By ABAP Staff
For many children on the Autism Spectrum, a traditional classroom is just not the ideal learning environment. This realization has led to hundreds of families choosing to homeschool their children with autism. If you’re one such family, you may be wondering where to start. Or perhaps you’ve been homeschooling your child with autism and are in search of solutions to new challenges. Either way, you’ve come to the right place.
Resource: 30 Best Autism Blogs
Below are 101 resources for homeschooling children with autism. For your convenience we’ve categorized each resource into one of nine categories: apps, articles, books, blogs, curricula, podcasts, supplementary materials, support groups, and websites. While some of our resources are designed specifically for students with autism, and others for homeschoolers in general, each resource on our list is meant to help homeschooling parents find just the right way to educate their children with autism.
For many, the 30/30 app is an invaluable resource for tracking time spent on assignments and other tasks. The app can be used to assist autistic students in following a schedule and staying focused on the task at hand.
Autism Track is an app that can help homeschooling parents of children with autism track everything from interventions to behaviors. The user-friendly app includes a place to log daily behaviors. A sliding checklist feature allows the user to keep up with necessary daily therapy, medicine, or other activities.
This Sesame Street app uses familiar and beloved characters to teach children about feelings. By participating in the hands-on app, kids with autism will also learn how to:
- problem solve on their own
- better cope with their feelings
- calm themselves down.
CoughDropAAC is designed for children who are taking part in necessary speech and language therapy. Working in conjunction with the child’s therapy, the app allows for:
- better communication of needs and wants
- easier learning
- increased quality of life.
Daniel Tiger’s Grr-ific Feelings helps children to identify, communicate, and even cope with their feelings. The app is designed for preschoolers, but is also beneficial for those requiring special education.
The First Then Visual Schedule app is designed to help kids stay on task and complete assignments and activities efficiently. It is especially helpful for those who have trouble communicating, but provides positive behavior support for any child.
For homeschooled children on the autism spectrum, forming friendships and relationships can be an added challenge. Four Little Corners is a helpful application that uses an interactive storyline to teach kids all about relating to friends and others.
Help your child with autism learn to make and follow a schedule using iPrompts. This app uses pictures to prompt the child into a scheduled activity, then notifies the child of the amount of time left with the use of a visual count-down timer.
Homeschooling parents working on their autistic child’s behavior may find iReward useful. Like using stickers on a chart, this helpful app allows you to track the number of times a desired behavior is achieved as the child works toward a goal and reward.
Memory Trainer is a game-themed app that any student is sure to find fun. Best of all, it helps students work on their visual and lasting memory skills.
For children who are unable or unwilling to communicate vocally, the TalkTablet solution app uses text-to-speech to assist. The app can be used purely for assistance, or as a learning aid through visual representation.
Note taking is an important skill for any student to learn, and there are many ways in which one can take notes. The YouNote app assists students in learning a number of those ways so that they can find the best method for themselves.
“Homeschooling Kids with Autism Spectrum Disorder” is a helpful article from popular website The Autism Life. The article is essentially a detailed interview with Anne, a parent who homeschools her autistic child.
This article is a must-read for parents still in the process of deciding whether or not homeschooling is the right choice for their autism spectrum student. Written by a homeschooling mother of two children with autism, the article provides a helpful overview of all that can be expected.
Those parents who are struggling with the question of the best place to educate their autistic child will find this article by Lisa Jo Rudy helpful. Rudy covers a number of commonly asked questions as she explains her ultimate decision to homeschool her 11-year son with autism.
In this article in Life Learning Magazine, parent and home educator Susan McLeod-Harrison describes the ways in which “unschooling” has helped her family. She details how unschooling is especially beneficial for children on the autism spectrum, most of whom are driven and inspired to learn about the things that personally interest them.
This blog, written by parent Tammy Glaser, is a valuable collection of stories and lessons about Glaser’s experiences homeschooling her now 25-year old daughter with autism and aphasia.Though the blog is no longer updated, it remains a great resource because of its extensive archive of helpful articles.
The Friendship Circle Blog focuses on special education for children with all kinds of special needs, including autism. Parents of homeschooled autistic children will especially enjoy the blog’s many articles about ways to foster inclusion and friendship with others.
Though it is no longer updates, Homeschooling Autism’s extensive archive makes it a fantastic resource for homeschooling children with autism. In each post, a mother of a middle school-aged boy with autism details everything from choosing a homeschool curriculum to working on various social skills.
My Aspergers Child is a blog aimed at parents of children with high-functioning autism and Asperger’s Syndrome. Most of the extremely helpful articles are written by Mark Hutten, a counseling psychologist and home-based family therapist. A wide variety of topics are covered.
Formerly known as The Outnumbered Mama, this blog is managed by Kaylene, a homeschooling mother of six neurodiverse kids. The site is full of resource ideas, product reviews, helpful information, and even an online shop. Kaylene also runs an online workshop for parents new to the autism journey.
Although not specific to the topic of homeschooling children on the autism spectrum, Reports from a Resident Alien is a potentially useful blog for those parents who seek to better understand the thought process of someone on the Spectrum. The blog is written by an adult woman with autism, and topics cover just about every aspect of life.
Teaching Tommy is the blog of Lisa Jo Rudy. Each blog post documents a new step in the home education of Rudy’s son, Tommy. Though Teaching Tommy has not been updated since 2010, Lisa Jo Rudy remains a leading voice in homeschooling children with autism. The blog maintains an extensive archive that are easy to search.
This active blog also has a Facebook group with more than 200,000 followers. Though not exclusive to homeschooling children with autism, the group is for:
- people with autism
- parents of children on the Autism Spectrum
- professionals to share resources and news.
This blog is a great resource for parents who are unschooling their children with autism, but who were not unschooled themselves. The site offers tons of ideas about unschooling while following the author’s own experiences with unschooling. It contains a long list of unschooling resources and reviews.
This book by Lisa Jo Rudy is full of suggestions on how to get outside and have fun. Aimed at families of children with autism, Rudy’s book will not only help parents with ideas on how to fulfill a homeschooler’s physical education requirements, but also find various passions outside of the home.
This book by Terri Dowty is a collection of personal stories from parents who homeschool their children on the autism spectrum. Each story provides support and ideas that are beneficial to those just beginning.
“Homeschooling the Challenging Child” offers expert advice on a variety of issues relating to special education. Author Christine Field is an experienced homeschool mom, ensuring that the book is both sympathetic and helpful.
“Homeschooling the Child with Asperger Syndrome” is chock-full of tips and ideas that homeschooling parents can use on any budget and with any curriculum. There are also step-by-step instructions on things like:
- reading body language
- dealing with perfectionist tendencies
- coordination skills
- handwriting, and more.
Homeschooling the Child with Autism is a useful guide that aims to answer the most common questions parents have about teaching their autistic child at home. Also included are useful tips for maintaining a successful home education program.
Based on more than 60 interviews with homeschoolers with different learning abilities, “Homeschooling Your Struggling Learner” provides a wealth of insight into what it’s like to teach an autistic child at home. The book is written by Kathy Kuhl, who herself homeschooled a struggling child from elementary school through graduation.
The Parent’s Guide to In-Home ABA Programs: Frequently Asked Questions about Applied Behavior Analysis for your Child with Autism
This book is a helpful resource for parents who include ABA therapy in their homeschool schedule. The concise and practical text answers the most common questions about how ABA can help an autistic child and how to deal with ABA therapists and agencies, among other things.
Parents of struggling readers may find this book to be helpful. Written to help parents help children, “Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Lessons” walks parents through the research-based approach to get their child reading without cutting and pasting, without flashcards, and without difficult-to-decipher directions.
This book by Olga Holland is full of insight and encouragement for homeschooling parents of children with autism and Asperger’s syndrome. It also provides the reader with a number of useful ideas.
ABCmouse is an online curriculum for children ages 2-8. It provides more than 850 lessons and 8,500 activities on subjects such as:
- and art and colors
It’s designed for students to complete on their own.
A common choice of curriculum among both homeschoolers and private Christian schools, Abeka curriculum is based upon:
- spaced repetition
The curriculum comes with DVDs that add a visual and interactive component to the lessons.
Perfect for the child on the autism spectrum, this program can be done online or via CD. The full math curriculum features easy-to-follow instruction and is based on the proven methodology of the test-grade-review cycle.
All About Reading is a hands-on and sensory-friendly reading curriculum that has been well received by both young homeschooled children and their parents. The myriad activities allow children to develop reading skills at their own pace without stress or frustration.
Apologia is a homeschooled curriculum rooted in the Christian faith. This award-winning curriculum is suitable for any child, K-12. Whether one chooses tangible textbooks or online courses, parents can be sure their child is receiving a solid base knowledge of subjects tackled. Parents speak especially highly of Apologia’s science curriculum.
More than 150 trial programs divided into 12 categories make up the Autism ABA Curriculum. Each category compiles the latest in education, and all programs have been tested in actual therapy environments.
The Autism Curriculum Encyclopedia, better known as ACE, is a complete education package with curriculum that can be customized. ACE is especially popular because it’s a comprehensive curriculum database, ensuring that each parent can find exactly the right program for their child.
This flexible secular curriculum has been around for more than 100 years. It has been the chosen curriculum of hundreds of homeschooling families, military families stationed overseas, and even professional child performers and athletes. Calvert is so appealing because it is totally flexible. Families have the option of going with the entire homeschool curriculum or just individual courses.
Designed by a dedicated homeschooling mom with six kids from ages two to 15, Easy Peasy All-in-One Homeschool is a free online curriculum that requires only a computer and the internet. Nearly all materials are free, and the curriculum does not require any major books or supplies.
Explode the Code is a unique reading curriculum designed to help children build a strong literacy foundation. The well-received program also aims to help children become lifelong readers.
Gemm Learning is an online curriculum tailored to fit each child based upon online behavioral and reading assessments. As an added bonus, real-time support from educators is available seven days a week.
Neat and legible handwriting is an important skill for any child. Handwriting Without Tears provides multi-sensory handwriting instruction that is developmentally appropriate for each stage of Kindergarten through 5th grade.
K12 is a tuition-free online public school. It is ideal for the homeschooled child with autism, thanks to the fact that it can be individualized to meet any child’s needs, including the ability to pick and choose subjects from varying grade levels.
Older students who are hesitant about math will appreciate Life of Fred Mathematics. This unique math curriculum is written in the style of a humorous novel, and students learn various math concepts and methods through the main character’s many encounters with real-world math.
Math-U-See is a favorite curriculum for parents of autistic children. This is due in large part to its included manipulatives and helpful paper work.
A classical curriculum well suited, but not exclusively designed, for children on the autism spectrum. Besides the basics, each grade level focuses on a different part of the Western Heritage such as Greek myths, Famous Men of Rome, and Famous Men of the Middle Ages, among others.
The Miquon Math curriculum is ideal for students who need to work with their hands in order to understand math concepts. The simple and visually plain workbooks provide for a distraction-free work environment, while manipulatives are included to help the student understand.
The Oak Meadow Curriculum is a unique homeschool curriculum well suited for students with autism or disabilities. Lessons are exciting and vary day-by-day, and accommodate all learning styles.
Saxon Math is a math curriculum commonly used in public schools, but well suited for children on the autism spectrum. The curriculum is characterized by its straight-forward approach and interactive manipulatives.
TEACCH Autism Program is a curriculum put together by the research program of the same name at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. The curriculum, which is more of a framework for achieving educational goals, includes online resources, guidelines for proper assessments, and plenty of teaching materials.
Designed exclusively for children on the autism spectrum, this software-based curriculum comes in two different programs: TeachTown Basics and TeachTown Social Skills. Each combines computer-based and parent-led activities with relatable animated characters.
Whereas most curriculum companies offer their single product, Timberdoodle allows parents to assemble their own custom “curriculum kits.” Besides the usual subjects, kit items can include lessons and activities for:
- the Bible STEM
- puzzles, among other things.
Time4Learning is a popular curriculum choice for parents of students with autism. The online curriculum stresses both learning and social skills, and can be done at the student’s own pace.
Unlike most computer-based curricula for those on the autism spectrum, Wilo Star 3D creates a virtual world for students, complete with virtual classes students can “attend.” Lessons in English, math, history, and more are taught through Power Point presentations, audio, and magic white boards.
WriteShop is a writing curriculum designed specifically for “writing-phobic children.” The curriculum is available for students of all ages, including primary. It uses step-by-step lessons to introduce and develop basic writing skills in a way students can enjoy.
The Autism Show is an online radio cast meant specifically for autism parents and educators — or parent educators. The show always covers relevant and helpful topics, and features a variety of autism advocates, educators, organizations, and authors. Though The Autism Show is no longer producing new episodes, all 99 episodes are still available via the major platforms.
A variety of renowned professionals contribute to this podcast series covering new and relevant information about autism and mental disabilities. The podcasts can be especially helpful in assisting homeschooling parents in creating goals for their student.
Though Savvy Homeschool Moms is not specific to homeschooling children with autism (they do have an entire episode on the topic however), this podcast is still invaluable to anyone trying to educate their children at home. Each episode answers listener questions, reviews new resources, and discusses various tips and ideas. The moms no longer produce new episodes, though the individual episodes remain available and helpful.
Part of the Bam! radio network, the Special Education Channel is a must-listen for parents and those interested in educating students with a range of disabilities, including autism. Listeners will hear from a variety of experts on topics like:
- helping kids overcome challenges such as dyslexia
- strategies for teaching children on the autism spectrum
- developing communication systems, and more.
Speech and language pathologist Carrie Clark hosts this popular podcast. Perfect for parents with children who struggle with speech/language delay, Speech and Language Kids Podcast covers topics such as:
- alternative communication
Though the podcast no longer produces new episodes, all existing shows remain helpful and available.
On this (mostly) free website, parents of children with autism can find fun and unique art projects to pursue with their student. Dozens of arts and crafts projects, plus some “how to draw” activities, are featured with detailed, easy-to-follow instructions. New activities are added often.
Do2Learn is an interactive website that acts as a fun way for children to practice both behavior management and social skills while learning. The site includes thousands of free pages. Activities include:
- academic material
- communication cards, and more.
There are hundreds of free games, printables, and videos available on Funbrain. Aimed at children from preschool to 8th grade, Funbrain is a fun and unique way for students to practice key skills such as shapes, letter sounds, fractions, etc.
More supplementary activity than curriculum, the Fundanoodle I Can Pound Kit is designed for Kindergarteners and other young learners who might benefit from hands-on activities to learn letters. The kit includes:
- pound-out letter sheets
- coloring sheets
- other activities that can be done independently.
Another great Fundanoodle resource for young children with autism are the Muscle Mover Cards. Available in both uppercase and lowercase options, each dry-erase card includes a traceable letter on one side, and a fun animal-themed activity on the other (an immediate brain break!).
Green Kids Crafts Subscription Program is an awesome resource for homeschooling parents in need of some arts and crafts ideas. A box is delivered monthly, filled with fun hands-on craft ideas with easy-to-follow instructions.
Homeschooled children with autism can supplement their curriculum where needed thanks to IXL Learning, a website which provides students with activities aligned with the most common curriculum standards. The website requires a low monthly subscription fee, and has activities for grades K-12 in:
- language arts
- social studies.
This online resource consists of interactive games and lessons aimed at young children as they learn language and literacy skills. There are even activities in Spanish, French, and German, and myriad “print and practice” activities.
Rainbow Resources offers home educators more than 50,000 worksheets, downloads, textbooks, reading books, and just about anything else you can think of. While it isn’t specifically aimed at students with autism, there are myriad resources which will be appropriate.
Reading Eggs is an online resource for games to help young children practice reading skills. The subscription-based program includes tons of videos and activities that children with autism will both enjoy and be able to complete at their own pace.
For many homeschooling parents, art presents a particularly unique challenge, which is why Sparketh Online Art Lessons is such an appealing and ideal resource. The internet-based resource allows for parent-guided or independent work, and walks students through a series of fun, easy-to-understand art projects.
The New Start Suspense Series is a series of six short novels aimed specifically at young readers with reading challenges. Each novel features the same cast of characters and is divided into short and manageable chapters.
Straight Talk is home-based speech therapy for children under age 10. The DVDs are available in two levels — one for children who have difficulty pronouncing words, and one for children who need help speaking words and sentences in order to communicate. Each Straight Talk is split into easy and enjoyable five-minute sections.
SuccessMaker, by Pearson, is a helpful supplement for students struggling with math or literacy. The computer-based program is adaptive and prescriptive, with activities that are easy to understand and frustration-free.
Typing is an important skill for every child to have. Typing Instructor for Kids is a computer-based program that kids can follow to learn typing skills the fun way.
For those homeschooled children independent and responsible enough to need a morning alarm clock, the Wake Up Light is the ideal option. Perfect for those kids who are sensitive to sounds, the Wake Up Light gradually brightens to wake up kids the same way the sun does.
Asperger’s Family Forum is a helpful Facebook forum in which like-minded people can post to find support, encouragement, information, and ideas.
A massive list of homeschooling support groups throughout the world. Search your location to find others who can help you with local laws, ideas, recommendations, and other forms of support.
Homeschool.com is a wonderful site for any homeschooling parent, but its forums are an especially great resource. Each forum covers a different topic, and acts as a support group where members can ask questions, offer or seek advice, or simply share challenges and triumphs.
Home Schooling Aspies is a support list for Christian homeschooling parents of children with Asperger’s Syndrome. Posted topics are meant to encourage, inspire, support, and prompt prayer.
A2Z Homeschooling is an invaluable website for parent educators of students with autism. The website features tons of advice in the form of stories from other parents and professionals, plus online support and reviews on autism-themed books and websites.
One need not be a citizen of Massachusetts to find this website helpful. Better known as AHEM, Advocates for Home Education in Massachusetts, Inc. rightly bills itself as the “go-to source for homeschool support and information.”
Aven’s Corner is an online game resource aimed at autistic children or others in need of simple, uncluttered games. Games are designed to assist children with everything from hand-eye coordination, to learning how to click on objects, and plenty in between.
Autism Classroom is a website aimed at parents and educators of children with autism. The site is a great resource that includes, among other resources:
- free teaching materials
- tips on setting up a home classroom
- reviews of and links to new mobile apps.
For those for whom Common Core material applies, this free website is a great resource for finding lesson worksheets or additional practice. Common Core-approved worksheets can be found for such subjects as :
- social studies
- language arts
- other languages
Managed by a dad of four daughters, this helpful website is a compendium of math worksheets and charts. The site is organized like a blog, and offers tips and ideas to supplement each worksheet.
When it comes to finding worksheets and activity lessons, Ed Helper is an ideal resource for the homeschooling parent. The worksheets do not require prep on the part of the parent/teacher, and available worksheet categories include:
- reading comprehension
- summer workouts.
Education Creations is an inexpensive resource for educators. Parents can search the website for skill-building worksheets, morning work, reading prompts, and more to supplement any curriculum and provide extra practice where needed.
Family Friendly Fun is a website aimed at providing parents of special needs children with ideas for activities and resources. The website also includes a free online forum for parents to connect with other homeschooling parents around the world.
Because so many parents of children with autism find that “unschooling” is the best system for their family, The Family Unschoolers Network is a great resource. The website provides interesting newsletter articles, lots of resources, book reviews, and must-read websites.
A website that describes itself as a “vibrant community for homeschooling families.” The website includes information on various resources, curriculum reviews, and even recipes, among other things.
This incredibly useful website offers up a massive collection of entertaining and easy-to-follow videos on a variety of topics. Every video is free of charge and can be used as a lesson or as a supplement when a topic is proving difficult to understand.
The Mighty claims to be the most popular disabilities-themed website on the internet. Whether or not that’s true, this immensely valuable resource includes a a large autism community and information from autistic people, parents, and pros.
This helpful website is chock-full of free learning resources. Homeschooling parents of children with autism can find just about anything they might be looking for, including free online college-level courses, language-learning resources, and much more.
Special Needs Homeschooling is a website specifically aimed at helping homeschooling families of special needs students excel. The site includes various resources about:
- autism and learning
- an online store
- reviews of different products
- a discussion forum.
Super Teacher Worksheets offers parents and educators thousands of free or inexpensive worksheets to supplement lessons or units. The site is especially helpful thanks to its easy-to-navigate menu of topics and subtopics.
This unique website connects teachers (including homeschooling parents) from around the world. Educators in need of specific assignments or learning units (of which there are plenty for the autistic student) can simply check the massive database, then purchase what they like.
More for Parents and Families:
- 10 Best Comprehensive Homeschool Curricula for Children with Autism
- 30 Things Parents of Children on the Autism Spectrum Want You to Know
- 30 Best Children’s Books About the Autism Spectrum
- 30 Best Autism-Friendly Vacation Ideas
- Five Ways to Support Parents of Children with Autism
- Five Coping Strategies for Parents of Kids with RAD (Reactive Attachment Disorder)