We never planned as a family to home educate, we always thought Chloe would do the expected and common thing… go to nursery, go to primary and so on, when Chloe was diagnosed with autism and PDA at the age of 5 we were under the impression she would be given help, but unfortunately due many factors we did not receive very much and after constant pushing and exhausting meetings we felt let down by the system, I was and certainly Chloe was at breaking point.
A friend of mine was a teacher and now a home educator and I asked for some advice as I was looking into part time school , I joined a few groups online and asked lots of questions. We made the careful decision for our daughter to get her back to her happy self, as she was very, very damaged by mainstream school. I de-registered Chloe and started our home ed journey.
We have been educating at home for two years now and the transformation in Chloe has been tremendous. Her confidence and capabilities are expanding. We have been careful to choose what works for Chloe, as her PDA prevents her from many experiences and you have to get very creative to get her on board; it’s hard work, it’s exhausting and sometimes a little isolating but at the same time it’s very rewarding, and beneficial for our child and family.
All of our health has started to improve. Chloe actually eats and drinks more, she also enjoys the outdoors and we try and do something involving nature; we have our own little veg and fruit garden area, and we have had a butterfly garden kit which was very captivating. We have been blessed to have met some great home ed families, and their understanding and support has been lovely.
Each day is not the same, we are very topic-led so we follow Chloe’s interests. We dip into the curriculum but follow our own learning path that suits Chloe’s needs- she is high functioning so sometimes it’s hard keeping up with her; the conversations we have are very amusing and very adult like, and I savour every moment.
What I enjoy is our precious time spent together and our new way of life; when we walk somewhere we will stop smell flowers, identify butterfly species – we are never in a rush to go anywhere. We are not getting fed up of each other which I honestly thought being together would drive us both crazy but to be honest it’s natural, it’s meant to be. Our relationship is alot stronger and my understanding of her ways and what she can cope with grows. She is alot calmer now; happier and less anxious. We still have times that are hard for Chloe to cope with but we can now be flexible to accommodate that.
I had run a creative sewing business for 2 years and had to become flexible and say goodbye to it to focus on her. My hope is that she will learn that she can work for herself too though, and to have a lifestyle of her choosing and have a very happy and content life from her upbringing and support.
Read more about Chloe and her adventures at Witts in the Wild.