WUS, King's and autism(10 Posts)
Friends have suggested we think about the above schools for DS, 7 and with high-functioning autism. So my questions are:
1) how do we know whether he is cleve enough to try?
2) what support do those schools have for HFA kids and what percentage of children there have it?
I have heard that KCS is well set up and supportive, no idea about WUS, though their SEND policy is very good.
There are a number of spectrum boys at WUS, along with other related issues (dyspraxia, add, OCD etc). I think it is a pretty good place for them, if they are up to it academically as there are a lot of quite quirky boys to blend in with.
On the question of whether academically suitable, that is always hard to know, hence so many people who would have only tried at 8+ doing 7+ too "to see/practice". (Not always a wholly helpful exercise). Perhaps try him on some bond books and see if he is happy on them at a year or two ahead of age (I assume he is year 2?)
I went round WUS 5 years ago for ASD DS to go in at 11+. The SEN department was marked by a post-it note on the door and when I asked what their SEN provision was I got fairly blank looks from most of the staff.
It might well have improved in 5 years but I was pretty shocked that in a school with high achieving boys and, surely, a proportion of kids on the spectrum they were so low key in their approach.
Latymer in Hammersmith has a very good SEN department as does Hampton. I don't know about King's.
My DS sat the 7+ for KCS a few years ago. The school told us that although he'd done really well in the exams and scored high enough to get an offer, if that were all they looked at, they had concerns about him based on the open day and felt he was too immature over all so should try again the next year. He had apparently refused to continue playing snakes and ladders when the child he was playing cheated triggering his huge 'sense of injustice' reflex!
I got the impression they were looking for boys who were bright but also quite outgoing and sociable.
Worth being aware of if you have a quirky child or one on the spectrum.
Thank you for the views. It sounds like I need to investigate more and also look at Latymer and Hampton- though I had heard the latter was extremely sporty and more for the sociable types.
I don't completely agree about Hampton - they have a lot of quirky boys there. Boy in my son's primary school went there in the end - now in Y10. He was absolutely sport phobic and has found a great group of friends and is doing really well. Music and drama is very strong there too - they get the LEH girls in for productions so lots of interaction with them. SEN department very strong, with a room for boys who need it to go to get out of the hurly burly, amongst other things.
Mind you - we would have needed full bursaries for Latymer or Hampton and we didn't get them so my ds is in our local comp - where the provision for him (very bright, high functioning ASD/ADHD) has been very good - not always brilliant, but very good. Don't necessarily think that private = better provision and don't necessarily fall in to thinking that a high functioning child can't manage in a state school.
I don't know about WUS, but the senior school is very very good at supporting SEN, including boys who are clearly on the spectrum. LUS is also very good, though has a more robust student body. For a child who is very bright and has a love of learning but who has underdeveloped social skills, Westminster has to be as close to perfect as it is possible to get.
WUS has really changed its focus on support generally recently, particularly under the new master. There is a now a proper SEN person, in addition to the more general "study skills" person and other initiatives, like testing the whole school body for dyslexia and dyscalculia lest there are hidden problems, concealed by high intelligence, which show real commitment.
I suggest you take a look
I concur with what both sleep and purple said above as I have a SEN DS with WUS at the moment, school is really supportive and looking after him well.
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