Schooling alternatives

Schooling alternatives

Postby vicente mancheno » Thu Sep 23, 2010 4:02 pm

Im the father of a lovely 11 years old high founctioning autistic boy. We are spanish and live in the South of Spain.
We are having problems with Raul's school, as all those teachers are unable to show any flexibility and just concerned about keeping their jobs: they just deny the problems and anyone who doesnt fit into the official profile of a "normal" child is not accepted. We are seriously considering home schooling but dont know if it is legal in Spain.
Anyway, its anybody in our case out there? if yes, what did you do? is any good school able to cope with special people any part of the world?
I follow closely the Son Rise system and Im a big fan: it helps Raul a lot showing him to communicate, but I dont know the "official" position in schooling.
Any help will be more than welcome.
vicente mancheno
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Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2010 3:54 pm

Re: Schooling alternatives

Postby Zobeeda » Mon Jan 17, 2011 1:52 am

I have also emailed you direct, but will post this for anyone else who maybe asking the same question.

The legality of homeschooling in Spain is not clear, however it is neither legal or illegal, the constitution does emphasise the parents right to choose. I contacted educacion libre (homeschooling network in Spain) they were very helpful and supportive. I do homeschool as my son does has severe speech and language delay and english is his first language and he barely speaks any Spanish yet and it will take him a great deal of time to learn this language. It is hard because homeschooling is not common, and I get asked alot of questions, people can be very negative and think school is the answer to everything, you do sometimes worry if social services will turn up and ask lots of questions, sadly if your child is not in a state school many have not grasped the idea that actually the child is able to be educated at home often alot better. But what I was informed was that no one can come and take my child away if I homeschool him. And recent court cases over homeschooling families in Spain, have resulted in the court ruling in favor of the homeschoolers. Yes it is sad that instead of being celebrated and congratulated on trying to do the best for our children we are often treated as outcasts and criminals. I personally am now confident that no authority in Spain will challenge my decision to homeschool my son here who is 12 years old.

The only european country that I do know that homeschooling is categorically illegal is in Germany.

Like I said I did email you direct and it would be wonderful to start making contact with other Son Rise families in Spain.

Warm regards
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Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2011 1:14 am

Re: Schooling alternatives

Postby Suki » Thu Feb 17, 2011 6:28 am


I am an English Son-Rise Mum, who took her Asperger's son out of school 2 years ago to home school him through a Son-Rise programme. I can't answer your question about legality, but I know that it is almost unheard of in Spain.

If you are permitted to do it, and able, I would strongly encourage you. After 2 years out of school, my son, now 11, is thriving in a small private school which offers the perfect environment for him to learn effectively. He refused to do academic studies for more than 2 years and now runs to school every morning! He participates in all his lessons with enthusiasm and interacts well with his classmates. Out of school he still has some rigid routines and controllling behaviours, but he is happy and able to apply his great intelligence.

Try to find out if there is a network of home-schooling families in Spain on-line, as it is probably important for your son to know that he is not the only child who does not go to school.

With very best wishes for your Son-Rise adventure.
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Joined: Sun Jan 23, 2011 5:19 am

Re: Schooling alternatives

Postby juliecrouch » Sun May 22, 2011 1:05 pm

Hi there,
I work in a English mainstream school. It is a very small school and we pride ourselves in delivering a very personalised curriculum for all our students.
In September we have someone who is on the Sonrise programme due to start school. I would really like this transition to be effective and would like to work closely with the goals of the sonrise programme. The family are understandbly worried about him starting school as they do not want anything to stop or hinder his progress he has been making. Does anyone have any advise, suggestions or resources that would enable the sonrise programme to be successfully and effcetively integrated into a mainstream school setting?
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Joined: Sun May 22, 2011 12:59 pm

Re: Schooling alternatives

Postby Suki » Tue Jun 07, 2011 6:03 pm

Hi Julie,

My son, who has a diagnosis of Asperger's Syndrome, returned to a school environment last September and has been thriving in his new school. It is also a very small school, which we chose because it had a very caring ethos and has an environment which is low on sensory stimuli (people with ASDs can quickly be overwhelmed in environments which are visually "busy", noisy or crowded. ) Our school prioritises book-learning over a multi-technology approach. It also promotes individual learning, within a class, over pair/group learning activities, i.e. it takes a more traditional educational approach.

If asked to state the goals of the Son-Rise Program, I would say the ultimate aim was for the child to discover his/her own motivation for forming meaningful relationships with others, by discovering that people are fun and interesting to be with, and then for him/her to gain the social and communication skills to achieve happy and successful relationships.

The Son-Rise Program is a one-to-one intensive programe designed to help children on the Autistic Spectrum to develop the social and communication skills they lack, with the ultimate aim of enabling them to integrate fully and successfully into wider society, if they are able to achieve this, or at least to progress on this route as far as they are able.

Every child is different. With the information you give, it is difficult to know what the expectations are, from both the school and the parents' points of view. If the aim is to set up a Son-Rise program within school, you would need a suitably adapted playroom and one-to-one staffing by adults trained to work in a Son-Rise way, with a programme leader. If, on the other hand, the child has now progressed so far with his programme that he is ready to be re-integrated to normal school, then the parents are likely to be the best resource in determining how to achieve this.

The latter was our situation and we have had a wonderfully understanding school staff to work with. Our child began by attending school just 2 half days a week (he had been out of school for 2 years, so we wanted to give him plenty of time to adjust), gradually building up to full-time as we felt he was ready. We liaised regularly with his class teacher to ensure that he was not exhibiting signs of stress in school, and monitored his stress levels at home to inform our decisions.

We now have a child who is excited and enthusiastic about going to school, and comes out smiling at the end of most days. He is attending full-time and insisted on going to a 3-night school camp a few weeks ago, where he has a wonderful time, fully participating in everything on offer.

It's wonderful to know that there are teachers out there willing to give our children a fresh chance, with patience and understanding. I wish you every success.
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Joined: Sun Jan 23, 2011 5:19 am

Part-time vs full-time program for High functioning

Postby rb1710 » Wed Feb 22, 2012 8:35 am

Hi, we have just returned from a Son-rise intensive week in the USA and are looking at various options for our 13 year old son, Zayd, who is High functioning. He is at a mainstream school currently and I would say 'surviving' rather than 'thriving' and so we are now going to run a part-time or full time program for him.

I would love to hear from families in a similar situation who may or may not have taken their children out of school just to get some insight. We were told that we should do a minimum of 20 hours per week and more if possible.

Please do get in touch, would love to connect with other families.

Rohana Bakhshi

Mobile 07956608727 Home 02083716799 email
Rohana Bakhshi

Home 02083716799 Mobile 07956608727 email
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Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2012 7:53 am

Re: Schooling alternatives

Postby ajmcaa » Mon Mar 05, 2012 12:34 pm

Hello Vicente and other homeschoolers!

I live in the United States and homeschool my 5-year-old son. There is a legal advocacy group here that fights for homeschool freedom around the world. It is Homeschool Legal Defense Association. The website is

The website has many articles about homeschooling in Spain ... =0&q=spain

I strongly recommend becoming a member so they can help with legal issues and protect your parental right to homeschool.

Good luck!

Jennifer from California, US
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Jun 21, 2011 1:54 am

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