Category Archives: Education

The journey through the Education system as a parent with children with Special needs, and what I have learnt along the way.

Alphablocks Multi Sensory Reading Programme

Alphablocks Multi Sensory Reading Programme

Alphablocks Multi Sensory Reading ProgrammeOur little Sensory Seeker is doing much better than we imagined at school but is still developmentally far behind his peers in many areas. In fact he only got one tick in the expected box at the end of the Reception year. Although we are not going to worry about it, it is always nice to hear of fun ways we can tap into the way he learns best and give him a helping hand. Therefore when I heard about how Alphablocks magazine had launched a multi-sensory Alphablocks Reading Programme to support foundation stage children develop and progress their reading ability. The programme consists of 15 Alphablocks Reading Programme magazines and Alphablocks resources – including finger puppets, letter tiles, games, pencil and pencil case, flashcards,  stickers and gold stars to reward the achievements. Split into 3 packs that build on each of the stages of development – £39.99 (plus p&p)

Pack 1 is Red and Orange levels (first steps and next steps

Alphablocks: Introducing the alphabet and its sounds

It is important that children learn the correct sounds for each of the letters. If you are Alphablocks Multi Sensory Reading Programmeunsure then visit the website. They may also learn actions to accompany the sounds, to help them better remember. Our Sensory Seeker is in year 1 now as so already has amazed us by learning all his first sounds so this really helped developed his confidence. It made it less of a challenge to encourage him to practise writing these sounds too. Again this is organised progressively and I was able to stop and move onto the next letter when the task became too difficult for him.

Blending

I was worried that our Sensory Seeker wouldn’t get blending. It must be extra hard for him to try to filter out the extra sensory input whilst he remembers the sounds and tries to put them together again. This is really important for his Phonics test at the end of year 1. In this children are given 40 words and nonsense words that can be phonetically sounded out. The children need to use the rules of phonics with the correct sounds even for the nonsense words, to demonstrate that they understand the rules of phonics.

Alphablocks: High Frequency Words

High frequency words are those that cannot be sounded out phonetically (such as THE). To read them then you just have to remember what they say by sight. We have them attached to walls and doors around our house. By the end of the Reception year children should know 45 high frequency words. Our Sensory Seeker could read about 10 when going into Year 1 so I was pleased to see so many fun ways to help him catch up with his peers.

Pack 2: Yellow Level (arriving December 2014)

Alphablocks Multi Sensory Reading ProgrammeAfter the first 2 levels in pack 1, pack 2 moves onto Diagraphs. Diagraphs are when two letters make a team to form one sound – such as ch and sh. They can appear at the beginning, middle and/or end of a word. For example when you think of the word “church” it starts with a “ch” sound not a “c” “h.”

Pack 3: Blue and Green Levels (arriving Easter 2015)

This final stage moves onto words with letter blends, magic E (also known as a split diagraph eg. A_E), and long vowels. The programme concludes with a certificate.

What I thought to the Alphablocks Reading Programme

I liked all the different sensory input for my son. So many different visuals, puppets forAlphablocks Multi Sensory Reading Programme tactile, stickers to help develop his hands – obviously writing and drawing practise, cutting and gluing – all good for fine motor skills. I liked how it is very much focused on fun and that it can be done at our Sensory Seeker’s own pace. It is so straight-forward that many different members of the family have been able to engage him into the activities and games. It was also easy to adapt – we used some bubble wrap to pop when on the popping balloons activity (good for fine motor and tactile stimulation).  I like how the resources include the diagraphs, and hope that the next pack has trigraphs (sounds made with 3 letters).

I’d love to see the series continue onto homophones (words that are pronounced the same as another word but differs in meaning, and sometimes also spelling) and other things they will be required to know grammar-wise for their SATs in Year 2. The box was very comprehensively packed with resources so it would have been nice if everything required was readily available (pencil crayons, scissors and glue were still required). All in all though I thought that the pack was absolutely amazing and a fantastic price (think how much you pay for those foreign language courses!) – as well as being a lot of fun.

You may also be interested in my Writing Skills Development post.

We received this programme free in return for an honest review. I will update further when the other 2 packs arrive. All words and opinions are my own.

reading

Reading

This week in Literacy class we covered reading. Did you know that 130,000 children in the UK every year leaving primary school not reading as well as they should? We learnt about letters and sounds. It was explained that our school teaches reading by using phonetics. That it is really important that we make the right sounds when talking to our children and helping them to sound out words. We covered blending, digraphs (2 letters together that make a single sound, these can be at the beginning, middle or end of a word), trigraphs (the same but with 3 letters), split diagraphs (known to most adults as the magic E). We also covered the Year 1 Phonics screening test and tricky high frequency words.

Activities to help aid reading

Making the link between letter sounds and shapes – by point them out when you see them in the environment. Our Sensory Seeker recognises the letter M for McDonalds – but then thinks that the M in Morrisons is also McDonalds! We are currently explaining to him that they are different colours. If your child struggles to blend sounds then say the sounds yourself slowly. Flashcards are good for teaching tricky high frequency words. I show him on one page and say what the word says and show my Sensory Seeker the same word on another page so that he can see (visually) that they are the same – and ask him what it says. Reading, reading and more reading. Let your child pick their favourite books – they are easier to engage if they are interested. Teach them to write – then they will learn the letters shapes – and if you say them at the same time they will learn the sounds. It is important to let them talk about the book – and don’t worry if they guess the words. We did an exercise where we “guessed” what some of the missing words would be. This showed us how we rely on grammatically rules, the story etc to fill in the blanks.

Letter Game

All the children picked a letter and then they had to think of a food beginning with that letter. For each food the children got that was unique (no other child had it) they gained 2 points, and 1 point if another child had it. Our Sensory Seeker struggle with this a bit. I think a good idea for him would be to have pictures of food so that he could match the picture with the letter.

reading

Bookmarks

Then the children made their own bookmarks. This was really good for fine motor skills, as well as to help encourage a love of reading. I was really proud of our Sensory Seeker’s bookmark – I only made the holes (with a hole punch) for him – and he did the rest.

speaking and listening skills

Speaking and Listening

This week in Literacy class we covered speaking and listening. We thought about all the situations during the school day that the child would need their speaking and listening skills. From the first time knowing where to put things and where to go, deciding and communicating what they want for dinner, taking the register, following rules, sharing/getting along with peers, asking to go to the toilet, in all lessons (reading/maths/PE, etc) – to pretty much all of the day. We then thought about all the things required for good speaking and listening skills.

speaking and listening skills

Good Speaking and Listening Skills

  • Speak clearly, at a pace that the other person can understand.
  • Use the right tone of voice.
  • Make sure that you have good eye contact – this will also ensure that non-verbal communication cues can be picked up.
  • Use NVC – most language is read through our body/facial actions (this is why it is harder for children on the Autistic Spectrum to communicate).
  • Respect the speaker – give them nods/smiles/say yes (at appropriate times) to show that you are listening. Do not interrupt. Do not have inappropriate responses (laugh when it is serious). Do not fidget or fiddle.
  • Ask relevant questions.
  • Ask for clarification/repetition of anything you did not understand or could not hear properly (do not do this too many times!)
  • Have patience and think before you speak.
  • Give the listener time to process the information – those on the spectrum may take longer to digest the information.

Developing Speaking and Listening Skills

The best way to help my Sensory Seeker to develop his speaking and listening skills is to just simply spending time with him – talking. We did two activities – the first was for him to draw a picture without me seeing it, then we had to talk to each other about it and for me to draw it (without seeing it). We sort of did this but he struggled with not showing it me, as he didn’t really understand that concept. Then we made a junk model together. He did a great job of discussing with me what he wanted to do, materials used. He absolutely loved what we created together and used lots of language to tell others about it. My boys really do seem to like “show and tell” sessions at school too. I think if they are passionate about something (especially if they are on the Spectrum) they find it easier to talk about.

speaking and listening

I am really enjoying this course together, and I was delighted when he told  me it was Monday (the day we do it). His face really lights up when he sees me come to collect him for it, and it has shown me how much I underestimate what he can do. We have homework too – finding the letters of his name in the newspaper, finding the score of his name in Scrabble, a punctuation hunt, a visit to the library – and lots lots more suggestions.


University with a Disability

University with a Disability

When my son was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome at aged 10 I never in a million years thought that I would be having to help him think about University. But he has come on so far in that time it really has been amazing. I shall not embarrass him by listing all the things he couldn’t do – I am sure if you are reading this you may already know yourself. But what now? Will he really be able to cope at University? Will he eaten enough, clean himself enough, not get into trouble with other people? Are these not the thoughts of any teenager about to fly the nest – is he really any different anymore?

University with a Disability

The following information are things that I have gathered about disability in relation to my son with Asperger’s syndrome; there may be relevant information and links for other disabilities but obviously there is more to think about and this post may only be a starting point.

Going to University with Special Needs – UCAS

The first hurdle we are struggling with is UCAS. My husband and I did not go through UCAS when going to University it is our first time dealing with them. Of course communication is the first big issue here. I really am not sure whether our son is not being told the right information or not at all. He is not doing General Studies (timetable clash) and according to him there does not appear to be any way they are making up the fact that he is missing what they are being taught about UCAS forms. UCAS is the Universities and Colleges admissions services – basically he will need to fill out one of their forms saying which Universities he wants to go to. The deadline for UCAS is January 15th 2015 – my son just thinks I am being a pushy organised parent.

UCAS can be done online, and saved and tracked. There’s a 10 digit personal ID number – and this can be shared with people who help fill out the form. Some of the form can also be shared with the student finance company. Tuition fees loan can be borrowed regardless of family income/situation. 5 choices can be made. It costs £12 to apply for one course and £23 for two or more.

This will include a Personal Statement – that is talking about himself, selling himself telling the places why they should pick him to go on their course over anyone else. It has to be a minimum of 1,000 characters This in itself is proving difficult as it is hard to get him to do anything to put on the statement, and also because things are so black and white he does not understand the whole, because I can do x then y. For example, when applying for a job as a lifeguard he put that he could swim a length under water and knew how to deal with children. To him these were the qualities he had to be a lifeguard. They said this wasn’t enough. We then talked about how he was studying science and was therefore good at observing hazards – he did not see how that was related to being a lifeguard because the hazards were not the same.

Universities must make reasonable adjustments to account for the disability. Disclosing the disability can show evidence of character and achievement (see why you should disclose that you have a disability). This may be something like learning the ability to manage money, or that the disabled person has learnt to cook their own meals. This shows determination and using skills to sort things out.

Deciding on a University

The amount paid back each month for a Student Loan will be the same whether the tuition fees are 6,000 as they are 9,000 (a year). Institutions that charge more than 6,000 in tuition fees have to put in place measures to help students from poorer backgrounds. Waivers and Bursaries – if there’s an option then it is better to have the Bursary as it is more likely to be higher and meet the costs of the basic needs. UCAS has a guide on helping disabled students find the right course for them.

Students with Asperger’s are likely more difficulties socially and with life skills. These may include understanding and processing language, sensory issues, diet/fussy eaters, working in groups, struggle with changes to routines, independent study, taking things literally, understanding jokes, and so on. So it is pleasing to hear that several Universities are offering summer schools to help those with Asperger’s adapt (including Birmingham, Bath, Cambridge and Aberystwyth.

Open Days

It is best to attend the Institutions before putting them down on the form. Have a look on their websites for when they are holding their open days. Some will require you to book them in advanced, others you just turn up on the day.

The Course:Selecting the place of study will depend on what you want to study. Check out the league tables to see which are the highest rated, and what others are saying about it. Think about whether future employers will be influenced by the institution choice. Depending on the course some careers are determined by health and have rules called ‘fitness to practice’ set by professional bodies to ensure people can do the job – this does not mean disabled people are automatically ruled out though. Does the course require an admission test to be sat? The disability officer (see below) can help with this. Tutors can provide advice on the course options -what mix of lectures, number of assignments, seminars there are.

The Requirements: Make sure you have enough UCAS points to secure a place, and see what typically they accept. Just because there isn’t enough UCAS points does not mean that a place cannot be obtained. If the offers received are not taken or none are given then students can go through Extra. From February 24th courses with vacancies can be applied for, and the personal statement can be amended. Then if no offers in June then they can go through clearing.

The Location: Is the place near to home. Therefore, all the support of living at home is still available. If moving away think about the accommodation and any additional difficulties that may need extra help.

The Support: Each University will have a student support or Disability Officer. Speak with them to determine what additional help can be provided. They will be able to advise you on whether they could provide support/help/advice to meet needs. This might be just someone to meet with once a week to talk about academic/care/financial needs – so have a think about what it is that needs additional support. If contact is made before the open day then it gives the disability officer a chance to find other disabled students wanting to do the same course, and/or those already on the course to be able to meet up with. I think this also will give an indication as to what level of support the disability officer is likely to provide. This may give an insight into other difficulties that may be incurred that had not been thought of. Social services can also be involved to help with personal care needs.

Financial help for Disabled Students

All students are able to apply for loans for tuition and living costs. On top of this there is the Disabled Students Allowance –  The support depends on individual needs and not income. It’s paid on top of other student financial income and does not have to be repaid. This can be up to a maximum of £27, 678 for the academic year 2015-2016 (most students get less). They do not cover disabled costs that would be incurred if not attending the course, or that any student may have. Things covered would include specialist equipment, non-medical helpers, extra helpers, and costs related to the course/disability. Cuts have been proposed for 2015 that DSA will be only be given for specific learning difficulties if their needs are considered complex. It will no longer pay for standard computers for disabled students or note-takers and learning mentors.

The University will also have a hardship fund – for those experiencing financial hardship – one of the examples is if the student is disabled.

Other Sources of help for Disabled Students

Skill 

Disabled students helpline

This is, of course, lots more to consider such as insurance, helping them become independent (cooking/budget, etc), accommodation etc. If anyone has any support information on going to University then I would really appreciate it – disability or non-disability related. And if you or your child are thinking about it then the very best of luck to them.

This is NOT a sponsored post.

Literacy Development Ideas

Literacy Development Ideas

Behind in Literacy

My little boy is behind his peers academically in every area apart from technology. He has what is known as a Global Developmental Delay – or at least that’s what I think he has. I guess he’s one of the SWANS – that is kids without an actual diagnosis. They decided what he didn’t have and that was it. I guess he is currently being supported and that is the main thing. But his school don’t just support children like mine – they support all children. So currently they are running a course on helping the Year 1s with their Literacy. The tutor told us that most people think about Reading, but Literacy covers speaking and listening, as well as reading and writing. Some of the session is work with just the parents, and then we bring the children in.

Literacy development

First she read some of the story of “Max and Lara’s Amazing Travelling Space Circus.” Then we had to discuss with the children about what they thought about the two main characters Max and Lara. We had a sheet with ideas of what to ask them (hair colour, favourite food, etc). I was really surprised (and proud) of how well my son did at the task so it was nice to try a fresh approach. I loved how all the fun things we have done about the Gruffalo had obviously made a difference as he talked of Gruffalo crumble and scrambled snake. It really brought home to me that all I need to do to help my son with his Literacy is just to keep having fun with him with it. Then he was able to draw his characters – and I talked about what he had said about them (eg remember you said she had big ear lobes).

Literacy Development Ideas

Fun Literacy Ideas 

 Sign Language Alphabet – Home Schooling with ADHD

Roll and say Fall ABC Game – Fantastic Fun and Learning

Alphabet Matching Activity – Sand in my toes

ABC Letters – LalyMom

Preschool Writing Activity – Letters to Family – Mom Inspired Life

Books for kids not ready for Harry Potter – What do we do all day?

Creative Alphabet Activities – Gift of Curiosity

Free ABC handwriting practice pages – Embark on the Journey

B is for Butterfly – A Little Pinch of Perfect

Spelling Activities – B-Inspired Mama

Sight Word Stackers – JDaniel4’s Mum

Alphabet Glass Gems – Rubber Boots and Elf Shoes

October books for 2 and 3 year olds – Planet Smarty Pants

he is disabled

He is Disabled

Being reminded that he is disabled

I think the main problem I am having with deciding whether to hold our son back at school a year or not is that it means accepting there’s something wrong not quite right with him. Funny as we all know he is disabled, he gets disability money and has full-time one-to-one support at school. It is easy to compare him to others with disabilities and think that the term really does not apply to him. He is so behind his peers in so many areas, but yet he’s just our son. Sometimes it’s easy to think that it is me with the “problem” – not giving him enough attention, bad parenting, I do not have the patience. I would rather those things be true and strive to help him as much as I can. But the reality of it is it is him and the fear that he may never develop further is frightening.

he is disabled

Pushing all these fears away and just being positive not thinking that he is disabled really helps with day to day life. So he wets himself and doesn’t sleep at night – lots of children do that at aged 5, he is still young. If he moves up then I could see that as a problem as he may be the only child to do those things. If he stays down then those younger than him may overtake him.

The Fears

I know this is covering old ground but the decision day is getting closer. I had a chat with him and he really wants to move up. On days when I forget that he is disabled he seems so level headed, and that it would just be stupid not to let him move up. Suggesting that he will fail before we even let him try. But should we not upset him and just wait for him to fail, or should we nurture him and prevent him from failing. I know that the education system is more likely to help the school financially after he has failed – but we are lucky that he’s at a good school and they do not want that. He’s had a lot of changes lately and he’s not been himself. I had the back door open earlier and I told him not to go outside. I said that it was too wet. It was fresh air – I didn’t add that. I just said, “Kyle, don’t go outside. It is wet.” He is five years old. He said, “What did you say?” and I repeated it. Then he repeated, “What did you say?” and I repeated it again. This happened another few times before I just kissed and hugged him. Then I went upstairs and cried. He is disabled and just because it is invisible does not mean that he does not need the help. I have to stop thinking in terms of failing him and think in terms of what is best for him. I wish I had the answers.

he is disabled

But after the decision is made I shall continue being positive for him. He has come such a long way. If he stays behind he will be ahead of his peers. Then that will be good for his confidence. If he moves up then it will be because it has been decided that it is best for him and he can cope. Either way I can forget that he is disabled then he can just be Kyle again.

repeating reception

Repeating Reception Year or Not?

Some people never get to meet with an Educational Psychologist whilst today I met a second for my son who is only in his reception year at school. The first time was when I was wondering whether to send him to school. She came out to evaluate whether she thought it would be in his best interests to remain in Reception the following academic year. Apparently they do not like to use the term “held back” but that is what in effect it is.

repeating reception

She asked me what his strengths are – that’s easy he is happy. She said that was good, and to be honest if there was anything I could wish for that my children have it is happiness. She explained that research shows that children who stay back in reception year do not make much extra progress. I think that is because they compare themselves and try to identify with those around them. I am not sure my son has that ability to think that way.

He, in my opinion, is a very likable little boy. He has made good friends in reception (and has those all-important party invites that any parent may understand the fear of them possibly never receiving). Would he miss those friends if he was separated from them? Is he so lovely that he’d easily make friends again?

repeating reception

Year 1 is really fast paced compared to Reception – but my husband thinks that may be he needs the push. Currently though he is already falling asleep at school, and does get over-stimulated, or wet himself at school – and that’s with full time support. Would year 1 be too much and lower his confidence?

Also what if he does catch up when he’s older? He can never move back with his peers, and in secondary school everyone will know he was held back. He is a bright lad maybe something will click and he will be on par with his peers. Or there’s the possibility that he will never “get” some of the areas that he is struggling with so there would be no point him not moving up. He may need other ways to help him (he is a very visual learner).

party planning sensory processing disorder

Thankfully the Educationally Psychologist is supporting us whatever the decision. I am sure whatever is decided the school will fully-support him – I cannot say enough how grateful I am for all their help and support. We have his meeting for his review next Monday (and the first time I may hear about this thing that is replacing the Statement).

I have had some feedback of regret about keeping their child back, but then seen others who are pleased they have managed to fight for their child back. So if anyone has any experience or even feelings on this I would love to hear it please.

teacher gifts with SEN

Teacher Gifts and Special Educational Needs

Thank You Teacher Gifts and SEN

When you have a child with Special Needs in school you may find that they have many different people inputting into their education. So when it comes to Thank You Teacher gifts (I stick to the end of the academy year) then you may find that there are quite a few people to cater for. Personally I find home-made gifts not only cheaper but that the personal touch will mean much more than just a bunch of flowers/bottle of wine/chocolates. What a real special keepsake to remind them just how far they have managed to get the child to come.

writing name

I am super proud of my Sensory Seeker and very grateful for all that the school have helped him develop with. Some of his achievements are that:

What my Sensory Seeker can do now:

    • He can write his name.
    • He knows all of his phonetic sounds.
    • He can count to ten and recognise all the numbers in figure form.
    • He has become a lot more independent with many day-to-day activities that he previously could not.
    • He can recount the whole story of the 3 Little Pigs, in the right order.
    • He has better attention, more patience and good listening skills.

I am sure that there is much much more, every day he makes me so proud.

With just over 2 months until they break up for the Summer and he moves onto a new teacher I thought it a good time to start looking at some Teacher gifts craft ideas that may be easy enough for him to do.

Things to consider when making Thank You Teacher Gifts with a Child with Special Needs

  • The child’s ability. You can help them as much or as little as they need. Maybe they can paint but not precisely – how about a pet rocks as teacher gifts  – simply by painting a rock and adding googly eyes. How about painting a  toilet roll holder, adding a bottom to it with card, and putting some pencils in it – viola stationery holder.  Or how about using stickers to make simple teacher gifts.  Maybe they are good at colouring? Or like it in the kitchen. Are they a sensory seeker or avoider? If they are avoiding then something like a fingerprint tree may be good as you can just do 1, or as many prints as they will allow to help them get used to the sensation of the paint. Also maybe consider in what areas they have developed – my son has improved with his writing so it would be nice for that to be reflected in the gift.
  • Think about how long their attention span is. Can they sit to do the craft, or would running and jumping in and out of paint suit them better?

Painting with feet to make a Teacher gift

  • Be prepared for them to follow their own rules and for it not to turn out exactly how you had it in mind.
  • Reinforce their achievement and be proud, especially if they have struggled or found it hard to focus. A teacher gift is meant to be made with love.
  • Sensory Seekers will enjoy lots of textures and smells if you can incorporate them into your Teacher gifts.
  • Background music will help your Sensory Seeker and a quiet room your Sensory Avoider.
  • Think about how you will calm them down or clean them up. We have a bowl of water and towel next to the paint – as he has a tendency to paint himself and I don’t want all the walls and furniture covered.

Here is a simple idea – make a tape measure by marking out on a yellow piece of paper, then let your child tape it to a flower pot. You can either get your child to grow a flower or buy one. Then attach a note saying “Thank you for helping me grow!”

teacher gifts with SEN

What problems and strategies do you have when it comes to craft with your child with additional needs?

educational activities kids co-op

Personal Pronouns Understanding the difference between He and She

educational activities kids co-opThe Sensory Seeker was struggling to understand the difference between the personal pronouns he and she.  He knew that boys and girls are different but calls them both “he.” The Sensory Seeker does not really understand how people could get upset by being called the wrong thing but guess there’s only so many times a girl wants to be called a boy.

Based on the work by Felicity Durham the personal pronouns activity we did was simple, and great for the visual learner. It simply consisted on the child having a piece of paper divided into two. On one side there was a picture of a boy and the word he and a big empty box underneath, and the other side the same but with a girl and the word she. The same images were then repeated on another piece of paper but smaller (so that there were a total of 16 small image, 8 boys and 8 girls).

First we discussed the pictures by me asking which was a boy and which was a girl. I started with this because I knew he would know the answer. This helped him feel more confident which means it is easier to engage and hold his attention. Next I saw whether he recognised the words “he” and “she,” by sight. He didn’t and sounding them out was difficult as they are not phonetically sounding and so he was reading the ee as eh. I helped him understand and waited until I could hear that he knew and could say them both. Next I took my pile of small images and showed him that they were the same as the large ones. I mixed up the pile and got him to guess which card I would turn over, explaining that he needed to give me the answer “he” or “she.” He got really excited when he got it right and said that it was a point! Even when he did not correctly guess he was beginning to really say “she” (as he had previously only said he). I was firm in that I would not allow him to just point or refer to them as boy and girl. As there were only 16 images it was over quickly and so just right for his attention span.

sensory processing disorder

School considerations when starting with Special Needs

Starting School Considerations when a child with special needs approaches the Reception Year

When children with special needs approach the reception age their parents have some important, and possibly very difficult, school considerations to make. A huge influence in this can be whether the child already has obtained a statement of special educational needs. Considerations about whether to send them to a special needs school or mainstream. Or it may be that the parent is  considering not sending the child to school at all.

It may be case of other factors more than just having a statement are required for particular schools – such as when a panel meets to decide who can enter, which maybe a school consideration if they have limited numbers.

school considerations with sensory processing disorder

Options about whether to send your Reception Year child to school or not

If you do not feel that your child is ready, then legally you do not have to send them until they are 5 (in the UK).Apparently it is even possible to get nursery vouchers until then too. Different schools will have varied opinions on deferring for a year. The parent may want to put the child straight into Year 1, instead of Reception, but checking with the school first is a good idea if it is to be considered. If the child goes straight into Year 1 they will be with their birth cohort, but then they may still be developmentally behind somewhat and may not fit in as well as those children who have already formed relationships (especially if they struggle with this).  Note that on the other hand child can be  very resilient and so do not be upset if you feel that changing schools is best, consider your child and what you believe is best for them. Then there will be the school considerations when the child moves onto secondary school (or middle school if there is one in the area). 

school considerations with sensory processing disorder

School considerations about where is the best place that is right for your child

Do go and visit the school or schools. Are the school likely to listen to what you say? Have they previous experience? Have they a reputation in regards how they deal with Special needs children? – Good or bad? Do you have any other agencies going into school to help?You may be surprised at just how supportive they can be.

Our son is in a Mainstream primary with 30 hours one to one support – I think this is far more beneficial for his particular needs than at a special needs school. I was particularly worried about his toileting, and having someone monitor him all the time means he does not stay wet for long.

school considerations with sensory processing disorder

Only you truly know your child, and what you feel is best for them, and you as a family. The other thing we decided is that the special school would have been over 10 miles away and he was likely to fall asleep on the way home, further disrupting his sleep routine.

In the worst case scenario you can always pull your child out of that school – and find another or home educate.

This post was originally inspired by my own thoughts on our son starting school.