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(UK) Bristol: Mom seeks one-on-one support for nonverbal, severely autistic 4-y-o

A mum is in a race against time to get her autistic four-year-old daughter the one-on-one assistance she would need when she starts school in September. But Amy Williams said the school where here child is due to attend has indicated this would not be possible.

Ms Williams said her child’s Educational Health and Care (EHC) Plan indicates she will need a high level of individual attention to cope with a school day at Filton Hill Primary School, where she is has a place in September. She has now sought mediation with South Gloucestershire Council.

An EHC Plan is a document which lays out a child, or young person’s needs, and the additional resources needed to support their education. With it, there is additional funding available which allows for additional support within a mainstream school or specialist education placement. Ms Williams from Little Stoke said her daughter was diagnosed with autism in January this year.

She said: “She needs help with all aspects of her day, she only started to speak after she turned one and can lash out when she feels frustrated. She will be in a playground with 200 children and it’s concerning especially as she can’t tell me about her day.

“I want to have an education suited to her. The school is saying they do not have the staff to support her,” said Ms Williams. The little girl’s nursery report said she has a speaking ability of a child 16-26 months-old and highlighted that she has had an individual timetable and one-on-one provision to help her deal with the nursery activities.

The report said that she struggles with self-care and needs adult supervision for tasks such as getting dressed and washing her hands. She also has to have supervision at mealtimes as she is unable to identify when she is full and will try and grab other children’s packed lunches once she has finished her own.

The nursery school report said due to these difficulties, the four-year-old gets frustrated, which can include hitting out at peers and staff, throwing objects and throwing herself to the floor. It said: "Her inability to verbally communicate can be a constant form of frustration for her and she requires constant adult supervision.”

The nursery recommended that she requires one-on-one supervision and interaction to meet her learning and safety needs.

A spokesperson for South Gloucestershire Council said: "Although we aren't able to comment on individual cases, we will contact the school to find out more about the circumstances relating to this specific case. We can confirm that schools are required to make the necessary arrangements to meet the educational needs of a child as specified in their Education, Health and Care Plan."…

Amy Williams is concerned for her autistic daughter starting primary school in September

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