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home education for my boy with special needs

(7 Posts)
TinySocks Mon 14-Jul-08 12:12:12

We live abroad, DS1 is 3.6 years old and has special needs (Global developmental delay due to brain injury). I am considering home educating him because I am not sure if the schools here can meet his needs.

I have many questions, I hope I can pick your brains and get some opinions.
Do you think a child with special needs would benefit from home education?
Are parents always the teachers? Due to his problems, DS needs a lot of repetition and is not very open to trying new tasks that he finds difficult. (He needs plenty of motivation). I am concerned that if I become his main teacher our relationship will deteriorate, is it common to get someone else to do the teaching, in my case someone with more experience in special needs?

Thank you.

jimjamshaslefttheyurt Mon 14-Jul-08 12:17:44

There's an email list specifically for people home edding children with SN.

My son attends school, but in the last 4 years we've always done some sort of home programme as a top up. If you have the money it is far easier if you can work with a consultant (a number of people in the SN section have done this) - have someone else draw up and regularly review the programme. The biggest problem I've found is when we were trying to do it alone and it was easy to get stuck in a rut doing the same thing over and over and not moving on.

Some people we worked with on a distance programme were these. Obviously they're autism biased but they've worked with kids with learning difficulties as well (as my son has). Loads of experience.
Floortime are good for all disabilities - the founder has experience of all sorts, GDD, autism etc.

onwardandupward Mon 14-Jul-08 12:18:56

There's a wonderfully supportive yahoo group for HE families with SN children. Can't remember the link, but someone will be along who can...

onwardandupward Mon 14-Jul-08 12:24:28

oh look, here's the link

www.he-special.org.uk/

TinySocks Mon 14-Jul-08 15:10:46

oh thank you for your replies.
Jimjams, I do have greenspans book on floortime and I use ABA principles for DS1, but I am thinking about primary now. I am finding it more and more draining doing it all myself (I don't have tutors).

I am interested in knowing how you organise it, for example, do you spend every night preparing material for the following day? How many hours a day to you work with your child?
And one of my biggest concerns, is do you find that the fine line between being a mum and a teacher is blurred?

julienoshoes Mon 14-Jul-08 22:32:05

hello TinySocks
I have home educated three children-all with a degree of SEN.
I too thouroughly recommend the HE-Special list-the advise and support you will get there is second to none-and there will be people I am sure whose children have the same diagnsosis as your son.

There are different ways to home educate-some people do have a structured day that they plan out before.
We found this didn't work well for us though-and we eventaully became more autonomous.
We don't have any structure to our days at all now-other than that imposed by events that we are attending- home ed meetings and outside activities such as Explorer Scouts or home ed meetings etc. Otherwise we are busy each day following the children's interests and learn through living life.
This is a very successful method of education-there the last chapter on a piece of research here about it here A Different Kind of Education
There is also an article 'Comparing informal and formal home based education' that is worth reading.

Some of the families who are part of the HE Special needs list have also contributed to a book "Home Educating our Autistic Spectrum
Children: Paths are made for walking" Edited by Terri Dowty.
Each family has written a chapter discussing how home ed works for them-and although the diagnosis is different, you may find some of the information about how folks approach this, helpful.
Likewise, the is a Month in the life of .......... blog may be helpful-where several of us, who home educate children with SEN have written the bog for a month at a time, describing how home based education works for our families. Several different approaches are covered there.

jimjamshaslefttheyurt Mon 14-Jul-08 22:56:39

Hi Tinysocks

The HE list is useful but a lot of the people are autonomous which imo doesn't work well with learning disability's - depends on the level of LD and the attention span/imitation ability though. DS1's was seconds and he couldn't imitate so autonomous would have mean he would have learned a grand total of zero.

I would say get some tutors in if you're finding it hard (I've just gone back to teaching ds1 myself after 4 years of tutors). If you're near a university psychology students are often keen, but there can be turnover. I know lots of people doing ABA programes at primary level (there are a few on SN thinking about it)- and most of those have LEA funding for it- although all had to to go to tribunal to get it.

Where are you? (ish). I might be able to hook you up with someone running some sort of home programme - I know a few people in various parts of the country. Just to go and observe.

Currently our home programme is tiny. It's purely to teach reading/writing and typing. Takes about 40 mins a day if ds1 does it properly. Our consultant send us everything we need (all toys, all equipment) which makes it easier- so I just get everything ready before ds1 gets home from school.

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