This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
Are you home educating a child with autism?.. may I ask you some questions?how hard was it to remove them from school .and do they miss their friends? What about GCSES? Can you just not do them and go to college at 17?..what if home ed dosnt improve behaviour? Then your stuck trying school again....ahhh it's a big jump..will I ever get any peace?.. child is 7.
Lots of children with ASD in HE though I don't have one myself. My understanding, from chatting to parents at groups, is that behaviour does tend to improve because the child has much more choice about the level of interaction he has with others. Eg. They might attend group activities for short periods because they know they can have some down-time afterwards.
Thanks bee..that's assuming there are things to do locally ofcouse
Try to check out what home or Education Otherwise groups there are locally first, and factor into your decision.
Will it work for you?
If school makes a DC very anxious, and out of school- long summer holiday s - make behaviour much better due to happier, less anxious child, it can be a good choice.
Have a look at facebook groups. search for "home Education" and your county, nearest big city etc. You'll almost certainly find a community of people near you. there are different subcultures - it takes a while to find your feet (e.g. the Christian home edders; the special needs home edders; the hippy home edders; the Muslim home edders etc And of course you might end up feeling kinship with people across more than one of those groups)
In the, not that huge, city close to us, there are over 700 people on the local home ed facebook group. There's a LOT going on. I know a large number of families who HE because the schools can't really provide provision for their autistic children in which they will flourish (I'm not sure the schools ever could particularly, but I think that cultural expectations are shifting away from expecting that the children will just get on with it and do the best they can in a situation that stresses them out and isn't conducive to constructive learning or being mentally healthy)
What about GCSES though.thats my main worry..how do you / would I access them when the time came
And he is very needy ..to put it politely,how do other parents manage getting head space
Place marking as I'm having this dilemma too. Sorry I haven't got any answers
Hi dog...mine is at a good school as well. But he won't use the toilet ,at all while he's there..giving school a while longer to sort it...
Honestly, GCSEs will be the least of your worries (if your ds wants to do them). You can register to sit them at regional centres (usually a school or college). For course contrnt you can buy a syllabus and self teach, or use tutors or sign up for an online school such as interhigh. Or your ds may wantbto go back to school by then. Or he can go to college at 17 and sit them there.
Some schools allow children to attend part time and HE the other days.
Could that work for you both?
You'll find that, after an,adjustment period, your child becomes considerably less "full on" as you develop an educational and social environment in which they can thrive. 7 is a really hard age anyway - in my experience there's a big transition somewhere between 8-9 when it becomes easier for children to interact with a better sense of other people's needs (even if that has to be learned by rote, what with the autistic lack of theory of mind going on).
Don't worry about something 7 or 8 years away - do what's right for your child now, and be ready to change what you do over the years as he develops ☺
I'm scared of being his "everything".. there's really not much here in the way of home ed...and he's so full on...what if I can't do the work to help him...I've a degree ,but no GCSEs...we also have to keep out of the house a lot of the time...so that's worrying me too...he dosnt even know this is an option..if I even give a hint of me thinking about it,he will never let up.hes like that,incredibly full on.
Gardener ..I don't know.possibly...but won't the school insist on setting the work.and won't he be behinned with the work done in class..if you miss 2 days every week ,that's a lot of work you miss out on,even if the school did agree...unlikely
I think I could do it..have a book for each subject ,and try to do the basics every day...he's a bit behinned as it is..not keen on reading..so we could brush up on subjects he's behinned with....But I struggle to get him to do homework.once I've with drawn him..they won't take him back..it feels like huge jump in to the sea ,where we will either sink or swim...
Exactly how I feel, it's so hard
I would suggest putting academic work to the bottom of the list for now.
Instead: What are your child's triggers for stress? (people can't learn when they are stressed). Which of them can you remove? What tools might help with others? (ear defenders, ear plugs, conversation while walking or climbing or stimming?) really concentrate on what YOU can do to help make the surroundings comfortable. And ask your child what makes them safe, happy, relaxed.
Make a list of things you want your child to be able to do. Cook independently? Manage conversations in shops? Decide on a shopping list and find and buy the stuff? Wash clothes, hoover? Cultivate vegetables? Look after a pet? Manage social interactions? Work on those, in an apprenticeship model.
Try to find a few likeminded people to see. Again, your child may need much more support than many children - help them interact positively and productively. Get them into the UK home Ed Minecraft community (there are lots of autistic children who play Minecraft together over skype, apparently. Great way to manage social interactions at one remove - be on hand to guide and support).
See if you can find one regular activity your child will love, which is led by someone not you, even if you are there helping. Riding, football, martial arts, swimming, nature walks, coding club - whatever! Gradually, that will become a place you can take a back seat, and your child will build their confidence in successful social interaction with other adults.
If you can find a community.home Ed group, that's a place to start meeting.people. Often, people use our local Facebook group like a play date dating agency "5 year old, loves x y z, looking for likeminded children to play with". The other parent then is someone for you to chat with, increasingly as the children get more comfortable around each.other.
You're about to go through the looking glass. All that pressure competition anxiety school stuff isn't really relevant in.home Ed land. Here its about helping your.child grow into a happy and independent human being, by.following their interests and needs along the way.
Nb I'm not saying don't do academic stuff. But DO step back from anything that looks.like "work" until after the summer holidays. Enjoy each other's company again - rediscover each other's interests and personalities. Many people talk about it as if they got their quirky, creative,interested 3/4 year old back, after that person had been buried in anxiety for years. But that all takes some.time for.decompression!
Ward...thanks for that post...I'm not that type of parent...I'm not a chat while you walk type..I know nothing about nothing..I can't spell and my general knowledge is poor..if he's out of school he will have to be learning at the kitchen table,from books..maybe a more confident type of parent ,who had a good education could chat and walk and the child learn..that's not me.id need lists and plans and books and rotas and timetables..I can't be someone I'm not.
What type of person is your child? Is he a sit-at-the-table-with-a-workbook-cheerfully person? If not, then either HE is not for him, or you'll need to rethink!
How was it before he went to school? What did you do when he asked you questions?
How about finding out stuff together?
People aren't buckets - you can't pour knowledge into them. But if people want to find things out, then they can be guided by someone with a little more knowledge, and the world is their oyster!
Can he have a reduced time table at school -
Most mornings are maths and literacy very much timetabled so he knows what to expect each day
The afternoons are more chaotic with free play or exploring/experimenting or creative stuff
He may be better suited to just mornings
do you have anywhere you can do gardening? Can you grow some plants on the windowsill? Do you know anyone with an allotment, or a keen gardener? You could both go along and help them with their allotmenting (you'd get paid in veg, for sure!) Do you know people who might give you seeds or seedlings?
are there gardens you can go and look at armed with a flower identification book? (that's literacy happening without you even thinking about it!) Some local parks have a bit of flower gardening going on. Otherwise, this sort of thing? www.opengardens.co.uk/
you can get potatoes at the right time of year, in a kit, for free, Sign up for next year (you can put "home educator" in the box that asks what school it is). growyourownpotatoes.org.uk/
You can get free stuff from the royal horticultural society
Can you have a go at foraging for free food? www.fraw.org.uk/mei/archive/handouts/f-series/f01/f01-wild_food.pdf page 3 here has some bits and pieces you might recognise (e.g. dandelions, hawthorn)
Mustard and cress is the EASIEST thing to start with - grows very fast
get him menu planning, budgeting, doing supermarket shopping (and keeping track of the rough cost as you go round). finding out about ingredients and what's healthy and less healthy (get ready to cut down on sugar and salt and processed food and palm oil!). He can help with preparing food, and gradually get so he can do it alone.