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2e - any sage advice?

(26 Posts)
tartanterror Tue 02-Oct-18 14:02:54

Struggling with DS a bit. Y5 ASC with an EHCP and simultaneously exceeding all age-level academic expectations - apart from in writing where he is average.

This week he had a meltdown during some maths homework. He struggled to write one particular symbol due to his motor planning problems. He managed to calm down by thinking of a funny way of remembering how to do it (looked massively more complicated to me) and then proceeded to score 90-100% in his exercises with great ease. He generally avoids writing things down in that way that ASC kids do.

How on earth will he ever be able to demonstrate his knowledge in exams if he doesn't write?
We've waited 2 years already for school to get him typing and despite it being in his EHCP they continue to obfiscate.

Looking ahead to secondary schools he doesn't seem to fit quite right anywhere. Local comp has an ASC unit which he could get a place at, but almost all their other kids have SEN causing significant delays. Their academic results otherwise aren't great and he could do well IF motivated - but the ASC obviously interferes with that! Grammar farther away have great academic support & pastoral care, with a good SENCO - but what if that person leaves?

It's been a bad week and I'm having a wobble about whether it is too much to try for the 11+. I don't know anyone in RL with experience of this off mixture of abilities - any advice? Thanks

Goingonandonandon Wed 03-Oct-18 08:17:02

sorry if I'm going to look completely ignorant but what is ASC?

Tomorrowillbeachicken Wed 03-Oct-18 11:21:01

autistic spectrum condition, I assume. My son has Sen and is a similar position, he has a dx of dcd so far and on pathway to dx for ASD and it is frustrating as the school is nigh on useless and it feels like lip service a lot of the time.
My son is only in yr2 but having to look at options like scribes for exams even now due to his motor issues.

tartanterror Wed 03-Oct-18 13:28:53

sorry goingon I did purposely use some jargon to screen for "helpful" posters with advice but no experience! ASC is Autism Spectrum Condition. I prefer it to ASD where the D is Disorder. It is the more commonly used acronym but it incredibly negative and more than a bit tricky to explain to a child. "condition" is altogther less limiting!

tomorrow sorry to hear about your school. same here I'm afraid. pm me if you want some info on applying for an EHCP as ideally you should get that in place before Y5 so you can choose a secondary school on provision not distance

tartanterror Wed 03-Oct-18 13:31:23

PS you will only get exam accommodations if they are regular classroom practice in the year running up to the test. Hence our problem. The EHCP says the school should have him typing. They don't. So we will not qualify for exam provision. Average is good enough even though it is exceptionally difficult for him to get his thoughts down on page. It is 100% maddening. I absolutely loathe the SEN system.

Goingonandonandon Wed 03-Oct-18 13:40:33

How do you know that the children that are part of the ASD unit at local comp have significant delays? Have you seen their results specifically?

Also, if your DS is not part of the ASD unit but at that local comp, he may have access to some of their services and expertise of the staff without being formally part of the unit.

I have 2 DSs, one who has some autistic traits and has Developmental Verbal Dyspraxia as well as dyspraxia, and he has just started at local comp school. He is a high achiever, especially in maths, 120 on all of his maths SATS exams and 119 in English and SPAG. Our local secondary school has been very supportive of his condition, in terms of communication and physical issues, much, much more better than his primary school. They have more support staff, more expertise, more tools. You may want to contact the school and discuss it further with them, being honest about your son's abilities and see what's on offer outside the ASD unit.

Tomorrowillbeachicken Wed 03-Oct-18 20:07:17

A lot of ASD units do mainly vocational courses as well as lots of reading support. ASD units for hfa or vHfa are few and far between as 2e is barely recognised in the Uk.

tartanterror Wed 03-Oct-18 22:32:56

Going the unit is within the school but the pupils are taught within the main school. The school's SEN policy gave a typical profile for those admitted to the unit. It said "level 3" which I understood to mean old curriculum levels . Google wasn't much help but it seemed to suggest low levels for Y7 on the basis that I understood level 4 to be average at the end of Y6? But if I have got this completely wrong I would love to hear different!

The set up is ideal as the EHCP funding basically pays for a large bank of SEN staff and support workers. It looks really good and I've been in twice now. They have some kids who ignore the unit staff "in public" and liaise discretely at the start/end of the day! They will have the ASC completely covered and it could be a great place for him in that respect. It was when I said he was academically able and could probably pass the 11+ I was told "we don't get the same results as the grammar" and "there are some kids who do really well when they are motivated".

Both schools look great but it is trying to work out which will suit him best is so difficult! Does he need a bit of pressure to help him up his game? Or does he need more pastoral support? Do we need to bother preparing for the 11+? I need a crystal ball I think!

Goingonandonandon Thu 04-Oct-18 08:43:10

I personally would go for more pastoral care rather than pressure, but I think on this board it seems that I am a minority. Many posters on the G&T board are much more focused on academic achievement, and believe that being 'pushy' with the child is what will make the child happier and more satisfied.

DS (now in year7) is G&T in maths and very good at every subject but he does suffer from anxiety and the most significant problem we've had going from primary to secondary is the 'logistics' of every day in a large comprehensive. He struggles with changes in his routine and really, really struggles with 'not knowing' (where the class is, how he will go from one class to the other, when the homework is due, etc etc) so for us, the SEN department has been brilliant. His academic achievement comes second to his general wellbeing and confidence.

2e is not that unusual, but some schools struggle to recognise it as they tend to 'forget' about children who are doing well and focus on kids who are far behind or who have behaviour problems. If you do well at school and your behaviour is good, then you tend to melt into the wallpaper.

Have you compared the 'entry level' of the school in general and compare it to the unit? My gut feeling is that there will be little difference between the two.

Goingonandonandon Thu 04-Oct-18 08:44:08

Sorry I have just re-read your last post and you have compared the two. There is clearly a difference but it's not massive.

tartanterror Thu 04-Oct-18 18:38:58

His academic achievement comes second to his general wellbeing and confidence

Yep that says it all really! Thanks for putting it so succinctly!

I think we will keep both options on the table and see how it goes over the next year. I’ve been told pastoral care at the grammar is good, but whether the offer will suit DS as well as the unit offer I’m can’t tell yet...

Fortunately DS likes both so we’re happy to have 2 good possibilities.

tartanterror Thu 04-Oct-18 18:50:33

Interesting what you say about good behaviour and melting into the wallpaper. I’m not sure any SEN is well dealt with.... DS’s behaviour isn’t great as he can get uncooperative and refuse to do things. He certainly doesn’t melt into the wallpaper and his dodgy behaviour gets him sent to sit in the head’s office rather than additional help hmm A friend’s DS on the spectrum was lashing out and was excluded. Later he got a TA/minder to keep him in check; again support for his actual SEN was slim on the ground.

extrastrongmints Sun 07-Oct-18 08:24:47

Re: schools, flexibility is the most important thing to look for. Instead of league table position or what they do for the whole cohort ask what they can do specifically for your child.
Also, you can't entirely separate academic achievement from general well-being and confidence. If he's underachieving and knows it, it'll knock his confidence. The expert consensus (see e.g. Rowe and Pace ) is to focus on strengths first, and remediation second, because primarily strength-based provision promotes engagement and self esteem. That shouldn't mean pressure though.

Other resources:

1) papers
Twice exceptionality - a resource guide for parents

Critical Issues in the Identification of Gifted Students With Co-Existing Disabilities: The Twice-Exceptional

2) book
Different Minds - Lovecky

3) There is a virtual conference on 2e being held on 26 and 27 Oct.
2 days of 2e

tartanterror Tue 16-Oct-18 20:46:27

just seen this reply extra
Thanks so much -I will check out those resources

mamamedic Tue 16-Oct-18 21:05:44

Our DS is in Year 11 and has v mild processing issue which affects his essay writing. He needs to be able to 'edit' mid exam which is obviously easy on a laptop. As you say he needs to be seen doing this in class prior to the exam.
If we waited for the school to train him to type we'd get nowhere. So we've done it at home using TTRN. He practiced 10-20 mins a day depending on homework and he's now touch typing on his own laptop in lessons.

tartanterror Wed 17-Oct-18 22:49:36

If we waited for the school to train him to type we'd get nowhere

This situation is not right!

mamamedic Thu 18-Oct-18 06:59:19

Well I do agree. But sometimes you've got to help yourself where possible.
It's pretty easy and inexpensive to sort out at home.

tartanterror Thu 18-Oct-18 20:48:33

Thanks mamamefic. That’s indeed what we’ve been doing. As we did with the handwriting before that.

I’m grumpy as the school seems to be happy to take the credit for his strengths - Leaving the weaknesses to us despite being in his EHCP. It’s not a good state of affairs.

HopeClearwater Thu 18-Oct-18 20:54:14

You cannot expect the school to train him to type. Schools simply don’t have the money for this any more. Besides, he will have far more time at home to practise.

GeorgeTheHippo Thu 18-Oct-18 20:58:12

I don't have any experience of ASC and I don't know what 2e is. But I do have two highly academic boys who have flown through selective schooling and into Oxford. They were plainly very very bright even in year five.

I would say to you - don't underestimate the pressure of that academic path. Secondary Education in this country, even in a lovely private school with excellent pastoral care, even when you are very clever, is very focussed on results. Learning for its own sake isn't considered so much, even in the very best schools. If your son may struggle with the social side especially through his teenage years, I think you need to be careful that he doesn't end up with pressure on him from both sides, academic and social.

He will need time and space to focus on relationships, social skills and wellbeing. Don't push him too far towards the academics if he will struggle with the rest of life. It will all be exhausting.

AornisHades Thu 18-Oct-18 21:03:01

I'd focus on the support. We're in a very similar situation but in Yr 7 and currently dd is missing school due to anxiety (caused by school failing to get things right). Doesn't matter how good their teaching is if the child isn't in school.

tartanterror Thu 18-Oct-18 21:29:50

You cannot expect the school to train him to type. Schools simply don’t have the money for this any more.

As he has an EHCP which specifies touch typing the school are legally obliged to provide it. The school also receives £15k top up funding from the LA to deliver the EHCP. However he currently sees £0 f the specified help. The school seem to have used it to help pay for an extra class TA (not a 1-2-1) to assist the other SEN kids who haven’t got Plans. As they’ve never moved on from their first impression that “he’s too bright to qualify for help” they’re happy to ignore the legalities. It’s unbelievably frustrating.

Thanks george and aornis. Partly due to this thread we’re definitely leaning more in the good pastoral care direction.

mamamedic Thu 18-Oct-18 22:32:32

Tartanterror That is outrageous if money awarded to him is being used elsewhere. Could you go to the Govenors if the Head isn't interested?

That said, entitled or not, sometimes you just gotta do what ya gotta do to ensure he gets what he needs. This might include typing practice at home.

Really interesting thread. I often think once some of these lovely kids eventually leave the confines and bureaucracy of school and get into the outside world, they'll really come into their own and show us what they can do. Agree that until then, it's pastoral care all the way.

tartanterror Thu 18-Oct-18 22:52:14

Thanks for your moral support mama. I’m tired of fighting so for the moment it’s easier to help at home. He’s actually made a lot of progress with some areas of SEN so I’m just keeping an eye on things. I’d rather not upset good teaching/progress as that’s better than some of the box-tick items in his plan. I’ll probably wait until he’s typing well and then insist on the keyboard they’re meant to provide. I’ve not complained about the extra TA because I can’t prove that it’s paid for out of DS’ funds... we can only say what we don’t get. The other disincentive for me to get too grumpy as I’dm scared it might derail our secondary transfer application next year. It’s an eye opener.

Zoflorabore Sat 27-Oct-18 19:26:51

Watching my year 11 ds struggling with his time management for his mocks and GCSE's has opened my eyes to a lot.

He took the English literature GCSE in year 10 and didn't even finish half of the paper and still got a grade 4. He doesn't have an EHCP and I'm struggling to persuade his school that he needs extra time.

He has ASC too and the senco at his primary school said he did not need a statement as it was then ( dx when he was 8 ) and although the school he is at isn't academically outstanding, the pastoral support is and for me that is more important.

His mocks in two weeks should be quite telling.

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