Residential school

(9 Posts)
Alwaysgrey Thu 02-May-19 13:16:35

I feel guilty even posting this and it’s not something I’m thinking of immediately but I’m struggling with my 6 year old. She’s diagnosed with asd and adhd. She also has coeliac disease, hypermobility and severely disordered speech so much so she’s almost non verbal. She has to be watched every second she’s at home. She wakes constantly of a night, screams a lot and although I adore her she’s very hard work. I also have a 10 and 9 year old. The 9 year old also has asd and adhd and moderate needs.

But I’d love to hear from people whose child goes to a residential school. I feel like our youngest stops us doing a lot because she’s such hard work. I’m shattered so can’t be the best I can be for my other two kids. I keep hoping she’ll make huge strides but I feel like we’re going backwards.

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MontStMichel Thu 02-May-19 20:37:30

I'd be very surprised if many professionals would support a 6 year old, going to a residential school, although I have known the odd one, who went at 7 to Meath or St Catherine's; both specialist speech and language schools. It's more common and acceptable to professionals, when the children are older, like moving upto secondary school and they are more likely to be able to cope with it emotionally!

Alwaysgrey Thu 02-May-19 20:58:33

We probably would be thinking about it when she’s much much older.

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MontStMichel Thu 02-May-19 22:48:57

Yes, we went through that - a well known speech therapist told us DD, aged 6 would need a residential school; but when she was older as she too young at 6.

What would you like to know?

Alwaysgrey Fri 03-May-19 07:45:59

@MontStMichel, when did your dd go to residential? Is she there all year? How did you chose one? Is she happy there?

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MontStMichel Fri 03-May-19 10:08:10

She went January of Y6. We started looking in Y4 at residential schools; then we had to arrange for her to do an assessment stay and wait for their in depth report of her difficulties and what she needed; and then hopefully the offer of a place.

From her assessment visit, she loved the school and called it:

"My lovely little school....."

She was being integrated into mainstream by then every afternoon and she could not cope. She did not understand the teacher, could not read the material and did not understand what she was supposed to be doing. She was in tears until 9 pm 3 - 4 nights a week.

School reports, including by the onsite speech and language therapist said she would have profound difficulties in mainstream. She had already been under CAMHS for 6 years for emotional problems, due to great self awareness, feeling a failure in school (compared to her bright siblings and the mainstream children). There were no suitable secondary schools for her in our LA. We looked at the secondary mainstream or special schools (not suitable for her); and DS was already at our local secondary, so we knew what it was like (a high achieving school and not brilliant at SEN).

Realistically, we had no choice, because if we had sent her to a mainstream secondary, she would have had a breakdown. CAMHS agreed and recommended that she go to a residential specialist school.

Eventually, the LA agreed to send her in the December of Y6, starting in January. It was weekly boarding - she came home by taxi on a Friday night, and we took her back on a Sunday night. She was in tears when we left her for the first 6 months; but she was very happy to be in a school, with no mainstream integration; where she could cope, among people who understood her. They had signing in the classroom, which helped her. She was very popular in the school with the other children and staff.

The normal ratio of boys to girls in schools like that is 10:1, but iirc in Y7 upwards she was in a class of 6 girls and 4 boys. Some children leave, because their parents move or occasionally, its decided the school can't meet their needs, because a new condition has emerged.

It was the happiest time of her life; but I have never met a mother yet, who found it easy to send their child to a residential specialist school; but for all of them their child had been bullied in mainstream and was unable to cope. They had no other choice. I did equally meet parents who could not bite the bullet, and send their child to a residential school; and the mainstream placement fell apart in Y7 and they had a year or more out of school, while the parents looked for another school.

cansu Mon 06-May-19 07:42:20

My d's went weekly boarding when he was 15. I wish we had done it sooner. It made a big difference to us and gave us time to focus on our dd who also has special needs. He settled very well, enjoyed lots of activities we simply wouldn't have done with him. I think we should have looked at it when he 11 or 12 especially as he was coming home at weekends. We also had some respite nights during the holidays. The parenting you are doing is not normal and you will be doing it for a long time. It is not unreasonable to think of this.

Acis Mon 06-May-19 13:48:19

Do you have any social care help? It sounds as if you would qualify. If not, ask for an assessment under section 17 Children Act 1989, and if they try to say your child doesn't qualify point out to them that under that section they don't have a choice.

Alwaysgrey Mon 06-May-19 14:28:02

That’s something I do need to do. Is speak to health and social care.

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