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To ask for positive stories of ASD children struggling in primary but thriving in secondary?

99 replies

DillyDallyDollie · 08/05/2021 21:58

I am utterly exhausted having to fight for support for my DS10. He has a diagnosis of ASD, anxiety, sensory and speech issues. He is ‘fine in school’ say his teachers.

Support currently offered is based around adjustments for him rather than any practical support. Adjustments made since reception but things are worse in year 6.

His behaviour at home has us at our limits; angry outbursts every day. He is under CAMHS and other therapists for his extreme behaviour.
He hates school.

I’ve spoken to the SENCO in his new secondary and it’s the same offer he currently has; minor adjustments that are going to make little difference to how he copes with school.

Such as offering him a seat at the back of the class, allowing him to leave class earlier, not asking him to read aloud. He has these adjustments now and they just do not work!

The new SENCO believes DS will be fine in school as his attendance in primary has been excellent . (School don’t see the issues I have each morning trying to get him out of the door on time. We have to set our alarms 2.5 hours early before school starts!).

He does not have an EHCP (that’s a whole other thread). I’ve given up and I will just have to hope for the best come September. Sad

Does anyone have experience of a child struggling in primary flourishing in secondary?

OP posts:

Hankunamatata · 08/05/2021 22:00

Do you have the option to pick a secondary with an asd unit in it?


DillyDallyDollie · 08/05/2021 22:02

Unfortunately there are no schools near us with ASD units.

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SnarkyBag · 08/05/2021 22:04

My ds got through primary very easily but secondary has been a real struggle for him and that’s with an EHCP, TA support and a very proactive SENCO.

I really think without an EHCP in place you may struggle


Foxhasbigsocks · 08/05/2021 22:04

Op have you tried speaking to a charity like Contact a Family? They offer a listening ear 1:1 call and are really good on issues like this IME. If you need help to drive the EHCP process they have good advice on that too.

I’m so sorry you are getting this


SinkGirl · 08/05/2021 22:06

He needs a proper assessment, by an Ed psych and an OT, to establish what his needs are and the provisions required to meet them. That really means an EHC needs assessment - even if he seems fine at school, his behaviour at home shows his needs are not being met.

I know it’s hard - applied for my twins when they were 3 and battled through all the lockdowns last year to go through tribunals. It was brutal but worth it. Don’t give up!


GoldSlipper · 08/05/2021 22:07

Try not to panic too much - he may well thrive in secondary.

I know of some students with ASD who feel less anxious in secondary because they feel like each lesson is a "fresh slate" with a new teacher..

Also, some absolutely love being taught by teachers with expert knowledge in their favourite subject areas (e.g. history).


Northernsoullover · 08/05/2021 22:08

Well kind of. My son did struggle at secondary and scraped enough to go to sixth form. It was too much for him so he left to go to college and now he's thriving. He's starting level 3 in September.
We had issues with extreme behaviour too but he started to settle down at around 14/15. He is an absolute delight now and he regulates much more easily.
My priority in school (for him) was to get through. I didn't pressure homework or grades. I always said to myself its not the end of the line if he doesn't do brilliantly. The option to study will be there at a later date. If I'd pressured about grades I doubt he would have finished school. We got there relatively unscathed and college has been the making of him. He's engaged, does his work and most of all he's happy.


DillyDallyDollie · 08/05/2021 22:13

@SnarkyBag sorry to hear your DC struggled; with all that support in place too Sad

I’m trying to stay positive about it but I just don’t see him managing. How long do we carry on with the daily outbursts before saying enough is enough?

His younger siblings get upset when he flies off the handle.

OP posts:

DillyDallyDollie · 08/05/2021 22:15

@Foxhasbigsocks I’ve never heard of that charity but it’s worth me taking a look Flowers

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Starlightstarbright1 · 08/05/2021 22:16

My ds has asd ( not diagnosed till end of year 8) but adhd.

He manages generally well at school till he doesn't. Most of it is pop bottle when he gets home.

The first senco teacher was very patronising- ignored issues because he is very bright holds his own educationally.

Year 9 new Senco teacher completely different. It suddenly feels my ds matters. We have made loads of progress this year.

My advice- ger another professional involved.. my ds's camhs nurse goes to reviews.

I found if you make suggestions what will hapoen.

My ds has been withdrawn from one subject this year, he has a keyworker and regular sessions to ofload.

Does he need changes to uniforms ? Ease sensory issues.

I would say be that parent if necessary. Put issues in writting. Paper trails help. But also if thigs do work let them know.


DillyDallyDollie · 08/05/2021 22:17

@SinkGirl School seem to think that the behaviour is all based around home and they can’t really do much more for him.

I’ve asked repeatedly for him to be assessed but as he’s achieving in his work, they refuse and say he is managing. School don’t believe his ASD has an impact on him Hmm

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flashylamp · 08/05/2021 22:17

One of mine was a nightmare through primary. He was a different person when he went to high school. He needed more than primary were able to offer. High school was interesting and had an easy to follow routine. He finished school with 5 Highers and a year to spare! He is going to (living at home) University in September. I cannot believe he is the same person.


sausagerole · 08/05/2021 22:17

Definitely apply for an EHC Needs assessment. Ignore anyone who tells you he doesn't need one or won't get one - no-one can possibly know without having assessed him, that's the point of it. Ask for a child in need assessment too to see if you can get support for him outside of school


sausagerole · 08/05/2021 22:19

Also, you can make a parental request - you don't need to go via the school. What do the specialists he's under say about it?


DillyDallyDollie · 08/05/2021 22:19

@GoldSlipper I’m trying to be positive , I really am but my DS finds transitions very difficult so the moving classrooms will most likely make him very anxious. He will mask it until he comes home. Our whole evening will be us walking on eggshells trying to get the basics like shower and meal times done. We have regular days like this now.

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Starlightstarbright1 · 08/05/2021 22:20

Also to add the is an education advisor i spokevto at the National Autistic society, who gave me lots of advice with the first senco.


SinkGirl · 08/05/2021 22:21

[quote DillyDallyDollie]@SinkGirl School seem to think that the behaviour is all based around home and they can’t really do much more for him.

I’ve asked repeatedly for him to be assessed but as he’s achieving in his work, they refuse and say he is managing. School don’t believe his ASD has an impact on him Hmm[/quote]
They clearly know bugger all about masking. Just apply for an assessment yourself and appeal if it’s refused. Read up as much as you can, plenty of info on the IPSEA website.


MackenCheese · 08/05/2021 22:22

I say fight like hell to get that EHCP in place. My ds with asd was fine in primary (tricky at times) , but really struggled with the transition in year 7, then lockdown, then school avoidance in year 8 . I applied for the EHCP after 2 terms in year 7, but had to appeal to get needs assessed. At least now, I wouldn't say he is thriving, but he's stopped saying he hates school, (the SENCo is super flexible) and ds is much calmer at home. The knock on effect on siblings is not to be underestimated, and it's good when everyone can relax.


DillyDallyDollie · 08/05/2021 22:23

@Northernsoullover I’m so pleased your DS is doing well. You must be very proud Smile

Unfortunately, the secondary school have already told us their will be no adjustments to homework and he will be expected to do it like everyone else. DS struggles with homework now; he refused to read at all last week and after a 45 minute stand off he agreed to read one paragraph , one night only.

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Porcupineintherough · 08/05/2021 22:23

I cant speak as a parent but both the boys with asd we know well are finding secondary far better (less stressful, more enjoyable) than primary. I wont say it's all plain sailing but they're increased maturity, more structure and bigger choice of company (chance to find their crowd) have really helped.


Rosebel · 08/05/2021 22:29

Oh my goodness. My daughter was very much like your son. The angry outbursts at home where she would smash her head on the wall, scream and cry, tell us she wanted to die. It was awful.
Getting her to school and then inside was so hard. I had to get members of staff to help most days as she just wouldn't move.
She was unsettled last year when she started Y7 but this year she has flourished. She has made friends with three others (which she didn't have in primary school) and this has helped. She also does a lot of sports with these girls which helps keep her calm
She has the measures in place that you mentioned but for her it's been meeting her friends who all have autism on different levels.
I don't know if friendship is something your son has struggled with but I hope this might give you some hope that things can get better.
We still have the occasional melt down and she struggles with her emotions at times but it's a lot rarer and she actually enjoys school (again something that never happened in primary school).


DillyDallyDollie · 08/05/2021 22:30

@Starlightstarbright1 Pop bottle is a great way of explaining it.

He was handed down some uniform from a friends DS who has outgrown it and he can not tolerate the shirt , tie or jacket at all. I mentored this to the new SENCO and they said they do not have adjustments to uniform. We are to get him to wear it for a short time each day until he gets used to it.

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DillyDallyDollie · 08/05/2021 22:32

@SinkGirl I have already started the process of applying myself and I’m gathering up all of the evidence. I fully expect it to be refused but I will appeal.

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DillyDallyDollie · 08/05/2021 22:33

@MackenCheese did you win your assessment appeal and get a plan?

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DillyDallyDollie · 08/05/2021 22:33

@Porcupineintherough that sounds positive thank you Smile

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