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Your thoughts please(5 Posts)
Major dilemma here and I don't know what to do so throwing this open to all you experts for advice or just your thoughts.
Dd is ten and year five and in the next few weeks it's her transition review for secondary school.
In her school dd thrives, she is very happy, fully included and well supported BUT dd's school is an exceptional primary, her teachers have been cherry picked as have her classmates to a large extent, she has a TA who is sensitive to her and works with me and a statement that was secured before nursery and in truth gives her more support than she actually needs in the school she is in.
But in year one in a different small school with a teacher that was horrendous dd fell apart, was self harming, having nightmares, migraines and bedwetting and I would do anything so that that never happened again.
I know in my heart of hearts that she won't cope in secondary, in any of the secondaries local to us, too much movement, too much diversity, too many people, too much noise etc etc ad nauseum. Likewise she wouldn't fit in the units either as they cater for children with the most challenging behaviour and dd doesn't have any difficult behaviours and the unpredictability of the boys (as they are 95% boys)would equally upset her.
I have no evidence that she wouldn't cope just a gut instinct because I know dd. School have no evidence really because she thrives there within the safe confines they have created but they will support me in what I want and obviously they will be pressured to toe the LA line as well.
I know that if I request specialist provision I'll have to go to Tribunal but I'd lose because LA's don't have to provide the best provision just adequate and dd hasn't fallen apart yet.
I don't particularly want to home ed because I believe LA's should make provision but that would be preferable to dd falling apart obviously so what shall I do?
Your thoughts please
Have you talked to the primary school about it? Their opinion will carry some weight with the local authority.
They will support what I want tbh but on paper dd is a high achieving yr5 with no behaviour problems and who is thriving in her mainstream Primary and we live in an area with no ASD specific schools, no special schools that could match her academic needs, 4 ASD unit placements per academic year that go to the children with challenging behaviour
I think you may well be right. If your dd is currently doing well then you will probably lose at tribunal. I suppose the best you could do is get as much support in place for the secondary and be prepared to home school if necessary. Is a small private school a possibility? If she is very bright are there any bursaries around? I know this isn't a terribly helpful post but from what you've said I can't see how you can build a case for an independent placement. It is of course awful that you have to fail first. With my ds I knew he needed specialist schooling from age 5 but it was clear that I had to let him fail in generic special school before I could build a case. He eventually moved to an ASD school for very severely affected children age 11. By that time of course his behaviours were harder to change.
What are your finances like? Could you afford a small independent school yourselves? I think as far as the LA is concerned as she is coping so well at the moment, you'll struggle to get them to even understand why they should fund a placement. It might be a case of her having to be seen to be failing for them to be convinced, which is all wrong, but the way of the world.
Actually, cansu has said pretty much the same, rereading her post. Sorry not to be more optimistic. What you need is a lovely state school much like her primary in your area. Where I live there were no ASD units in secondary schools, though one has been started recently, but some of the secondaries were much more accommodating than others.
Are any of the local secondaries less unsuitable than others? I guess you've looked at all the local schools for your DS so you have a good handle on them?
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