Can you be too autistic for a Autism Special school? | Ambitious about Autism
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Can you be too autistic for a Autism Special school?

sammc's picture

Can you be too autistic for a Autism Special school?

Sat 1 Oct 2016 1:54pm

Hi All

After much deliberation and researching of schools we have expressed a parental preference for my niece M to leave the mainstream school she is attending (with support of a TA) and to attend an Autism special school in the neighbouring LA.

All was going well, our LA agreed to make the referral and fund the place, we visited the school and the teacher was supportive and agreed M would fit in well there. Then it came to the schools admission panel who have said no as she is 'not at the right level'.

Her diagnosis is Autism with associated behaviour and sensory issues. She is nearly 5 and non verbal but definitely has an understanding of language and an ability to learn. From the schools response they seem to have taken account of the Ed Psyc report from around a year ago and based on that they are indicating she wouldn't fit their provision and should be following a developmental/ functional curriculum.

We are incredibly disappointed as their admissions  requirement are for a diagnosis of ASD and / or significant communication and interaction difficulties. We are getting an updated Ed Psyc report but I'm worried it may not show as much 'intelligence' as they seem to require. The whole point being she hasn't come on as well as we are sure she can because she hasn't had the right level of support. 

Has anybody else had a similar situation are we're you able to resolve? If she gets refused again were not sure where to go. She's not yet 5 so to set her off in a full special school following a 'development' curriculum seems incredibly limiting and unfair.





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  • clint03's picture

    Sorry that I don't have any  experience to help you. Have you tried to speak to Ipsea? they should be able to give you some advice.


  • JosieB's picture

    Hi Sammc


    Some good advice from clint03.   IPSEA is probably the best place to get some pointers on where to go from here.   You can contact them via their website


    Do let us know how you get on.



    Josie - Community Champion
  • CCaccavone's picture

    Hi Sammc

    How did the assessment of your young person get carried out or was it all through paperwork? I agree with the advice from both Josie & Clini03. You can have a read of how to challenge decisions and get advice here: & here:

    It may be that you can agree a trial period with the school if the Ed Psych report can reflect potential development of your young person. 

    Good luck & keep us posted


    Clare Caccavone, Head of Learner & Family Engagement at Ambitious about Autism

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