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Best area to live in terms of Autism support

(110 Posts)
asulikeit Tue 22-Mar-11 14:51:56

We currently live in London but want to move outside as there would be better schools and more choice for our DS2 with autism or so were are lead to believe.

Your advise would be much appreciated.
Thanks

shimmerysilverglitter Tue 22-Mar-11 16:22:25

Interested in this as there is nothing here, we are in London too. It does surprise me that the nations capital is so deficient in autism support.

IndigoBell Tue 22-Mar-11 16:24:59

What kind of school will he need? A SS for kids with Autism? Or a MS with ASD unit? Or just a normal MS school?

asulikeit Tue 22-Mar-11 17:01:48

Would really like an aba school or a school that has good resources for our non verbal ds2.

A ss would do but with firm belief in sign and teaching it and one where he can be motivated.

Being Tribunal broke but not beaten, down but not out.

IndigoBell Tue 22-Mar-11 17:54:56

Not sure what it's like, but would Hillingdon Manor be right?

Toppy Tue 22-Mar-11 18:03:34

Surrey has lots of ASD provision - maintained and private
It is a relatively nice LEA to deal with too

We live in SW london but I drive my DS to a special nursery in Surrey every morning
How old is DS2 ?

Wandsworth has an ABA school

silverfrog Tue 22-Mar-11 18:37:42

Surrey does have lots of ASD provision, which can be a problem if it is ABA school you are after - as the Surrey ASD schools are seen as gold standard, then it can be hard ot prove that your dc needs ABA.

having said that, it is not impossible - we managed it for dd1.

THere are ABA schools in Guildford (Jigsaw), Wandsworth (Rainbow), my dd goes to one near Sevenoaks (again, very hard ot get ABA form Kent, they are very against it)

THere is also Step by Step near East Grinstead, and Quest over towards the west of Kent.

Of course there is Treehouse in London too.

Eloise73 Tue 22-Mar-11 19:59:42

I live in Surrey (near Guildford) and so far the service dd has received (she is 3 and has ASD) has been brilliant although a few snags here and there but that is to be expected. Her EP especially is brilliant and her OT is fabulous. And my health visitor is the best ever, she probably comes more to support me than my DD!

Have contacted a couple of infant/primary schools and both have extensive experience with ASD kids and seem so interested, almost excited to meet all of us and have DD join them in their school which is amazing and wonderful because we really want DD to go mainstream and we were worried schools might not be positively inclusive but they are.

We also have lots of great SN state schools around here like Freemantles (Woking) and Pond Meadow (Guildford) and a few private ABA schools as well.

We have thought of moving somewhere else in the country where property prices weren't so high but to be honest we would struggle to find the support we have here on the NHS and also the private provisions are great as well and we use them to supplement therapy as and when we can afford it. We will just have to swallow that bitter (and expensive) pill when we do eventually buy a house as we will be paying quite a premium for it. But for DD we would do anything so we are definitely here to stay.

asdx2 Tue 22-Mar-11 20:35:09

Derbyshire is good for early dx and statementing before school entry after that you are on your own. One autism specialist school in the whole county for children with autism and severe learning difficulties. Roughly four places per school year in ASD bases attached to mainstream schools.Specialist SALT service is non existent any more (now one ASD specialist SALT for the whole county) , community SALT service is over stretched and ineffective. OT services like hen's teeth and don't consider sensory difficulties their remit any longer. SS don't consider autism a disability unless it is alongside another recognised disability. Avoid would be my advice.

not hertfordshire is all I can say!

finefatmama Tue 22-Mar-11 23:00:31

Thurrock has an aba school which is a maintained school.

usedtobeahappycamper Wed 23-Mar-11 09:41:10

Northamptonshire have been pretty good, but who knows what cuts will bring.
lisad is right, avoid Hertfordshire, and I would also say avoid Bedfordshire.

HisWife Wed 23-Mar-11 11:08:46

Keep right away from Hertfordshire. They're not just neglectful with limited resources, they're barbaric and use ample resources to ensure children with autism fail!

That's my opinion anyhow!

asulikeit Wed 23-Mar-11 11:19:02

Thank you all very much for your very honest replies.

Surrey does seem like a good option as we had already heard good things although house prices are expensive we will consider it.

We did consider Treehouse but thought Snowflake was better VB school in earls court. But had to accept lea school but feel now a more specialist salt provision is needed for non verbal ds2.

We are really concerned about ds2 longterm education so that would be why we would consider moving .

silverfrog Wed 23-Mar-11 11:27:09

When I looked at Step by Step (ooh, about 3 years ago now, i suppose) they were keen to highlight their emphasis on VB/speech side of things.

IN the end they were't suitable for dd1 (they assessed her as too verbal to fit in with their majority peer group).

thye were very helpful, though, and spent a lot of time with us. might be worht a look?

HisWife Wed 23-Mar-11 12:09:27

You might want to look into ICAN. I don't think they generally take children with autism but it can depend on your and their perspective of your child's autism and how much of it is really a SLT issue.

Oblomov Wed 23-Mar-11 12:59:26

I live in Surrey and I can not seem to get any support at all. But then ds has very mild , possible AS, and I may not get a diagnosis.
School will not provide me with anyhting. No support whatsoEVER.
I am apsolutely intrigued to read what Toppy, silverfrog and Eloise are saying. Becasue I must be doing this all wrong.

HisWife Wed 23-Mar-11 13:03:44

Ob. No you are not.

Hertfordshire and Surrey are the two most complained about LA's in the country for their poor SEN practises.

They are different in their strategies though. Surrey provide crap services for children with HFA. Hertfordshire provide no services.

silverfrog Wed 23-Mar-11 13:16:39

Oblomov: I have to run, as have a dentist's appt (which will hopefully end the month long chronic toothache Ive had as a result of a dental procedure hmm) but just quickly: no you are not doing anyhting wrong.

Surrey are absolute shits.

THey are a slightly different kettle of fish with pre-schoolers, dependng on area.

Hopeless probably with AS end of the spectrum, in terma of special provision (my dd is severe ASD, and actually goes to school in KEnt as Surrey provision is not any use for her).

PM me if you want some info on Surrey provisions/dealing wiht them etc.

Marne Wed 23-Mar-11 13:25:55

Its not bad here (Dorset) although dd1&2 both go to MS school, most of the schools are tiny (small class sizes) but the schools seem to be great with sn children, there are afew schools near by that are sn (mainly ASD), dd2 gets outreach from the sn school. OT is great here and there are sn nurseries which use ABA techniques.

asulikeit

I'd avoid Essex as well. Herts is also another county that you want to avoid.
Not Wandsworth either.

"Being Tribunal broke but not beaten, down but not out".

From what you write above as well initially there is no statement in place still for DS2?.

sickofsocalledexperts Wed 23-Mar-11 14:19:22

finefatmama - did I read right that Thurrock has a state school which does ABA. That is amazing! Is that a first?? Am v interested to know

Toppy Wed 23-Mar-11 20:39:55

Hmm Asyoulikeit - it is not looking good is it
Here's an idea ..... move to America. I know a family that did and they have never looked back. Their 5 year old has had his diagnosis lifted. They do seem to have it sorted there with a unity of ABA type approach.
'What is wrong with this country' in best Daily Mail voice (no offence to DM readers, its better than OK and Hello for sleb goss)

Silverfrog.....a month of tooth pain following a procedure - me too! Am going back for 5th attempt to sort it out tomorrow and am so fed up with the pain I feel I might punch the dentist

Eloise73 Wed 23-Mar-11 20:41:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Toppy Wed 23-Mar-11 21:54:21

DS's special nursery in Surrey has about 30 pre school children in attendance. They come from K&C, H&F, Merton, Richmond, Kingston, Middlesex and Surrey. More than one family have moved from overseas to send their child there.
I would say the families who are having the roughest time with Statementing are the Kingston lot - they all have to go through the SEN 'Gatekeeper' (!) and this seems to really hold up the process. Those in the know do it themselves. Those in shock from a new diagnosis seem to lose months of valuable time waiting for the process to start.
The Surrey families definitely don't have it easy, I think 'weak' statements are a nationwide phenomenon, but there is a lot of provision in or near Surrey.

I'll reel off a list of schools that are regularly mentioned. I really don't know that much about them because we are unlikely to ever be offered anything other than our in-borough SS

Freemantles (Surrey maintained)
Linden Bridge (Worcester Park area - Surrey Maintained)
Rainbow (ABA)
Eagle House
The Link (nr Croydon)
Blossom House (Wimbledon SALT SS - takes some verbal ASD children)
Hall School - Wimbledon. ASD specific unit attached to MS private school.
The Meath (Ican school, takes a lot of ASD children)
St Josephs, Cranleigh
The Priory Lodge School, Roehampton (Priory Group, Private)
Unsted Park, Godalming (Priory Group, Private)
Papillon House, Tadworth, Surrey
Brooklands, Reigate, Surrey

there are quite a few more - units and also inclusive schools but I did not jot them down in my notebook.
Lots of people move from London to Surrey for the provision. Even those in Surrey move to be closer to the right school so make sure you really suss out all the options first.

Toppy Wed 23-Mar-11 22:01:32

PS I forgot to add that LEAs will only consider funding the private schools if there is no LEA school which can meet your childs needs.
So if you live in a London borough with NO special provision at all (K&C) you are actually in a really strong position to fight for the school you think would suit your childs needs best but if it was an expensive private one I reckon you'd need a good lawyer and excellent independent reports that all point to that school being the only appropriate provision.

finefatmama Wed 23-Mar-11 22:44:29

Hi Sic, it's called treetops School and may well be a first. It's an all through school with a small sixth form (ages 3-19) which is classed by ofsted as outstanding.

silverfrog Wed 23-Mar-11 23:04:16

I think Treetops is only ABA in the nursery section (which is a bloody good start!) - it then goes onto standard provision, I believe.

whether they are aiming to introduce further ABA throughout the school, I don't know. It will be interesting to keep and eye on how things move along htere.

finefatmama Wed 23-Mar-11 23:21:11

I think they've moved on since then. after nursery there's either class1 and VB1. Each year group has two groups. One class has small groups and the opposite class has 1 to 1. some kids only stay in the 1-1 while others move between classes. During my tour of the school, I'm sure I saw a 9 year old who only has 1-1 ABA provision at the school and the head stated that they use the principles of ABA with the year groups.

asulikeit Thu 24-Mar-11 19:45:24

Thank you for all your help as we will be looking at as many options as possible.

Will keep you posted.
Thanks

Spinkle Thu 24-Mar-11 20:08:41

Don't bother with Suffolk. No ASD schools. No MS schools with ASD units...

Rubbish.

There is one private ASD school over the border in Norfolk.

sugarcandyminx Thu 24-Mar-11 21:59:11

We are in a London borough with three primary schools with ASD units and one outstanding secondary with an ASD resource, plus another outstanding SN school which takes low functioning ASD. I think our borough could be good for those with autism and MLD. But like Surrey, there's no provision for higher functioning children like DS, who has had to go to a residential school out of borough.

chuckeyegg Fri 25-Mar-11 15:55:36

Oh no I've just read this thread and I'm panicking now. I live in Herts the intial help we have had has been okay. Should I consider moving.

discodad Fri 25-Mar-11 18:39:34

Ok - here's my semi-serious suggestion. Move to the City of London.
They have one maintained primary school, and that's it.

Oh, and lots of money.

www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/Corporation/LGNL_Services/Education_and_learning/Schools_and_colleges/

disco. If I had the money to live there, I'd have the money to fund completely my child's SN education.

SqueezyDiva Sun 27-Mar-11 21:41:18

Hi everyone

Please tell me - what is ABA?

thanks

Sqeezy It really is better if you start your own thread with your question in the title. You'll get much more responses and help.

SqueezyDiva Tue 29-Mar-11 23:29:24

Hi Starlight

Sorry if I made a faux pas. My DS has recently been diagnosed with ASD. Like the opening poster, I am also looking for appropriate schooling for him in London.

This thread is choc full of interesting options and ideas it is just that lots of people have used the acronym ABA so I thought someone here might be able to enlighten me.

I will ask in another thread if no one else can help of course.

BTW, Autism London has a very useful PDF listing ASD friendly schools:

http://www.autismlondon.org.uk/pdf-files/factsheets/018_Schools_Lists_UK.pdf

No, you haven't done anything wrong at all. But you just might not get the information you were looking for as it isn't flagged up in the thread title.

Sorry you're also going through the same thing. When you find that London school, let me know.

PipinJo Tue 29-Mar-11 23:45:28

Ireland lol

EllenJane1 Tue 29-Mar-11 23:51:52

Squeezy, it stands for Applied Behavioural Analysis and is originally an American method now used in UK also for bringing on the development of children with ASD with lots of good results from American studies. Not liked by LAs in this country as it's expensive. Lots of 1:1 intensive work. I've heard described at dog clicker training for children which is very insulting, but gives you a flavour. Lots of positive behaviour rewards etc. I'm no expert, far from it but it's a very touchy topic due to LAs and professionals slagging it off. Many people swear by it. It was never mentioned when my DS might have benefited from it but he's managed pretty well with other strategies.

Google it for more info.

PipinJo Wed 30-Mar-11 00:05:19

They also spray water in the childs face hahahahahaha!!!!

Well thats what the cr@p autism specialist said at last tribunal...stupid cow!!

It is the best proven therapy for a child with autism...it is used in Ireland and USA as matter of course before child starts school... it has a worldwide mega anaysis study to show it is the best with no nonsence...it is not expensive if you have basic packages of consultant and tutors, Ds was dx severe asd NON verbal etc now like a 0 yr old academically...ABA has taught ds a way that he could not learn like NT peers in school...still got a long way to go but mainly sensory which is down to no SIT by OT, the crowded unstructured foundation learning and school hated ABA and never followed it or wanted ds/tutors in the schools ...so ds never even got a chance to integrate successfully.
I would tell any parent on ds life 100% ABA go for it as you only have a small window of time for dc to catch up with peers and its hard work if you dont get child to catch up later on! DS 4 years on is now classed as HFA Still got a way to go but AS then HFAS is our goal if NT cant be reached!

You can see ABA sessions on Utube and get Catherine maurice book 'Let me Hear your Voice' (library and amazon has it)...

Ready to write my speech now..in the mood lol!

MarioandLuigi Wed 30-Mar-11 12:58:04

We are in Nottinghamshire - we have the Easrly Communication and Autism Partnership which is fantastic, but the LA are very anti-statement unless you are in a SN school.

Mamaz0n Wed 30-Mar-11 13:05:06

Surrey is shitter than shit.

When DS was 4 we had our first Multi agency meeting for him. The ed psych said "this is a child that will never be able to thrive in a MS school"
shocked and a little upset i asked where we could send him then. the answer of every professional in the room was "well, there isn't really anywhere in the surrey district that would be suitable"

so he wont thrive but he cant go elsewhere, thanks for that.

We are in West Sussex now and thankfully they have been really good with him so far. It is possible that we have just had a bit if luck but i have few complaints.

sickofsocalledexperts Wed 30-Mar-11 13:21:34

In case it helps, I have been trying to work up a plain English definition of what ABA is - see draft below. Any comments most welcome, but I think we need something without the jargon for people who are new to ABA (in whose number I count most LA officials!)

Behavioural analysis is a well-established science dating back to the 50s, which looks at how people behave, why, and how to influence or change that behaviour. In this context, ABA* is a well-researched and proven method of teaching autistic children a wide range of life skills. Backed by 5 decades of scientific research, ABA programmes are based on an analysis of what motivates an individual child to behave in certain ways. Each skill the child needs to learn - from speaking and self-care, right through to reading and writing - is broken down into small, achievable steps. Each step is worked on in a systematic and consistent way, using lots of appropriate rewards to encourage the behaviours needed - whether the target is asking for a sandwich or working on sums at school. Careful records are kept to monitor progress, so that targets and motivators can be adjusted along the way, according to evidence of what is and isn’t working for the particular child. Reward systems are particularly important for autistic children, given they may lack the “social desire to please” that is often present in a normally-functioning child.

ABA is taught one-to-one either via home programmes run by a qualified ABA consultant and supervisor, or in a growing number of ABA schools in the UK – such as Treehouse in London.

Although much of the existing research** has focused on ABA’s successes as an early intervention with young autistic children, there is no age limit on when ABA can and cannot be used as a teaching method. Indeed ABA is more than just a way of teaching autistic children: there are ABA interventions in use across the UK for all childhood behavioural problems, and for many adult issues too – ranging from depression to addiction.

*(Applied Behavioural Analysis - ie the actual application of the science of Behavioural Analysis)
** See Scamp research from Southampton University, or Eldevik et al.

sickof, it doesn't bother me personally, but I think the preferred term is children with autism, rather than autistic children.

MarioandLuigi Wed 30-Mar-11 14:16:16

See thats a can of worms Starlight

sickofsocalledexperts Wed 30-Mar-11 17:18:02

Good point, thanks Starlight x

moondog Wed 30-Mar-11 22:19:06

The central tenets of ABA (and most of you on this board are only aware of it in terms of Early Intensive Behavioural Intervention for smaa kids with ASD) are as follows;

-Use of reinforcement to maximise chances of the individual co-operatiing with and enjoying therapeutic/educational intervention

-Repeated opportunities to practice and master targetted skills (massed trials or discrete trial training)

-Data collection. DSecsions as to the programme's course are then made on that data and not on vague suppositions, half baked theories, personal interests and general jiggery pokery.

No magic wands, no false promises, no snake oil, just good old fashioned hard work.

As people say to me over and over 'It makes perfect sense!'

SqueezyDiva Wed 30-Mar-11 23:43:22

Thank you all for explaining ABA. xxx

jeshiko Sun 19-Jun-11 10:22:44

when you guys say that schools/preschools use ABA , do you mean private school that you pay for or public schools where the government pays? I am over in NZL and we can only get ABA if we pay sad

Davros Sun 19-Jun-11 16:03:17

LB Camden has always been good for us and we have 15 years experience. They try hard and listen, it doesn't always mean you get perfection but they know they are not perfect. Unlike Harringey where they think they are perfect (the Shoesmith effect?!). Barnet has quite a good reputation among my many friends who live there and Islington stinks on hot ice. And we are mostly ABA parents btw.

IndigoBell Sun 19-Jun-11 17:31:12

jeshiko - very, very, very occasionally you can get the govt to pay for an ABA school in the UK.

Interesting to hear that you say NZ is even worse - 'cause my mum continually tells me to move back home smile

Schools claiming to use ABA as a primary intervention - there are 6 schools in the whole of the UK listed here sad

BialystockandBloom Sun 19-Jun-11 18:01:10

When you/all say "best for ASD support", what do you consider to be good support? Getting a good statement? Choice of schools? Provision of support outside educational settings? ABA funding within statements?

Tbh I wouldn't know whether my LA (London Borough of southwark) is any good or not, have nothing to compare it to! All I know is so far that though we got a diagnosis and statement easily (compared to others' experiences here), the proposed statement is rubbish, and we have been told (untruthfully) that Southwark do not fund ABA. We have had nothing in the way of support or service since dx last September. No SaLT, no support in any way at all. Have belatedly discovered Contact a Family who have been great, but that's it.

growingstrawberries Sun 19-Jun-11 18:16:48

IndigoBell: that website is quite out of date, I think.

The ABA schools listed are all private, I believe, and I can easily name at least another 4 just in the South East of England.

The main problem with private SN schools is finding out that they exist in the first place - you can't ask for your child to be considered for a school if you don't know it exists sad

sickofsocalledexperts Sun 19-Jun-11 18:38:15

There are now 16 ABA schools in the UK. It is not impossible to get them for your child, sometimes without tribunal - but you do have to be able to prove that ABA has worked either EXCEPTIONALLY well for your child, or that it has worked BETTER than any other methods (eg TEACCH). Some well-placed legal letters can also pre-empt a full tribunal situation. If you can argue that ABA is particularly and uniquely well-suited to your child's particular special educational needs, and that stunning progress has been made, you are in a good position, but be prepared for a fight!.

Apparently Southwark is a good LA, but not Wandsworth - when it comes to ABA.

BialystockandBloom Sun 19-Jun-11 20:05:00

sickof you mention Southwark having a good reputation - good for what? They've told me so far that they "don't fund ABA".

sickofsocalledexperts Sun 19-Jun-11 20:38:59

They have sent a fair few kids to rainbow bialy - aba schl in wandsworth.

Davros Mon 20-Jun-11 12:18:01

Camden has been great for social services support and support for parents. We've also had good SEN support inc ABA school.

drivemecrazy63 Mon 20-Jun-11 16:23:03

hi theres so many my ds goes to one but look at this link for different areas

www.schoolsnet.com/uk-schools/best-special-school/top-uk-schools/16180339/0/-5/-1.html

2006hildy Tue 03-Apr-12 23:46:06

Can anyone define Autism support in terms of services? eg OT, SALT, Autism Advisory Service, CAMHS, Is that it?

appropriatelyemployed Wed 04-Apr-12 08:50:08

Avoid Wiltshire.

Nasty, vindictive LA SEN staff who haven't a clue about the law or what they are supposed to be doing yet are wonderfully self-righteous and up their own arses.

Piss poor ASD outreach which must be about 20 years out of date ('we've changed the way we work and now it's 50% our strategy and 50% knowing the child' - before they never factored in knowing the child!!!!). They think it's perfectly acceptable to NEVER meet the child hmm

The Ed Psych team run on the same basis - don't ever meet the child. But they are happy to file reports for Tribunal.

Forget multi-agency working without a Tribunal battle - seriously.

Their S&LT team is run like a hit squad to fight off any claims for provision. They basically see themselves as working for the LA.

I would doubt that anyone has heard of ABA here.

I have heard too many stories of children left out of school unsupported without provision.

There is no provision for HFA/AS children at primary or secondary level. Their 'state of the art' ASD school is crap.

They are unspeakably appalling. Wiltshire is the land that time forgot.

That was quite therapeutic .....grin

signandsmile Wed 04-Apr-12 09:36:17

Umm.... just wanted to say Swindon is 'in' Wilts, altho a Unitary Authority, and has been fine. One of the Schools indicated for DS was utter Pants, (but that was a rubbish HT) other than that MS schools and Units and SS that we looked at have all seemed ok. (I am not talking about ABA btw.) and the MS DS is in has been fanatstic. Open to work with us, willing to fund staff to learn to sign, happy to take input from us as parents. SLT has been supportive, of our signing with DS and of how to encourage and develop speech.

Yes we are having to keep everyone on their toes as it were... but not because they are resistant.... Also Swindon's Aiming High Funding has been very well used I feel. There is a weekly ASD group after school, one day a week in the holidays, and funding to access individual activities DCs want to do. Also local parent support group (Parent to Parent) and support from local Carer's Centre.

Pre-school support via Portage, Special Tots and Koalas.

I am not saying they are perfect, and we have had our battles, sad, but it seems to have been more a rubbish worker or two, rather than institutional rubbishness,

SallyBear Wed 04-Apr-12 09:52:44

Milton Keynes is also a Unitary Authority. They have 6 SS and many good MS schools with Hearing Impaired, ASD, SLT and Behavioural Units attached.

My DD is fully funded and has been since she was 4. She is now 12. She us MS Secondary with a TA

DS3 was fully funded for MS with a TA and is now moving to a SS as he was struggling with MS. We were warned that he might not cope, but we wanted to give it a try.

Overall I would say that MK has been pretty good for our family, but it does depend on how long you've been in the system and what relationships you have managed to foster with the Powers that Be! smile

dev9aug Wed 04-Apr-12 09:53:18

This thread is almost a year old.grin 2006hildy revived this by an unrelated question. 2006 it might be better if you start a new thread asking your question.

StarlightMcEggsie Wed 04-Apr-12 09:56:48

Westminster is pretty much the best place in the country. They can afford to be and most parents cannot afford to live there to access it.

appropriatelyemployed Wed 04-Apr-12 10:04:22

Signandsmile

"Umm.... just wanted to say Swindon is 'in' Wilts, altho a Unitary Authority, and has been fine."

Precisely - it's a different local authority.

StarlightMcEggsie Wed 04-Apr-12 10:06:05

Oh zombie thread!

SallyBear Wed 04-Apr-12 10:17:33

Star gringringringringrin

signandsmile Thu 05-Apr-12 08:32:57

Appropriate "Wiltshire is the land that time forgot".
I wasn't trying to disagree with your experience of Wilts CC, I was just trying to point out that within Wilts (the place) is a little 'Island' that is not wilts, in case anyone wanting to move to the area (OPs op) was not aware that Swindon was not wilts.... only trying to be helpful.

However, as dev and star point out old thread, so its a bit of a moot point anyway...

appropriatelyemployed Thu 05-Apr-12 08:53:43

It was the 'mmmm' which got me. Sorry didn't read that from your thread which was talking about LAs.

signandsmile Thu 05-Apr-12 12:27:36

no probs, smile. (I will avoid Umm, in the future.. I kinda thought of it like raising my hand to make a comment in a conversation that everyone else feels very strongly about)

Everyone round here seems to have a real downer on Swindon, it's the butt of lots of jokes, so a chance to say actually Swindon is quite good for some things is really nice... grin

SallyBear Thu 05-Apr-12 12:48:59

Sign I feel the same about Milton Keynes. People feel it's all about Roundabouts and Concrete Cows. But it's much more than that smile!

signandsmile Thu 05-Apr-12 16:26:23

yay sally we we can form the 'defense of oppressed locations' brigadewe will be doolies. grin you can see the easter hols have driven me a bit.... confused grin

SallyBear Thu 05-Apr-12 16:33:09

Ahh bless you sign. Good Friday tomorrow. Looking forward to DH giving me a sanity break from the lovely 4dc!!

meerkat66 Wed 13-Mar-13 12:43:48

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

SmiteYouWithThunderbolts Wed 13-Mar-13 15:32:55

Another Milton Keynesian here, and so far I have had a positive experience with ASD support. Another mum from schools whose eldest ds has ASD described MK as "the UK's capital for autism", which I think she meant as a good thing!

SmiteYouWithThunderbolts Wed 13-Mar-13 15:33:22

p.s. I love our concrete cows grin

EllenJaneisstillnotmyname Wed 13-Mar-13 15:43:40

Oh, wow, this zombie thread has been revived again!

<throws LPs>

MrsMum70 Wed 13-Mar-13 18:47:54

Done a quick name change for this as I daren't reveal myself, too much going on. Another MK person here. Early days but so far diagnosis process was good and after support ok. If anyone wants to recommend good schools please do! :-) Going to change back now!

float62 Wed 13-Mar-13 22:24:04

Sorry long...Find the school(s) you want and move near. Not all schools are well known on this site nor easily found by basic IT searching but can also be well established. Every LA has to provide a list of Special State and Independent Schools upon request and the one I was given by West Sussex 3 years ago also gave info nationally although a lot of it was incorrect but at least gave a starting point. Eg: the info given for the 2 Ind SS that I was interested in gave incorrect info about age groups in one (important as many don't admit at primary stage and this one did) and the existence of a specific ASD unit within the other (classifying the school as solely BESD, a dreaded terminology to the ASD-folk no matter how you change the letters round) and where my ds has now attended to life-changing effect for over a year now.

All LAs can be good to some and terribly bad to others, (tho I've yet to read a good word said on this site about Wilts but have no personal exp) and there's an awful lot of 'just coping' going on everywhere.

Be prepared for bs wherever you go, I gather from info that if a dx was given before primary school, then there is less chance of bs and I deduce that this is because there has been less 'red-herrings' and amateur explanations given as reasons for a dc's reaction to ms schooling, which often gets in the way of a child's real educational needs being met.

MerryCouthyMows Thu 14-Mar-13 01:08:18

NOT Colchester, Essex...

MerryCouthyMows Thu 14-Mar-13 01:24:22

Essex in general is better - Chelmsford has far better services, better support, better SEN schools, better SALT & OT help.

But North Essex? People move AWAY from here to get support, and the schools and North Essex LA are notorious for setting illegal blanket policies that have been challenged repeatedly in court, yet continue.

Over 15 years of dealing with DC's with ASD issues (and even being unable to get full dx on the NHS for 2/3 or 3/4 of them ), I would avoid avoid avoid. Only the very most severely Autistic DC's tend to actually recurve a FORMAL dx. And usually only then if they are disruptive in school, and have ADHD as a co morbid. It's probably the only reason DS3 at 25mo is so much further along the diagnostic procedures than DD at 15yo, DS2 at 9yo, and DS1 at 10yo - because he had been dxd as 'hyperactive with a high probability of ADHD' by the Paed by the time he was just 21mo! As the others don't have ADHD as a co morbid, all I got told was that they "have Autistic traits, they are somewhere on the spectrum" for the others, handed a bunch of leaflets, and left to get on with it...

If I wasn't tied here by PSO's from Ex partners, and living in Social Housing, I would be in Surrey like a shot!

The NHS services here are particularly bad too - no SALT therapies other than worksheets for non-verbal DC's, no dx given on specific SALT problem, no Centile assessments to ensure knowledge of level of difficulties. Specialist ASD SALT non-existant. No SALT in school apart from in the two SEN schools.

OT - waiting list of approximately 2 years to SEE OT, exercises given on worksheets then discharged to the care of the school (MS) who don't bother to implement the exercises at all. Getting equipment is nigh on impossible - most people here don't get Mac Majors or swifty's unless they have a dx of CP. Anything else is ignored. We ended up paying. Getting adaptations for the home or school is nigh on impossible too. Sensory OT non-existent.

Proprioception stuff IS OK through SEEPOK, but only if you can actually GET an appointment. DS2 is now 9.3yo and has been waiting since he was 11mo...

Any other sort of sensory integration therapy requires a long commute that is nigh on impossible if, like me, you are reliant on public transport.

Seriously - North Essex is one to steer clear of IMO!

MerryCouthyMows Thu 14-Mar-13 01:30:13

Hmmmm...maybe NOT Surrey then?!

babiki Thu 14-Mar-13 07:31:44

MerryCouthyMows we are in Chelmsford and very unhappy with both the NHS and the council sad

Scottishdancer Thu 14-Mar-13 08:03:34

I would agree with babiki. Not Chelmsford. We too have been very unhappy with services here.

MerryCouthyMows Fri 15-Mar-13 02:36:44

There seems to be so much more support in Chelmsford than here...maybe all that says is that Essex as a whole is crap, but North Essex is just even crappier...

babiki Fri 15-Mar-13 08:57:20

sad If I knew where to move, I would... MerryMouthCows where would you move?

Emily7708 Fri 15-Mar-13 10:12:56

I'm in South Essex and the services here are utter crap. Seriously looking at moving but not a clue where we should go.

Very interested to see Westminster mentioned as I work very close to there. Maybe I should set up camp with DS in the staff room.

MerryCouthyMows Fri 15-Mar-13 11:07:34

What about the ABA school in Thurrock? Not Essex, yet IN Essex. But Thurrock has it's own unitary Authority, so they get to do things differently to the rest of Essex if they choose.

If I could move, which I can't, I would probably pick somewhere like Bristol maybe - but that's more for me! They have the best epilepsy services in the country IMO, and they have a lot of Autism support there.

(My Ex-SIL lives there, and 2/3 of her DC's have dxd ASD - her DS has HFA + ADHD, and her DD2 has Severe Autism).

<<Wishes she was there>>

Emily7708 Fri 15-Mar-13 11:20:24

Yes I only just found out about the ABA school in Thurrock yesterday, I'm still in shock that it exists. It's about an hour's drive from us at the moment. Would be a dream come true to get DS into an ABA school but don't hold out much hope.

Bristol sounds good, have fond memories of going there for boozy weekends in my twenties. Am in awe of your ex-SIL as I am struggling really badly at the moment with just one little four year old with ASD.

Pixiedust1973 Wed 24-Apr-13 00:10:52

I live in Reigate Surrey. Actually moved here for the SEN provision from East Sussex who are truly the worst of the worst for SEN & failed my daughter from start to finish. She was helped & supported in school here immediately & got that elusive diagnosis within a few months just before her 12th birthday after many years of being fobbed off in ES. She has gone from bottom sets to top sets in a year since moving here. smile

QueenofWhispers Wed 24-Apr-13 08:05:01

I've lived in the borough of westminster and now live in the borough of chelsea.

first things first:
1. you don't have to be well off to live here; there are affordable housing options if you don't mind being creative.
2. westminster was far better with the turn around time of statement and was willing to work out problems....however they do say the word 'no' a little too often for my liking.
3. kensington and chelsea will fund almost anything--if you are patient enough...and pushy--you have to be pretentious and pushy. I am the least pretentious person I know.

Dev9aug Wed 24-Apr-13 09:18:54

That's interesting queenofwhispers, we were looking at westminster earlier this year but told that they don't fund ABA home programmes anymore so decided against it. Do you know what their position is with regards to ABA both in Westninster and Chelsea.
Do you mind if I PM you, we probably will have to move again in a year or so and both the places you have experience of are on the list of potentials area to move in.

QueenofWhispers Wed 24-Apr-13 17:23:07

Dev
absolutely pm me. Westminster wont fund in so many words, but then they do pay to you and you choose what to do with x amount. You get to choose who you hire, and what they do.

K&C do indeed cover costs of home programmes, however they do expect you to fight for it year to year...the local schools (although their staff is trained with certain types of ABA (Fox has experience with VB ABA) they prefer not to entertain the idea of having outsiders coming to work with your child. There is red tape in both boroughs, but nothing a determined parent can't overcome...the one thing I've learned on here (Directly From Starlight, Indigo, BlueShark and Bermuda Shorts is that you just keep pushing).

1busybee Mon 02-Dec-13 19:06:43

Is Hertfordshire still no better? Have dying hopes that it might have improved.....

blueskiesblue Sat 08-Mar-14 23:31:53

Hi all. Sorry ... I know this is an old thread but I'm after info on counties with good SEN support and this came up on Google. I'm in Northamptonshire and have had the worst experience in terms of getting support for my teen who has a diagnosis of high-functioning Autism. Teen is very bright but grades are deteriorating at school as they're not getting enough support. SENCO insists they doesn't need support or a SEN, even though most of the teachers say different. Teen explodes every day, is violent and aggressive. My youngest and I are classed as at risk but SS won't help because we slip through between their categories. Apparently my teen is isn't disabled enough to go under their 'disability team', but because my teen has a disability doesn't fit the criteria in their 'child in need' team! I've heard from other sources that it's all down to the county's funding, which I think is absolutely disgusting. I'm now wanting to move, partly because of the lack of support and because my teen is very unhappy at school due it being the wrong environment for him. Teen doesn't have a statement but has an IEP. I am considering either north to Ainsdale (Sefton), Bolton/Bury (Gtr. Manchester), Salisbury (Wiltshire) or Godalming (Surrey). I can't afford to get it wrong in terms of moving him, as my teen isn't far off GCSE's and is distressed enough already. Please can anyone give me info on either of those areas in terms of how good SEN support is and recommend schools if possible? Many thanks smile

Divinity Sun 09-Mar-14 22:41:20

I would copy and paste your post onto a new thread blue. I only got to the end as I was curious who had resurrected the zombie for a fourth time. It just won't die!! smile

Branleuse Thu 13-Mar-14 07:44:06

it may be a zombie thread, but im resurrecting it again. im in colchester and having a total fucking battle on my hands trying to acess proper support for my diagnosed, fully statemented asd teenager who is now school phobic, but apparently educational levels are too high for the two MLD schools nearby, but without any suitable provision that he can cope with in any mainstream school.
i thought I'd ressurect the thread rather than start another as its got useful information in it

bookishandblondish Thu 13-Mar-14 07:58:06

Oddly I was discussing special needs provision in London with an Aba therapist on Sunday. Westminster is the best borough - reason being very few kids as part of population so even fewer special needs, so they fund quite a lot compared with other places. I think Kensington & Chelsea is also good. The other boroughs which tend to be good are deprived areas where fewer kids get diagnosed - therefore fewer applications.

Surrey and Herts are overwhelmed with applications so bar set very high and little funding per head although the overall expenditure is high.

WorriedMan Fri 04-Apr-14 18:24:30

Hello, thank you for taking time to read this. Our grandson is just over 4 and has yet to be diagnosed properly, it's seem to take forever.
We are convinced he is autistic, he has never spoken, keeps himself to himself, doesn't respond to calling him or he might look up but then goes back to doing his own thing.
Anyway, I saw that someone lived in SW London, my daughter is in Coulsdon and we are North Cheam, what school do you go to in the area, any info would be a god send we can't seem to find anything.

RaRaTheNoisyLion Fri 04-Apr-14 20:21:04

WorriedMan it is best to start a new thread specific to your question as that will get more responses.

However, unless the child has a statement of SEN your choice of state schools will be limited to just one or two closest.

hanifah1 Sat 12-Apr-14 09:14:32

I'm actually Considering moving to London also for other reasons other people have identified. I'm currently in Walsall in the West Midlands (back end of Birmingham). Funding is ridiculous here, I know of many people moving out of the area for extra hope of funding provisions and services.

HecatePropylaea Sat 12-Apr-14 09:18:16

We moved from Herts (boo hiss boo) up to Derbyshire. The school the children are in is fantastic. Couldn't wish for better. And the LEA have been extremely generous and easy to work with.

Whether this is because they are, or whether they look like a dept staffed entirely by clones of mother theresa because we came here straight from Herts I don't know grin

My new LA after Herts seems fantastic too. I meet mothers of children with SEN swearing about my new LA and I do sympathise but not getting provision right and being tight with funding and not answering phone calls, but it is not the same as actively seeking you out to destroy your family.

EBW2 Fri 27-Jun-14 09:29:35

Old thread I see but found thanks to a google search.
I am needing probably to move from Harrow nw London. My asd daughter is in ms reception and has had ft sen support without a statement since starting. We are going through statement process now.
There is a great local charity to support families as well as the children themselves.
Typical I have great support and now have to move away...
Looking at anywhere I can afford that has good provision.

adrianna22 Fri 27-Jun-14 20:01:43

What about the ICAN meath school in Surrey, it's a specialist SALT provision.

Pebbles72 Sat 28-Jun-14 08:17:44

Not Cambridgeshire. Hideous for ABA and HFA. After almost 2 years with no school placement and after tribunal my son (HFA) is now has transition in place to a school 100 miles away. ABA stories are even worse. No enhanced resource provision at all at Primary age. A mum has moved recently from Somerset who speaks very highly of the education and CAMH provision for ASD.

farooh20 Sat 30-Aug-14 15:31:18

hello, im italian with 3.9 non verbal asd son, which school in kengsigton would you recomend if we move there? Thank you

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