Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Taking It Easy

It's getting harder to not sound like I'm promoting home ed to the detriment of school, on the Teachers TV blog... I mean, of course I believe HE is best for my children and, quite frankly, that the current schooling system harms more children than it helps, and the rest (the "average" ones in the middle) are simply turned into "average" young people. But I am not anti teacher, I don't want to be seen as dissing the work that they do, but I also can't hide how I feel about what I do.

Oh well. I notice that no one has dared to leave a comment on the blog...

Day 3

Today was a rare quiet day. In the morning my eldest wrote his blog, working through the corrections with me. Its proving a very useful way for him to learn about grammer, punctuation, and descriptive writing, because it is in context and therefore more meaningful to him.

I also took a number of calls, passed on to me from the Education Otherwise Helpline. The Helpline gets an increasing number of calls, on a wide range of subjects, but its always the ones about bullying that break your heart. One that I dealt with was about such a case, the other one concerned a parent having been given inaccurate information about how to deregister (someone thinking that she had to do more than send a letter to the school) which had caused her concern.

I worked on some new information on the EO Campaign website about the Government's consultation over changes to benefits that are going to have devastating effects on single parent home educating families, as well as those caring for SEN/disabled children, if they do not put the appropriate safeguards in place.
In the afternoon we went to visit another HE family, where the boys had a chance to play and us two mums had a chance to chat and catch up. Its very encouraging how their social circle has extended since school (where the two eldest were both bullied), and to see their confidence helping them to deal with such a wide range of different aged kids with very different interests. I also relish the chance that it has provided me to meet with a great group of parents.

One thing that parents of children with ASD tend to notice is how their behaviour is cyclic. There are a variety of reasons given by a variety of people, but, whatever the cause, it is certainly born out in my 9 year old. Today he was noticeably on the "way down", so he was left to spend some time on the computer, on Neopets. The deal there though, is that he has to go on the "educational" games that they have. For example, there are a number of spelling, math problems, and matching games that ideally suit when he is in such a state, and with a very short attention span, and volatile moods.

Interestingly, this evening I had a conversation with him about adverts. With the literal interpretation of an aspie, these can be quite a problem. However, we've now opened his's eyes to "small print" which hopefully should protect him in the future. Today he was commenting on illogical language - "kills all known germs dead" - I mean, what else would they be if they were killed?! Small as this sounds, for a kid with Semantic/Pragmatic Disorder, looking at the meaning and use of words in such detail as this is progress. It is one of the many ways that we have been working with him over the past six months (since the diagnosis) to improve his comprehension. Heartbreakingly, at that time, he said to his SALT that he only understood just under half of everything that he heard around him, due to the SPD. At his most recent appointment, she said that she had seen tremendous progress in him. I'm very proud of him.

Conversations, turn taking, and "small talk" are still areas that he has big problems with, but the variety of conversations and situations that he finds himself in through the social activities of the group we are in, helps tremendously. Being out and about in the community every day is a real bonus for this, and is certainly something that would be harder to be helping him with if he were still in school.

Tomorrow we are up early for a trip out to Godstone Farm with the group, so I'm off now to get everything sorted!

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