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School placements/recommendations
  • Jo1980
    Posts: 3
    Hi, I am a Mum of a 6yearold daughter who has a diagnosis of PDA. We are currently in the EHCP Assessment, hoping to hear a decision in the next few weeks. My daughter is currently in a mainstream school but this is failing due to her behaviours and the school not having the resources to cope. I am looking for schools in the West Suffolk/Cambridge/West Essex area. I just feel so overwhelmed with the process, as well as managing my daughters meltdowns, behaviour and exclusions. My fear is that I won’t find the right school for her and it will have detrimental effect on her. Our children deserve the best and my fear is, there are not enough resources and professional who know about PDA.
    Any help, advise or recommendations would be greatly appreciated.
    Many thanks.
  • RhanHRhanH
    Posts: 1,152
    Hi Jo1980, welcome to the Forum. I agree it can be very difficult finding the right school for our children. Have got a list of the schools in each area that you would like to visit?

    We found it helpful to visit schools, ask about their knowledge of PDA, the strategies that they would use, additional resources available ie. SALT, OT, etc and then we started to narrow it down.

    In the education section of our website,, this is a part on What is the right school placement for my child with PDA? It gives a few ideas which may help you gather your thoughts.

    Please do also contact our enquiry line if you would like to talk to this over with someone.

    In the meantime please do keep posting with any specific questons that you may have.
  • Jo1980
    Posts: 3
    Hi, thanks for you response. I have a list of schools, some do not even have space and have said to email them in January. I am booked into see two schools over the next week. I will ask about their knowledge of PDA and strategies they use. As a single parent I feel so much weigh on my shoulders about making the right decision. My daughter has now be put on a part time timetable at her current school due to behaviours and her been unable to cope. The head teacher used the ‘naughty’ phrase today when talking to my daughter. I was quick to correct her and change her choice of phrase. It just upsets me at how she is perceived and just want to protect her. At the same time I, myself find it hard at times to cope with her demands and meltdowns but truely know my little girl is a sweet, kind, caring little girl with a diagnosis.
    I will continue to fight for what she deserves and stay in touch with this wonderful, helpful forum.
  • RhanHRhanH
    Posts: 1,152
    Do you have a family member or friend who could come with you for support and be a sounding board?
    Well done for standing up to the Head and looking out for your daughter; there should be more understanding especially as you have a diagnosis to explain the situation!
    Keep strong and I hope the visits go well.
  • webbwebb
    Posts: 2,581
    Hi, there are several different types of schools, such as-
    Mainstream with ASD Resource Unit
    LA Special School
    Independent Schools
    Independent Specialist Schools (for AS/HFA/PDA)

    The Anderson School in Chigwell, Essex said they would be taking PDA Children from Sept 2018 - give them a call! (The school was new Sept 2017 and NAS)

    The staff in which ever school you feel is right, should definitely have had PDA Training, otherwise it may be no better than her mainstream.
  • Thank you for your suggestions. I will definitely have a look at the school in Chigwell. It’s a fair distance but worth a look.

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