To all those going through the horror of it - just to say, stick with it. Today was my DS last day at primary school. We had a speech day where prizes were awarded and my DS got the 'exceptional progress' prize for the whole of the senior school. To say I am proud is an understatement. He's come such a long way and I have fought and fought and fought during the statementing process.
When he started Reception - none of the teachers even knew he was autistic. None of them had ever taught autistic children before. We were advised to apply for a statement but during that time they felt they couldn't cope with him and he was onyl allowed in school for an hour a day - and during that hour they essentially kept him occupied away from the other children. We were turned down first time to even be assessed for a statement. Obviously I appealed and we went through the process, fighting and manipulating where we could. Eventually it was granted (only after some severe arm twisting of the paediatrician to actually diagnose the autism rather than say 'autistic tendancies)
He essentially missed his first year of school and whilst the following year was much better, we then moved to London and had to deal with a certain London borough who don't have the greatest reputation. They decided to withdraw his funding! We ended up having to appeal and get lawyers involved but eventually it was reinstated (although with the proviso they wouldn't actually supply the SALT or educational psychology that was required)
When he started at his new school he couldn't even sit in assembly for a minute - and even then the teachers had to use an egg timer as a visual aid and then withdraw him. He could barely read and was disruptive and sometimes violent. By the time he left he was learning Latin and getting A and B grades along with the rest of his peers and whilst occasionally he still gets frustrated - the violence has gone and he is a very polite, charming young man.
I know that things don't always work out this way due to a number of different factors, but when I was going through the statement process with his first school, I felt I couldn't cope and thought it would be better if he went to a special school. I could have done with hearing some positive outcomes! Luckily, I stuck with it and he's blossomed into the child I never thought I would have.
Just wanted to share for those people who might be in the positon I was in a few years ago and hope it may help.
Think so! - It's a very different school and is huge in comparison (although really they all are, aren't they?) but they seem really switched on and have a very inclusive attitude. I think there is another child with a statement in his class too which should help.
That's so good to hear! DD is in mainstream, and is doing well, but there is the constant threat in the background of having her support withdrawn at the Annual Review of her Statement. I do sometime wonder if life would be easier (for me!) if she went to a special school. But she is happy, which is the important thing.
That is fantastic Rosie and Rosie ds. My dd is due to start MS school in September (we are going through the statementing process). I am worried about how she will cope with a whole day, but this has given me hope. My dd has ASD (mild end of the spectrum), social communication difficulties.
Just wanted to say that DDs school have been great. It is a small school and all the staff have had ASD training and they are really able to tune into what it is like for her at school. She is able to get "time out" if it is all too much for her and is always happy to go to school.
This has really cheered on a very difficult week. We are currently going through a horrendous time in the run up to DD starting school in September. This has given me hope that with the right MS school and the right support things can work out after all.
Thank you again and good luck with secondary school.
You may be interested in the forthcoming conference www.towardsapositivefuture.wordpress.com which is foccussing on sharing what we know works for children with SEN and how we can better network and work together to improve the educational and life outcomes for our children whatever the political or legal system we are working with.