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6 form plans in dissaray, the school pools the rug from under DS with ASD

(8 Posts)
HisMum4 Mon 24-Feb-14 03:08:56

DS with Asperger's is doing well in year 11 with a statement.

He loves Maths and seem to be good at them. The school doesn't do Further Maths at GCSE, so DS does them independently. In a mock in Further Match he scored A* when adjusted for topics he already studied. A couple of topics remain to be covered.

He is also good at sciences, but he prefers by far Physics over Biology and Chemistry. He struggles scoring points in long science questions when he needs to explain hidden reasons and answer hidden questions behind the explicit ones.

As A levels, DS chosen Maths, Further Maths, Physics and French. The idea is to drop French after AS, as DS has severe problems with essay writing and at A2 essays are required in exams for MFLs.

In the annual review the school are writing that Further Maths is 'unsuitable' because DS doesn't always submit homework on time and doesn't complete much work in class. In fact the annual review is tentative and conditional on all A level subjects, including Maths and Physics, so it is not clear what the school is after. At parent evening all teachers had an undertone of 'can't you take some other A level', and there is uncertainty about all his A level choices.

The school is ignoring the fact that he does Further Maths IGCSE and scores well in mocks and tests in spite of inconsistencies with homework. He is distracted as in all lessons.

In fact, he is hit and miss with homework in all subjects, doesn't like doing homework, it takes much longer than expected, especially when writing is required, like English. So he cuts corners on Maths as he finds that easy. There is no correlation between homework and his tests and exams.

DS aims to study Maths and Computing at uni. Those courses usually require Further Maths. So for his career prospects Further Maths A level is really essential.

Realistically, there aren't any other suitable career options and A level subjects for autistic DS. Maths and Further Maths are his easiest subjects. Engineering courses want people skills and teamwork.

He would struggle to cope with workload for other science A levels even more than with Further Maths, so the school's argument is a little disingenuous. There aren't any other subjects he is more likely to cope well with. After all his grades are A* in Maths and A in sciences.

Refusing to enter DS for further Maths would pool the rug from under his career prospects and leave him without any suitable alternative facilitating subjects. We can't allow this to happen.

What is going on on the SEN front, why is DS not doing enough Maths in class? What can be done?

What are the implications of this 'unsuitable' in Senco report?
Can they really refuse to enter him if he meets entry requirements?

What can we do?
What is the procedure?

Sorry long...

ouryve Mon 24-Feb-14 12:15:42

He has a recognised disability and I think you need to push for accommodations to be made with homework across the board for him. I don't know how much he gets overall, but you have a good case for coming to an arrangement where you monitor him and he'll not be penalised if he hasn't finished his English essay after two 30-40 minute sessions, over the week, or whatever would be proportionate.

Organising his time is something he is going to have to learn to do for 6th form and uni, but not something that he is managing by himself, right now. Does he have any support at school with that, at the moment? It's something where he'll need the support at school and at home, as he needs to be able to meet the demands from school as well as he possibly can, but he'll be putting that into action at home.

Further maths is desirable, but not essential for computer science or maths at uni, btw. I just checked Newcastle uni (simply because it's my old uni) and it asks for A level maths, but not further maths - not all schools offer further maths A-level, anyhow. Similarly, Durham asks for mathematics for computing science, but not further maths, though it does ask for AS or equivalent in further maths for degrees with a maths component. It also asks for A*AA <thud> Teesside, OTOH, doesn't have a maths department, but has a computing department with strong industry links and has much lower entry requirements, asking for 280 points, with 2 A levels or equivalent. Computing is one of those subject where redbrick isn't always the best option - if he's interested in coding, for example, then the differences between good coders with and without degrees even out after a while.

So, you have a 2 pronged approach, here. Firstly, you need to remind the school of the equality act and that to fold their arms and be stubborn about course requirements, without offering your DS the necessary support to meet those requirements is discriminatory, on their part. Get them to spell out what he needs to do to put that write and to spell out how they intend to help him to get there.

And you need to help your DS to see that there are ways around the brick wall he feels he is facing, if he doesn't have the full cooperation of school. He might want to look at other places to do his A-levels.

HisMum4 Mon 24-Feb-14 12:16:40

Any ideas?

I am worried as I can't see any other fitting subject to replace Further Maths with, so I don't understand what the school is up to.

Do they want to push him out by making a dog's breakfast of his options?
Is moving schools worth the disruption in that case?

How does the statement for 6 form work?
Do I need to do anything special?
Do I need to apply to other schools now?
Will the LA transfer the statement if it's out of county?

ouryve Mon 24-Feb-14 12:17:54

And missed one point - you also need to find out what they've tried to help him to do more maths in class. Is he in a big class of 34 squashed into a tiny room, for example? Sensory hell for someone with AS.

ouryve Mon 24-Feb-14 12:20:38

I'm not sure how statements work in 6th form under the current arrangements - hopefully someone who does know will be along now that I've bumped the thread up a bit.

Are there any good FE colleges in your area? That might be a more flexible and accessible environment for him. because, yes, it does sound like the school he's at are just shrugging their shoulders and don't care if he leaves.

HisMum4 Mon 24-Feb-14 12:34:14

They tried to help quite a bit with organising his homework by making simple clear schedules. They would argue he is just not implementing it. But, I would say the specialist teacher didn't look at this closely enough. Why is he not applying it at home? (actully because I stopped sitting behind his shoulder and kick as...)

There is an IEP, but it's not smart and has not been reviewed. They are using phony reasons to not have clear targets. I would argue if homework is a concern for the school, they should have a IEP target with good strategies, and if they don't work, review the strategies.

I would also agree that sensory has something to do with not working in class and need the OP to look at.

I also know that the problem in Maths is in part created by the school. DS used to be helped by a scribe, so he looks at the board, and doesn't take notes. Last year they stopped this to force him to be independent. Noble goal, but he reacted with resistance and started sabotaging this, so the lack of work in class is in part a result of that.

His inability to stay focussed and reliance on adult's prompting and pushing him is the problem underlying all of thi. He doesn't stay on task and looses sense of time. He also has ADHD.

In Stratera doing any miracles compared to Concerta?

ouryve Mon 24-Feb-14 12:58:20

We never tried methylphenidate, as DS1's appetite and anxiety were already a cause for concern. One of the advantages of strattera is the fact that it's long acting, so there's not so much of an evening slump.

Taking your DS's scribe away so suddenly is a bit like not giving an incontinent child a nappy and expecting them to suddenly be able to hold it in and not have accidents. Utterly useless without teaching him how to manage without it - if he can manage without it.

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 24-Feb-14 13:23:51

I would also have a chat with IPSEA www.ipsea.org.uk about this matter as well to see what they can also advise.

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