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I want to tutor my autistic 10 year old cousin ... where do I start? Advice?

Discussion in 'Private tutors' started by blueryudo, Nov 14, 2018.

  1. blueryudo

    blueryudo New commenter

    Hi :)
    I’m a year 13 A-Level student.
    My cousin and I are both autistic, he is in year 5.
    Although I’m pretty good academically (working at A*AA), he is seriously struggling, working at level 1. We believe this is because, although he showed signs of progress in year 3, since then his school has been taking him out of lessons and not giving him work because they don’t have the resources to properly support him (we did not realise this until more recently).
    I want to tutor him, but I have no idea what I need to know to do this. Should I just ask him what work he’s doing at school, and help him with that? Should I set different tasks myself? What do I need to know before starting?

    Any tips/advice welcome, thank you for reading ^_^
  2. gainly

    gainly Star commenter

    It is great that you want to help your cousin. I can't offer any specific advice. I have tutored a number of autistic students but older than your cousin for GCSE and A level and, like you, they were all quite good academically. I didn't do anything particularly different from what I did with my other students.

    I don't think there is much point asking him what he is doing at school since from what you say he isn't doing much. I would just concentrate on maths and English. It seems as if he is well below where he should be in year 5. I would try to get a rough idea of what he can do and then browse around a bookshop (e.g. W H Smith) and look for some work books at about the right level, so as to give you some guidance on what to do. They are often by year, but it sounds like year 5 books would be much too advanced at present.

    I'm sure he should be able to get extra support at school. I have no experience of how to go about this but this seems to give good advice: https://livingautism.com/autism-statementing-issues-top-tips-parents/

    I hope someone else will be able to give more specific advice.

    Good luck.
  3. gainly

    gainly Star commenter

    You could try posting on the Special Educational Needs forum. There might be someone who can give more specific advice.
  4. Wotton

    Wotton Lead commenter

    Your cousin's parents should speak to the school and ask how they are supporting him. They need to look at the schools SEND policy and SEN information support which should be on their web site. They can contact https://www.ipsea.org.uk/ for help and support. Does your cousin have a EHCP? If not the parents could ask the school to apply for an assessment or do so themselves.
    never_expect_anything likes this.
  5. never_expect_anything

    never_expect_anything Occasional commenter

    It's great that you want to support your cousin, and that you're seeking advice on how to do so. The fact is that without knowing your cousin in terms of how his autism may be affecting his learning, and without knowing his specific academic difficulties, no-one in a forum is going to be able to tell you how best to help him.
    Gainly's suggestion about finding suitable workbooks is a good starting point. I wonder whether your cousin's parents could afford some sessions with a private tutor. Even if the expense is not something they can afford ongoing, it might be worth seeking a local tutor (a qualified teacher, maybe even a specialist in SEND/autism) who could assess his working levels and areas of difficulty. You could request to sit in on the sessions and ask the tutor to give you ideas of how to support your cousin in the longer term. (I am a teacher and private tutor, and I find that a lot of the time, what parents really need, more than tuition, is to know how to support their own children. If someone asked me to provide this service, even though it would mean no long-term income, I would be more than happy to provide it - the important thing to me is that the child is getting support, not that I am being paid to tutor for x-number of hours. However, there will obviously be other tutors out there who would be more interested in their own financial gain.)
    The other commenters' advice about getting your cousin the support he needs in school are also vitally important, but hopefully his parents are already working on this. Sadly your cousin's situation is not unusual.
  6. catbefriender

    catbefriender Lead commenter

    If money is an issue and his parents can not get any more support from the school, tell them to go online and buy some primary workbooks for Maths and English. Find out first what year group his level is. So get his parents to write to the school and ask what levels is my son in English Reading, English Writing and Mathematics. Hopefully the school will link this to the national average year group, so if you cousin is behind they will tell his parents, 'He is working at around a Year 2 level.' Then they can buy Year 2 books and work him up from there.

    Ideally his parents should invest in a qualified teacher, with SEND specialism to tutor your son and ensure he is achieving his potential. You are a Year 13 student and your priority is YOUR education and getting yourself into a top university for next September.

    Your ideal is honourable, but it is not your job and your responsibility. His parents have to work it out, so please focus on your A level studies and getting the best grades and into the best uni and support your cousin emotionally by making him feel special when you can.

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