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I have a 14 year old boy with PDA, ADHD, OCD.


Since going into secondary school it has been a nightmare.


He has been taken out of school now and placed into an Educational Guidance Centre as he was being aggressive in school.


He is statemented and had a full time classroom assitant.


This guidance centre is much worse than school, its strict discipline has sent him over the edge, they send him home for the smallest things


He gets sent home for days on end sometimes weeks.


They have admitted they can't cope with him and don't have the resources to manage his behaviour - which in my eyes has got much worse since attending this place.


I have contacted the childrens law centre because he wants deperately to attend school but is definitely in the wrong environment.


The Education Board have said he can have noting else but 4 hours home tutoring per week.


He can't go back to his mainstream school (it probably wouldn't work) without a good report from this centre.


The teachers in the centre are not sympathic to children like my son they just think he has severe behavioural problems which can be solved with discipline.


There is a special needs school which I would like him to attend but his IQ is too high (just over ) to attend this school.


I have asked for him to be reassessed and told him to fail all of their tests to drop his IQ??? i'm just deperate to get him into a suitable place.


any advice would be great???


oh yes he wants to attend school he likes being in school and has tantrums if he can't go.!

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Have you got in touch with the National Autistic Society?


I don't know if SEN law is different in Ireland.


What may help is for his current school to put in writing that they cannot meet his needs. Or you write to the school saying "further to our conversation on xxxxx you informed me that my son's needs cannot be met within your school."


Also write to your LA and ask them for their list of maintained, non-maintained, approved and independent secondary schools that they use. There maybe a school in that is that is for children with your son's combination of diagnoses.


What professionals are working with him in school ie. speech therapist, occupational therapist, educational or clinical psychologist etc.


How is his OCD being supported and managed and treated?


You could also phone www.ipsea.org.uk and ask them if SEN law in Ireland is different. If it is the same, then they will be able to advise you on how to move forward.


In the UK the LA has to go with the parental choice of school UNLESS it is not a suitable peer group and would be to the detriment of the other pupils, or if it is not a good use of their resources [ie. they have a similar school that is cheaper].


However a child should be placed in a school that can deliver a satisfactory level of education, where ALL the childs needs will be met [and that is academic, social, emotional, mental health etc]. Where there is a suitable peer group working at a similar cognitive, social and emotional level.


My son attends an independent ASD specific school, which is part of the SENAD group. But again, I don't know what the law is in Ireland, or what type of schools are available.


But I would also think that as well as the above, you would be looking for a school with small class sizes [8 pupils per class], and not an emotional/behavioural unit, as alot of your son's behaviour is probably down to the ASD and OCD. With OCD he will have obsessions [intrusive thoughts] and compulsions [to carry out certain tasks or repetitive behaviour to make himself safe]. So he won't be able to comply with instructions if that causes him to fear contamination or however his OCD manifests itself.

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Hi Sally


Thanks for your advice i live in NI which is part of the UK but I when i suggested a school for my son it was just ignored - he doesn't have any professionals working with him apart from CAMHS (which are not great) - I've had advice from the childrens law unit and I've emailed SENAC for their advice, I also have a social worker and I am in the process of getting his statement reassessed however hes now 14 and time is running out and I think the education board are just bidding their time until he is no longer their problem. I have emailed the board and asked them to provide me with a list of schools with special units and will go from there - god knows what January brings! But for the meantime we will try and enjoy Christmas...



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It it all falls under UK law, then if you have a letter from a consultant [clinical psychologist or CAHMS psychiatrist], that your son is out of school due to anxiety and autism [which are medical disorders], then the LA becomes legally responsible to provide education for your child at home.


Remember that most special or independent schools go up to age 19, so there are still some years ahead, and you would be arguing for a school that goes up to that age because he has been out of school for some time, and he needs to be taught life skills and daily living skills.


So do you have the right to appeal the Statement to SEND?


If the Statement is being re-assessed, when is the timelimit for it to be finalised?


The school that you mentioned, is it ASD specific? Is it an independent or LA mainstream or LA special school? Have they seen your child and has he spent a few days with them. Did they offer you a place for your son? Is this the ONLY school? Are the other children on the autistic spectrum? What KS level is his year group working at. Would your son be able to access the national curriculum and sit GCSEs if at this school. And what is the difference between this school and his current mainstream one?


There is a legal timeframe within which the LA must finalise the Statement. Once the Statement is finalised you can lodge an appeal to SEND. Your appeal date is usually about 4 months from the date you lodge the appeal. So you have some time infront of you. You need to get as much evidence in writing so that you have that documentation to submit as evidence.

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