Independent Secondary Schools for ASD

(9 Posts)
LaydeeC Sat 26-May-12 18:06:21

I have a Year 9 Son with Aspergers (diagnosed at 6 years). He is currently attends a specialist school specifically for boys with AS. He is desperate, however, to return to a mainstream setting and we are utterly torn between whether to approach our LEA (who fund his current provision) and ask them to consider this (knowing that they will but for financial reasons rather than it being in my son's interests) or continue to manage the situation (him being angry with us all the time he is at home and threatening to refuse to attend school) or consider a small mainstream independent secondary school which, ideally, would be sympathetic to his condition - does such a school exist in London?
Any help/knowledge would be hugely appreciated.

mariasalome Sun 27-May-12 22:51:10

TBH, I'd suggest look around several possible schools and then get independent advice from a non-LA educational psychologist. It sounds as though what you want might be cheaper than the current placement, the danger would be that if he didn't cope, the asd-specific education might be hard to get restarted.

Look at Surrey
book
independent education bods

mariasalome Sun 27-May-12 22:54:16

PS the last link, you have to scroll right down

LaydeeC Sun 27-May-12 23:54:18

MariaS - thank you for the links, I will have a look at them. You have hit the nail on the head. His current placement is very expensive and would be impossible to have re-instated if mainstream didn't work particularly in current environment. On the one hand, we know we are extremely lucky to have the placement, on the other, we miss him terribly. BUT, his behaviour is very challenging when he is at home.
Off to look at links.

krystalklear Fri 01-Jun-12 16:45:29

If his behaviour is challenging at home I'd be very cautious about moving him if he's in a school which already meets his needs as without the consistency of a specialist school, his behaviour could well get worse. DS is in a specialist AS school as well and I don't think there is are any mainstream schools in London which would have taken him - I am guessing your DS has complex needs as all the students in this type of placement do. It's DS's behaviour which is the key thing that means mainstream isn't possible - is that an issue for your DS? What is his reason for wanting to return to mainstream? Is it that he wants to be 'normal'?

Can the current school support you with the issues at home? Ours is brilliant for providing advice on how to maintain consistency between home and school. You could also look at other specialist placements if you think this particular one isn't working - I visited many and they are all very different, perhaps your DS needs a different approach?

I miss DS terribly when he is at school, I do understand it's hard having your child away from you when it's not really your choice. But I know he'd sink in a local school, even a specialist one, because he needs the waking day curriculum and that can't be provided at home. So I try to focus on allowing him access to the support he needs to function independently in the future, which sadly is at the expense of spending time with us as a family, but ultimately will be more useful to him in the longer term.

LaydeeC Mon 16-Jul-12 21:14:55

krystal
many apologies, I have only just seen your post as I have barely been online recently.
I have read and re-read what you have said and I know deep down that the school that he is in meets his needs on a number of levels but he can't accept this. You have hit the nail on the head in that he just wants to be 'normal'. He wants to do what my friend's children do (and his sister). He also doesn't see himself as 'autistic' as the other children in his class.
I think a large part of the problem is that he is now a teenager and adulthood is looming. That is quite scary even for the neurotypical. He is worried that a mainstream college will not accept him if he has been to a 'specialist' school and that a future employer will not want to employ him. He just doesn't want to be identified with the other children in his school.
I feel like it is a constant battle as he rails against school all the time and is unwilling to engage - I can't bear to think of him being so unhappy and yet, when I speak to staff during the week he is joining in, engaging (with a few wobbles) and seems to be enjoying himself somewhat.
When I go to talk with school, they just seem to get it, then they make a decision that defies all logic to me (like change his keyworker who he has built quite a positive relationship with) and then I feel like just walking away.
Having said all of the above, I know that he would sink in a ms school. I know that within a couple of weeks, poss less, he would be a school refuser and his challenging behaviour would increase.
Your last paragraph resonates with me totally. I feel like I have given up my son to give him the best chance of functioning independently in the future. I'm scared that if he fails at school or always resents us for placing him there, it will all have been in vain and we will all have lost.
I didn't want your post to go unacknowledged because it was very thoughtful.

LaydeeC Mon 16-Jul-12 21:15:21

krystal
many apologies, I have only just seen your post as I have barely been online recently.
I have read and re-read what you have said and I know deep down that the school that he is in meets his needs on a number of levels but he can't accept this. You have hit the nail on the head in that he just wants to be 'normal'. He wants to do what my friend's children do (and his sister). He also doesn't see himself as 'autistic' as the other children in his class.
I think a large part of the problem is that he is now a teenager and adulthood is looming. That is quite scary even for the neurotypical. He is worried that a mainstream college will not accept him if he has been to a 'specialist' school and that a future employer will not want to employ him. He just doesn't want to be identified with the other children in his school.
I feel like it is a constant battle as he rails against school all the time and is unwilling to engage - I can't bear to think of him being so unhappy and yet, when I speak to staff during the week he is joining in, engaging (with a few wobbles) and seems to be enjoying himself somewhat.
When I go to talk with school, they just seem to get it, then they make a decision that defies all logic to me (like change his keyworker who he has built quite a positive relationship with) and then I feel like just walking away.
Having said all of the above, I know that he would sink in a ms school. I know that within a couple of weeks, poss less, he would be a school refuser and his challenging behaviour would increase.
Your last paragraph resonates with me totally. I feel like I have given up my son to give him the best chance of functioning independently in the future. I'm scared that if he fails at school or always resents us for placing him there, it will all have been in vain and we will all have lost.
I didn't want your post to go unacknowledged because it was very thoughtful.

whatthewhatthebleep Fri 14-Sep-12 09:52:18

I wonder that the provision maybe does need looked at. That perhaps the current provision is creating a gap between your DS and his peers within it. Could he have a point that perhaps his peers are more 'in need' than him that he doesn't identify with them?
Perhaps looking into an alternative specialist provision is worthwhile?
Or, does your DS simply not acknowledge his difficulties and not want to engage fully because he lacks understanding for his disposition and needs?

I have to admit, I found things much easier when my DS was younger and was fairly oblivious to having any 'needs' or difficulties. It is much more difficult to help them understand and accept that they need more help and specialist input and that they are 'different' which doesn't mean anything negative and they are still valuable wonderful people who have so much to offer. That they just need specific teaching and learning to thrive and find their place in the world. It's a difficult balance and I wonder that your DS is questioning all this and maybe this needs specific input and investigations done with him?
Perhaps he either needs fuller understanding for himself or perhaps the provision needs altered too...
It does sound like things should be looked at for your DS....he has raised his feelings and thoughts about this so that needs to be looked at very closely with him I think.

cansu Wed 31-Oct-12 21:03:04

Is there a suitable school for asd where he could be a day pupil? My ds attends an independent asd school as a day pupil and this works really well for us and him. If you are interested I know a good one in Essex. Pm me if you need info.

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