Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on SN.
DS has ASD and we may be moving to South East England/London - HELP PLEASE!(6 Posts)
I am new to Mumsnet and have DS1 who is 6 years old and has ASD and DS2 who is 4 and appears NT. We live in Scotland and although life has been hard at times in the last few years (DS1 had health problems other than ASD) I finally feel things are getting easier and I love DS1's special school which is really great and the School DS2 will go to both of which are quite near. DH is now likely to have to work in London from next year and I'm really worried that if we have to move (he intends to comute weekly for a while at least) we won't be able to find a suitable School for DS1 or be in an area with a good children's hospital. Can anyone recommend a good place to live within reasonable commuting distance of the centre of London that would have a good School for DS1 (and how easy would it even be for him to get into it?). and for DS2. I'm also worried about knowing nobody and having no support at all while DH works long hours. Any advice or recommendations or places to avoid would be gratefully received.
Do not, under any circumstances, move to Southwark... we have a 4 1/2 year old son with ASD and have just moved as far as we could (230 miles west) because of lack of provision and services in Southwark. The LEA is also notoriously awful, they have in-house lawyers. I have not heard anything good about the special schools there either, I have a friend who chose to home ed her daughter rather than send her to one of the SN schools. I've heard nasty things about Bromley as well, but have no personal experience.
Good luck for the move, I know it's daunting but hopefully you'll find somewhere that works for you all!
We were in Bromley but moved when ds1 was almost 3. Thank god. There was a 2 year wait for diagnosis and I don't think there would have been a school suitable for him (he goes to and SLD/PMLD school).
I have heard better things about Camden/North London. ALthough someone may come and disagree
Generally I think health services are much better in Scotland.
Thanks for your advice. I'm really pleased for DH that he has any job at all given the state of the economy and the possibility of one that he really wants. I'm just so upset right now that I keep bursting into tears at the thought of leaving family and friends and the thought of 2 kids and I having to start all over again to fight for medical and educational services with no support while we do it. After years of stress about education and health I thought we might have a few better years but now it seems our best option is that the kids and I stay in Scotland while DH commutes but I don't know if that's really sustainable in the long term (assuming the job goes well which it might not). Has anyone else had DH who worked away and how did it work? I'm a crying wreak right now and need to be in a better state by the time DH comes home because I know he's working really hard to try and do his best for us all especially DS1 who is likely to always be dependant on us.
You could try NASSB - NAS Surrey branch. They are very active and have a big email list. I'm sure they would be able to give advice about their area. It does depend a bit on what you want from a special school - because the South East is so densely populated you will have more choices but that may mean either going into a specialist ASD school or shoehorned into mainstream, depending on his needs. The SLD/PMLD school DD1 goes to takes children with "ASD plus" ie whose main diagnosis is ASD but who are not suitable for ASD schools due to being more complex. So you will have to be quite clear what support he needs. I'd also say that down south the fine print of your statement may be more important - some of the London LEAs in particular are swamped with ASD cases and unless every single bit of provision is clearly quantified they will wriggle out of it - they just don't have the budget. So before looking for a school I'd go back through the statement with a fine tooth comb and make sure that all the things you like about the current school are actually written into the statement - and get the statement amended if possible before you move.
Re: hospitals, the government has been trying to close down hospitals in the South East recently, so you have to check not only are they any good but also will they still be there in a few years time...
A few friends have dh's who work away. It's hard tbh. One just upped sticks to be near her mum for more support. However ((and this is the good bit). She moved from the LEA here to the random LEA her parents are in and they are far far far better. Here she ended up going to tribunal for something the other LEA has just given her (along with support to fill in the forms).
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