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Steiner school

(3 Posts)
captainBeaky Sun 30-Nov-14 18:31:44

captainBeaky Sun 30-Nov-14 18:15:27
Hello, I'm posting here for traffic and would be grateful for any advice. My friend's DS (a very young 7) is having huge difficulties in mainstream school. He regularly breaks his heart about going, feels that he has no friends (although teachers say otherwise, but they have also said that other children look after him, almost like a pet.) He doesn't cope very well with the demands of school and is very slow in completing his work. He often gets dressed back to front. He is behind significantly academically (not that this bothers her, she is simply concerned about the affect this is having on his confidence)
He has recently been saying that he wants to die and has also said he wishes he was in a different family, even though friend and her partner are brilliant, loving parents.
She is extremely worried about him. He does seem very young for his age,and is often in his own little world. He is possibly somewhere on the autistic spectrum although no formal diagnosis has been made. She desperately wants to take him out of mainstream school but is not in a financial position to home educate.
A new Steiner school has opened about a 45 minute drive from her house. She went to look recently and felt it would be perfect for her son, but he is very unlikely to get a place as she doesn't live within the catchment area. Is there anything she can do? It is heartbreaking to know that he is so unhappy. Please advise if you can.

pyrrah Sun 30-Nov-14 22:09:34

From what I have heard about Steiner schools, I would be even more wary of sending a child who make have some SEN. They have an 'interesting' take on disabilities and their ways of dealing - or not dealing - with bullying are shock

How are the current school dealing with things? What are they putting in place to help with him being behind?

DD's school have an Ed Psych on the staff who sees children (and their parents) with a wide range of issues. Sounds like your friend's son would be well served by an appointment with someone of this sort.

State schools are generally far better at dealing with these issues that private schools.

mathanxiety Tue 02-Dec-14 21:21:25

I agree 100% with that comment from Pyrrah.

Don't go near them with a ten foot bargepole. Grass always looks greener, etc. but sending a child to Steiner school if he has issues would be a recipe for disaster. They tend to let bullying take its own course and their take on disability of any kind is indeed 'interesting'. Anthroposophists believe in reincarnation and see disability as evidence of imperfection. They see us all as existing partly as spirits, and children and adults with disabilities especially so. They frown on conventional medicine and conventional diagnoses (of autism, or dyspraxia, etc) and rely instead on philosophy and herbs (eg. mistletoe for cancer). They believe children choose the bodies they are born into.

The little boy needs to be assessed properly to see if there are underlying issues, and the mum needs to bother the school until they get to the bottom of what is going on. If he has been talking about wanting to die and wishing for a different family he needs to see a paediatrician with children's MH expertise.

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