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Are specialized schools the best environments for autistic children or is it better for them to attend traditional schools? Is home schooling a good option?
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As a professional, I think higher functioning autists benefit from trying to do what they want to do by setting goals and working towards them.  If they are going to fall short, it is better for them to learn it for themselves instead of having parents or counselors tell them they will fail.  That could be balanced with good questions that show some reality for the student who wants to be a brain surgeon, but can't seem to even attend community college classes consistently.  Let them have ownership but don't let them fall too hard in learning life lessons.  The next thing to look at is to find the highest possible functioning setting for them that has the right supports to maximize success and minimize destructive scenarios.  If they are smart enough, but can't manage the social scene away at college, they could have a horrible experience and not be willing to try college again, or even be targeted and victimized.  It is hard to find the right setting for schools since they are typically not set up to deal with social and emotional issues.  Private is expensive, and only larger populated areas can afford to have specialized public schools. After high school it is even more difficult to find the right fit and it is usually very expensive. www.spectrumcareers.com, local social work agencies, www.techieforlife.com, or www.strugglingteens.com can be good resources.
by Wizard (1.3k points)
An autistic child can go to a traditional school, but it is helpful to have some sort of support. This can be someone looking out for their emotional wellbeing. I went to private traditional schools. I occasionally needed help but was able to function well. I am very high functioning, but do have some difficulties. I got some help though high school and college. When finding a college, it would likely be better to find a school with a good office of disabilities services. If they know how to work with people on the spectrum, they will have a good idea of how to help. When I picked my college, the head of the disabilities services office was really good and helpful. She then retired and the next guy was not that great. He was not very supportive. One year, when I was in accommodated housing, a bunch of us were put in a suite together and he forgot that we had been put together. It wasn't until after halfway through the year that he tried to facilitate us talking to each other. Finding the right school can be hard but it is important.
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