Autism provision in Cambridge(18 Posts)
Can anyone living in Cambridge with an autistic child tell me about the quality of provision in schools locally and how they find the place they live to be in terms of quality of life with an autistic child? Is there anywhere you would recommend living?
Might be worth mentioning how old your child is. There’s a few schools specifically for children with special needs or are you looking for a mainstream school that is particularly good for special needs?
He’s 3 and a half, regarding the kind of provision - I really don’t know at the moment so any advice round be brilliant.
It's going to depend on the school but I think most of the states have pretty decent provision.
Anyone in Cambridge with an autistic child who can tell me their experience? I know there is a specialist school in Girton? Anyone with experience of support in a mainstream setting?
Thanks to all who have replied but some pointers from parents with autistic children would really help me. Any schools in particular you would recommend? Any clubs/ playgroups catering to SEN children?
Have you been to the special needs group in impington on a Monday? I visited Gretton the school you mention but wasn’t a huge fan.
We are in London at the moment. Husband works in Cambridge. Expecting another baby and we are planning to move next year depending on schools etc. I don’t know anyone there and have no family so don’t want to move if provision is not good.
I’d say it also depends very much on the needs of your child. I have a friend whose child is very high functioning so at school gets no support. We’re just south of cambridge and have found Essex pretty good but a friend 15 minutes up the road has found it mixed so also depends on your child’s needs. I’d look at the Cambridge local offer to see what services you can access.
The provision in the school my NT child goes to is very good. She has two SEN children in her class both of whom have an individual helper who have stayed the same since Reception (now y5). One of the children wasn't expected to stay in mainstream past Y2 but has thrived. Cambridge is a high science area so there is quite a lot of understanding.
It very much depends on the needs and strengths if your child. A good friend's DC was diagnosed at 3, with a total lack of interaction being their most obvious problem. They are now at the Castle School and thriving. The parents are very happy... but there are not many places and DC had to start Reception in mainstream school until a place was available.
Age range will be 9-19 and hasn't opened yet but a possibility for the future.
Can speak with my school governor hat on, rather than as a parent of a child with additional needs, but it will depend massively on the individual schools. Some of the more "popular" schools will not be particularly keen to take on autistic children. State schools have to fund the first £6000 of any extra provision so many schools will have their eye on the bottom line, unfortunately. I'd be looking for a school which has experience with SEND - ask if they've had any SEND children leave school recently. They may not be forthcoming but it's an interesting question to ask.
For secondary provision, there are a few specialist schools. One of our recent leavers went to the Granta School, Linton.
I’ve just seen these replies- all really helpful thank you. The plans for the Cavendish school Look very interesting. Thanks everyone.
Hi, I have a 7 yr old DS with ASD and I can honestly say that I feel Cambridge is a good place to live if you have a child with autism. Like a PP said, because of the Science focus here there does seem to be a general understanding of ASD. (light-heartedly, we have been gently teased by friends and family for being "soooo Cambridge" with our gorgeous non NT boy). My DS goes to our local primary school which is Colville and they have provided excellent support right from the start. My DS struggles massively academically but I have never felt as though he isn't valued by the school. I have recently applied for an ENCP and the process has been smooth with excellent Ed Psych reports etc. TBH Colville is probably not as sought after as other more "supposedly m/c" local schools but I have nothing but praise for the school and have happily sent my 4 yr old NT DD there this year and she is thriving. I'm sure other schools would also be supportive too. I am also a secondary teacher at a local village school and I feel the general culture is geared towards viewing supporting and adapting for students with ASD as absolutely being part of our job (of course, as it should be). My school has recently opened a "cabin" for several students with ASD who have been out of mainstream for several years and so far it is working well. Several other local schools also have similar provision. I, too, am very interested in Cavendish. There is also a Science specialist Sixth Form which opened fairly recently (UTC) and I hear from friends who work there that they have a high number of students with ASD. I have always lived in Cambridge so I can't compare with other places but I do feel lucky with the place (and the time) that I live with a child with ASD. Obviously everything is not all rosy (the realities of life with a child with SEN) but I am pretty optimistic that I will continue to receive good support for my DS in the future.
I'm actually in Impington - I know there's massive support for the Cavendish and it's really been pushed through. I think our villages Histon & Impington are pretty outstanding in terms of provision for non-NT children and for NT children as well but I'm probably biased.
Some of the more "popular" schools will not be particularly keen to take on autistic children.
This is undoubtedly true of some schools but they have to remember that they do get the 6k in their budget in the first place in preparation for having a certain number of children who will need it. Some schools seem to forget this.
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