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Home Schooling my only option

Discussion in 'Secondary' started by Rlh1969, Apr 1, 2019.

  1. Rlh1969

    Rlh1969 New commenter

    Dear All

    I am asking for advice and insight, but it is for my own family.

    Can I thank you in advance for any help you can offer.


    I am a teacher working in the North of England.

    My oldest son has been living in Denmark for about 10 years now, my ex is Danish.

    He is fluent in both English and Danish. He was recognised as having Autism about 4 years ago.

    At that point it was clear he was having issues fitting in at school, the response of the system in Denmark is quite rigid and he was moved initially to a holding unit for 6 months then found a place in an Autistic school.

    The Autistic school was not really teaching him and he became distressed with the behaviour of others and the teachers approach. He was especially distressed as he had not done anything wrong and seemed to be being warehoused.

    He began to refuse to go to school, then he was moved to another school but here the teachers seemed to drop in and out. He was allowed to play on computers for days when no one was available for teaching, and when they were, they just seemed to do random things.

    From his perspective he was being babysat.

    I am trying to be neutral on the approach of my ex and the Danish authorities here.

    He has been allowed to stay in his room when in Denmark with minimal interaction with others for years.

    I have now through a long and expensive process won the right to bring him to the UK.


    He will be returning in August 2019 full time.

    He has lost all confidence in himself and is very afraid of school.

    I have found an online school called Inter High.

    My plan at the moment is to start him in year 10 and allow him to complete GCSEs over 2 years completing in 2021 at age 17. Alongside this have a gradual socialising introduction in the hope to have him attend college after that.

    Obviously helping him as much as possible with both.


    Has anybody any experience of this type of situation, school or approach.

    I would love him to attend school but it's too much for him at the moment.

    I have sold my car and we have cancelled holidays to pay for online school, so thats not a problem.

    My wife and I are also looking at what we can do from home to support him, such as reducing our hours etc.

    If anybody can offer an insight I'd be really grateful.
  2. Stiltskin

    Stiltskin Star commenter

  3. Rlh1969

    Rlh1969 New commenter

    Thank you Stiltskin.

    I was not aware these groups existed.

    I have emailed the appropriate group myself, now.

    Thank you.

    Any further advice more than welcome.
  4. bonxie

    bonxie Lead commenter

    There may be an autism group in your local area who could give you some advice, suggestions and/or share experiences.
    HelenREMfan likes this.
  5. Rlh1969

    Rlh1969 New commenter

    Thank you bonxie.

    I have emailed a group.

    They have some meet ups in North East.

    An issue is my son while recognising that he thinks differently from most people "his term". Has been placed with children who are severely Autistic.

    He is quite mild. As such he does not particularly see himself fitting in with any group.

    He is quite resistant to this, being a teenager does not help at all.

    Thank you for the message.
  6. Stiltskin

    Stiltskin Star commenter

    If you do home school look out for opportunities for learning activities at museums, organisations, national bodies etc line cyber defenders courses
  7. HelenREMfan

    HelenREMfan Star commenter

    How lovely for him to have such a caring father and step parent. My friend's nephew has been in a similar position, caused by a despicable mother who facilitated him refusing school ( a private school where his father taught) encouraging lone bedroom, internet game playing to which he became addicted. She then was able to apply for DLA as it was then so increasing her income (she had ditched the husband by then) Neither my friend nor the boy's father believe him to be autistic and he is an intelligent boy. He has received no schooling other than the maths tuition my friend managed to deliver to him, him gaining a grade 4 GCSE Maths.... his only success at GCSE. His mother has made sure to distance him from his aunt who she perceives as someone hell bent on preventing her ruining her children and estranged husband's lives. He is now nearing 18 with no qualifications, ambition, social life or anything. I would issue that as a salutary warning to anyone with a teenage boy with too much computer use.
    Now..... do you intend to involve CAMHs? I have to say I find them pretty useless regarding mental health but you would need a CAMHS assessment to get him a LA home tutor. So I would say register him at a school, whilst reassuring him that this may be a method to get him some personalised learning. A GP can make a referral to CAMHs....be prepared for a wait tho. You are entitled to a home tutor if you have a child with some mental health issues making him unable to attend school. It can be really beneficial if you are appointed an able home tutor with whom he can build a good relationship and work towards several GCSEs. It used to be the case here that a tutor might deliver several subjects (I have taught near all from eng, maths, sci to RE etc) now the authority tens to send a tutor for each of the core subjects....it depends on the authority.
    There are sites on the Internet where a parent can help oversee some learning. Maths for instance has the excellent Mr Corbett. This saint has on his site videos helping on every maths topic in existence - ably explained and then with practice and exam type questions. `google Mr Corbett Maths to have a look.
    Either send me a pm (conversation) or question here if you think I can be of any use .... some stuff depends on what happens in your LA.
    bonxie likes this.
  8. Rlh1969

    Rlh1969 New commenter

    Dear Helen

    Thank you for your reply.

    I have him with me for the next few weeks and have an appointment booked with GP this week.

    It was simply to register him and have records brought over along with dentists etc.

    But will talk about support possibilities.

    He has had such a negative experience, a parcel that has been passed from person to person, that I think having a regular face and relationship is really important. But I will follow this up with LA.

    It seems from my initial contact with them that they are reluctant to do anything for him until he moves here in August. I do understand that but it's a bit annoying.

    The Mr Corbett maths sight sounds great and will have a good look at that now.

    I could not agree more about the dangers of allowing him to withdraw from the world. I can only see the ghost of the fun loving confident boy I used to have and over the years it has been an awful experience to see what he has been allowed to become.

    As part of the process of having him brought over he has been assessed by psych team and has been assessed as well above average ability.

    My main worry at the moment is that it's all coming too late and might be too much for him.

    I can't thank you enough for your post.
  9. HelenREMfan

    HelenREMfan Star commenter

    Don't despair..... children are very resilient too.....especially when removed from undesirable influences.
    Am afraid CAMHs move exceptionally slowly..... probably because , for many reasons, they are swamped and mental health services have not done well re funding. Sounds good that you are seeing the GP. It ought to pave the way.
    Anyway let me know if there is anything I can help you with.
  10. bonxie

    bonxie Lead commenter

    Perhaps evening classes aimed at adults wanting to do GCSEs might be a way forward. Your son might view them more favourably than school as he'd be treated like an adult and wouldn't be in a setting surrounded by pupils with strongly autistic behaviours.
  11. catbanj

    catbanj Occasional commenter

    Talk to your local college (I'm in NE England). They may have a pre16 offer for pupils coming from home schooling who want to do their GCSEs. Our local college is very accomodating of young people who have been educated "differently" eg. traveller pupils start there in Y10 after their parents withdrew them from secondary school aged 11 to avoid them doing sex ed, pupils who have been home educated but now want to work with other young people. They do basic assessments before putting together a bespoke programme. Its an adult environment so nothing like school and may suit your son. Good luck.
  12. Rlh1969

    Rlh1969 New commenter

    Dear All

    Thank you.

    The local college seems really interesting, could you tell me which one it is?

    I may have to give up work to look after him so could take him and wait at college.

    However if that is the price, it will be worth it even to give him the chance.

    I just want him to have a chance.

    But sitting here on holiday with him and the other kids.

    We have been talking about what that means, 1 income barely surviving.

    Have spent so much bringing him to UK now giving up on career after 22 years at 50.

    Oh well.

    I do appreciate your Imput and advice.
  13. circuskevin

    circuskevin Established commenter

    Hello Rob,

    Can you juggle?

    If so, teach your lad! The European Juggling Convention is in Newark, Nottinghamshire this year August 3rd - 11th. An event I am sure he would enjoy.

  14. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    You shouldn't need to give up work to care for your son.
    If he is starting year 10, then he could start at a college, just doing Maths and English for now, which would just a few hours a week.
    To be honest you could probably talk to a local secondary or independent about him going in for just mornings or just some GCSEs and then to a college for some practical courses. Explain to them the situation and see what they can do to support. They will likely be used to integrating people who have refused school in the past.
    Similarly look at special schools and/or free schools. They tend to be fantastic and have very small classes, but are most definitely about teaching and often do wonders with children who have been failed miserably in earlier schools.

    You might need to be a bit firm about the fact schools in England are very different to what he is used to and he needs to give it a chance. Insist he goes for the hours agreed until Christmas and then you'll review it with him. (Obviously if it all falls apart completely in the first week, then give up...but insist on him giving it a reasonable chance.)

    I don't know where in the North you are, but a friend's daughter who flatly refused to go near her primary from part way through year 4, having been carried in screaming for much of year 2 and 3, suddenly absolutely adores her secondary school. She also has autism, as does her father and one of her sisters and her mother works in the autism service. However she now attends a mainstream secondary (in special measures for quite some time) and is loving every moment. (Mum cries more now than in primary, but because she is so relieved and pleased!)
    This is Durham/ West Northumberland, so if that's you then pm me and I'll give you the school details and that of the autism service.

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