I’m not gonna lie. Homework for kids with Autism is all kinds of wrong. I mean, some kids may do just fine but others really, really struggle.
Elliott’s the only one who gets nightly homework assignments and while his teachers and I have worked out an arrangement in regards to homework, it’s still not easy at all.
In fact, homework time is easily the most stressful part of the day for me.
The reason I stick with it is because I don’t want my kids getting out of their responsibility, simply because they have Autism or things are harder for them.
At the same time, there has to be reasonable expectations.
Elliott has to do 9 minutes of homework a night, as apposed to the 40 minutes the teachers are asking for.
This is a reasonable compromise but to Elliott, 9 minutes seems like an eternity.
It’s not a question of whether or not he can physically do the work because he can. It’s mostly anxiety and probably some ADHD as well.
In other words, the hurdles he’s dicing are more emotional and behavioral, rather than cognitive. This is why I enforce the homework policy, even though it leads to meltdowns and huge amounts of stress.
Elliott can do the work and there are many times when he does it without a problem.
Other times, like today for example, turn into a nightmare of meltdowns, screaming (from him not me), issues with asthma requiring his emergency inhaler and tension in the house that could be cut with a knife.
It’s so stressful and exhausting but because there is some normal defiance involved, I can’t back down or he’ll get the idea that I’ll break when he pushes hard enough.
As a general principle, I disagree with giving at least some kids with Autism, homework. So many of these kids give everything they have to the school day and asking them to do more after school is simply unfair.
My kids are in a charter school for kids with Autism but on one of the staff has a child with Autism of their own and so their understanding of what life with Autism is like, starts and stops at the front door to the school.
It’s frustrating, overwhelming and exhausting for both myself and Elliott but I’m hoping to just make it through the rest of the year at this point.