Go Back   English Forum Switzerland > Help & tips > Family matters/health
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 03.12.2011, 22:14
Newbie 1st class
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Fällanden
Posts: 12
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
shelleyforshort has no particular reputation at present
Special needs support in Zurich schools?

Hello,

We are planning to move out to Zurich from the UK next year (my husband will go out in January actually, we will follow later). We have two boys aged 6 and 4.

Our problem is that our youngest might be mildly autistic and currently receives extra support within a mainstream pre-school in the UK. I have been in touch with a couple of Swiss schools in Zurich so I understand the process we would have to go through when we move and what support could be available to him, but I would like to hear from anyone who has experience of provision of special needs support in particular schools (local Swiss schools or international/bilingual) in or around Zurich. As I understand it, it can vary.

My husband will be working on the east side of Zurich so we are particularly interested in areas within 20/30 mins or so commuting distance of there.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 03.12.2011, 23:30
ecb's Avatar
ecb ecb is offline
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: out n about - it's summer!
Posts: 2,181
Groaned at 8 Times in 8 Posts
Thanked 3,522 Times in 1,309 Posts
ecb has a reputation beyond reputeecb has a reputation beyond reputeecb has a reputation beyond reputeecb has a reputation beyond reputeecb has a reputation beyond reputeecb has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Special needs support in Zurich schools?

Hi Shelley

This is a big subject for a Saturday night!

Might I enquire how you believe you will be funding this special needs support? If you are looking at IV insurance (disability benefit insurance from the State), I am not sure if you would be applicable to this due to rather stringent criteria for non Swiss citizens under the age of 20 particularly where they are not born in CH.

We are currently going through the process of getting our suspected autistic pre school son accepted for IV insurance so that he can attend a special school for children with developmental delay, but this is not in Zurich area so I can not help you with specifics for Zurich. All I can say is that in our Canton, special schooling requires IV insurance support. I am not sure about the position if you are looking at mainstream schooling with specific classroom support however.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 03.12.2011, 23:48
Jim2007's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Kt. Bern
Posts: 2,802
Groaned at 55 Times in 51 Posts
Thanked 3,037 Times in 1,532 Posts
Jim2007 has a reputation beyond reputeJim2007 has a reputation beyond reputeJim2007 has a reputation beyond reputeJim2007 has a reputation beyond reputeJim2007 has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Special needs support in Zurich schools?

My son has Asperger Syndrome and attends the local grammar school here in Kanton Bern.. at this stage he has been with some of this class mates since kindergarten, so it might be a bit different for you.

The first thing that happens when he is about to join a new class or a new class mate joins his class is that the parents receive an information pack, explaining what it will mean to their child to be in class with him. After that the kids get a few seminars along the same lines, explaining about the Asperger Syndrome and showing them what they can do to help.

The second thing is that he has a few one-on-one lessons every week with a specialist where they deal a lot with developing social skills and addressing any issues he might have - like most Aspergers he is highly intelligent and understands his condition very well.

The other thing is that in Swiss schools the emphasis is on the class as a unit, rather than the individual - if you are in the class, then the class has a responsibility for you. This has resulted in a lot of the kids watching out for him, particularly when they go away on trips - making sure he stays with the group, does not forget to take his meds and making sure things go smoothly when they go away over night. Very often Aspergers have little problems that they don't know how to deal, with such as forgetting to bring tooth paste with them - it would never enter their head to ask if they could borrow some... here a few of his class mates really come through for him by jumping in when they see a problem.

All in all, it is working out very well for him
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 04.12.2011, 11:56
Newbie 1st class
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Fällanden
Posts: 12
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
shelleyforshort has no particular reputation at present
Re: Special needs support in Zurich schools?

ecb - I don't get out much

Very good point though. So far I have assumed he will be supported in a mainstream school but he won't be assessed until we get there and know where we are living. And the people I have spoken to haven't mentioned anything about insurance support. I will definitely look into it though. Thank you.

Jim - thank you for describing your positive experiences in Bern. It sounds excellent - information packs for parents of children in the same class and seminars for the children? That's brilliant.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank shelleyforshort for this useful post:
  #5  
Old 04.12.2011, 16:45
ecb's Avatar
ecb ecb is offline
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: out n about - it's summer!
Posts: 2,181
Groaned at 8 Times in 8 Posts
Thanked 3,522 Times in 1,309 Posts
ecb has a reputation beyond reputeecb has a reputation beyond reputeecb has a reputation beyond reputeecb has a reputation beyond reputeecb has a reputation beyond reputeecb has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Special needs support in Zurich schools?

Quote:
View Post
So far I have assumed he will be supported in a mainstream school but he won't be assessed until we get there and know where we are living. And the people I have spoken to haven't mentioned anything about insurance support. I will definitely look into it though. Thank you.
Our personal experience/impression (and it is only our personal experience) is that there is less support in main stream schooling than in the UK. However, there are some amazing centres of excellence in the special schooling sector and the movement between the special schooling sector and the mainstream sector can be very fluid. In particular you might be interested in the Sprachheilschule (of which there is at least one in the Zurich area and I know there are parents on this forum whose children attend that school). They offer specialist support for children with speech and communication problems and (in our Canton anyway) integrate various therapies into the school day. Places are highly sought after and demand always exceeds supply.

In our case, we are preferring to start schooling in the specialist sector mainly because they integrate all sorts of specialist therapies into the school environment, meaning that we do not have to rush around like mad things trying to access various therapies ourselves. The range of therapies available is far in excess of anything we could organise ourselves privately. The school we have found for our son is only a short term solution - most children stay between 2 to 4 years, with nearly all of them moving on to mainstream schooling with teaching support, but not with much specialist therapy support beyond speech therapy in the regular school environment.

Do you know whether you can start the assessment process running even before you move to Zurich? This would be helpful as it is a long winded process at the best of times and you may miss cut off dates for school places (if you have not done so already .. our son's school was organised a year prior to his entrance - the places are now all taken for August 2011).

Sorry if I am sounding not too positive, but forewarned is forearmed. There is a lot of excellent provision out there for your son but you have to know where to go (and who to annoy) to get it.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 04.12.2011, 20:27
Newbie 1st class
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Fällanden
Posts: 12
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
shelleyforshort has no particular reputation at present
Re: Special needs support in Zurich schools?

It would be great if I could start the assessment process before we move, but as I understand it you first have to go the Schulpsychologische Dienst of the Gemeinde where you will be living and we don't know where to live yet! I feel I can't choose a place to live before I know about what schooling is available in the area... hence my original post.

Thank you for your insights into schooling in the specialist sector. It does sound good.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 04.12.2011, 21:23
ecb's Avatar
ecb ecb is offline
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: out n about - it's summer!
Posts: 2,181
Groaned at 8 Times in 8 Posts
Thanked 3,522 Times in 1,309 Posts
ecb has a reputation beyond reputeecb has a reputation beyond reputeecb has a reputation beyond reputeecb has a reputation beyond reputeecb has a reputation beyond reputeecb has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Special needs support in Zurich schools?

Quote:
View Post
It would be great if I could start the assessment process before we move, but as I understand it you first have to go the Schulpsychologische Dienst of the Gemeinde where you will be living and we don't know where to live yet!
Yes you are 100% right .. we were in a slightly similar situation in that we were moving Canton so could not get him assessed and placed in our current Canton, but had no place of abode in the new Canton to kick start the assessment process.

Instead we contacted the main Educational Department of the Canton. After a couple of meetings with them, we were directed by them to a couple of schools who we contacted directly and arranged the eventual placement with them directly. Now the usual channels are falling in place with the already allocated decision. So whilst you are absolutely right about how it is usually done, out of sheer luck (and the goodwill of the people we were lucky enough to get in touch with), we managed to circumvent the process.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 04.12.2011, 21:46
Karenin's Avatar
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: England
Posts: 46
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 25 Times in 12 Posts
Karenin has earned some respectKarenin has earned some respect
Re: Special needs support in Zurich schools?

Quote:
View Post
My son has Asperger Syndrome and attends the local grammar school here in Kanton Bern.. at this stage he has been with some of this class mates since kindergarten, so it might be a bit different for you.

The first thing that happens when he is about to join a new class or a new class mate joins his class is that the parents receive an information pack, explaining what it will mean to their child to be in class with him. After that the kids get a few seminars along the same lines, explaining about the Asperger Syndrome and showing them what they can do to help.

The second thing is that he has a few one-on-one lessons every week with a specialist where they deal a lot with developing social skills and addressing any issues he might have - like most Aspergers he is highly intelligent and understands his condition very well.

The other thing is that in Swiss schools the emphasis is on the class as a unit, rather than the individual - if you are in the class, then the class has a responsibility for you. This has resulted in a lot of the kids watching out for him, particularly when they go away on trips - making sure he stays with the group, does not forget to take his meds and making sure things go smoothly when they go away over night. Very often Aspergers have little problems that they don't know how to deal, with such as forgetting to bring tooth paste with them - it would never enter their head to ask if they could borrow some... here a few of his class mates really come through for him by jumping in when they see a problem
I think this is fantastic. My sons attend a Grammar in Britain and from conversations I have had with them I suspect there are boys in their classes with Aspergers but they are not told about this. It means that they find it hard to accept some of the behavioral characteristics of the boys and also don't understand that their own actions can be misconstrued when they interact with a child with Aspergers. A number of boys have got into trouble because of things they have done unknowingly that have caused upset. This doesn't help anyone.

Can I just add there does seem to be a sense that the British schools are some sort of pinnacle of excellence when it comes to dealing with Special Educational needs. This is not the case. A child joined our local school over a year ago with diagnosed Autism and a year later he is still not receiving any extra support. He is left to do pretty much his own thing whilst the school go through the statementing process. Also remember that this boy spent at leat a year in preschool before he joined the class.

Sorry I can't help with your situation but it might help to know that moving Switzerland might actually benefit your son.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 05.12.2011, 23:26
Newbie 1st class
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Fällanden
Posts: 12
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
shelleyforshort has no particular reputation at present
Re: Special needs support in Zurich schools?

Quote:
View Post
Instead we contacted the main Educational Department of the Canton.
Perhaps that's something I could try, thank you.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 05.12.2011, 23:39
Newbie 1st class
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Fällanden
Posts: 12
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
shelleyforshort has no particular reputation at present
Re: Special needs support in Zurich schools?

Quote:
View Post
Can I just add there does seem to be a sense that the British schools are some sort of pinnacle of excellence when it comes to dealing with Special Educational needs. This is not the case. A child joined our local school over a year ago with diagnosed Autism and a year later he is still not receiving any extra support. He is left to do pretty much his own thing whilst the school go through the statementing process. Also remember that this boy spent at leat a year in preschool before he joined the class.
Good point. I think it can vary so much though. I feel we have been lucky with our current school, but they had been through the whole statementing and diagnosis process at least a year previously with two older boys so by the time my son arrived they knew exactly how best to proceed. They are already funding the extra support my son needs even though he doesn't have his statement yet. It could well have been a different experience entirely at another school.
I just want to get it right in Zurich too!
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 01.02.2012, 18:25
Newbie 1st class
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Horgen
Posts: 15
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 5 Times in 3 Posts
shem has no particular reputation at present
Re: Special needs support in Zurich schools?

Hi everyone, I have just seen this post and may be a bit late in commenting but thought you may want to hear about our own experience. We arrived from UK last Oct, our son (8) was diagnosed with mild autism last year in the UK although it had been suspected since he was 3. Although we had good experiences with the consultant paediatrician and the clinical psychologist who made the diagnosis, who were very supportive and proactive, our experience with the school (one of the best state primaries in UK apparently) was not good. He had one 15 minute session with a speech and language therapist in the last year and that was it. Because he is quiet, he was ignored and left to his own devices.

Before we arrived in Switzerland, we made contact with the local school (once we knew where we were going) and headmaster and he tried to reassure us. In the 3 months we have been here, our son has been seen by the educational psychologist and an action plan has been put in place. He is to receive extra weekly support for his social and communication skills, plus 2-3 hours of speech and language therapy a week. Please feel free to PM me if you want any more information, (we live in Horgen, Zurich lakeside town).

In my humble opinion, the UK may have been able to put lots of money once upon a time into special needs support in mainstream schools, but this has totally dried up. We are very, very, very happy we have made the move to Switzerland - it's been worth it for our son alone. I think you will be fine here - more than fine!

Last edited by Longbyt; 02.02.2012 at 11:25. Reason: Hope you don't mind. I've split this into three to make it easier to read.
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank shem for this useful post:
  #12  
Old 01.02.2012, 18:31
Oldhand's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Zürich
Posts: 3,939
Groaned at 20 Times in 19 Posts
Thanked 6,513 Times in 1,989 Posts
Oldhand has a reputation beyond reputeOldhand has a reputation beyond reputeOldhand has a reputation beyond reputeOldhand has a reputation beyond reputeOldhand has a reputation beyond reputeOldhand has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Special needs support in Zurich schools?

It's good to hear some good news on the English forum, especially in regards to such important things as education and Parents feeling they are supported. Thanks shem.

All the best to you and your family. Hope you have a good experience in Switzerland.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 01.02.2012, 23:32
Newbie 1st class
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Fällanden
Posts: 12
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
shelleyforshort has no particular reputation at present
Re: Special needs support in Zurich schools?

Thanks so much for your post, shem, you're not too late at all! Although my husband is already in Zurich, the boys and I are still in the UK going through the autism diagnosis process. And we haven't found an apartment in Switzerland yet! I'm really pleased to hear of your experiences. My son will need support for his social and communication skills as well as speech and language therapy, just like yours.
I probably will PM you... thanks
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 14.08.2012, 17:38
Newbie 1st class
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Fällanden
Posts: 12
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
shelleyforshort has no particular reputation at present
Re: Special needs support in Zurich schools?

I thought it was time to update this post. My son was eventually diagnosed with autistic spectrum disorder. We arrived here in April and got the ball rolling regarding his kindergarten place. We saw the school psychologist, who initially recommended that he should be integrated into the local kindergarten. The local kindergarten, however, said they didn't have the resources - I think they already had an autistic child and couldn't cope with another!
The psychologist then recommended either the Heilpädogogische Schule in Uster, which has a kindergarten specifically for autistic children, or a Montessori kindergarten nearby. I visited both and decided on the latter. It is sort-of bilingual - certainly there is an English presence which will help the transition. He will get 5 hours a week one-to-one with a special needs teacher and 2 hours of English speech therapy. He will also be supported by an English-speaker the rest of the time (5 mornings at the moment).
(Just as a point of comparison, in England he would have been supported in the classroom by a teaching assistant for 17.5 hours a week, and would have received about 20 minutes of speech therapy per week.)
We are very pleased with this outcome - fingers crossed now that it all works out. Term starts next week!
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank shelleyforshort for this useful post:
  #15  
Old 28.08.2012, 01:35
Newbie 1st class
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Zurich
Posts: 15
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
jobee has no particular reputation at present
Re: Special needs support in Zurich schools?

Welcome to Switzerland, and I'm really pleased to hear such an encouraging string of posts about learning support in Switzerland.
I too moved here to Switzerland from the UK in August, and in case other people read this post in similar situations, I'd just like to mention the Foundation - http://www.foundationsforlearning.ch/ I've just started working for them. We offer assessment and 1:1 support for English speaking children, either in or after school, and we work with most of the secondary international schools in Zurich. We've just started a primary class for children requiring full-time learning support, which runs independently but shares the facilities and inherent social benefits of ICS, and we plan to open a secondary class next year. So if there are people reading this in the future in a similar position, but your children are unable to cope or meet their potential in a mainstream setting, we may be able to offer full-time specialist provision, and we can offer advice on support locally.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 24.08.2016, 22:16
Newbie
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Belgium
Posts: 2
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
marmartuin has no particular reputation at present
Re: Special needs support in Zurich schools?

Quote:
View Post
Hi Shelley

This is a big subject for a Saturday night!

Might I enquire how you believe you will be funding this special needs support? If you are looking at IV insurance (disability benefit insurance from the State), I am not sure if you would be applicable to this due to rather stringent criteria for non Swiss citizens under the age of 20 particularly where they are not born in CH.

We are currently going through the process of getting our suspected autistic pre school son accepted for IV insurance so that he can attend a special school for children with developmental delay, but this is not in Zurich area so I can not help you with specifics for Zurich. All I can say is that in our Canton, special schooling requires IV insurance support. I am not sure about the position if you are looking at mainstream schooling with specific classroom support however.
This is an old thread, but it hits on an burning question we have at this moment: You refer to IV insurance. Our question is: if we move to Switzerland will our son who was born with Kleefstra syndrome be able to receive goverment funding for the special needs school he will have to attend?
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 24.08.2016, 22:44
Niceyes's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: ch
Posts: 119
Groaned at 32 Times in 14 Posts
Thanked 105 Times in 50 Posts
Niceyes has annoyed a few people around hereNiceyes has annoyed a few people around here
Re: Special needs support in Zurich schools?

Quote:
View Post
This is an old thread, but it hits on an burning question we have at this moment: You refer to IV insurance. Our question is: if we move to Switzerland will our son who was born with Kleefstra syndrome be able to receive goverment funding for the special needs school he will have to attend?
I am pretty much sure that no, he will not. The child qualified for the IV has to be born in CH or have a CH citizenship.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank Niceyes for this useful post:
  #18  
Old 24.08.2016, 23:32
Today only's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Europe
Posts: 5,171
Groaned at 630 Times in 409 Posts
Thanked 6,039 Times in 2,895 Posts
Today only has a reputation beyond reputeToday only has a reputation beyond reputeToday only has a reputation beyond reputeToday only has a reputation beyond reputeToday only has a reputation beyond reputeToday only has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Special needs support in Zurich schools?

Quote:
View Post
This is an old thread, but it hits on an burning question we have at this moment: You refer to IV insurance. Our question is: if we move to Switzerland will our son who was born with Kleefstra syndrome be able to receive goverment funding for the special needs school he will have to attend?

Why ? You contributed to Swiss system ?
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 25.08.2016, 10:08
RTN RTN is offline
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Uetikon am See
Posts: 1,198
Groaned at 12 Times in 8 Posts
Thanked 1,275 Times in 576 Posts
RTN has a reputation beyond reputeRTN has a reputation beyond reputeRTN has a reputation beyond reputeRTN has a reputation beyond reputeRTN has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Special needs support in Zurich schools?

Quote:
View Post
This is an old thread, but it hits on an burning question we have at this moment: You refer to IV insurance. Our question is: if we move to Switzerland will our son who was born with Kleefstra syndrome be able to receive goverment funding for the special needs school he will have to attend?
There is no one size fits all for kids with learning difficulties what ever their causes ADHA, Autism ect. There is a lot of information on here if you search, try ADHA, ADD, Autism, while different from your child's syndrome it will give you a feel how it is dealt with here. In general terms all children are integrated into the local school with supplementary help given as required when this is not available or can not meet your child's needs then special schools are available. In our case my son goes to one of these schools but his case is "managed" by the local school requiring annual reviews. Your private health insurance covers any extra therapies required (initially at least) I am not sure of criteria to get invalidity recognised and paid for by the government which takes some time. For you I would look for a support group here and seek their recommendations as it is a rare but specific condition also see which health insurance companies they use as some are better than others for specific conditions go for service not just price. Like all things here it is a process and the more you understand it the easier/quicker it will be, for us we learned more from other parents than the school or community.
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank RTN for this useful post:
  #20  
Old 25.08.2016, 10:20
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: la cote
Posts: 2,863
Groaned at 15 Times in 9 Posts
Thanked 2,243 Times in 1,264 Posts
runningdeer has a reputation beyond reputerunningdeer has a reputation beyond reputerunningdeer has a reputation beyond reputerunningdeer has a reputation beyond reputerunningdeer has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Special needs support in Zurich schools?

Quote:
View Post
This is an old thread, but it hits on an burning question we have at this moment: You refer to IV insurance. Our question is: if we move to Switzerland will our son who was born with Kleefstra syndrome be able to receive goverment funding for the special needs school he will have to attend?
I understand schooling, at least during the mandatory schooling years, would be provided, be that a normal school or a special school depending on the needs and the impact of his condition. However, qualifying for IV, as others have said, is a different matter. IV, if provided, would generally cover therapies and para-medical things that insurance would not cover. That being said, there are some foundations and similar that may provide what your son needs depending on location. A special foundation school was offered to my daughter without cost although technically it was not a state run special needs school, and offered speech therapy integrated there for her needs. I am not familar with Kleefstra syndrome or what it would require.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank runningdeer for this useful post:
Reply




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Special needs therapy - what is this in French? ecb Family matters/health 3 12.07.2011 23:22
Children with Special Needs - Schooling in Basel PaulandDebs Family matters/health 3 27.03.2010 00:01
English/Turkish Speaker Experienced Working with children in special needs. buli Jobs wanted 0 02.10.2008 01:38
Special Needs School in Vaud kbill Family matters/health 4 22.02.2008 11:04
special needs in Geneva comparetto5 Family matters/health 8 20.06.2007 16:11


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 21:50.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
LinkBacks Enabled by vBSEO 3.1.0