Advice(s) needed: relocation to the UK with an autistic child

Hi there! I really need your help to gather as much information as possible.

Here is my case

I have an autistic son (7yo), a really heavy ASD case. Almost non-verbal (tens of words, couple of phrases). Can't serve himself. We live in eastern Europe.

We are attending ~15-20hrs of ABA therapy from the age of one and a half. This autumn we planned to try to put our son in a special school near our home, at least for a couple hours per day.

Now I have an offer to London. Really good one. And I have no idea about what I'll be able to provide for my son in the UK.

I've found some information from Google, but it's very fragmented and I can't build the whole picture.

1) As I understood, first of all, we'll need to have a local autism assessment in the UK. And government-based autism assessment could take up to several years.

Is this correct? Is it possible to pay for a private, paid, but fast autism assessment? Will it be equal to the government-based one?

2) After #1, we'll have to get an ECH plan somewhere. At local authority? Does this mean that different London districts or different cities could give very different ECH plans? How long could it take and how difficult is this process?

3) After getting an ECH plan, we can apply to some school or special school. Here is kind of some impenetrable fog for me :) I don't know anything about UK schooling.

- can we apply to any school? Or probably only to the nearest schools in a place where we will rent something?

- are any of the nearest schools obligated to accept our application?

- basically I even don't know what should we look for: special schools, schools with inclusive classes, or anything else

- I've found several really great-looking special schools for autistic children. How can I understand will I be able to put my kid in some of these schools, will they have classes, are they free or paid, etc, etc. No information about such kind of things on any school site :(

- where the situation with such special schools is better: in London itself, or maybe in small cities around London?

Basically, if I understand correctly, I should aim on some school first, and only then select a place to rent something near this school. But how to select something without all this information?

Any advices are very welcome! And thank you in advance :)

Another questions:

- are there enough ABA services in the UK? How much do they cost?

- how much do nanny services cost in London? Are there "special" nannies available? Like, familiar with special needs, with ABA, etc.

Top Replies

Parents
  • Hiya

    If your child requires special school provision then contact the London districts “children disability teams” to register you son? They probably refuse until you’re living in their locality! 

    Can you afford NAS school 

    NAS Radlett Lodge School

    This school fees are: £38K per year (day student) 

    Contact NAS - National Autism Society for advice 

    Could you hire a nanny / au pair in your country willing to move to the UK? 

    A special school will sort out a ECHP, a mainstream primary school could be harder / longer to arrange? Maybe a private assessment? Your son would be eligible to attend a mainstream school as it’s standard fees - but schools are over subscribed so large classes which your son probably won’t cope?

    There is a long wait for ASD assessments so private is your only option although there is a wait for private too? Does your son have a diagnosis if yes then the local authority/ school would more likely accept it?

    Contact a special school you like and ask the procedure / application form - as long as you’re moving into their area - this school would sort out a ECHP - school will give you the catchment area for you to look for a house / apartment.

    someone else given you links for ABA

    Choose a school then look for accommodation - the school will have mini buses if you’re to far or unable to drive him due to work?

    If the school is full then you will have to apply elsewhere..the school will guide you 

    Would he come for a holiday to go to see 2 or 3 schools? Then they would assess to see if he’s suitable (they can meet his needs) 

    does this help?

  • It sounds like there is already a clinical assessment from your country of origin - this should be sufficient for the Local Education Authority to start the process. In London, this will be the local London Borough Council's Education Department.  Contact the School Admissions Team at the Local Education Authority and explain that your child has special education needs. They should arrange for someone from the SEN Team to contact you.

    ABA is regarded as controversial in some parts of the autistic community - be aware that not all autism specialist schools offer it as a therapy. Obviously, whether or not you opt for ABA is a decision for you as parents and your clinical advisers.

Reply
  • It sounds like there is already a clinical assessment from your country of origin - this should be sufficient for the Local Education Authority to start the process. In London, this will be the local London Borough Council's Education Department.  Contact the School Admissions Team at the Local Education Authority and explain that your child has special education needs. They should arrange for someone from the SEN Team to contact you.

    ABA is regarded as controversial in some parts of the autistic community - be aware that not all autism specialist schools offer it as a therapy. Obviously, whether or not you opt for ABA is a decision for you as parents and your clinical advisers.

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