The eleven plus experience was pretty horrific for my family. And the whole experience left me feeling this is a flawed system that ignores the needs of the more vulnerable up front, with the justification that the appeals process will clean up any errors. Yes, we had a successful appeal that found discrimination had taken place, but the whole process was not worth it and I do feel that if I knew then what I know now, I would have withdrawn my child from the eleven plus test.
My daughter has Asperger's and for the most part gets on very well. She has been a victim of her own success in many ways because she achieves well in school and people forget that she has many areas she does not cope well in (mostly social). So she gets no help. This had disastrous effects when it came to the eleven plus. I had reservations about it before hand but was told that my child would get board at an upper school. So I let her test and watch as she severally deteriorated at the beginning of year 6. She did miserable on the eleven plus, which was as could be expected given the circumstances. No allowances were made for her, and they never are at her school.
When it came to the appeal, I did everything wrong. The appeal letter was 4 pages (but given the points for our case, there was not much that could be cut out), several trees sacrificed their lives for all of the supporting evidence (most of which were reports as to what occurred because of the state she ended up in at the beginning of year 6 but did include reports from her initial diagnosis from years earlier which detailed her exam anxiety issues). Although we did not have support from the school (2,2) we did have a lot of academic evidence from both in school (school reports, level 5's in year 5) and outside school (academic activities and certificates). I went into the appeal, sat down, and cried. The appeal panel were lovely. We had not gone in on grounds of discrimination, but on extenuating circumstances. We won, and I got the feeling that they were all shocked by the lack of support given. Even the county representative seemed concerned and asked what could have been done to help her.
But the main thing here is that everything was preventable, but in my experience, if an individual with a disability is cognitively able, no one makes any allowances for them. No one wants to acknowledge that they are under performing for them if they are doing well for their age, and no one cares about their emotional state and general level of happiness.
Why is it to get SEN help, it has to be an emergency? Why can't the help be given before? Why are children forced to fail before they are supported?
The only good news is she will be going to a lovely grammer school that is supportive of those with ASD and does understand that just because someone with ASD is clever it does not mean they don't need any support.