The reality of finding a Home Tutor in Ireland

The reality of finding a home Tutor in Ireland, where do I begin? I know I am not the only parent that has gone through this struggle and I won’t be the last. The Autism community is filled with such a caring group of parents who are always trying to help each other, share what they have learned along the way and show their support through different formus and group chats. Without their continuous support I would have never got through the first few years.

I began home tutoring with my son as soon as he was diagnosed with Autism at two and a half years old as it was recommended by his psychologist. I left her office that day holding an envelope that would change my life how I knew it. Dylan was diagnosed with Level 3 Autism. I had managed to scribble down a few points on to a piece of paper with a shaky hand. I didn’t know where to begin. I can vividly remember opening my laptop and not sure what to even google. I blinked vigorously holding back the tears because I knew I needed to figure this out one way or another.

I began frantically posting advertisements for a Home Tutor anywhere and everywhere I could. A month had passed before I got in contact with one.

  • Did I hire the first teacher that contacted me? Yes.
  • Was she a qualified teacher? Yes.
  • Was she kind and caring? Yes
  • Was she what Dylan needed? No

Unfortunately for us it was brought to my attention, that Dylan needed something so much different to what I thought a Home Tutor was. The search began again. I begged for help from anyone to point me in the right direction. I was passed from therapist to therapist who knew someone – that might know someone etc etc. I was introduced to a Tutor that opened my eyes to what, one on on Home Tutoring could achieve. Within the first two weeks Dylan was beginning to show progression in ways I couldn’t believe, but sadly I only had this tutor for a month. She had a family already lined up for September and my search began again.

In the three years Dylan did Home Tutoring we had went through seven Home Tutors. SEVEN!

We had two fantastic tutors that worked with Dylan over a space of two years. I was really lucky to have found them, and I was very aware of that. It becomes difficult when a tutor needs to finish up. This could be down to as simply as a tutor moving to a new county, for study or work etc

When one of Dylan’s tutors was moving to Dublin to work in Speech Therapy, I was so upset. Not only do you become very close to your child’s Home Tutor but I knew it was going to be near impossible to replace her. She knew the reality of the situation and gave me two months notice so I could start searching for a Home Tutor. She also began helping me by asking friends and colleagues to spread the word. Unfortunately the two months past without any luck to replace her. We had a tearful goodbye and I wished her the best in her new job. We stayed in touch and she even visited us whenever she could.

I was still posting on every Facebook group that Home Tutors were assosictaed with on a daily basis. There was so many families posting on these pages that mine seemed to get lost along with many other desperate families seeking Home Tutors and services in their areas. I also placed ads in newspapers and contacted different Autism organisations, but still no luck.

Four months passed before I was contacted by a Home Tutor. By then I was terrified that I had lost all the progression Dylan had worked so hard to achieve. As a parent I did the very best I could in those months to try carry on with some of the home based intervention programmes; but the reality of the situation is – I am not a tutor. I felt so angry and upset that my son had lost out on four months of Home Tution purely because there was not a dedicated platform to locate one in my area. So when a new Tutor got in contact I was left feeling desperate for her to begin as soon as possible. Little did I know my search was about to start all over again pretty soon.

Dylan had three more tutors before he was five. He then began primary school and I was lucky to secure him a place in a newly opened Autism unit. I was so relieved. The weight had been lifted from my shoulders. I would never have to go through the pain and worry of finding Home Tutors again.

As a parent that spent three years searching for Home Tutors, I found the whole experience extremely, painful and stressful. Finding a Home Tutor became impossible, just as impossible for the Home Tutors in my area to see the services that was needed. There was times I had no other choice but to hire Tutors that I did not feel were capable. Parents should never be in a situation where they have to say yes to a teacher for fear they might not find someone else. Dylan progressed and over came many behavioral issues he was having through Home Tuition. He had some truly talented tutors that prepared him for starting school. Nearly two years on and we still follow many home based programmes that was introduced to Dylan through Home Tuition. With the right Tutor, Home Tuition can be a fantastic step in the right direction for your child’s future, so finding the right Home Tutor is KEY!

This blog post featured on Autism Services Ireland

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