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

Givememore and streaky

(7 Posts)
debs40 Sun 08-Nov-09 18:22:17

Thank you both very much for your really helpful perspectives on my problem. I completely understand everything you are saying and appreciate that people have very different and strong personal views on this. But that is helpful for someone like myself who is just trying to find a way through.

I completely agree that there are certainly schools out there which might be a better fit for my son. This school has an 'outstanding' rating but even if you take away all the ASD stuff, their expectations of independence from small children demonstrate a complete lack of pastoral care and a dcesire to make life as easy as possible for those teaching. This isn't true of all teachers there, but it is true of this year's teachers.

The schools here are generally the same. They are driven by the academic pressure that a grammar school system creates so moving him (again - I've moved him once already) would mean looking further afield.

I have friends who are teachers and would not treat my son like this so I know it is not a universal approach.

Maybe HE would be best short term. I'm not sure if it is feasible to do this for a year or so?? But I will investigate it as an option too as I don't want to spend the next year banging my head against a brick wall.

Thank you both for your contributions which have been very much appreciated.

daisy5678 Sun 08-Nov-09 19:03:20

I wish you the best of luck with whatever you decide. But do remember that if you pick HE as a short-term option, the chances of a Statement if he does re-enter the school system are dramatically reduced. Everything will be blamed on the fact that you HE'd him and also they'll insist on him doing 6 months and struggling before they'll even consider it. At the moment, you have evidence of problems and a good case for a Statement but this will be lost if you HE.

I honestly hope only the best for you and I'm sure that you'll do what's right for you and your boy - nobody on here is or has been in your specific situation and so you have to judge what's right for your son within your available education system and nobody else's story, including mine, is as relevant as people around you in your area. That's the thing: we're blinded by our own stories and experiences and so everything is very subjective.

Before making a decision, please speak to people locally and see what they feel about ASD provision that they've experienced. I get that the grammar system creates a whole new breed of statistic-driven problems, but some schools may feel the pressure less (often ones with high numbers of SEN children). It may mean going a fair way, but remember that Statemented children will usually have transport paid for.

Good luck and do keep updating us!

debs40 Sun 08-Nov-09 19:14:43

That is a really good point about blaming it on HE! Thanks. This is why I needed to raise these things with you guys! There is no group locally at all. I've been in touch with the NAS but I will have a quiet word to the community paed when I speak to her this week and see what her experience has been.

I will also ask DS2's nursery owner as the nursery has a SEN speciality (DS1 didn't go there unfortunately) and she might have local knowledge.

I work and study and would really love him to go to a school he (and I) was happy with.

Thanks again

daisy5678 Sun 08-Nov-09 20:25:44

A great idea - she will know who goes onto where and (hopefully) they will have kept in touch and let her know how they're doing.

streakybacon Mon 09-Nov-09 08:18:18

Totally agree with pursuing a statement. I do regret (do to other circumstances at the time) not having had time or energy to challenge the refusal to assess ds (I made the application a few weeks before I deregistered to HE). Unfortunately his deterioration was so rapid that we were left with little choice but to remove him for his own safety, but I did struggle for a long while with wanting to keep him there to secure a statement. It just wasn't possible any more.

Mind you, in my LEA statements aren't worth much, legal document or no. There are several children I'm aware of who aren't getting a fraction of the provision they should have, despite very carefully worded statements and all best efforts by the parents, and are suffering as a result.

Bear in mind though, that it is possible to have a child assessed and issued with a statement whilst being home educated. The LEA may say they'd want him in school first and to complete a couple of rounds of IEP, but it's not necessary. I know of several HE parents who've successfully had their child assessed and got the statement needed for them to return to school.

I rather get the impression that your LEA is very similar to mine, and you'll have to decide for yourself whether it's worth challenging them. It could be a very long battle if they're that reluctant to help, and you could come away with very little. How well can your son cope with what he has at present? He may have a certain level of difficulty that you can all tolerate for the time being and you might feel it's worth continuing - again, it's your call. The extent of my son's problems was such that we couldn't wait any longer and we had to act hastily, but that's not the case for everybody.

I agree that a good school could make all the difference but the problem is in finding one. If negative attitudes are pervasive throughout your LEA then perhaps support is being withheld from higher up the scale than teachers and Heads. You might at times find you have a very supportive teacher or TA but that their hands are tied by superiors. Not only is that frustrating but it doesn't help your son.

When you say there is no group locally, do you mean HE or AS support? If it's HE you might want to look deeper - often groups aren't visible unless you're part of them. Have you tried joining HE Special? You could ask for contacts on there, but beware - there are some militant anti-school folk and a lot of politics in the HE community just now. It's a very sensitive area. If it's AS support ask at GP surgery or Barnardo's if you have one locally.

I agree it's best to get first-hand experiences before you make a decision, but do bear in mind that circumstances can change. When my son transferred schools it was on the basis of other parents' glowing recommendations and the new school was widely regarded as the place to be for children with ds's needs. I visited several times, got all the right answers and the right vibe. It seemed ideal. But within a year the place was falling apart, its reputation in tatters, staff leaving left right and centre and it's marked for closure in 2010. Things change. You might find what seems to be the ideal school but it might not stay that way. I certainly don't want to be alarmist but it's important to be armed with all possibilities before you make your informed decision.

The best of luck, whatever you decide, and I look forward to hearing about your progress.

debs40 Mon 09-Nov-09 09:13:56

Thanks streaky, that's such a helpful and informative message. I am cutting and pasting all these gems.

School contacted me last night by email to say they were going to take over DS's morning schedule (the one I drew up and was doing with him). We'll see if they do as if they can't get that right there isn't really much hope.

In the meantime, I shall do more researching and my CAT you if needing more advice if that's still ok. There is no NAS branch or the like round here and I know no one else is a similar situation so it is difficult to get picture of which school will deal with this best. I'll see what I can find out.

Thanks to both of you again

streakybacon Mon 09-Nov-09 15:31:19

Yes, certainly contact me if you want to talk more. Will help if I can smile

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