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Mainstream or support unit?


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#1 Tea and Biscuit

Posted 25 January 2020 - 05:58 PM

My DS (ASD2) is due to start school next week.
All his therapists have said mainstream.
We were encouraged by this but as it is now days away I am afraid he won’t cope.

He is still getting the hang of toilet training.
No nappies but often leaves it to to the last minute meaning we still have accidents.

He has a speech delay and while he talks to DH and I and his sister he is limited with his words with others.

He attended a mainstream daycare two days a week where he survived but was allowed to do as he pleased to keep him happy. As in if the other kids were outside he would often play inside as he had a free reign of the toys (we only discovered this in the final weeks!!!)

We are at a point where we don’t know if we are making  the right decision.
There is a support unit in the school including a class specifically for ASD kids. The teachers are amazing and supportive & have said he can start in mainstream and move if needed.

I’m just afraid that if he goes into support unit we are not giving him the opportunity to thrive but alternatively he could become overwhelmed and a huge distraction for the class and the teacher.

How did you decide mainstream or support?

#2 José

Posted 25 January 2020 - 06:07 PM

what state are you in?
often the process to enter a suppot class is complicated and can be lengthy.

i think its completely normal to worry about whether or not you have made the best decision. ultimately i think often you cant know how it will go until its happening. all you can do is make the best decision with the information you have at the time. if it works out- great! if not, then do something different.

#3 Ozquoll

Posted 25 January 2020 - 06:32 PM

Sounds like you have found a fantastic, supportive school who are going to do their absolute best for your boy! I think the school has given you good advice - start him in mainstream and see how he goes. You may be (pleasantly) surprised.

My DS is Level 1 ASD. He has done much better at school than I thought he might - he loves going...most days 😉. In his mainstream class there is a boy with ASD who started FYOS almost completely non-verbal, and with some toileting issues. His mum is really happy with how he has progressed. The school is very accommodating and there are plenty of kids with a variety of special needs being catered for. If you're found a school like that - and it sounds like you have - there's an excellent chance your son will do well there.

Best of luck with whichever decision you make!

Edited by Ozquoll, 25 January 2020 - 06:33 PM.


#4 Gumbette

Posted 25 January 2020 - 07:10 PM

DS started mainstream kindy in a private school. Toilet trained with a speech delay.  Main problem wasn't his ASD, it was his ADHD. We moved him to a k-3 composite support unit for year 1 - the extra attention of his wonderful teachers plus extra maturity  has helped immensely.  I would have been quite happy to keep him in the support unit until y3, but academically the class teachers couldn't keep up, as a lot of the students do have a slight intellectual delay, so he will be going back to mainstream for y2 this year.  If your DS doesn't have a delay maybe try him in mainstream first, especially if he has no behavioural issues like my DS did and if his chosen school is aware and supportive.

Good luck!

Edited by Grinchette, 25 January 2020 - 07:12 PM.


#5 laridae

Posted 26 January 2020 - 06:55 AM

My NT (but hearing loss) child started with a speech delay and not fully TT (accidents because she leaves it too late). It's not going to be that usual and she improved a lot being around others.

#6 ytt

Posted 27 January 2020 - 08:14 PM

I work in a special ed class. What you describe is common in first year of schooling kids. Many times (with parent permission) have showered and changed mainstream kids (NT and even end of FOS). I've also toilet trained special ed kids as parents though they couldn't do it.

A panel decides if a child goes to support classes and it doesn't mean your child will go to your local or wanted school. You will get travel allowance or a taxi if need be to get your child to school (not in school zone).

We often do reverse integration and have mainstream kids with no diagnosis but struggling into our support classes with parents permission. If your child struggles maybe ask if they can do this.

#7 Tea and Biscuit

Posted 07 February 2020 - 02:56 PM

Thank you all for your support and suggestions.
We have just finished our first week and we have had a great week.
I realise it is early days but having a positive start is just a huge relief.

#8 UndergroundKelpie

Posted 07 February 2020 - 04:41 PM

My son is classic Autistic (diagnosed under dsm 4). He started school non verbal and not toilet trained. I knew he would be lost in the special education system so I hired an SSO full time for 1 on 1 support. Now he is in year 7, top of his class and wants to be an engineer. He still needs extensive support but his future is a lot brighter then it would be if he was in special education.




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