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Son starting School in September, I'm worried sick

JuleyJames's picture
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JuleyJames


Son starting School in September, I'm worried sick

Sat 11 May 2013 7:37pm
Topic: 

My little boy starts School in September he isn't even 4 yet he'll be one of the youngest in his class, he has a DX of ASD and thankfully we have a SEN in place already.

DH and I went to look round his mainstream School last week and pretty much what we expected a School to look like..Lol. We have a multi agency meeting next month to meet his TA and the School SENCO etc but I'm feeling sick with worry, I can't stop crying, I'm just worried sick about him going, I know it's great that we have the SEN already in place but he's so young, he's still in nappies, a very timid little boy, he would just go off with anyone and he doesn't have many words. How is he going to cope?

It was mentioned that he spend some time in the School Nursery but I don't really want that as he'll stand out like a sore thumb (he's really tall) also it would feel like a step backwards I want him to be with his own age group, do I have control of what I do or do not want. Also what happens during break times and lunch time if he stays will he just be left, I'm worried about the older children making fun of him.

I know that I can raise my concerns at the meeting next month, I'm just so worried and losing sleep about it.

Thanks for reading x

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  • Snowdrop's picture

    Hi

    I am Mum to two boys who both have a diagnosis of ASD, Dylan is 7 & Jake is 4 and like your son is due to start school in September.  Like you I worry already!!

    When you say your son has SEN in place already, do you mean a Statement of SEN?  If you do, does it not set out that he needs support at break & lunchtimes, has he got any 1to1 support stated in it?  Did you want mainstream or did you look round any specialist provisions?  Is his Statement finalised?

    Sorry for all the questions, just thought if I knew the answers I might be able to offer a more useful response.

    Tracy - Retired Community Champion
  • Mullybum's picture

    Hi, my little boy is 3 next month and is starting at special school in September, and I'm starting to panic too! I would like to know the things that Tracy has asked too so that we can try to offer some advice and support Smile xx

  • Leanne's picture

    Hi,

    I have an 11 yr old stepson who has the more classic autism with delayed speech. He was non verbal when he started mainstrem primary aged 5, he lasted in mainstream until end of yr2 and coped ok.. his class were lovely and understanding and he had full time 1 to 1 support. He also had 2 step siblings who were older at the school  and who looked out for him and kept us updated.

    With hindsight because he was language delayed he should absolutely have attended a specialist primary or at the very least an autism unit attached to a mainstream primary.Have you looked around your specialist schools??

    Leanne
  • titch's picture

    Hi - being worried sick about your son's school placement speaks volumes.  If you're like me you'll try + rationalise your worries but find they don't go away.  I think you need more info from the school regarding the amount of support he'll receive, inc at lunchtime + playtimes.  Also what cover will there be for him when his TA is off sick or on holidays.  If your gut instinct still says he's wrongly allocated then raise the issue, ask to visit other schools, inc those with an asd unit attached + those who are autism specific. If you find 1 which is suitable, then pursue it.  It can be a battle but ultimately it'll be for the best for all of you.  good luck with everything.

  • Whirling Mind's picture

    Did you know that legally children don't have to start school until the term following their 5th birthday?  You can defer his entry if you like, and the school would still be expecting him so you wouldn't lose his place.

    https://www.gov.uk/school-attendance-absence/overview

    I don't know what the rush is to get little ones into school in this country is about. They don't seem to advertise this fact about them not having to start at 4 and many children (even NT ones) are just not ready to go that young.  I deferred my youngest child's entry because I knew she wasn't ready.

    In some other countries they don't start school until 6 or 7. 

    If there are reasons he needs to start, such as you have to work, perhaps you could give him a go in the nursery.  I'm sure he won't mind being taller than the others, it will be about what he can cope with and give him some lead-up to school.

    Are there no special schools or ASC units attached to mainstream schools in your area?  You can put those down as choices on your statement, but as you already have your statement I don't know how easy it is to amend it.  Perhaps if he went to school and clearly wasn't coping it would be possible to review it then.

    There are also online schools which can be done at home or at an LA or school facility and LAs also have alternative provision units.  They might only consider those once your son has given school a try and found it not to be working out though.

    If all else fails, there is also home-education.

  • JuleyJames's picture

    Hi,

    Thank you for taking the time to reply Smile

    Yes we have a final statement in place which is dated March 2013. It does state in it that special thought should be given to break times and lunch times. He will have a 1:1 in September the girl has recently left college level 3 TA.

    I only ever thought of mainstream school as I was told that he needed positive role models (not my words). I have never looked or even thought about other schools. I was chatting to another parent whilst doing a ASD workshop and she said that she wanted her little boy in a special school but there was a whole years wait?

    Also something else the Headteacher said was when they children get older the school tend to wean the children off having 1:1 in order to prepare them for high school. So does that mean a statement is no longer applied for? My head is in bits.

  • JohnH's picture

    Hello,

    A Statement is for the whole of your son's education including 1:1. The head teacher has her own agenda. A statement is a legal document and can only be changed if you as a parent agree to the changes. So a school or LEA cannot withdraw a Statement unless you agree to it. Unfortunately mainstream education prefers to educate children without Statements to avoid interference from parents. Do not be afraid to stand up for what you feel your son requires. I hope this helps. Smile

  • Snowdrop's picture

    Hi again

    I get so cross when LAs make wishy washy comments in childrens Statements, basically saying 'special thought should be given to break & lunch times' means the school can implement what they want and feel appropriate.  When you go to the meeting ask them what special thought they have put into it and what action they will be taking.  When you say he'll have 1:1 support, have they specified for how many hours a day/week and if that will include break/lunch times.  Again if his Statement doesn't quantify these things then ask this also at the meeting.

    Currently a Statement of SEN runs until the age of 19 regardless of whether or not it states a child needs 1:1 support.  Each year the Statement will be reviewed and the LA can propose changes (which you have the right to agree or appeal against) and you can make your comments/thoughts known.

    My eldest started out in a mainstream primary school but I pulled him out after 7 months as it just got too much for him.  He now attends a specialist unit for children with ASD and is doing great.  We have applied for the LA to carry out a statutory assessment of our younger sons SEN to obtain him a statement but they have refused, we are currently appealing and our tribunal date is in June.

    If you do want to take a look around specialist provisions and decide that it will be a better option for your son, you can ask for a re-assessment of your sons special educational needs but will have to wait from 6 months of the statement date to do so.  Don't worry about waiting lists for specialist provisions, they are always full!!  If during the re-assessment process the reports and evidence gathered suggests your son needs a specialist provision you can push for it, it doens't matter if they are all full as the LA have a legal duty to provide your son with a suitable provision where he can access the curriculum. 

    Unfortunately LAs are very good at ignoring comments in childrens reports that indicate a specailist provision is required and only include it in Statements if parents push for it.  Its the same for specifying and quantifying things like hours of support etc, they only give what you shout loudly for.

    Don't panic that you've accepted a Statement your not happy with, if you really want to change options then you can re-apply in September.

    Tracy - Retired Community Champion
  • LilR's picture

    Hi

    I have two boys, and my eldest (Thomas) has just recently been given a diagnosis of ASD and he is 5.5

    He too is a younger one in his year, being August born. He went to mainstream playgroup and got as far as year 1, however the big cruch was when he started in year 1 the structure if the lessons he was unable to cope with and we recently got a statement of SEN for him and we had to fight to get him into a ASD unit off a mianstream.

    It was very tough as the LA don't just dish out these places as it all costs money.

    We were told by the ED Psych that saw him that a "full on" special school would not provide him with the social challenges that he needed , this is why we went for the unit, also it was/is just made for him.

    At the end of the day you know your son best, it would be worth looking at some special provisions because as people quite often sayyou know when the school is right and we like you were so scared when he started mainstream back in 2011. Even though at that time we knew something wasn't right we didn'tknow enough to be able to get him a statement , so as you do have time on your hands I would really go for it, you will know which is right for him, I don't know how you just will.

    Thomas' speech is good, it came on massively when he turned 4 but his understanding is delaye, however it was only tonight that he came home from school and got us to sit down whilst he played teacher and sang us a couple of songs that they do in the mornings at school, something he has never done before so i know that the school he is in was def the right way forward!.xx

  • JuleyJames's picture

    Reading just all your replys I now understand how it actually works Smile I thought that I would have to apply each March for a statement of SEN I didn't realise that it's just a review, no one has really explained anything. The head made it out like it would be withdrawn when he reaches Year 5/6, he really wasn't clear.

    We have band 2 which is 23 hours a week 1:1, also the 1:1 is fresh out of college I was a little worried what actual ASD training does she have?

    Reading these replys I'm thinking should we have a look around a special school, no harm in just looking, the thing that I can't stop thinking about is when the Head said that he could spend time in the Nursery room.

    I think we need to speak with our KIDS PP.

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