This week has been bittersweet. I’ve loved seeing so many of my friends so happy about getting their first choice primary school, but it’s also a bit of a gut punch too as we don’t get to make that choice, we have no idea which school Archie will be going to yet.Archie’s currently got an assessment nursery place at a special needs school for profound learning difficulties, and is doing amazingly well. So well in fact that we’ve been told he’s probably not going to be staying at his current school. It’s fantastic news that he’s doing so well, his progress is down to the amazing support he’s been getting at the specialist school, and it being so suited to him and his additional needs.
The teachers and teaching assistants understand autism so well. They have the specialist knowledge and the resources to give him what he needs to enable him to progress.
They not only have a great understanding of autism and how it can impact different children, but they also have a great understanding of Archie & his needs and have really tailored his therapy for him. He’s been given an incredible amount of day to day support and it’s really shown in his progress, but what will happen when he moves to a school for moderate learning difficulties? Will the support be less intensive? Will he still be getting the same therapies he needs? Where will he be moving too? This is the part that worries me.
I’m so thankful that he had the opportunity to go to that school for a year, without it he wouldn’t have made the progress he has, but the not knowing is what scares me.
Whilst everyone is celebrating about primary schools and their children’s future, we’re left wondering what the local authority will decide for our boy. Before I put up the huge fight to get him the support and this school, they wanted to take a ‘sink or swim’ approach, their exact words, and see what happens.
We knew mainstream school just wouldn’t be an option, and had come to terms with that. We know he needs the specialist support and to be in a special needs school, the progress he’s made in his current school just proves that. But is this school the right place for him come September? The Early years panel thinks it is, but the school thinks he might be best placed elsewhere.
When you have a child with additional needs, you are constantly worrying about the future. You are worrying about next week, next month, next year. Nothing can be taken for granted. Small things can have a huge impact on our children and I need to make sure that he only moves schools when he’s ready. When the time is right for him.
I’d hate for him to move to a different school then his progress slow down, but I also don’t want to hold him back. It’s so hard to know what’s right.
For now it’s just another waiting game, waiting to see what the Early Years panel recommends. Waiting to hear what the school recommends. For now we’re stuck in that murky water of just not knowing, and I’m hoping we hear something sooner rather than later.