Home Educating Our Autistic Spectrum Children: Paths Are Made by Walking

Home Educating Our Autistic Spectrum Children: Paths Are Made by Walking

Home Educating Our Autistic Spectrum Children: Paths Are Made by Walking

Home Educating Our Autistic Spectrum Children: Paths Are Made by Walking

Synopsis

Parents who have chosen the homeschooling option for their children with autistic spectrum disorders candidly relate their experiences in this text. It also offers practical information on the law, LEA involvement, social contact and resources.

Excerpt

Terri Dowty

I had one of those grandmothers whose pearls of wisdom could make Confucius look like an amateur, at least in terms of output. We’re not talking pocket-sized, chicken soup books here: Grandma was a ten-volume walking encyclopaedia of proverbs and epithets for every occasion. ‘Don’t put it down, put it away!’ she cautioned, and ‘Never economise on shoes or bras!’ Probably the most influential for me, though, has been ‘If you want a job done well, do it yourself.’

Now, while such self-reliance has obvious dangers when it comes to brain surgery or rewiring the house, where bringing up my children is concerned, I have generally found it a very sound piece of advice. I am, like every parent, the ultimate expert when the subject in question is my own children. How could it be otherwise? I have known them since long before any midwife fired their official starting pistols, and we have continued to shape each other’s lives ever since.

I have a pretty shrewd idea of how they tick; I know how their eyebrows wiggle when they are fascinated, the chew of the lip that accompanies deep thought, the sideways glance that says ‘Let me out of here.’ This non-stop, silent communication puts me in a strong position to extend my parental activities to include educating them: I know how each of them grasps knowledge and I can see immediately when my attempts to explain or answer a question are futile. I also know, for instance, that one child needs diagrams and the written word, whereas the other needs a practical, physical activity to fix a concept in his mind.

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