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Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on SN.

what school??

(28 Posts)
jogalong Fri 14-Feb-14 14:06:07

Very traumatised.
Psychologist recommended d s go to an asd unit attached to a main stream school. We went and visited one today and feel it's totally unsuitable for our child.
5 OUT of the six kids were non verbal and some were in nappies. D s is fully verbal and toilet trained since he was 2.5.
The other kids just seen to be more severe whereas d s is diagnosed as mild.
Has anyone else felt the placement was not appropriate and what did they do about it?
He will be 5 in Sept and is currently in mainstream playschool with sna only for two of those days.

PolterGoose Fri 14-Feb-14 14:13:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

autumnsmum Fri 14-Feb-14 14:25:50

I agree with polter many of us here have children who were in nappies later than average .did the ed psych say why they recommended the unit tbh mainstream is usually the first recommendation. Btw I'm not saying your wrong to dislike a setting I looked at two for dd2 that were a no way

salondon Fri 14-Feb-14 15:30:25

Do not judge the school by what stage the other children are at.. What you should ask is

- Why does the EP recommend this setting.. Remember its a recommendation and you can argue
- What therapies are available in this setting that will help your child. How many hours access will your child have?
- Are there other kids who have the same diffculty as your child and how much progress have they made

We have a non verbal child and we chose to mainstream.

autumnsmum Fri 14-Feb-14 15:36:09

Funnily enough I have a verbal child and I chose sp sch ! But s a gives good advice as to therapies and why the unit was suggested

ouryve Fri 14-Feb-14 16:12:02

Do you have other schools to visit?

I have a non-verbal child still in nappies, in mainstream, though admittedly, he has a completely personalised curriculum, as he is still on P scales in year 3. I also have a highly able child who was still in nappies at 7. Also in mainstream, for now. The continence issue is a bit of a red herring.

Whether or not the unit would provide a suitable peer group for your DS (which can be a concern, socially) would depend upon organisation. Would he be likely to spend most of his time in the unit, or, if he is more able, would he receive plenty of support to work in the main part of the school?

theDudesmummy Sat 15-Feb-14 16:48:44

I too have a non-verbal child in mainstream, who is still in pull-ups (he's in reception, and only half-time at the moment). I am very interested to hear about other people who are managing to keep their non-verbal DCs in mainstream because, for now, we are very keen to do so, and I dread being told by the school that they can no longer cope with him.

theDudesmummy Sat 15-Feb-14 16:50:54

PS there is no sign of that yet, in fact they argued at Tribunal that they could cope with him fine even without his ABA programme (which is absolutely not the case, and the Tribunal did not go for that), but we worry that as he gets older it will become more difficult...he is not likely to develop verbal speech, so that is going to remain a big difference between him and his peers...

salondon Sat 15-Feb-14 17:05:03

Dude's mum - I would argue that so long as he isn't a hurdle to peers' learning they shouldn't have a problem. The gap between the peers and our kids is no reason to keep them apart. The two need to learn to co-exist.

theDudesmummy Sat 15-Feb-14 17:16:54

Yes that is true, and so far he is no hindrance to anyone's learning, but it's just reception and so not much expectation that anyone will sit quietly and work etc. DS does tend to get noisy, babbles and makes lots of what we think of as sweet and communicative sounds, but probably sound to outsiders like a distracting cacophony...

Draughts Sat 15-Feb-14 17:49:14

Hi we moved DS2 from mainstream to a speech & language unit midway through year 2. He has a chromosome abnormality so different I know but I looked at a couple of different SN schools before deciding on the right one.

I went a lot on how I felt looking round etc. Perhaps think about taking another look as sometimes the first time visiting is a very emotional experience.

Also DS had a very happy couple if years in mainstream until the gap really did become too great & he became very isolated in lessons. He also receives more speech therapy etc at his current school.

autumnsmum Sat 15-Feb-14 17:54:09

Draughts nice to see you it's always nice to see a variety of faces

RattyNscatty Sat 15-Feb-14 18:00:21

Hi Jogalong, sorry to hear you are feeling traumatised. I know it can be a shock to see some special needs settings. Take heart, remember that, however good your EP is, nobody knows your child better than you.
I would suggest that you take a good look at ALL the schools that are available in your area. Approach with an open mind. Read all the prospectuses, go for a visit, talk to the headteachers and be up front about your child's needs. Take good note of the things you like and don't like about the schools. For a mainstream placement, the attitude of the Head and staff to inclusion is really key. If they don't want your boy then don't waste your time with them.
The handy thing about an 'asd unit' is that you have easy access to the special needs world but this doesn't mean you can't do this from mainstream (just takes a bit more work)
I know it feels a bit final and, yes, it can be tricky to change schools but it isn't impossible (we are doing just that in September). After all, was is good at five might not be right at 9, 10 or 11.
It IS a big decision - but (trust me) you've got all the skills and experience required to make it.
Good luck!

Pagwatch Sat 15-Feb-14 18:09:23

I remember the first visit we made to a special school.
Dh had to leave the visit early and when I followed him outside he was leaning on the car weeping.

As it turned out, in spite of my determination to get DS2 into mainstream, a special school turned out o be the placement that best met his needs and, more importantly, at which he was happiest.

It was a different school to the first one
Have you other options? Are there other potential schools to look at?

Ds2 is 17.
I think I worried about our choice at times for the first two years but, as he got older and his difficulties were more apparent compared to his peers, I became very happy that he is in a school where he is valued and respected and has genuine peers and friendships.
Any school that can provide that is the ideal, whatever it's genre .

Draughts Sat 15-Feb-14 18:23:54

Pagwatch DH & I both left in years. From visiting the school he is at now. Never in my wildest dreams had I ever imagined I would be looking around a SN school. It's lovely though & (mostly!) we leave it now with smiles on our faces.

Pagwatch Sat 15-Feb-14 18:27:04

God I know Draughts.

It feels as though you have settled for a lesser choice even when in your heart you know it is the best option

autumnsmum Sat 15-Feb-14 18:37:42

I love dds special school it's amazing and tbh and I'm not negating any one else's experiences I wanted her there from the start

Pagwatch Sat 15-Feb-14 19:02:54

When I read the agonies people go through to find the right school for their perfectly average nt child, I accept that for our dc it is always going to feel more fraught.

We have to look at adult choices soon. <<cries a bit>>

ouryve Sat 15-Feb-14 19:58:23

Dudesmummy - we have both boys in a very inclusive mainstream, which is half the reason why it's working for DS2 - the willing is there, as is the acceptance. Way back when he was 2, he started at the nursery on a pilot 2 year old placement and, as a boy who takes years to trust someone, hit it off immediately with the nursery worker who was assigned to him. He warmed to her and trusted her and she completely understood him and instinctively watched and followed and drew him out of himself and helped him to get so much out of being there. It took a fight by the school to keep her with him through the nursery phase, as the LA wanted to impose one of their own bank staff on him (he already had a statement, at this point), but the one they chose didn't turn up, as she didn't like the school (she'd previously been assigned to DS1 and it was a disaster because she always thought she knew best, but didn't).

So DS2 has stayed with this LSA, who wasn't highly qualified in the first place, but has been training alongside working with him and has been working with SALT, more recently and amassed an amazing amount of knowledge to add to her innate skills.

DS2 is still on P levels in year 3, so has a completely individualised learning program, which he'd also need in SS. He really benefits from the social side. We live in a village and everyone knows him and he plays with the other children at break. When he was younger, it was mostly older kids buddying up with him, but he now plays with some of the girls from his class. He's as pleased as punch when he meets a child he knows in the street.

We know that mainstream won't be appropriate for him forever - just as it's not for DS1. We'll cross that bridge when we come ot it, though.

me55monster Sat 15-Feb-14 20:24:29

Thanks jogalong for starting this thread - my non-verbal DD is at our village MS primary in reception and is loving it. However, her SALT (since before she even met DD) and now her CT are starting to say they're not sure that it's a suitable setting for her once she moves into YR1 because of the fact she'll need a completely differentiated curriculum and might therefore be isolated. I don't want to hijack more but reading some of the posts on here has really helped me, so thank you smile

For your own situation, I would echo what some of the other posters have said - stick with your gut instinct but try to keep an open mind smile. I too left my visits to our two nearest SS in tears but I'm planning visits back to both of them next month in the hope that I might be able to push some of the emotion aside and really consider them for my DD for next year or maybe the year after. Have a look at every option for your DS - MS, SS or perhaps another MS with unit if there is one. If you're like us you'll know in your gut which is right for him - your head may never be 100% but your gut will lead you I think. I don't think there's ever a perfect school for DC with additional needs - there's always a compromise somewhere. And something that's given me comfort - it doesn't have to be forever. It might be right for right now and then you need to review again.

All the very best with the search smile

OneStepForwardTwoBack Sat 15-Feb-14 21:15:40

Hi moved my son 6 with ASD from ms to SS in year 2. Best decision we made. No more meltdowns. No more uncomfortable meetings with school. Staff with expertise who support parents too. Is he learning more? I'm not sure at the moment, but he does have learning difficulties. Some of the other children are clearly more severe than him, but his communication has come on leaps and bounds. Best of all, he has little friends who play with him on his own level. I am not constantly being asked to keep him home. It's fab. Is it forever? I don't know but he will certainly need support forever I think. After two years of misery with ms life is much better. Right now I'm just happy that I have a happy little boy.

jogalong Sat 15-Feb-14 23:55:50

Thanks so much for all the replies
I slept on it last night and am coming round to it now that this is prob the best place for ds. He wouldn't survive a day in mainstream.
When we left the school yesterday dh was in tears in the car as the severity of our own situation only really hit him. I think that just freaked me out as dh had always been the strong one and I was the one always in tears
And yes we only saw a snap shot of the classroom so I shouldn't use that to make my decision. I'll arrange to go back again and have a chat with the teacher.
And don't get me wrong I am in no position to judge anyone else's child and I certainly didn't do that in the school. I think most of my shock was the reality of my own situation hitting home.
The search continues...

autumnsmum Sun 16-Feb-14 07:43:49

Jog along many parents at dds special school leave the first visit in tears . I think it's fantastic you've asked people for advice and your doing a great job

RightRoyalPainInTheArse Sun 16-Feb-14 08:51:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

JJXM Sun 16-Feb-14 09:17:22

My DS starts school in September and we are hoping he will go to a special school which caters exclusively for hfa. DS is still in nappies and completely non-verbal but still counts as high functioning.

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