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Montessori and SEN?(9 Posts)
I'm due to go and see a Montessori school about a reception place for my daughter who has mild ASD. She has no behavioral issues but can be a bit in her own world and not very verbal at school. Therefore she does need some prompting to be involved.
I was wondering if anybody had dealings with Montessori education and how accepting they are of SEN? So far most of the independent schools ("non exclusive") have gone on the basis that they can't support her because her needs are more severe then they expected. However I do prefer an independent school because of the smaller class size.
I would be interested if anyone has any experience to share even if it is just to prep me that they might say the same thing tomorrow again.
My son did his reception year in a Montessori primary school. The teachers were kind and nurturing but had no real understanding of his needs, either learning or social, and also no understanding that they were not supporting him well ( insisted he didn't need an IEP/ would not get an EHCP). There were small classes but the teachers had a Montessori, not standard teaching qualification, with limited skills and had no experience of ' real' schools. In year 1 he joined a speech and language unit and his progress in the first three terms has been phenomenal. I still feel a bit sad about his 'lost year' and recall how sad he was about not being allowed to take reading books home as he ' wasn't ready'. His current school has real aspiration and expectations for him, and he really thrives on this. The difference in him is amazing. Sorry, possibly not what you want to hear and others may have a different experience but that's Judy our own.
No direct help to offer in relation to schools, but my DS1 attended a fab montessori pre-school where they were really caring and brought on each child. He doesn't have ASD but at the time he started the pre-school it was thought that he might because he had delayed language and social skills (which later turned out to be due to hearing difficulties).
They were accepting of him even though he spent the first term and a half ignoring all the other children and also challenged him with interesting activities. He went from being very withdrawn and "down" in his previous nursery to skipping out the door showing me how he could add up on his fingers.
I recently went to visit a sister branch of the same pre-school to consider whether to send DS2 (who does have ASD) and they couldn't have been friendlier.
I know that zzzz, my daughter went to one for five years, my son for one. I do know a lot about Montessori education. What I meant is that, the teachers at this school only had experience of teaching in one, small school working in a particular context, as they had done no teacher training ( so were trained on the job by the school owner). therefore they didn't have lots of the skills that trained teachers learn. They also had a limited understanding of developmental trajectories ( so only from a Montessori perspective and on the social impact of learning difficulties). I know that's not the case in all Montessori schools, we have an excellent state primary locally that's Montessori accredited. I'm not down on Montessori education, but I do think that the idea that the environments are always more equipped to support children with additional needs is a bit naive. It's also about the expertise and flexibility of staff members and the resources available.
Thanks all for the fab input. The school I'm seeing today is a Montessori independent primary school.
Goes to say that from what I've heard I'll assume that if they are truly montessori in nature they would be supportive and would also be a good environment for DD. However if it's just brandishing the montessori logo then I'd probably get the go away look the second I step in.
My other option is a state school with a language unit however I'm not sure if we can get in given we applied so late.
Oh well I guess I'll leave it to fate today.