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#46 imperfect parent

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 09:09 AM

Sadly my experiences of home ed are not that positive.... We get a lot of students coming to us at 16 because they, and parents, want them to get a recognised post 16 qualification ....for some it's A Levels, for others vocational..... The challenges for these young people, most of whom have SEN and I would say the majority ASD, of suddenly coming to a mainstream FE environment , with lots of other teenagers is massive , and in my experience the vast majority of these young people struggle massively...

For similar students in schools we are involved in transition reviews, transitions visits to college , taster days etc.... I have never had one home ed person contact us to discuss these things for their young person, they just apply ! So if you home ed my advise is think of the future.... At 14 start thinking about post 16.... If going to college is possibly an option , contact them , ask for their transitions worker or their ALS department .... Start having regular visits to the college , even if just for a coffee to start with....please don't just decide at 16 they need a qualification and pally to college , it doesn't work for the young people like that, in my experience!!!!

 

Good point PQ. Due to difficulties with DS2's transition review in yr 9 I was chatting with our careers advisor about home educated kids with SEN.  I was assured that the LA told the careers service about the ARs of HE kids who are statemented, but on further discussion we found 2 that she knew nothing about 2 teenagers; both friends of mine who HE to avoid prosecution for non attendance and to avoid permanent exclusion.  This would not be such an issue f the correct checks were done on HE, and if the LA conduct ARs for HE statemented children in accordance with the law.  

 

But how many more are there who's need are not being addressed?

 

Mozzy, - our local LD support group are supportive of all with autism and welcome us to their meetings.  The team diagnosing DS1 could not give an IQ figure, saying that the spikyness of his profile renders a nominal IQ figure meaningless.  He is capable of good results in exams, but his communication skills are poor particularly when stressed.  I really don't know what the future holds.  School isn't easy, but I can see that the future is likely to be harder.


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#47 mel123

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 10:27 AM

I home ed and am part of a strong home ed community - i agree with most of the things said in the the last few posts. Home edding a child with hfa involves a massive degree of preparing for later life, it involves an enormous commitment and the responsibility to collect the knowledge and pass it on to your child is huge. Many people in that situation believe that home ed can give a more holistic preperation for life - covering all the bases in a less stressfull environment. I agree completely that if it is to be done it needs to be done absolutely  right - but there are many parents dedicating their lives to getting it right, most of us dont do it lightly. I dont believe there are black and whites - the choice of how to educate your child  is what a person believes to be best for their family, most of us who home ed do so as an attempt to get things as right as possible for our children - people live their lives in different ways and so different things seem right, the right path is different for everyone. It is very possible to get a child with hfa through to college age fully prepared and to support them through the experience of college/uni/whatever without contact with the social services etc - but that is again a personal choice, usually a positive decision taken with full awareness of the responsibilty that involves. But that is why forums like this one are so important - they are such a wealth of information, experience and support. Which is why i find the recent twitter event so very sad - some families who needed some support have lost it due to petty arguements. I have the read the whole thing about 20 times and cannot see where it was rude or heated until the home ed/child abuse line was thrown in - which was obviously done deliberately to get the reaction it did. Home ed is a controversial topic and we stand to lose the right to educate our children as we see best soon, but i assure you that most parents taking that decision do so with the best intentions and with the right information at their hands can do a very good job of it. Its obviously not for everyone - but neither is school. This forum could be so much help to so many parents facing the challenges of home education their asd children - and at the end of the day isnt it the children that matter, not the parents decision on how to raise them? x


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#48 Miss Mac

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 11:29 AM

I'd agree with you, Mel. But after nearly 11 years here (and I really am taking a back seat these days) I don't think it's up to parents to help people who are abusive. 

 

I don't see HE as a controversial topic, but I have come across a few militant HE-ers who make it controversial. That's sad because they're rejecting a wealth of help that could be out there for them. 

 

School wasn't right for their child but that doesn't mean to say that school doesn't work for other children. I've worked with thousands of children with various diagnoses, and most are very well supported indeed. However, saying that is a red rag to a bull. At that point, any communication is pointless.

 

Forums like this one are great - but not for those who don't listen and just lash out ;) Thankfully the majority of HE-ers aren't like that at all.



#49 Jolly Roger

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 11:36 AM

I have the read the whole thing about 20 times and cannot see where it was rude or heated until the home ed/child abuse line was thrown in - which was obviously done deliberately to get the reaction it did. Home ed is a controversial topic and we stand to lose the right to educate our children as we see best soon, but i assure you that most parents taking that decision do so with the best intentions and with the right information at their hands can do a very good job of it. Its obviously not for everyone - but neither is school. This forum could be so much help to so many parents facing the challenges of home education their asd children - and at the end of the day isnt it the children that matter, not the parents decision on how to raise them? x

The reason that the discussion didn't become heated before I made the comment about home ed and abuse is because I kept my temper under control - quite a difficult task given that while I was conceding that home ed is done very well by a lot of parents and is better than a bad school, every time I responded with the fact that the majority of schools do a good job, I was accused of attacking them.

As I have already said, I should have walked away right at the beginning when it was obvious that the other people in the discussion didn't want anything other than cheerleading and congratulating for their decision to home educate, and they weren't willing to tolerate a discussion about any experience of schools that was different from their own.

The comment was made after persistent ignorant goading, to point out that there are failings in home schooling as well.

#50 mel123

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 11:58 AM

thanks for the calm replies both of you :) I dont use twitter often and have trouble reading the conversations - i'm off to try to read it again as i seem to be reading something different from you and i'm wondering if i'm missing parts of it?!  I come across the militant home ed stance almost every day of my life and i am saddened by its pointlessness - i completely agree there is no need for anyone to tolerate rudeness and disrespect, i just cant see it in that twitter conversation until the end ?! but freely admit that be my mistake and will take another look . x



#51 Jolly Roger

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 12:21 PM

Oh, I'm with you entirely about Twitter conversations being difficult to follow. When I looked at the discussion afterwards I found dozens of comments that I didn't see at the time - and I know that an awful lot of my comments were either not seen or just ignored. (It is most charitable to assume that they were not seen, but I'm not betting on it...)

Twitter conversations don't follow a coherent thread, you don't always see when comments are answering something else from earlier in the discussion, and when five or six people join in the result is just a confusing mess.

There is a militant wing to autism, home education, SEN advocacy... we are all working with the same intentions, but it appears with different goals. What I do now, voluntarily and professionally, is work with schools and authorities to bring them up to an acceptable standard for all SEN children. I am not gentle with the authorities, and I am most definitely not on their side - but working with the authorities has made me the enemy of those home educators.

That is their problem and their loss. When working to make things better for children I think it is sometimes fruitful to swallow my pride, walk into the council offices and accept their tea and biscuits, and then listen to them explain why they are doing things their way - and show some respect and understanding. That method has always achieved more than standing outsides shouting angrily.

#52 mel123

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 12:59 PM

glad its not just me baffled by twitter!

 

i have nothing but respect for what you do JR - school isnt for me and if i was in charge schooling would look very very different! But things are the way they are and people like you are needed.

 

we fight a similar battle in the political situation in the home ed world - walking a very fine line with the authorities to protect what we feel is our right to bring our kids up as we see fit. Where i live there has been years of respectfully listening, drinking tea and discussing with the lea - to an end that we live in a county that will listen to home edders to a certain degree. I dont think there is any other way of dealing with parties whose beliefs differ so much for yours - aggression solves nothing. I understand and respect what you do :)  I learnt the value of respecting the authorities from a very politically active and wise friend who has achieved much for the home ed world x


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#53 Jolly Roger

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 01:16 PM

Yes - when home ed is done well it can be better than a school, if only because it isn't a production line for vindicating political ideology. As the saying goes, "results may vary," but the best home ed outstrips average schools: the children do better in standardised tests in the US and don't have to suffer the weaknesses and failings of an underfunded, under supported system.

But the variation is key. We once had a home ed advocate here on ASDf "accidentally" reveal that her child spent all day, every day, on a Playstation. As PQ says above, home educated students are not adequately prepared for life after home education has finished. Monitoring progress simply doesn't happen. And the children are very vulnerable to gaps in the knowledge of their parent/educators.

When a school fails, the local authority and Ofsted spot it and can take action; parents can use the law to address shortcomings.

When a home educator fails, they can use the law to prevent anyone from even noticing.

#54 mel123

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 01:38 PM

respect your point of view JR - but i have wildly differing beliefs on the definition of 'failing' ! That doesnt mean that i cant see that there are situations where a home edded chid is failed. But i never ever ever discuss my personal beliefs on home ed and schooling in detail as i understand that where i am coming from means the majority of people simply wont get what i mean - so i will respectfully agree to differ and leave it at that ;)


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#55 Jolly Roger

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 04:20 PM

:)

#56 Mozzy

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 10:43 PM

 

Mozzy, - our local LD support group are supportive of all with autism and welcome us to their meetings.  The team diagnosing DS1 could not give an IQ figure, saying that the spikyness of his profile renders a nominal IQ figure meaningless.  He is capable of good results in exams, but his communication skills are poor particularly when stressed.  I really don't know what the future holds.  School isn't easy, but I can see that the future is likely to be harder.

 

 

Oh yeah some area are good - some not so good.

But social services here when I was 23 and always been under the LD team had a revamp due to budgets and then assessed my IQ and the fab psychologist did a bloody good job in the report stating the spikey profile, showing where I was weak and strong and that I functioned in daily living and self help as someone with a moderate-severe learning disability but as my overall score was 97 (even though some sub-sections were 60) the LD team still had to get rid of my under the reform. Lucky I still have contact with the OT, Psych and SW I had at the time who always give backup to my new ones but thats because I am lucky - a lot of people lost out. My report states IQ should not be considered when estimating my abilities. I also had another test done which put me in the bottom 0.2% of the population is some areas but in adult services its more about money and short cuts than kids services! Especially when there is no parents around to fight.

 

But anyway thats off topic, it just means transition into the care side is very complex.



#57 imperfect parent

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Posted 31 December 2013 - 09:23 AM

 

 

But social services here when I was 23 and always been under the LD team had a revamp due to budgets and then assessed my IQ and the fab psychologist did a bloody good job in the report stating the spikey profile, showing where I was weak and strong and that I functioned in daily living and self help as someone with a moderate-severe learning disability but as my overall score was 97 (even though some sub-sections were 60) the LD team still had to get rid of my under the reform.

I can see this is going to be an issue for us when DS is older.  Having access to the parents and carers support group does not mean we will be able to access services as an adult, but it does at least open our eyes to the issues..  And to be honest the services available sounded stretched even before the latest cuts..

 

Once again this forum is raising awareness of what we have to think about, giving us time to think about the issues before the decisions have to be made.



#58 madferretlady

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 09:58 AM

just found this thread and am very interested in all your views. I am considering home educating my daughter - not through choice but desperation. She had a breakdown last Easter and - apart from a couple of attempts to go in for an hour or so - has not been back to school since. The very mention of the world school and she just closes in on herself. She is almost 14, very bright and I am aware that time is marching on. We have now got her to the stage where she can go to the local library once a week and sit with a lady from the education board and do maths and english. She keeps up with music through her drum teacher - a lovely patient man, and she does Art therapy in our brilliant local ADD centre (she is ADD/Aspie mix). However that is it. This is all the outside contact she can cope with - she doesn't even want to see her aunts or grannies. Her obsession is anime and all she wants to do is read these and draw the characters (which she is actually very good at). I am terribly afraid to bow to the pressure to get her back to school - she admitted to her psychiatrist that she had considered ending it all because her inability to fit in socially was causing her so much anxiety. (Her older ASD brother made an attempt on his life when he was 12 - at that time he had just moved into post primary and was being assessed for ASD). However I am an extremely disorganised person myself - I know where her ADD side comes from, and I am afraid that I will fail her by trying to home educate. I do not know what to do for the best.



#59 mel123

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 10:25 AM

Hugs - i've only got a minute but wanted to say there are many different ways to home ed. You can access many full sylabuses(sp??) online or join online schools that will take all the planning and organising out of your hands and make sure she is getting everything she would at school. Can you find out what your local yahoo home ed group is and join - ask for advice there? xxxxxxx



#60 imperfect parent

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 09:05 PM

Home education should be a choice, not a desperate measure, but I fully understand why you feel the need to try.  What makes me cross is that the money available to schools is not available to parents because that would make it a lot easier for parents to buy in support for areas they need it in.

 

Some children are more receptive to home education than others.Both my boys spent time out of school, though not HE.  One of my sons would have been content and well educated though he would not have been able access exams had I chosen to educate him.  (Due to local provision and his difficulties.)  For him residential school has been a successful alternative.

 

My other son is a different character and totally resistant to HE.  While school refusing he was terribly upset at being out of school, and none of my efforts to engage him worked.  However he did well with an excellent private tutor until he went to a special school.  He continues to have Skype lessons with the tutor to continue with a subject he can't do at school.

 

Many of the people on this site home educate for a variety of reasons, and I fully support it was a parental choice; what I do not like is how parents are forced to educate children that the LA has failed.

 

Good luck with your daughter's education, I hope she recognises what a good mum she has.


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