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

holy moly - my head is spinning!

(19 Posts)
ninjadinosaur Tue 15-Sep-09 19:51:37

OK, OK, I know I said I would never post on here again thanks to the DM hoo-ha but I have decided that the benefits of MN outweigh the risks - I need wise words from MN!

We're currently choosing a primary school for DS ASD. It is so hard. So far, I have had schools refuse to give us an appt to see the head, block access to the SENCOs as soon as they hear our son has ASD and even ask to see his medical records (even tho we can't ask them any questions...!)

We did see a lovely school today. I think DS would like it. It's infants only, but they were very very amenable to helping ASD kids. The SENCO was very clued up, and I liked the fact it was small. BUT (and it's a big BUT!) Are we doing the wrong thing putting him in a school for 3 years and then having to start again from scratch at 7/8, possibly at a school with none of his peers? OTOH, is it better to start small and 'comfortable' where he will be eased in, rather than dropping him in a bigger school... Such a dilemma!

We just don't know what to do for the best. We are also getting conflicting views on whether to apply for a statement or not . Any wise words from experienced folks with HFA/ASD kids who have been through the process?


ninjadinosaur Tue 15-Sep-09 19:52:32

p.s. I have name chanegd BTW... and will be doing so for any new SN threads, but I will ensure I stick to the 'theme' of name above ;-)

mysonben Tue 15-Sep-09 20:02:05


No advice sorry , doing the same atm.
But we haven't visited any yet...ds hasn't got formal dx yet, still ploughing through the syatem.

Can i ask you what good questions should we be asking? i'm a bit clueless...blush

anonandlikeit Tue 15-Sep-09 20:38:55

IME the most important factor in deciding a school is that they welcome your child & wnat your child in their school, if they appear open, accommodating & helpful then it makes things so much easier.
If the other schools aren't treating you with kindness & courtesy now, imagine how difficult things will become if ever there is a conflict to resolve.

I would worry about one thing at a time, sort out the best school for his needs now & worry about follow on school when the time comes.

ninjadinosaur Tue 15-Sep-09 20:44:57

hello! We have spoken before in fact we had a dx about the same time.

We based ours on this, not every question relevant but it's a start:


ninjadinosaur Tue 15-Sep-09 20:46:28

Thx anon. My instincts are telling me that. we are out of catchment for the school, but the junior schhol would be in catchment and has a good rep for SEN, whereas the infant schhol by the junior schhol doesn't IYSWIM (does any of that make sense?!)

Barmymummy Tue 15-Sep-09 20:47:22

My DS will start school In Jan at a huge primary and its just for ages 4-8. Its the biggest in the country actually shock. We will have to go through this again when he turns 8 settling him into a new middle school but the school want him. The Senco is lovely and supporting and so is his future teacher. I can only concentrate on now as the future is too scary/worrying so I am focusing on small steps first.

No real advice except to say that we are doing it in 2 steps so fingers crossed all will be OK!!

Shells Tue 15-Sep-09 21:24:54

Go for the junior school. Sounds lovely. Get good support for him now and then reassess when he's 7/8.

nightcat Tue 15-Sep-09 21:25:46

Hi NinjaD, don't worry too far ahead, you are doing the right thing for now, go where your ds is best catered for.
Loads of parents change schools at 7/8 and you will find that even in 4-11 schools the staff and environment will be quite separate for both ages.
Having been through 4-11 with my ds, looking back, we could have done it differently; at 8 a lot of his peers moved on to a 8-11 only school (the reason we didn't was because it was a church school).
For those who moved on at 8, it was like a rite-of-passage, they were going to a "big" school; I do think it's a good stepping stone to coping with changes that life brings.

mysonben Tue 15-Sep-09 23:07:37

Thank you for that link. Just what i needed to know. smile

Phoenix4725 Wed 16-Sep-09 04:57:18

if you think he will need help go for the statement

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 16-Sep-09 07:28:01


Would concur with Phoenix; apply for the Statement now. Your child could well need additional support as he progresses through the school system and it can be fraught with difficulties to obtain such a thing in secondary school. Don't leave it that late!.

meltedmarsbars Wed 16-Sep-09 09:15:55

The difference in abilities and needs from a nt child, nevermind an sn child from 4 to 8 can be so great that I would not worry about changing schools at 8 - the school will be preparing all the children for the change, it will be part of their normal teaching.

Go for the school that fits your needs now, you can't really predict what he will need when he's 8.

Good luck!

ninjadinosaur Wed 16-Sep-09 12:09:28

Well, we have just seen another infant school today. It was like night and day. I was shocked as it has a very good rep. but the head spent much of the tour (with other parents) telling us they didn't jhav e any money in the pot for kids with SEN...

ninjadinosaur Wed 16-Sep-09 12:10:14

Meant to say, seeing GP, too to push for statemtn,a s paediatrician is not very supportive. When we asked for help wth his behaviour, we were told the contact the NAS...!

pagwatch Wed 16-Sep-09 12:16:44

It is bloody annoying how pushy you have to be...
Get on to the LEA - you can apply for a statement withoutthe paed.

Go for the nice school regardless ofthe number of years.
Although it will mean another change you may be dealing with a very different child in three years. Always go for the best imediate option. A great enviroment now will help ytour child wherever he transferes to later.

ninjadinosaur Wed 16-Sep-09 12:35:50

That's how I feel, pagwatch. I know that if we chose the school we visited today, we would have to fight tooth and nail for everything, whereas the otehr school at least are open to having children with SEN there...

jasdox Wed 16-Sep-09 13:30:20

Go for the school you like, I think have the best start is important, amenable to helping ASD kids has to be it. I spoke to the head of one school and they only have 20per class (60 in total) in the first two years, as they feel it works better for the LOs and they are ready for the bigger class when they are that bit older.

We are applying at the mom, I've been told that we would not be getting a statement and yet this is the only way to guarantee a school that you feel is the most appropriate! We are out of distance for all the schools and might not even get into the local ones I ran up school admissions, and they really were not that helpful, even though they fully appreciated what I was saying - great - not.

I've visited several schools, liked one, and asked about ASD, they both said they are aware. One school had two full time SENCOs for 700 pupils, is that good or bad.

Like the link, wished I thought of some of the qus, guess you can ring the school and still ask?

I'm finding the whole school thing terrifying.

ninjadinosaur Wed 16-Sep-09 22:43:33

Ditto jasdox. The thought of my LO going to school sends me into a tailspin. As things stand at present, I don't think he'll cope. He's struggling in nursery, and the staff are amazingly supportive :-(

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