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Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on SN.

SPECIAL SCHOOL

(15 Posts)
deeeja Thu 04-Oct-07 20:57:58

My portage worker, lovely woman, thinks I should put my ds into a special school.
The reasons being that he is not able to communicate his needs, and often gets overwhelmed with other children and runs around trying to escape all the time.
He has days when he has mega tantrums from morning to night, which she has witnessed during her visits.
When I went to see the paediatrician (who has agreed that ds needs an emergency scan, yay!) she made comment that ds does not need a special school and places are limited. I ignored her, but am upset about it.
I had just come around to the idea that it is probably is the best place for ds, now this.
Should I say something, or leave it to my portage lady. They already think I am a pushy trouble-maker. Does the parent get a choice in the decision? Do you have the 'right' to a special school?
The way I feel today, if my ds doesn't get a place, I think I will home-school him. I can't bear to think of poor ds trying to excape all the overwhelming stimuli, and then haveing a huge melt-down.
What does everyone else think?
What are your experiences?

tibni Thu 04-Oct-07 21:21:13

My first advice would be go and visit both Special and mainstream schools. Take someone with you as an extra pair of eyes if you can (parent partnership service can help and will have lists of questions you may wish to ask).

Children in Special schools or in mainstream with significant difficulties need a Statement Of Special Educational Need - this takes approx 6 months (although special school placements can be allocated pending statement) The child needs to be referred to the LEA to carry out an assessment - this can be done by you or the professionals but is usually quicker if started by the parents (slightly reduces the paperwork too!)

As far as placements go your portage lady can give her opinion and write reports for statementing but doesn't have influence over the placement. You do not have a "Right" to special school as such but you can express it as your preferance. The statement will name the school that is appropriate to your child.

Parent Partnership will actually help you through all stages of the process including writing the initial letter and parental submission. IPSEA have a standard letter for request for assessment on their website.

deeeja Thu 04-Oct-07 21:39:31

Thanks Tibni!
When should I start the procedure?
My ds is 3 next April. Shoudl I start now?
I thought children have to be in school already to get a statement. (Sorry if I am being mega-stupid)
Again, thanks!

tibni Thu 04-Oct-07 21:54:35

My son (severe ASD) had his statement prior to going to nursery school - he went at the standard timescale. I later found out that the SEN nursery at the special school takes children from 2.5yrs.

Early years settings (like a private day nursery) also have to follow the guidelines of the code of practice so should be putting IEPs (Individual Educational Plan) in place.

Ask your portage worker if your LEA has an Early Years Referal Forum - I don't think its standard to all LEAs yet, as they can help where a child needs extra support or assessment prior to starting school.

theheadgirl Thu 04-Oct-07 21:56:52

I agree with tibni, go and look at what is available in your area. It maybe that a special school would be the best place, or you may have mainstream schools with a special needs annexe available. Also some mainstream schools are very experienced in helping children with special needs.
Portage was fantastic for us, and they helped with the statementing process, which happened when DD3 was not quite 3. Start doing your research now and hopefully your ds will find a place in a nursery thats right for him. My DD3's special school has a lovely nursery that takes children from 2 and a half.

theheadgirl Thu 04-Oct-07 21:57:23

Cross post tibni!

moondog Thu 04-Oct-07 21:59:36

Yes,go and have a look and take your time.
I am a salt mostly working in special school and while it looks great on paper to have kids with complex needs 'integrating' in M/S school,the reality is that most are struggling.

So many of 'my' children can just be themselves in a special school which is lovely.

theheadgirl Thu 04-Oct-07 22:08:34

What area of the country are you in MD (I'm not stalking you, honest)
I always love your posts smile

moondog Thu 04-Oct-07 22:10:54

Oh do you?!
Why thank you! grin

I'm in North Wales.
Some terrific special schools here.
Really caring happy places full of well adjusted confident kids.

deeeja Thu 04-Oct-07 23:03:11

Hi, thanks for all the replies!
Will make a start on everything tomorrow morning. So tired now, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

bullet123 Thu 04-Oct-07 23:12:47

My Ds1 will be starting in a special school this January, after transferring from the nursery unit attached to it. He has severe communication difficulties, is almost certaintly hyposensitive and has limited understanding. The special school he will be attending is absolutely the best place for him at this time, it's very structured, has a familiar routine (he finds it difficult to understand changes to a routine) and was praised in its last Ofsted Inspection for the care and support it gives to pupils.

tobysmumkent Fri 05-Oct-07 00:39:40

Message withdrawn

cat64 Fri 05-Oct-07 00:51:11

Message withdrawn

mymatemax Fri 05-Oct-07 18:23:31

Hi deeja
some great advice on here, as others have said have a look at the schools,
We received help from our local Special school - pre school outreach team, they are very experienced & may be a good place to get another opinion on what would be the most suitable school for your ds.
Ds2 has just started at ms but his physio/OT salt etc are all based at the special school.

mulsey Fri 05-Oct-07 20:50:49

Because of my daughters communication difficulties, I too have chosen to send her to a special school which is well known for their excellence in working with kids with communication and mobility problems. My hope is that when her communication is established with perhaps a touch talker, we can then think about a split placement in a mainstream school. Inclusion is just not a place, its also what you do outwith the school and participating within your own community too, participation which is made easier if the child can communicate with their peers, even on the most basic level.

Good luck

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