Homeschooling a child with S.E.N or a background in care

Updated: Mar 14, 2021

My eldest child, Kaiden, was diagnosed with dyspraxia a few years ago. But our problems with him are further complicated by the fact he comes from a care background. Kaiden is our maternal nephew, he’s lived with us now for four years and we love him to bits. But there’s a constant undertone to his behaviour, like a shark lurking beneath the surface of the water, and we are always waiting for it to bite. Instinct plays a huge part in parenting as any parent knows. I once went on a fostering course that taught us techniques to deal with children in foster care and one of the things they reminded you of daily, was the fact that you were a detective. Part of your parenting role is to play the detective, constantly having to figure things out. I suppose this is true of any parent and child situation, having to work out why your baby is crying for example, or why your teenager has become moody and sullen. But when there are complex layers to a child it’s very difficult. Dyspraxia affects people in different ways, there is no one size fits all. For Kaiden, the main challenges are that he’s very forgetful when it comes to his short term memory, and things have to be explained to him very literally. He’s also got poor balance, hand to eye coordination and foot control and he’s hypermobile too. But this is where the challenge lies. Because whilst it’s true that Kaiden is forgetful, he’s also very stubborn, and he gives up way too easily. So he might tell you he’s forgotten something, simply because he can’t be bothered and wants you to do it for him. Using your parental detective skills, you have to work out if this is a dyspraxic situation, or a lazy one. He also likes to play dumb if the penny drops on a situation, because he doesn’t like to admit he’s wrong, so then you’re left wondering if you didn’t explain something literally enough, or is he just pretending?