Secondary school

Hiya.I'mnew to all this.My asd son is 10.Due to start secondary in 12months and it terrifies me.We had chosen a school for him but he is adamant he doesnot want to go there and wants to go to the school the rest of his class are going to.He has a statement for 17.5 hours per week.Its 12 minths away and i am already not sleeping,feeling physically sick at the though.Have others felt this way? How have your children got on in secondary?? Good and bad replies welcome.Thankyou in advance x

  • I've had two experiences of secondary school with my ASD daughter however she didn't have a diagnosis until recently though, with the first school, I'm not sure anything would have been done differently because they were brilliant.  She only changed schools because we moved house.

    The transition from primary to secondary is very important - if the two schools work together it will go much smoother.  I'm guessing you've picked the school because it will be more suitable for your son?  If so, stick to your intuition because his friends won't be able to help him as much as he thinks they will at the new school.

    The key will be having visits put in place for the new school.  My daughter had been on unrelated transition visits twice in Year 5 but in Year 6, she was introduced to the staff of the new school when they came to do the class talk (a few of the anxious children were taken to one side to do this, not the whole class), the senco of both schools arranged a transition meeting to which I was invited along with the EP, she did the class visit to the new school with the TA by her side and then she did a seperate visit to the school with the TA and two other children.  It really made a difference.  On the first day, she toddled off to the bus stop where an older girl that recognised her from primary was waiting to look after her, she was met off the bus and then really looked after for the first few weeks with help moving about the school and reading her timetable.  She was also shown the 'reserved' table in the dining room for invited children only and she was shown to a room reserved for invited children only that she could retreat to for lunch and break but she only did this for a few weeks.  It was a very positive experience.

    Unfortunately, the move to the new school wasn't handled well by the new school and she no longer goes.  Its a much bigger school with a different set up to the first.  It doesn't suit her and wouldn't even if she'd known loads of kids from primary there.  

    Feel secure in your reasons for picking the school you have and get those transitions put in place.

  • Thankyou so much for the reply.Both schools i have chise for my son are really good schools.Been to see both.One is 10 minute walk one a bus ride.My daughter attends the one closest to home and is thriving although for the 1 st year(she is now in year 8) shewas  bullied and it was awful.That is what is putting me off this school and why i am more for the other school.I know every child is different and it may or may not happen to him there but i just dont know what to do.They have a werk at their secondary school and i will definitely take him to see them etc as just me and my husband have been to them so far.Ones a boys only school.Does your daughter have a statement?  My son geta 17.5 hours per week.Thanls again :)

  • My 12 year old found the transition itself OK, but I did find his anxiety levels were much higher and didn't reduce. I think it was the shock of having to be really organised, which is tricky for him. Even moving from class to class was hard going and he started soiing too. My advise it to make sure you get them as organised as possible with a clear place to put books and lots of space, lots of stationery, I buy from the £1 shop as mine has short term memory problems and losses everything. We also used a wipe board in his bedroom. Any worries, contatc the school and keep doing so if you are worried at any point.

  • Our 11 yr old autistic son as just started secondary school, he has a SEN statement, the school have support for our son but he does have a habbit of running away from school and climbing high up anything whilst in school when his anxiety levels are high, we have a meeting with the school tomorrow regarding issues of safety, one of his support teachers told us today they dont have time to give our son 100% attention because other children need there help too but it clearly states in his statement that he needs one to one tuition whislt in school, we feel they are on the verge of after 2 weeks telling us that he is not at the best place for his education, as anyone had these problems and any possible help or advice it would be appreciated. 

  • Hi there - our DS was only recognised to be on the spectrum three months into Y7. The change in school had exasperated his anxiety and ASD traits.  A year later we had a diagnosis of HFASD.  He has an EHCP now. However, a couple of years too late for us but if your son is under SEN at middle school, I’ve since found out that our local secondary school had smaller, independent days for children under SEN so that when they started properly in September, they knew what to expect and recognised classrooms, layout and teachers.  Totally makes sense to me!

    it might be worthwhile speaking to your SENDCO at the middle school for them to arrange this?

    it might help or it might not but from experience, the more information and familiarity that our children have often arms them to cope that little bit more.

    good luck