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Asperger's at independent schools

Discussion in 'Independent' started by SpideyClaire, Feb 7, 2011.

  1. SpideyClaire

    SpideyClaire New commenter

    My son has been diagnosed as having mild Asperger's. He is currently in primary and doing ok, is very academically bright and ahead of the majority of the class in terms of reading, numeracy and so on. I teach primary so I know the sort of things he's dealing with.
    The CAMHS caseworker says that problems usually start at secondary level and that in her experience children like him do better in a structured, more academic, small class sized environment and that a private school might be the way to go.
    I've had a look on a few of the local private school websites and non of them mention SEN provision (one actually states they vet children rigourously so that they have very few children with SEN other than dyslexia).
    So, in a roundabout way, what I'm asking is would it be a waste of time even applying if he's going to get rejected because they don't want kids who might bring the results down?
    What experience do people have either as a teacher or a parent in private schools?
     
  2. SpideyClaire

    SpideyClaire New commenter

    My son has been diagnosed as having mild Asperger's. He is currently in primary and doing ok, is very academically bright and ahead of the majority of the class in terms of reading, numeracy and so on. I teach primary so I know the sort of things he's dealing with.
    The CAMHS caseworker says that problems usually start at secondary level and that in her experience children like him do better in a structured, more academic, small class sized environment and that a private school might be the way to go.
    I've had a look on a few of the local private school websites and non of them mention SEN provision (one actually states they vet children rigourously so that they have very few children with SEN other than dyslexia).
    So, in a roundabout way, what I'm asking is would it be a waste of time even applying if he's going to get rejected because they don't want kids who might bring the results down?
    What experience do people have either as a teacher or a parent in private schools?
     
  3. noemie

    noemie Occasional commenter

    I teach two children with Asperger's (one is in my form), and we are a fairly small school (700 pupils, including 6th form). It used to be the case that there was a belief there was no need for special needs provision in our place, as we are selective, but not any more. The special needs provision is just what you'd expect in the state system (I moved over two years ago) but with the advantage that EVERYTHING gets followed up, contrary to the state system. Go and speak to the SENCO at your local indie (might be called LESKO over there), and you'll soon get a feel for whether they know their stuff or not, but I'd be inclined to think that you'll get above and beyond what you'd get in the state system, because of the size of classes and year groups, and the fact that teachers are there out of vocation, not just to pay the bills, as most of my ex-colleagues seemed to be.
    That's just my opinions of course.
     
  4. We have a couple of pupils on the spectrum, and I think (hope) we offer a safe and caring environment where its OK to be different. As the previous poster said, talk to the school in mind, and, wherever your son ends up going, keep on talking to them as often a lack of communication can be frustrating for everyone. Best of luck whatever you decide.
     
  5. I would echo noemie's words. I teach in a large indy. We have several students who have been diagnosed with AS and some who probably have it but haven't been diagnosed (parental choice). They are treated as the many others who are SEN (all types) are via IEPs and have their needs met. We even have a few students who are statemented for various SEN and have full time LSA or help provided by the Local Authority. If they can pass the entrance exam and interview, they can come.
    The advantage for the AS student is there is often more structure and less disruption than you might find in a state school. There are quieter areas to go at lunch and break (the library or a quiet little corner) and queuing is less stressful (and more controlled). I also think that the students in an indy (certainly our school) are more accepting of the 'nerdy' or 'different' students than some of the state schools I have seen.
     
  6. SpideyClaire

    SpideyClaire New commenter

    Thanks everyone. It is good to know he won't be rejected outright. I think it is the small calss sizes and more structured day which the CAMHS woman thinks he would benefit from. I'll look into it a bt nearer the time, we've got a couple of years to go yet.
     
  7. Hi, I'm in Scotland which may be a bit different. My 'boy' now 14 and nearly 6" is a high functioning Asperger's lad. He applied for a bursary to our nearest private (public in England) school and got himself a 100% bursary - the only way we could afford it. He's now in S3 and I couldn't have asked for a better result. If he'd gone to the local academy (secondary school) he'd have had a really hard time being that bit different. He now enjoys the Warhammer club, Model UN and kayak club - none of which he'd have had access to locally. It's not all been plain sailing : time and finances are under a bit of strain : but I'm so glad he's there. His sister (dyslexic - but no AS) decided to try and follow him and managed to do so. They both love it despite the longer days. I'd recommend it if you think it suits your family.
    Good luck.
     
  8. Leapyearbaby64

    Leapyearbaby64 New commenter

    You really need to do your homework with individual schools and think about what is right for your child. The posters above have given very positive reports. You are right that there are some schools that are not helpful to children with SEN. Others are fab - I've a friend whose child was massively happier because he loved the structure and timetable of his prep school and the fact that he had different teachers for different subjects. I also know of one family with a child with ASD who are paying (quite happily) to employ the 1:1 help that their child needs in addition to the normal fees.
     
  9. Where aboutare you? I know of the perfect school for you and it is a specialist SEN indie school-It ONLY deals with SEN-but it depends on distance-u can PM if u like-
     
  10. jarndyce

    jarndyce Occasional commenter

    We all stayed behind for 45 minutes the other day for a presentation from the LEA about Asperger's. Number of students with Asperger's in the school? - a single new student in Year 8. I think he is doing really well with us.
     

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