A MUM says she was devastated to be told her severely autistic son would be sent to a mainstream school, not a special school.

Lucy McClure, of Maudlyn Road, Colchester, fears four-year-old Frankie will be unable to cope at Kendall Primary School.

Frankie’s condition means he struggles with his speech, he is not toilet-trained and is prone to violent outbursts.

Mrs McClure, 26, said: “In the statement application process, it asks for the preferred school you feel would meet your child’s needs.

“I asked for Market Field Special School, in Elmstead Market.

“Then I had a call from the head of special needs at Essex County Council to say the panel would like Frankie to attend Kendall Primary, without one-to one support.”

Frankie, currently goes to Lion Walk Pre-school, but is due to start infant school in September.

Mrs McClure said she planned to appeal against the decision.

She added: “I was devastated by the news. It is ridiculous, because it means he will regress.”

She was also critical of the application process, which she said was purely based on paperwork. No one from the council had met her son at any stage before making up their mind.

Mrs McClure said she felt Frankie needed specialist care.

She explained: “He has behaviour issues because of his frustration at not being able to communicate, and he will hit out.

“It takes him a very long time to settle into a new place and he is not toilet-trained. He needs specialist people, which is why we want him to go to Market Field.

“They could cater for his needs and he would be around other people with special needs so he wouldn’t feel different. He is going to get bullied, because five-year-olds are not going to be aware of autism.”

An Essex County Council spokesman said it would meet Mrs McLure’s family next week to discuss the Frankie’s education.

Colchester MP Bob Russell said: “Parental choice should have a significant role in decisions.

“I support the idea of special schools for those occasions when parents feel that is the most appropriate.

“If the mother in question wishes to make an appointment, I would do what I can to help her.”