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hi everyone my name is emma ive got a special needs little girl molly she has many complex needs from being born etremely premature and was a tiny birth weight from this she now has visual problems,heart issues,chronic lung disease,global developmental delay,seizures, and possibly austism she also has a feeding tube in her tummy and is about the mental age of. molly is 4 this year but very small for her age she fits lots of criteria for autism but really struggling to get a diagnosis would this hinder a statement for her? theres lots of talks as to whether molly would cope at mainstream school as apparently this would help her more than a special school im torn i only want to do what is right for molly any ideas anyone? thanks for your help
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Hi there.

My son Lewis is 5 . He has microcephaly he has been going to special school now for two years . I remember finding it a really hard decision to make. Lewis attended a special needs nursery at the time and I asked for some advice the head teacher said to me . Think of the bigger picture andbdo you want your son learning about king and queens of the past or life skills such as going to the shops how to cope in social situations. Obviously at special school they learn all the normal numbers and writing skills aswell. I believe I made the right choice for my son. He too is very small and I would of worried how a mainstream school would of coped. I am very lucky to have a very good special school ten minutes walk from my house. Hope my story will help you a little

Best wishes

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Hi no it wont hinder the statement , my son has complex problems and still no diagnosis , and is going through this statement now . I know my son will never be in a main stream school , he is 3 years old and been in nursery part time from last september is a special needs school and is due to start a new one in september full time , i've noticed how well he has come on with just 2 days at school . xx
Single mum to a 14year old daughter and a son who is 3years old who has severe learning disability , hypotonia , hypermobility , visual impaired and sensory issues , he has showed me the meaning of life Heart and 3rd baby due 2nd of January 2012
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Hi there
This is one of the most difficult decisions to make. My youngest has GDD with a severe speech impairment and very poor motor skills. My sister and step-mother (both experienced teachers) said he needed special school but a very good friend of mine (who had been my older boys Headteacher at infants school) was very involved with the local school here and she said I should put him in that school as they were so good with SEN children. About 60% of the children have SEN and they have been great with him, especially his TA. The Foundation Stage Unit in the school is so different to a traditional reception class and most ‘work’ is done through play and it works really well for the children. He would not have coped in a more traditional class setting.

We have separate infants and juniors so we had to apply for a new school for Year 3 in Sept and having visited the juniors and heard some things which worry me about it, I wasn’t happy about sending him there. I think he would struggle to cope and be a target for bullies. We then looked at the local special school which is just brilliant but I was eventually persuaded by the Ed Psych to keep him in mainstream where so far he has done well. So then we looked at the village primary schools within a reasonable distance and found one which we really liked and he is starting there in Sept in Year 3. I am expecting this to work out well as it is such a lovely small school and the staff are fantastic.

I think it depends on the child’s needs and finding a school you like and where you feel you can trust the staff to meet his needs properly – having a Statement doesn’t always mean they will do what they should do! To me it wasn’t so much an issue of special school or mainstream but an issue of finding the right school for him and for now that is mainstream because we’ve found such a good school. However, when he gets as far as secondary unless there are significant improvements in his speech and motor skills, I will push for him to go to a special school as I believe he will then need to learn life skills rather than kings and queens.

With the extent of problems your daughter has, lack of diagnosis shouldn’t affect her being Statemented. She obviously has some severe needs which the school would have to meet, they can’t just ignore her needs as that would put her at risk.
I would look at local schools, check their websites, visit and talk to them about how they would meet her needs and see what you think. If you don’t get a good feel about somewhere then cross it off your list. All schools are different and visiting some will help you see which environment would be better for her. You might find a great mainstream school or it might make you see she needs the more specialised environment.

Jayne x

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I'm not looking forward to having to make this decision either. Jack has autism and hypotonia and goes to a brilliant nursery 10 miles from our home - chosen for its support to SEN children and the fantastic staff there, guaranteed one to one support and the amazing straight talking Headteacher who makes sure your child gets what they need. She has kept us informed about the changes coming up in September - things like primary schools won't tell us that our children (or anyone's child) don't have to start school until the term AFTER their 5th birthday. Jack will start school a week before he turns 5 but my friends beautiful little girl turned 4 this week and was due to start school in September - waiting for a diagnosis of autism, she has decided to keep her at nursery for another year - absolutely the right choice for her daughter!

Our local primary has a good reputation for helping SEN children but it doesn't make the prospect of choosing any less painful for us. I agree that I'd much rather Jack learn how to cope out in the big bad world than sit in a classroom learning about kings and queens (I mean how many of us have used that info in our adult lives!?). I struggle to see the relevance of some of the lessons my 13 year old has now so God knows how I'll feel when Jack starts school. Eek!!

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