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Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on special needs.

Positive starting school stories
6

TimeForGouter · 05/05/2022 14:16

Hello, it hit me today that it isn’t long until DS has to start school. He’s been at his nursery for 3 years and they understand him so well; his triggers, how he is best brought back down when disregulated, how he likes to play, how he likes to learn… etc etc.
The nursery’s ethos generally is very, very gentle for all kids and they also have a phenomenal adult/child ratio so can give masses of one on one support.

They’re going to work with us on a smooth transition and (from what I’ve seen) I really like the school, but realistically I am so worried about him struggling and getting labelled.

Has anyone got any positive stories for me of their child coping better than they expected with school? I’m just feeling a bit worried today.

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TimeForGouter · 06/05/2022 06:41

Oh dear… no one!

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Skipskip · 08/05/2022 00:19

DS4.5 ASD wasn’t really ready for reception and went from the school’s nursery to reception. His speech was significantly delayed and he had barely picked a pen up as he wasn’t interested. When he got there he was sometimes overwhelmed but they definitely understood him. We are now in the summer term and he speaks in sentences, reports his day briefly, has begun writing words, made friends and can now add and do basic subtraction. He’s behind in phonics as he struggles to blend them and only has a ten minute attention span in the class of 30. In smaller groups with things he’s motivated by and at home it’s longer.

At the beginning of reception he started grabbing his classmates when overwhelmed. This has reduced and he asks for the ‘green sofa’ in the corridor when he needs a time out so he’s understood self regulation. He has a teaching assistant and they give him periodic OT ti help him regulate. We just had our annual review and we considered moving him to the local specialist speech and communication school but decided that he was making sufficient progress for him to stay. He’s happy and settled and loves school. This week he’s been telling me how he wants to be a big boy and not a baby anymore.

This has required a lot of input at home and we fill pre and post school life with never ending activities.

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Aswad · 08/05/2022 01:08

Watching keenly. That sounds lovely @Skipskip and gives me hope. I’ve requested to delay my daughter’s start as she’s very delayed and non verbal

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Skipskip · 08/05/2022 06:54

@Aswad have you considered a specialist provision initially instead of delaying entry? They tend to run a bit behind mainstream and can focus on deficit areas.

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ParentingPDA88 · 08/05/2022 09:02

Hi @TimeForGouter
My child is 8 now and starting school was a huge worry of mine too for reasons similar to yours. Our nursery was fantastic and over the years had given my child so much love and accommodated us so well that moving on to school was terrifying.
Between the nursery, ourselves and the new school we had an enhanced transition, which involved some new teachers coming to visit nursery, and allowing us to visit with our child as often as we felt necessary to familiarise them with new faces and surroundings. The school gave us a picture book they made filled with photos of staff, classrooms, even the peg which they’d be using to hang their coat.
When it came to actually starting school it went really really well. It wasn’t without meltdowns or difficult days, but as the time had been taken by everyone to build relationships before term started, everyone felt safe and confident in managing the bad days.
Another thing we did was to keep in contact with our nursery key worker, who we still speak to and see today. This made it easier for our child to adjust to not seeing them as often.
Anyway it wasn’t totally plain sailing, but it went far better than I could have ever imagined and my child actually finished infant school without ever having a day off. It’s such a worrying time for parents, but with the right support from your school and nursery it can go well! Something I’d never have believed in the past x

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TimeForGouter · 08/05/2022 21:13

Thank you so much for these stories! What wonderful kids (and schools).

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