Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on special needs.
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ASD vs emotional and behavioural - don't understand(5 Posts)
DS' current school made a referral to local autism SRB but the SRB have rejected him because they feel his difficulties are primarily emotional and behavioural. I just don't understand. He has ASD diagnosis. The meltdowns are triggered by not coping with social stuff, noise, changes to timetable or unfairness by staff or kids. He loses control, hits someone and refuses to go back into the school building. But it's meltdown triggered by something. He's not violent unless he has a meltdown triggered by these things, which I had been led to believe were classic aspie traits. How can they say this isn't asd and that the specialist asd unit can't meet his needs? Does this mean the diagnosis has been wrong all along and we're just awful parents?
You are not awful parents. Do you have paperwork for the original diagnosis? If so go back to SRB with it. Not sure what area you,re in and how things work there but I would ask for a further paediatric and SALT assessment. You need to stick to your guns as you know your child best. Could the school help by keeping a list of triggers to present as evidence. Have you considered requesting an EHCP?
Some ASD units/schools really aren't set up at all well to deal with any sort of challenging behaviour. DS1 is in a school that's classified as SEBD, but most of the kids are there as a result of anxiety or other emotional disturbances linked to ASD, ADHD, dyspraxia and so on. It does seem stigmatising when you first look at the classification, since it encompasses children who have social and behavioural difficulties due to life experiences, as well as those who have neurodevelopmental conditions (though it's been changed now to have an emphasis on mental health, with the reference to behaviour removed, so is now SEM). Most schools of this type are also set up primarily for the former and might be intimidating for a sensitive aspie.
If you don't have an EHCP, you absolutely need to initiate the process, particularly as you're finding that he's struggling in his current setting and appropriate support is not forthcoming.
You might find this page helpful in terms of what support you should really be able to expect - scroll down to the SEN planning tools and you can compare those for ASD and SEM. There's more commonality than differences in approach, really.
Thanks for your replies. He does have an old fashioned statement for 25 + 5 but it seems that this isn't enough to help him cope with mainstream. Thanks for the link, I'll take a look at that. We are concerned that any setting aimed at emotional and behavioural difficulties alone could be too rough for him and possibly not academic enough, although we haven't seen any so we could be wrong. We have managed to get an emergency statement review arranged with someone from the county actually attending so we'll see how that pans out. In the meantime, he has an assessment period at the Pupil Referral Unit, which he is not happy about. Yet more change to routine and, in his mind, punishment for not coping.
TBH, a lot of ASD specific schools aren't particularly academic. There's none in my region offering more than the possibility of a handful of foundation level GCSEs. Until a couple of attached resources were opened, this year, the only option at secondary for DS1 would have been bog standard SS with lessons in MS, which would likely have been even worse for him than being consistently in MS, as he needs consistency, so much. That's how we got his Indie SEM SS place. Not tough, though, just like DS1, there's the odd spectacular meltdown when someone's not having a great day. It's the sort of place that can absorb that internal chaos, though and is, overall, wonderfully calm and slightly bonkers, in just the right way. Lots of social skills work, which is why he needed the place so much. They also work with OT, the PDA society and so on and, on top of some intensive academic work do lots of outdoorsy stuff.