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Advice - private school undiagnosed ASD meltdowns

7 replies

Halloweenrainbow · 26/03/2022 08:43

DD6 attends a small, non selective private school in Scotland. She has some physical and emotional delays noted by the pediatrician - query ASD but not formally diagnosed pending assessment. She is otherwise intelligent and loves going to school but her delayed social skills are becoming problematic as she gets older. Recently, she has started having intense emotional outburst at school and staff are struggling with what they discribe as increasingly challenging behaviour. The latest outburst was so intense that she was forcably removed from the classroom and placed in the hall where she aparently screemed the place down for an hour! Nobody called me so I was unaware of this for almost a week. The school now want to devise a Behaviour Plan and feel she needs 1:1 support (that I have to pay for btw!). Does anyone have experience dealing with all this in a private school setting prior to formal diagnosis? I'm considering keeping her off next week until we speak to the pediatrician. Because of her behaviour, her place at school is now under review Sad. Can she be kicked out for behaviour linked to a disability before the disability is formally diagnosed? Any advice much appreciated.

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NinaManiana · 26/03/2022 14:23

We’ve had similar with my son’s private school. We’re in England and I’m not sure how the rules are different in Scotland but as I understand it, private schools are not obligated to educate anyone they don’t want to, so it’s easier for them a comprehensive to effectively expel kids who make too much work for them.

I spoke to the national autistic society about our rights, they can advise you on your rights, probably better than me on mumsnet!

For what it’s worth we expedited getting a formal diagnosis for my son asap, because once he had the diagnosis even if it didn’t change our legal position we felt it would be awkward / look bad for the school to remove him as we could go to the press and say ‘as soon as he was diagnosed they kicked him out!’

For what it’s worth we’ve figured if the school is making him so miserable he’s having meltdowns in the day, we should move him anyway, so we are.

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VagueSemblance · 26/03/2022 16:51

As @NinaManiana says I'm no expert, but my limited and dated experience is that private school can simply decide they don't want you at any point.

I'm sure this is not what you want to hear, but I don't think a diagnosis will turn this round for you. It may help elsewhere but it's not going to oblige them to keep a child they can't cope with.

Btw I'm no expert but my understanding is that it's good practice is to remove the rest of the class from the room as a first step, rather than manhandling a distressed child out. It would be informative to see that "behaviour plan" to help judge whether they have any clue of how to meet her needs.

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Halloweenrainbow · 26/03/2022 18:14

@23NinaManiana

@51VagueSemblance

Thank you for your replies.

Yes, it's quite clear the school no longer want her which breaks my heart on one hand but on the other hand I feel the relationship with them has broken down to the extent that I just want her out of that environment anyway.

The challenge is going to be how to do this in a way that preserves what little is left of DD's self esteem Sad

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Imitatingdory · 26/03/2022 18:34

I don’t know of your legal position in Scotland, but have you spoken to Enquire?

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Halloweenrainbow · 26/03/2022 18:45

@34Imitatingdory

Thank you, I didn't know about Enquire - I'll try to speak with them next week. Most of what I read online pertains to England only and mostly the state schools system. It might be just what I'm looking for!

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Imitatingdory · 26/03/2022 18:47

Enquire provide a similar-ish service to Scotland as IPSEA do for England. They have lots of useful information on their website and have an advice line.

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VagueSemblance · 26/03/2022 21:56

"The challenge is going to be how to do this in a way that preserves what little is left of DD's self esteem"

I would be tempted to turn it on its head. Tell her she is not going to that school anymore because you have realised how distressing it has been for her. Even if she doesn't like the decision, she will derive security from you taking her feelings so seriously. It might not even have occurred to her that you care that she feels safe in school.

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