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JaneSmith

How to ensure education support in UK for son on High Functioning end of Autism Spectrum

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Hi again,

 

As part of arranging our move back to the UK, it will be really important for me to be able to ensure that my secondary school aged son is able to have a reasonable school experience despite being on the high functioning end of the Autism Spectrum (ie. Asperger syndrome type issues, but otherwise pretty bright). He has really struggled with primary schooling over here in Australia. The school systems in Oz are often so unresponsive to the needs of these children that home schooling is often suggested/forced on them. This really isn't an option for us as I'm a single Mum and the sole family breadwinner. Furthermore he's a sociable lad (it's myth that just because they're often excluded these kids are interested in socialising). He currently is going to a very good school for his needs in Brisbane - it's one in the Catholic system (though we're not Catholic). Please don't advise me to stay on in Australia until he's finished high school here. That won't work for a bunch of reasons to lengthy to go into here.

 

As mentioned previously, we're looking at moving to the southern part of the Greater London area. House not yet selected/purchased. Locations restricted by amount I can afford to pay. Does anyone out there know what I need to do to make sure that local school provides appropriate support. On the whole I've been advised by Brits over here that the disability services system is of a higher standard than Australia, but I'm not clear about how this translates across to support for kids with non-visible, yet diagnosed, disabilities in mainstream education in the UK. As mentioned, his IQ is quite high so he doesn't need to go to a segregated special school. I'm wondering if there's some paperwork I can start to organise at this end, advocacy organisations or support groups I can join that would be helpful, or whether there's a specific government or non-government agency that can help. Info I've found by trawling the web so far seems a bit general. Any suggestions appreciated. Thank you. :biggrin:

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Hi JaneSmith

 

Do you have some form of diagnosis from a psychiatrist or other mental health services for your son? There's more likely to be more support in a UK school without it anyway, but I reckon it'd be hard to reap the full benefits of any available support without. Rules may have changed since I was in school for sure. This is something that I'd advise you to have and to get if you haven't done so already. A doctor's letter stating the diagnosis from a registered professional in this area will do, and you should definitely make the effort to contact the school(s) you are considering for your son in the area you're moving to in order to find out what support they offer. You can most likely get certain diagnostic tests done in most schools to assess eligibility for certain arrangements anyway I believe (certainly this was the case when I was in school in the UK), where they'd assess basic reading and writing skills (particularly for things like extra time in formal examinations including SATs and GCSEs).

 

There's bound to be heaps of message boards like this for parents like yourself with a son who has AS - just have a Google around.

 

Hope that helps.


"Is that Luke... as in Luke Skywalker?" | Brisbane, Australia since August 2010 :cool:

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Citizenship Timeline

Date applied - 15 November 2017

City/Council area - Cockburn, WA

Online / Paper - Online

Date received the acknowledgement email - 15 November 2017

Date of the Citizenship Test - 24 August 2018

Approval - 6 September 2018

Date of ceremony - 6 November 2018

Originally from UK

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I'd say you'd do a lot better in London than Australia for that. As others have said, you may need an official diagnosis though.

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One of our returnee members has had great success in a similar position and IIRC she went armed to the teeth with diagnosis and every report under the son and got her child into a school with a special unit where he is flourishing! Contacting the Local Education Authority for the area you are focussing on and asking what reports they require might be a good start, then getting the current school to do things like adaptive behaviour checklists etc to give a clear picture of what your son is able to do. My impression is that Statemented kids here are better catered for!

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Hi Jane

 

We are currently doing the same thing, our son also has Aspergers and really struggles even though he is social but not so good in a school environment, he also is in a good school but they do fail him because of lack of resources, I recently went back to the UK and they really have better strategies in place and also other support is free as long as you have reports etc which we are in the process of at the moment, we are from Essex and moving back in May 2014 we will live with my sister for a bit until we find somewhere but its hard without family support and we really need it, any info I will pass on to you and if you get anything would appreciate any advice from you also.

 

Stay in touch

 

Sarah

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Thanks so much for those suggestions. It's reassuring that people generally seem to feel there are better systems in place in the UK. My son does have a diagnosis, but I'll certainly make sure we go over with up to date and current reports etc. This part of arranging the move is the most anxiety provoking I must admit.

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You're right, there's quite a lot of info there. I've even identified some potential schools (depending on where we end up living). :cute:

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