(I have spoken to my children about this blog -and any articles or books they’re featured in- and they are happy for me to include their pictures, names and stories. If at any point they change their minds, I will edit the blog appropriately.)
On this day, some time ago, I was lying in a hospital bed, holding this wriggly red thing and wondering, “Why does it have no eyelashes?”
Nine years later that wriggly red thing is an amazing, funny, compassionate child called Emma who has taught me a massive amount about life, autism, myself and many other things. I’ve also added two more wriggly red things to my brood: seven-year-old Dylan and three-year-old Heather.
In our crazy, neurodiverse home no two days are the same and no moment is predictable. Our home is loud, funny and full of love and chaos.
This time last year Emma was desperately unhappy, she was anxious, self-harming daily and not speaking or engaging with her family at all. We could see that it was the pressure of masking at school which was causing her anxiety so made the decision to pull her out of school to home-educate her. Since then her emotional, social and academic progress has been exponential. In December 2017, seeing how well home ed’ had worked for Emma, I decided to pull her brother out of school too as he was also not coping in mainstream school; he was spending his days hiding under a table shouting, “LEGO! LEGO! LEGO!” and making no social or academic headway what-so-ever.
Planning Dylan’s school day requires some cunning as his PDA (pathological demand avoidance) makes him anxious if I tell him what to do. To get around this I usually offer him a choice of two tasks to complete so he has some control over his education. We also spend a lot of time learning in the community and by taking lots of trips. The children love visiting farms, zoos and museums. They also really enjoy trips to the beach and forest with our dog (Daisy). Home education gives us the freedom to visit lots of wonderful places on days when they’re quiet, which, for a family who can’t cope with too much sensory input, is marvellous!
I will look forward to sharing details of our journey on here over the coming years.
I am an autistic mother of neurodiverse children, I love writing and am passionate about spreading acceptance of neurodiversity. I want to live in a world which is accessible by all and in which autistic and neurodiverse people aren’t made to feel excluded or “weird”.
This page is mostly about my home education and parenting journey with my three children: Emma (or sometimes Reggie or Max) is 9 years old and diagnosed with Asperger’s. She is happy for me to usually use female pronouns when talking about her but she is genderfluid and sometimes genderless. She is one of the most compassionate, empathetic and funny people I have ever met in my life.
Dylan is 7 years old. He is under assessment for PDA and ADHD. He’s a ball of energy and an amazing climber. He’s also very clumsy. In seven short years, he’s been glued back together at the hospital around 6 times (I’ve actually lost count!). He wants to get into parkour when he’s older; I think I will be grey before I’m 40 if he does!
Heather is 3. She is the devil in pigtails. Her hobbies include making up stories, looking at animals and winding up her older siblings and watching them go! She loves annoying her siblings and has lately added the words “bloody” and “idiot” to her vocabulary and she uses them with abandon.
I have been home educating my children since I saw how much the British school system was damaging them in the Summer of 2017. Since we began our home education journey my children have come along in leaps and bounds academically, socially and emotionally. I love our little homeschool and only wish I’d done it since the beginning.
In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move. – Douglas Adams