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Question for those of you that chose a SS after a MS for your dc(7 Posts)
My dd has ASD, and sensory modulation issues amongst other complexities. Currently in a (very accommodating) ms school (foundation stage) with a full statement. But it is becoming obvious how much dd isn't NT, and how much extra help she requires.
My question is, what was the deciding factor in changing to a SS?
I know it is personal, and ultimately no-one can make this decision except us, but just wondering at what stage we decide that MS isn't working?
We've decided at year 4 that DS1 needs to change. We might have made that decision sooner if there were suitable SS options for him when he was younger, but he is very able, academically, which makes matters much less straightforward. He is becoming increasingly stressed by school, though, and is no longer integrating with other pupils. He doesn't really have close friends - other kids simply tolerate him and he does as much as possible to avoid them. He's not going to cope with mainstream secondary, at all, so even if we don't manage to move him now, we'll have to, then.
ouryve so kind of like the realisation that it had to happen, and a matter of "when" rather than "if" iykwim?
We knew all along that DS would end up in SS, however we wanted him to go to school with the local kids so that he would be known by the kids we live around.
He attended an infant school so would have changed schools in year 3 anyway so that's when we decided was the right time for him to go to SS.
I think it was right for DS as even now when we go to the park or even shopping ect all the local children know and remember DS and they include him as much as DS will allow.
That's interesting strongecoffee we hadn't thought of it that way.
I moved DS in year 3, because it was just getting very obvious he was too severe for mainstream. Tantrums were happening, calls from school were increasing. Basically, I jumped before I was pushed.
It wasn't the academic side - I knew he'd always be way behind on that, and a differentiated curriculum (mainly by me) meant that wasn't the issue. It was more that I knew sooner or later his behaviour was going to lead to parent complaints, or a "quiet word" from the head, and I couldn't bear my darling boy to be rejected.
If he'd have been just a little more hf, I'd have fought on though - I wasn't bending to pressure, just reading the writing on the wall.
But, like strongcoffee, I really valued those 3.5 years, and the chance for DS to be with his big sister and all the local kids. It definitely helped him socially, plus taught him how to co-exist with NF kids in a rowdy classroom of 30. I think that's a pretty good experience for any kid.
As an additional point, there are at least 30 kids who will grow up totally cool with autism because they will remember my smiley,bouncy boy. It won't be some scary, unknown thing to them. Inclusion helps break down prejudices a bit I think.
DD1 went to MS preschool. I saw there, that she would always be loved and adored by the children around her (she is very winsome) but that she would never have friends because they would always mother her. That and the attention issues that meant that she would need considerable support just to keep her in the classroom. Now, as she is, she may be able to cope for short whiles in a MS classroom with lots of support.
At SS she is supported in small groups successfully - the site is secure, they have CCTV and plenty of staff. She is able to take the register to the office then return to the classroom, for example.
At SS she has friends. I mean real, peer level friends. One of those friends had a birthday party last night. DD1 is very poorly but insisted on going. She sat on my lap, watching her friends play on the soft play equipment.
School does not have to make special adjustments for DD1. Well, they do, of course, but because they make them for all the children, she isn't isolated by it. Sports day, for example, is a mishmash of children who talk but don't walk, children who talk and walk, children who walk but don't talk, children who use standers and kaye walkers, etc. They all join in. They all do what they are able to.
DD1 has to learn to count in larger numbers. I saw her being led around the school, seeing how many coats she could count. Real, practical ways of learning, which can be done because they have the time, resources, expertise.
Go for it.
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