Schools have an OBLIGATION to meet the needs of our neurodivergent young people.
I debated this one. I have a brilliant vlog on relationships that one of my #ActuallyAutistic friends made…for this series. And I will post that next week.
But I felt it so important to keep this ball rolling. One that will snowball into my book...RadiCool Unschooling Your Neurodivergent Little Human. I just can’t leave this topic yet.
So today we will continue with another myth…
Your child needs to get over it. She needs to grow a thicker skin. That is just how the world works.
Those are almost the exact words that we heard from the Early Years Head when we complained that PanKwake was being bullied.
And when I said…But you have a Zero-Tolerance policy.
Her response was….That is just political correctness.
As angry as those words still make me…five and a half years later…I actually owe her gratitude. That was the moment that PanKwake’s father stopped objecting to home ed. And sent us down this yellow-brick road of RadiCool Unschooling.
Here is the truth…
In six years of involvement in numerous special needs activities, some home ed related but many others autism,
I have never met a secondary (Junior High and High School for my American readers) that was NOT bullied at school.
I have a met a handful of primary (elementary) ones with really supportive and truly inclusive schools that were not. But they were the exception not the rule.
PanKwake’s story is much more common. She was bullied so badly in RECEPTION (nursery school/kindergarten – Americans) that I lost my child. Her self-esteem was so low that she asked me dozens of time every single day…
Mommy, am I dumb?
Mommy, am I stupid?
Mommy, am I ugly?
It took me almost two years to restore her self-esteem. Two years of home education to rebuild her self-image…and give me back my bright, happy little girl that I had entrusted to these people.
Let me tell you what that RadiCoolly Unschooled young woman accomplished so far this week…
Monday – She had two younger children here as part of my Mommy Mondays. She TAUGHT them MineCraft….in the gaming room. Unsupervised. Built the little girl a home in her realm…and the most kick-a$$ pet house…in the sky. And get the cool name…Caturn! Because it looks like Saturn and is for pets…including cats.
Tuesday – She had a playdate here with another PDAer (correct term for person with Pathological Demand Avoidance). They had a double meltdown over that same MineCraft…because they are just too much alike. But she self-soothed while the little girl’s Mom and I worked with her. And they ended the day…playing board games and drinking milk shakes. They can’t wait for the next one now.
Wednesday – Gymnastics with her home ed group. We had a hiccup when the taxi that came to pick us up was a smokers…with one of those strong smelling air fresheners. She told me flat out…No means no, Mommy. I sent it away and ordered another. How is that for self-confidence and communicating her needs? But we finally made it to the play group…and had a great time.
Thursday – We travelled to a new activity…Bushcraft. Dead Zombie Survival School…how cool a name is that? A half an hour walk to the train station. Ten minutes on the train. And another ten minutes in a taxi. She was so brilliant. So amazing. I can’t believe it is that same little person. If that were not enough…our friend took us home in her car. Over half an hour! PanKwake HATES driving….but she choose it. It was too much though honestly. Next time it is the train back for us. But it kicked b&tt that SHE CHOOSE to try the car.
And today? Adventure play, rock climbing, swimming, and board rider at the leisure center. All with the ever-wonderful Mog. And then a playdate with another little girl.
My not-so-little-anymore human is…
- Emotionally healthy
- And a leader of her peers.
That was not the road she was on when she went to school. Nor the outcome I have seen for other autistic and PDA young people who go to school.
When you choose to home educate your neurodivergent young person expect to hear this one A LOT…
Yes, but what about socialization? They need to learn to interact with other people.
Yes, yes, they do. But school is no place to learn socialization…not even for neurotypicals and certainly not for neurodivergents.
At school, bullies rule. And sometimes the biggest bully is the teacher…the head teacher. They do their best to intimidate not just our young ones but parents as well.
The other thing that PanKwake’s dad and I were told during THAT meeting…
Bullying is the way things work in this world.
Not our world. Not this #HomeCrazzyHome. Not our wonderful Home Ed group.
I hope my words have painted a clear enough picture for you. The difference between the delightful young woman I am proud to call my daughter now…the one we had six years ago who asked those horrid questions…and the other neurodivergent young people we know who are in school or have just come out…is heart-breaking.
No, schools CANNOT or will not meet the needs of our #Neurodivergent little humans -Emotionally either.