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Is it really important that my dd with AS mixes in a ms highschool?

(14 Posts)
Blossomhill Sat 18-Oct-08 09:49:09

My dd has AS and we have to name a high school by May. I don't want her going to a normal mainstream high school, even 1 with an asd unit as I don't think she will cope at all. The school are pressuring me saying that she needs ms peers to look up to/copy etc but I don't agree. I want her in a very small school where yes she will be mixing with other children with similar difficulties to herself but I think that's great for dd as all her friends at her current ms primary school are in the language unit like she is.
I just think as a girl with AS it's going to be really tough the teenage years so am I so wrong to push for this???I know deepdown I am and all I want is what's best for dd!

2shoesdrippingwithblood Sat 18-Oct-08 09:53:43

can't answer the AS part. but as a parent of 2 teens one who went through ms secondry and one in sn secondry.
I think you should fight for the sn school. the rough and tumble of ms is not imo good for the vunerable.
your dd could have other ways of mixing with ms young people.
guides, youth club. PHAB,

ADragonIs4LifeNotJustHalloween Sat 18-Oct-08 09:57:28

You know your DD best, surely. Is it possible for her to mix with NT peers elsewhere on a less "full on" basis than at school? Which I@ve just noticed 1shoes said too

Blossomhill Sat 18-Oct-08 10:34:23

I agree with you 2shoes and dragon. She has cousins and family friends, friends of ds's to mix with. At the end of the day she has AS do they think by mixing with ms kids she will become like them ???? crazy...

2shoesdrippingwithblood Sat 18-Oct-08 10:58:13

trouble is the idiots clever people who make these assumptions, imo have no idea how a disability affects an individual child.

vjg13 Sat 18-Oct-08 11:09:21

In a similar position and there is no way I want my daughter in our local high school. We will have to go to tribunal but I hope it will be worth it.

bullet123 Sat 18-Oct-08 13:38:39

Personally I had a terrible time when I was in secondary school (mainstream with no support). There wasn't the understanding and I didn't have the ability or awareness to say exactly how much I was affected and what was noticeable was usually brushed aside since I was very placid and withdrawn. I had no comprehension about looking up or emulating the other pupils in my year, I wouldn't join the groups, I'd rather read the books in the class cupboards or sit staring in to space for example. Lessons were just about manageable once I could start copying things off the blackboard for example (I always understand things better if I can read them rather than listening, no problems with understanding most of the time but I tend to daydream and reading helps me focus). Breaktimes and lunctimes were a nightmare. I couldn't even eat in the school hall it was too noisy. My organisational skills and appearance were appalling. I was bullied, mocked, seen as the lass that you didn't admit to liking and very very rarely was I able to even show a reaction.
Bear in mind, though ,as I said, that I had no support at all, beyond possibly my dad stadning up for me in the staff room (he was a senior teacher at the school, I think now he thought that too much help or intervention in school would lead to accusations of favouritism as a teacher's daughter). Had there been some more help I might have had an easier time of it. I got through it purely because I was unable to ask for help and it had been drilled into me that you went to school. But expecting me to be able to pick up and want to copy what other girls especially were doing, that would have been nigh on impossible.

coppertop Sat 18-Oct-08 14:24:26

I would definitely go for the small school. If dd is unable to cope with the high school then she's not going to be doing much mixing anyway. Far better to be fully included in the small school than to be left struggling in the big one.

I also agree about it being perfectly possible to mix with ms children outside of school if that's what you decide that dd needs.

flyingmum Sat 18-Oct-08 16:41:35

Go with the smaller sn school. My son is in one having been in mainstream primary and he loves it. he loves the fact that he is not different there because everyone is different and every child has a particular need. Although he used to have friends at primary once the differences became more and more apparant (and he noticed this) he deliberately cut hiimself off from them. Now he has a huge understanding of others' needs and can be very supportive and helpful to his peers about strategies to help them with various problems. Go for it. They are trying to fob you off because it is cheaper for them to sendher to mainstream.

tiredscot Sat 18-Oct-08 21:01:05


Just thought I'd offer my views: my DS (Aspergers etc etc etc) failed in MS spectacularly last year. Social skills zero, despite a Statement in MS. He's now in a specialist school for boys with AS, and is thriving... says it all really.

amber32002 Sun 19-Oct-08 09:31:56

Bullet123, I think you and I had the same set of experiences in school.

It was a survival/endurance course filled with bullies and completely baffling experiences, and this was in a school where there were really good rules and structure. If I had been put into a modern comprehensive, I am certain I would have had a catastrophic collapse from the strain. Depends on the child, of course. Some might cope better than others. For what it's worth, my friends who have boys with ASDs find that they just can't cope with big modern comprehensives. Endless detentions, they end up truanting or worse, get expelled. Girls tend not to 'play up' so much but all that happens is that we internalise the damage instead.

Yes, we need to learn about social behaviour, but it's like dropping a young child into a war zone so he/she can "learn" from being surrounded by the soldiers and tanks. Terrifying, quite frankly.

Kazann Sun 19-Oct-08 21:30:23

You know your child best and secondary schools are daunting for any child let alone one with AS. I would imagine a mainstream high school would seem so big and busy for your DD and unfortunately when kids get to this age they can be quite mean to children who are different. I would go with your gut intinct and keep pushing for that smaller school for her.

Blossomhill Mon 20-Oct-08 21:14:49

Thanks everyone. I agree that yes a smaller school is much better and take on board the comments from amber and bullet who have far more experience than i ever could have on how it will be for my daugter. Actually Amber your comment about the war zone is exactly how it would be and it's scary to think how many poor children have to endure this

ADragonIs4LifeNotJustHalloween Tue 21-Oct-08 13:25:11

I'm guessing they think she'll have to mix with Nt people for the rest of her life so might as well learn now.

My 30ish yo cousin is autistic. He has learnt how to live in the NT world by learning coping mechanisms and how to recognise flash points. Dis he go to a mainstream school? Not a chance. He had specialist schooling right from primary onwards. He now lives a semi independent life in a type of sheltered accommodation. I rather suspect that forcing him into mainstream would have had quite a different outcome.

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