Saturday, 27 October 2012

Political Activist in the making!

Consultations have taken place to store Nuclear waste underground.
I've just got back from a photo shoot with our National Autistic society who are campaigning to improve services within the NHS locally for our  children. It started with a newspaper article in our regional paper. We read the story of an eighteen year old boy with Aspergers syndrome who had comitted suicide. Parents responded immediately to the news. It is common knowledge within the Autistic community that Mental Health services in this area are letting Autistic children and adults down. Many of us have experienced it and our hearts went out to the mother of this poor boy. Comments were posted thick and fast and our local newspaper got in touch as they wanted to do an article to raise awareness.

We are all mothers of autistic children. Many are already battling  for better educational provision, respite , NHS services- no mean feat when you are caring for a child with difficulties. Nevertheless we want the best for our children and felt strongly enough to have our say.
Since starting to home educate I've found myself  slowly becoming more involved with political issues. The government has threatened my right to Home educate, the rights of my son to Disability living allowance, even my right to decide whether my childrens' education would be enhanced by removing them from school during term time to explore our beautiful country. Issues like taking finger prints for lunch cards at school or deciding against vaccinations are queried by the authorities as though we have lost the capacity to think for ourselves.In a way I think we have,our education system actively encourages it. It's far easier when everyone submits.
 Prior to home educating I was lethargic. I did my bit and I voted, but then I left it to the politicians to do their job. The trouble is that my experience home educating showed me that their policies on education in particular were wrong. It exposed them as not knowing what they were doing and I started to query other issues. I do care about how our laws affect my family and community and I've realised that I can have an impact.
 Home educating in an autonomous way leads to research on things that impact on our lives.We researched Biomass plants when plans were unveiled to build a biomass plant near us . We reacted with horror at the news that consultations were taking place about storing  nuclear waste over the estuary less than a mile away We have discussed referendums to change the political system  and voted .Even my son at the age of 12 has expressed the view that too much money is spent on the defence budget.
 Home educated kids have more time to involve themselves in the real world. The government can't  pull the wool over their eyes.They have the time and inclination to ask questions and to campaign about what matters to them and to see that they can have an effect.In fact maybe in the future my son will follow in the footsteps of Winston Churchill, Abraham Lincoln  or George Washington who were themselves home educated.

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