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PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2006 8:07 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2006 10:14 am
Posts: 171
Location: Lincolnshire
Hi Everyone,

I thought I would just post my thoughts after the 11+ and especially those that I have had confirmed during and at the conclusion of this process. Also the perception of differences in schools considering the fact that my son changed primary schools for year 6.

It has become very obvious that my son performs better when he has a routine and this is not interupted/altered or disturbed. This was something that I always said to both my husband and his previous school(and was my main concern about changing his school after our move), however I did not mention this to his new school and it was actually them that hilited it to me, so it was quite refreshing to actually have someone that recognised this so quickly.

However, he is finding the change in teaching technique and the ethos of the school quite difficult to deal with. He was used to a very structured routine and knowing exacty what subject he was doing, when and what was going to be covered in the subject and sitting in tables of two and if they were disruptive were "moved".

This new school "appears" to have a completely different attitude. They sit in "groups" of up to 8 and although they write on the white board what subjects are being covered that day and at what time the lesson will begin i.e. Literacy, Maths, Science etc it would appear that they are not always at the same time each day and he has no idea of what "area" he is going to be covering in that subject.

He now feels that he has no idea of what is expected of him as he does not know what is going to be covered in what subjects. This may just be the fact that it is a different school and he needs to adjust.

My point is that routine definitely helps him and the fact that he had a routine for his 11+ preparation that he did at home most definitely contributed to his 11+ success. Also because he was fully aware of what the schedule was for the exams, what was going to happen, when and where, he had all the tools available to give of his best.

So does coaching help? I would say if nothing else it gives them confidence in the fact that they know what to expect. Because he is now feeling " all at sea" we have looked at the curriculum on line to assess what he needs to be looking at for Year 6 to give him back that "comfort zone" of knowing that there is a structure and there shouldn't be too many hidden surprises and he just needs to adapt to the new schools ways.

I hasten to add he does have aspergers traits and no confidence in his own abilities, so changing schools was always going to be "challenging" at best.

It is also something that I and I am sure all of you out there feel, that the education of children is not just down to the school, but also down to us as parents to recognise how to assist the schools in getting the best education and subsequent results for our children.

Bit of a mish mash of a post I know, but after helping at a school recently, it has become very apparent of the difficulty of teaching different ability children on the same subject, with no TA's and trying to get the best for all of the children, regardless of whether they are the higher, middle or lower abilities. Quite an eye opener!


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2006 11:40 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 02, 2006 9:10 pm
Posts: 1068
Location: Lincolnshire
The liking of routine and "sameness" is very "asperger's typical" as is the preference for working on one's own or in very small groups as opposed to larger ones.

I have found a little bit of a dilemma in that the schools which are very rigid in routine (which suits the Asperger's child admirably) may also be those which are least willing to recognise and accommodate their special needs; and conversely those which are most clued up about autistic spectrum disorders may have an environment which actually causes stress to the child because of its flexibility and lack of clearly laid down rules and structures.

I think that communication is the key to resolving any problems and this entails a willingness on both sides, school and parents(+child) to listen to each other and reach solutions together.

I know that some autistic children find the transfer to mainstream secondary education very traumatic indeed but our experience has actually been very positive - the relatively small school with the relatively old-fashioned and relatively rigid routine combined with a really good understanding and acceptance of her needs and excellent communication with us, has suited our daughter admirably and she has flourished and achieved beyond all of our expectations.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2006 9:35 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2006 10:14 am
Posts: 171
Location: Lincolnshire
Alex,

Thanks for this I am glad that your daughter found the transfer relatively easy. Without being rude may I ask what part of Lincolnshire you refer to as my discussions with one of our local grammar schools about how they assisted children with Aspegers syndrome was very discouraging.


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