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choosing a school for my son with asd.

(9 Posts)
ManxMum Thu 12-Feb-04 16:59:56

My son is 3 1/2 and is apparently due to start school this September (when he will just be 4) He has a mental age of 12 - 18 months and I feel that school is just not an option at the moment, despite reassurances that everything will be tailored to his needs. I would rather he attended a nursery, prefereably mainstream, to enable him to interact with 'normal' kids on his intellectual level. Any ideas/information/experience would be gratefully received!

hmb Thu 12-Feb-04 17:29:49

Jimjams would be the best person to answer this question, as she has been in a very similar situation. Until she posts, it might help you to know that her ds is in a mainstream nursery and is doing well.

coppertop Thu 12-Feb-04 17:36:34

My ds1 (3yrs 7mths) is autistic and is also due to start school in September. We have already chosen his school, and our local pre-school service are arranging a training programme for his future Reception teachers. This was the right decision for us because we feel that with support he will cope. However, if I felt that he wasn't ready I wouldn't hesitate to hold him back another year. As you probably know, children don't have to start school until the term after their 5th birthday.

Ds1 goes to a mainstream playschool 5 mornings a week and the staff there are fantastic. If you can find the right nursery for the both of tou it can be a brilliant experience. My ds1 used to just walk round and round in circles and was almost mute. A year later and he will allow children to play alongside him and also speaks in short sentences.

There are several mums over on the Special Needs section who have children with AS/ASD. Come and join us. xx

Jimjams Thu 12-Feb-04 18:18:34

Just quickly as I have to dash. I felt like you a year ago. I thought we would home ed. DS1 (autistic now 4 and a half and pretty much non-verbal) was at a wonderful nursery (still is) and I couldn't see how school could possibly work (we were told mainstream only).

I had a look at a few and chose one outside my LEA (much to the LEA's disgust ) It's worked surprisingly well. He's been going part time since September now does 4 mornings and 4 session in nursery as well. He has a statement and full time one to one support. His LSA is excellent the school are very accomodating. At the moment he isn't spending much time in the classroom as it makes him hyper so he spends a lot of time working on language one to one. This suits me as I want to introduce some ABA and I think it will be easier to do it as he is already following his own curriculum iyswim. He takes part in computers PE etc. SOmething that has really helped is having the autism outreach team involved. They visit 3 times a week and have made it much easier for the school to accomodate him.

I used to think mainstream could never work, but it has for us. BUT our school are very very good- so I would talk to other parents and try to get a feel of which schools are flexible.

maryz Thu 12-Feb-04 21:11:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ManxMum Fri 13-Feb-04 13:16:56

Didn't think that I would have so many replies so soon! Thanks to everyone out there. I have a great support network out here, so much so that I have had to turn down offers of help. I am now determined to push for mainstream nursery (with assistance, even if I have to provide it myself) I know my son best of all and feel that a year of nursery will help his development no end, maybe then we can concentrate on his education. Th unit we looked at, although highly praised, we felt just wasn't right for our son. I don't think that many parents out there would send an 18 mo to school? Will keep you posted with our progress!!

dinosaur Fri 13-Feb-04 13:23:37

Just saying hi - another mum with a ASD boy here!

After an initial disastrous experience, we found a very good nursery for DS1 and he came on by leaps and bounds during the year he was there - so muich so that he has now started in mainstream Reception and is managing very well (so far so good, anyway!).

Just wanted to say hi and see you on the Special Needs boards some time I hope.

Jimjams Fri 13-Feb-04 13:34:14

yeah watch out for "highly praised" units. The LEA highly praise our local one and to be blunt it is crap and underfunded.

Eulalia Fri 13-Feb-04 21:26:02

I agree Nursery would be great as it gets them used to school but in a more relaxed setting. My ds (age 4.5 and autistic) had really come on in the last 6 months. I think it would be better for your son to be with children nearer his age. 4 in my opinion is quite young for any child to start school.

Maybe see you over in the SN section soon.

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