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ASD and when to move school

(10 Posts)
kilmas Sun 28-Sep-08 21:01:45

I have a dd 6yrs in mainstream school yr2. We had the diagnosis of Asperger syndrome in May, and the school were waiting for this to apply for a statement. We have just heard that she has been awarded 20hrs. Dd is very aggressive and violent at school intermittently, but there has been no suggestion from the school that they wish her to leave. She is currently on full time 1:1 support (so I suppose this is 35hrs a week) ie a lot more that the statement. When would should we consider moving her to a "resource base" school?
The nearest one to us is quite a way away (30-40mins) but we have been to look round it after I asked at an earlybird course held there. Who makes the decision ? Is it suggested by the original school or do you have to decide as a parent and create the agenda? I have asked the SENCO at dd's current school she just said it hadn't come to that yet, the Consultant Paediatrician only focused on the long car journey and the SALT (who has now left) thought it would be a good fit despite having only met dd twice. I am v. confused - we are certainly in no rush to move her but wonder if we are just delaying the inevitable and putting her back academically by not switching sooner. I have also found out today about a local independent school which takes children with funding from LA but wasn't mentioned on any of the info about the statement.

I'm mortally fed up of all the chasing, finding out by myself etc etc that has to be done. Thanks for reading this and I'd be v.grateful for your thoughtssmile.

sarah573 Mon 29-Sep-08 12:37:23

The whole ethos these days is to keep a child in mainstream. Your LEA will tell you this is all about inclusive education, but we all know it's because it's cheaper!

My DS is 10 with a DX of AS and has needed to be out of mainstream for about 2 years now. Especially during the last school year he has had huge problems and has only had 30% attendance, most of which was spent sat in the corridore as he just couldn't cope with the class room enviroment - even with a 1:1 support.

A prime candidate for special school wouldn't you have thought? Apparently not! He is now at home and receives just 2 hours a week of home tuiton.

In my experience special/resoursed places are very few and far between. You are unlikely to get one even when there is a real and immediate need for it.

When the draft statement comes through, you are asked to name a school. This can be her current mainstream, another mainstream, a special or an indenpendant school. The LEA are supposed to send your DD to your choice of school unless it is unsuitable or (and here's their getout!) its not an efficient use of their funds.

dustystar Mon 29-Sep-08 13:18:36

In the end its up to you. If you think her needs will be better met in a special school and that she's not coping with MS then you can apply for her to be sent to a special school but, as sarah says, it can be very difficult to get the LA to agree to fund this even if its obvious a child can't cope in MS.

If her MS school are currently saying she is coping with them then your chances of getting the LA to fund a special school place are virtually nil. If they feel that they need the LA to fund more than 20 hours then that can be addressed when you have a statement review. Have you agreed to the proposed statement and been issued a final one yet?

Lots of children with AS do cope with MS with the right support.

magso Mon 29-Sep-08 13:40:56

Well done at getting a statement almost up and running for your dd. Are you and the school happy with the 20 hours?
It may be worth bearing in mind that the policy of most LEAs is to keep all children in MS. LEA employees (Senco, HT, EP, Parent partnership) may be espected to tow the line and possibly have their hands tied when giving advice. Once you know this you know to be very proactive and really you do need to do all the finding out yourself!
We all need multiple degrees in educational law, teaching --!

kilmas Fri 03-Oct-08 22:00:43

Thankyou all very much for your replies they are all very helpful. The info re the statement did say that the aim is to keep all children in MS but like you Sarah, my DD has spent a lot of time out of the class not learning anything just being increasingly miserable. She is a lot better at the moment with full time 1:1 support so I feel unhappy at the 20hrs on the statement - it will definitely not be enough. The cut her lunch support recently and we ended up having to bring her home after she attacked 5 kids. Does anything seem to tip the balance to get more hours ? the SENCO mentioned a matrix - does anyone know where you can find out how they score it or does it vary region to region? Also has anyone got any experience of just saying stuff it to all the hassle & wasted time of appealing, and trying to fund the extra hours themselves (we are getting a decent amount of DLA confusingly). I just know we absolutely cannot go back to anything less that full time support at the moment - maybe in a few yrs but not now. I would even consider going into school myself - what can you do if you don't think the school can keep your child safe ??

We have got more info re the independant school and it takes children with ASDs, most with LA funding but could be private. It is part of CAmphill - does anyone know anything about these schools? It really is just down the road WHY do people not mention these things ???? even the behaviour support worker hadn't even heard of it.

Thanks again - I know it is a lot of questions - sorry but at the end of my tether!

vjg13 Fri 03-Oct-08 22:23:07

Try and see the independent school and they will be able to give you advice on how easy it is to get the LEA funding. LEAs differ widely in policy. Some schools have a social worker to help with this.

I know of a parent with my LEA who spent *2 years* fighting to get her child's support increased when it was cut from fulltime. She did get it in the end. But 2 years !!

I know it's crap and not what you want to hear but like magso says it is all down to you as a parent to do all the leg work. The LEA's agenda is the budget and not the best for your child.

Good Luck.

Widemouthfrog Fri 03-Oct-08 22:30:04

My DS (AS) only got 16hrs on his statement, but with the proviso that school topped this up from their SA+ budget - he is only unsupported for 30mins a day. Is it possible that your school could do something similar. Talk to the HT about how they would implement the statement.

My DS spent his reception year mainly in the corridoor unable to cope with the classroom and was very violent on occasions - usually to the teacher. They couldn't even score him on the KS1 curriculum as he was initiating nothing.

He is now in Yr 1 with 1:1 support and the transformation is dramatic. he is eager to get into school every day, and is completing his work above and beyond all expectations. He is a different and happy child

I guess my message is, it may be worth giving mainstream a try. If it doesn't work with the current statement you can call for an early review, and either fight for more hours or alternative placement. I think you have to try it first. You may be surprised

Widemouthfrog Fri 03-Oct-08 22:34:41

Sorry, just read that they give her 1:1 full time already. If you feel she is underachieving academically, then I would be concerned, but if you are happy with her progress then hang on in.
Good luck

kilmas Sat 04-Oct-08 09:15:27

Thanks - the school have said they will top up as needed but not entirely happy with this as only found out 3 weeks into this term they had left her without any support all lunchbreak having assured me on numerous occasions (and in writing!) that she would be 1:1 for 4/5 lunchbreaks. Turns out they couldn't get anyone to do it. It came to a head with the incident I mentioned of her attacking 5 children in the playground. They then asked us to take her home for her lunchbreaks until they could find someone (this is a recurring theme as a lot of reception yr was spent at home) until dh refused and then headteacher and SENCO had to do the 1:1 themselves. My point is that presumably you can't insist on the top up it is discretionary by the school ??

DD is underacheiving - went in to reception average on all scores really now on P scales for maths after dreadful YR1 and now at 6 is only on level 2 oxford reading tree. She lost all confidence in her abilities and was incredibly negative about reading, but after a summer of us all helping her she has picked up again. I'm fed up with school saying they can only do academic stuff with her when her behaviour settles but withdrawing support when she does settle!!! They are nice people obviously meaning well but do not seem to be able to help effectively.

Widemouthfrog - it sound like your situation is much more satisfactory in that your child has had adequate support much more quickly - we have all this since reception too but my DD is now YR2 and this is still happening arghhh...

Thanks again it is good just to hear other people's experiences to know we're not the only ones going through this.

Widemouthfrog Sat 04-Oct-08 15:50:52

Kilmas, I realise we have been very lucky. Your school doesn't quite seem to get the importance of consistent support. It is possible, but it needs commitment and understanding at a level you are not getting. Insisting she goes home at lunchtimes is discrimination. This time is vitally important in helping her to form appropriate peer relationships, with the help and direction of a 1:1.

Have you heard about Earlybird plus? It is a course run by the NAS to train both yourselves and a member of your DD's school. It sounds as if they are trying to be helpful but need more training and understanding. There is info on their website. We are currently on the waiting list

I really feel for you - I remember our hell last year. If your DD is so obviously underachieving you may have some grounds for appeal about the unsuitability of MS. Why do we always have to battle for our kids?

Again good luck. I'm sorry if my comments seemed inappropriate.

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