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Should we move?

(43 Posts)
maxsanta Mon 08-Apr-13 14:31:29

I have name-changed for this.

We have had our life turned upside down over the last 4 years trying to fit DS (ASD) into the school system. He has moved school 3 times.

He is currently at a school 25 mins drive away in a different county. Although school are great, our LA is truly appalling. Lying, deceitful, vicious, obstructive at every possible turn. It also offers no ASD provision at secondary level so DS would have to stay out of county.

We are renting as we were going to move west a couple of years ago before he started his current school. We thought we would head west on the basis that we could afford a bigger house, maybe even a bit of land and a better quality of family life even if we would still have to fight for provision.

DS's current school is hugely helpful but he still struggles just being in a class. He is academically very able but is stressed out by the social environment.

We had thought of buying a house near the current school but prices are double what they are in our current location. So we started looking at houses here again. We saw a nice house and have today had an offer accepted.

However, now the chips are down, I am wondering whether and away from all the crap memories. We live in a small cathedral town and everywhere you go there are reminders of the schools we left behind and the battles we have had to fight.

Should we go for a clean break? A new start? Or is this just dreamer's talk?

maxsanta Tue 09-Apr-13 20:43:52

Thanks. We couldn't move Surrey wise as that would be even more expensive I think but I will look at the schools.

Glimmer - we are renting now and that is part of the problem. Do we buy where we are or move and buy elsewhere? We have had enough of renting and are getting to the age that it will be harder to get a mortgage if we go on for much longer!

Flappingandflying Tue 09-Apr-13 16:56:05

I take it you are in the home counties? If so look at St Dominics school near Godalming. AS a speciality. Small classes and the same curriculum as mainstream. I would honestly go and look at independent senior special schools. The right school is out there for your child you just have to visit them to see. Also look at Sunnydown in Surrey. You probably won't get in but its worth a look. Have a mooch round a couple of Priory schools. There are two in Hampshire, southlands and grately. There is also a very good place in Frome. There are schools and there will be a better fit somewhere. Good luck. We haven't moved because once the LEA played ball we were too scared to rock the boat. Now we are moving into adult services, again, once you find 'golden people' in your area its hard to leave that.

glimmer Tue 09-Apr-13 15:57:02

To come back to your opening question: I think renting for a year or two is the way to go (That's what we did, but for different reasons, mainly employment). Then you are free to move or not. But it might be a lot clearer what's the next step then. Wouldn't it also be easier to get a house, since you are not in a chain?

maxsanta Tue 09-Apr-13 13:47:08

I find that locating the right school is a nightmare. Parental choice is no choice.

StarlightMcKenzie Tue 09-Apr-13 12:38:04

Yes that was another factor. Not being able to live anywhere near it and having a very long commute.

I suppose it is just nice to know that such schools exist. Pretty expensive too though as I think the therapies are on top.

StarlightMcKenzie Tue 09-Apr-13 12:36:38

Honestly. I would LOVE to run a small school. Since having the time I have been doing it for my two (only consistently for the last month) and I am AMAZED at how much they can learn in just half and hour each a day.

And not only that, THEY beg me to do it, and are excited to show me when and where they can apply their new skills in real life.

If I had another one or two children popping in at a certain time each day I would be much more disciplined about it.

maxsanta Tue 09-Apr-13 12:34:39

London is too expensive for us but school looks great.

Agnes, very interesting. This is where I think free schools do have a place.

AgnesDiPesto Tue 09-Apr-13 12:30:20

Set up your own school? Just kidding. But that's what Lighthouse parents in Leeds have done for secondary. And while it will have to conform to an extent it's parents saying we want a school that teaches my child life skills and employment skills and trains parents and lets children who can go to mainstream go for as much of the week as that's right but only for as long as its right. Move there and we can do lunch.

StarlightMcKenzie Tue 09-Apr-13 12:28:38

DS was rejected from this school for having ASD rather than AS.

I had a bit of an email row with the HT telling hime he was going to come rather unstuck when the DSM changed the dx criteria, and I was impressed with his willingness to engage with me in the debate which ended with an agreement to assess.

We didn't take it up because we'd shot off far down other roads but would this be an option?

maxsanta Tue 09-Apr-13 12:13:43

I know. The flawed system is geared up to pumping out the same provision via a TA of variable and unreliable quality and you have to be involved every step of the way.

I have home-schooled before so I am not fearful of that until he gets to secondary school level. Also, DS would not cope with the usual HE groups anyway, they would be as bad for him as being in school!

I understand that if you have fought for expensive provision which works for your child, moving is hard. But school jus doesn't seem to be working for him. Unless we try elsewhere - independent special? But don't see many of them for AS.

DS2 is a problem and the fact that DS1 does have some friends.

StarlightMcKenzie Tue 09-Apr-13 11:58:18

Yes. I think that all the time. Give ME the money. I'll do it, and I'll do it better. In fact, give me HALF the money, because you know what? I'm doing it anyway, at MY expense and to the cost of my own income-generation. So add that to the total cost of his education.


mummytime Tue 09-Apr-13 11:57:09

I would suggest looking at the HE pages here as a start.
Do also look very critically about the area you would like to move to. How possible would it be to HE there? What facilities are there? What are the schools really like? (OFSTED, Google maps, visiting, asking advice here (NC if you want), NAS, any other gossip). If you find a possible secondary, do phone and ask to have a telephone call with the SENCo, even if it is a couple of years off - I am seeing a SENCO I know well about my DD next week to discuss, just to see if it is the right school for her.

Teenage years are hard!

maxsanta Tue 09-Apr-13 11:54:42

I just look at what I could buy for the same money elsewhere and .....sigh!

maxsanta Tue 09-Apr-13 11:52:52

Exactly. It would be so limited in terms of preparation for adult hood. He kind of needs to be 18 now really.

StarlightMcKenzie Tue 09-Apr-13 11:46:19

You know what. I would LOVE to start up a home-school group of 3-4 children like this. They are just so flipping bright and with targetted education could FLY. Instead they struggle trying to fit into something that is just not suited to them at all and which is actually pretty limited in preparing them for adulthood.

maxsanta Tue 09-Apr-13 11:43:29

DS 2 loves his current school too and has already moved once for DS1.

I think if DS1 was just struggling a bit it might be manageable but he won't even go in class without me at the moment and seems to hate being with his peers. He is 10. I get the feeling this will not get better!

StarlightMcKenzie Tue 09-Apr-13 11:38:04

I know exactly what you mean max. DS is in the school he is in as a safe haven, when we fled.

I am happy he is safe. He is learning some things. It is not the right place for him long term. I have absolutely no idea what would be. I think nothing.

We did all we did and made the sacrafices we did but probably we won't stick with the school. It seems crazy to come to that conculsion.

Though I still feel the move and sacrafices were worth it. Regardless of ds we HAD to leave iyswim.

maxsanta Tue 09-Apr-13 11:26:07

Thanks but I don't think that's for us.

Badvoc Tue 09-Apr-13 11:23:26

Check out the tinsley house support thread part 3 (or better still read all 3!)

maxsanta Tue 09-Apr-13 11:21:22


Badvoc Tue 09-Apr-13 11:20:32

What is his dx op?

maxsanta Tue 09-Apr-13 11:16:47

I am coming to the conclusion now at I don't know if DS will cope with any school. I have spent too many years pushing a square peg into a round hole and he keeps on popping out.

No one really knows what to do with children like him.

Badvoc Tue 09-Apr-13 10:07:12

Me too.
I faffed around for too long.
But it's scary.

StarlightMcKenzie Tue 09-Apr-13 10:05:24

I do know what you mean. But you don't know what the future holds whether you stay or move.

I think moving is stressful because there is a lot of hard work in ensuring that the place you move to has everything you need to access. That means pretty thorough searching.

Probably the most stressful time of my life was the period when I was searching for an area to live in. It was mid-tribunal so investigating schools, likely catchments/places, distances from ds' potential school to be close but far enough away for transport, arranging viewings around dh's working hours and childcare. I suppose though it was horrid, it was time-limited stress due to tribunal (and impending birth) constraints.

Things appear to have worked out well and I'm pleased with how things have turned out which makes me pro. I also know that I was 'thinking' about it for a long time before it was kind of forced on us and it just felt too overwhelming to contemplate. I wish I had done it sooner.

maxsanta Tue 09-Apr-13 10:04:51

Yes I have a massive label attached to me too!

We would be leaping into the unknown but it is an area we have always wanted to live in and I feel so tired to the constant drudge and treading water and feeling homeless as I don't know where to buy.

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