Homeschooling with autism and OCD

Lily’s story

Sixteen-year-old Lily turned to homeschooling after struggling with her autism and severe OCD in mainstream school.

I often found mainstream school particularly overwhelming. Social skills were not my strong point and my full potential was being stunted by having to deal with many OCD rituals on a daily basis. After much discussion with teachers and my family, Wolsey Hall was decided as my best option for both educational and personal development.

In February 2018 I began homeschooling. Although it was a challenging start, having much work to catch up on, thanks to my new Tutors and Student Progress Manager, I was able to complete a whole school year within just five months. I then began studying my IGCSEs; something which I have been working on until now; studying Psychology, Computer Science, Economics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Extended Maths and English Language.”

Support for learning services

Wolsey Hall Oxford supports a large number of students with additional needs.

Lily’s homeschooling advice

Lily's homeschooling allows her great flexibility to travel

“The flexibility of Wolsey Hall has allowed me to work wherever and whenever I can which helped some aspects of my OCD. Homeschooling is allowing me to flourish.

The flexibility allows me to create my own schedule, meaning I can work to my full potential but still at my own pace. Having a whole syllabus constantly in front of me means I can give more time to subjects I find more challenging; something I was unable to do in mainstream school.

Travelling is also something which homeschooling has made possible. Suffering with OCD made this difficult but I have recently made an effort to travel as often as I can. Being able to do so has not only enriched my knowledge but has meant that I have been able to overcome some of my OCD rituals. Iceland was one of my favourite trips where I had the pleasure of seeing the northern lights. It truly was a once in a lifetime experience; not to mention extremely educational.”

“Whilst there is a common misconception that homeschooling stunts a student’s social life, this is not the case with Wolsey Hall. I have had many opportunities to make new friends. The diversity of students studying at Wolsey Hall means that I have had the opportunity to learn about many different cultures first hand.

Luckily I am a very self-motivated person, however, Wolsey Hall is always there to give guidance on this. The Tutors offer advice, revision and learning techniques as well as assignment schedules to keep you on track.

I often participate in the Art club and have sent in some of my Lego projects. I have recently been particularly interested in digital art.

My favourite part of homeschooling is the time I can factor into my schedule for all my hobbies and interests. I love studying new cultures and learning languages. I have recently been influenced by Korean music and culture which has inspired me to learn the Korean language. I am also self-studying Russian because I know it will help me in the field I aim to go into in the future.”

Lily's art work
Lily is homeschooling with autism

Next steps

“My biggest passion is for Physics, space and Science. Thanks to the flexibility of homeschooling I was able to attend the Christmas Compendium with Professor Brian Cox, my favourite physicist.

“I hope to go to university to study Physics, with hopes of one day working in the field of Astrophysics. Thanks to Wolsey Hall, I have been able to overcome some of my major OCD traits, gained confidence and improved my social skills greatly.”

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