Good secondary schools in Leeds for Aspergers son(10 Posts)
Hi all. My son will be starting secondary in 3 years and am starting to consider which schools to aim for. Newish to Leeds area so does anyone have any advice/exp that can be shared. He has been diagnosed with Aspergers and is high functioning. Does that help with schools or hamper? Thanks,
Secondary school can be very problematic for those on the spectrum, due to larger sites, more timetable/staff changes and more complex social relationships. Often the difficulties only start to emerge in the later primary years, so it's hard to predict at this stage what kind of school would suit your son. Are you looking at special schools or just mainstream? Does your son have a statement?
Thanks SweetandSourChicken. He doesnt have a statement. only got the diagnosis on 2 Sept. DS is currently in mainstream school and would like him to go to mainstream high school as well. STARS team recently started support at his school. Am not sure its worth going for a statement as I have been told that Leeds is difficult to get statement unless really below average performance in school. He does well academically hence his SENCO said he will unlikely get a statement.
You need to take your SENCO's advice with a pinch of salt - they will have followed training from the LA, and LAs aren't keen on issuing statements due to the cost! But academic performance is not the only factor to consider when deciding whether a statement is necessary, and you can always ask for a statutory assessment as a parent without permission from the SENCO.
Any special needs provision your son gets will not be a legal entitlement unless it is written in a statement, hence it is generally better for children with SEN to have a statement than to just depend on school action/action plus. Another advantage of a statement is that if a particular school is named on it, the school must admit that child. Without a statement, your son would just fall into the normal admissions category and his place would be decided on the grounds of distance/siblings etc. It's very rare for medical or social needs to be taken into account without a statement.
I have two ASD DC at secondary school, they don't have statements (we tried and were turned down at Tribunal).
I would start by visiting all the schools and
interviewing speaking to the SENCO. Investigate how the pastoral care system works, and, if you can, talk to other parents and see if they think the policy works in practice.
Ask about their transitional arrangements, do they offer anything about the usual for ASD DC? Lunchtimes and breaks are often difficult, so what is available then? Do they have quite spaces that DC can access when they need to? How does the school communicate to staff about SEN issues (especially cover teachers!)?
In my experience, a school you can work with is the most important issue, much more than exam results. So I would also be looking for how amenable they are to the questions and if they seem open to your opinions on what might work for your DS
My son has just started Yr 7, I looked at state and private.
I started by speaking to the SENCO the year before I applied to check the size of school, policy etc.. But mostly to see if they were interested to find out more about my quirky AS son. They were obviously interested in finding solutions to some of his issues. Other schools, with good SENCO reputations, just wheeled out their policy lines which would not have worked for him.
What did they do
- let us have a guided tour of the school on our own
- let me take photos of the buildings and classrooms so he had a visual record
- make some small but important changes to his uniform
- treated me and my son as individuals
- responded promptly to a few incidents of bullying and nipped it in the bud
We are coming to the end of first term and it has been a success. He has risen to the work challenge, seems to have settled in. It is early days and I m under no disillusion that it will probably get harder now the novelty has worn off.
Good luck but it is very much a gut instinct thing.
Thank you all so much for the advice. I will need to start visiting the schools. AM not sure how I can get to speak to other parents as I am newish to Leeds and dont know anybody here, but that wont stop me from trying.!
If you start to consider independent options Drax has proven a good choice for a family friend.
Would you be able to narrow it down a bit as to where you are in Leeds? That might help with suggestions, it's a big city and some of those said suggestions may be unrealistic in terms of travel.
Just a general idea would be great.
Drax is really not worth travelling to if she is in leeds. Try Roundhay or Horsforth first as your best bets. Whereabouts in Leeds would be useful.
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