Here some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on SN.

School advice please for High functioning Aspergers in Essex

(7 Posts)
Spooningleadstoforking Mon 07-Nov-16 19:35:08

Hi guys this is my first post so apologies if I'm not using the right lingo!!

I've found myself in the position of having an EHCP for my son but cannot for love nor money find a suitable school.

He is 14, high functioning not Einstein levels but capable of achieving GCSE's and excels in sport - his challenging areas are extreme defiance, very very argumentative (he is obviously always right) not too great with authority, holding grudges against teachers (for months at a time!) - he needs a learning environment with small classes a lot of support and teachers who 'get it', GCSEs, sports. He likes to shout out, tap and bang, take a wander when the urge takes him and remove his shoes during lessons. He is currently in a mainstream school where the above behaviours are not tolerated, he is really struggling and unhappy. The school have agreed they cannot meet the needs on his EHCP.

It may also be useful to mention that he can be violent when in a state of high anxiety/frustration - he has broken his own bones, smashes his head and nearly broken his sisters arm, regularly smashes furniture and other household items (the availability of items is decreasing each time he has a meltdown) he is partial to risk taking behaviours (has attempted to jump out of a moving vehicle, eaten chemicals etc)

We are in Essex, Southend way. The schools in our locality are more at the severe end and cover a broad range of disabilities. Ramsden and cedar hall are not suitable. He doesn't want to be in an autism hub within a mainstream school (not that we have any local to us). We've been to see Unstead Park in Surrey which was amazing but I do not have the funding for anything and I've been told I will 99% not win if I went to tribunal (they also have no spaces for boarding).

If anyone is still reading this as I seem to have gone on for a while - can they recommend anything ?!

tartanterror Mon 07-Nov-16 20:05:53

I don't know about your local area but I looked into this a little bit when a SALT asked me if I thought DS was in the right school. There seem to be very few schools that can cope with an academic autist but there are some. The first thing is that you are already well ahead as your DS has an EHCP. When are you due for annual review? If your current school has said that they can't meet his needs your LA has to offer an alternative. That might well mean an out of county placement.
This site seems useful for searching on SEN schools

Also try these people who offer an advocacy service to help negotiate the EHCP process (another Mumsnetter gave me their name but we're not in their catchment for help) and they might advice on other local options?

FrayedHem Mon 07-Nov-16 22:28:00

I know you say DS, doesn't want to be in a hub, but would he consider being in the mainstream school that the hub is in? Essex is just beginning to roll out hubs, and the one school we looked at is very autism friendly as a whole, which is why they were asked to become a hub school. I think if you and your son looked around you would be impressed by their attitude towards SN, and it would possibly be a good fall-back if you couldn't get your school of choice in Surrey. I am more than happy to PM you what I know (which isn't that much and only based on a walkaround).

Spooningleadstoforking Mon 07-Nov-16 22:43:59

Thanks for your replies !

Yes please frayed worth a look I guess I doubt very much we will get the Surrey school which is a bummer as it was like I'd landed on the dream planet of schools when we looked round, and my son liked it too.

Thanks for the reply tartan. The EHCP has taken a year nearly (was sent off 20th November 2015) the first draft was unacceptable and shambolic so I composed my own 14 page reply outlining what I felt they had omitted. Just had final draft back 2 days ago. It still doesn't clearly state 1:1 which one of the two Ed Psychs recommended so I'm in 2 minds on whether to fight for this to be put in. Overall I'm pretty happy with my amended version now smile.

I've not found families in focus to be of much help tbh but thank you for the recommendation.

The LA contact has even said (albeit verbally) there are no schools which fit my sons criteria in Essex the solution, they say, is to send him to mainstream. I feel like my options are mainstream, mainstream or mainstream !!

Spooningleadstoforking Mon 07-Nov-16 22:49:04

And I should also add that as the hubs are classed as a mainstream school the LA have said they wouldn't provide transport and would expect me to sign a transport waiver.

FrayedHem Mon 07-Nov-16 23:06:42

PM sent. Don't give up on the Surrey placement, perhaps shop around and see if you can find an even more expensive option to make it look like a bargain! He may not get in despite all your efforts, but he definitely won't get in unless you try. All LAs are going full-Gollum over their budgets, but your son has a right to an education where he can fully access the curriculum.

FrayedHem Mon 07-Nov-16 23:12:48

No, I wouldn't concede to transport. They are trying it on. I know Southend is a unitary LA, but Hubs are counted as specialist provision when panels are looking at placements. Although I'm not sure if the hubs are opening places across all year groups or just starting at Yr7 and growing upwards, if that makes any sense whatsoever.

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