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

If you are a parent or carer and your child goes to a special school, can you come here please?

(25 Posts)
filz Wed 22-Oct-08 09:51:45

do you have coffee mornings?

If so

do you go?

how regular are they?

what do you do?

if you are a foster carer, would you be inclined to go?

does it make you feel more involved in the school?

Marne Wed 22-Oct-08 09:58:54

Hi, my dd has possible asd or a language disorder, she goes to a special playgroup/nursery, they have one afternoon a week where parents can go in for a coffee, this thursday they are having a wine and cheese evening.

I don't go to the coffee afternoons simply because i cant afford the petrol to get there sad, if i lived closser i would go as it would be nice to get together with other sn parents.

If you can go then i think its important to go.

filz Wed 22-Oct-08 10:01:46

Marne, if someone offered shared transport, would you go?

needmorecoffee Wed 22-Oct-08 10:03:47

they did but it was 7 miles away and no buses. So no, I never went. Would have liked too though.
She's now at mainstream with a resorce base 3 miles away but I avoid their coffee mornings as the parents who go are all non-SN's and we just don't have anything in common sad

Marne Wed 22-Oct-08 10:07:01

yes i would filz, its a 12 mile drive from me, dd only goes twice a week but its costing me a fortune in our large petrol drinking car.

r3dh3d Wed 22-Oct-08 10:07:47

DD1 is at a SLD/PMLD school.

We have nothing. Nothing at all. Apparently there is a PTA. I've never heard of them doing anything. I'd go, definitely - out of work at the moment, and have the time - but nothing to go to.

The school does sometimes have assemblies or other events that parents are invited to. Few of them are able to attend, due to work commitments I guess. There is little parental representation on the Governing body but it meets at completely unreasonable hours so it's virtually impossible for parents to attend.

Most children come in on transport so their parents never see another parent and rarely see the staff. It's very isolating and strange. Within the school (pupils and staff) there is a great sense of community but it stops at the school gate.

Candlewax Wed 22-Oct-08 10:08:03

Hi Filz

I am hoping that my ds will be in a special school from January. If there were a coffee morning etc, I would go. I would want the opportunity to talk to other parents/carers and to the staff. It would definitely make me feel more involved with the school.

My ds's school would be over an hour's drive away but if I knew, for instance, that they were holding one a month, I would make arrangements to go but I am lucky and have a car.

filz Wed 22-Oct-08 10:15:47

r3dh3d, we have similar problems at ours (I am on the pta)

I anticipated transport may be a problem. Would you be willing to take a lift with another parent you had not met?

Needmorecoffee, do you think coffee morning which include outreach pupils in mainstream would help? I cant imagine how much more isolating it would be to have a child at mainstream, for you

magso Wed 22-Oct-08 10:33:50

Hello Filz.
My son (8, year 4)is in special school. They dont have coffee mornings but they do invite parents in for events eg festivals/ plays/ book sales followed by coffee, and a 'friends' commitee to organise events. There are also family events, in the early evening which are lovely! It is a lovely school! Many carers are foster carers, and all sorts of relatives and carers come - including escorts from taxibuses so I would say yes go to them if you can!
I think these things do help parents and carers feel included - otherwise you would never meet the other families or teachers since almost all the children travel by taxibus.
They also soon to start a carer support group with coffee and talks! I have cleared the diary to attend!

bullet123 Wed 22-Oct-08 11:07:30

No coffee mornings, but there is a parents group that fund raises for the school and hosts events.

2shoesdrippingwithblood Wed 22-Oct-08 11:10:09

dd's school has done them, but tbh it is always the same few parents. so I inclined not to bother(but guilt steps in)

melmamof3 Wed 22-Oct-08 11:13:53

My son is in special ASD nursery, which is attatched to the main ASD school. We have been to a few coffee mornings, and have enjoyed chatting to some of the parents who hav kids in the same class as ds2. Would recommend if you know other parents with children in same year will be there.

sphil Wed 22-Oct-08 11:21:29

DS2 is at mainstream now but the special school is next door and he spends some time each week there. We have a support group for parents of children with SN from both schools - I have to say that I love it, but it's entirely because I get on well with all the mums (it is only mums atm) and it's a good social break for me once a week! It's very small, which is partly why it works I think.

rosie69 Wed 22-Oct-08 12:08:25

At DDs special school there is a parent get together once a term a couple of hours with a buffet lunch provided!! the nurse and ht also attend, DD only started in september so i will be going to my first one next week.

Seuss Wed 22-Oct-08 13:56:50

At ds' school they have at least one coffee morning a term, sometimes with guest speakers. I go as often as possible as it is great to get together with people who know where you're coming from. Also quite an active PTA (although usually same people each time but then is a small school so...) In addition parents are invited to all events etc. We also arrange quite a lot of holiday stuff so get to see everyone in the hols too. Everyone is welcome, parents, foster parents, grandparents, kindly volunteers - especially if they can make cakes!

filz Wed 22-Oct-08 17:20:52

thank you

so it just coffee, cakes and chat?

Seuss Wed 22-Oct-08 18:21:15

Sometimes we get guests in, like community nurse or dentist, to give advice - that's very useful. Other times it's just an informal chat. And cakes...

CaptainPlump Wed 22-Oct-08 18:23:49

I went to one this morning at DS's school! It was great, but as 2shoes says,it's always the same few parents who attend.

For the first hour I went in to DS's class and watched him at work (he was SUCH a good boy, and SO pleased to see me...melts) and after that there was a coffee morning run by the two teachers who run his class. They gave a talk on ASD and routines and how they organise their curriculum to cater for the "whole child" and not just the academic stuff, and we parents asked questions, drank coffee and ate biscuits. The coffee morning itself was quite formal but it was fantastic to get such a good insight into the school's philosophy and to get to know the teachers better.

I left feeling really, really lucky with DS's school.

CaptainPlump Wed 22-Oct-08 18:27:04

Oh, and I should add...I don't know how often these things happen because DS has only just begun the reception class, but because he's picked up and dropped off by bus every day and he's my only child I intend to go to the school every time I'm invited, for whatever reason - as long as it's not on a day I'm working! I really want to be involved. I've just volunteered to join the Friends of [School] to help raise money for the school, too.

Seuss Wed 22-Oct-08 19:34:45

My ds and most of the others at his school gets school transport so don't get to meet the other parents unless I go to coffee mornings/events. I joined the PTA too because like CaptainPlump I feel really pleased with ds's school and want to help out.

filz Thu 23-Oct-08 08:23:35

thanks everyone its really useful

jimjamshaslefttheyurt Thu 23-Oct-08 10:51:22

Coffee morning.s. I used to go to all of them but that's difficult now I'm (supposedly) working full time. Now I go tro class coffee mornings, where you can meet the teachers and other parents.

They do other events. Good one the other night where you could go and see some presentations from the teachers about the way they do things in school.

Try to go to harvest festivals. xmas things etc. Missed yesterdays (sounds as if ds1 was being an utter nigthtmare anyway) but dh went.

Try to go to sports day and the fun run etc.

Another good thing they had was a picnic in school on a Sunday.

DesperatelySeekingSanity Thu 23-Oct-08 21:44:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

geekgirl Thu 23-Oct-08 21:57:25

dd2 is at m/s now but went to special for nursery... they'd just stopped doing coffee mornings before she started due to lack of attendance it was a real shame.

I did make friends with other nursery mums and we still meet up for a night out once a month or so, 6 years later

I would love the opportunity - and yes, include the mainstreamed SN children if possible. Dd2 is supported by the SLD outreach worker from the local PMLD/SLD school, there'll be a similar thing in your area no doubt.

filz Fri 24-Oct-08 08:22:15

DesperatelySeekingSanity, I asked about the foster carer thing because school are saying they dont hold coffee mornings for parents because there are foster carers who wouldnt want to be involvedhmmand alot of the children in our school are placed in foster care, either short term or long term. I am not sure this is true, this is why I asked. I sat next to a foster mum at parents evening recently and tbh she needed as much 'support' as me, as a mother iykwim

geekgirl, it seems like it would be an idea to include those at m/s. i never even thought about it before this thread but obv there is a need and I can imagine its much more isolating

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