Some advice please - DS starting school Sept '14(1 Post)
Little bit of history first:
DS will be 4 in March, has been at nursery since he was 10 months old so the girls there know him very well and were able to flag up certain points that they felt he would benefit from being observed by the Early Years Specialist Teacher. He has been going through speech therapy as well and making good progress there.
Their concerns were that his play is solitary, didn't readily make eye contact, no social relationships had been formed, and if he isn't completely engrossed by something then his default setting is to pace, skip, hop, jump, gallop or run around the room or garden.
The EYST duly came and observed him and recommended that we apply for SCAF funding to allow the nursery to dedicate 1:1 time with him, encouraging him to socialise in small groups of 3 or 4.
He was awarded 10 hours per week until July next year which we were thrilled with, and he has been doing very well, naming some of the other children and taking part in his IEPs.
So, November comes along and we start to look at schools for him. We have a top 3 in mind before we go along to look and the school that is furthest away from us is at the top because when we went to the open day, we asked to speak to the Inclusion Manager and she took us into her office although there were loads of other parents that would have appreciated the chance to talk to her, she spent 15 minutes with us, talking about his Statement and how they would support DS if they were directed to take him, or if we get through on choices (unlikely).
The other two schools are federated with each other and every day for the last week I have called or emailed to try and get their Inclusion Manager on the phone, or to book a time to go and visit the schools and sit down with her. I've not heard anything from her (they have told me that she only works part time, and is covering for a teacher who sadly died), and am being buffered by the Office Managers and Receptionists who just say that she will get back to me when she has the time.
I sent in our assessment request letter last week to our local AEN and was called the next day by DS' Case Manager. We have elected to go on the Pathfinder Scheme for the EHCP and hopefully get his Statement through in time to choose our number 1 school. I'm meeting with her on Thursday to really start the process.
I took DS to the GP at the weekend to ask for a referral to the Community Paediatricians and was asked to send in the reports from nursery, a letter from us to detail what he is like a home, the EYST and anyone else who might be able to give us evidence of DS and what he is like.
I am gathering that now and will get it back to the GP by the weekend.
The GP said "I'm not worried, he is making eye contact, he's being a good boy". Great, says I, but this is DS on a great day, being receptive, and it is just 3 of us in the room, not really a comparison for a busy classroom of 30 children.
I'm really looking for some advice as to what to do about the schools that we are going to have to put down as 2nd/3rd choices. Would you wait meekly for the Inclusion Manager to call you back, bearing in mind that they are the person who will be responsible for supporting DS if he has to go to that school? Or would you ship up at the school 'on the off chance'?
Unfortunately I work full time in London, although am planning on going part time by the time DS starts school (or chucking in work completely if he has to go to 2nd/3rd choice school). I am off this Thursday to go and see the Case Manager so was thinking of turning up and trying to get some face time with her.
I'm also concerned about the Statement. The nursery are great, they have been gathering evidence for his Appendix B and we have got everything crossed that they will assess him. Has anyone else's DCs displayed similar characteristics, and did you get a Statement?
Sorry for such a long post. This situation is so out of my control and I am feeling very lost. I hate to think of my happy little boy going to school and not being supported.
I really would appreciate any advice or letting me know how you got on?
Thanks in advance xx
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