Now Reading: Why We Don’t Consider Homeschooling Our Autistic Son

Why We Don’t Consider Homeschooling Our Autistic Son

 So part of what you are about to read was buried in an blog post from last spring where I was complaining about a rough IEP meeting we had just come from and at that time somebody asked “why don’t you just homeschool him?”

 However, I thought now was the time to make it its own blog post because at least once a week somebody will ask in the comments if we’ve ever considered homeschooling our 12 year old severely autistic, non verbal son. 

And while we are extremely happy with his new school this year, we’ve had some issues here and there with a few of his majesty’s previous schools.  Some minor issues and a few major ones.

However even during some of those rough times at the other schools we have never ever considered homeschooling him.

Why you ask?

Well I’m sure that I (or most likely wifey) will take a lot of sh*t for this but here goes…

Homeschooling our 12 year old is really, truly not an option for us.  I don’t think either of us are mentally strong enough to do it.  I know that I’m not, and wifey wants no part of it either. 

We like being his mom & dad.  I think we do a damn good job at being his mom & dad.  And even just being mom & dad of the king  is not that easy.  
We’ve found our way over the past 10+ years of being autism mommy & autism daddy…

But to add teacher onto our roles?  I know I’m gonna take sh*t for this, but it’s just not feasible.

The king needs a happy, mentally healthy mom & dad, and if we had to think about teaching him 4-6 hours a day I think we’d lose more of our marbles.

For those of you that are strong enough to do it I applaud you, I am jealous of you, I am impressed by you, and I tip my cap to you.

We just can’t do it.

If I’m being brutally honest there’s just not enough happy pills that we could take to make homeschooling feasible…

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

So the next time someone asks in the comments why we don’t homeschool our kid, you can all send them the link to this blog post.


The End.

Now I will prepare myself to be crucified in some of the comments.



Written by

Frank Campagna

I’m a 48 year old neurotypical dad with a 14 year old son with severe, non-verbal autism & epilepsy. I created this blog to rant about autism & epilepsy while celebrating my son who I affectionately call “the king” :-).

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23 People Replies to “Why We Don’t Consider Homeschooling Our Autistic Son”

  1. Our neighborhood doesn't have many kids, so my 3 autistic sons go to public school for educational and social skills. They need to interact with kids their age.

  2. Hell! I barely have the patience to teach the normal older son, why in the world would I think it'll be feasible with my almost 4 year old, not so autistic and verbal son? Asking to shoot myself and my marriage down the drain.

  3. Anonymous

    I did home school my autistic son and it was a mistake it took such a toll on my mental health and ultimately that impacted our entire family negatively.

  4. Tara

    Seriously could not agree with you more

  5. When I read the title of this post I thought of how I would fill in the content. "Because I don't want to be committed to a mental hospital and I don't want my kid to end up in therapeutic foster care. The End" And I think you wrote pretty much the same idea.

  6. Jay

    Hooray for being so honest I 100% agree! I get asked the same thing and if I were to add teacher To my roles I would not be as good of a mommy to my son. You have to know where to divide and conquer it's hard enough as it is adding more does not always mean better

  7. I just wanted to let you know that its okay and you should be williing to admit its not the right option for your family.
    We're a homeschooling family of 19 years to our 3 boys all with Spectrum needs, our youngest just graduated this year and they are now almost 24, almost 22 and 18. I've been a homeschooling consultant since 1999 and it really isn't an option for every family, but it works fantastic for others. 🙂

  8. I feel the same. I have 4 kids, oldest has autism, high functioning, has some low functioning areas.
    I have 3/4 In school. My husband works 6 days a week and is usually exhausted the one day he has off.
    As much as I love my daughter and as much as I am currently wanting to rip the district a new one, I won't home school.
    When she is home she is a handful, now add in my 3 other kids, my life is chaotic, every wall has her personal touch, my house is usually a disaster. I need the space, I need a break, I need the nap my 4 y/o let's me get once a week. K need time for me and errands w/out constant stress. She needs to see there are other kids like her, and she needs socialization w/ pupils she isn't related too. We all need that time and Space from each other.
    Last week was spring break. On Thursday I cried, a lot… They broke me, she broke me… I called my husband crying and asked him to come home early . my sanity is something I have to have.

  9. Good for you!! I agree with everything you wrote. I am a gen Ed teacher but regularly have spec needs students in my room as they are mainstreamed. I do all I can to help not just 'my' students but their parents also. I am mom to a now 22-year old son eith mind autism and mild cognitive delays. I dreaded the year that I was going to have a student very much like him in my class, and it happened a few years back. I put so much love and energy into this young man and my other students, and it was like 24 hours non-stop of being with and trying to help my son. It was an exhausting year. I applaud your guts in saying it how you did!

  10. OUTSTANDING, you understand your challenges, and you want to always be there for him as his parents, you recognized your limitations…sounds like you are doing the very best you can ! <3

  11. As a mom who homeschooled some of my own kids I say bravo to you for knowing yourselves and making a decision based on your own family's needs. I detest when people promote a one size fits all approach to parenting.

  12. As a mom who homeschooled some of my own kids I say bravo to you for knowing yourselves and making a decision based on your own family's needs. I detest when people promote a one size fits all approach to parenting.

  13. I homeschool my two boys (one high functioning spectrum, the other has dysgraphia, both are gifted) because it was the only feasible option for us. The school system here is just not set up to deal with kids like mine. They do attend once room school house classrooms twice a week through a charter. Homeschooling isn't for everyone. What is for everyone is what works for your family and each particular child! I know families with one child in 5 day a week graded school and another homeschooled full time. You do what works and that is what matters!

  14. BINGO!
    Batteries need to be recharged. That precious 6 or 7 hours away from the relentless scourge of autism makes our lives possible.

  15. I would say the same thing to anyone who asked me that same question regarding our 16 year old. The school bus has been coming to our house for 13 years and he loves it. It warms my heart when we go places and someone from school recognizes him and says hi even though they know he will rarely reciprocate and if he does he echoes what they say including his name. We, along with his two sisters, teach him how to be a part of a family. Nothing at all wrong with homeschooling if it is what you want and can do, it's just not for us either.
    Nothing but respect for you and your wife!

  16. This reminds me of the many conversations I have had about why I choose to continue to work full time & don't consider home schooling.

    For me I know that my relationship with my son will be impacted if I add the pressure of home schooling to the mix

  17. You know what's best for you and your kid! I couldn't agree more! I am a teacher and a parent of a spectrum kiddo and I struggle to just be the Mom he needs everyday. That's a full plate for me! Keep doing what works for you and The King!

  18. All day discrete trial teaching for people without that background would be very difficult! It's so good to be able to rely on pros who don't live in your home. Even though I'm trained as a special educator, I work all day in an office, and then I go home to the "kid shift" with my 3 with special needs (ASD, ODD, adhd) and my 1 NT kid (youngest who actually has her sh*t together at age 4). Keep doing a Damn good job!

    1. Anonymous

      Let's hope his entire day is NOT DTT. That's not what ABA is.

  19. I agree! Your son needs parents who are happy.

  20. No crucifixion here. I am one of those that did do the homeschooling. I have the gray hair to prove it. It is not for everyone. It did work for my son (he is in his third year of college now), however that was partly me, therapists, behavior specialists, psychiatrists, doctors, and the many aides that helped me as a single mom get him out and about (or at least fight the battle to try!) If whatever you are doing is working for your son and you as a family then that is your path.

  21. I agree with you! Plus your son needs to have time away from you also, to get use to working with other people like his teachers. And also in his future when he ages out of school, he will be more prepared to go to an adult day program or even a workshop.

  22. Anonymous

    Good for you both!!!