What now?

Yesterday we had Tink’s first parents’ evening of the year.  We’re only a few weeks into the term, and we hadn’t yet had a meeting with her teacher or the SENCo, so this was the first chance to find out how she’s getting on, other than the odd remark about her day in passing.

It didn’t go well.

There were some positives; she’s settled in well now and is pretty much at the stage she was at before the summer break.  She’s interacting more with the new children and has accepted them, and they her, which is lovely to hear. Her speech is improving which is making her communication better, and she can make her feelings known.

But… she’s not making the progress they would expect.  She’s learning, but only incidentally, and not as a result of any specific attempts to teach her.  She is still refusing most of these and any set tasks are only done on her terms.  Sometimes they can catch her in the right mood and she will co-operate, but mostly she  won’t.

They don’t think it is the right setting for her.

I’m gutted.  I really wanted her to stay in mainstream education, but I think they’re probably right.  She does need a more specialist provision who can find the best way to engage her so that she’ll thrive, rather than just get by.  She can have many more, different opportunities and experiences at a special school and her learning will be tailored to her, rather than expecting her to fit in with the learning.

So now we have to start looking for a school.  We know of a couple that we want to look at, but I know they’ll say they have no places, so I’m not sure what happens then.  I think we need to look at moving her sooner rather than later.  School have been brilliant, and I could see that her teacher felt awful having to tell us they can’t meet her needs, but now I feel that she’s a burden.  And if her needs aren’t being met, then we need to find her somewhere that can meet them as soon as we can.

Here we go again!

Spectrum Sunday
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6 thoughts on “What now?

  1. I hope you manage the right school for Tink. Both the teenagers I work with were in mainstream but are now in the same special needs school. It was definitely the right thing for them. They both thoroughly enjoy school and have made progress x

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I totally understand your feelings. It’s so difficult trying to work out what is best. In an environment where Tink feels able to be herself she will thrive and be less stressed and less anxious. I hope you find a suitable environment for her. Thinking of you All xx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Speaking from experience, special schools are not always the answer. They don’t always know the things you think they should, and often get less professional support because they are specialist, which is fine if they have the skills, not so much if they don’t. You’d be amazed what they don’t do. She has made huge steps of progress over the last year, she is a very bright little girl and she will continue to progress, getting more able to access her learning with the right support. My advice is be 100% sure that she has every bit of support in place in mainstream, that they have every bit of support available to them, and absolutely sure she really can’t cope, before you make that decision. Are they using as much visual support as she actually needs for example? Does she have the right structure to the tasks they are wanting her to do? And so on… it’s hard this way, but it’s easy to move out of mainstream into specialist, and very difficult to move back if it’s not right for the long term xxx

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  4. Looking at the last comment, I just want to say don’t assume all special schools are bad either! This is such a difficult stage for you to be at, and we are almost there too I think. You have to go with your gut instinct, because no-one knows your child as well as you do. I’m sitting here desperately hoping someone else will tell me what school would be best for her – but of course they don’t know, as much as I don’t know. Hindsight is a wonderful thing. You can just try the best you can do to find provision that you think will be good for her, whatever that is. Take a deep breath, lots of cups of tea and cake. I hope you have good support locally that you can talk this over with – but remember, what one person thinks of a school isn’t always the full picture. So actually you have to go on research and a bit of gut instinct I think. Good luck with it all – use us in the SEND FB group to bounce ideas off x

    Liked by 1 person

  5. So sorry to hear that her current setting is not working for her. I hope you find a school that can support and care for her and help her thrive x

    Liked by 1 person

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