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How does your dc cope with secondary school?(7 Posts)
DD (10) with sensory processing disorder, is currently in Y5 of school and loves it, especially the routine and the fact she is with the same children everyday.
I worry about how she will cope in secondary school, and was wondering how other dc with additional needs have coped with the transition.
Ds couldn't cope at ms primary . It was ( in his words) " like a zoo ,mum!"
The class was big (35) . The classroom was very what the school would call 'vibrant' . I would call it over stimulating. A mass jumble of images and pictures and colours and information. It was noisy ... Overly rigid at times but then they would suddenly change their minds and do something different or unplanned. The subjects were all intertwined and indistinguishable .
Secondary has been brilliant.i was sooo worried before he started.... And yet it was clear from the word go when they did transition during the summer that it was going to be a different experience. I remember him saying ( in year 7) "Everything makes sense... You have a timetable... And then you go to a room and its History and there is History stuff on the walls.. I always know where I am and what I am supposed to be doing ."
The classes are small ... Which is a big bonus ..But actually it's the way they value him as an individual that has been the best thing ever. He was just an inconvenience at primary.
He's in year 11 now . He has dx of asd / hfa and dyspraxia with hypermobility .
Much, much better than I thought, very similar experience to troutsprout's DS. He is not being bullied and has even stood up for others being teased and got away with it.
His ability to socialise out of school needs a bit of work but we are taking one step at a time.
What worries or concerns do you have? Academic or social or both?
Is DD on SA, SA+ or statemented?
Has transition planning been put in place?
It really depends upon your child as an individual and their particular needs - some DC have coped better in secondary than primary (but usually statemented) whilst others have not been able to make the transition.
DS2 has also had a successful transition to secondary, but he has full time 1:1 and finds some subjects very hard. I chose his secondary school very carefully. It was amazing the difference between the 6 schools I saw.
His school has a lunchtime and breaktime 'club' in the learning skills dept open to any DC with SEN if they prefer it to being 'let loose' out with everyone else. It's a big school but communication seems excellent within the school so far. DS has an electronic 'passport' that is flagged up on the teacher's laptop at the start of each lesson. The content if this was agreed with me. He is able enough to go to 'normal' sets for his lessons but there are classes in the learning skills dept for those who need more academic support. DC can drop French to concentrate on literacy and maths but still go to DT or ICT or geography etc with everyone else. Timetables and books can be colour coded if necessary.
Transition was managed well with 3 extra individual visits for DS2 on top of the 3 visits with everyone else.
Contrast this with the high achieving school who told me that marginalised (their word) children weren't supported at lunch times and tended to congregate in the library. Also that 'didn't I realise xxxxx school was very academic and wouldn't cater for DC who needed to do foundation GCSEs etc.
So, it can work out, especially if you have a statement and can choose from a range of schools, or are lucky enough to live in the catchment of a suitable school. You may find a smaller school will be less busy, but beware in case they have less expertise.
Thanks for your replies. DD is on SA+ and has been since Reception. We have never felt the need to go for a statement as regular OT has made her cope well with school. She struggles alot on the social side of things. She only has one friend - a boy, who will no doubt become more interested in playing with the boys rather than girls in the very near future. She made loads of friends locally in the Summer but they all turned on her. This has really dented her self-confidence. I think secondary could go either way - where can make a fresh start with new friends or where she will not cope with the larger educational environment and changes.
We are working with OT and school to aid the transition...
My ASD DC are both at MS and are doing really well. They are now in years 10 & 11. It took a long time to settle into the school (till Easter in one case), but once this happened it has been fine.
When looking for schools I also focused on pastoral care and communication, and have been lucky that both are excellent. There have been incidents of bullying, but as soon as the school was notified they acted immediately and have always dealt with it effectively.
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