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I don't know what its like over the water but i can tell you how i did it here (belfast).
My son was in mainstream until the end of P4, he already had his statement and a 1-2-1 teacher. But i wasn't happy about his main teacher and the fact that they took away the special needs teacher from the school because of budget cuts.
So i contacted the education board and they gave me a list of schools suitable for his needs, i chose to go and see one school and was very happy with the principle so i signed up. It was very easy, this was at the end of June so he started on the first day back after summer.
Terry is so much happier being there, he has no stress and the teachers are fantastic as they actually work with special needs. (most mainstream teachers have no clue about special needs children)

(Oh and the school bus picks him up to, i love that and so does he, lol)
HeartHeart Stacy HeartHeart
Mother to Terry 10 MLD + ADHD, Nicole 9 Cri-du-chat Syndrome ADHD Asthma GDD Coarctation, Jessica 4 Cri-Du-Chat Syndrome GDD Reflux
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my son josh attends nursery 15 hours a week with his twin theo they are 2 years old. josh has quad cp, the nursery is great they love it. the nursey provide the 1;1 support with some funded from c/ council.the 30 hours nursery place is funded to

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