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Part time or shared home educating?

(18 Posts)
wendihouse22 Thu 25-Nov-10 08:37:11

Hi, need some advice if anyone has experience of this?

My son's 10yrs old, has autism and new diagnosis of OCD for which, though very young, he is being treated with anti-depressants. This decision was not taken lightly - no parent would but, as if the autism (high functioning - not in a "genius" way but in mainstream primary with good communication, reading, writing and drawing kind of way)the OCD is making learning impossible. His obsessions and rituals have taken over to the extent that today, because his one to one is away, I have had to keep him at home with me because, frankly, they don't have the staffing levels to accommodate him.

So, I want to suggest to the SENCo the idea of a "3 day week" with 2 days home education but, who pays for this? He has a Statement (and thank God I pushed and pushed for that!) and it's being reviewed early because of the enormous problems we're having now, and I wondered whether anyone else has provision in their Statement for a home/school learning?

wendihouse22 Thu 25-Nov-10 08:40:21

Also, it's being said he won't survive mainstream secondary school when the time comes not because he isn't bright but because of all his issues.

Can home/school learning be done in secondary anyone??

It's either that or a special school which is 25 miles away and my son has all kinds of issues with travel.

Sorry this is so higgldepiggledy !!!


IndigoBell Thu 25-Nov-10 13:44:02

Part time schooling is called Flexi Schooling and is perfectly legal and easy to do. All you need is for the school to agree and they ring up and organise it. It can start the next day...

However if you wanted someone to educate your son in your own home, as opposed to you educating him when he is not at school, I don't know how you would be able to do that. (Though I believe it is possible... But would require a huge fight)

wendihouse22 Thu 25-Nov-10 19:44:14

Thanks indigobell......thought so. Will check out the option.

Agnesdipesto Thu 25-Nov-10 21:22:52

There are Internet schooling options at secondary especially nearer to GCSE. On the DCSF (now dept of ed) website some guidance on home ed and sen came out last year. There is also a home school group on here i think and a site called education otherwise. used to be if you home ed you had to pay costs but I think the guidance suggested LAs may have to contribute to costs if sen.

Getting LAs to pay for home tutors is also possible especially if cost of special school and transport is high you might be able to present it as cost effective option.

shimmerysilverglitter Thu 25-Nov-10 21:35:24

I Flexi school ds (ASD). Different hours though, he only goes in in the mornings. We don't actually do a great deal at home really to be honest, I encourage his interests and we do any work sheets he didnt manage in the morning, go swimming and take trips that relate to whatever he is learning at school. Eg today I took him for lunch at an Arabic restaurant as his class is studying Eid and it gave me a chance to stimulate his interest in a simple way.

Would you be teaching him yourself? Education Otherwise is a good site as someone suggested and most councils have a page on their websites that deal with it and offer advice.

wendihouse22 Wed 08-Dec-10 09:48:46

Sorry.....having shocking time so, not been on MN for a bit.

No, I wouldn't be teaching him. I'd find that very hard and frankly, don't think he would do it for me.

Shimmery.....sounds like your son has best of both worlds. How will he do in formal exams? How old is your son?

You see, all along, I've been told how bright my ds is. But, his leaning has stopped at the moment because of a massive deteriorated in his general (mental) health. Diagnosis of OCD has surpassed his autism difficulties. So, he spends the greater part of his day being "controlled" ie, stopped from taking his clothes off to strip wash his body in the boys loo; trying to avoid touching ANYTHING OR ANYONE and then calming him down if he DOES touch them!

I'm really afraid for him in terms of bullying etc at secondary and just feel he's cope better with a shorter day/week but, don't want him at home playing his DS or drawing all day. AT THE MOMENT, WE DO NOT LEAVE THE HOUSE. AT ALL. FOR GOING ON 4 MONTHS NOW. I know it seems ridiculous but it's true.

ontherainbow Wed 08-Dec-10 10:40:13

Hi there,

This may not be what you're looking for but I'll explain what I'm doing in my area...

I'm in the process of setting up a 'Free School' in Bexley for children on the Autistic Spectrum from the ages of 11 - 16. Our school will also help children recover from bullying.

I (as a parent of an ASD child) have found that there is no 'middle ground' when it comes to schooling secondary, and indeed primary children with ASD. After finding out about the Government's new initiative for setting up Free Schools (schools set up by parents or teachers) I immediatley got
the wheels in action to set up my own school.

The school will be somewhere situated in the Borough of Bexley, but parents or teachers can also do this across the country. I have a degree in teaching, but I am aware that non-professionals are also able to do this.

If you are in the Borough of Bexley then maybe you would consider sending your child to our school? If you are not, I would be happy to explain how you and possibly a group of friends can do this in your area.

The Government has set up a helpline called New Schools Network to help anyone thinking of doing this.

wendihouse22 Thu 09-Dec-10 12:09:05

That sounds good....and scary.....and sadly no, I live in Nantwich, Cheshire.

Have been to visit a school for special needs today and came back son just doesn't "fit" there I think.

I am an ex-nurse. My teaching abilities are nil and my maths appalling.

I will look up New Schools Network but wouldn't know where on earth to begin.

Thanks so much for your info. And good luck with what sounds to be a great initiative.

ontherainbow Thu 09-Dec-10 23:46:05

Just think of how many other mums and dads are in your area and feel the same as you... I bet between you all you would all have amazing skills, trades and talents to do it.

You just have to find them! Have faith and good luck will come your way!

purplepidjbauble Fri 10-Dec-10 07:16:22

Wendihouse, it sounds like you're having an awful time. Can you get some respite from Social Services or a family member? Also, are CAMHS involved with your son along side the meds? Some autism-specific therapy sounds like it would help him in the long term. You also mentioned that you haven't left the house for 4 months and that your son is on anti-depressants. Is it possible that there's a link? People with ASD can react to medication in unexpected ways.

I really HTH

purplepidjbauble Fri 10-Dec-10 07:18:18

PS, all schools are different. Don't be too disheartened if this particular one doesn't suit your son, another will. And don't discount residential schools - it may help your son to have that consistencty from classroom to living area, and with his travel issues as he would have to travel less frequently. Oh, and with your mental health!

wendihouse22 Fri 10-Dec-10 09:41:17

purple..... We were referred to Social Services by our MP's office. Sounds strange but I met with him to ask "what's available in our area for those kids who can't access all the "fun days" (bowling/craft sessions/day trips etc)but who are not "bad enough" to get respite and other input?" You see, we COULD get direct payments via Aiming High For Disabled Children as he fits all the criteria regarding need BUT, we lost our High Rate Care component of DLA and that's the main criteria for getting AHfDC payment. We were downgraded on DLA care as they felt his night needs were not that significant. I've posted on other threads about what they are......... up anything between 2 and 7 times a night;each time doing his "checks" which involves me and him crawling around the floor making sure wires are safe, all plugs are out or "off"; doors closed; taps not dripping etc etc etc. He also is to be found self harming at night - running his hands under very hot water or very cold water until he can bear it no longer OR trapping his fingers (quietly, so I don't hear) in the drawer and then leaning on it to add pressure/pain as "punishment". And yet, DLA have decided he requires no greater supervision than any other 10yr old. It's unfathomable to me so, yes, I have appealed cause we don't qualify for respite otherwise. By respite, I mean someone to come to our home (he won't go out) and "buddy" him for a couple of hours a week as he has no social/friends outlet.

Yes, it's a truly desperate situation made worse by all the things I try to access and get a resounding "NO" to, because we're in the wrong postcode or simply DS not "bad enough".

We were seen by social services two years ago when I was on my own with him (single parent then, now remarried) and again...."you don't qualify". So, we'll have to see what they say this time.

Also, tried with the idea of an assistance dog for autism but we don't live in Sheffield/Leeds and he is now too old (have to be under 10).

I feel the school now is good. They have gone above and beyond the role of "school" with us. Yes we have CAHMS input. He is Statemented. We have a Blue Badge (unusual I know but I was collecting parking tickets at an alarming rate so, really pushed for it!!). DS having Cognitive Behavioural Therapy assessment next week.....we'll see what comes of that.

As for my own mental health, it seems people don't really listen to the mums. I recently went to see my own GP and asked about support to gain practical help but, am fairly new to this area and the GP (who's seen me a couple of times) said, "well, you strike me as a very capable parent, and just handed me a leaflet (to add to the many I've collected so far) about a carers meet up in a school hall 15 miles away and the usual "fun days and days out" for disabled kids stuff. He didn't seem interested in my "we don't go out" description of home life, wither that or he didn't believe me.

See to have gone on a bit.....but you all get the gist!

purplepidjbauble Sat 11-Dec-10 07:35:54

GP's are total shite when it comes to depression. They either fob you off or stick you on pills. Go down to the GP and cry. Loudly. Tell them you might hurt yourself (not necessarily a lie - accidents are much more common when you're shattered wink) if you have to carry on like this. Make a big fuss and get referred to your local provision. If nothing else, they'll have to find someone to look after DS while you attend appointments!

If you're Hants/Dorset I may be able to help out for a few hours...

wendihouse22 Mon 13-Dec-10 09:34:01

Aw thanks purple....

No, sadly in Cheshire. Moved here from Hereford last year.

Don't think I'm depressed as such (though might be soon!) more...... f**ked off with all the "No, you don't qualify, now get lost and get on with it you moocher!" replies.

This site is sooooo good for venting one's spleen!

HONK! (as in the Goose thread)

pinkorkid Mon 13-Dec-10 19:36:48

Hi Wendihouse,
I don't know if your ds would definitely qualify but he may be eligible for home tuition from the children out of school service (normally aimed at pregnant school girls, children with long term illness or school phobia.)
Whether they will cater for flexi-schooling, I'm not sure but worth asking. You would probably get their details via the senco or educational welfare officer. Would also be able to allocate a mentor who will come to the house and discuss worries with your son/try to persuade him to go out if you think that would help. Having said that, our ds refused point blank to go anywhere with the mentor but at least he communicated with someone outside the family once a week.


wendihouse22 Tue 14-Dec-10 18:29:45

Thanks Pinkorkid...... have not heard of either of those things. Will ask Senco about flexi-schooling.

A mentor? How do you get one of those allocated?

pinkorkid Tue 14-Dec-10 20:07:27

Mentor was also via the chidren out of school service - you could try searching it on your county council website or ask senco for a referral. But not to get your hopes up too much the legal minimum for a child out of school full-time is 5 hours per week which means often the max they offer is also 5 hrs per week - I expect that would be pro-rata if your child attends school 3 out of 5 days but if you don't ask..

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