Going back to mainstream – experiences please

By | April 21, 2013

One of the benefits of catching up face-to-face with other parents of autistic children is the chance to mull over things instantly. There’s no “tweet-and-wait-for-a-reply”, it’s spontaneous.

There was a mixture of ages and abilities amongst the children at Taplow yesterday but they all accepted each other, really enjoying the soft play areas, the wooden structures etc.

If a child needed a few moments, they were able to quietly, no bolting. Such is the accepting atmosphere there.

Most of the children were from D’s school, the majority from her class. There is a high proportion of children who travel by school bus from all over the borough, so support groups/parties are a chance to catch up.

One child – I found out yesterday – will be leaving D’s school, at the school’s insistence. He’s being sent to mainstream.

School’s argument is that they’ve gone as far as they can with him, his intelligence level is higher than the work they can provide.

His mum is very upset by it all and is consulting with the LEA and Parent Partnership, but resigned to the fact it’s happening. School have arranged visits to the proposed school, but they are only informing the child at very short notice and arranging them at times when he would have been doing activities he enjoyed – for example, he had been selected to go on the same golf tournament as D this week but he now won’t be.

His mum is very concerned about the social and emotional side. There doesn’t seem to have been anything mentioned about an area/unit within the school that he’ll be able to go to if anxieties overtake.

I felt powerless yesterday, apart from suggesting she document everything and consult with IPSEA.

Does anyone have any experience of their child returning to mainstream from
SN school?

I guess any experiences – positive or otherwise – would help.

At the end of the day, it seems to be about getting him off roll as there’s the space needed, without considering what’s best for him.


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Deb on 21st April 2013 at 6:21 pm.

I absolutely agree with you J about using IPSEA. I’ve used IPSEA myself recently and got some excellent advice which is helping us to challenge our local LA.

I’m afraid I haven’t had any experience of my children going from special to mainstream and I hope I don’t. There is no way either of my children could cope wiith a mainstream environment even if they were academically able. So I can understand your friends concerns about the social and emotional side. If these aspects are not supported in mainstream then our children struggle to access learning which is why some of our children require a special school in the first place. Its not just about academic ability.

I also share your concern that it may be about getting him off the registrar to make space for someone else. It could be that that someone else is pressing the authority to accommodate their child. This is something we’ve experienced regarding our daughter. When we visited the local MLD unit recently the head was trying to put us off applying by telling us that the school was oversubscribed. In the past we’ve also had the ed psych trying to put us off this school by saying that our children are too bright. Frankly its a load of rubbish because our children have considerable difficulties that the ed psych hasn’t properly understood (clueless about autism and mental health issues!). We also know there are children with aspergers and HFA in the school. There just aren’t enough spaces.

If I was this parent I would get as much evidence as possible to support her child being kept in the school. She also needs to look at the statement. Surely if the school want the child moved then what is in the statement must have changed in which case has there been a review? I hope this parent can sort this out but, as you’ve said, she needs to contact IPSEA as soon as possible.

All the best. Deb


Jen on 21st April 2013 at 7:03 pm.

J do you know if the child has ever been in mainstream before?

My friend had similar…her son too clever for special needs sch but couldn’t cope with mainstream so he took it all the way to the top and found a private sch which gets paid for….could she refuse the M/S ?


AutismMumma on 28th April 2013 at 2:14 pm.

Thanks Deb, I’ll be seeing her this week so hopefully she’ll have made some progress. I passed on your comments and agree. Thanks x


AutismMumma on 28th April 2013 at 2:30 pm.

Thanks Jen, sorry it’s been a heck of a week.
I’m seeing her this week so I’ll mention what you’ve suggested, thanks.
I think any advice/info will really help x


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