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ABA people, please help me with DS's schooling

(9 Posts)
someoneoutthere Sun 14-Jul-13 18:43:29

Some of you may remember I have recently posted a thread about Meath school. Well, they have turned us down as they felt DS could not learn in a group session. He needed to continue with ABA/VB to learn. They are going to put that in their report and advised us that DS will have no difficulties getting a statement. However, they have warned us that although DS will have no difficulties getting into a SN school considering how far behind he is, it is more than likely that the LEA will just put him into a school for children with learning difficulties where he will learn nothing (he has the potential to learn but it has to be one to one with lots of repetitions via ABA).

How do I go about it? All the ABA schools website ask for a statement. None says they take on privately funded children. We can stretch ourselves to fund the school initially with the help of DH's employer. How does the statement work? Can you use a statement to part fund a school where the other part of the funding comes from parents (i am assuming LEA would not put the funding for an ABA school on our plate without a fight and tribunal by which time DS would lose another two years of his life without appropriate help)? Jigsaw is the nearest school to us. Do you know anybody who send their child there? Do you know of anybody who privately fund their child to send to one of these ABA schools?

Thanks in advance. I am praying they will have space for DS as being a fool, I have not looked at any other school except meath and now I can't do anything until September.

bialystockandbloom Sun 14-Jul-13 20:04:35

There are kind of two parts to this: 1) getting your ds into ABA school, 2) getting the LA to pay for it.

For 1) have you spoken to any ABA schools directly? Are you sure they won't take a privately funded child? I'm sure that there's a poster here (not here so much these days) called Silverfrog whose dd irrc started at ABA school privately funded while they fought for their statement. Anyway it's worth speaking to the schools.

As for 2) the only way you're likely to get the LA to fund a programme is to have irrefutable evidence that ABA is the only way your child can progress. Until you've either had a home programme or been at ABA school for a while, you can't prove this.

So, IMO the best thing to do is start him at jigsaw or another if you can pay yourselves (and they will take him), then start the fight to get funding via statement. Or if jigsaw school (or other ABA school) won't take him you could see if you csn find mainstream school to take him with ABA shadow (which of course you'd have to pay for until such time you win funding in a statement).

Hopefully others can advise too - Silverfrog and Agnesdipesto would be very useful on this subject I think.

googlyeyes Sun 14-Jul-13 20:20:54

Ds1 goes to an ABA school but they definitely would not take a privately-funded child. I guess that's fair as it (in theory) gives every child an equal chance of winning a place, regardless of parental income.

Would you be able to use the money via DH's work to set up an ABA home programme for a while? Although there are several children at ds's school who had never done ABA before they started there, so that wasn't so much of an issue, strangely! I think it heavily depends on what provision there is in-borough.

AgnesDiPesto Sun 14-Jul-13 22:21:42

How old is your DS?
DS has a FT ABA programme and goes part-time to mainstream with ABA support.
He has built up from 3 to 6 half days in school but has ABA support the whole time
Our only alternative was a generic LD school which would not have been right.
Mainstream would be hopeless without ABA, school are clueless.
He is making progress though. We do alot of pretend school in 1:1 sessions so he has then learnt skills to help him when he's in school
I am in no hurry to send him more than 6 half days though as its the 1:1 time where he learns best
We have no ABA schools etc or autism units so ABA in mainstream was the only choice. He probably would be able to learn in an ABA school now but I would say he is only just getting to point of being able to work in small groups of similar ability children now at 6.5.
I agree I think you would have to do home ABA (if you can) and work towards a statement for Jigsaw.
Try pm Starlight she has looked at just about every school in South wink there may be some other possibilities.

Davros Sun 14-Jul-13 22:25:29

I have known people fund ABA school privately but it has always been because they are not eligible for a statement at that time I.e. from countries outside the EU. The two I am thinking of also had written commitments from employers to pay the fees. Sorry, probably not what you want to hear.

dev9aug Sun 14-Jul-13 22:30:23

I spoke to couple of teachers from an ABA school in London at the Autism show last month. They told me that they would not allow privately funded students for the reasons googly mentioned. However, they did tell me that in their dealings with LEA, some are better than others. They recommended that if I was to move to a certain borough, then as ds is on a home ABA program, he is pretty much guaranteed a place at their school. I am going to PM you the name of the borough and the school so you can get in touch with them.

someoneoutthere Mon 15-Jul-13 08:15:19

Thank you everyone. DS has just turned 8, we have been doing ABA with him since he was four. We live abroad and is due to return back to the UK next month. This is why we don't have a statement. DS has had ABA at home from the age of three and half to five. Then he attended an ABA school here for almost two years before he started at a mainstream school with a full time ABA shadow. He has just finished a full year at the MS school. Although he made progress socially at the MS school, he has not been able to learn at the classroom. Our ABA shadow comes from the ABA school he has attended previously where he is still registered (we paid two fees). DS also had two hours of home ABA after school for the last four years.

We are hoping that we can start DS initially with an ABA school by paying the fee ourselves whilst we fight for the statement like Silverfrog did. Failing this, we want to set up a home programme. Agnes, do you mind me asking how much it costs you to run the home programme? DH's employer will pay school fees upto a ceiling, but they don't tend to pay home education fees. But we will do what we will have to do for DS, even if it means remortgaging our home.

Dev9aug, thank you for your PM. I am going to call jigsaw today, if they don't agree to take DS on without a statement, then I will contact the school you named. We will have to relocate for any other ABA school, even jigsaw will be a long commute.

Dev, can I have a PM too? Need to keep up to date, though I'm staying put.

some, I'm not sure where your child is but Jigsaw and rainbow are the main ABA schools in the SW London area.

There are a few new projects however. There is the Rise school, starting from Sept 13, and there is an ABA unit being started up in a school in Teddington. These are (or will be), unfortunately subject to having a statement also.

You can either HE or run an ABA programme whilst you are going through the statement process, though the fastest path 'might' be to put him into a school you know he'd make no progress in (but will be safe and is able to make progress in other areas where you supplement) and record in detail his lack of progress.

If you are prepared to live on the other side of London there is Riverston, Treetops (ABA) and probably the two best schools I have seen Woodcroft (though at the time inappropriate peers for my ds), and Milbank school in Westminster (made me cry when I looked around it as it was so perfect, though sadly impossible to get into unless you can live in Westminster).

someoneoutthere Tue 16-Jul-13 10:26:34

Thank you starlight. I think I am just going to start with a home programme whilst sorting out the application for a statement. I am going to push for the ones that are within the commuting distance first and then look into moving if we have to. I wish we could live in Westminster, but in another life may be. We also have DD to consider, I am still trying to work out how I am going to do the school run for her if DS gets into one of these schools.

Please PM me if any of you are aware of good ABA therapist in the South East area.

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