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SEN and secondary school your experiences please

(4 Posts)
21andcounting Tue 13-Oct-15 18:39:03

OK my Ds hasn't actually made that step to secondary school yet this will happen next year. I have just spent the last 2 hours reassuring and calming my very disgruntled ds after yet another shitty school day with staff who have no idea how to assist a dc with Asperger's regardless of how many conversations before hand by myself, and numerous outside agencies giving advice etc etc. After several years of positive thinking about my ds's future I have just found myself crying in the bathroom with a mixture of heart break, anger and sheer panic of what is to come for him. I really thought I would of grown a thicker skin by now but it just isn't happening!

Even though my ds has been to visit his new school and is excited at the prospect of going there (while happily waving goodbye to this one) I can't help but think that it's just going to be the same shit all over again. One size fits all approach and all the rest of it. Can somebody please give me some hope? tell me that their dc improved 10-fold when they went to secondary, tell me that funding won't be an issue, there is more support, a SENCO that actually cares!! or you can just tell it like it is while I work on pulling myself together.

Tissie Mon 26-Oct-15 22:12:07

I am so sorry you have had such a bad experience. Sadly secondary schools vary enormously in their provision and standard of care. I would advise an early meeting with the senco and head of year well before your chi;d starts school. Go with a list of issues that might become problems and the solutions to apply. e.g. problems in the playground - safe indoor space for the child to be; chnage in routine - pre warn of changes; visual timetable to help acclimatise; teachers have in writing his strengths and weaknesses, how and when to provide support.
Ask questions: will there be an IEP? what sort of support will be provided? Is there any potential for pre teaching of new vocabulary to help understanding in the classroom? Is there any support for homework? Can it be done in school?
These are just ideas. You will know your child best and what he needs. Good luck.

CurlyhairedAssassin Thu 26-Nov-15 18:33:33

I would only say to be prepared for problems and push push push for all the help you can get. Teachers get to know the kids well at primary. Secondaries are massive in comparison with many different staff. I would ask specifically of secondaries if your DS would have a TA in the classroom with him at all times. And how many other kids the TA would be "shared" between. I honestly don't think parents realise that it is so hard for a school to fund TA provision now after all the government cuts.

fortifiedwithtea Wed 06-Jan-16 09:47:40

It varies and you have to do your homework. DD2 went to the nearest primary that also happens to have the deaf unit (DD2 is fully hearing). All DC are taught to sign and I think that encourages understanding and inclusiveness. She had a great SEN teacher.

One of her friends was a boy with Asperger's . His parents chose to send him to the secondary school that specialises in Asperger's and Autism, other side of town. His mum had to learn to drive to get him there. He is thriving.

For DD2 I met the SEN team at the nearest school and the one that was a long walk away. Gut feeling told me nearest would be meh and I DD2 chose the furthest to walk school. Big difference was chosen school SENCO spoke to DD2 and was interested to find out about her. The school have been brilliant. DD2 is doing well and has loads of self confidence.

BTW nearest secondary school is where DD1 (no SEN) goes. She is in year 13. I have so many moans about her education its unreal.

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