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Dear Becky
We have been having the mainstream/special school debate for quite some time now too. Our Henry is a similar age to your little boy with a diagnosis of asd last year. His mainstream school is very small, and in the main have been very supportive. He now has a statement for 15 hours of support a week in year 2. He appears pretty happy and has a number of friends, both boys and girls. However, the school have prepared us for the fact that even with support he may not cope with the increased complexity of language as he reaches KS2. With a heavy heart i payed a visit to our local special needs school before the summer break. I have to admit i was determined that i was not going to like it. How wrong i was. It really was incredibly calm, happy and vibrant with excellent facilities and loads of specialist staff. They also integrate with a local mainstream as appropriate and follow the national curriculum. There were loads of parents going round from very far afield and places seem rather sought after. They also seamlessly pass from primary to secondary on the same site. Now i am very, very confused. In my heart i know that this special school may be wonderful for Henry but how to move him away from the routine and friends he has come to know. It is such a difficult one isn't it and it would be so good to have some advice from a family that had made the move. All the very best.
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i need to visit some schools as not only do we have a special school we have many units, but i wont know until i go. he is starting to become unhappy, hes refusing to do the work and keeps going over to the play and its causing a lot of upset for him. its having a knock on effect hes acting more like baby at home and hitting and biting his younger sister who also has autism then she is going to nursery and biting the other Children like its normal. i dont want to move him part of me wants to be selfish and stick my head in the sand, but i know its not right and it not a suprise. i always knew he wouldnt cope well. it might work out ok as i have to find a special school for my daughter for when she turn five. i hate feeling like we just got settled then someone pulls the rug and your up in the air again.

FORMERLY BECKY 28 - STILL CANT LOG IN
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I can relate to that feeling (but not school related), our son was doin pretty well with his health until about a month ago, now every week I seem to get more bad news. You kind of think well....'what happened', everything was fine and now its all gone pair shaped! I am sure you will find a great school that they will both be happy at (cotton wool included Smile ) just what every parent wants!!

Lucy xx
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today i went to school and reece's teacher who originally told me she felt she was letting him down because the school and everything they had in place wasnt working, said that she had spoke to the SEN officer for the school (who ive always found a complete waste of time). and she said that because of what she had told me she wasnt happy (the senco officer) and that she felt i would have a fight on my hands if i was going to move him. i think she has got into trouble about telling me he wasnt coping. but i reassured her me wanting to move him wasnt about just one parents evening - that id been keeping an eye over the last year and i felt that if hes losing the very basic skills he had (even listening skills) its time to take some action. i said i would consider him doing part time at mainstream and other at a unit.

the sen officer tried to blame it all on his teacher but i said noones to blame, she was very catty about it and it just made me feel like a 100 years old and very tired. i said i had made up my mind to move him can i have some help in finding the right school but ive got a feeling im on my own for this.

FORMERLY BECKY28
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What a silly attitude to take! At the end of the day its about what's best for the child, by the sounds of it the SENCO is more worried about the school looking bad! I have been pretty lucky on sthe school front, I approached my daughters school yesterday at parents evening to discuss about my son and his needs. I was delighted to find out they have a special school within their school, its a team of 10 outreach staff and they only take 10 children on so it is one to one for as long as they need to settle into mainstream if possible. So he will be in the class with other children but 1 to 1 all the time!! I was so pleased. It was like a wave of relief, because after the fiasco we had in private nursery (in which I pulled him out - long story) I was dreading finding a school. So, all being well they will take him next year after he is 3 for mornings only. If I were you, I would speak to the LEA direct and discuss your concerns, surely the school cannot stop you if they are not meeting his needs and his dr is abacking you


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