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Please help, autistic dd and secondary school

10 replies

Happycat1212 · 03/02/2021 13:01

My daughter is 9 and in year 5 as she has an ehcp they now want to discuss secondary schools for the future. My daughter is currently in a mainstream but I don’t think a mainstream school going forward is going to be suitable for her, she struggles very much socially, I’m worried about her being bullied in secondary school if she were to go to mainstream I think she would be an easy target, she wears ear defenders at all times outside as she’s super sensitive to sound so she will already stand out as different. I’ve spoken to the school but the senco doesn’t think a sen school is suitable for my daughter, my daughter is not the type to mask I know that is common with asd girls but she does not at all she is consistent wherever she goes, there are only 2 sen in my borough and the senco said both wouldn’t be suitable as they are for children with profound and multiple learning difficulties which does apply to dd. I’ve found a school that I think would be perfect for her but it is 10 miles away, is that too far? It’s either that or I have to accept mainstream which I’m very reluctant to as I was bullied horribly in school to the point I left early and I don’t want the same for my daughter.

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10brokengreenbottles · 03/02/2021 15:48

Up to 1hr 15 mins is normally considered acceptable travel time for secondary pupils.

Angel2702 · 03/02/2021 15:51

Are there any mainstream schools with an attached ASD base? That’s what we went for for my son and it’s the best of both world’s.

Happycat1212 · 03/02/2021 16:09

Thank you both, great to hear up to an hour and 15 mins is acceptable! The school would only be 30 minutes by car from us but I thought it might be too far being 10 miles but it seems perfect for her whereas the ones near us just wouldn’t be right for her.

Angel2702 I did consider that, there is a school 5 minutes walk from us but it has such a bad reputation and I’ve only ever heard very negative things about it, I just don’t want her being bullied the same way I was, I feel maybe she would be better somewhere with children like her rather than her being seen as the outsider, And the odd one out. She only has one friend in primary school and I can’t see that changing in secondary.

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SnarkyBag · 03/02/2021 16:14

Now would be a good time to contact IPSEA for advice. Don’t let the SENCO push you into a decision you are not happy about for your dd. Many children with additional needs to well in mainstream primary but struggle in secondary so I think you are being realistic to think about the impact this will have on your dd.

Happycat1212 · 03/02/2021 16:31

Sorry I’ve just re read my op and I should have said PMLD doesn’t apply to my dd* however the senco said the reason why the sen schools in the borough weren’t suitable was because they were for children with PMLD, however the school I’ve been looking at is for children with moderate to severe learning difficulties (and states they don’t usually take children with PMLD)

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AspergersMum · 04/02/2021 13:12

@Happycat1212 the parent decides on the school, not the current school. You can ask for any school to be named on the EHCP for Y7 but you have to fight for your choice and it may go to Appeal, where you have to list your reasons why only the school you chose can meet needs, and how the other schools can't. Definitely get more info from an independent source like IPSEA and you can research possible schools in your area, knowing how long your DD would be happy to spend in a car twice a day. Do you already have SALT and OT assessments? That may help your case against mainstream.

Ellie56 · 05/02/2021 20:51


Information here:

If there are no suitable schools in your local area look in neighbouring LAs.
To search for schools by local authority:

Section 41 special schools:

Independent special schools and colleges:

Rufus27 · 05/02/2021 21:11

I think whether she’ll cope in a mainstream secondary really depends on the school and its ethos. In the school where I teach (secondary mainstream) I genuinely don’t think she’d be bullied as it’s very inclusive. We have students who wear ear defenders, with hearing aids, in wheel chairs and it’s really not a big deal. Can you get in touch with other parents of children with SEN who attend the local secondary school and get some feedback? (There’s a local FB group in my area for parents of children with SEN which is always great for this sort of info!).

I knew the local primary wasn’t right for my two (both primary aged, both have EHCPs) but found another mainstream primary about 8 miles away which meets their needs brilliantly. Are there any other mainstream secondaries near (ish) you which are more inclusive? Any with an ASD/CAIRB unit attached?

Happycat1212 · 06/02/2021 17:33

The school has a terrible reputation, I know that already, we came home from school once as it’s right by our house and they were letting off fire works outside the school right in our faces, they didn’t care that we were there (this is a school in a not so nice part of SE London so yeh I do think she will be bullied) she still throws herself on the floor and screams when she has meltdowns and she’s been laughed at by older teens in the street before 😢 my concerns are if she was bullied she can’t communicate that as she has very limited receptive communication

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Happycat1212 · 06/02/2021 17:34

Thanks for the information Ellie56 I will take a look

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