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Anyone had experience of a mainstream school with ASD unit attached?

(13 Posts)
DontSweatTheSmallStuff Tue 04-Feb-14 08:08:57

We have an option to send ds1 to a new school once the statement is sorted. THe new school is an 'outstanding' mainstream school with an ASD unit attached. It looks/sounds great and we think it'll be really good for ds, but we're a bit nervous about making the change. We don't know anyone in RL who's done this so were wondering if anyone here could give their experiences.

Ineedmorepatience Tue 04-Feb-14 08:24:02

I have no experience of Asd units but moving my Dd3 to an inclusive school with a much better understanding of Asd was the best thing we ever did.

It hasnt always been plain sailing but loads better than the old school.

Lots of people on here have moved their children.

Good luck whatever you decide smile

bjkmummy Tue 04-Feb-14 09:21:41

My son went to one and I wasn't happy with it as although the school got full funding for him he never stepped a foot in the autism unit and would take a judicial review to force the school to do it. The expectation was that he went into mainstream and shared anTA with lots of other kids. Mine was a bad experience and not all units are like this. I would go and check it out, ask exactly how it works, will he go into the mainstream and if so with what support. I just trusted the school as I didn't really understand how things worked. Again would like to say that there are some really good schools with units out there and it can be a very positive experience

OneInEight Tue 04-Feb-14 10:32:41

You need to establish if your son will be given a place in the unit or just in the school.

We got a place for ds1 in a school with a unit but he did not receive any more support than he would have done in any mainstream unit. The staff were a bit more aware of his needs but support at playtimes especially was lacking. I do think the HT wanted him out of there as soon as possible. In their defence he was very stressed when he started there having been permanently excluded from a previous school and no extra support was allocated as statement was still pending.

For ds2 we have had a different experience. He has been placed in a unit (different school) and the staff are lovely and extremely flexible. He has a totally individual curriculum and a 1:1 TA all the time. He has not made it into the mainstream classroom and I don't think he will do so by the end of the year. Ideally he should have been moved much earlier than Year 6 but usual story of child having to fail catastrophically before a statement is issued.

DontSweatTheSmallStuff Tue 04-Feb-14 14:40:16

Hi, thanks for your replies.

We have already visited and liked what we saw, He will be in the unit fulltime initially with the aim to get him into mainstream gradually with 1:1 support. Oneineight - It sounds similar to what you have for ds2.

We just need to get him out of where he is. They won't can't meet his needs.

Loueytb3 Mon 10-Feb-14 12:13:23

DontSweat - my DS1 is at an outstanding MS school with an ASD unit attached - it may even be the same one. I have nothing but praise for the school and particularly the unit. It is absolutely the best place for him. He's now in MS for around 75-80% of the week. PM me if you want more info.

sleepyhorse Mon 10-Feb-14 12:47:04

Hiya we are also going to look at one tomorrow. My only concern with these units is about the role models for your child if they are spending a lot of time in the unit how will that help with their social skills? (Also in the school I'm looking at there are apparently 44 different languages spoken so no wonder I'm feeling quite negative) Who knows I might come home tomorrow with a completely different view on things.

autumnsmum Mon 10-Feb-14 14:13:36

There are many languages spoken at both my younger two Dcs schools they are both autistic and it hasn't been a problem

sleepyhorse Mon 10-Feb-14 14:20:44

Thanks autumn, that's good to know

autumnsmum Mon 10-Feb-14 14:25:31

Ds is at mainstream and dd is at a special school

sleepyhorse Mon 10-Feb-14 14:36:42

Oh ok thanks Autumn - and how does your ds cope at mainstream? Is he is an ASD unit there or does he have 1-1 support I'm the MS classroom?

autumnsmum Mon 10-Feb-14 14:51:36

He doesn't have a 1 to 1 but he has social skills groups and his own work area . He's in year 4. I was offered an autism unit for dd but for her I felt special school was a much better option

Loueytb3 Mon 10-Feb-14 16:20:06

Ditto - many languages spoken at DS1's school (not sure how many but I wouldn't be surprised if it was close to 40) - and no problems.

DS1's school does a lot of modelling of social skills - both in the form of specific sessions in the unit and also by doing things like lunchtime clubs where the kids invite friends from their ms class to come into the unit. DS1 has lego club and invites one or two of his classmates to come with him. Apparently he is very popular because they all think its a secret club and want to come! However, social skills are not so much of a problem with him - he tends to be overly friendly and touchy feely which has its own problems.

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