I think there's a prevailing belief that just by nature of children being surrounded by their age mates, that they're being socialized. I can see that this belief is usually the case, for typical children. So, it stands to reason that these parents of typical kids would think this way.
But, I gotta tell you. Having worked in schools, and having been a student myself, don't you realize that for lots of kids, school is a very negative social experience? Being bullied is a social experience, but it's one I think kids could do without!
Once people hear the word autism, they assume that kids need to be socialized. I couldn't agree more. But socialization is more than being in the room. I feel that these kids, my boy included, needed to be helped with their socializing. Just throwing them to the wolves, without the skills and supports they need would be disastrous!
So, Aiden's not going to school. But, he is learning, and learning a lot! So far, home school is in every way the right choice for us. He's developing lots of great skills, and accumulating knowledge in a way that wouldn't happen in a regular classroom.
AND, he's getting the social aspect in a way that works for him. He's signed up in music, swimming, and arts and crafts, Plus he'll be doing drop-in skating and bowling during the week. So, the social piece is there. But, so am I. I'm not sending him off to fend for himself, or to drift away from the group, or to act in inappropriate ways without being corrected. He has my presence and suppport, and he needs that.
So, what about the social? There's social.