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WWYD??? Me again. I am just so worried about what to do about dd (Aspergers) and Secondary school

(16 Posts)
Blossomhill Sun 18-Jan-09 19:34:44

I am so worried it's making me sick.

Quick background. Dd is 9, year 5 in a language unit. She is mostly ms except for social skills and some language work.

My dd is very anxious and when things go wrong in ms they really do iykwim.

We have visited all of our options and basically have 2 choices

Choice 1:

Local mixed secondary school with brand new asd unit opening in September. Not seen inside yet but have visited. Dd would have to be in ms all of the time except for social/language skills type lessons. School is huge, bell goes off 23 times (sounds mad but biggy for me as dd hates noise). There are 1500 children in the school. Academically I know dd will cope as she doesn't have learning difficulties but she does have significant sensory needs and I think would find it really hard.

Choice 2:

Localish special needs private speech/language/communication school. Went to visit last week and they felt dd would suit their criteria. It had a lovely family type feel, max 8 in a class, 120 in whole school. Dd loved it! Onsite they have 4 OT's and about 15 SALT'S and lots of specialist teaching staff. The SALT picked on lots of issues that her current SALT/school have not.
Children working at a lower level than dd but emotionally about the same. Mainly boys but tha's fine were used to that!
Would have to fight big time because out of borough but I really feel dd would be looked after and understood there.

I put this to dd in a way she could understand and her answer was no 2 and that please oculd I send her somewhere small, quiet and calm as I know how she hates noise!!!

Dd's school senco said she will push for dd to go the unit as she feels she needs ms exposure but my gut instinct is that it will make dd worse as she has such high levels of anxiety.Also does my opinion count more that dd's current school?

vjg13 Sun 18-Jan-09 19:48:38

It sounds hard but it's not really about your opinion but about showing the local secondary school will not meet her needs whilst the other school will.

I think the mainstream role model arguement is a bit of a red herring because she would be able to access that in other ways outside of school and maybe even at the special school.

sphil Sun 18-Jan-09 19:54:58

I would go for No2 in your position - it sounds lovely. You can give her the exposure to NT kids at home. I can't remember whether she has a statement - if so, perhaps you could start pushing for the second school in her next annual review? I think you should try to get the school on board - how well do you get on with the Senco? Or the Ed Psych?

Blossomhill Sun 18-Jan-09 19:59:59

Vjg thank you. Do you think the fact she has sensory issues and that even CAMHS have said although she has coped in primary she will not in a ms secondary school?

Well exactly. I have an older son with lots fo friends and we have friends and family that dd mixes with. She also does outside ms activities so has a balance of both iykwim

Blossomhill Sun 18-Jan-09 20:02:58

Hi Sphil sorry x-post then. We have to her transition to high school meeting in March so that's why I am panicking. No 2 school said that unfortunately it is usually children that really cannot be placed elsewhere that get given places and that I would need to fight, which I am more that prepared to do but I just don't have the money to finance solicitors.
We do have a statement so am hoping that if we do eventually get a place the lea will fund.
She has a 3 day trial at 2nd school so hopefully the reports from that will help.

moondog Sun 18-Jan-09 20:06:01

15 SALTS!!!!!
Blimey, sounds like a heavenly place to work (and be.)
Is it an ICAN school?
Will your Ed. Authority pay?

vjg13 Sun 18-Jan-09 20:10:56

Are the children at the school you would like all funded by LEAs?

TotalChaos Sun 18-Jan-09 20:13:53

sounds like your DD would be much happier at school 2 - though of course will be a battle to get that placement. have you ruled out her going for a grammar school then?

Blossomhill Sun 18-Jan-09 20:34:45

I know Moondog, it's amazing and it started off with just a SALT and 2 children in her living room (it was a pre-school type thing for children with language difficulties) Oh and Moondog whilst I have your attention ;) the SALT said that although dd scores well in test situations with her language that she has obvious higher level language difficulties? Not sure what that means?
No it's not an ICAN school, the only way I can describe it is if Bibic was a school it would be this one!!! They are very holisitic based.

95 % of children are funded by all different leas.

Tc ~ ruled out grammar school as she just could not cope with the homework sode of things. It's hard enough now with the few bits that she does get. Infact she now does them at school as they know how hard it is for us at home!

moondog Sun 18-Jan-09 20:50:15

She prob. means semantic/pragmatic stuff-interpersonal skills (holding/maintaining/initiating conversation, knowing when t ochange subject,how to behave with different people and so on). Would that seem right?

School sounds great!

vjg13 Sun 18-Jan-09 20:58:28

Does your LEA currently fund any children at this school?

IME you will probably have the mother of all battles to get your daughter into this school. Whilst the CAMS report will be helpful the fact that your local school has a new ASD unit will not and the LEA will want to send her there rather than pay out on the private school. You would have to be prepared to go to a tribunal to get this school and obtain independent reports from a SALT and EP along the way. This will cost about £500 each. You will be able to get some free legal advice from IPSEA on the process.

We are trying to get our LEA to fund a place for my daughter at a non maintained special school and finding the process very draining.
If we don't get it I will feel that at least we did all we could for her.

Blossomhill Sun 18-Jan-09 21:06:28

Moondog yes that's dd although she has come on a lot lately with her conversation skills. I think the weekly session that I suggested insisted she had has really helped!

vgj ~ yes quite a few that I am aware of. I willhave to home educate otherwise if I am totally honest. Yep I am prepared to do all of that. Thing is it hasn't always been easy. dd has had some times when things have been terrible for her and I know in high school it will only get worse Good luck with your battle I really hope you get the result you want and thank you for all of your help!

Blossomhill Sun 18-Jan-09 21:15:44

Oh another biggy I forgot to add about no 2 is that they offer art,drama and music therapy too and.... in the middle of each lesson they do 2 mins of brain gym!

bullet123 Mon 19-Jan-09 10:05:19

Personally I would choose option 2 without any hesitation. I went to mainstream school and secondary and the last year of primary (which saw me moving from a small village school to a town school double its size) was a nightmare for me.

TotalChaos Tue 20-Jan-09 11:01:46

anyone else very hmm about an ASD unit in a school with loud bells?

amber32002 Tue 20-Jan-09 13:00:33

Personal opinion: Option 2 is the only option that doesn't involve what amounts to child cruelty. It is SO stressful and overwhelming for us to be put in a huge school. We 'need' that sort of pain just like you'd 'need' to have your head held under water 7 hours a day to see if you can swim yet.

I wish with all my heart that schools would stop trying to force us into environments that damage us, just in case it's good for us. It isn't.

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