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North London Secondaries - Mainstream or Special for high functioning Autism son

(4 Posts)
BernieFernie Fri 09-Sep-11 20:22:09

Hi
I'm starting my search for a secondary for my son. His intelligence in average for his age (ish) but he has problems with sensory and often has meltdowns at school due to his communication and social difficulties.

If he is to be in a school it needs to be excellent at providing for children like him. We are awaiting the outcome of a SEN statement assesment.

Thanks for your help.
Bernie

permittedsmile Tue 13-Sep-11 13:21:15

I live in London with a son with HFA. I looked into all the schools within travelling distance and we ended up going down the residential special school route. London ms secondaries simply can't cope with students with HFA, especially those who experience meltdowns (which will be regarded as a behavioural problem). They are too large and there are too many transitions throughout the day.

We looked at special schools too but the state special schools won't meet the academic needs of a child with average intelligence. There are some independent special schools which will cope with exams but they're not able/willing to deal with meltdown behaviour.

So I'd advise you to look at the independent special schools, especially those aimed only at HFA/AS. It would give your child access to a suitable peer group, an environment tailored to his needs, management of his behaviour from fully trained staff, yet would also allow access to a full curriculum as well as independence/life skills. I don't think any other school would meet all of these needs, either mainstream or LA special schools.

BernieFernie Mon 19-Sep-11 19:39:18

@permittedsmile Thanks so much for this useful information. Did you question any schools in N London specifically? I think instinctively and from research I've done I completely concur. I can't face the thought of a residential school at all but maybe that'll be different in 2 years. He's at home now and we are learning to home educate. If we get a statement, will it fund one of these schools or not? Thanks.

PonceyMcPonce Mon 19-Sep-11 19:42:00

Not London, but in Kent, I work in a school with a specialist unit, so all access to mainstream facilities but more support and accommodations. Seems very much part of everyday here!

I know geographically no use to you, but could there be mainstream schools with specialisms that might suit?

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