HE for a child with Aspergers in secondary

(9 Posts)
broachingsea Sun 28-Apr-13 20:28:58

Thanks for your posts.

I know they cover a range of subjects at primary level but clearly secondary school subjects are covered in far more depth and may need access to facilities I just wouldn't have at home - I'm thinking science and languages.

Also, I'm mid 40s and I would like to have some kind of time to work for myself. I can see the attraction though.

FavadiCacao Mon 22-Apr-13 09:08:35

I HE'd ds(12), who is AS and dyslexic, for over four years. We too had tried different schools. It has been a long but so far rewarding journey. I also know at least four other families who are HE'ing children with AS at secondary school (and many, many more at primary).

There is very little funding for SEN in HE but most people I know have used the DLA and carers allowance to fund HE.

Our experience is that the freedom of both curriculum and timetable is allowing ds to flourish at his pace- studying at GCSE levels in some subjects! (Not looking forward to the exams' fees!)

Also, ds's week body core meant we had to fit in as many sports as possible (it took over 3 years for an occupational therapist to see us!). He can now swim, skate, sail, row, ride a bicycle and he also enjoys gymnastics- I not sure how we could fit all that in if he were in school.

As his confidence is growing, his behaviour is improving and his ability to forge friendships is growing too.

It's very hard work but I hope our story is encouraging.

streakybacon Mon 22-Apr-13 07:31:08

I HE my 14 year old with AS and ADHD. He was deregistered age 10 at the beginning of Y5.

It IS very difficult because he needs direction in everything he does. He has very little personal motivation and struggles to work independently. I'm not educated and nor is dh (who's at work full time anyway), so I have to rely on tutors to meet ds's academic needs. He's very bright and can produce some excellent work if he's guided and supported appropriately, but left to his own devices he'll just vegetate.

I'm also finding it's getting harder still as he moves through puberty. He made fabulous progress up till about a year and a half ago then cracks started to show and he's slipped back a lot in autistic terms though he's still making good academic progress, even if he needs a lot of support to get there. It doesn't help that he gets no statutory support from the NHS or LA so we're completely on our own when it comes to therapy etc. You might be able to access better services in your area and that could make things easier.

I will stress of course that this is OUR experience and yours with your son is likely to be much different, depending on his presentation and your family circumstances.

Saracen Sun 21-Apr-13 22:41:11

I don't have a child on the autistic spectrum. However, as a general rule it seems to me that if you are considering trying home education, now is a good time. Before the GCSE years it is relatively straightforward to move between school and home ed and back again - so you could try home ed and see how it goes, knowing that if it doesn't suit your son then returning him to school is always there as a backup plan.

It's perfectly possible to remove a child from school during Y10 or Y11 too, but this is potentially more scary. In all probability returning to school during this time would mean taking up some subjects which other pupils have already been doing for some time. At worst he might not get to do the subjects he wants, or he might be told he can only do a few GCSEs. Because of this, parents who remove their children from school during this time may feel that there is no going back.

I agree with Fiona that home educating an older child is not fundamentally more difficult than home educating a younger one. In many ways I find my 13yo easier than my 6yo. She's more independent. For example, she can read and so she doesn't always need me to help her find answers to the questions she has.

morethanpotatoprints Sun 21-Apr-13 22:09:56

No, unfortunately not.

If I had known about H.ed when my ds2 was 6 when problems were starting to really be noticed, I would have done without hesitation.

He went all through school and was finally diagnosed at 17. However, we were told by several teachers/ HT's/ and other professionals that even having a diagnosis wouldn't have given him any support as they couldn't offer much.

My ds was so unhappy throughout his school years and now I seriously feel so sad that I h.ed dd with no aspergers and my poor ds2 had to suffer.

FionaJNicholson Sun 21-Apr-13 20:26:28

and in answer to your question has anyone else home educated a child with Aspergers at secondary level, I surveyed all LAs in England, found just over a thousand home ed with a statement, two thirds were secondary age, one third of the overall total had ASD. So that'd be maybe roughly a couple of hundred children through the country home ed secondary statemented with ASD (plus all those without a statement) I'd link to the freedom of information requests but I'm not allowed to post a link to my own website unfortunately. You'll find it if you put "home education special needs" into google though.

FionaJNicholson Sun 21-Apr-13 20:20:27

If he's still in primary it would be a few years before he'd be doing exams if he were in school. Not sure what you mean by accessing a range of subjects, why would this be different when he was 12 from when he was 10? (Unless you're somewhere with middle school to 13 cos I can see that 14 would be more of a transition.)

ommmward Sun 21-Apr-13 19:16:31

No personal experience, but didn't want your message to go unanswered!

Have a read of the book "Paths are made by walking: home educating our autistic spectrum children" ? That might help you get your bearings - it's a great book. I'm sure others with more experience will be along soon.

broachingsea Sun 21-Apr-13 15:11:46

Has anyone HE a child with AS at secondary level?

This would be a last resort for us but DS is not accessing the class at his m/stream primary at the moment and this is his third school.

He has a statement.

I have HE before for a short period but I would worry about the huge commitment HE would be at secondary level not just in terms of time and loss of income but in accessing a range of subjects.

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