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About wildbriz

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  1. wildbriz

    Son may be autistic. R schools in oz supportive?

    Hi, It was six years ago for us with a child in primary school south of Brisbane. We left Australia and returned to the UK because of the severe lack of support for our son at the time. I think things have improved but based on our UK experience with support levels (we are lucky where we are 20 hours 1 on 1 at high school and getting good grades) I don't think it will be as good as the UK. Might I add that we love Australia and that it is the only reason we are back in the UK. Our experience is limited to Queensland but after speaking to Austism Queensland they told us there was even less support for adults. Sorry this is not a more possitive response, we live in hope that things will keep improving so that we can return to the country where he was born. Good luck, I hope things work out well for your family.
  2. wildbriz

    Darch( Lansdale) high school

    Hi, I know this is a very old post but does anyone have any experience with placing their children with this school? We are particularly interested in the autism extension programme they offer. Any feedback on this school would be greatly appreciated. Thanks Richard & Deborah
  3. wildbriz

    Duncraig Education Support Centre?

    Hi Quoll, Thank you for your reply. You have replied to some of my previous posts and have always been very informative. We are all Australian citizens, my son was born and diagnosed in Brisbane. Since returning to the UK my son has become a lot more able and independent thanks to the great support he has received. The only thing is we still greatly miss Australia and my wife's parents are there. We are taking our time investigating schools and options so all information is welcome.
  4. Hi, Hope someone can help, we are looking at moving to the Duncraig area. Can anyone tell me anything about the Duncraig Education Support Centre? I have a high functioning 14 yo ASD child, very well behaved and easy to get on with, just looking at school options for him. Any information would be greatly appreciated, please feel free to PM me if preferred. Thanks Richard
  5. wildbriz

    Finish High School in UK or Oz?

    Hi, Thank you for all the excellent advice, I have been in contact with some high schools with very encouraging results. We are looking at either Freemantle or north Brisbane at this point. We are also looking into support levels at TAFE for him incase he doesn't make it through to years 11 and 12. Lived in Queensland for 15 years but always found it easier to earn money in other States / Territories. With all the hype about mining it seems retail is having a hard time. My wife would run a Bridal shop (WA or Qld) on return but I'm not sure that it's such a good idea for now. I think we will either have to move soon or also wait until after A levels ( if he can achieve that level) although I'm not sure the family could handle the UK climate ( weather and economy) for much longer.
  6. wildbriz

    Finish High School in UK or Oz?

    Hi, Sorry if some of these questions have been asked before regarding GCSE's etc. We are currently based in the UK with Australian citizenships, left Oz after 15 years for the UK primary schooling for our high functioning autistic son. He is now 14 and starting his GCSE's. From what we can roughly estimate based on his current performance he is likely to achieve grade 3's in Science, English and Maths possibly with a number of other subjects as well. Does anyone know if his GCSE's could be converted / translated in to Australian equivalents? If so, would these be recognised by potential employers? Would having GCSE's as opposed to the equivalent Australian qualification be a significant disadvantage? Alternatively we could return to Australia and let him complete his schooling in Oz. This is not the easiest of decisions to make because of the difference between the UK and Oz in their support systems but we have come across a few high schools that look promising. In some high schools he would get some shared aide time in mainstream classrooms and access to a support unit continuing through year 11 and 12. We have been told that some special needs students leave after year 10 and go on to TAFE but the subjects they seem to study are more vocational in nature. I guess one of the questions we are trying to find an answer as to is whether Grade 3's in GCSE's would be equivalent to the completion of year 12 and, if so, would they equate to low or medium level passes? If any one has any experience with these conversions and can help we would be very grateful. Thanks wildbriz
  7. Hi, This is probably quite a tall ask but hopefully someone can help. Not sure which heading to place this under in the forum but here goes. We have a son who is 14 years old and an Australian citizen, he has two more years at school in the UK. He is high functioning autistic (diagnosed In Qld) and doing quite well at school.He will have UK GCSE grades (probably B's and C's) which I believe could be converted to Australian ones? He is doing so well at school here we don't want to risk moving him to Australia until he finishes his GCSE's although we would consider paying for 1 on 1 help in Australia if there was a good chance of him maintaining his current success? We would love to hear from anyone from any state of Australia that has experience or knows of people with experience with such children leaving school, obtaining work (supported or otherwise). We would also love to hear about their views on support services for for young people / adults with autism in their area. Any information would be greatly appreciated, thank you.
  8. wildbriz

    Thinking of going back after 19 years

    Hi, I'm not sure if I can help but went through the same thing 5 years ago after living in Oz for 18 years. If both passports are up to date then you'll have no problems with entering and leaving either country. Not sure what your situation would be once you return but incase you were considering doing it on a tight budget or if you have young children there are a couple of things we found out on our return. Once you get to the UK it would be a good idea to register with the various government departments to establish yourself as having the UK your place of permanent residence before applying for any tax credits or benefits should you need them. From what I remember if you apply before becoming verified as having the UK as a permanent place of residence some payments may not paid in full for many months. If you are going to rent on your return in some areas of the UK rental properties are not always easy to come by and many rentals are buy to lets they often have restrictions placed on them regarding the employment status of the prospective tenants. Some landlords will not let to families with young children, at least that is the case hear in the South West. Having said this the rental market has improved from a tenants point of view as there seem to be more properties available now. It might be worth keeping the fact that you are dual citizen to yourself should, in the highly unlikely event, you find yourself in dire straits, councils or government departments may try and argue that you are the responsibility of the Australian government and not the UK. I'm pretty sure you can exchange your Australian drivers license for a UK one without the need for taking driving tests. Also it would help to get yourself on the electoral roll as quickly as possible as this will help with opening bank accounts and establishing the beginnings of a credit rating. If you are renting in Australia and are planning on renting in the UK it would be worth getting a reference from your landlord as this may help in securing a rental home since you would not have any recent references from the UK. Hopefully you are fortunate enough that non of the above actually applies but if not, it may be of help. Good luck with your return and I hope it all goes well for you. wildbriz
  9. wildbriz

    disappointed in public high school

    Hi An excellent post from kyler, (Mr Ward). From our own experience as parents who tried the state school system in Queensland your comments make a lot of sense. Our children had some bad experiences in a school called Waterford West. One of them being Autistic, high functioning and placid in nature. For the better teachers and SEU staff from this school we are very grateful and understand that even though you were very frustrated with how the SEU kids were being treated you were very much kept under the thumb of the headmaster. Added to this that, from what I've been told, teachers have to sign a contract with Queensland education which I am led to believe prevents them from making criticism of the state education system to the Media. Many of these GOOD teachers have now left. The school mentioned was the only school to refuse a free advisory visit (paid for by us) from Autism Queensland. After my autistic son had his arm twisted by one teacher, shouted at repeatedly and made to stand in the corner balling his eyes out (in a mainstream class with a teacher that had no understanding of autistic children and their difficulties) we reluctantly decided to move to the UK (missing Australia terribly). This decision was made after researching alternative state schools and alternative states. The level of support for the kids and the teachers for one on one in mainstream classrooms is just not in Australia. Just my opinion but if teachers are allowed to make their views and experiences directly known to the media there would be a heck of a lot more public reaction and pressure on Education authorities to make the changes that eventually but really have to be made. I think a lot of parents are making thier concerns known to headmasters and education athorities resulting with very little success but not enough of these concerns are getting the attention of the media. One more point, and I hope this doesn't cause problems for Forums like Pomsinoz, but possibly naming some of the potentially worst and best schools, at least somewhere on the internet, may be a great thing from a parents point of view. Somewhere to check the school feedback from other parents, students and teachers (if allowed) would be ideal. I used to work with community TV in Brisbane, would love to have done a program on this. Would desperately love to hear from anyone about any mainstream Australian schools (public or private) that might be enthusiastic about taking on a bright, high functioning, well mannered and easy to get on with 13yo autistic boy. Thanks,
  10. Hi, Thank you for the information, the school looks very good and I can see why there would be a waiting list. Do you mind if I ask if they are very strong on the religious side? My son is easy to get on with but rather skeptical (unfortunately) about religion with his very logical and factual way of thinking. thanks
  11. Hi, That is great news, to know that there is a private school in Brisbane that is actually interested in having special needs children enrol? We tried several but got no reply, not even one. Is it a high school or primary?,....would be very interested to know a bit more as we have a high functioning autistic son who had a hard time with inclussion in a state run school. oops, sorry if this is off the topic... thanks
  12. wildbriz


    Hi, We were in Brisbane with our high functioning autistic son in primary school. We were told the maximum amount of one on one time any child could receive in a mainstream classroom was 20 minuts a day. I hope this has changed. We are in the UK but would love to return to Australia as the lifestyle is unbeatable, especially for the kids. Good luck with your visas and I hope is works out very well for you. regards wildbriz
  13. Hi, From what I remember there are special schools in Brisbane but our son's disability was not severe enough for him to be admitted. He is reasonably high functioning and needed to integrate with kids in mainstream. This was to help him learn social skills and become as independent as he possibly could be. The problem was he needed a lot of one on one and could only get 20 minutes a day. Added to this the teachers (not all of them) were not keen on the idea of having disabled kids in mainstream classrooms. This is one school in particular. After finding out about the limited one on one support time, which seems to be Australia wide, we researched the UK and found there was much greater support for him. Having said this I think that not all county councils would be as good in providing classroom support. He is doing extremely well so our move has been very worthwhile but we do greatly miss the Australian lifestyle and hope to return sometime in the next few years. Good luck with your hunt for suitable schools....
  14. Hi, I'm not sure if I can help all that much. We have an autistic son and lived on the south side of Brisbane not far from Logan City area (now in UK). You may have already found these points out: Many schools have SEUs (special education units) attached to them where children with special needs are supported and normally spend most of their time in these units. We're not sure how easy it is to get SEU support without some kind of diagnosis. Hopefully someone else can tell you. I can only speak from experience with primary school SEU's but some of the good things about SEUs is that they can be a less formal environment, staff are trained to some level to help special needs kids. The number of kids in SEUs is smaller than mainstream classrooms so each child would get more help and be in a less stressful environment. Not so good points: SEUs have a mix of children with all sorts of special needs and levels of ability. This may have some effect on the rate of academic development as I'm not sure how well they would be able to cater for such a wide range of needs and abilities all within the same group of students. We found mainstreaming (inclusion) a problem in Queensland and from what we have been told it may not be much better in other states. The maximum amount of one on one help available to our son (and children with far greater problems) was 20 minutes a day in a mainstream classroom . In the school my son attended inclusion was very new at the time and several of the teachers were very reluctant to have special needs kids in their classrooms. A lot of it was do to do with the lack of support for teachers (aides etc - funding very poor) but in our case there was also a lot of ignorance displayed by some teachers and the head. From what we have experienced and have been told about other schools, special needs kids spend the vast majority of their time in the SEUs, some get the opportunity to spend a little time in the mainstream classrooms but usually not for long as the level support is not available. This may be a good or bad thing depending on the child. We have friends who are teachers in Queensland. They have suggested that when looking for a good school visit many and talk to them about your child. If they (the head and the teachers) seem genuinely keen to take your child then it is a good start. We are in a similar position as you in that we are now in the UK and in an ongoing process of looking for a suitable high school back in Queensland or anywhere where the support is provided. Our main concern has been developing our child's independence as well as improving his academic performance. In his case inclusion has been essential. It has helped him improve his social skills tremendously, we have been very lucky here in Cornwall. Not all schools in the UK are good for special needs kids. The weather and lifestyle in SE Queensland are excellent and we miss it all greatly. There is a fair bit of home schooling going on in Brisbane too from what we have read. Good luck with your search. wildbriz
  15. wildbriz

    Schools HELP!!

    Hi, We don't have experience in Melbourne with schools, only in Brisbane. We also have an autistic son and found the level of one of one help available in hours per week in a mainstream setting (inclusion) extremely low in comparison to the UK. However there are special education units (attached to the school but separate from mainstream classes in primary and high schools) attached to many Queensland schools, some of which were very good. I don't know if Melbourne has similar units, it would be interesting to know. We have also been told by teaching friends that schools can vary greatly in their performance with helping special needs kids. We were advised to phone and visit many schools to see who were the most enthusiastic in taking on our son (teachers and headmasters / headmistresses). The outdoor lifstyle for families is excellent and we miss it greatly. We are considering returning to Australia and also moving to Melbourne so, if possible, we would be very interested to hear how you get on. All the very best of luck with your search, wildbriz