autistic school or special school


autistic school or special school

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chacemum
chacemum
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CAN ANYONE HELP ME THROUGH THE MAZE AND VERY HARD DECISION  MY 4YO LITTLE BOY WHO IS DIAGNOSED WITH AUTISM CURRENTLY GOING TO FRANKSTON SPECIAL SCHOOL BUT I AM HEARING MIXED REPORTS ABOUT THAT THEY DONT REALLY TEACH THEM IN A SPECIAL SCHOOL HOW TO READ OR WRITE MORE ON EVERDAY SURVING LIFE IS THIS TRUE? I WANT WHATS BEST FOR MY BOY BUT REALLY NOT SURE WHICH WAY TO GO. THINKING OF MOVING TOWARDS GEELONG OR BALLARAT SO ALSO INTERESTED IF THERE ARE GOOD SERVICES OUT THERE FOR YOUNG CHILDREN WITH AUTISM THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR ANY FEEDBACK I WOULD BE MUCH APPRECIATED THANKS
dmum28
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Hi

I don't know about your specific school but most special schools do not spend too much time on reading and written,maths etc more on life skills. Such things as crossing the road,

waiting for change at a shop, using public transport etc. Things they need to get thru in life. We looked at special schools for our 4yr old and we felt if he was way in the autistic ladder we would send him there as learning typical school curriculum would not benefit him. He is currently attending an early intervention pre school which is working (in conjunction with private therapies) really well. I guess it comes down to your child and what you think they would benefit from.
allycat
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Special School has changed a lot in the years since we were children!



Our eldest son has attended special school (not autism specific) for the past three years and in addition to life skills there most definitely is emphasis on reading, writing and maths. He's in grade three and just an example of what he might do over the course of a week:-



Movement/dance

Water play

Play dough

Bike riding

Therapy room

Snoezelen

Computer/Technology

Interactive Whiteboard

DVD/video

Reading/Phonics

Listening skills

Story time

Writing

Puzzles

Assembly

Swimming

Social skills

Life skills

Cooking

Maths: Numeracy, Colour, Shape, Sequencing, Concepts, Time

Art

Sensory activity

Fine motor

Gross motor

Outings



The advantage of special schools is that classes are generally smaller. All children should have an IEP (individual education plan) in which the curriculum is tailored to suit the child.



Best wishes.


Mum to DS12yrs, II ASD and DS9yrs, HF.ASD,ADD,GDD.
ricky
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At my daughter's special school they are focused on language development and social skills.  Later she will move onto life skills.  I doubt if she could cope with mainstream school & wouldn't learn there.  I am resolved to the fact that many adults cannot read & write, yet they survive.

I would say to you that you should weigh up the options and consider what your child most needs.  If they can cope with mainstream school then perhaps you can send them to read & write, and teach all the lifeskills stuff to your child yourself.  Some people claim that if autistic children mix with mainstream children then they see how others behave and interact and they learn from this.

I wish the education decision was easier.

PS.  I forgot to say, her IEP is for her to learn language, the letters of the alphabet, and to learn to count, then point and count.  They also have plans for swimming & gross motor things, and trying to get her to sit and do things.

Mum to 3 girls, 8 & 11 yrs NT, and 6yrs ASD - the little whirlwind!

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02/05/2010 by ricky
mutley
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Hi.

I'm in a similar situation in Melbourne.. Son 4 yrs ASD..  My son is more likely to go to a mainstream school next year if I decide to send him as he's showing signs of HFA.. possibilty of applying for an school aide in 2011 via the education department.

I would highly recommend Early education programs in special schools especially in Melbourne as most offer between 5-12 hours per week as other early intervention services only offer 1-2 hours.. they are also a lot cheaper as they receive $$$ from government funding ie approx $150-$400 per year compared to other agencies which charge $600 -$1200 per year. My son attends 10 hours (EI) at a special school + 1:1 speech therapy privately(faschia) + also attends 4 year old kinder.. He has a busy week but is doing really well...

It all depends on your child's needs.. every child is different..

If your son turns five this year or before April 30/11 you might need to look at other options for early intervention next year through other agencies, unless the special school is able to make an exception in your son's case..

I presume if he's at an age to attend school next year, ie PREP he will need a speech assessment, cognitive assesment via a psychologist which the school will help you with to determine his IQ and also a report from his paediatrican if you decide to apply for an aide for mainstream school next year..

Are you aware that he can also attend a specialist pre-prep program that some primary schools offer for kids with special needs..To be eligible they usually require a child to have a IQ less than 70.. Checkout different schools in your area if they offer these programs..

Special schools usually cater for children who's IQ is less than 50, but there is a school in Vermont south in Melbourne's eastern suburbs which is between a special school and a mainstream school which caters for children with mild disabilities..has a very good reputation.. hopefully if you get in contact with them they might be able to let you know of other schools in VIC which have similar programs..

Private message me if you have any more questions..Happy to pass on all the info I know..

Good luck

emilysmum
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HI

I am in Melbournes Western Suburbs and my 5 year old daughter attends Western Austistic School.  I believe there is similiar in the northern suburbs.  Emily is High functioning, however definitely would not have coped at mainstream school this year, too many children and not secure to ensure her safety were two of my issues.  Having said that Western is designed to prepare your child to hopefully attend mainstream school.  Emily's class has six children to three teachers.  She has in Indiviual plan and they communicate with me on a daily basis.  Personally it was the best decision I have made.  Emily has made in roads in life issues which they focus on, however now can recognise the letters of her name, although not necessarily what those letters are. 

It is an individual decision, however definitely something to consider.  I take comfort in knowing that the specialist teachers will know when Emily is ready for mainstream, and they help with transition and that I am not throwing her in the deep end not knowing whether she can cope or not.

Emilysmum

marbelclubinc
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Hi,

I have heard that Ballarat special school has a lot of kids with autism, and is very good. Havnt actually seen it myself though. Its a bit too far for me and would be a long time on the bus for my daughter.

I have been to see Melton Specialist school and this is where my daughter will be going. She has downs and autism. There is 1 teacher to every 2 kids sometimes to every 3 and the teachers all seem so calm. They follow a daily routine which they implement from the start so the kids get used to it straight away. Have a sensory room and sensory playground and use pictures and a lot of visual information. They have locked gates which is great for the escape artists, and you can be a parent helper any time you want. It looks set up for success. Melton is about 60km from Ballarat though.

I thought of western autistic, but decided i didnt want her being swapped and changed after only a few years, and she wont be going to mainstream, she just wont get what she needs there, 8hrs of teacher aide a week just isnt enough, I do think its great for her to watch other kids and learn from them, but i will give her the opportunities to do that out of school. The main thing is that she learns to function at a good level in life skills, the academic doesnt bother me too much.
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You may want to look into Southern Autistic School in East Bentleigh.  They run an early education program as well as a primary school and high school program.  They follow the state curriculum with individual learning plans for each student.  The children have a wide range of abilities and they are taught to their abilities.  Frankston is part of the region they cover and they run bus services for all of their school aged students.
steph03
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Hi All I too am faced with they same problem this year Special school or Primary school.  I was considering giving Crystal an extra year at   4 year old Kindagarden , I was wondering if anyone else out there had done the same thing. Thought an extra year at kinda would mean she could go to primary school with an aide in 2012. Crystal is doing very well at Kinda here in melbournes west but I dont feel she is ready for school yet. She turns 5 in August. Stephanie and CrystalSmile
HisMum
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Hi everyone. I have decided that my 4yo will benefit from being held back another year anyway, so he will be turning 6 the year he starts school - irrespective of whether it will be a special or mainstream school. A lot can happen developmentally between now and then so I am holding off making any decisions until this time next year. Reading through the responses, sounds like 'special school' is an excellent place developmentally, and I'll certainly be happier to consider this option after the reassurance I have been given in here. Is there a place I can look that shows the location of special schools or should I go through ASPECT ( I'm in NSW-Sydney) and a major part of our decision will be ease of access.

Also, I would really like to add:  My nephew (NT) was also held back until he was turing 6 before starting school, another of my nephews was also enrolled late as well - parent driven decision. Apparently there has been much research to show that boys in particular do better to start a year later as they are more likely to be able to cope with the social and behavioural requirments. In Sweden, kids start as late as 7 years old.

Ash

Ash

" ...Before you critisise a person, walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you do, you are a mile away, and you have their shoes.." ANON

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