Autism: Secondary Education - The Next Step

Zowie Kaye by Zowie Kaye Additional Needs

Zowie Kaye

Zowie Kaye

My Big Fat Greek Family – we love our food and love each other even more. We're a like liquorice allsorts, all a bit different. I’m a full time wor...

When he was diagnosed in 2013 the local authorities were still issuing the Statements and we were awarded 20 hours of one-to-one care for him in mainstream school.

As the Government made changes, there has been a process to transition all the children from statements to EHC plans.

As we made our way through the form I was told, “I think if Cameron was going through the diagnosis now, he probably wouldn’t meet the criteria to be awarded a plan,” – this gave me mixed emotions.

I was happy that Cameron’s high functioning and ability to adapt and learn means that he has come on leaps and bounds in mainstream school but it saddened me immensely because Cameron has only got to where he is now and succeeded because of the help that was put in place so early on.

It makes me think of all the parents struggling to get their children support that are not so severe with their condition that they may need a specialist school.

Why should we fight; why should it be an onslaught of making calls, proving their weaknesses for someone to categorise them enough to think that they should be entitled.

For the last couple of years I have been battling with the decision over a secondary school for my son.

Yes I am lucky to have a statement that potentially will not limit me to the catchment schools, that I am able to look at other schools within the area that could meet my sons needs more effectively.

Trying to decide whether to send him to a less popular school that I know some of his primary school friends will go too or send him out of the area and risk him starting his high school life isolated with no friends but the academic and support side of it be much more appealing.

What do I do – what’s best?

I thought that I still had plenty of time and we can decide much later on.

Then I was handed an envelope full of print offs and at the top of the file was one titled, “Moving towards Secondary Education”, times running out it would seem.

I am so lucky with my son’s school and wish he could stay there forever – they have sent me this in preparation for next year so that I may have a read and know what the whole process will entail.

They have also offered to attend meetings with me at any of the schools in question should I require them too.

All the information is on your local authority websites under the Education sections.

The one for our area is easy to navigate and there’s a plethora of information.

Don’t put this off, knowledge is key and the more we can prepare ourselves will help our children so much.

I flicked through the handout, had a mini panic attack and filed it for a later date.

This is new territory for us as a family, me as a mother trying desperately to make the right decision on my son’s future but also for Cameron as he enters the next most influential and landmark part of his life into early adulthood.

So I'll go back to my Internet browser now to check Ofsted reports, transport options and School prospectus’ – wish me luck!


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