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WWYD? More schooling dilemmas....

(6 Posts)
silverfrog Tue 07-Oct-08 12:24:31

Yes, yet another thread from me about schooling! I am just trying to get our options straight in my head.

dd1 is 4.2, ASD. She attends a mainstream pre-school for 3 sessions per week, with support (not particularly trained in SN, just one of the workers there who likes dd/dd likes). She is relaxed and happy there, but makes little progress in the way of academic stuff, but has learnt to comply with routines/wash hands etc.

we started the statementing process for dd last December (!) and we are still battling.

dd1 was recently assessed for an ASD unit, and deemed capable enough (I assume academically/intellectually) but in need of more support than the unit can offer.

our options are:

1) increase our ABA progrmme. We currently do a part time very low key VB programme. This has been successful, but we are having issues with our tutor (who seems to be shying away from more difficult bits, and letting dd coast. we are working to fix this, as dd has a great relationship with her otherwise). We currently self-fund, but could move to have it LEA funded, I suppose. dd1 responds well to ABA, and works for praise alone.

2) push for a review of why dd1 can't attend the unit. if it is simply she needs more 1 to 1 than is currently catered for, then we could ask fo rher to have 1 to 1 there. The unit is not particularly ABA friendly, but is very well thought of, and form a previous visit, we think dd would fit in well. The current class 1 unfortunatley (for dd) has a couple of boys with extremely challenging behaviour (physically violent and destructive) and so she could end up withdrawing away from that (but surely the unit should be finding ways to deal with both issues - the violence and dd1's extreme quietness/passiveness)

3) local special school. There are 2. one is a no go as awful. the other is nice enough, but does not seem to be able to stretch more able pupils. there are no pupils at the end of KS1 NOT on P scales, and over half at end KS2 are still on P scales. dd1 is at P6/7 across most areas already, without a cohesive education plan. dd's VB consultant thinks special school would be wrong (dd1 likely to be overlooked)

4) ABA school. there is one across the county. we visited earlier this year. it looks great, but all the children seem to be a lot more severe than dd1. gut feel is that dd1 would benefit for a couple of years, max, and then need to move on, but it is hard ot tell how the children (dd1 and the children already at the school) will progess, so hard to tell what the school's future might be. the head of the school was very surprised by how verbal dd1 was when we visited, and she has gone form strength to stength since then, so maybe not suitable for her after all.

5) part time local-ish mainstream school with support, and part time home ABA. The school were amenable to this, and the head seems happy to incorporate a lot of things. But there are obvious limitations. the school has a mixed yeargroup policy, which we don't think would suit dd. there is nowhere for individual work to take place quietly (done in main corridor atm), so nowhere for dd1 to be taken if it al gets a bit much for her. the school is a tiny village school, hence no space.

6) stuff it all, uproot and move to a different area where there might be better provision.

Sorry for the mammoth post, but if I could have soem thoughts, I would be really grateful.

Anything at all - pros/cons of any of the above

cyberseraphim Tue 07-Oct-08 14:23:00

'2) push for a review of why dd1 can't attend the unit. if it is simply she needs more 1 to 1 than is currently catered for, then we could ask fo rher to have 1 to 1 there.'

I am attracted to that option too as although school entry is next year for us, I don't know if he will be ready for what the ASD unit can offer. However the MLD school offered is far away and does not have as good provision for autism. They only do PECS and TEACCH and very vague about providing more specific language development. If he can get a 1-1, then why not in an ASD unit ?

Anyway good luck to Silvertadpole in her quest for a suitable place.

Have thought of option 6 too but I don't know how to get to Narnia !

TotalChaos Tue 07-Oct-08 17:44:18

2) sounds like the best option for right now. Then if you get nowhere with that explore the others. What a shame that the supportive village school doesn't have enough space for quiet time.

silverfrog Tue 07-Oct-08 18:26:43


we are veering towards 2 as an initial line of enquiry.

However, the LEA have today sent a letter saying that dd1 is going to be considered again at placement panel on 20th Oct. This is without a proposed statement to work form, so it sounds as though they are trying to decide the placement, and then write the statement to fit. We have fired solicitor's letter off in response, so we will see.

cyber - "If he can get a 1-1, then why not in an ASD unit ?"
exactly. The head of the unit, in her report turning dd1 down, said she needed full time 1 to 1. dd1 will not get that as a matter of course at the special school, so if her statement is going to be written along these lines, then why can't it still name the unit?!

TC - yes, I wish the m/s school was a little roomier. It is literally one main corridor wit all theclassrooms off it, the school hall, and then office/head's room. Any private catching up is done at a table in the corridor, whether standard literacy hour reading, or more structured 1 to 1 stuff, which means that at any one time there are at least 4 pupils sat at tables in the corridor doing different types of work, not to mention teachers coming and going, kids off to the loo, etc.

It's a real shame, as the head was absolutley fantastic - happy to have dd1 there part time, on whatever hours suited - extended settling etc. Anything at all we thought would be beneficial for dd1 she was happy to write off as "therapy time", so all the stuff that is not standardly catered for in mainstream, like extra swimming, or ven horse riding etc, if we labelled it as a need, then she was happy to sanction it. If it weren't for the mixed classes and no extra rooms....

drowninginlaundry Tue 07-Oct-08 18:46:45

I'd take an ASD unit any day. My DS1 (4.6) just started in one and I'm so pleased we did what we did to get him into one. Of course she can get 1-on-1 in an unit (we've got that), just have to get it into the statement (via appeal if necessary).

silverfrog Wed 08-Oct-08 11:16:03


We re going to try to talk to the head of the unit this afternoon, and will mentio the 1 to 1 stuuf and see what she says.

We have now set out (via solicitor) that we will not be accepting a place at either special school, and will not hesitate to appeal if either is named, so we will see what comes back...

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