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secondary school for emotional/behavioural challenges

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#1 Steph116

Posted 30 July 2019 - 03:34 PM

Hi Everyone,
my son is 10, he has moved this year from a mainstream primary school to an independent special education school for children with social/emotional/behavioural difficulties but normal-high IQ.  He is doing very well there, it is an amazing school and the feedback from the staff has been that there is very little problem with his behaviour but his social skills need work (he sees every professional under the sun and has 2 social skills sessions a week so we are working on this).  He has a diagnosis of mild high functioning ASD and ADHD.  Having moved schools he has been thoroughly assessed and we have discovered that despite having an IQ which is considerably above average he is behind in everything except maths.  Our initial plan was for him to spend the next three years at this school then move back into a mainstream secondary school but we are starting to wonder if that is the best option for him.  He needs to be at a secondary school where he has the option to complete VCE and we are wondering what else is out there.  We are in Melbourne, does anyone know of any secondary school options that might suit my son?


Edited by Steph116, 30 July 2019 - 03:36 PM.

#2 AmazonBabe

Posted 12 August 2019 - 09:18 AM

I see you are in Melbourne.  We are probably about six years ahead of you, on a similar journey.

My son went to Frank Dando Sports Academy for just over 18 months, for part of Year 7 and all of Year 8.  He lives with ASD, ADHD, OCD, ODD, CD, anxiety, depression, and multiple other MHI.  I looked at multiple other private special schools for him, but Dando's was the best fit for my son at that time.  He has an IQ of over 135, but lots of behavioural and social issues.  We also have lots of therapeutic input.  Frank Dando Sports Academy literally saved us.

He has now moved back into mainstream schooling, at Marcellin College in Bulleen, for Year 9 and is now in Year 10; he will be completing VCE in the standard cohort (English, Maths Methods, Physics, Chemistry, programming, compulsory religion).

I'd look at the Catholic system (my son is not raised Catholic, he is adamantly and fundamentally opposed to religion, it just happens to be the best school for him for a number of very good reasons).  The Catholic system has a fabulous funding system for kids with special needs, and that system includes some of the best support that I have ever seen - we have peer support group meetings at least twice a term (and more often if needed); there are learning support officers who attend every English class with my son as that it where he needs the most support (at no expense to me); there is a specialist speech pathologist who specialises in dealing with boys with ASD issues and their relationships with others (I pay her privately); the teachers and support staff are second to none.  I would not hesitate in recommending Marcellin to anyone with boys with special needs.  It has been a fabulous school for my son.

The other alternative that I did look at, but wasn't the right fit (for many reasons, including the lack of rigidity, not enough sport, not enough regulation of day to day activities, not enough choices at VCE) was Preshil, in Kew.  That school does offer VCE/IB but just wouldn't work for my son.

Happy to chat if you need.

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