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To love Christopher who has ASD on this weeks Educating the East End

(22 Posts)
Aeroflotgirl Thu 30-Oct-14 00:19:06

He is lovely, and could teach the NT kids at his mainstream school a thing or 2. He is so polite and lovely, the dinner ladies love him. My dd7 has ASD and goes to an autistic school. She is high functioning, but her anxieties het in the way. I hope she can integrate into a mainstream senior school in the future.

BiscuitMillionaire Thu 30-Oct-14 00:19:50

Yes, he seems very loveable.

Bordersmummy Thu 30-Oct-14 00:32:24

He's great. One of the major positives about the school IMO is how positively everyone - including many of the children - reacted to Christopher. I was really really impressed with how well integrated he was. Of course I don't know how he or his parents feel but from the outside it looked very positive.

Aeroflotgirl Thu 30-Oct-14 00:35:38

I agree border the other kids seem very accepting, I do worry about bullying if dd were to go into MS. Like Christopher she has high anxieties, I hope that like Christopherp, as she gets older she will develop good coping strategies to help her through.

He is fab... and a refreshing challenge to the stereotype that kids with ASD are all agressive anti social types.

My son is 17 with autism, and is gentle , friendly, anxious (medicated) and odd.. and we have found that most other teens are actually very kind to him, although he didn't have to face mainstream school as he is learning disabled too. Aeroflot.. my son went to special school all the way through, but as we have a mainstream within the same grounds he was able to integrate for a couple of things with support in his teens and actually sat a GCSE in maths (his one skill.. relatively as he has the writing skills of a 6 yr old) It can work!

diaimchlo Thu 30-Oct-14 03:08:09


He was amazing, I loved the way he interacted with everyone he came in contact with.

Would love to meet him and give him a big hug.

AlwaysDancing1234 Thu 30-Oct-14 03:13:44

I actually cried watching him, such a lovely young man. It reminded me how difficult every day life can be for someone with ASD.

sashh Thu 30-Oct-14 05:43:05

The more I see of that programme the more I like the school, they seem so determined to integrate if possible, and if not find another solution.

I loved Christopher and his support worker (forgot her name) they made a real team.

Aeroflotgirl Thu 30-Oct-14 08:43:27

Medusa my dd school has a mainstream school within the grounds, hopefully she might integrate as they do that a lot and do some GCSEs hopefully.

Aeroflotgirl Thu 30-Oct-14 08:44:24

It does seem like a lovely school and the head is spot on. Not like the stereotypes inner city challenging schools you see

Apophenia Thu 30-Oct-14 09:29:15

I loved his TA - you could tell she was experienced and that they had a real connection - she totally understood him. smile

Dayshiftdoris Thu 30-Oct-14 10:22:21

He's in mainstream lessons at the school '15 hours a week'

That's 3 hours a day

Where is he the rest of the time? That was not shown. They don't mention a SEN unit provision where he accesses another school within the school... He might access a set of classrooms and do work but that does not allow him to access quality first teaching.

If that is agreed with his parents and is being used as planned programme of support then fine but I would question it if he was sat doing set work in a room as he can't manage MS.

It's not enough to be allowed to experience mainstream... Inclusion is far more than being allowed to join in.

bitesized Thu 30-Oct-14 11:40:48

He was portrayed very positively on the show, I really warmed to him and was impressed with the understanding from staff and pupils.

I missed the bit about him being in school p/t. DS has ASD and was offered the opportunity of a split placement between mainstream and a special school, so that might be the case for Christopher, I don't know. But DS couldn't have coped in a mainstream environment (too much sensory overload) so he's now at an independent school specialising in ASD.

I do worry from the show though that it didn't show many problematic behaviours at all, which might lead a typical viewer to think that ASD can be managed in any mainstream secondary if people are just a bit more understanding. That wouldn't be the case for my DS (who exhibited challenging behaviour due to not being able to cope with the overload in a mainstream school) or for most of the DC at his specialist school.

Cundtbake Thu 30-Oct-14 11:47:14

Wasn't he lovely, I wanted to be his friend!

noblegiraffe Thu 30-Oct-14 11:54:03

The school in the programme has an ASD unit so that would be where he spends the rest of his time.

He was a lovely human being. So articulate and perceptive about his feelings. His poetry analysis showed such insight that you would not expect from the stereotype of autism. I hope he finds somewhere to fit in when he leaves school.

Dayshiftdoris Sat 01-Nov-14 13:36:02

The school has a resourced provision for ASD - that is not a unit provision which is a special provision within a mainstream... A RP is, in law a mainstream provision.

It is not ideal to be used as a place to educate a child more than 25% of the time - it's not funded to that level and if a child is needing to access a RP for greater than that time then there is an argument for changing their statement / considering special provision / dual registration.

Because what happens is that you potential go to their next stage with an incorrect assessment of need... For example the school in question has no sixth form so unless they have migrated him to an EHC plan Christopher's statement will cease at the end of year 11, unless of course he can find a school sixth form to take him.

I know, have lived it and it's not good. We've been saved from it (just, she hopes) by a savvy new head but was at real risk of this happening to my son...

Dayshiftdoris Sat 01-Nov-14 13:42:03

But then I cried at the end of Educating Yorkshire because the young man on that had no real input into his stutter for 11years...

It upsets me greatly to see children struggling and grateful for what the system is offering.

I am utterly grateful for what my son's school does for him - they do, like the school on the programme an amazing job with no money and in a system in turmoil. I suspect there is no where better for Christopher (like my son at the moment) but it's not right and until everyone starts to say 'Hang on' then it won't change.

I am not dissing the school anymore than I do my son's own school but it's not good and it's not ok and I bet, in private the teacher hate the situation and are simply doing what they can.

Pity is that it's not good enough sad

bigTillyMint Sat 01-Nov-14 14:09:31

Dayshiftdoris, I had no idea that the units in ASD resourced schools should not be used as a place to educate a child more than 25% of the time. The ones in our LA definitely have children who spend more time than that in them. And some of the children who are just about full-time in the unit aren't ready to cope in a M/S classroom yet.
Sadly most M/S schools aren't ready for full integration yet - it will take a huge injection of cash and training and resourcing. And as bitesized says, the sensory overload is almost unavoidable in a M/S school.

I thought Christopher was absolutely great and his TA was fabulous and that the students/staff were also great with him.

Aeroflotgirl Sat 01-Nov-14 14:17:13

I think he might be in a SS for the rest of that time, but doing integration at that Mainstream school.

Dayshiftdoris Sat 01-Nov-14 16:46:23

Resourced provisions aren't funded for full time education - units are because units are special provisions.

25% is perhaps a local figure but if a child is full time in a resourced provision for significant length of time / no end in sight then its an indication they are in the wrong setting (or the setting is failing to integrate).

It's not black or white - questioning that is not saying the school are failing him / a crap school or that there is something a is but just a wider discussion about what we accept is ok for our kids and actually looking at a bigger picture. I absolutely agree that MS benefits but it's a balance.

I am in a similar position with my son... I question it all the time in my head about what provision I can realistically achieve for him and it makes me sad for all the children. I have to choose to make compromises that other parents don't have to consider and his school have to deliver it... No easy for anyone.

Now I want to watch it. Is it on ITV player?

My DS2 has ASD, is 15 with a 20 hour statement in a MS secondary with no resourced provision for ASD. They have an excellent learning skills dept where some DC with a variety of SN and SEN spend part of their day, usually withdrawn from English, Maths and MFL to concentrate on English and Maths. My DS is too able to be withdrawn, however and is supported in lessons by a departmental TA, so different TAs for each subject, which can be a bit tricky for DS.

I would love to be a fly on the wall and see how the other DC interact with him. He's very odd, flappy and temperamental, but was accepted extremely well in primary school. Secondary is a different world, though.

Dayshiftdoris Mon 03-Nov-14 03:01:47

Channel 4

The other kids love him grin

And for what it's worth, despite all his behaviours and difficulties in MS I know the kids in my son's class are fab with him too grin

Keeps me going...

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