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Best area to live in terms of Autism support

(111 Posts)
asulikeit Tue 22-Mar-11 14:51:56

We currently live in London but want to move outside as there would be better schools and more choice for our DS2 with autism or so were are lead to believe.

Your advise would be much appreciated.

shimmerysilverglitter Tue 22-Mar-11 16:22:25

Interested in this as there is nothing here, we are in London too. It does surprise me that the nations capital is so deficient in autism support.

IndigoBell Tue 22-Mar-11 16:24:59

What kind of school will he need? A SS for kids with Autism? Or a MS with ASD unit? Or just a normal MS school?

asulikeit Tue 22-Mar-11 17:01:48

Would really like an aba school or a school that has good resources for our non verbal ds2.

A ss would do but with firm belief in sign and teaching it and one where he can be motivated.

Being Tribunal broke but not beaten, down but not out.

IndigoBell Tue 22-Mar-11 17:54:56

Not sure what it's like, but would Hillingdon Manor be right?

Toppy Tue 22-Mar-11 18:03:34

Surrey has lots of ASD provision - maintained and private
It is a relatively nice LEA to deal with too

We live in SW london but I drive my DS to a special nursery in Surrey every morning
How old is DS2 ?

Wandsworth has an ABA school

silverfrog Tue 22-Mar-11 18:37:42

Surrey does have lots of ASD provision, which can be a problem if it is ABA school you are after - as the Surrey ASD schools are seen as gold standard, then it can be hard ot prove that your dc needs ABA.

having said that, it is not impossible - we managed it for dd1.

THere are ABA schools in Guildford (Jigsaw), Wandsworth (Rainbow), my dd goes to one near Sevenoaks (again, very hard ot get ABA form Kent, they are very against it)

THere is also Step by Step near East Grinstead, and Quest over towards the west of Kent.

Of course there is Treehouse in London too.

Eloise73 Tue 22-Mar-11 19:59:42

I live in Surrey (near Guildford) and so far the service dd has received (she is 3 and has ASD) has been brilliant although a few snags here and there but that is to be expected. Her EP especially is brilliant and her OT is fabulous. And my health visitor is the best ever, she probably comes more to support me than my DD!

Have contacted a couple of infant/primary schools and both have extensive experience with ASD kids and seem so interested, almost excited to meet all of us and have DD join them in their school which is amazing and wonderful because we really want DD to go mainstream and we were worried schools might not be positively inclusive but they are.

We also have lots of great SN state schools around here like Freemantles (Woking) and Pond Meadow (Guildford) and a few private ABA schools as well.

We have thought of moving somewhere else in the country where property prices weren't so high but to be honest we would struggle to find the support we have here on the NHS and also the private provisions are great as well and we use them to supplement therapy as and when we can afford it. We will just have to swallow that bitter (and expensive) pill when we do eventually buy a house as we will be paying quite a premium for it. But for DD we would do anything so we are definitely here to stay.

asdx2 Tue 22-Mar-11 20:35:09

Derbyshire is good for early dx and statementing before school entry after that you are on your own. One autism specialist school in the whole county for children with autism and severe learning difficulties. Roughly four places per school year in ASD bases attached to mainstream schools.Specialist SALT service is non existent any more (now one ASD specialist SALT for the whole county) , community SALT service is over stretched and ineffective. OT services like hen's teeth and don't consider sensory difficulties their remit any longer. SS don't consider autism a disability unless it is alongside another recognised disability. Avoid would be my advice.

lisad123isasnuttyasaboxoffrogs Tue 22-Mar-11 21:51:00

not hertfordshire is all I can say!

finefatmama Tue 22-Mar-11 23:00:31

Thurrock has an aba school which is a maintained school.

usedtobeahappycamper Wed 23-Mar-11 09:41:10

Northamptonshire have been pretty good, but who knows what cuts will bring.
lisad is right, avoid Hertfordshire, and I would also say avoid Bedfordshire.

HisWife Wed 23-Mar-11 11:08:46

Keep right away from Hertfordshire. They're not just neglectful with limited resources, they're barbaric and use ample resources to ensure children with autism fail!

That's my opinion anyhow!

asulikeit Wed 23-Mar-11 11:19:02

Thank you all very much for your very honest replies.

Surrey does seem like a good option as we had already heard good things although house prices are expensive we will consider it.

We did consider Treehouse but thought Snowflake was better VB school in earls court. But had to accept lea school but feel now a more specialist salt provision is needed for non verbal ds2.

We are really concerned about ds2 longterm education so that would be why we would consider moving .

silverfrog Wed 23-Mar-11 11:27:09

When I looked at Step by Step (ooh, about 3 years ago now, i suppose) they were keen to highlight their emphasis on VB/speech side of things.

IN the end they were't suitable for dd1 (they assessed her as too verbal to fit in with their majority peer group).

thye were very helpful, though, and spent a lot of time with us. might be worht a look?

HisWife Wed 23-Mar-11 12:09:27

You might want to look into ICAN. I don't think they generally take children with autism but it can depend on your and their perspective of your child's autism and how much of it is really a SLT issue.

Oblomov Wed 23-Mar-11 12:59:26

I live in Surrey and I can not seem to get any support at all. But then ds has very mild , possible AS, and I may not get a diagnosis.
School will not provide me with anyhting. No support whatsoEVER.
I am apsolutely intrigued to read what Toppy, silverfrog and Eloise are saying. Becasue I must be doing this all wrong.

HisWife Wed 23-Mar-11 13:03:44

Ob. No you are not.

Hertfordshire and Surrey are the two most complained about LA's in the country for their poor SEN practises.

They are different in their strategies though. Surrey provide crap services for children with HFA. Hertfordshire provide no services.

silverfrog Wed 23-Mar-11 13:16:39

Oblomov: I have to run, as have a dentist's appt (which will hopefully end the month long chronic toothache Ive had as a result of a dental procedure hmm) but just quickly: no you are not doing anyhting wrong.

Surrey are absolute shits.

THey are a slightly different kettle of fish with pre-schoolers, dependng on area.

Hopeless probably with AS end of the spectrum, in terma of special provision (my dd is severe ASD, and actually goes to school in KEnt as Surrey provision is not any use for her).

PM me if you want some info on Surrey provisions/dealing wiht them etc.

Marne Wed 23-Mar-11 13:25:55

Its not bad here (Dorset) although dd1&2 both go to MS school, most of the schools are tiny (small class sizes) but the schools seem to be great with sn children, there are afew schools near by that are sn (mainly ASD), dd2 gets outreach from the sn school. OT is great here and there are sn nurseries which use ABA techniques.

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 23-Mar-11 14:17:06


I'd avoid Essex as well. Herts is also another county that you want to avoid.
Not Wandsworth either.

"Being Tribunal broke but not beaten, down but not out".

From what you write above as well initially there is no statement in place still for DS2?.

sickofsocalledexperts Wed 23-Mar-11 14:19:22

finefatmama - did I read right that Thurrock has a state school which does ABA. That is amazing! Is that a first?? Am v interested to know

Toppy Wed 23-Mar-11 20:39:55

Hmm Asyoulikeit - it is not looking good is it
Here's an idea ..... move to America. I know a family that did and they have never looked back. Their 5 year old has had his diagnosis lifted. They do seem to have it sorted there with a unity of ABA type approach.
'What is wrong with this country' in best Daily Mail voice (no offence to DM readers, its better than OK and Hello for sleb goss)

Silverfrog.....a month of tooth pain following a procedure - me too! Am going back for 5th attempt to sort it out tomorrow and am so fed up with the pain I feel I might punch the dentist

Eloise73 Wed 23-Mar-11 20:41:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Toppy Wed 23-Mar-11 21:54:21

DS's special nursery in Surrey has about 30 pre school children in attendance. They come from K&C, H&F, Merton, Richmond, Kingston, Middlesex and Surrey. More than one family have moved from overseas to send their child there.
I would say the families who are having the roughest time with Statementing are the Kingston lot - they all have to go through the SEN 'Gatekeeper' (!) and this seems to really hold up the process. Those in the know do it themselves. Those in shock from a new diagnosis seem to lose months of valuable time waiting for the process to start.
The Surrey families definitely don't have it easy, I think 'weak' statements are a nationwide phenomenon, but there is a lot of provision in or near Surrey.

I'll reel off a list of schools that are regularly mentioned. I really don't know that much about them because we are unlikely to ever be offered anything other than our in-borough SS

Freemantles (Surrey maintained)
Linden Bridge (Worcester Park area - Surrey Maintained)
Rainbow (ABA)
Eagle House
The Link (nr Croydon)
Blossom House (Wimbledon SALT SS - takes some verbal ASD children)
Hall School - Wimbledon. ASD specific unit attached to MS private school.
The Meath (Ican school, takes a lot of ASD children)
St Josephs, Cranleigh
The Priory Lodge School, Roehampton (Priory Group, Private)
Unsted Park, Godalming (Priory Group, Private)
Papillon House, Tadworth, Surrey
Brooklands, Reigate, Surrey

there are quite a few more - units and also inclusive schools but I did not jot them down in my notebook.
Lots of people move from London to Surrey for the provision. Even those in Surrey move to be closer to the right school so make sure you really suss out all the options first.

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