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Best area to live in terms of Autism support

(110 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.

meerkat66 Wed 13-Mar-13 12:43:48

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

SmiteYouWithThunderbolts Wed 13-Mar-13 15:32:55

Another Milton Keynesian here, and so far I have had a positive experience with ASD support. Another mum from schools whose eldest ds has ASD described MK as "the UK's capital for autism", which I think she meant as a good thing!

SmiteYouWithThunderbolts Wed 13-Mar-13 15:33:22

p.s. I love our concrete cows grin

EllenJaneisstillnotmyname Wed 13-Mar-13 15:43:40

Oh, wow, this zombie thread has been revived again!

StarlightMcKenzie Wed 13-Mar-13 16:22:22

<throws LPs>

MrsMum70 Wed 13-Mar-13 18:47:54

Done a quick name change for this as I daren't reveal myself, too much going on. Another MK person here. Early days but so far diagnosis process was good and after support ok. If anyone wants to recommend good schools please do! :-) Going to change back now!

float62 Wed 13-Mar-13 22:24:04

Sorry long...Find the school(s) you want and move near. Not all schools are well known on this site nor easily found by basic IT searching but can also be well established. Every LA has to provide a list of Special State and Independent Schools upon request and the one I was given by West Sussex 3 years ago also gave info nationally although a lot of it was incorrect but at least gave a starting point. Eg: the info given for the 2 Ind SS that I was interested in gave incorrect info about age groups in one (important as many don't admit at primary stage and this one did) and the existence of a specific ASD unit within the other (classifying the school as solely BESD, a dreaded terminology to the ASD-folk no matter how you change the letters round) and where my ds has now attended to life-changing effect for over a year now.

All LAs can be good to some and terribly bad to others, (tho I've yet to read a good word said on this site about Wilts but have no personal exp) and there's an awful lot of 'just coping' going on everywhere.

Be prepared for bs wherever you go, I gather from info that if a dx was given before primary school, then there is less chance of bs and I deduce that this is because there has been less 'red-herrings' and amateur explanations given as reasons for a dc's reaction to ms schooling, which often gets in the way of a child's real educational needs being met.

MerryCouthyMows Thu 14-Mar-13 01:08:18

NOT Colchester, Essex...

MerryCouthyMows Thu 14-Mar-13 01:24:22

Essex in general is better - Chelmsford has far better services, better support, better SEN schools, better SALT & OT help.

But North Essex? People move AWAY from here to get support, and the schools and North Essex LA are notorious for setting illegal blanket policies that have been challenged repeatedly in court, yet continue.

Over 15 years of dealing with DC's with ASD issues (and even being unable to get full dx on the NHS for 2/3 or 3/4 of them ), I would avoid avoid avoid. Only the very most severely Autistic DC's tend to actually recurve a FORMAL dx. And usually only then if they are disruptive in school, and have ADHD as a co morbid. It's probably the only reason DS3 at 25mo is so much further along the diagnostic procedures than DD at 15yo, DS2 at 9yo, and DS1 at 10yo - because he had been dxd as 'hyperactive with a high probability of ADHD' by the Paed by the time he was just 21mo! As the others don't have ADHD as a co morbid, all I got told was that they "have Autistic traits, they are somewhere on the spectrum" for the others, handed a bunch of leaflets, and left to get on with it...

If I wasn't tied here by PSO's from Ex partners, and living in Social Housing, I would be in Surrey like a shot!

The NHS services here are particularly bad too - no SALT therapies other than worksheets for non-verbal DC's, no dx given on specific SALT problem, no Centile assessments to ensure knowledge of level of difficulties. Specialist ASD SALT non-existant. No SALT in school apart from in the two SEN schools.

OT - waiting list of approximately 2 years to SEE OT, exercises given on worksheets then discharged to the care of the school (MS) who don't bother to implement the exercises at all. Getting equipment is nigh on impossible - most people here don't get Mac Majors or swifty's unless they have a dx of CP. Anything else is ignored. We ended up paying. Getting adaptations for the home or school is nigh on impossible too. Sensory OT non-existent.

Proprioception stuff IS OK through SEEPOK, but only if you can actually GET an appointment. DS2 is now 9.3yo and has been waiting since he was 11mo...

Any other sort of sensory integration therapy requires a long commute that is nigh on impossible if, like me, you are reliant on public transport.

Seriously - North Essex is one to steer clear of IMO!

MerryCouthyMows Thu 14-Mar-13 01:30:13

Hmmmm...maybe NOT Surrey then?!

babiki Thu 14-Mar-13 07:31:44

MerryCouthyMows we are in Chelmsford and very unhappy with both the NHS and the council sad

Scottishdancer Thu 14-Mar-13 08:03:34

I would agree with babiki. Not Chelmsford. We too have been very unhappy with services here.

MerryCouthyMows Fri 15-Mar-13 02:36:44

There seems to be so much more support in Chelmsford than here...maybe all that says is that Essex as a whole is crap, but North Essex is just even crappier...

babiki Fri 15-Mar-13 08:57:20

sad If I knew where to move, I would... MerryMouthCows where would you move?

Emily7708 Fri 15-Mar-13 10:12:56

I'm in South Essex and the services here are utter crap. Seriously looking at moving but not a clue where we should go.

Very interested to see Westminster mentioned as I work very close to there. Maybe I should set up camp with DS in the staff room.

MerryCouthyMows Fri 15-Mar-13 11:07:34

What about the ABA school in Thurrock? Not Essex, yet IN Essex. But Thurrock has it's own unitary Authority, so they get to do things differently to the rest of Essex if they choose.

If I could move, which I can't, I would probably pick somewhere like Bristol maybe - but that's more for me! They have the best epilepsy services in the country IMO, and they have a lot of Autism support there.

(My Ex-SIL lives there, and 2/3 of her DC's have dxd ASD - her DS has HFA + ADHD, and her DD2 has Severe Autism).

<<Wishes she was there>>

Emily7708 Fri 15-Mar-13 11:20:24

Yes I only just found out about the ABA school in Thurrock yesterday, I'm still in shock that it exists. It's about an hour's drive from us at the moment. Would be a dream come true to get DS into an ABA school but don't hold out much hope.

Bristol sounds good, have fond memories of going there for boozy weekends in my twenties. Am in awe of your ex-SIL as I am struggling really badly at the moment with just one little four year old with ASD.

Pixiedust1973 Wed 24-Apr-13 00:10:52

I live in Reigate Surrey. Actually moved here for the SEN provision from East Sussex who are truly the worst of the worst for SEN & failed my daughter from start to finish. She was helped & supported in school here immediately & got that elusive diagnosis within a few months just before her 12th birthday after many years of being fobbed off in ES. She has gone from bottom sets to top sets in a year since moving here. smile

QueenofWhispers Wed 24-Apr-13 08:05:01

I've lived in the borough of westminster and now live in the borough of chelsea.

first things first:
1. you don't have to be well off to live here; there are affordable housing options if you don't mind being creative.
2. westminster was far better with the turn around time of statement and was willing to work out problems....however they do say the word 'no' a little too often for my liking.
3. kensington and chelsea will fund almost anything--if you are patient enough...and pushy--you have to be pretentious and pushy. I am the least pretentious person I know.

Dev9aug Wed 24-Apr-13 09:18:54

That's interesting queenofwhispers, we were looking at westminster earlier this year but told that they don't fund ABA home programmes anymore so decided against it. Do you know what their position is with regards to ABA both in Westninster and Chelsea.
Do you mind if I PM you, we probably will have to move again in a year or so and both the places you have experience of are on the list of potentials area to move in.

QueenofWhispers Wed 24-Apr-13 17:23:07

absolutely pm me. Westminster wont fund in so many words, but then they do pay to you and you choose what to do with x amount. You get to choose who you hire, and what they do.

K&C do indeed cover costs of home programmes, however they do expect you to fight for it year to year...the local schools (although their staff is trained with certain types of ABA (Fox has experience with VB ABA) they prefer not to entertain the idea of having outsiders coming to work with your child. There is red tape in both boroughs, but nothing a determined parent can't overcome...the one thing I've learned on here (Directly From Starlight, Indigo, BlueShark and Bermuda Shorts is that you just keep pushing).

1busybee Mon 02-Dec-13 19:06:43

Is Hertfordshire still no better? Have dying hopes that it might have improved.....

blueskiesblue Sat 08-Mar-14 23:31:53

Hi all. Sorry ... I know this is an old thread but I'm after info on counties with good SEN support and this came up on Google. I'm in Northamptonshire and have had the worst experience in terms of getting support for my teen who has a diagnosis of high-functioning Autism. Teen is very bright but grades are deteriorating at school as they're not getting enough support. SENCO insists they doesn't need support or a SEN, even though most of the teachers say different. Teen explodes every day, is violent and aggressive. My youngest and I are classed as at risk but SS won't help because we slip through between their categories. Apparently my teen is isn't disabled enough to go under their 'disability team', but because my teen has a disability doesn't fit the criteria in their 'child in need' team! I've heard from other sources that it's all down to the county's funding, which I think is absolutely disgusting. I'm now wanting to move, partly because of the lack of support and because my teen is very unhappy at school due it being the wrong environment for him. Teen doesn't have a statement but has an IEP. I am considering either north to Ainsdale (Sefton), Bolton/Bury (Gtr. Manchester), Salisbury (Wiltshire) or Godalming (Surrey). I can't afford to get it wrong in terms of moving him, as my teen isn't far off GCSE's and is distressed enough already. Please can anyone give me info on either of those areas in terms of how good SEN support is and recommend schools if possible? Many thanks smile

Divinity Sun 09-Mar-14 22:41:20

I would copy and paste your post onto a new thread blue. I only got to the end as I was curious who had resurrected the zombie for a fourth time. It just won't die!! smile

Branleuse Thu 13-Mar-14 07:44:06

it may be a zombie thread, but im resurrecting it again. im in colchester and having a total fucking battle on my hands trying to acess proper support for my diagnosed, fully statemented asd teenager who is now school phobic, but apparently educational levels are too high for the two MLD schools nearby, but without any suitable provision that he can cope with in any mainstream school.
i thought I'd ressurect the thread rather than start another as its got useful information in it

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