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Dd with dyspraxia and inattentive ADHD - school say she needs a special school(31 Posts)
My dd is in year 2. The school have been trying to put various things into place that would help her but at a recent meeting they told me they don't think she is making any progress and needs a special school provision.
I am not sure what I think about this. When she was assessed by the Ed Psych her cognitive ability was said to be average but she has big problems with executive functioning. She an articulate little girl and has no problem making and keeping friends, but there is definitely something 'different' about her and she struggles to concentrate.
The school's position is that she doesn't make progress unless a TA takes her out and works with her 1:1 and that, as such it's not an inclusive environment. However, certain people are nudging me and saying that the school always tries to manage out children with SEN because they pull their SATs scores down and that none of them ever last there very long (I think there is evidence to suggest that this is true).
Meanwhile, dd's paediatrician has recommended medication for the ADHD so we have yet to see if that will work.
Has anyone got any advice about this? I do wonder whether a special school would provide the social stimulation that she will need.
Does she have an echp? Assume it is a state school not independent.
No, not yet. The school is going to start the paperwork for it now. Yes, it's a state school.
It's not an easy decision to make for some children. Many schools do try to push sen children out because they cost too much, take up too much resources and drag down results. Other schools try really hard and when they say it's time to think about special schools, it really is time. It's just hard to tell which schools are which.
Remember, they can't force you to move her.
If you think there are things such as medication, that may help her, say you want to wait until the impact of that medication can be seen or not. In the meantime go and look around the special schools in your area. Are any suitable? Are there any ARP units attached to other mainstream schools that might be more suitable than either the school she is in or a special school.
Does she have a statement /ehcp?
Sorry cross post. Many ss schools and arp units need a ehcp so you'll probably need to get that done before anything else. Gives you some breathing space before deciding at any rate.
Thanks soapbox. I think that if they don't want her there/think she should be somewhere else then clearly it won't ever benefit her either. There are a few schools with units attached but not many. I will look into it. The school she is at is in the top 3 primary schools in the UK for SATs results so I wouldn't be surprised if this had something to do with it.
I also think she has some features of ASD but I'm not sure whether she quite fits that label.
Investigate. Anyways investigate if you think there is something else. It's like bringing a picture into focus. The clearer the picture is the better. It doesn't magically open doors but it's better to have it than not.
Her paediatrician says it would be best to treat the ADHD issues first and then look at whether any of her behaviours still appear to have ASD traits.
Thanks for your advice. I'm finding the situation stressful.
If school are saying they can't meet her needs then they need to apply for an EHCP.
Special schools cover all abilities and aren't just for children struggling academically.
But, it sounds like with 1-1 she is learning well, and the fact she has friends at school means she's socially included. That sounds like inclusion to me.
... and it's not uncommon for the autism to become more aparent once ADHD is medicated.
There aren't a huge number of SS for children with average or average plus ability. I would think that with a dedicated 1:1 she might have a good chance of staying in ms.
If it was me I would try better support in this school and possibly medication. If that doesn't produce ant significant progress I would try a smaller school before a unit at a big school or SS.
Go and look round the schools that are on offer.
Zzzz - yes I agree. Interesting that ASD becomes more apparent when ADHD is medicated.
Her class size is smaller than average - I think 24. Exactly - I thought inclusion was as much about whether a child can socialise. If she really needs a special school then I would not be against it but there is no way I want her moved just so they can keep their sats results up. No wonder they have such good results if they push out every child that will score below average. There have been a number of children with Sen who I've noticed had disappeared by the beginning of this year.
It does sound like the school is rushing to suggest SS at the expense of what might be best for your DD. If a 1-1 helps then they should be trying more 1-1 and starting the application process for an EHCP to fund it.
But if this school has a history of managing out children with SEN, you might find you and your DD are stuck with an unsupportive and even downright hostile environment as SATS get closer.
If I were you I would go and have a look at other mainstream schoolsin your area. There is such a huge variation in approaches to SEN and inclusion, and a different attitude to your DDs needs and how to meet them could make a big difference to her overall experience of school.
In our LA there are no SS at all for DC with average or above average ability, but there are private options outside the LA and DC do get funded placements at these if they are the best option.
I am from Ireland I have a 10 year old with dcd and Adhd under no circumstances would I move him to a special school . I would say look for more support .if you are linked in with Camhs get them to contact school are they using movement breaks .
Has your child got an Individual education plan . Ask have they done this . Good luck pm any time I also have a younger child awaiting diagnosis so I know how hard it is . But biggest advice fight for your child and do what I'd best for him not what school needs xx
Thank you for your kind words, everyone.
Lao - she does have an IEP. In fact, she had one since nursery because it has always been apparent that something isn't quite right. She does have movement breaks, a slanted cushion and fiddle toys for her to use at carpet time. I feel that last year was better for her because the teacher was more laid back. This year, she has a highly strung teacher who begins to sound almost hysterical when she describes the difficulties dd is having at school. I would think that dd is probably picking up on her stress tbh.
Is your school doing Y2 SATS? That could account for the teacher's stress, but that's no excuse for having a negative impact on your DD.
Yes, they are doing SATs but I think my daughter is being assessed informally because she won't be able to apply herself to the testing process.
I would always say, it' not a decision about "special school" vs "mainstream school", you have to look at the specific schools that might be an option for you. There are nowhere near enough special school places in our authority, and I can't envisage someone such as your dd getting a place there when she is managing so well in mainstream - nor, how it would benefit her.
Is there a reason the 1:1 support can't support her in the classroom?
I don't know your dd, obviously, nor the school, but it does sound like they want rid of her. You then have choices - stay and fight as that just isn't right, or have a look at other options, and that might include other local mainstream schools that are better at working with children who have additional needs.
She's not managing in MS though - at least that is what they say. I have no way to know whether this is a subjective view of theirs since I don't go into her lessons. However, I also don't think a special school would benefit her because she would then be with children who would likely have severe learning difficulties all the time and I dont think that is appropriate for her. What they say is that she's not accessing the curriculum.
I asked them if they thought a full time 1:1 in the classroom would help her and they said 'no'. But then they went on to say that another child had been helping / prompting her and that they had tried to stop that and she then seemed to struggle. So surely that suggests that she would cope with a 1:1.
Sorry if I misunderstood - it's just you said she doesn't make progress unless a TA takes her out and works with her 1:1 and I inferred from that, that, with 1:1 support, then she is making progress.
Well, yes I agree with you. They seem to think that taking her out to work with her means the school environment is not inclusive though. They say that 1:1 in the classroom with the other children won't work.
Special schools aren't just for children with intellectual disabilities. There are special schools to cater for all SEND needs.
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