A BIT ABOUT ME
I decided to set up Applegate home tutoring services after many years working in special schools as a teacher and senior manager. During that time I spoke with so many parents and children who faced huge difficulties with the overwhelming anxiety that came with going into a school. Often children with autism or other related SEN were unable to cope with the dramatic change in routine and the fear of trying to manage the heightened sensory input of an unfamiliar environment. Often the children themselves didn't understand why going to school made them feel so frightened and angry or sick. Children would often retreat into themselves, burying themselves in their bedrooms and paying computer games all day as it was the only way to relax. Worried parents were trying everything they could but were met by tears, anger or withdrawal. Traditional home tutors would visit but children saw this as a first step towards making them go back to a school they found terrifying and would refuse to engage. Applegate home tutoring has a different approach.
Applegate home tutoring always takes place in the location where the child feels secure and familiar; usually their home or the home of a family member.
Breaking down anxiety.
We take a stepped approach. The first steps are simply building a secure relationship. Initially we would spend time with the child and parents together, building trust and enjoying sharing the child's interest. When this is established we begin to introduce literacy and numeracy as part of the visit. Signs of anxiety are immediately responded to with a change of activity.
Listening and building confidence.
As the relationship grows we begin to explore the triggers with the child and create a detailed passport to learning which will be shared with the prospective school. During this time we establish an agreed place to visit which will be based around the child's interests. Only after the child feels safe and understood would we accompany the child to visit a school again, and support all along the way with the daunting process of reintegration.
Parental support and school communication.
Many parents are unsure of how to choose and support their child in finding the right school for them. Applegate tutoring will support in that process, understanding the EHCP process and how to help schools adapt to their child's unique needs.
Throughout my years working in this sector I have been so impressed by the enormous care and commitment shown by parents who are trying to help their children but too often they feel alone and helpless. Applegate home tutoring is designed to offer that help.