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my son who is nearly 6 has asd/adhd, he is undiagnosed but starting assesment for asd very soon. up to now ive been told its all a speech and language problem which causes the behavioural and emotional problems he has. he has full time one to one at school and a band four statement. he attends mainstream school at present. it took him all last year to learn how to write his first name and he seems to have lost that skill now, all his assesments and reports put him mentally between 22 - 36 months. all his behaviours, personal skills, emotional skills, speech and play all have him at between this level.

its only since my daughter who already has been diagnosed with autism that they are now willing to look at him having asd. but because hes had the full time one to one and has been so happy i havent fought to have him at a special school. the thing is he can be socialable when he has adult support and if the topic is all about him, he isnt shy and has a real problem with whats right and wrong and what he wants to do.

he is well liked at his school which we have been lucky with as he used to attend a nursery setting and they had him in the timeout chair (and i was getting accident forms stating he had fallen off the timeout chair because he was swinging on it) even though i told them he had learning difficulties. he couldnt cope and he would hit out and some of the other Children were nipping him and were getting away with it because he couldnt talk properly. they kept saying nothing was happening but he was just weeing himself and growling like an animal - not my usual happy little boy so i went and obsevered him with other Children and guess what they were hitting and nipping him even in front of the teachers and there mums. i went mad and pulled him out.

that was a long time ago and i have alway made it clear since it will be over my dead body he gets treated that way again. when he started full time school things changed as school quickly paid for full time one to one out of their budget. last parents evening his teacher said she felt unless he could make huge progress he wasnt right for mainstream school, it was arranged that his teacher would move up a year with him.

school have always agreed he is defintly has ASD, and have always treated him as such. and i feel he has been very well looked after which has shown through on how happy and giddy he is. this school year the day isnt based around play and hes found it extremly difficult, he has been allowed to have play as they know he cant just jump from having it to hardly having it at all. but he is refusing to do the work and is just going to the contruction. at home he seems to have gone into overdrive with stimming and seems to be going back a step with his emotional skills.

at parents even today his teacher said that although she wished it wasnt so, and that she cares for him very much - she feels like she is letting him down as a teacher. even with the full time one to one he is not coping with the work and that in a sense he is being negleted because mainstream school cannot provide the level of care he requires just to function.

so im sorry this is a long thread, but i need advice on what to do now, where is the best place for him special school or a speech and language unit? he needs full time one to one where learning is around play, he really needs to be taught at a 22 - 36 month old level even though hes nearly 6 years old. his teacher and peadrician (sp?) are supporting me and maybe the educational pschylogist.
#2
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Hi Becky,
I see your predicament, deep down do you have any gut feeling about where you think he would be happier? I, on a personal level, think that maybe a special school would be better as your son doesn't just have speech and language problems. As you mentioned in your above post, his personal and behavioural development is also delayed. I think the amount of individual care your son would recieve at a special school based around his way of learning (ie through play) would be better for him. I think I mensioned on another post aswell that you can actually do both, go to mainstream and a special school, as special schools often link with a mainstream. Perhaps you could contact a few special schools in your area, discuss your sons needs and ask if they link with a mainstream. Then perhaps it could be arranged for him to spend a morning or so a week in the mainstream school to allow him that time to socialise (as you mentioned he can be sociable when supported).

I am not entirely familiar with how it works, but I do remember when my daughter was at nursery, their school linked with the special school which was next to them and 2 mornings a week she had a little boy and his support worker come accross and join the class. He had learning difficulties, so I know it is done!

Your best bet would be to have an Idea of which schools are in your area, phone and speak to them and discuss everything. Then you can approach your sons paediatrician for his advice and support! You obviously have the schools backing so I doubt you will come accross any problems in making the transition (as I have heard special school placements are difficult to obtain). It may just be that you have to wait a little while to get exactly what you want!

Hope that makes sence, if something doesnt just quote it and I will explain it better Big Grin I get lost in babbling sometimes!!

Lucy xx
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hes just moved from reception year, which is mostly play and reece in my view had special treatment. if he wanted to play he was allowed and often because he couldnt cope with carpet time he would go play in the water tray. other children just loved him because with the full time one to one his keyworker could montior his emotions and behavouir, so he mostly just seemed a happy giddy little boy. not that he was always perfect his school report states that if other children got in the way he thought nothing of hitting them with rolling pins and sissors. but girls just seem to want to take care of him and there were extra staff employed for breaks and dinner times after he ran off within school and they couldnt find him for over 30 mintues, turned out he was in the computer room hiding and popped out in the middle of a teacher meeting saying 'im here'.

he has been happy in reception year, but by the end of the school year his keyworker was instructed to do loads of assesments after she stated he had autistic traits in a report , she said she wasnt happy about it and then the school advertised her job in the paper. she did end up getting it again, but it was a stressful time. about this time reece started to say 'no school' on a morning. he was fine once he got there and i thought it might be just a phase.

now hes moved to class 1 now and there's lot less play, and he isnt retaining any of the things hes learning. last year with support he could write his first name now hes lost that skill. hes not making the connections. he still cant hold a pencil or pen properly he still uses palmer grasp, he cant count to five even with help, his speech is like a toddlers, he talks in two word sentences, he only understands one or two key words in a sentence. in my view its like he is stuck at 3 years old. the doctor is now saying it cant be all caused by a speech problem now. i know hes been happy so part me doesnt feel like we have wasted a year. all along ive said he could be in mainstream school while it was right for him.

so now even with al the extra help and statement of special needs he just isnt learning, now give him a camera or computer and hes far beyond his peers and the things he can turn into a plane and construction he just amazes everyone. he can talk at length about things that matter to him. but if he doesnt want to do it or hes not interested, he wont do it. he still has one morning a week in his old class but hes finding it hard to back into his class.

he needs a setting where they can take it back a few years, what are our options if hes mentally 3 years old?
#4
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I am pretty sure a special school can adapt and work with whatever mentality he has got! They would also probably set realistic targets and concentrate on core things like his speech and basic life skills rather than your typical maths/english/science. I doubt it matters if he is mentally 3, i'm pretty damn sure they will of dealt with children who are similar to your son before.

What does his doctor say about him losing skills he is learning? I understand its difficult to have to think of your son going to a special school rather than mainstream, but don't feel like its a defeat if that is what you choose, I'm sure you will work it out whats best!

Someone once said this to me about autistic children (he was a father himself) ''compare a person to a regular plug, without it nothing works, well, he said, autistic children are like european plugs in england, they just need an adaptor to work" . Funny to see it that way but i kind of get where he was comming from.....

When I get a second I'll speak to dan about it and see what he thinks your options are, he's good at knowing peoples rights!! Big Grin

Lucy xx
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thankyou that will be very helpful to me, its not like i didnt see this all coming but i wanted him to have a chance and i wanted him to make progress. but in the bottom of my heart i knew, i have many meetings with his teachers and keyworkers and we have talked about mainstream maybe not being right for him. they support me on the autism and the adhd, it was the parents evening on monday where it was said now the time for him to go to a school where his needs can be better met. they said they would support me if i wanted to move him as much as they can.

alot was put in place for reece but it isnt working and they arent sure how much more they can do that will actualy work. his teacher feels terrible as she knows she is letting him down because the school cannot provide the level of care he needs and the fact that he is losing skills shows a serious problem (this losing skills i only found out monday) his teacher was to speak with his doctor which i think will be good. the SENCO at reece's school is really bad at her job and doesnt seem to care at all she also has be declining a team around the child meeting which is an important part of his assesment - without letting me know about it or why.

i think the best thing i can do is have a list of schools and go have a visit, while getting the doctor to phone the school. i am viewing schools for alexandria anyway for when she turns 5 so i could even find a school perfect for them both. i want a school that can provide a high level of care and support (preferably cotton wool or bubble wrap - lol)


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