I spoke with an educational psychologist on Friday about school options for Duncan. She thought one of the schools for children with severe learning difficulties (SLD) would be best for him so he would get the highest level of support. These schools are not autism-specific but contain pupils with any condition, physical, sensory, emotional or neurological that impedes the child's ability to learn. I admit I was surprised for a minute or two since Duncan is well able to learn but on reflection I agree that if he was to go to a school, he would need a high adult to child ratio with well trained and experienced teaching staff. She said that although he is able in many ways he is "very autistic" and that his behavioural problems would make it difficult for him to "access the curriculum." She knows other autistic children who are like Duncan in many ways, who have the same problems with impulse control but who are bright and curious and who have done well at one of these schools. Duncan has done well at home having had a lot of individual attention and when we go out he has virtually one-to-one attention from me so to give him the best chance of succeeding in a school, the transition needs to be as easy as possible with the highest levels of care and support that would only be available in a SLD school.
I will go and visit the schools and speaks to the principals and teachers. I need to find out how the approach problem behaviour, check they don't use restraints and discover as much as I can about how they operate and whether I would be happy enough for my son to go there.