I want to thank all my readers, all who leave me comments or send me emails. I’m sorry that I haven’t been writing much lately. I’ve wanted to. I’ve really, REALLY wanted to. To be honest, I haven’t known where to start. I’ve sat many times with a blank document trying to find the words and then switched off the pc and blocked out what I was feeling.
I made a start today
“I want to encourage you to keep going on your path. You have amazing gifts to reach people with ASD, like me, like the children of those parents in the group you have come to dread. We need people who understand us, and you are one of them. May God reward your faith and perseverance!!!” (Sent to me by a reader)
I made a start by going through the emails that had accumulated for my blog. The words above are from one of those emails and it was those words that helped me to decide that “It is time.”
Time to tell where I’ve been hiding. Time to tell why I’ve been so quiet. Time to tell what’s been going on and why I couldn’t write. Time to tell a bit of our story.
We started homeschooling *CAL
You may remember a post I wrote back in March. It was called, 7 packs of hardwood. It was during this time that I had come to realise I had no choice but to find alternative education for my daughter. I was hoping and praying that she would settle and she would thrive in the mainstream school, as my *AJ had. But her transition to secondary school had not gone well and I could see that it just wasn’t happening. The environment was not kind to her sensory system, it did not suit her at all. In desperation I wrote the following lines in my post.
I am more than Autism, I’m an encyclopaedia of my own Aspie traits. I don’t need lessons on how to parent my Aspie kids, I love them more than life itself. I will always find what is best for them.
What is best for them
*CAL had been at her new secondary school for six months and in that time she had become a selective mute. Just simple decision making had become too much and her shutdowns were constant. Our only reprieve was weekends and even then Sunday afternoons she became so quiet as her anxiety took control. It was agonising to watch as my little girl disappeared into her shutdown Aspergic shell that I know the depths of all too well. Sunday nights she couldn’t sleep and Monday mornings she would wake up limp and unresponsive. By the time we were at the school gates she would be rocking backwards and forwards in the front seat of the car trying to regulate her overload of emotion and fear. I can’t even say that I saw her moods changing; it was like she just switched herself off. At only 12 years of age she stopped smiling, stopped chatting, stopped doing the things she loved and just went through the motions. On her really bad days she couldn’t even do that.
It became my routine to walk her into SEN
Each day I would sit with her and wait for a teaching assistant to walk her to her first lesson. I would collect her after school and by the time the school day had finished *CAL was so drained from the constant over stimulation and rush of lessons, the bombardment to her sensory system (of over a thousand pupils) not to mention the demands on her for tasks, performance, assignments, tests, time management and socialising with no aid and only minimal support. When she got home all she had energy to do was sit staring at repetitive DVD’s or non-stop children’s programs. They say welcome to high functioning autism; I say it was the hardest 8 months of my life watching my daughter being chipped away.
We started home education in May
We saw the difference in a matter of weeks. Within a month of *CAL being de-registered from mainstream schooling her clinical psychologist was happy to discharge her from CAMHS. After two months of homeschooling, Elective Home Education paid us a home visit (optional) but they were happy with the education we are providing and they are happy that *CAL is happy and thriving.
Now I’m not saying this is the answer to all ASD related problems. *CAL still has difficulties with many things. Her sensory processing disorder, Aspie traits and her difficulties from dyspraxia are all still very real. Just that now we can help her find her own way of coping. She gets one to one tutoring and her “curriculum” is set around her interests. She’s not constantly drained and switched off anymore. She’s not just the invisible child in a mass of a thousand. She is the center piece, the hero and the gift of my new full time job that I totally love. She is my focus and I want what is best for her which means I have to do a lot more reading than I used to do.
Home education is our answer
We are constantly researching and finding ways to help our daughter to reach her full potential. And she will reach her full potential because I believe in her, love her unconditionally and accept all her ways. I love her in all her colours, all her moods, all her achievements and all her failures.
Alienhippy’s blog is no-longer just a place where I can be me.
It’s a place where I will share our journey in home education.
Love and hugs. xx 🙂
(If you are considering home education and live in the UK this link is a good place to start)