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Would you send your asd child to a private secondary school if you could?(17 Posts)
DS1 - has high functioning asd and possible dyslexia. He is currently in year 3 at a state primary school.
His IQ is on the 99.6th centile but he has massive issues with processing, focusing and stamina for writing.
I am so worried about how he will cope at Secondary school. He is never going to get a statement as not failing and not disruptive, but his teacher is starting to say that his concentration is getting worse, he makes excuses when ever hand writing comes up etc.
I have always thought, in a "we will never have the money way" that if we did have the money, the best thing for him would be to send him to a small private secondary school, a really obscure one, that specialized in children like him.
DH pointed out yesterday that, because we live in outer London, we have enough equity in the house, that we could move somewhere really obscure and cheap much further out, and free up the equity to actually do that.
We would need a school and an area where DH could actually commute to London (he can't change jobs) - even if it took a while, the school would need to specialize to a certain degree in children like DS.
I don't know if all that is possible, and I certainly would be grateful for any suggestions, but my first question is. Would you do, or have you done that for your child with ASD, and if you have done it, did it help>
Thanks for your response, and I'm sorry it didn't work out for your daughter.
You are right I am looking for a specialist school. All I meant by obscure was that it wasn't about the 'prestige' of the school.
I will google both names you have mentioned.
I wouldn't and haven't, for financial and political reasons. Plus, if my ds needed specialist education whoch could only be found in the private sector I would expect the state to provide it as per its duty.
As it is, my very academic ds attends the local 'crap comp' and is thriving.
DS2 has diagnoses of AS, ADHD, hypermobility and sensory processing disorder. He is also very able, especially in Maths, Music, Computing, sciences and languages.
He is currently in Year 9 at a state school that is a really good fit for him. The teachers are experienced at working with pupils with ASD. He is in a Maths set with other pupils who are all working at the same level as him. They've just done the Intermediate Maths Challenge and are looking forward to finding out how many of them get through to the Olympiad this year.
The staff are understanding about his difficulties with PE and sport, and they provide a quiet area where he can eat lunch in a small group to avoid the crowded canteen. He types quite a lot of his work as handwriting is difficult for him.
I realise we are very fortunate to have found a school that meets his needs so well. I cannot think of any other school in the country (state or independent) where he would be better off.
The school is within the M25; if you haven't already guessed which school it is, then you are welcome to send me a PM.
With the handwriting, we asked the paediatrician to refer him for an OT assessment and that was really helpful.
It is a mainstream school, but has a large Learning Support department with significant experience with ASD. Because the school is partially selective, a higher than usual proportion of the pupils are very able. Unlike a grammar school, the lower end of the ability range is also represented, albeit in smaller numbers.
Fairley House and the Moat School? Both v expensive though. More House in Frensham Surrey for secondary has been mentioned by another poster.
It might be worth getting him into a touchtyping course run by a dyslexia association (we have one locally - it's been really great doing it with other children) I really regret the amount of time I spent pursuing handwriting with ds2, I wish I'd gone straight for the touchtyping option, and spent more time doing art with him!!!
Emerson House in Hammersmith do a lot of dyslexia teaching; I've met parents who've home educated part-time and Emerson House the rest of the time.
Also money well spent on OT intervention now rather than expecting govt to provide it because they probably won't...Ds2 certainly never got any, despite having being recently having dyspraxia added in to his original diagnosis of ASD.
The sad thing is that you may find your previously well behaved ds becoming disruptive precisely because he cannot concentrate and write to speed or gets frustrated with having to do tasks that are beyond his physical stamina.
It is really important to flag these issues up to the school and make it clear it is not a question of Won't but Can't. What sort of facilitative intervention from an OT point of view are the school actually making even if there is no OT dealing directly with ds. In ds2's so far quite crap EHCP there is a lot of talk of whole class OT strategies to aid concentration, improve handstrength etc; better than nothing, but it should be something that your existing school should be providing for him anyway (if you get an NHS OT assessment) without having an EHCP at all, within their delegated budget.
I've always thought this read well
Sorry pressed send too soon.
It's a prep (7to13) but I would give the boost then and see where would suit for secondary after he's had a few years specialist provision.
I would be EXTREMELY wary of a Ms private school. State is likely to be better if you pick carefully.
"He is never going to get a statement as not failing and not disruptive"
Is that what you have been told, if so you've been fed a line.
I would think initially at least you'd be better off in the state system if you can find him a secondary school that can and will meet his needs (and with your DS having an EHCP). Private schooling can be a very mixed bag for those with special educational needs and such schools operate outside the LEAs overall control.
EHCPs (as they are now called) should be issued on the basis of need.
Would suggest you read IPSEA's website and arm yourself with more information, after all knowledge is power!.
Thank you all for your messages. I will look at all the schools suggested.
I am really torn as I have a good support network here and am really settled but just can't see ds1 managing at secondary school.
It's not going to be an instant or even quick decision but it's something we need to think about.
My asd teen is in a small private school for exactly the reasons you state. The classes are small and quiet, he gets 3x 121 sessions a week (which we pay for) and has dropped a subject to accommodate these. The teachers support his use of a laptop and more importantly he is thriving socially. My only regret is not doing it earlier.
Pick your school carefully is my advice, but don't rule out the private sector.
all the schools I've mentioned except More House start at Primary..might it be possible to start private, and see how it goes; far better than it falling apart later on, if you are already concerned. Emerson House doesn't do secondary.
Thank you all so much for sharing your experiences and for the suggestions. Given that DS is in year 3 we have decided to wait for the moment, give it another year or so and see how he does and go from there.
Its incredibly comforting to know that this is something we can do if we need to, but the time is not yet, and may never be.
Thank you so much.
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