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How to approach MS school about placing DS in Special School(13 Posts)
I've already posted this in SN Education but I know there's more traffic here, so more likely for replies.
I have a 5 year old DS that was diagnosed with Autism in October this year, it wasn't that much a surprise to be honest, DS is about 80% non-verbal and although his mainstream school have tried their best, their best just isn't good enough. DS sits at his own table with a TA that isn't specialised in Autism for half the day and then has recently been moved into the nursery class in the afternoon as Head said he wasn't coping in the reception class and they had less children and more teachers in the nursery in the afternoons, and the way the nursery class was set up meant that DS could access everything easier. I agreed on a trial basis. DS also does one hour of speech therapy a week, which isn't nearly enough and I've once again been told that he won't take part in the Christmas play as he can't cope. He's in a class with 30 other children that he just ignores, there are countless other things but overall I feel like DS isn't learning anything and is just left to play. So once he was diagnosed I started looking at special schools, there's a great special needs school that specialises in Autism in our borough, I went to look around, spoke to staff etc and feel that this school would be a far better fit for DS.
His Mainstream school is currently in the middle of doing DS' EHCP and I know there's a school section and I would like for them to name this school in that section or to be aware that I want DS to go to that school and for them to help in any way they can but how do I ask that without stepping on any toes or sounding rude and what if they refuse?
It's you who gets to name the school anyway.
Is there any written evidence that he is being excluded from his year group, that the SALT isn't enough, that he is being excluded from participating in the school play or that his 1:1 is inadequately trained?
If not, you will need to get it for any decent change at getting a special school place.
Have you visited the school you want?
@StarfrightMcfangsie Yes I've been to the school a number of times and I'm definetly sure that it's the one I want. I didn't realise that I would get to pick what school was named, that provides a small bit of comfort.
There's plenty of evidence but not written down. The TA that DS has isn't equipped to handle ASD kids, she's said numerous times that getting to grips with DS is taking longer then normal as she's never had an Autistic child and in her own words "has no idea what she's doing" having said all that about her, it must be said that she's clearly a very good TA and does try her utmost best for DS but that's usually not getting the assigned work done as he was too difficult, meaning he has to take it home with him, which isn't ideal.
He's not being excluded, I think a better word is isolated. He has his own table away from the other children, eats at a different time as the noise in the canteen bothers him, I know that this isn't really the schools fault as they're trying to adapt to his needs but it's clear that the environment isn't good for him, as he's picking up on the fact that he's always on his own and it's starting to become an issue. With the school play they tried to include him but it's a play for the whole year group, almost 100 kids, they spend about 4 weeks before practicing and when I asked about DS, they said they'd try to include him and then a week later, said it was impossible but not to worry as he'd spend the afternoon of the play with the older kids, having much more fun. When I enquired about how they tried, what methods they used, they were pretty evasive, and it was clear they hadn't tried their best, which really annoyed me.
I spoke to the head of Senco about his SALT and my concerns were brushed off, I was made to feel like I was interfering when I asked to see what records or books they kept to monitor a child's progress or if I could speak to the SALT teacher directly. So overall I don't really know if the SALT is enough or not because they're not willing to be open about it, but since September DS' speech hasn't progressed a lot, he can mimic a lot easier but that's it and that has me really worried
I have given the school a lot of slack over the past year as I know DS isn't easy and that they're trying their best but it seems that as he gets older, he's just getting less support.
I think I'll ask them to put the reasons he can't do the play in writing, so I have something for that and would it be too rude to ask them to put the TA's specialties and the reason they picked her for DS in writing as well?
I think from now I'll just make sure they put everything in writing.
You don't get to pick the school, you get to name the school you want. The LA will then look at any documentary evidence you have submitted to justify it and decide if it merits a placement there.
If there are no records of him being unable to attend the play or being sent to nursery then you will not have that evidence. The school may be told to keep him. The school are paid by the LA and will do as they are told.
The best thing you can do is follow up conversations in writing or ask questions to be answered that way. For example: 'Please can you tell me how many days he spent full-time in his year group since he started?' Or 'please could you clarify the reasons you have felt his needs are more appropriately addressed by attending Nursery each afternoon?' And 'please could you forward to me any assessments or briefing notes left to you by the SALT?'
I woukdn't worry about stepping on toes as long as you are polite. You're hopefully leaving and in a years time they won't remember your child's name.
agree with star: you need to put things in writing and create a paper trail. Emails will do.
as he is being assessed for an EHCP, has he been seen by an EP and Salt? what so their reports say. they usually make recommendations re school type.
This is coming from someone who has more than stepped on few toes so take this advice as you feel fit.
You could ask to have a meeting with the senco ideally the ta and ct but I guess that would be tricky. Ask your points that you need proof for
- how much longer do you see him going into nursery for?
- how do you measure salt progress? Please can this be shared so I can help at home
- what did you try for the play inclusion so I can work on eloping him take part next year.
Then when the meeting is over email all your questions and their answers back to them. There's your proof. You could email the questions before the meeting so they have a prepaired answer.
But don't go in guns blazing, try to pitch it that your trying to reinforce their spectacular methods st home, or whatever you need to do.
If they don't reply to your email saying - yes Ds has in fact gone up a lot as can be seen by his celf results, even that's proof.
I started doing this before I finally snapped and told the head he should never get a job in hostage negotiations or diplomacy as he is a bear face law breaking two faced moraless moron who presumes me very stupid indeed which is a very big mistake.
That didn't go down to well....
Try and keep it sweet and pitch it like you have complete faith in them.
Eloping? Helping I mean. I would love to elope, with just my sanity...
If at all possible you need the MS school report to say that he won't cope in the mainstream, nor in a generic special school, and that what he needs a specialist ASD school. They'll need to give reasons for that.
Just keep sending desperate emails or emails with NUMBERED queries. The responses will provide dated focused evidence of their inability to educate him.
Eh dear XXX thank you for explaining why ds is in nursery for the afternoons. I understand it is because he is struggling with A, B, and C and that you feel he can be better supported because of #list of things that are found in school of your choice#, my only concern is
1) how much he is missing being in nursery 15 hours a week
2) what has been put in place to help him keep in step with the rest of his year
3)how and when he will be reintegrated into the class
4) how this is effecting his social position/experience in class
be sure to send a numbered querie if they only answer some of the ?s
Eg thanks for that it is much clearer but what about question 4?
If they answer verbally you write an email saying "thanks for taking the time to explain after school today, please don't feel you have to do that if you are busy, email is fine. Just to be sure I've got it right "write everything they said"
Yes to what zzz said much better than me!
It's quite easy to build up evidence yourself like this
Thank you all so much, I feel much more confident about addressing the school and realising how essential having a paper trail is. I'll definetly be emailing and numbering my queries and making sure everything they say is written down.
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