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Asperger/ADHD Son 4+ hour daily minibus commute..

(7 Posts)
sprogling Thu 03-Dec-15 14:42:11

Hello,

To cut a long story short(ish), we're trying to finalise our EHCP and the LA are consulting with a School for my 10 year old Aspergers/ADHD Son that involves a 4+ hour daily minibus commute which we're totally against (aside from the journey, we also feel it's the wrong setting for him). Has anyone been in a similar situation, or know if we have any legal standing?

He's done the journey all this week as they're evaluating him (despite protests from me). He leaves at 7am and arrives at School at 9:30am, then leaves at 3:30pm and gets home after 5:30pm. He's high functioning Aspergers but the other boys on the bus are mainly non-verbal and are 18 years old (he's 10). The driver told me that he has been great but sticks out like a sore thumb.

From what I understand, The Home to School Travel and Transport Guidance suggests maximum reasonable journey times of 45 minutes for primary school children, and 75 minutes for secondary school children and may be shorter for children with SEN..

Really appreciate any advice!
(Wasn't sure which board to post on, so posted on SN Ed board too..)

zzzzz Thu 03-Dec-15 15:51:06

For me 4 hours would be too long. What choices do you have that are closer?
Are there any verbal peers at school?

sprogling Thu 03-Dec-15 16:13:17

Apparently none that can meet his needs/have a space. So we're down to a choice of two - this one and another which is a residential school for high functioning Aspergers, ADHD and SLD. He (and we) really like this school and when he had a trial there he really fitted in and enjoyed himself.

He has told me that the children at the school he is at this week are very different to him and I had the same feeling when I visited. That said, there is one other boy who seems similar to him but he's local to the school and I don't think one is really enough. I can imagine my Son running riot, partly due to his ADHD and too long sat on a bus each day and partly through frustration.

zzzzz Thu 03-Dec-15 16:18:52

You can ask for the residential school if you think that's best, but I don't think "being full" IS a reason for him not to go to the school that suits him. If Ms school was full you wouldn't be popping the overflow into the ss.

ouryve Thu 03-Dec-15 16:29:05

LAs are surprisingly keen on an appropriate peer group when it suits them

I argued against DS1 going to a school that wouldn't provide him with one and which would have involved a split placement for him to be taught certain subjects at an appropriate level. We know his dynamic with kids with ASD who are a lot less academically able and a lot less verbal than he is, as we live it at home, every day.

Your DS's mental health is as important as any other consideration - a ridiculously long journey (and what happens when there's traffic problems?) to a school where there will not be other children that he has anything in common with and where he can't exercise the social skills that he should be aiming for (eg 2 way conversations about minecraft/coins/buses/insects/dinosaurs instead of monologues) probably won't do anything for his mental health.

sprogling Thu 03-Dec-15 16:32:20

Thanks zzzzz, the full ones weren't really suitable and the suitable day schools in the area are much more expensive than the residential one (our preferred school).

He has been off school since March and we started the EHCP in May (20 week timeline been and gone). The final decision should be going to panel next week and I'm crossing everything that they agree with our preferred school...

sprogling Thu 03-Dec-15 16:36:01

Ouryve you've summed up exactly what I'm thinking - just need to add Clash of Clans and Pokemon to the list ;)

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