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Parents often gets confused where to send their children for schooling
because frankly, every parent wants whats best for their child and want
them to have the best of the education from the best institutes.

They considered a range of different schools including mainstream primary and secondary schools,
special schools, specialist units, private and residential schools.A few had chosen to educate their
children at home

For many parents it had been difficult to find a school that could give their children the right support
at different stages of his/her development. Some of the children were very intelligent, but some had
difficulties with social skills and sensory sensitivities which made large secondary schools unsuitable
for them. Others at the more severe end of spectrum started in special schools at primary school
age and continued in this system through their school years.

Choosing a suitable school is an important decision for most parents.

Types of schooling

Special schooling
Mainstream schooling
Residential schooling
Home schooling

1. Special schooling
Parents whose children were in special schools talked positively about their childrens experiences of
education, even though a few parents had felt upset when they realized that their children would not
be able to cope in mainstream education. The children were in a mix of schools for moderate
learning difficulties or severe learning disabilities.

Parents valued special schools because of small classes, secure environments, and teachers
who understood their children and were trained to teach children the skills they needed, such as
learning to sit still. Some parents thought that their children would have been disruptive in a
mainstream school with larger class sizes or aggressive with other children.

I read an interview of a mother whos child had autism and her exact words were that she felt very
comfortable with the special school and that it was very safe

A normal mainstream school where the usual kids would go to has a completely open playground.
They dont have a special needs unit until the child reaches 7 and there are at least 31 in a class.
Whereas in a special school, theclass sizes are very small. There are only 8 in a class and that is
with a teacher and two or three Training assistant in every class. They do things, the sensory
things as well. So they have bubble rooms, and they take them swimming to the hydro-therapy pool
and they take them horse riding and all these extracurricular activities that the child wouldnt have
got in a mainstream school.

The teachers understood and can tell the difference between what is just normal naughty
behavior and what is part of his condition. They also have higher expectations in the right areas.
They know what he/she can and cant do, what he/she can and cant control and it tends in the main
stream school because the teacher doesnt really understand and they are trying to do their best.

And most importantly,the special school where the child was sent to showed absolutely no
discrimination against or ostracized or any of those things and this school demonstrated
absolute understanding of the condition the child was facing.

Some children were in special schools linked to mainstream schools, so that children could move
between various sites, which both they and their parents liked. Their children interacted with children
in both settings while still having the security and support of the special school. Other children were
in specialist autism units attached to mainstream sites and their parents felt this educational setting
suited them.

2. Mainstream schooling
Many children were in mainstream schools and parents views of these were mixed. Some were
pleased that their children were learning from the other children and they felt that teachers
expected more from their children. Some schools were flexible and allowed the children time
to settle in, for example by allowing them to attend for half days. Many of the children coped
well in mainstream primary schools where they had one teacher and did not have to cope with much
change during the school day.Some parents sent their children to private schools because of the
smaller class size. In some cases this worked well and the children settled down well.

Some of the children found the transition to secondary school very difficult (or parents described
their worries about their childrens forthcoming transition).but concerns were about the size of the
secondary school, the difficult environment for the children because of class changes and different
teachers and, in some cases, the lack of adjustment made by the school to help the children. As
some parents said, inclusion should be about individual needs rather than fitting the children into an
existing system.

Alice, a local employee at a grocery store with a child having autism shared her beliefs saying I
want him to go to a mainstream secondary school. He has got to learn how to cope with wider world,
the wider world has got to learn how to deal with him

Alice wants her son to stay in a mainstream school because she is afraid that he might not have a
ordinary life after he graduates from a special school saying I just want him to have an ordinary life
and I dont know whether he will be able to do that or whether the educational system will be able to
support him enough to allow him to do it
3. Residential schooling
Initially, Residential schools were government-sponsored religious schools established to assimilate
Indigenous children into Euro-Canadian culture.

A few of the children had experiences of residential specialist schools for children on the spectrum
funded by their local authority and these were largely positive. Parents chose residential schools
because they felt that this setting best suited their children, particularly managing their challenging

The advantages of residential schooling are:

A continuum of consistency
A residential school setting and its staff are uniquely qualified to give the child access to educational
opportunities and the chance to practice skills he or she has learned 24 hours a day. The
professional staff and faculty provide support and reinforcement during all waking hours of the childs
A chance to practice safely and learn flexibility
Opportunities to safely practice skills in controlled environments in a residential school flow into
chances to practice in natural environments both before and after school hours, such as recognizing
the symbol for the ladies room in a restaurant while on a dinner outing with the class.
A peer group of his or her own
A residential school setting provides children with special needs with peer group interaction
opportunities both during and after school. It also allows more time for leisure with peers both during
and after school, giving each child many opportunities to learn critical socialization skills as well as
how to effectively manage leisure time
Learning for a lifetime
Developmental disabilities and other special needs can affect all aspects of a childs life, far beyond
the classroom. Self-care, self-esteem, interpersonal relationships, vocational skills, and many other
critical life-skills are areas that must be addressed.

4. Home schooling

A few parents had decided to educate their children at home. This was either because they wanted
to use a particular therapy, such as Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), which involves one to one
teaching with volunteer teachers, or because their children were bullied badly at school. One father
whose son has hyperlexia and autism removed his son from school because the staff did not
understand how to teach him and his health deteriorated.

Control over the Environment

By teaching the special needs child at home, you can exert more control over his learning
environment. You have more control over the curriculum and can better instill values that you think
are important.
Easy Access to Teaching Material(inexpensive)

Home schooling can be much more expensive than traditional school, and the expense used to be a
deterrent for parents in the past. However, nowadays you can get quite a lot of material online.
There are several online stores, support groups, homeschooling sites and forums that are willing to
help parents who wish to home school their children. Books that provide useful information are also
available online.

Removal of Stress for the Special Needs Child

Often, a special needs child is intimidated by normal children at school. Such disabled children feel
inferior as they can't cope with the regular curriculum. Studying at home removes this pressure and
the kids are left to study at their own pace. The disabled child is also less likely to be bullied at home.

It's Easier to Deal with a Special Needs Child at Home

This is especially true if the child suffers from a medical condition and shouldn't be exposed to
allergens. A timid child also feels safer at home, especially if he has been bullied in the past.