My son is in year 5 now and we will have to apply for secondary school places this October. He has high functioning autism and is academically able. However, he has severe anxiety and maybe PDA (not diagnosed) and he finds the social interactions in school very stressful. He has various sensory issues and struggles with certain noises, odours and tastes. He masks well at school but comes home and behaves very badly; lashes out at us in anger, avoids self care and doesn't want to do homework. But he is very creative, humorous, a voracious reader and generally intelligent. He doesn't have an EHCP because the school feels he's very able, well behaved and there is no evidence of an issue.
My son's inability to cope in a social environment, makes him awkward and very prone to bullying. Also he finds it hard to deal with strict teachers and feels terribly anxious about being shouted at.
Given his ability, he needs to be in an academic environment is what I feel. He could well get into a grammar school, if he prepared well. He is a good learner and deserves to go to university.
Many friends have advised me that he needs to go to a private school with a small class size. Given his talent I don't want him to be deprived of a high quality education, but at the same time I want him to be in a school where they understand his condition and provide appropriate support. His current state school simply cannot understand his issues.
The NAS has listed a few schools with a specialist unit. If your child attends any of these schools especially Salesian in Chertsey, Surrey, please can you let me know your experience.
Also any advice on either private or state schools would be highly appreciated. I am ready to move if we find the right school. Right now based in greater london borough - east of london, but can move to surrey and nearby areas.
Thanks so much!
Your son sounds exactly the same as my daughter, she is also in year 5.
I have applied for an EHCP myself, without schools support. In fact the laughed at me and told me she wouldn't get accepted for assessment. They said she doesnt have a high enough level of need an assessment and at school she is fine. How discriminatory is that?!! I applied myself, completeing all the forms with only family and google for help. Much to my relief she did get accepted for assessment and we are now at the final stages of the process. So I advise you to still apply, let school know you are applying, and any help from them will be appreciated but don't let them stop you or put you off.
My daughter will not cope in mainstream secondary school even though she is academically able. She has chronic anxiety, no self-esteem, low mood and negative and intrusive thoughts about life.
As a Aspie girl, and a masker my daughter is misunderstood and missed. I fear she will not get the support she needs to help her fulfil her potential.
NAS50338, I'm so grateful to you for sharing your daughter's experience! It's heartening to hear that your daughter's EHCP assessment has come through. I feel hopeful now
Have you been able to find a suitable secondary school? The only stumbling block for my son to get into a specialist school is not having an EHCP.
Good luck with the EHCP! I hope it comes through soon! Thanks so much!! xx
My daughters EHCP came through this morning, and she's been awarded one. We are so so happy and relieved there are so many more options available to her now.
We have looked at a local specialist school that specialises in high functioning autism. We met with the amazing head teacher who said my daughter meets their criteria, however the decision is with our LA they say which school best fits, specialist or mainstream, so fingers crossed.
I wonder whether my daughters school tried to put me off so they didn't have to bother with the paper work. I hope not, but it makes you wonder. The day they laughed at me and told me she didn't have a high enough level of need for an EHCP made me more determined. It is a long long process, and extremely stressful BUT don't let that or anyone telling you he wont get one put you off.
As your son has a diagnosis of autism he automatically qualifies for an assessment.
That's wonderful news indeed!! Really glad that you got the EHCP, especially with the COVID lockdown. I hope you get into the school of your choice.