Hi, question to parents with children with ASD, how important is it that the child attends an ASD specific school. Only asking because it has been suggested to me to go and look at a few special schools for mod learning difficulties. I think this is probably because the ASD specific school is bursting at the seams. Son currently in ms, just waiting for statement, school heavily trying to influence me to move him. My gut feel if we go special is I want the ASD specific school, school I think are in the know about who has places available. And on it goes ...
I think it's more important to know that the 'Autism specific' school is right for your child and your expectations for his/her development. My ds went to an 'autism specific' special school where the teachers had never heard of OTs or what they did with autistic children. Actually the list of things they had never heard of was endless - but I was really unlucky but really what I saying is that there are never any guarantees
dd1 is in a highly specialised ASD specific school, and it is the right place for her (it's an ABA school).
but she was at an ASD specific school before that which was hopeless for her. really awful. couldn't have been worse (the only good thing about it, for her, was that it helped to win her ABA placement as she was regressing so badly there).
you need to go and look at ALL the possible schools. go with an open mind, and a long list of questions. look around, and try to 'see' your ds there - does he fit in? are there other children like him? would he be happy there? and so on.
I have no idea how many schools we viewed when trying to find one for dd1 - I have lost count. But it was easily 10+, and probably nearer 20 tbh.
ds now goes to a moderate learning difficulties school. It's not perfect but we can work with it. There are many other autistic children there and at least compared to the 'ASD specific school from hell' it does have higher expectations and more of a commitment to working to reach targets. But it's all such a mixed bag, you have to look at the specific school before coming to any conclusion.