Today I went with the social worker to see a school for Dinky.
It was AMAZING!
First we got a little lost on the way there, which wasn’t ideal.
Ow ever when we pulled up… Wow. The grounds were absolutely stunning. However, grounds do not make a school!
As we went in there were makaton signs all round the place so that everyone knew where they were.
We were met by the school nurse, who asked lots of questions and really put me at ease. Next we went on a tour of the school. Lunches are handed really well, there is an OT to help children with their cutlery skills (something that I am ashamed to admit I have pretty much given up on!), the classrooms are amazing with, calm room, separate room to do quiet work alone, and an outdoor area per class for children to have a movement break. I loved the fact that a child was doing all his work about minions and even showed us his little minion teddy. Work is not done in a traditional way, very PDA friendly.
The main sensory room, Wow! Dinky would absolutely love it in there! As she would also like the soft play room and the other OT/sensory room with swings and mangles ect.
The playground is a sensory seeker/impulsive-hyperactive child’s dream! They do lots of social skills work out on the playground and in peer time as well as having separate social skills classes (including lego therapy!).
Met the speech and language therapist, they do lots of sign even if the kids are verbal so that when they struggle to verbalise they can use it. Lots of visuals and functional language skills!
PDA is not currently known school wide, however this is changing this year due to one of the KS3 teachers having done a paper on staff knowledge of PDA last academic year. Already this has led to staff wanting to understand the condition for the students.
I think out of every school I have looked at- this is the first time I have actually thought would be the PERFECT place for dinky! There are no niggles, the staff are willing to work with her and do what is needed for her.
Within 2 minutes of being home I have requested a place for Dinky there via an email to the head of our area’s SENAT.
Even had a chat with the social worker on the way home who is also going to email head of SENAT and tell him that this school compared to the school they tried to place her in is 100% better able to meet her needs! and now she knows why I wouldn’t send Dinky to the other school!
Feels so much better knowing that I have found somewhere. I would fight for this school for Dinky! I wasn’t willing to fight for any of the others.