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Statutory Assessment Refused for ASD + delayed expressive language child

(82 Posts)
2006hildy Thu 20-Dec-12 22:12:34

Their reasons:" The Panel acknowledge your parental concerns that ds is not making progress and that you understand that his progress is affected by his difficulties associated with Autism, however the Panel noted from the evidence submitted that ds is making progress both academically and socially with the support that has been put in place.

Based on the evidence considered by the Panel ds's difficulties do not appear to be impacting on his learning and academic attainment levels. The levels reported within the documentation provided as part of the request for Statutory Assessment show that he is making academic progress and is responding to the interventions put in place.

The Panel were pleased to see that the school have a good awareness of ds's needs and have implemented an appropriate level of support in order to address these needs. The school report that they are catering for ds's present needs and are able to seek support and advice from professionals, including Speech and Language Therapy Service, Communication Disorders Team and the Educational Psychology Service when needed and will continue to monitor ds's progress. The Educational Psychologist substantiates this and notes in her report that the school are demonstrating good, inclusive practice in the way they are supporting ds and this opinion is support by the progress he is making."

1. Reading this has made me feel as though they have extracted the positive points from all the reports and made them look even better.

2. He is making only very limited progress. He was averaging P4 when he should have been on level 1 so nowhere near the National Curriculum.

3. They did not mention his Speech even though I gave them all this information:Speech
Although George is described as having delayed expressive language, he has a speech delay of at least three years. As he is getting older he is finding it difficult to work at a more formal level as the language is becoming more complex. Specific aspects are describing it under five headings.

Attention
He has difficulty in all situations, especially when the teacher is addressing the whole class. He is easily distracted and requires constant refocusing. He often has single channelled attention, for example, on Thomas the Tank Engine. We suspect that the problems that he has in taking part in activities may be that he does not understand what is happening.

Receptive speech.
George responds slowly and sometimes only to part of an instruction. He may repeat an instruction instead of responding to it. He relies on visual information.

Expressive speech.
Is very limited, he does not speak in sentences, using only two or three word combinations, using only the most meaningful words e.g. toilet, I want Thomas.

Diction
Is very variable, some words are very clear, others are very difficult to understand, even for his parents.

Interaction
He is reluctant to interact with other children and shows isolated and poor imaginative play.

4.They are able to seek support and advice from professionals, including Speech and Language Therapy Service - seen 10 times a year
Communication Disorders Team - last seen in June
Educational Psychology Service - only seen in April

Unbelievable! I will appeal of course and will note all his needs and complexities from reports which they totally overlooked.

Can you help us put our appeal together with all your comments and advice please. Thank-you

lac13ma1 Sun 23-Dec-12 23:23:46

Here's a link for the ipsea refusal to assess pack.
www.ipsea.org.uk/What-you-need-to-know/Going-to-a-SEND-Tribunal/Refusal-to-Assess.aspx
Hope this will help. X

2006hildy Tue 25-Dec-12 07:06:16

Happy Christmas everyone.
All you appealers are loosing me because I am starting to feel it’s not worth it. I feel so miserable now. (Not that I don’t want to appeal) In terms of: we are getting nearly as much support as we probably would get with a statement. To go the extra distance doesn’t seem to be of much benefit. -Just the security of having him assessed and a legal document. Looks like we are stuck as ds is not severe enough then. Or do I prove that they have been negligent on SALT interventions more than anything else by not providing enough information. They have told us he is making progress via the academic route.

Thank-you Star is there anymore or was that the crux of the appeal?

2006hildy Wed 26-Dec-12 00:59:09

Has anybody used video evidence to show lack of communication progress?

wasuup3000 Was loads of your evidence from independent professionals?

I feel soo bad that's why I am up in the middle of the night again.

2006hildy Thu 27-Dec-12 21:25:47

Anybody gone through appeal stage without independent reports?

lougle Thu 27-Dec-12 21:31:25

Hildy, I think you do need to think about what you are trying to win here. What will a statement gain you? What is the cost?

I think that to have any hope at tribunal, you will need someone to sit with you and look at all your documents, giving you an objective overview of what your argument is and how to phrase it.

Perhaps you should focus your energy on gaining the support of a charity such as SOS:SEN or IPSEA? Then the burden would be less on your shoulders.

sickofincompetenceandbullshit2 Thu 27-Dec-12 22:05:07

I've had 4 SENDIST appeals submitted, no independent reports and none of the 4 tribunals actually happened.

Admittedly, my ds's needs were more clearcut because of his violence and hyperactivity, but appealing is a good thing to do if you a) feel you will get something/ something guaranteed if you win and b) you feel you have the evidence to prove why you need the thing you are appealing for.

I don't think you always need independent reports for appeals BUT more detailed reports will enhance a case if it isn't clearcut.

sickofincompetenceandbullshit2 Thu 27-Dec-12 22:06:12

Sorry, last message wasn't clear: LA backed down in all 4 cases.

mariammama Fri 28-Dec-12 23:32:45

The big advantage of appealing is that it forces the LEA professionals to properly read what you've submitted, and then take a look at the dc for themselves. Sometimes this is done in a Machivellian, -pushy-parent-hounding way. But sometimes the process genuinely focussed their attention, and lots of LEAs will then realise the dc's needs.

Many (sadly not all) then also change their minds about whether simply fobbing you off is really the cheapest and most effective option.

mariammama Fri 28-Dec-12 23:43:21

P4 is quite far below level 1, but a spot level isn't enough. You also need to know his rate of progress. You then compare both of these against his 'expected' progress if properly supported. What is 'expected' should be defined and stated by his teachers / the LEA ed psych etc. The other way of deciding what should be 'expected' from him is your own gut feeling as his parent: if it's very different, that's when expert reports become really important).

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Sat 29-Dec-12 09:40:02

With regard to progress and what is expected you should check out the following posted by lougle some week's ago. www.education.gov.uk/rsgateway/DB/STR/d001092/index.shtml - link to the "DfE: Children with Special Educational Needs: An Analysis - 2012". Chapter 3 of the above linked report deals with progress, and confirms that there is no difference in expectation between children with SEN and without. See if they have similar for KS1.

Refusal to assess means that DS is at SA+ - historically 73% (english) and 65% (maths) of children at SA+ level make progress of 2 full levels between KS1 and KS2. Even if DS were to have a statement with SLCN as the primary need this would only fall to between 65-68% approximately.

You need to be careful about asking the school what their 'expectations' are - DS2's school use historical data of the progress of children with SLD and PMLD to set targets for children at SA never mind SA+. ime 3 lea EPs have never calculated rate of progress and neither have the school. Inadequate progress is a criteria for SA but if the rate is not calculated then it is not necessary to carry out SA - catch 22 and hence independent reports so that parents can calculate it themselves and it not be dismissed as subjective.

lougle Sat 29-Dec-12 13:31:38

Remember, though, that progress isn't defined in the SEN CoP in numerical format:

5:42 Adequate progress can be defined in a number of ways. It might, for instance, be progress which:
- closes the attainment gap between the child and their peers
-prevents the attainment gap growing wider
-is similar to that of peers starting from the same attainment baseline, but less than that of the majority of peers
-matches or betters the child’s previous rate of progress
-ensures access to the full curriculum
-demonstrates an improvement in self-help, social or personal skills
-demonstrates improvements in the child’s behaviour.

So the SEN Code of Practice itself does not hold adequate progress to be 2 full levels between KS1 and KS2, and it is the SEN Code of Practice that the Tribunals must refer to.

If your DS is making 'some' progress, then the core of your disagreement with the LA will be whether that 'some' progress constitutes 'adequate' progress.

For that, you'll need to ascertain what progress has been made (either quantitative (ie. Plevel/Sub-level increase) or qualitative (ie. less exclusions, less incidents in the playground, etc.)

It's tricky to argue on one hand that he should be making x number of levels in progress, if you go on to argue that academic progress doesn't matter without social progress. You'll need to be very clear that these are very separate issues.

You may have posted previously, but what evidence do you have that your DS isn't working to his potential?

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Sat 29-Dec-12 15:35:44

lougle - the issue is that it is impossible to address the SENCOP criteria of 'adequate progress' (academic) unless progress rate has been calculated as even where the gap is growing wider and is not similar to peers with the same starting point 'previous rate of progress' is the catch all phrase. Unless you know objectively what the previous academic rate of progress was it is not possible to compare it to current rate of progress. Therefore it is assumed that current progress reflects capability rather than capability being linked to the meeting of needs.

Unfortunatley it is often the case (pre-tribual) that progress in non-academic areas is not sufficient alone and that it is necessary to also have evidence of impact on academic progress rate or ability to access the curriculum. Often this evidence of impact is or could easily be made available - but only if the progress rate is calcuated over time. This can work in parents' favour both in terms of meeting criteria for assessment but also as an 'early warning'. For example a HFA child may have a progress rate of 4 sublevels per year in some subjects or in KS1 but that this falls to 2 or 1.5 sublevels in other areas of the curriculum or in KS2. This reduction in performance which may indicate unmet social needs would be missed if rate of progress were not known.

I would advise an independent EP report which differentiates between attainment and ability as you need objective evidence that attainment does not meet the expected attainment of a child with similar cognitive ability.

lougle Sat 29-Dec-12 16:14:14

I agree, keepon, but I worry that Hildy is starting from a position of 'well it's quite obvious he's not making progress, the question is, what is being done about it', when the LA (and tribunal) will be starting from a position of 'is progress being made/is it adequate'?

2006hildy Thu 03-Jan-13 11:54:03

Happy New Year Everyone.

I have spoken to the SALT today.

He is not able to do a formal assessment for communication due to his Autism so they have done an informal check sheet to show what he can and can't do.

I have requested a copy of the SALT's files I think through Data protection laws she says her management have to get back to me on that one.

She says his targets are made not to hinder his learning to ensure it keeps up with his learning. I found out his provision is even less now because it is taking him longer to make his targets. So his progress is slowing down? No apparently because the targets may be more difficult. It just does not make sense to me but she has all the answers. Slippery!

lougle Thu 03-Jan-13 19:14:57

Hi Hildy

I think the SALT is saying that they are perhaps giving broader targets that he can work on over time?

What do you mean when you say 'his provision is even less now because it is taking him longer to meet his targets'? Does his time with SALT directly relate to target setting?

2006hildy Fri 04-Jan-13 01:18:27

Hi lougle,

Yes, broader or in her words "trickier" targets that he can work on over time.

Yes, his time with SALT directly relate to target setting. She only visits him when he has met his target and to set new one. I think that is showing "not adequate progress" if she is doing less visits and "the attainment gap between the ds and his peers is widening."

Correct me if wrong.

The photocopying and administration charge including special delivery of the requested data is £40.00.

I still feel utterly miserable and feel like giving up as far as: done what I have written and submit it with hope.

lougle Fri 04-Jan-13 11:55:34

I don't think you can conclude that less visits = 'not adequate progress' or that it = 'the attainment gap between ds and his peers is widening.' in itself.

Don't misunderstand me, both could be the case, but you are missing a few vital pieces of information to make that judgement (or at least, what you have posted misses the information.)

For instance, if the SALT visited and set one target that he was already near to attaining, he might 'achieve' it very quickly. If she then visted and set a target that was completely new and had 3 parts to completion, it might take him longer to achieve the overall target, but he may well have made more genuine 'progress.'

2006hildy Sat 05-Jan-13 01:41:50

Hi lougle, and anyone else,

should I pm you with his SALT report? coz I am struggling I don't think I have a case yet?

lougle Sat 05-Jan-13 06:31:38

sure smile Remember I'm just another Mum though.I'm not qualified in anything other than life experience wrt SN.

2006hildy Fri 11-Jan-13 15:53:02

Here are ds's most up to date levels.
The level in brackets is where he was at the end of Year 1.

Number P6 (P5)
Shape and Space P5 (P4)
Reading P8 (P4)
Writing P6 (P4)

Should I still appeal?

lougle Fri 11-Jan-13 17:46:14

I don't know. Standard progress explained here

He's made 4 NC points progress in reading, 2 in writing, and 1 in number and shape and space in one term of Yr 2?

If he continued at that pace, then at the end of Yr 2 he'd be:

Number P8 (+2 NC points)
Shape and Space P7 (+2 NC points)
Reading 2C (+8 NC points)
Writing 1C (+4 NC points)

Of course, there is no guarantee that he will make that level of progress.

I still think that whether you persue a statement will come down to what provision he needs that can't be met out of the school budget. A statement won't, in itself, lead to more progress or higher attainment. It will only ensure that provisions are legally required.

DD1, for example, hasn't seen an Ed Psych since she was statemented, 4 years ago. She doesn't have individual SALT now, she gets SALT through school in the form of group sessions. OT she gets via the Rainbow Road programme and then the teaching staff liaise with the OT if they need specific advice/review. She actually only sees her paed outside of school now, because it's all done in house at her school otherwise.

mariammama Fri 11-Jan-13 22:52:34

Make sure you find out exactly what interventions are being used in the various areas. Especially the for the fab reading progress. So when they're all removed, and it slows down, you can prove that restarting it is worthwhile.

mariammama Fri 11-Jan-13 23:03:11

Panel considers the "Difficulties do not seem to be impacting on his learning" might be digging themselves a hole, as it seems a bit unlikely optimistic. P5-6 for numeracy is still way below year 2 expectations. Which is a bit hmm for a child with a social-communication disorder, and no other identified learning impairments.

2006hildy Sat 12-Jan-13 10:49:02

Thank-you, Thank-you, Thank-you, for all your good advice as usual.

You guys are my mentors at the moment and feel like it's still worthwhile again today. I shall relentlessly pursue. Just shows you how the system cuts out all those families who are feeling vulnerable and their poor children will never be assessed.

My decision letter is dated 18/12/12 and will be meeting with SALT, EP, Communication Disorders Team, school and SEN officer on Friday next week to discuss the reasons for their refusal. But will get my appeal in well before 18/2/13.

2006hildy Tue 15-Jan-13 16:35:52

Whoa the pressure is on for the Friday meeting re:refusal to assess explanation, as they could back down at any time but probably won't until tribunal.

But as far as I can see it's down to this:

1. I just have to prove that he MAY need help to further improve his communication at tribunal to get a Stat Ass.

2. EVERY AREA of his needs to be making-

3. adequate progress,

4. Especially in Speech and language and social and emotional areas.

Parent Partnership have phoned and will be doing a decent agenda for the meeting on Friday as we only have one and a half hours to sort it out.

I feel calmer now that I worked out these four points as no doubt I will be roasted alive.

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