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Mainstream vs additional needs school

(5 Posts)
LadyDowagerHatt Sat 28-May-16 01:41:28

My DD has a global developmental delay, possibly caused by a chromosome duplication but the geneticist isn't convinced it is a cause of her delays so we don't have an 'official' reason.

She is 3 next month and the paediatrician started talking to us about schools at the 6 monthly appointment yesterday. We said we just wanted what was best for her, be it an additional needs school or mainstream school with support. I also said if she went to mainstream I would like to defer her a year so she goes to school with the year below, as she is a summer birthday and with her delays it would mean she we not quite so far behind (I realise this is not easy to do but that's a whole other thread!).

The paed asked us which we wanted and I realised that I don't know what the pros and cons of each are, what they can offer etc. We do have early years intervention involved so I will be able to discuss with them.

Her development profile was 16 months fine motor, 18 months gross motor, 18 months self help, 24 months language, 24 months cognitive skills, 26 months social and communication (I may have got the names of the categories wrong but you get the idea). She has quite a high degree of hypermobility and her physio thinks this is the cause of a lot of her gross and fine motor issues and these will improve in time as her muscles strengthen. I got the impression today that the paed didn't agree, he is painting a much more pessimistic view - reading between the lines that her motor skills issues are caused by something more than just hypermobility, which I can understand given the rest of her development profile.

My head is swimming with all this talk of school options and she is not even 3 yet! I'm hoping some of you more experienced sn mumsnetters can point me in the right direction of what I should be considering for school decisions? I'm not even sure how it works - is it our choice or does it depend on how much support her EHCP says she needs?

Also one thing that concerned me was that the paed today said that his report was going to be deliberately painting a negative picture so that she can gain access to a higher level of support. This doesn't seem right if it precludes her from mainstream because the level of care package is too onerous when that could be the 'right' place for her?

Sorry this is so long, so many thoughts going round in my head! Thanks for reading.

zzzzz Sat 28-May-16 07:49:16

It won't preclude her from MS. It will give her more chance of accessing SS. With a few caveats (eg massively disrupting others education) she has a right to be in MS and be supported to be part of school. SHE IS MS. Ms includes all of society, Top, tail, and everything in between.
In the right primary school with a truly inclusive attitude I think MS can be fabulous. What you do is go and look round everything in your area, and think about what would make her happy.

LadyDowagerHatt Sat 28-May-16 10:26:55

Thanks for your reply. Can I ask how it works - is it our choice whether she goes MS or not, or do the LA make the final decision?

2boysnamedR Sat 28-May-16 16:09:13

In my case - I can only talk from my experience

My son was put forward for specail needs schools. He went to to panal and got the place.

I also applied for MS. He starts reception in Sept and both places are open for him. You can refuse SN school and many do ( even when advised not too).

There's lots to consider in making that choice. Getting into a sen school ( again can talk about my county) is bloody hard. If your not in a state Sen school at reception it's extremely unlikely you could move in from mainstream later. Sen stateschools in my county generally do not put children into GCSE so that's another thing to think about. A halfway point would be a unit in mainstream

MrsBobDylan Sat 28-May-16 16:27:09

We always knew we wanted ds to to go to a sn school. When he got his statement at 3, we filled in the back stating the sn school we wanted and the panel approved it.

For us, the decision wasn't made on ds' academic potential but on his resistance to adult led activity. He is on his own agenda 24/7 and needs a highly structured, adapted environment to keep happy and moving on with his learning.

We were really worried that he'd suddenly develop great maths prowess or creative writing ability in reception and that we'd know we'd got it horribly wrong! As it stands, he's year 1, quite happy with the pace they go at, still confused by the difference between letters and numbers and struggling to write his own name. He is however, happy settled and the light of our lives.

My advice would be to make a few visits to sn schools and see if you can 'spot' children similar in needs and ability to yours.

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