painlessly.
Compass Classroom has wonderful video curriculum for many subjects, and it is all very affordable! For the next three years of my son’s high school career, we are using their curriculum, including their Filmmaking from the First Directors, Economics for Everybody and American History sets. This week, August 5-12th they are offering 20-50% off of their curriculum too!!
Khan Academy consists of video instruction for not only math but also science, art history, computer programming, and SAT Prep.
The Great Courses carries a huge selection of DVD and audio courses taught by the best college professors in the US. They also have a good number of high school video courses. We have enjoyed several of these titles and plan to continue using them as need arises. They have a 70% off sale every summer so jump on it while you can!
Movies as Literature is our saving grace for literature studies. Neither of my boys are big readers, and “classics” are nearly out of the question when it comes to these two. Still, we have to teach them literary studies. What better way than to use classic movies? I wrote a review with resources for Movies as Literature several years ago.
Standard Deviants are one of the longest running educational video programs out there. They offer fun, educational shows are geared for middle through high school and can be ordered as DVD’s, downloads, or you can subscribe to their online SD Accelerate program that includes lesson quizzes and additional teaching resources. Although quite fun to watch, these videos are not recommended for elementary ages due to somewhat mature content at times.
The 101 Series specializes in one thing: Science. Their Biology 101 and Chemistry 101 curriculum has become a popular option for homeschooling families with students who aren’t college bound and those with Autism or other special needs. Biology 101 will be our help to get D1 through Biology lab at the homeschool program this year!
Discovery Education has videos for just about any science or math topic you can think of, for all ages and grades. They are offering homeschooling families a free summer trial through Aug. 31st, 2015 so sign up soon!
Are you teaching a child on the Autism Spectrum? Facing a new diagnosis? I did a whole series of posts about this last year!