Hello! I am so glad I found this forum, I hope someone here can help me. I am very sorry it is a very long post, not the best first impression I know , but I have so many questions. Our case seems as complex as they get
I have a son who is visually impaired registered blind. He has some vision in central field and with a SEN statement is thriving in a mainstream school , top table for all subjects. In addition to VI, he also has Asperger's (high-functioning type of autism) , hypersensitivity to sound and mild dyspraxia. He will be sitting the 11+ exams next year , but we do not live in an area with grammar schools at the moment and it is very difficult to find any information , because nobody here seems to know.
I would like to find out what adjustments would be available for my son to be able to access the tests. Is there a list published anywhere?
For exam preparation are large-print sample papers available to view or purchase? I bought the NFER practice papers and while my son can just about read the question papers with lots of straining, the answer sheets are just impossible for him
white text on pale pinkish-red background ... tiny text and boxes...
. Magnified photo-copying doesn't help either , contrast is lost and my son can't cope with pages bigger than A4 anyway. Are there any exam preparation resources available for VI children to familiarize my son with the layout and to make sure that he can access them?
Also, I have a lot of questions about the organization of the exams on the day. Would any parents of children with special needs share how it goes? Are parents allowed to help the child to their seat? Who looks after the child if they need the toilet or need to be taken out of the room for any reason? My son will not be comfortable with strangers and will not be able to navigate independently in an unfamiliar environment. I have lots of other concerns. What if he drops his pencil? He will not be able to find it
Are the desks big enough for a writing slope? What happens during breaks between exams?
We will be applying at foundation schools in different LEAs, as we don't have grammars here. Who is responsible for putting in place the adjustments? For example, my son needs a writing slope. Who should provide it - us, the home LEA, the school LEA or the school??
My son's current school are very good and do for him things that are not in his statement , but I understand that it is very important for all required adjustments for tests to be mentioned in the statement. We will have an educational psychologist assessment and ask for changes in the statement based on that. What should I be asking the E.P. to emphasise in the report specifically with a view to sitting the selective tests? We had an E.P. assessment done in the past, but there was no mention in the report of e.g. extra time for exams because I was told 25% was automatically given to ALL children with statements , so no need to mention it in the statement specifically! This may apply just for our LEA , but I don't know ... , and in any case we will be applying for schools in another LEA and from this site I see that we have to apply for extra time separately. What else can we reasonably ask for?
If my son is allowed extra time, how does this work? Will he be in a separate room from the other children? What if there are other children with different extra time allowed? Are they going to be timed individually? Seems very disruptive and confusing for everybody... How does the NVR test work with the separate sections with breaks in between? Is extra time for SEN children taken while the other children are having a break??
Sorry I don't know if what I am asking makes sense. I am so confused.
Thank you all for any advice you can give.