To think the LEA should pay our bloody salary then....(144 Posts)
Well, not really. But we're so frustrated and upset at our current situation I don't know what to do.
To cut a very long story short, ds8 has had a fairly recent diagnosis of autism and is also gifted. He is behind in social and emotional development mainly and has severe anxiety that makes him explosive in the wrong environment. He's had a really difficult time at school for 18 months and hasn't been full time for a year and now hasn't gone for nearly 4 months as they kept excluding him and his mental health was worsening. He now has an EHCP and needs a new setting.
Small mainstreams all say his autistic needs are too much. Autism school says he's too bright. Provision is poor here. Independent schools are very intolerant and independent specialist schools are all focused on forest school/EBD type provisions which doesn't work for him (we've tried as intervention support). He needs the structure and learning of 'school' but in a quieter, more nurturing environment. The nearest place is over 2 hrs away. He couldn't travel 4hrs a day nor could he board - it would break him and us to rip the family apart - we're what keeps him safe and secure.
LEA have said there don't think there is a school for him. Very sorry.....you'll have to keep him at home and we'll send a tutor in a few hours a week for the rest of his education.....
Apart from everything else (ds wants to go to school, he has no friends at home, we don't want to be responsible for his whole education for the next 10 years and all his therapy requirements - it's terrifying and he's hard work) we need to work ourselves. I've taken a 6 month career break as things were so bad for him thinking we'd get him in to a school by then but I had no idea there wouldn't be one for him. I need to go back to work. We've spent every penny of our savings and we are getting in debt with this 6 month break. Our mortgage is fairly big. We can't afford to move house now and actually, why should we have to? Children without disabilities get to own homes and go to work. I love my career. I can't stay at home for 10 years dealing with everything. I'm absolutely terrified and trapped in an impossible situation and have no idea what to do.
That's awful. I totally sympathise as a similar situation. We are now looking at independent schools as they can often offer more for SEN. The LEA would need to pay but as mainstream wont take him and special schools won't either then they don't have much other option.
Is this an option for you? Some do flexi schooling which could be a good compromise.
Sorry, just saw you said you've looked at Independent schools. A lot we looked at didn't have very firm boundaries but a couple of smaller ones were happy to work with us.
Are you claiming dla and carers allowance? Have you contacted IPSEA?
Apart from moving or boarding it doesn’t seem like you have any options. Would it work to rent your house out and move somewhere we’re there is a school that is suitable?
There are groups who would support you and charities
Lots of kids don’t fit mainstream and yet here we are all for inclusivity rather than meeting individual needs
Speak to your MP and go from their see what they suggest or even a solicitor who specializes in education
We only have a couple of independent schools round here and they are notoriously intolerant so I don't think they'd even admit him let allow help him.
We love where we live and our house and our careers but it's rubbish for ds and his education. We can't afford to move now but we can't afford to live without going back to work. We'll end up losing the house and being effectively homeless. I don't need to work full time...I was part time that fit into school hours beautifully.
I just can't believe I took going to school for granted. Ds is amazing and curious and funny and wonderful but he's been completely shafted by the education system. How can anyone think it's good for a child to be left at home for a decade with limited education and very little socialisation?
I'm in the same boat and had to change my job to working every weekend. Shocking how so many dcs are being failed
If we went to a suitable school far away, we'd both have to give up work. Dh job is hard to come by so he'd have to stay behind most likely.
Move to near the suitable school that is 2h away?
Sorry, yes, claiming DLA and carers but it only makes up 1/4 of my salary that I'm missing.
This makes my blood boil. Imo there's a real disability discrimination issue here, and the lack of adequate provision for children with complex needs is a scandal. The blithe way that LEAs suggest home ed because they can't/won't put arrangements in place is a huge pisstake imo.
I'm particularly incensed about it atm because a friend whose son is under CAMHS has just had this shit from her son's school. They say they can't cope with his behaviour but CAMHS are adamant he needs to be in mainstream (he's VERY bright, but has PTSD, anxiety and loads of stuff going on).
She is now getting her MP and councillor involved, and has put in a formal complaint, which CAMHS are supporting.
Someone else I know reluctantly accepted weekday boarding for her son, and after some teething problems, he seems to be doing well.
Can you say roughly where in the country you are OP?
We have an amazing school here, which opened a centre for children with autism, but it tends to favour the more able students. It can’t be the only one in the country!
Blueskieslie but moving isn't that simple! We'd have to give up two careers and try and find new jobs nearby. Sell our house and find somewhere else to live. Try and get a place at the school which is an independent specialist (we've not even looked at it, it just seems vaguely appropriate online) which is in a new county so would have to go through all the processes there first. They might want to place in a different school and then we'd go through a tribunal etc etc.
We have no money at all. We're in debt now. We can't afford even the basic scrap of money for petrol to drive 2 hours to look at another school. We'd also have to leave our family who is our only support network.
And actually, it's not about moving and finding a new school. LEA want to name EOTAS and he is effectively home educated.
What about a mixed special school? We have a couple of very bright and autistic youngsters in ours. It’s not perfect, but we work so hard to meet individual needs. Every child pretty much follows an individualised curriculum.
are you able to say what approx area you are in? some people may have ideas on schools that lea havent mentioned...
We are in a similar boat. We did trials at the local independent schools and they wouldn't accept my DD who has ADHD and ASD. She doesn't cope in a mainstream school for mainly reasons, some similar to your situation. We home school now and we juggle our full time jobs around it which is hard work, I really do sympathise.
Familyofaliens - we're in Devon. Awful provision and they've just had an abysmal OFSTED inspection for their SEND provision as well.
We've complained and put formal complaints into everyone but nothing is happening. It's accepted that there are no schools and what there are can be super picky as they are massively over subscribed.
But we live by the sea and the moors and have a lovely outdoors life that benefits ds in so many ways. Our family is here and we love our house and jobs. Why should we have to give everything up so ds gets an education which every other children without SEN gets without a second thought. It is disability discrimination and people are so accepting of it or shrug their shoulders like that's how is...get over it.
parrotonmyshoulder - the only non LD (autism) special school here has said no to him. The others are hugely inappropriate - more PMLD
I wish I had advice for you but I do have sympathy.
There is a huge lack of help for children with no learning difficulties but who can't manage in a mainstream environment.
We have an autism specialist provision in our primary school. They have their own rooms but join us as and when is suitable for individual children. Some children never join mainstream classes and some spend a lot of time there. We are East Midlands if you want to PM me.
Namechange2019 - I'm so sorry you're going through similar. I've been home education ds in the interim and it is SO. HARD. I'm not a SN teacher and in some ways, he smarter than me. He doesn't want to be educated by me no matter how hands off I am and creative. He wants to go to school and is getting more upset the longer this goes on because he thinks something is wrong with him and that's why no school wants him.
Sorry op did you say you have been in touch with IPSEA they are really helpful. Yes carers and dla not like a salary.
What about an online school such as Interhigh or Briteschool? Would he cope with that better? You might be able to work around that, with perhaps a childminder? It's very difficult and you shouldn't have to, but being practical...
Could you ask the special school to reconsider/do a trail at least? Otherwise could you downsize into a smaller house so you don’t go bankrupt?
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