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Have you taken a child with HFA out of school?

(24 Posts)
Twuntingattheweekend Wed 06-Dec-17 16:16:14

If so ,how did it go? We are having so many problems toilets ,food,smells,noise,plays,sports day,any change from the usual...I was in again today with the home school link worker...when I left he saw me ,and called mum..in such a small voice ,behinned this huge gate ,and I just wanted to take him home...and behaviour at home is awful..but that could be due to the stress of school...the school are trying to be accommodating..I don't know what to do☹️😢😪

Want2bSupermum Wed 06-Dec-17 16:26:46

Oh I feel for you. I've been through hell and back with my DC. Elder one is extremely bright but terrible behavior. Managed to throw a chair at a teacher two weeks ago. At 6 she is tiny so must have been furious.

We are in the US and have hired an education advocate and a lawyer to make sure she is getting an appropriate education. You have to be a very strong advocate for your child. HFA is extremely challenging for a school to manage. Basically NYU have pioneered a program for NYC schools and what they do is have 16 average to high functioning children in a class with up to 4 HFA children. It's a rigid routine which is academically challenging. As I was talking to DH about it I had a realization that this pretty much what most good private schools offer in the UK. We live in North Jersey and are looking to move into Manhattan so our elder two DC can attend the NYC Nest schools. It's insane that we are looking to spend so much money to access these services.

Here is a link for the NYU Nest program. There are links on that site for parental support. I called in on them in person and they were super helpful. I'd definitely call the number (on skype) if you have further questions. They are currently only partnering with NYC and Aarhus schools (USA and Denmark) and I'm trying to get this rolled out into New Jersey. It might be an idea to push your LEA to put a program like this in place. Its not actually that hard to do.

Want2bSupermum Wed 06-Dec-17 16:28:21

I've considered pulling out DD but it's not for her benefit. She is very bright and being around peers she can model will help her in the long run. We just need to get her in the right environment.

Caulk Wed 06-Dec-17 16:35:35

I have two friends who did it.

One home schooled until university, but he struggled there, and is now at home. She says she regrets removing him as he didn’t learn skills to be able to cope that he could then use as an adult at uni and in the workplace.

Other friend home schooled for yr 5 and 6 IIRC and then he got a scholarship to local independent where he is very happy and settled - smaller classes and more continuity.

Twuntingattheweekend Wed 06-Dec-17 18:11:25

Thanks for both replies..I feel bad because the school are so helpful..but I keep thinking he would be happier at home

ommmward Wed 06-Dec-17 19:01:46

Just looked at the local autism home schoolers facebook group listing - over 100 members. There are MANY MANY MANY people out there in your shoes, who have decided in the end that it's better to put their energy into actually caring for and educating their children, than into fighting with the UK state school system to try to make sure their child is cared for properly in the school environment.

That's just the people in my area who are looking for specifically autism-related home ed support - there are hundreds more whose children are not autistic, or who don't feel the need to be part of that facebook group.

If you take the plunge, you'll find so much more support from your local community than you would have even ten years ago - so many more people have taken their children out, and are finding ways to help their children grow intellectually and socially, that don't look school shaped.

Less than 20% of adults with autism are in full time employment in the UK. link So, it's not as if the schools are doing terribly well with helping autistic children to develop the skills to live independently later in life - you can hardly do worse...

Twuntingattheweekend Wed 06-Dec-17 19:12:39

I looked on Facebook.i put in my area.then home ed groups..absolutely nothing came up..

Twuntingattheweekend Wed 06-Dec-17 19:15:01

As schools go..ours is pretty good..but there are sooo many issues he is having ,it feels like a loosing battle...I think in the new year I will have to bring him home at lunchtime to eat and use the loo..assuming I've not taken the plunge and removed him

ommmward Wed 06-Dec-17 19:15:37

PM me with what town you're in/near, and I'll see what I can find for you. I would be flabbergasted if you didn't have an active home ed community near you!

stitchglitched Wed 06-Dec-17 19:23:27

Yes I did, nearly 3 years ago. He was getting nothing out of being at school and it was impacting on his mental health. He was being bullied and struggling in the playground and when I was presented with his workbooks to look at during parent's evening they were empty. The final straw was mistreatment by the staff, I pulled him out and our whole household just lightened immediately, it was like a weight had been lifted.

He has thrived since leaving, goes to home ed groups (a bit of trial and error until we found some he could cope with) and he has a little group of friends. He's now 9 and I'm looking at the possibility of specialist provision for high school but if that doesn't come through I will carry on home edding, not a chance will he set foot in a mainstream high school.

iam16goingon17 Thu 07-Dec-17 12:41:29

Not me but someone I know has- it worked well for them as her DC was just not coping in a mainstream school: his behaviour was worsening, he was getting bullied, and it was stressing him out big time sad

It's been 6 months now and he seems calmer, fewer meltdowns, stopped bedwetting etc. It has worked out very well for him, but I'm not sure how fair it is on the younger siblings who were happy enough in school before they were pulled out. HTH

Twuntingattheweekend Thu 07-Dec-17 18:43:48

Well we've had a horrendous day,the worst ever,crying ,clinging to the car and me,running off from the school gates.teachers helping get him in....can't work out why it's suddenly got so bad...once I've took him out,if I can't cope with his behaviour or he refuses to do any work ,I'm buggered.he absolutely won't do homework and hasn't for months..I'm scared I will end up with no support if I take him out

Twuntingattheweekend Thu 07-Dec-17 18:47:23

It would be easier if the school was shit and didn't care..but honestly they are bending over backwards for us.but what's upsetting him is out of the schools hands ...like today he said he wants to change school to one where there are no children🙁

ommmward Thu 07-Dec-17 19:05:45

Twunting - you're all in free fall at the moment. Of course he won't do home work - he's in a situation that is totally traumatising him, 6 hours a day, five days a week. Why on earth would he be willing to do more things that relate to their agenda when he is at home?!!!

Get him out, the sooner the better, and then get yourselves ready to
1) de-school. This is where you do nothing that looks like formal education for at least one month per year he's spent in school. Longer if there has been an trauma involved (which it sounds like there has). In that time, treat him like a toddler again, as in, go on fun trips to the park, get a season ticket to one of those farms that has animals and play area type activities, go to museums, maybe join the National Trust if there are some great places to explore near you, go shopping together (for a few years, going to the supermarket was a regular thing for us, and the children still love being in charge of the list (including making it, ahem), the trolley, the packing, the paying...), go to the library and explore the books. Gently find out about local home educators - are there regular meet ups? Do people organise one off trips to places? Anything you can begin to join in with as and when he's ready? Is there a local old folk's home that would welcome regular visits from you and your children to show them toys and play snakes and ladders together or whatever? can you go swimming, or maybe visit an animal shelter, or help out at a community cafe? spend time together, duvet days and movies, just chilling out at home, toys and books and games. There's so much to do that will be hugely educational, but none of it is the least bit school shaped. Get it out of all your systems. Do you have a garden you can spend time in together?

2) through that period, do a little gentle thinking about what your son thrives on - what sorts of activities and conversations. Do more of them! And gradually you'll work out whether you want to be completely child-led ("autonomous education") or whether you want to impose a curriculum on him (NB even the most formal home educators I know rarely spend more than an hour a day on academics with a primary aged child. It's SO EFFICIENT one to one!) or whether you're one of the "a little bit of structure" people in the middle like many of us, where one or two things are top down, adult led, and the child has the rest of their learning time completely on their own agenda.

It's going to be ok. Your son is telling you in the only way he knows how to, that the situation is NOT RIGHT FOR HIM. there is nothing the school can do, however nice they are about it, to make it be right for him. If they could, they'd have worked it out and done it. Some children are not school shaped at certain points in their lives. It's no big deal - there are thousands and thousands of us who have those sorts of children, and it's just a different way of living our lives!

ommmward Thu 07-Dec-17 19:06:48

PS I sent you a bunch of links to facebook groups. Once you ask to join them, keep an eye on your "message requests" in Facebook, because they usually write to you and say "oy, who are you and why do you want to join our group?" in order to keep out journalists and LA staff :-D

Twuntingattheweekend Thu 07-Dec-17 21:28:14

One question....let's say I do exactly what you say ommmward.as it sounds perfect...but the first thing the school will do is notify the LEA .so if they want to inspect our home ed situation,how do I prove I'm educating him,while he spends 4 months de stressing????

MyDcAreMarvel Thu 07-Dec-17 21:32:30

The lea do not inspect home edders at all.

ommmward Thu 07-Dec-17 23:47:08

In the 2007 elective home education guidelines for local authorities, it says explicitly that people need a deschooling, settling in period when their child leaves school. When they write to enquire about the education, you say "thank you very much for your letter. We are currently going through a settling in and deschooling period, for my son to recover from his traumatic school experience and for us to develop the most positive and productive ways of providing him with an education. Please contact us again in three months, and we'll be delighted to let you know how the educational provision is developing".

MsGameandWatching Fri 08-Dec-17 00:00:48

He was getting nothing out of being at school and it was impacting on his mental health. He was being bullied and struggling in the playground and when I was presented with his workbooks to look at during parent's evening they were empty. The final straw was mistreatment by the staff, I pulled him out and our whole household just lightened immediately, it was like a weight had been lifted.

I could have written that, only it was five years ago. Awful times. Best thing I ever did was take him out. The sheer and utter relief was indescribable.

Twuntingattheweekend Fri 08-Dec-17 12:41:58

Really they leave you alone for 3 months..I had no idea...I thought you had to be ready for them to arrive at any point

MyDcAreMarvel Fri 08-Dec-17 12:47:54

They "leave you alone" forever replying to any letters is merely a courtesy. Most home edders will send an annual statement to the LEA stating a rough outline of their dc education for that year. It is optional though and they certainly do not turn up to inspect.

rcit Fri 08-Dec-17 12:50:20

How old is he?
I haven’t taken my hfa child out (yet) but so many times I have been an inch from doing it.
Have you the money for a tutor(depends on ds age)? Which would prove eduction ?

ommmward Fri 08-Dec-17 17:32:27

Definitely no need for tutors!!! Some people use them, buy most of us don't. Lots of tutors are all about cramming for sats, which is irrelevant to home edders!

Twuntingattheweekend Fri 08-Dec-17 17:39:50

Oh,no we've not much money..I don't work as I've two with disabilities

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