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Children starting secondary in September 2013; support & hand-holding, tips and advice...

(135 Posts)

This is a thread for those of us with children who are starting secondary in September 2013; nerve-racking enough even when a child doesn't have SEN.

Hopefully we can give each other support and encouragement.

It would also be great to get some advice and tips from parents who have already seen children through this; what do you wish you had known etc?

PolterGoose Argentina Fri 22-Feb-13 21:12:20

Can I lurk please thanks

Ds will start in 2014 but we need to start the process soon. It is especially helpful hearing from those with dc's already at secondary as it shows what is possible.

Yes, you'd be very welcome! smile

The last thread I could find was from two years ago:

http://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/special_needs_education/1171065-Moving-up-to-secondary-school-lets-flap-about-it-together

so hopefully I'm not treading on anyone's toes by starting a new one.

inthewildernessbuild Fri 22-Feb-13 21:27:01

Me! Ds2 has no statement, and we are waiting to hear whether he gets into the school round the corner (difficult over subscription criteria) or will have to travel to his brother's very good school. However we aren't sure whether Ds1's school will be the best match.

However, one of the issues of ds1's school for ds2, is of the course the journey (easily bullied ASD child),and I've already made the decision that it would be better to bite bullet and drop ds2 by car, and pickup, rather than let him brave the bus like his brother. It is 10 mins by car, 20 mins on the bus.

I know Ds1's school will accommodate and nurture him; they have been kind and helpful, letting him try a morning's school in Oct to see how he felt/coped (he liked it!) but I'm already worried about the homework, which ds1 could only just about manage confused On the other hand I suppose if ds2 had been my first child I would just have complained about the homework and said it wasn't possible! I feel v nervous about ds2 reputation affecting ds1's position in school and teachers thinking of us as difficult family...

Which is why I want ds2 to go to the school round the corner! Ds2 likes school atm, and he enjoys the learning and the institutional setting. I'm just worried about his academic performance (not his intelligence, which is good) and the friendship stuff.
'

Hi inthewildernessbuild.

DS2 doesn't have a statement either, hopefully going to the same school as his older brother. It is the only school that I feel confident will meet his needs, and I was very impressed with the learning support department and head when we went to look round.

DS1 doesn't have additional needs, so although I have seen one child through secondary transition, this feels like a completely different ball game.

I am trying to stay focused on DS2's strengths (academic ability & organisational skills) but there are so many aspects of secondary school that he'll find challenging. His height, weight, social and behavioural development are all like a child in Y3/Y4, so it feels bizarre that we'll be sending him off to secondary school in six months time.

moosemama Fri 22-Feb-13 22:06:18

Hello, can I join please?

ThreeBee, my ds is also tiny and skinny and developmentally he's behind his brother, who is 8. I tend to think of him somewhere between a y2/3 child in many ways.

He has been horribly bullied throughout primary school and is an easy target. He's also really struggling socially as his peers gain speed towards becoming teenagers and is being targetted again, although currently only verbally, not physically. sad

Despite everything he's been through at primary, he is distraught at the thought of leaving, to the extent that he can't bear to miss a day off school, as each day he misses is one day he won't be there next year.

He has a best friend, who is incredibly loyal to him and is going to be heartbroken when he hears for certain that he isn't going to be able to go to the same school as him - but the fact is they don't want him, they don't want any children with SEN and have refused every statemented child this year.

Ds does have a hard won statement, that was only finalised during last year's summer holiday and has yet to be properly implemented by the school - not for the want of trying. Ironically, we pushed for a statement so that we could name the school he wanted to go to, as we were told that academies can't refuse statemented pupils. hmm

LA have failed to name a school for him (deadline was last Friday) as thanks to the Academy refusing to take him, they now cannot place him in any other ms school in our area, as they are all essentially the same size with similar resources. They have fudged naming the statement, so we have to refuse to accept it whilst we try and get things sorted.

We are currently pinning our hopes on the out of area ms independent that the inclusion team recommended and want him to attend. There are several other children from our area already attending the school and it has an excellent reputation for children who have ASD.

He has an interview/chat with the HT next Tuesday and we've been told that if they are happy they will agree to be named at that point. If not they will invite him to spend a week at the school to see if he's suited to it! shock They already have his statement and dh and I have visted and met the staff and HT. It was so lovely to go to a school where every member of staff is ASD trained and able to immediately discuss how they would differentiate for ds's needs.

I'm ridiculously nervous about the interview, but then, if he does get in, equally terrified of having to put him on LA transport every day for a 45 minute journey. Our local primary is literally 3 minutes from door to door, so it will be a big shock to his system.

The whole thing is just horrible and scary for both parents and children really. Hoping we can support each other on this thread and looking forward to getting to know you all.

Hi moosemama, that sounds so frustrating.

Just to add that we went out for a meal last night to celebrate DS1's birthday. We didn't realise till after we'd left that we were charged for an under-8s meal for DS2! I didn't know quite how to feel. He'll be 11 in 2 weeks!

eggandcress Fri 22-Feb-13 22:17:14

Good luck with the interview Moose - that school sounds very good!

My DD is visually impaired and has statement. I was very anxious about the whole transition process but we have had the school we wanted named on her statement - a local mainstream We also had her annual review and the SEN staff from her new school came along. They were lovely and they are going to arrange lots of visits for her next term so she can learn the school layout ahead of starting. They were vey experienced with VI and really wanted my DD. so far so good!

eggandcress: that must be a relief to have the school she needs, and also encouraging that they've got some transition activities lined up for her.

Ilisten2theradio Fri 22-Feb-13 22:22:58

I wanted to say good luck to everyone. DS started High school this year. He has a statement and he has gone to a school where he knew no-one. He has always found it v difficult to make friends and we were very anxious for him. Also he has to walk by himself and it is about 25 mins(primary was 5 mins). I would say emotionally he was about 8y.
He has shocked us all by settling really well and making a couple of friends who have been over a few times.They purposly matched a few children to the same form class and hoped they would find each other - they did!
His key TA seems to be getting on well with him. There have been hiccups - don't get me wrong , and the school are still picking and choosing which bits of the statment they are complying with ( story for another time) but overall DS is happy which means IU am more relaxed.

eggandcress Fri 22-Feb-13 22:26:32

Yes they seemed amazing I am so happy for my DD.

I find some things seem to go well others not so well!

sunshine175 Fri 22-Feb-13 22:27:56

Im definitely here too. Dd will be making transition from small ms primary to a really big ms secondary as long as we get a place. She finds school challenging and often has a meltdown after school or before! I really hope we can get her out of the door in September to start school. It feels like she has lots stacked against her but current and future school are being positive and are planning multiple transition visits etc. Im trying to remain calm...

moosemama Fri 22-Feb-13 22:32:38

Thank you ThreeBee. Yes, it is incredibly frustrating and I feel so impotent at not being able to just make it all all right for him. sad

Eggandcress, congratulations! Lovely to hear the system can and does work for some people. You must be so relieved.

Ilisten thank you for sharing your ds's story with us. It's reassuring to hear things can work and our dcs can be happy, especially when they go to a school where they don't know anyone.

Hi sunshine175, hope you get the news you and your DD are hoping for next Friday.

Ilisten2theradio: thank you for your words of reassurance. Do you have any practical tips about how to make things easier for coping with the longer journey and/or making new friends?

coppertop Fri 22-Feb-13 22:50:29

Good luck, everybody!

Ds (ASD) is in Yr8 with no statement. He goes to the local m/s secondary and is doing well so far.

The waiting to find out which school he would go to was probably one of the worst bits. Once that was out of the way, it was much easier to start planning ahead.

Some of the things that helped with travelling to/from school:

- Lots of practice in advance if possible.

- Work out a plan for what your ds/dd should do if things go wrong eg missed bus, journey is delayed, injury or illness on the way (I only mention this one because ds was ill on way to school one morning but hadn't realised it would be okay to just come home!).

- If you're planning on giving them a phone, find out what the school's policy is. Some ban them outright. Others don't mind as long as they are switched off and kept in their bag.

- If they are going to need a key to let themselves in after school, practice this in advance. Work out any house rules they need to follow if at home alone, eg whether it's okay to answer the door/phone, what to do if smoke alarm goes off, who to contact if there's a problem etc.

There's probably more but my mind's gone blank. blush

Waiting to hear here as well, have only put 2 choices (not an issue round here), really hoping he gets the first choice as it has a few extras he would benefit from, the biggest of which is year group bases rather than subject bases (except for the practical subjects like PE and Science). So instead of going all round the school, from maths at the top of the west block, to English at the bottom of the north block, then languages, middle east block and so on, all his non practical subjects will be in the same area. As a dyspraxic aspie who takes a long time to learn his way from a to b, it will be extremely helpful for him.

I was watching this thread last year, which has lots of helpful suggestions for AS children starting secondary, things that have been found helpful for children already at secondary.

MerryCouthyMows Sat 23-Feb-13 00:47:30

Signing in. I have done this once already, with DD. now it's DS1's turn.

My best advice is VISUAL TIMETABLES. No matter what their issues are, dxd or undxd.

Visual timetable for what needs to be packed in their bags. if they have ASD or dyspraxia, expect to still be helping them pack their bags, or at least checking them, well into Y10, if not longer...

Email addresses for each class teacher

MerryCouthyMows Sat 23-Feb-13 00:56:56

Sorry, net went weird there!

Email addresses for ALL class teachers - you'd be surprised how much info about your DC's SN's doesn't get passed along in Secondary.

If your DC has issues writing quickly or clearly - ask the SenCo if there is an LSA available to help write homework in planners. You can't help them to be organised with homework if you have no idea that they have any, and if there IS something basic written down (for the first two years, DD often just wrote 'maths home' or 'science home', and then had no clue WHAT the homework was, or when it was to be done by...).

Check how to go about getting replacement locker keys. They WILL get lost. Ditto PE socks and ties. Set aside a replacement budget! bitter voice of experience there

DON'T expect every teacher to set homework according to the homework timetable they are given. Explain to your DC that if they remind the teacher when the teacher has forgotten, they will become very unpopular, very quickly. That's one gem I wish I had told DD!

There's probably many more!

MerryCouthyMows Sat 23-Feb-13 01:01:20

Waiting to find out if DS1 has been allocated the Grammar or not. It really is the best placement for him. (Probable Aspergers).

If not, he'll have a place in the OK Academy that DD is at. Great school for those with LD's, like DD, but not so great with extending their top set pupils. And huuuuuuuge.

I wish it was March 1st NOW!

DS1 is 'borderline' for the Grammar with his score - he dropped around 20 marks because he was very ill with strep throat AND the start of appendicitis when he sat the 11+.

I have been told that we have good grounds for appeal, though. Just want to know one way or the other whether I have to start to compile an appeal, or whether we can celebrate!

Sunnymeg Sat 23-Feb-13 08:13:22

Hello everyone

Just getting my seat on this bus. DS 11 with Aspergers, very intelligent, genius according to IQ levels. but can't cross the road on his own, or tie shoelaces, or organise himself or any of his kit. On School Action Plus. Can't believe I am planning to send him to a school over 10 miles away ( we live in rural area) but our local school is dire with Special Needs. I know people who have homeschooled rather than send their child there. Just thinking about the number of times I have to pop into primary because he's forgotten something. Even now he won't leave the school building to go home until he sees me out the window. Things are going to change so much!! Autism Support have said he wouldn't cope with the school bus in the first year, so I will be running a taxi service, luckily I am SAHM and he is our only child. wink

Sunnymeg: your son sounds a lot like mine. smile

MerryCouthyMows: reminding the teacher that they haven't set homework is exactly the sort of thing DS2 would do. blush

He has had a front door key since his tenth birthday, so at the moment he meets me at the junction half way home from primary school, I help him cross (still gaining confidence after being hit by a car last year) and he runs home to let himself in and start his homework so he can spend longer on Minecraft.

AGlassHalfEmptyNoLonger: thank you for the thread link. Off to read it now and take notes.

Some things that helped us when starting Y7:-

Lots of visiting school beforehand and finding way around. Some secondary schools can be massive and these children move around school all day long.
Making yourselves known to the SENCO in advance of starting secondary and putting faces to names.
Finding out also who their Student Pastoral support person is; this person can be very useful if there are problems (have found this person just as if not more useful than form tutor)
Student may well be issued with a planner; this can also be used by you to record progress or problems
As Coppertop has also mentioned, ascertain school policy on mobile phones.
Have all uniform to hand and labelled; stuff also goes walkabout in secondary as well.
Decent sized backpack for items. Some days we have cookery as well as PE!.
Ensure as far as possible that planner does not go missing; parents have to pay for a lost planner.

With regards to what MerryCouthyMows wrote earlier:-

"If your DC has issues writing quickly or clearly - ask the SenCo if there is an LSA available to help write homework in planners. You can't help them to be organised with homework if you have no idea that they have any, and if there IS something basic written down (for the first two years, DD often just wrote 'maths home' or 'science home', and then had no clue WHAT the homework was, or when it was to be done by...)".

This is extremely important and bears repeating, also teachers need to be aware of this if your child has such issues with writing. One of DS's peers had a problem writing homework in the planner as the TAs (different one for each lesson) did not do this (this child did not have a statement and was on school action plus). Parent could not decipher planner and child ended up getting detentions. In my experience of DS's particular secondary SA plus means bugger all and this child's Y7 was hard going too as a result. That particular issue only properly resolved itself when a statement was granted.

Secondary schools in this area do CAT tests soon after entry into Y7; it may well be they who decide to get a statement application going if child is going in there without a statement (this has happened to some of DS's friends).

Ineedmorepatience Sat 23-Feb-13 10:12:28

Another lurker, Dd3 is not going until next year but wanted to add, when Dd1 went I colour coded her books with those little round stickers. Each day of the week had a different colour, I stuck them inside the front cover of her books and on her timetable. Some books like english and maths had several dots on.

It worked really well and she actually learned her timetable really quickly (aspie style memory).

Dd2 wouldnt let me do her books and actually she struggled all through school with remembering her timetable (or maybe she just didnt care!)

I am sticking around to read all the great tips, ready for next year, although I cant see how we can possibly get Dd3 ready in a year and a half. Emotionally she is about 8. I am dreading itsad

troutsprout Sat 23-Feb-13 10:56:37

Ds is in year 11 now . In all honesty , secondary has been loads easier than primary. Ds says Primary was 'like a zoo' . Secondary is organised and routine based. It provides much relief for a boy whose main worry is 'not knowing what will happen'
Things that helped when he first started:

3 visits organised by senco on run up to starting. Ds followed a dummy timetable and was introduced to quiet areas he might like to use.

Ds's timetable was block coloured to match colour of books ... So a subject was assigned a colour. Books for that subject put into zip lock folders (he didn't like the idea of stickers after a bit)

Phone and key on a stretchy lanyard attached to a loop in his rucksack. Ds walks to school with a friend who knocks on for him. Phone is allowed in their bags on silent . I phone or text him after school sometimes if he is late.
Oooh ! but Last week he texted me to say he would be late home as he had a gcse geography revision session. I was soo happy and gobsmacked that he had thought to let me know that I was giddy with happiness and phoned my friends to tell them grin. I know it's a small thing ... But the thought behind it is a big thing for ds.

Planner...TA or teacher to check planner to make sure homework written down at first. TA used to use planner to send home messages about trips/ money etc. I could do the same back

If he had to remember something important , TA suggested him wearing a band around his wrist to remind himself. We had a lot of success with this. If she saw it she asked him about it.

The library computer area is the spectrummy kids hang out. They seemed to gravitate towards each other at secondary... Similar interests I guess.

Errrm...I'll think on ...see if I can think of other tips for you guys

I had to colour code the subjects for DS1 (no additional needs, just lacking in organisational skills and inherently absent minded). I then printed a school timetable with the subjects in their colours (the timetable provided by the school seemed to be in code and was very hard to read) and he had the books for each subject in a colour-coded tough ziplock bag. Now he's in Y8, he can manage without the bags.

DS2 will have his timetable memorised (along with the room numbers) after seeing it once. grin

That is so reassuring about some things being easier at secondary. At his primary school, all DS2 wants to do is read in the library, and he hates having to wander around the playground trying not to get picked on or get into trouble. At the school he's (hopefully) going to, he'll have the choice of going to the library, various geeky clubs, or the friendly learning support base.

eggandcress Sat 23-Feb-13 12:56:32

I love this thread and I am waiting hungrily for the next post.
Thank you so much for all the tips!

There are lots of great tips on organisation - my dd has very poor executive skills and will need masses of support with this

ImStickingWithYou Sat 23-Feb-13 15:06:08

I am a regular reader of MNSN and have decided to de-lurk for this thread. My DS starts at secondary this september and I am very nervous about it. We already know where he is going and it is named on his statement.
When do they next contact you to organise transition etc? We are in a difficult situation, DS is at an independent school at moment so we have had a struggle to get a statement but we finally managed it last week but the statement doesn't come into force until september (due to the pain of a school he is in now not being able to meet the needs). Will he still get the whole transition process? The secondary school know he is coming and have a copy of his statement.

Hi, ImStickingWithYou, DS2 doesn't have a statement, but the head of learning support at the secondary school gave us the impression that he would be included in the transition programme for those with additional needs. I think the visits usually start in May / June, but it varies depending on the needs of the child.

mumslife Sat 23-Feb-13 19:56:10

Hi

I think I belong here smile My son will start secondary in sept 2013 he has dyslexia and aspergers both undiagnosed and no statement but on school action plus. The senco at secondary has been informed and is supposed to be very experienced but although I have had a daughter go through secondary now in yr 11 she has no additional needs. SOme really good ideas on here. he will def need his homework written in his planner, He has a planner now in yr six and there is nothing in it then he gets cross because I cant remember his homework! Will def be adopting the colour subject idea and zippy folders and the stretchy lanyard. His school if he gets a place has a chill out room though in primary he holds it together then lets rip at home but might be different in seniors! Judging by what my daughter says all the sen needs kids do seem to hang out in the library or at various clubs like chess my son likes chess science and music and computer gaming so hopefully there will be clubs to keep him busy. I also need to sort out with them which lessons they are going to pull him out from for extra english and if he is likely to get a scribe when the lesson req a lot of writing. They are going to dyslexic test him as soon as he gets there. I dont want him pulled out of music but I am thinking art french needle work that sort of thing. Ih well we find out Friday! They do lots of transitional days and those wih extra needs statemented or diagnosed or not are included and they take their photo at these extra days so they can recognise them as needing extra support when they get there - good point about finding out who the peer support worker is

coppertop Sat 23-Feb-13 21:08:43

Most communication with ds' school is done via e-mail to his Form Tutor. It's a good idea to find out early on what their name is and their e-mail address. Ds couldn't remember what his tutor was called - even though he saw them 5 times a week. confused

They will usually have at least one lunchtime club that's somewhere for the Yr7s to hang out. Ds also loves spending time in the school library. This was a miracle new thing for him as he used to see reading as a bit of a chore.

Deciding whether to take a packed lunch or have school dinners is also an important thing to sort out early on:

If they're taking a packed lunch, find out in advance where they are allowed to eat it. Ds hates the crowded dining hall but they are also allowed to eat out in the playground and in some of the club rooms.

If they're having school lunches then try to find out what the system is at your school. Most now seem to have a cashless card system or even a fingerprint scanning system, which means there's less chance of losing money. Again make sure they know what to do if they forget/lose their card.

Sign up for Parentmail asap to reduce the chances of letters home being lost. The school website may also have a students' area that they sign in to. Depending on the school, this may include things like assignments set, attendance/lateness levels, and even current academic levels. Make a copy of your child's log-in details asap.

trace2 Sat 23-Feb-13 21:53:54

can we join please ds starts in sept to only put one school down but dont think we will get in he not got statement ! in our area we have new super schools only been built two years and the local one is failing , when we went looking round at all the schools ds picked a catholic ,/ church of england school as he said others either smelt, or he dint like the set up and the catholic school is smaller , but i dont think he will get in as we live further away! dreading 1st marchsad ds as AS, ADHD

Hi trace2, my DS2 has AS and ADHD too.

mumslife, I agree, although I've seen DS1 through secondary transition, that was simpler as he doesn't have additional needs.

Penneyanne Sun 24-Feb-13 16:00:36

Hi everyone,I think I might join in here also.I started this thread a while back and found it helpful also if anyone wants a look www.mumsnet.com/Talk/special_needs/1571295-Ellen-Bigcar-Lostinwales-etc-can-you-advise-on-secondary-transfer-please

NoHaudinMaWheest Sun 24-Feb-13 16:30:28

My Ds is now yr 11 so I thought I might put in some things I found helpful when he started at secondary. On the whole secondary has been much easier than primary was. He has Asperger's, severe OCD and dyslexia. He had a statement when he started but went from Link Education to secondary as his primary placement had broken down. I think this actually helped as secondary were very aware of his vulnerability.

Some things that really helped were:
Having someone to go to when things went wrong. In his case it was the head of the unit he was attached to as he made a good relationship with her but it could equally well be form teacher, TA, head of year. I also found it helpful to go to her with problems and she usually sorted them out. I do think this person was exceptional but it is worth trying to find out the most helpful member of staff and using them as a link person. It also helps if they have some 'clout' in the school.

The school had a scheme whereby any student who needed their uniform modifed for any reason carried a card which they could show to any member of staff who questioned them. My Ds couldn't tuck his shirt in for OCD reasons so carried a card which said 'DS is allowed to leave his shirt untucked.'
They also issued cards for other reasons. Ds had one which allowed him to leave class and go to the unit when he was stressed and Dd who is currently using crutches has a pass allowing her to use the lift.
If the school doesn't have this system it might be worth suggesting it as it is simple and effective.

If you are still at the stage of choosing a school I would say that the overall attitude and willingness to adapt are far more important than any specific facilities.
It might also pay to think laterally. The unit my Ds is attached to is actually aimed at students with physical disabilities but it has helped him enormously.
He goes to mainstream classes (actually all the students there do) but uses the unit as a support and socialising base. Of course you also have to find a school willing to think flexibly but this unit was ideal for my Ds who didn't really fit anywhere else.

Thanks Penneyanne, I don't know how I managed to miss that one!

Penneyanne Sun 24-Feb-13 17:32:55

AGlassHalfEmpty I have just spent an hour reading that thread from last year you linked to-its brilliantly helpful smile. I must have missed it because it was in secondary education.ThreeBee this is a very helpful thread and will be great to keep it ongoing until September.My ds is also starting in september.I am planning on doing a very short profile and laminating one for each teacher so that,at a glance,each teacher can skim-read points like...ds name needs to be said each time if addressing him,one instruction only,needs to sit at front,takes everything literally,messages/notes need to be written down,will need help organising himself etc.
Its very helpful chatting to so many others going through the same experience.This thread will be invaluable.Thanks ThreeBee

troutsprout Mon 25-Feb-13 08:12:18

Penney...Ds's Senco asked me for personal tips ( things i had done with him or had success with plus specific things likely to cause him anxiety) She added it to a list of more general reminders for the staff about dealing with someone on the spectrum . They have all had training..She gave a copy to every teacher and TA he had .

troutsprout Mon 25-Feb-13 08:20:23

Another thing.
One big rucksack is better than multiple bags for P.e or food tech. Less likely to lose stuff.
Ds has one with 3 compartments. One for Pe kit, then middle section for books/ planner / pencil case and there is a front section for key and phone on lanyard.
He has a lunch card that he puts money onto on the days he has school dinners ( same days as pe to lighten the load). Lunch card is always in his blazer pocket. I think he's lost it once in 5 years ... Which is pretty amazing (lol .. For him)

Ilisten2theradio Mon 25-Feb-13 17:45:48

ThreeBeeOneGee We did lots of trial runs to the school on a Saturday morning ( it helped that he went there anyway for trampolining lessons), so he had to take us as it were.
As others have also said, make sure that there are extra visits included in your transition planning. Ds went 3 or 4 times - only one of these was with the whole year on the day that they visit their new school. His Ta took him ( from school - they walked!) and so did I. If they think a child needs it they can do many extra visits.
Getting a locker was important for my (AS) very disorganised DS. As is a keyring with a spiral stretchy lanyard so it can be tied in his bag and never has to be detatched.
I ignored the "no phones" rule - just like most parents TBH, and DS has it on silent in his bag - but he called me when he got on the wrong bus to tell me where he was and ask how to get back home.

One big rucksack is good - try to get one with hip straps if they will wear them - much better for the back.

Get a copy of the timetable yourself ( DS has a complicated 2 wk timetable) and put a copy on the wall in your DCs room and keep one yourself.

Keep checking the homework planner --other messages get put in there too.
Find out who is the Key TA for your child. Make contact with them, talk to them if necessary - or e-mail they usually are great if you can engage.

Name everything several times - write names in the pockets too.
Buy extra sports socks - you will need them.
Hope you don't go through 3 winter coats in a month like I did ( well we still have no 3.....)

High school is better for having places to escape at lunch - the library It chess clubs etc etc.

moosemama Mon 25-Feb-13 22:48:55

Just catching up on the thread. Have been in bed with the killer migraine from hell since last Friday evening.

Ds has his interview with the head of the school we want him to go to tomorrow and I am so nervous. I feel sick and am actually shaking. sad

Dh spoke to the LEA today and they said they have been calling but the admissions officer from the school isn't returning their calls. That got me stressed about whether they're not telling the truth and haven't been chasing the school at all - or worse the school is stalling them, which must mean there's a question mark over whether or not they'll take him.

Poor ds is so scared about tomorrow, he's been all over the place today and we've had lots of tears this evening. In truth, all he wants is go to the academy up the road with all his friends and it breaks my heart that I can't make that happen for him. sad

It's seeming more and more likely that all his friends will know their placements before he does, unless a miracle happens and the school we are seeing tomorrow offer him a place there and then.

Dh is wandering around asking me whether or not we can get his statement cancelled and just try to get him into the Academy that way and I know where he's coming from. If we'd left him on SA+ he would have been guaranteed a place, so it feels like we have really let him down by getting the statement. I really can't believe this is happening - the whole point of getting the statement was to ensure he could go to the local school, but in reality it had the opposite effect.

In my heart I know he'd never survive a huge ms secondary like the one up the road (1200 pupils), but part of me feels bad that we haven't even given him the chance.

I don't think I'm going to be sleeping tonight.

MareeyaDolores Mon 25-Feb-13 23:45:10

Ah listen, if you were rich he'd be at prep school for another 2 years with small classes and lots of extra tuition etc while getting ready for a posh high school. You might end up replicating this (well, maybe not the posh school bit wink). If the mainstreams won't take him now and he does well at indie SS, the lea will remove the statement and bung him into MS soon enough.

Hope all goes well today moosemama.

Moosemama,

Am keeping my fingers crossed for you today as well.

Do not get that statement cancelled. You fought too long and too damn hard to let that go now.

(Was wondering if infact this academy has acted unlawfully by refusing to take statemented children; am sure IPSEA and the like have come across this type of scenario).

Think you're right; your son would never have survived that big impersonal secondary school with it being an academy to boot. Academies can be bad news for children who need additional help and support and SA plus at secondary means bugger all (well it certainly does where I live). I would personally not send my child anywhere that did not want him with his statement because it says an awful lot about their attitude as well.

My best wishes to you all.

MaryBS Brazil Tue 26-Feb-13 08:03:30

Thanks ThreeBeeOneGee for telling me about this thread.

DS has Asperger Syndrome, but no statement. He should get into the same school as his sister, but I am worried about the school bus journey for him, as the noise levels on that bus are horrendous! Am even considering driving them both in...

troutsprout Tue 26-Feb-13 08:22:13

Hope today goes well for all who are waiting to hear.

coppertop Tue 26-Feb-13 10:52:36

Best of luck for today, Moosemama.

EllenJaneisstillnotmyname Tue 26-Feb-13 11:42:49

I posted quite a bit on Penneyanne's thread. www.mumsnet.com/Talk/special_needs/1571295-Ellen-Bigcar-Lostinwales-etc-can-you-advise-on-secondary-transfer-please?pg=2

Nothing much more to add. DS2 (ASD, 20 hour statement, now Y8) is over his 'honeymoon' period when secondary was still exciting and better than primary school, now it's just normal. smile He's managing pretty well, still happy with no friends sad and I still have to be his TA for homework and revision. Getting a bit stroppy and teenagerish sometimes when his TA expects him to actually do some work by himself. He got a bit too used to them scribing for him, when they were still learning what he was capable of. Too much help can be as bad as too little.

I'll find out myself Friday which school DS3 has got. DS1 and 2's school doesn't have a sibling policy and we have always been out of catchment.

moose hope today goes well. X

moosemama Tue 26-Feb-13 19:55:19

Thank you for all the well wishes. I was having a proper wobbly last night - fuelled by self doubt. There's no way I would cancel the statement really, as Attila said, it was too hard won and I know he needs the provision.

Mareeya, it's actually a ms independent, it's just very unique, in that they really do see each child as individual and dyslexia, dyspraxia and ASD do not frighten them. In fact all staff are well trained in ASD and able to talk confidently about how they would differentiate for a particular child's needs. It's an awesome school and I am so glad I heard about it.

Anyway, poor ds was in a right old state this morning, he actually looked green. I managed to gee him along and keep telling him that it was just a chance to visit the school and meet the head, not an interview and nothing to worry about - that he was just to be himself etc. Dropped him at school and explained to his teacher that I had to collect him at lunch time and she told me another child from our school had gone to this indie a couple of years ago, absolutely adored it and thrived there.

He wasn't at all happy when I picked him up, with a list of reasons why it had been a horrible morning, so I took him home and let him watch some of his favourite TV programmes while he ate lunch and we waited for dh to arrive.

We over-estimated the journey time and arrived 40 minutes early, then the HT was running 40 minutes late (he was seeing several families today), so it was almost an hour and a half before we went in. Ds was an absolute star, read the school newsletter and then his book and seemed quite relaxed by then, so I think it worked in our favour that there was a delay, because he had time to acclimatise to the environment before we went in. It's very different to his current 1970's built school, as it's a listed building with high ceilings and echoey corridors etc.

The actual appointment was brilliant. The HT addressed the whole thing to ds and was incredible with him, really taking the trouble to explain things and ask him how he felt about things. Ds took some of his favourite pieces of work to show him and also created a new 'passport' especially to give them. The HT was blown away by ds' work and spent a lot of time telling ds that he shouldn't be so down on himself, because he is obviously very bright, his school results/levels are excellent and he should be really proud of himself.

He also normalised the things ds struggles with by telling him lots of children at the school have similar issues and anxieties, but they get through them and go on to do great things.

Then ds went to meet the LS coordinator and admissions officers while we had a chat with the HT and .... he offered him a place on the spot. He said any school should be snapping our hands off to have ds in it and that ds is a teachers' dream with his good manners, enthusiasm and intelligence. He said the work he brought with him exceeded some of their GCSE students' and the GCSE results for the school are nothing to be sneezed at. He was wholeheartedly unimpressed with the behaviour of the local academy and said it's their loss as ds would have been an asset to their school.

He was really emphatic about the fact that he thinks ds is far more intelligent than even his testing (WISC etc) shows and he can't understand why his current school hasn't seen it and capitalised on it. He was also appalled to hear about all the bullying ds has been through at primary and really keen to tell us that although there will always be a degree of argy bargy with school-kids and ds will need to toughen up a little as he gets older (although as he put it, with plenty of time and careful management and not allowing him to fall during the process) they have a zero tolerance policy towards bullying and physical bullying means instant exclusion. I know he means what he says, because he has turned around a city centre secondary that was in special measures and ended up with children from the school going on to Cambridge Uni - that school also had the lowest exclusion rate of any school in the city.

It was such a massive relief to finally hear someone talking about my ds in such positive terms and recognising that he has so much potential, whilst his primary just want to coast him through average results to make their life easier.

As for them not returning the LAs calls. I get the impression that there was no point, as entry to the school is all down to the HT's say-so, so the admissions officer couldn't tell the LA anything until the HT had made a decision. The HT asked us whether ds had a statement and if our LA knew we were there, so I think he is all about the kids and doesn't get involved in the administration of new intake.

They are going to have ds in for a couple of days or possibly even a week in the summer term to get him used to the school and layout, introduce him to some of his new classmates and do some assessments to help them decide which groups to put him in etc.

So, a huge load off our hearts and minds. Ds is no longer without a placement for September and I might actually sleep tonight! grin

Ds has been on a high all evening, having had so many lovely things said about him and knowing that the school really wants him. He says he really wants to go there now and is looking forward to it. smile

NoHaudinMaWheest Tue 26-Feb-13 20:04:40

Oh Moose how wonderful! smile smile smile.
I'm sure your ds will be very happy there and certainly an asset to the school.

Schmedz Tue 26-Feb-13 20:16:37

Will be checking this thread frequently! My DS Has Aspergers and I am very concerned how she will cope with the changes. Fortunately she will be going to the senior school of her current junior school which she has said makes her feel more relaxed.

Still, she will not be prepared for the sHock of the whole timetable/ extra children / unfamiliar surroundings in the senior buildings/ extra homework etc etc etc.... Hope I she will be OK with it all!

It's a big enough adjustment for non SEN children!

Moosemama that must be such a relief!

EllenJaneisstillnotmyname Tue 26-Feb-13 20:34:15

Moose! Some good news at last, I'm so pleased for you I can't say. (((((hugs))))) all round. X

Penneyanne Tue 26-Feb-13 20:54:36

moose I am really pleased to hear this news.Well done to you and dsthanks.

troutsprout Tue 26-Feb-13 21:03:36

Hurrah Moose !
Fab news !
smile

PolterGoose Argentina Tue 26-Feb-13 21:44:01

Wow moose what fab news thanks

kravings Tue 26-Feb-13 22:47:31

Sorry to be lurking on your thread....but I couldn't help myself... I am so pleased for you moose [hug].
PolterGoose I read somewhere in your earlier post that you are going to go through this process in September. My DS2 will be sitting the 11+ exams in Sept 2013 as well. I have started a thread to go through the process with other parents in similar situation.
http://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/secondary/1692134-Sutton-Wilson-Wallington-Grammar-Two-tier-exams-Sept-2013

MareeyaDolores Tue 26-Feb-13 23:39:53

grin grin grin wine thanks
have a box of celebratory biscuit cos no <<chocolate>> emoticon

sunshine175 Wed 27-Feb-13 10:24:21

I am so pleased for you Moosemama smile
And a bit jealous as I wish my dd could go to a school like that.

moosemama Wed 27-Feb-13 11:25:21

Thank you everyone. I was on such a high last night. Then dh brought me back down to earth saying he doesn't want to let himself be happy about it until he sees it in black and white on the statement - which I suppose is sensible.

Sunshine, I wish all children could go to a school like that and I do know how lucky we are to have found it. It's just so incredible to go to a school and find they see the child and their strengths, rather than purely focussing on the labels and challenges.

Had to laugh when the Head told ds he thinks he has a bright future as a writer and ds pulled a face and said - but I'm going to be either a computer programmer, games tester or cricketer! grin

The school is amazing, unfortunately the hour commute each way on top of a longer school day isn't so great, but we can't have everything and I'm hoping he'll make some friends on his minibus so the journey will be social time for him.

Back down to earth with a bump this morning, when he remembered he has been put on a table with two of his long-term bullies for this half term. angry

inappropriatelyemployed Wed 27-Feb-13 11:29:30

Hi

Can I join in? We are heading for secondary in 2014 but having to look now for the Y5 transition review.

I am torn between thinking he could cope in a m/stream with a decent LSA (he has full-time hours on his statement) and a good package of support and then thinking he wouldn't cope at all.

Has anyone any experiences of ASD bases? We saw one which looked good but I worry about 'segregating' him or about academic expectations being lowered. I also worry that they will have their own way of working and will see themselves as the 'experts' and I am the expert!! grin

But then again, I also worry about him coping without such support.

It's just difficult to predict how he will develop.

moosemama Wed 27-Feb-13 12:44:05

Hi IE

Not sure how much your ds is like mine, but I can tell you about how we ended up where we are now.

We felt that as ds is very high functioning, academically able and had really started to make headway socially in y5, he would be fine in ms with his statement to guarantee support. Hence pushing for the statement to be in place by the end of year 5.

He wanted to go to the local academy with his best friend and classmates (all the secondary schools in our LEA bar 2 are now academies) and we felt he should be given the chance. So visited, explained his needs, saw their huge LS departments and were told they were sure they could meet his needs, so put the local academy first.

We also visited the standard local school for pupils who have a statement for just about anything. It has a unit for language/communication only, so he wouldn't get into the unit and frankly they are bursting at the seams with pupils who need extra support which they are too stretch to provide effectively. They mean well and the people are lovely, but the school is rapidly becoming a sink school and we knew it wasn't right for ds almost as soon as we stepped into the building.

In the meantime, he started y6 and we watched him get left further and further behind his peers socially. Most of the problems we have had this year relate to social situations and him being developmentally behind his peers. Sexual jokes and horseplay, boyfriends and girlfriends, his 'friends' watching inappropriately age rated films and ditto computer games and jeering at him for being a baby because he doesn't and doesn't want to. As the year has gone on he has become more and more isolated from his peer group and even his best friend seems to be starting to distance himself a little from him. sad It's so sad to watch, but thinking about it now, kind of inevitable I guess and I'm glad it happened now, rather than once he was already in a huge secondary school with even more nt boys around to jeer at and set him up for social humiliation. sad

Given the choice over again I wouldn't choose a standard massive ms or academy. If there was a local school with good academic results and an ASD base I would most likely go for that, as he would experience a good deal of a 'typical' school day, but with the back up of somewhere to escape to and proper ASD related support when problems occur.

I think wherever they go at secondary, to some extent the school will always see themselves as the expert and as we will have less contact than we have at primary, with school pick up etc, we will inevitably lose some degree of control over what happens. Even the lovely independent that ds is going to will be like this. I got the distinct impression that they aren't all that interested in the content of his statement BUT they do know a lot about ASD, have taught a lot of children very similar to ds and had excellent results with them both socially and academically. They also see each child - and I mean see the child - as completely individual with an individual set of needs, strengths and weaknesses and that's why I think that although they will do things 'their' way, for my ds at least, that will work. They are interested in building on his strengths and the HT's primary aim for him is to rebuild the damage done by primary school to his self-esteem/self-belief, so that ds can see the same potential in himself that they do.

I am not going to say I am not scared of losing that control - actually it terrifies me - but at the same time, I'm trying to see it as part of the process of ds starting to learn some independence and to be able to recognise his own strengths and weaknesses and learn how to react and respond appropriately to many of the situations he is going to have to face in life without me there to hold his hand and fight his corner every time.

Visit as many schools as you can, ask as many questions as you can think of and don't be afraid to keep calling them or ask for another visit if you aren't sure. I wish I had had more time to do so. It's a massive decision for you to have to make and you are entitled to have all the facts, as well as time to allow your heart/gut feeling about each school to evolve. Do consider independents as well. I hadn't even given them a thought, as I hadn't heard of anything locally, but the perfect school turned out to be one that I'd seen online a couple of years ago when I put the words 'ASD, school and our area' into a search engine.

Are you a member of any local support groups? If not, I would highly recommend doing what we did and join one just to glean info on secondaries and chat about other peoples' experience - it really helped us to realise that putting the academy was the wrong thing to do and also reinforced it being worth the fight for the independent. I wish we'd joined in y5 and been pre-warned, iyswim.

Our process was rushed and screwed up by getting the statement half-way through and therefore being behind everyone else with visits etc and we ended up making a rushed, wrong choice initially. Fortunately we were able to rescue the situation, but the stress has taken it's toll and it's been a tough school year so far this year.

Good luck.

inappropriatelyemployed Wed 27-Feb-13 12:50:33

Thanks so much for your really helpful post. DS sounds alot like your son and I have noted the social gap developing too.

I do know people whose children have transitioned locally but one has ended up in a residential special school and the other in an ASD base where the children can only take 5 GCSEs.

The only independent special schools I know of are aimed at children with very significant behavioural issues and that would not be appropriate for DS either.

I know of no Asperger's/HFA specific independent provision.

It is so hard!

MerryCouthyMows Wed 27-Feb-13 13:03:23

Moose!! gringrin Yay for it all coming together for you!

I'm so pleased they can see your DS's potential. I bet he feels a lot better now that someone in 'authority' can see how clever he is, it must have been a real boost for him.

I'm so pleased for you all.

I got told this morning, informally, that DS3 has been accepted into the nursery of the SEN school that I looked around on Monday. It's a load off my mind, as they have paediatric first aiders in every class, a school nurse on site all day, and the speech therapist, physiotherapist and Orthotist visit the school. And he will do swimming with a 1-2-1 every week there - in a hydrotherapy pool!!

One down, two to go! (Working on 16+ for DD as well as DS1's secondary placement!)

doitthisway Wed 27-Feb-13 13:28:11

Hello smile
My son is due to start secondary school this September. He does have a statement (dyspraxia) which we got September/October last year after two hard years of battling with the LEA and tribunal system. He is very happy with the choice of school as we were fortunate enough to have the school named in the final statement just days before Christmas (a lovely Christmas present). But I just can't help feel apprehensive, he is a lovely young man, fantastic manors, but he is very sensitive and finds the whole school day so overwhelming. SEN teacher at new school seems really on the ball so I am just hoping we can keep on top of things. Good luck to everyone else.

moosemama Wed 27-Feb-13 13:55:50

Thanks Couthy. I am so pleased for you and your ds as well. The nursery sounds fantastic and you will finally get some respite while your dcs are at school. How did you get on yesterday? Are you ok?

Good lick with ds1's placement and dd's post 16 planning.

Hello doitthisway. It's great that your LA were early with naming and the school SEN teacher is already on board. Have they set up a transition plan for him yet? That might help allay some of your fears a little. In all honesty though, I think we are all in for a nailbiting sleepless year no matter what.

Welcome to Schmedz, doitthisway and inappropriatelyemployed smile

We had a bit of a dry run with the uniform today. DS2 was asked to dress up 1940s style for a school daytrip. The closest thing we had was his school trousers along with a secondary school shirt and jumper that DS1 has grown out of. Then I found a spare plain blazer for him to wear on top.

He came to show me once he was dressed; he had put the black jumper on underneath the white short-sleeved shirt! He said he thought it was an 'underwarmer' (guessing he means underarmour, which DS1 wears for rugby). He was so pleased with his 'grown-up' uniform... and he looked as ridiculous as you are imagining.

I decided not to even attempt to put a tie on him. We can save that adventure for another day.

moosemama Wed 27-Feb-13 14:22:11

ThreeBee, my ds does that as well - puts over clothes on over under clothes, as it were. He has also been known to absent mindedly put on more than one pair of pants and/or socks at the same time - all time record being three pairs of pants. hmm

Dh says he's going to teach ds the trick where you never undo your tie, you just tie it once, then instead of undoing it and taking it off you loosen it and you can slip it on and off over your head after that.

Really appreciating the advice regarding things like buying spare ties and sports socks, I'd never have thought of that, but it makes so much sense.

doitthisway Wed 27-Feb-13 15:18:43

My dh is and has been for the last month been trying to teach ds to tie his shoelaces and a school tie. Each day ds forgets and dh has to show him again, hopefully by September he may get it (fingers crossed) I have checked with Clarkes and they do velcro shoes upto size 10, but as ds is already a 7, I reckon we may have a coupe of years before shoes become a problem. I have refered ds to OT to see if they can help him, still waiting to hear.

doitthisway Wed 27-Feb-13 15:19:59

Moosemama - No transition plan as yet, I think that may come in place when we have his 6 month review

MaryBS Brazil Wed 27-Feb-13 17:06:41

I am SO pleased there are other kids out there that can't tie their shoelaces and won't wear ties... like my lovely boy smile

I don't feel so alone now, I am sick to death of well-meaning people who say "have you tried..." ARGHH!

EllenJaneisstillnotmyname Wed 27-Feb-13 17:50:18

MaryBS, have you tried... wink lock laces? Essential for football boots that are nearly impossible to get cheaply with Velcro.

www.locklaces.com/product-info/

from Amazon

EllenJaneisstillnotmyname Wed 27-Feb-13 17:51:12

With DS2's tie, he can now tie it if I put a peg on it for a third hand! grin

moosemama Wed 27-Feb-13 18:44:30

doitthisway, neither of my boys can do their shoelaces. (Ds1 has AS, fine motor issues and hypotonia, ds2, who is nearly 9, has hypermobility and has some AS and dyspraxic traits, but nothing dx-able).

The OT recommended either using elasticated laces with lace locks or practising by knotting two different coloured laces together and threading them into a boot/shoe. Apparently it really helps them to get their head around which half of the lace goes where and which loop is which - especially if they have spatial/proprioceptive problems. We've tried everything else, so that's our next plan.

Oh - just noticed Ellen has linked you to lock-laces, already. blush We found some cheaper versions the other week when I was after velcro hiking boots for ds2's outward bound residential in a few weeks' time. I'll see if I can find the thread.

I'm thinking we need to call an AR asap, as ds's statement was only finalised literally as the schools broke up for the summer holidays last year and the school initally agreed to a Feb AR as soon as the secondary is named in order to carefully plan transition. It's actually written into his statement that his transition needs to be carefully planned and handled extremely sensitively.

Does anyone know if it's standard for the new school to attend the transitional AR?

moosemama Wed 27-Feb-13 18:47:05

My recent thread about velcro hiking boots. Page 2 has some great links for alternatives to velcro.

EllenJaneisstillnotmyname Wed 27-Feb-13 19:34:02

Moose, my DS's secondary school attended the y5 and Y6 reviews. <off to look at cheaper laces>

moosemama Wed 27-Feb-13 19:59:06

Thanks Ellen. I thought they probably would.

Dh had a phone message from the LA today and they said they can't say a definitive yes, but they've had a very positive email from the school and it's now really just a case of waiting for the official paperwork to arrive from them via the post. grin

MerryCouthyMows Thu 28-Feb-13 05:17:23

DD struggled with a tie at first. We perfected the method of me tying it for her, and her loosening it just enough to slip over her head for PE.

(DD has dyspraxia + hypermobility + lots of other things)

About halfway through Y9 (after daily practice, she had a go before I tied it for her), she learnt to do it herself.

Then the school go and change to a fucking clip on tie at the start of this year (Y10 for DD), just as she had stopped having her daily meltdown over having to wear a tie at all.

Cold metal clip on neck + Autism related sensory issues = meltdown central. This week is the first week she has managed to not meltdown over it.

Bah! Bloody ties.

Oh - and DD finally learnt to tie her shoelaces (after daily practice at home from age 3yo, monthly practice at her OT sessions from age 4yo, and weekly practice at school from 6yo) at age 12y10m.

I was so proud I posted a thread on MNSN!!

9yo DS2 still is nowhere near able to do his laces up. I know now that it will come in time. grin

MerryCouthyMows Thu 28-Feb-13 05:20:54

My Dbro (same issues, Aspergers, dyspraxia + Hypermobility syndrome + a few others) learnt to tie his own shoelaces at...21yo.

But he can now do it!

He could clone a flipping bacteria (Uni scientist), yet couldn't tie his own laces.

They all get there in the end!

MaryBS Brazil Thu 28-Feb-13 08:14:37

LOL Ellen, thanks for that suggestion, I don't mind those sort because they're helpful grin.

If only the tie problem were so easy to solve. When we put down his preferred school, the uniform didn't include a tie, this is a recent change! He won't wear his scout scarf (have tried through beavers, cubs etc, nothing works), so a school tie is going to prove a challenge!

troutsprout Thu 28-Feb-13 10:59:15

Mary ... What is it about the tie? Is it Tightness ? The thought of having it around his neck ?Or something else?
Just asking coz usually if I can work that bit out , I can come up with something.
Will it be clip on? Or a proper tie?

MaryBS Brazil Thu 28-Feb-13 12:48:40

Its stuff round his neck. He wears polo shirts and v-necked jumpers at the moment, he won't even wear round necked jumpers/sweaters. Not sure on ties yet as we haven't been told. He also hates things being pinned to him or stuck on him.

MaryBS Brazil Thu 28-Feb-13 12:49:03

And thanks smile

doitthisway Thu 28-Feb-13 13:16:14

Wow the elastic laces look fab grin, may well certainly have to invest in some of those.

MerryCouthyMows Thu 28-Feb-13 14:25:20

Tonight's the night! How nervous is everyone? I'm on edge!

moosemama Thu 28-Feb-13 14:39:58

Good luck those of you waiting on placements tonight/tomorrow.

Dh has spoken to our statementing officer today and apparently the current situation is that they are waiting for the official slip agreeing to be named to arrive in the post. The school will also name the support band they feel ds requires and then the LA will either agree or attempt to negotiate funding. Once that's done they will amend the statement to include the school's name and send it to us.

So, she has told us to call us again if we haven't heard anything in a week.

Feeling kind of flat now, facing the reality that it still has the chance to fall flat, especially as ds is convinced he's definitely going there. hmm

The only thing is that dh said the SO sounded pretty confident that it was all going to plan and didn't ask what school we would like in the event of it falling through - so I'm holding onto that for the moment.

EllenJaneisstillnotmyname Thu 28-Feb-13 16:32:53

My NT (ish) DS3 gets his secondary place tonight, so can I join in from a non SN point of view?

He wants to go to the same lovely, inclusive comp/academy that DS1 and DS2 (with ASD) go to, but no sibling policy and we're out of catchment. He has got a grammar place about 9 miles away as a fall back, but none of us want that, really. Was wondering if I could use the fact he's a young carer for DS2 in an appeal? It would certainly make life easier all around if DS2 had someone on the bus with him once DS1 leaves.

EllenJaneisstillnotmyname Fri 01-Mar-13 01:33:06

Whoo hoo! DS3 got his 1st choice comp with his brothers. grin

sunshine175 Fri 01-Mar-13 06:40:53

Just logged on and Dd got her 1st choice only choice. Found out yesterday that they are going to request educational psychologist input as they are concerned she is at risk of school refusal. Sort of happy and anxious at same time.

Sunnymeg Fri 01-Mar-13 07:08:20

We got our first choice as well. Now all I have to think about are the practicalities of the situation come September. Lots to think about, but am positive about the school. smile smile smile

PolterGoose Argentina Fri 01-Mar-13 07:29:32

Great news Ellen, Sunshine and Sunny grin

MaryBS Brazil Fri 01-Mar-13 07:39:54

Still waiting for the email confused

EllenJaneisstillnotmyname Fri 01-Mar-13 09:54:41

I checked on our LA's online admissions system, info was out at midnight, emails still coming through in dribs and drabs. There seem to be quite different systems in different areas. Good luck!

MaryBS Brazil Fri 01-Mar-13 11:07:19

I checked earlier and you couldn't check online. Now you can... but for some reason the password isn't working (might be misremembered), but i've requested a password reset, and that isn't coming through either sad

I just want to know for sure!!!!!

MaryBS Brazil Fri 01-Mar-13 11:14:38

Yay, got first choice! grin

EllenJaneisstillnotmyname Fri 01-Mar-13 11:25:43

Brilliant, MaryBS! grin

moosemama Fri 01-Mar-13 13:20:49

Ooo lovely to hear all this good news. Congratulations everyone!

EllenJaneisstillnotmyname Fri 01-Mar-13 14:51:30

moose, as a matter of interest, did you get an email? I know it's academic in your case, but what would you have got?

moosemama Fri 01-Mar-13 15:05:52

You don't get secondary admissions in our LEA if your child has a statement Ellen, it's all bypasses the main admissions office and goes via your Statementing Officer.

Tiggles Fri 01-Mar-13 15:22:09

Breathing a big sigh of relief here, as DS1 has got into an out of catchment secondary which should be much better for his needs smile. Can't wait to tell him!

moosemama Fri 01-Mar-13 15:29:43

Great news LittleMissGreen. smile

Still no email...

EllenJaneisstillnotmyname Fri 01-Mar-13 17:42:51

Sounds great, LittleMissGreen!

Must seem like a very long day, ThreeBeeOneGee. sad

EllenJaneisstillnotmyname Fri 01-Mar-13 17:49:38

moose, we still had to go through the admissions system in my LA, just putting the one preference. Funny how each LA does things differently.

moosemama Fri 01-Mar-13 17:56:22

We could put up to four preferences, but didn't.

I then received a reminder from main admissions to say they hadn't had an application for him. I called and they said that SEN admissions bypass main admissions, but that with his statement being completed from April through July in y5 he'd ended up on both systems. They said to just disregard the reminder and confirmed they had removed him from their system.

(A clear case of arse/elbow as my dh likes to say! grin)

ThreeBee, you must be beyond frustrated. Hope it arrives soon. I read somewhere on the secondary education board that some LAs deliberately set the emails to go out at midnight on the 1st - so tonight, rather than last night, so they don't have to deal with the fall-out until Monday. hmm angry

Hope it turns up soon.

We got the email before 6pm, but couldn't get on here because I was feeding them then getting them to Brownies & Scouts.
DS2 got his first choice; we were 99% certain as he has a sibling there and scored much higher in the test than the usual cut-off, but still relieved to have it in writing (well, email, but you know what I mean). smile

EllenJaneisstillnotmyname Fri 01-Mar-13 19:25:35

That's great, ThreeBee! smile Grammar schools are used to quirky boys...

moosemama Fri 01-Mar-13 19:36:17

Fantastic ThreeBee! So pleased for you. smile

So pleased for everyone else who has been successful. Also managed to get first choice for ds, he read the email and started jumping up and down with joy, then ran through to tell my dad smile Have been lurking but life is extremely busy and difficult at the moment so havent had time to post on thread. Today's news has been a bright spot in a horrendous year so far.

EllenJaneisstillnotmyname Fri 01-Mar-13 20:38:48

Great news, AGlass. smile

moosemama Fri 01-Mar-13 20:49:01

Really pleased for you AGlass. smile

Sorry things are so difficult at the moment. Hope it settles down soon for you.

pannetone Fri 01-Mar-13 22:42:05

Hello - time for me to join this thread - DS3, diagnosed with ASD last November is off to secondary in September. He got his first choice and will be going to the local (very good) comp. However, it wasn't really his 'first choice', because he wanted to go to the local super selective grammar like DS1 and 2 - and is academically able enough to have stood a good chance of getting a place. However, DS2 (diagnosed with ASD at 14) has had extremely poor SEN support at the school - which culminated in a disability discrimination case. (We are still waiting for the decision.) So we weren't prepared to send DS3 there.

So DS3 has had a tough Year6 so far - probably most of his class sat grammar school tests - and they wondered and asked why DS was not. He has also had to deal with well meaning adults assuming he would be off to the super selective like his brothers. The ASD diagnosis hasn't helped DS's sense of self esteem, which had already suffered because he didn't get the 'kudos' of passing his 11+. I'm really hoping that the comp will work out well for him - he should be able to shine there academically.

This evening DS3 has dealt with his friends' news graciously to their faces (well phone and text!). But then had a big wobble at bedtime, declaring he is not going to his allocated school and a general 'not fair' rant. Glad we have the weekend for everyone's news to 'settle' before school on Monday.

EllenJaneisstillnotmyname Fri 01-Mar-13 22:50:47

That sounds hard, pannetone. You sound like you've made the best choice for your DS3, he's just not able to see it yet. sad I'm really sorry the grammar school failed to support your dS2. My DS3 is going to the same school as his siblings, a comp, but with only one of his classmates, not really a friend of his. His choice over the grammar. You can't always have it all, hard lesson for a 10 or 11 yo, especially one with SN.

Complete proud parent boasting time coming up, so skip over this comment if you don't like that sort of thing.

The cut-off scores for academic places and music places at DS2's future school have become available. If DS2 hadn't had a sibling there, he would have qualified for an academic place (by a margin of twenty points) and a music place.

This also helps us feel more confident in our decision that it's the best fit for him out of all the local schools.

Pannetone: sorry to hear that your DS3 is going to have to put up with everyone else's opinions for a bit. Once he is settled and happy at his new school, he'll hopefully be able to see that you have his best interests in mind.

EllenJaneisstillnotmyname Sat 02-Mar-13 13:44:21

That's good news, ThreeBee. You must be proud of him. smile

We're proud of them all generally, but this is a notable achievement for him, especially as he didn't finish the VR paper (ran out of time) and did the whole of his audition whilst under the impression that it was a practice run-through!

moosemama Sat 02-Mar-13 13:56:06

So sorry pannetone that's sounds like it was a really hard decision, but you have your ds's interests and heart and he'll come round once he's settled and happy at the comp. I know that's little comfort for either you or him at the moment though. He has done so well to cope with all the gs entry malarkey up until now, sounds like he has a good head on his shoulders. Hope he calms down a little over the weekend.

ThreeBee, well done your ds.

sunshine175 Fri 15-Mar-13 22:22:18

I am just having a bit of a wobble about secondary school. Feeling like lots of promises from different people but nothing happening in reality. E.g. Help with her anxieties etc. I have no idea how we are going to persuade dd to leave house and get on bus to school. It is a hard enough job to get her to go to primary. Today I had a bit of a rant at senco and just feel a bit rubbish. And then dd had a meltdown after school about sats. Im just feeling a bit sorry for myself. Is it just me feeling like this? Im starting to dread the thought of September.

sunshine175: I have times when I feel really positive and optimistic, alternating with times when I just don't see how any of it can work.

Because the younger two are away for the next two days on a residential trip, I am trying to persuade DS2 to walk to school and back without me. Half a mile, two residential streets to cross, lots of children he knows walking the same route.

I finally persuaded him that he was capable, but now he says he wants to walk there now (at 7pm) let himself into school (hacking the alarm system?) then he'll read in the school library until 8.45am tomorrow. <sigh>

sunshine175 Wed 20-Mar-13 19:57:54

ThreeBeeOneGee I love the way their brains work. The walking to school business hasn't happened for us yet as Dd is scared of cars and there is a busy road to cross - no crossing either. Often leaving the house bit is challenging. I'm trying to be positive for her but it struck me there is only 4 months of yr 6 left and then I get anxious again. It really is an emotional rollercoaster ride. Good luck for tomorrow and I hope he can do it.

Thanks. He was nearly there this time last year, was walking with a group of other children, with me following a few minutes behind with the younger two. Unfortunately he was hit by a car while crossing the road and thrown quite a distance. It has taken him this long to build up the confidence to try again.

sunshine175 Wed 20-Mar-13 21:30:11

Oh no. Oh he is so brave for trying again (and you for encouraging him). Fingers crossed, hand holding and honks.

He did it! Back home safely and feeling quite chuffed with himself. smile

sunshine175 Thu 21-Mar-13 16:08:55

Brilliant. grin I was hoping it went well. You must be over the moon. I wish we could make some progress! sad

Hopefully you'll be able to find a strategy to help your DD with the journey to school. My feelings are very up and down at the moment too with it all.

So how are we all doing? I'm feeling really positive this week after DS2's IEP meeting, which was very encouraging and showed how much progress he has made.

After SATs there is a plan for him to visit the secondary school with a camera and take some photos.

sunshine175 Sun 28-Apr-13 09:30:35

I had good meeting with new senco, and the autism team are supporting both schools. Plans for visits after sats are in place. Feeling a lot better about it all. Occassional sense of panic. Everyone is aware how important it is to get it right so she doesn't school refuse. I know it could go wrong but I do feel everyone is trying to help.

I'm glad they are putting something in place for your DD.

I'm planning to start working on the journey to school fairly soon, starting with the first quarter of a mile and then building on that. DH pointed out that there are only three roads to cross that don't have light-controlled crossings, and two of those have an island half-way across the road.

DS2 has his first transition visit this afternoon.

He'll go for an hour and I have the option of staying for a cup of tea. smile

First day tomorrow (just Y7 and Y12) and I am about to have actual kittens.

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