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 Post subject: Introduce myself
Post Number:#1  PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2015 4:10 pm 

Joined: 09 June 2015
Posts: 1
Location: london

I would like to introduce myself, My name is Melissa and I am currently home educating my 3 children ages 10,7 and 5 (whom have never been to school) I haven't had a formal diagnosis for my 7 year old daughter and I'm not sure how helpful it will be to have one. I just feel so upset as I don't know the best way to support her. I have self referred her to CAMHS but I'm concerned that she will get a therapist that isn't supportive of home education. I feel so worried about her future but perhaps the fact that I have been up with her through out the night with trying to calm her down from screaming because she can not handle a common cold. I am in tears as I have gone from being really loving and gentle to be impatient and intolerant and basically the kind of parent I don't want to be. She will do very little formal work and I do not push that as it would be very pointless as she is very strong willed. She has generally a very quiet disposition and prefers to observe than engage and she really is so sweet natured until she doesn't get her own way and then over the most simple of requests she will have the most almighty rages and will think nothing at the time at calling me a 'fat, stupid woman'

Sometimes I don't feel equipped to deal with the full responsibility of educating her but then I look at the alternative and school is just not an option. I don't really know what to do next, please help me I want to help my daughter so much.

Thank you


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 Post subject: Re: Introduce myself
Post Number:#2  PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2015 10:00 pm 
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Joined: 29 February 2008
Posts: 203
Location: The central office
Welcome to the forum.

It is debatable whether to go ahead and arrange an official diagnosis for a home educated child if there are no proposals for them to attend school. Sometimes it can be beneficial when it comes to accessing certain social services, although recognition of a diagnosis across the country and even between which people you are speaking to is still somewhat hit and miss unless the services are specific to ASD – which few are. Otherwise, outside of the school system, parents find that their child’s diagnosis has little practical benefit for them apart from an odd few concessions in places they visit like theme parks or museums. Some ASD support groups only allow children to join if they have a diagnosis, or plan on getting one in the near future, although most organisers will know where are good places to obtain a diagnosis locally.

I made some enquiries about CAMHS because it isn’t an institution I’m particularly familiar with myself. CAMHS claims that it covers ASD but in reality they are quite poor when it comes to children with AS or HFA. Their knowledge of ASD is very biased towards traditional low functioning autism, or in other words, what was recognised as autism in the 1970s and 80s. Take into account that AS and HFA are not mental health conditions but pervasive developmental disorders. CAMHS is more geared to provide services for ADHD, eating disorders, and self-harming than they are for AS and HFA, so are probably best avoided at this stage. Like the rest of the NHS, CAMHS does not officially recognise HE and there is always the potential that you will get a therapist who strongly believes that the child should attend school. There has even been a few frictions in the past between NHS staff and HE children staying in children’s wards or using A&E departments because it’s NHS standard protocol to ask which school the child attends and the ward manager may not be aware that HE is legal.

If your children have never been to school then your local authority will not be aware of their existence, but getting CAMHS or social services involved will almost certainly result in them exchanging information with your local authority and a record will be created in their database for the child. This is most likely to go by undetected at the time but months later result in a visit from a local authority education official.

Childhood tantrums are quite commonplace at the age of 7 so are best dealt with at home unless the child is becoming seriously violent or self-harming. Don’t worry too much about her reluctance to do much formal work, and remember that in many European countries children don’t start school until they are 7. Starting school young is a very British phenomenon with around half of all children not being ready intellectually, physically, or socially – or any combination of these – to meet the demands placed on them by the school which is why there are so many ‘problem’ children in KS1 and their problems often spill over into KS2. My recommendations are to approach education from a more casual perspective as opposed to a formal perspective. Find books that interest your children, watch documentaries, and visit museums and places of educational value. I also advise you to buy some KS2 English, maths, and science books from CGP or Haslam and Hall so you can get an idea of what the National Curriculum involves for these subjects but don’t force your children to start formally studying them or doing the exercises just yet.

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