To move my son into special school?

(66 Posts)
Tealady1983 Sun 04-May-14 05:36:52

Hi y son is nearly 6 with asd. He attend mainstream school and has a statement so has a recently appointed one to one helper. It has come to my attention that he is left alone at break and play time to wander around or sit alone as the other kids say he doesn't 'get'the games they play and nobody talks to him. Also I was under the impression his helper helped him with lunch, unpacking and opening etc but on Friday the teacher said if another child doesn't open his drink he just doesn't drink cos he is unable to do it himself. Also he doesn't eat really at school I thought as it was too noisy in lunch hall bit maybe now cos he struggles alone unable to really express a need for help. Now I have been to see the special school locally and it's fNtastic I really think once he settles he will love it but I can't help feeling a bit guilty that his ta is going to loose her job. I know I will put my son first and do the right thing for him but someone tell me I am not being mean!

marmitemonkey Sun 04-May-14 05:43:27

You are not being mean your top priority is your son. I would not be happy with a school that could not support my child at break and lunch times. I can't believe they have told you he doesn't drink if another child doesn't open his drink. That is neglectful to his needs - I think you need to speak to someone at school about this in the short term and make sure it is happening.

defineme Sun 04-May-14 05:47:34

Move him.
Her job is no concern of yours-she'll get another one.
The school is failing in their duty of care to him.

icklekid Sun 04-May-14 05:48:28

In my experience working in school a ta isn't contracted to a child so she can't lose her job if your sin leaves. She may have got the job via the funding but she will either be on a 1 year contract or permanent. I would be wanting to discuss options for best supporting your son at dinner time especially though...

icklekid Sun 04-May-14 05:49:23

*son not sin sorry blush

hippo123 Sun 04-May-14 05:56:51

without a doubt do what is best for your son, the chances are his ta will just be placed with another child. she'll be under a contract of some sort.
on a separate note my ds can't open crisp packets, drink cartons etc. crisps go in a box with an easy to open lid, drink in a sports bottle which he can manage. I don't do this for the schools benefit as such, more so he's not embarrass having to get help and to give him the independence.

Tealady1983 Sun 04-May-14 06:10:09

Thanks for your replies. We were in the interview and she was told if ds leave her contract is terminated immediately but she took the job knowing that. I send his crisps in a sandwich bag and drink in sports thing but he doesn't make the connection between opening them and eating or drinking he need to be shown the link or middle step so to speak. I have spoken to the head about another child possibly bullying and the teacher was updating me on that when this lunchtime stuff came out. I will be speaking to school again first thing tues and if theycannot guarantee him help I will not be sending him back at all. The special school have space and are willing to take him it's just transport we would be waiting for as we don't drive but hey I can always get taxis with him for a few weeks no problem as long as he is happy x

twojumpingbeans Sun 04-May-14 06:24:02

You should do what is right for your child without a doubt and you are best placed to know what that is. However, it's not that easy to just 'move' to a specialist provision, even with a statement of SEN. You need to arrange an emergency/interim review of your child's statement with a view to getting part 4 of it changed. Speak with your child's SENCO on Tuesday morning to arrange it, this could take some time, unless of course you have an annual review coming up in the next couple of weeks or so.

You need to do this ASAP, moving from mainstream to special school isn't like for like so you will need some very robust evidence from you and all those involved with your child to prove that a special school is the best (only!) option.

If your local Parent Partnership are good (some are) then contact them for advice, failing that, try www.ipsea.org.uk

Good luck! smile

Dayshiftdoris Sun 04-May-14 06:42:20

I was going to add what Jumping Beans said.

The other question is if the statement actually covers lunchtime - both in hours and specifics? If it doesn't then perhaps that can be added.

Also have the local autism team been in to support? A visual inside his lunchbox to help him make that connection may help.

As for being alone in the playground - that might not be any better at special school, might even be more problematic unfortunately.

I am going through this decision for secondary at the moment so understand your dilemma.

OneInEight Sun 04-May-14 06:54:55

You will have to get LA approval first regardless of whether there is space in the special school or not and they may put up a fight as a special school may cost them more money.

We did get lunchtime/playtime cover put into the statement but as ds1 had been permanently excluded from mainstream by the time it was issued we do not know whether the wording was tight enough.

My son (AS) has thrived in his special school and I wish you luck.

Tealady1983 Sun 04-May-14 07:10:45

Thank you his statement is relatively new so it's all new to me. It doesn't outline playtime or break help I had to fight to get the statement in the first place even though ds is assessed at working at aged 18-24 months generally when actually he is nearly 6.

FanjoForTheMammaries Sun 04-May-14 07:18:33

He should definitely be in special school then.

Please do move him. I hope it works out for him.

Eebahgum Sun 04-May-14 07:20:03

Definitely move him to special school if you can. Our local one is amazingly well resourced (things like a fitness suite with running machines and bikes), with small class sizes and lots of ta's. they teach things like "life skills" which are infinitely more useful than "geography"!
I've seen the progress sen children can make in a year in a special school compared to mainstream education - it's mind blowing.

cricketballs Sun 04-May-14 07:33:45

My DS has attended a special school since he was 4. We were offered mainstream, but he would have only had 15 hours support and we felt that not only was this not acceptable for him but also his classmates for the 10 hours he didn't have support. It was the best decision we ever made. The school he attends is lovely; small class sizes, amazing opportunities and enrichment which is designed for his needs rather than finding a way to fit in. Now he is in yr10, the support is still fantastic (his school is 4-16) but also they are far more supportive and involved in what/where he will go when he leaves school than any mainstream secondary that I have worked in.

Frusso Sun 04-May-14 07:54:06

My dcs statement specifies "support for less structured times including break and lunchtimes"

Call an interim - you need to put it in writing - stating you wish to put ds is special provision. I sent a copy to sen at County and the school senco.

If you feel that the school and professionals involved will support this move you could go straight to county. This would involve phoning sen at County and asking when the next panel is for entry to the SS in question, and when the deadline is. You need to meet that deadline. If your county is like mine there are 3 panels a year. And one around now for September intake.

lizzzyyliveson Sun 04-May-14 08:12:52

This TA should lose her job because she is doing it terribly! TAs that support a child like yours will take their own break during the last 15 minutes of the first lesson or the first 15 mins of the next so that they go outside with their charge and they also go into the lunch hall and make sure that the child is eating. Your child is being left at times that are the most difficult for him.

autumnsmum Sun 04-May-14 08:14:41

Please move him my dd 2 attends a special school for children with autism and she has made amazing progress

Pagwatch Sun 04-May-14 08:18:24

Just move him.
You wouldn't seriously compromise your sons happiness and comfort because of a woman who doesn't appear to be doing her job desperate well?

FanjoForTheMammaries Sun 04-May-14 08:22:57

I used to worry about that sort of thing in relation to complaining about anything in relation to my daughters TA at nursery.

Then I met her a few years after DD left and she couldn't remember DD's name.

She also walked past DD without recognising her.

Just do what is right for your son.

OddFodd Sun 04-May-14 08:24:59

My son doesn't have a Statement but gets help opening food and drink because he can't do it himself. It's duty of care stuff. I'd move him if the school won't help and I'd complain to OFSTED too.

Dramatic Sun 04-May-14 08:31:21

It definitely sounds as though the move would be beneficial for him. Don't worry about the TA, your sons wellbeing is the most important thing here. It's baffling me how all the staff at your sons school must know he won't be able to open his drink yet none of them help him? Where are the lunchtime supervisors? Why is it down to another child to help him? That's shockingly bad on the schools part.

autumnsmum Sun 04-May-14 08:43:46

Also special schools tend to be very oversubscribed if you don't take the place it may be a very long time until another place comes up

Peacocklady Sun 04-May-14 08:52:06

I would as long as you have visited it when the children are there and asked questions about where he would be going.
The classes are smaller with a lot more support, ideally a different pace and specific teaching on independence skills etc with a better understanding of the need for routines and ways of delivering teaching in a salient way.

What has your ds said about it?

You can often have transport arranged, via minibus or taxi for free, see the later part of his annual review report.

Takes a while though, meeting needs to be arranged, a move approved and transition set up. Good luck.

Peacocklady Sun 04-May-14 08:54:51

Frusso, i agree about panel procedure but where I live (city) it's fortnightly so it could be more than 3 x year.

mummytime Sun 04-May-14 09:10:47

If you can move him do. He really is going to struggle in mainstream, and he isn't even getting adequate support.

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