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Mainstream or special school? (again, sorry)

(13 Posts)
sc13 Tue 04-Aug-09 13:59:16

We're looking at schools for DS (3.3, dx of ASD). There are two very good special schools in our borough, one just for kids with ASD. Plus a lot of mainstream ones. We're going to apply for a statement, but before that, I'd like to have a clearer idea of the pros and cons. It doesn't help that all my schooling was done abroad, in a very different system.

DS is coping well at m/s nursery. The Ed Psych said that he is learning well, and that on same things (the usual numbers/shapes/building a bridge things) he's ca. 6 months ahead of his age group. Ed Psych says DS should be able to do well in m/s. The SENCO, on the other hand, has repeatedly told us to look at a special school, because you never know and you have to put the child's needs first.

My first instinct would be to go for m/s, because I figure he'll have to cope with m/s life on his own at some point. But I almost feel like I'm letting the side down by ruling out special schools, as if I was in denial of his special needs iyswim. Any advice, anybody?

moondog Tue 04-Aug-09 14:05:57

How do you know the special school are 'very good'?

What the Ed Psych says sounds good.
The SENCO no the other hand sounds as if she has no constructive advice.What the hell ar her comments meant ot mean? hmm

Have you been to visit the schools you are thinking of [both m/s and special?]

Phoenix4725 Tue 04-Aug-09 14:06:08

phone the schools up in September ask to go look round see if you can get a feel for them what I did for Ds .dont wait for the lea then least you should have a clearer picture in your head

busybeingmum Tue 04-Aug-09 14:34:34

Message withdrawn

cyberseraphim Tue 04-Aug-09 14:44:56

If there are not learning difficulties (and Ed, Psych seems to agree) , why would SENCO advice a Special School ? I have found that often advice is just generic advice to look at schools or whatever without really considering the indvidual child.

moondog Tue 04-Aug-09 14:48:56

SENCOs generally have no training anyway, or at least none that is very useful. She probably has no idea what goes on in a special school-good or bad.
Ask her why precisely she is saying these strange things.

sc13 Tue 04-Aug-09 15:21:43

Thanks guys! September will be a busy month. Will visit the visitable; I'm just clueless as to what I should be looking for/at.
moondog'very good' according to the SENCO. I'll take her to mean that I should have a look at everything, so I have a clearer idea of what the possibilities are
busybeingmum I like the idea of split placement. Nobody has mentioned this to me, but I'll mention it when I visit schools.

moondog Tue 04-Aug-09 15:23:27

'Very good' doesn't actually mean anything.
How deos she qualify it?

TotalChaos Tue 04-Aug-09 17:46:49

sc13 - who is the senco - is she at ds's nursery or from the LEA, out of interest. I think your key starting point has to be - what will this school do for a child LIKE MY DS. what sort of experience do they have and support will they offer with language problems/sensory problems. etc.

vjg13 Tue 04-Aug-09 18:03:03

Have a look at the ofsted reports, it does give a guide.

I think it is really important to see as many schools as possible and try to look for an older version of your child there.

sc13 Wed 05-Aug-09 14:42:32

Total she is from the LEA, and it has taken ages to arrange a review meeting with her, which is why it'd take a while to chase her up for clarifications...
I've seen a few other threads on precisely this problem since yesterday, all very useful.

TotalChaos Wed 05-Aug-09 20:04:52

just asking because your average nursery senco would not be likely to be very well informed about the local special schools! you would hope lea one would be, but lea people can rather have their own agenda. in a way the opinion of lea lady as to the special schools being good isn't that important - given that you can give the special schools a grilling yourself and form your own views!

Marne Wed 05-Aug-09 20:30:27

Hi, dd2 is 3.5 and we have to decide which school she will be going too next year. Dd2 has a DX of ASD but i would say is high functioning, her main problem is her speech but in the past couple of weeks she has started talking and i'm hoping she will catch up by next September.We hav'nt seen a Ed psych yet (we are waiting) but we have been advised by portage and her nursery (sn and ms) that she should be ok to go to MS school). Were not sure what to do as she seems to be improving each day but theres no way of telling what she will be like by next september.

Dd1 (AS) started MS School last september, she is doing really well in MS and is 2 years ahead with reading and maths. Dd2 will be going to the same school as Dd1 if we chose to send her to MS, luckily it is a very small village school with only 12 children (max) starting each year. Dd2 will be statemented if she goes to MS, she gets 1:1 at nursery so i'm hoping she will get it if she goes to MS. She seems to get on better at MS nursery than she does at her SN nursery so i think she would prefer the MS setting.

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