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Want ds (8, ASD) to repeat a year at school - advice please!(17 Posts)
Hi, DS will be 9 in August so is currently one of the youngest in Yr 4. He has Asperger's so struggles socially and emotionally and is becoming increasingly anxious. I would love for him to go back a year - ie repeat Yr 4 from Sept - so that he becomes the oldest in his year.
This would give him a little time to mature socially and emotionally and would also mean that, when he does face stressful times (eg exams), he would be (hopefully) a little better equipped to deal with them.
I haven't mentioned this to the school yet as I want to make sure I have my arguments ready. I'm fairly sure they will not agree initially, as he's coping well academically.
Just wondering if anyone else has done similar, and how you went about it? Any thoughts or advice much appreciated.
IT is extremely rare in state schools for children to repeat years.
Thanks. I know it's really uncommon - just wondered if anyone has done it. It seems to make so much sense. The difference between coping and struggling (or failing). Especially since there is now the option for reception age children to start school later - www.gov.uk/government/news/summer-born-children-to-get-the-right-to-start-school-later
Unfortunately this option does not exist yet, it is just a proposal.
I think you should ask! Does he have an ehcp?
Check out all the pros and cons carefully including the rules for gcse's although these can be taken anytime so it shoudnt be an issue!
If he doesnt have an ehcp apply for one!
I know someone whose child is repeating year 6 in state school so it is definitely possible. Like your ds his parents just feel it is in his best interest and he is young for year. I would just ask.
I think this is a really good solution for some of our children and however unpopular with the powers that be aught to be given serious consideration in many cases.
My DS is repeating y4. He has ASD and he is well behind academically but progressing with support. He was due to go into middle school (y5 to y9) in September but we couldn't find anything suitable within 1 hours distance. The ASD unit the LEA were proposing was totally unsuitable and the mainstream middle schools were not great for him either.
He has an EHCP and is well supported at his current lower school . The SENCO and HT suggested he stayed. They offered to keep him in the same classroom with his fantastic CT and the same TAs. They spoke to the LEA and they agreed immediately. The school is going to become a primary in 2017 (up to y6) so we won't have to look into a secondary until 2019. That'll hopefully give him time to mature.
He is now spending a few hours a week with y3 children to get to know them. He is quite happy with the decision.
Sorry I forgot to say that you should speak to the HT and SENCO. I know it's very unusual for children to repeat a year but it can be done.
Thank you all so much for your replies. Tamaboy, very glad to hear it can be done, and also very glad it sounds like such a great solution for your son. Was it the school's suggestion initially, or did you have to propose it yourself?
It was the school, the HT and SENCO confirmed our fears that DS wasn't going to be well supported at any of the middle schools available. The SENCO suggested it first at the beginning of y4 when we were struggling to find a suitable placement.
It wasn't an easy decision because I thought DS would be very upset about it, but he is absolutely fine, he is looking forward to be the oldest in the school.
I think it might have an impact if you are expecting him to do A levels or go into further education up to 18, as his 'free' education will only last up to the year he turns 18. This could mearn that he is half way through a 2 year course and has to leave because he's already had his allotted years of education. Primary schools are often unaware of this difficulty, unfortunately, and offer 'staying down' as an option without knowing or explaining all the implications.
We were explained the implications but I don't think DS will ever pass a GCSE never mind an A level. I guess you have to think about the pros and cons. It wasn't an easy decision to make but it's buying us time to find a suitable specialist setting when he goes into y7 and he will be able to travel longer distances as there isn't anything suitable in our tiny LEA.
Free education has been until 19 for a very long time.
Hope this works out for you OP. My ASD child is starting school this year and has an October birthday and I can already see the massive benefit to him from having so much extra time to mature.
Yes we did this for my DS (8). He has ASD and learning difficulties and was one of the youngest in his year. He really struggled with his first year in primary school and I felt he would benefit hugely from repeating year 1 again. He had begun to settle well after a difficult first year and I wanted to give him some 'breathing space' to mature, work on language and social skills and also he was more ready to begin working on the basics of phonics etc. It has not been a magical solution for my DS ( but I suspect he has much greater issues than your DS) but we are all very glad we made this decision and it definitely helped him in various ways. We had to request and indeed push for it and were told it was 'highly unusual' yet there is a form which exists to begin the process so obviously not THAT unusual! He has a statement and school were very supportive which helped. He adjusted quickly to his new class and is very happy at school. I actually feel it is a bonus that he will remain in primary school another year. I'd probably keep him there until he was 14 if I could, lol!
Ooh, just checked back on the thread. Thank you all for the extra comments. If he stays where he is, he would be 17 when (more likely if!) doing A Levels so I would have thought that an extra year wouldn't matter, but I will investigate. Girlred I was very excited to read that you'd managed to do it. Did you have to request it via the local authority? Your description of "some 'breathing space' to mature, work on language and social skills" is exactly what I think my ds needs. I didn't feel he was ready to start reception when he did (he wasn't, and as a result was very part-time for the whole year) but the alternative was for him to go straight into Year One, which wouldn't have helped either.... I do wish there was more flexibility generally. I know somebody who has held their summer-born son back a year in a private school with no problem at all.
I can only comment on what happens at the end of education. Dcs can continue in school education until the end of the academic year in which they turn 19. My ds repeated yr 12 and, as he has a September birthday, he will be almost 20 by the time he leaves school.
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