School Angst

(5 Posts)
Yarnie Wed 18-Nov-15 16:45:56

So, DS is autistic. The HF/LF labels aren't particularly useful, here. His needs are complex. Socially and emotionally he is immature. He is very bright and able, but is not able to access the learning in his MS classroom. He started off with full-time ABA at home, transitioned to part-time ABA/part-time MS school with support, and is now at school full-time, with one-to-one ABA support.

It's not really working. He can only really learn one-to-one or in very small groups, which is obviously not how school is set up. School's overriding objective is to have him join in with everything ("because he'll get something out of it"), without really teaching him how to access the learning. We pushed back and eeked out more one-to-one time to work on the foundation skills that he really needs (as well as progressing academics), but now school are telling us they want to be in control of his learning again. The trouble is, they do not have the time or resources to put in place the building blocks my son needs. Experience tells me, my son is going to stall again, as a result. There are other factors, such as the fact that I think school is inhibiting my son's social development, just because it's such a challenging environment for him.

We're looking around at other options. We have a place at an independent specialist school for children with speech and language difficulties who are also well-versed on autism. However, they have expressed concerns that they will not be able to meet his academic needs. We have funding for ABA and if we went here, it would be in jeopordy and we would also have to choose to phase out ABA (which has been my son's primary learning method until now).

We have also considered asking for a split placement (a return to some days in school and some ABA at home), but I'm pretty sure the school would not consent, as they basically forced us to send him full-time.

We are in London, so less challenging primaries don't really exist (I think!) - ours is a small, community school with well-below average class sizes.

What would you do? Are we missing a trick? Is there just nothing suitable for kids like my son? Any ideas and thoughts would be welcome!

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StarfrightMcFangsie Wed 18-Nov-15 18:42:11

Where in London are you?

Yarnie Wed 18-Nov-15 18:58:19

We're in Kensington & Chelsea.

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StarfrightMcFangsie Wed 18-Nov-15 19:04:45

Hmm. Too far to The Rise or Stanley Primary I presume then.

You could try a school that isn't so desired. They can be more flexible and also appreciative of the behaviour skills an ABA programme brings to the school,

Yarnie Wed 18-Nov-15 19:50:45

In an ideal world, yes, too far. It would be great to hear from parents who are actually at those places. I've heard lots about both, but nothing from the horse's mouth, so to speak.

We're looking at other primaries, who might have slightly less strong ideas about how to do things, without being too far in the other direction. Drawing a blank at the moment, but we're starting to look slightly further afield.

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