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Competing needs - what would you do?

(57 Posts)
KeepOnKeepingOn1 Sat 12-Jan-13 14:41:22

DS2(6) has being undergoing various assessments with SALT and OT and has been referred to the comm paed. It looks so far as if there is SLCD that is secondary to ASD.

There is another boy in DS2's class who fits the bill perfectly for AS/ASD. Textbook. I have spoken about DS1 in particular and behavioural similarities in a subtle way. Nothing. Mum speaks to the class teacher after every day because of behavioural difficuties. Special dispensation is made for the child. Mum (used to be a secondary teacher) will watch him spin and say 'aren't you dizzy' - he looks at her disdainfully and says he never gets dizzy. Dad is an academic (statistics) - so there might be some denial. Parents are very much 'he is terribly bright - that's why he stabs other children with pencils - he is just not challenged'. Mum says behaviour is never problematic at home.

Thing is that a social skills group has been set up for this child - actually a Friendship Circle (why not just go the whole hog and call it a Billy-No-Mates club?). I am not opposed to this. But... this child is not statemented or on SA+ whilst DS2 is on SA+ and has external advice of the need to attend social group. I've been told - sorry we don't have an appropriate one - and the need has not even been recognised whilst another child has a group set up for them without external advise. Dad is the chair of the BOG confused

I am conflicted - I do not doubt that the child needs intervention but the parents seem to be going about this a strange way (provision of SEN resources should be prioritised by need, especially in times of austerity) and it appears to be at the cost of my child. eg he is not provided the 1:1 support he needs because the TA priotises the need of another child. (perhaps if his needs were assessed they would be considered 'severe' but they have not been assessed).

Would you do anything and if so, what?

porridgelover Sat 12-Jan-13 14:58:52

KeepOn I sympathise about being frustrated with looking for resources for your DS.
However, you lost me at the 'Billy-No-Mates club' comment.
You dont know what is going on inside this family, do you?
You dont know if they are on the same road as you, looking for a diagnosis, knocking on doors. And even if they choose to handle their DS apparent needs by burying their heads in the sand, it's not your problem is it?

I too would probably feel annoyed if my DS's needs appeared to be neglected seemingly 'in favour' of another child.
But, I hope no parents in my DS's school judge me/him for the resources I finally got for him. (Although, given that no-one there now speaks to me, I suspect many do).

What would I do? Nothing regarding this other child. I would concentrate on my own DS. If anything, the fact that the school can set up a No Mates Friendship Circle for one, gives you leverage over them to help your DS also.

mymatemax Sat 12-Jan-13 15:24:20

you must concentrate on the needs of your child alone, the needs of another child have no relevance.
If you believe your child is not being properly supported then you must fight for the correct support for your child.
The needs of the the other children and the support they may or may not be getting are linked in no way to your childs needs

lougle Sat 12-Jan-13 15:46:18

You are right to be annoyed that your DS isn't getting the provision he needs. You need to challenge that. Don't spend valuable energy on worrying about this boy. Be assertive, present your evidence.

In actual fact, this boy could have a statement, for all you know, and the Mum could be deflecting.

CwtchesAndCuddles Sat 12-Jan-13 15:50:36

How do you know the other child does not have a dx or statement of SEN, that is confidential information?
You need to put your energy into getting a dx and the right support for your child rather than resenting the help the other child is getting.

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Sat 12-Jan-13 15:59:08

porridge - not the medium to convey sarcasm - billy-no-mates is not critical - I think it was predictable that this child would have problems as a result of social needs not being met. After all he was moved from reception to class 1 aged 4 because he could not cope with the lack of structure. At the time I thought this was storing problems for the future.

The problem is that it does effect me and DS2. Mum monopolises the teacher every day at pick up time meaning that I am unable to speak to her. My child does not recieve the support he needs because the school has made an internal decision to use the TA to support another child. If this child was on SA+ or statemented their needs would not be seen to automatically 'trump' those of other children and resources would not be skewed towards them - if they required the support they would qualify for a statement. It is difficult to explain - the parents have 1:1 support normally requiring a statement because of an internal decision by the school to use the class TA as a LSA. However, it is only possible to do this provided that the other children in the class do not require TA support. DS2 does - hence the conflict.

I have spent years fighting for resources. I am trying to focus on how to make sure that DS2's needs are met - resources have nothing to do with me - I believe that both children's needs should be met, not either/or. But I also think that the principles/rules of the game/fight should be equal for all. I do not think that some parents should have to fight, to gather the data for assessment of need, to acquire external advice whilst other parents do not have to do so. I especially do not think that 'other factors' should influence whether or not the school meets the needs of a child. This issue here is not just the meeting of one childs needs over another (instead of both) but the criteria that is being used to judge whether or not to implement an intervention - ie not based on assessed need/external advice but the idiosyncratic criteria of the school.

I do not want it to be the case that to have your child's needs met it is necessary to be chair of the BOG or to volunteer to give extra maths lessons to the KS2 year 6 group.

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Sat 12-Jan-13 16:15:10

I know that this child is not on SA+ or have a statement, that a statement has not been requested etc. Or rather DH, as a member of the BOG, knows this for a fact. DS2 is on SA+, there are no children in his year with statements and only one on SA+ ie DS2. tbh I have sympathised and stepped back and allowed Mum to monopolise the teacher as I assumed her child would have a statement and I thought her need was greater than mine.

I have emailed the SALT specialist teacher with a copy of DS2's latest IEP as none of the outcomes or recommendations have been acknowledged. I am well used to banging my head against a brick wall and asking for interventions that never happen. I am hoping that they will consider it professionally offensive that they should spend 12 months and hundreds if not thousands in conducting assessments and writing reports and making recommendations and providing resources to be ignored in this way.

I really do not want to prevent another child from having their needs met. On the other hand I am really pissed off - with the school, not the child or his parents. It felt like a kick in the teeth to be refused social skills intervention but then to receive a letter requesting my consent for DS2 to miss core lessons for one afternoon each week for this term to meet the needs of another child.

CwtchesAndCuddles Sat 12-Jan-13 16:23:02

Your dh has no right to give you any information that he is privy to as a school governor! It is a serious breech of confidentiallity. I'm a school governor and fully aware of the rules.

If you feel your ds needs are not being met than talk to the SENCO and request a SA yourself if you don't have backing of the school.

Why have you been asked to consent to your son missing lessons?

zzzzz Sat 12-Jan-13 16:23:52

Rubbish.

You don't know if the child has dx, is statemented, is SA+, and its none of your business. If you need to see CT get there earlier, book an appointment or wait your turn. You don't know how TA is utilised because that is the CT's call.

The fact the other mum has successfully negotiated a "friendship circle
" can only be good if your ds has similar issues. The fact school had enough empathy to move the child from a chaotic class up to one more suited to his skill set is unusually sensible. The fact you don't like the

zzzzz Sat 12-Jan-13 16:27:16

Rubbish.

You don't know if the child has dx, is statemented, is SA+, and its none of your business. If you need to see CT get there earlier, book an appointment or wait your turn. You don't know how TA is utilised because that is the CT's call.

The fact the other mum has successfully negotiated a "friendship circle
" can only be good if your ds has similar issues. The fact school had enough empathy to move the child from a chaotic class up to one more suited to his skill set is unusually sensible. The fact you don't like the plan is unimportant since it none of your business.

I'm sorry but I think you are way off course here. I'm a bit shock tbh, and your characterisation of both boy and parents is horrid.

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Sat 12-Jan-13 16:31:00

DH has not breached confidentiality but has written letters based upon his knowledge wrt our son which I have read. He has not referred to individual children but to data. It is a small school and it is not difficult to translate the data - particularly where this relates to your child.

Believe me I have spoken to the senco. DS1 is currently unable to attend school and receiving medically authorised tuition pending tribunal and he had the same senco so we go well back.

I have been asked to consent to my son missing lessons so that he may help meet the needs of another child.

porridgelover Sat 12-Jan-13 16:43:19

KeepingOn, I apologise for taking your remark out of context; my over-sensitivity rather than your lack of it.

I sympathise again, with the frustration that seems to come across in your posts. It would seem that your DS's school are not moving to meet the needs that have been identified by you and other professionals. I imagine I would be extremely upset to have put in the work that you have done with your DS and for that to apparently be trumped by parents who have the school's ear.

But that's why I would be cautious. Regardless of your source, unless you are a school staff member, it isn't possible (nor desirable) for you to know the whole story.
Try (as hard as it is) to focus only on your DS.

CwtchesAndCuddles Sat 12-Jan-13 16:43:38

He has breech confidentiallity if he has disclosed to you information that is not in the public domaine.

If you are that unhappy with the school why not move the children to another one? If you already have a difficult relationship with the SENCO it sounds like a fresh start would be better all round?

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Sat 12-Jan-13 16:46:13

zzzzz I would not be in the situation that I am in now and nor would DS2 if the school or the senco had an ounce of empathy - they do not. They want to improve their ofsted rating - primarily by encouraging m/c parents with high achieving DC and have said that they cannot afford any more SEN children. I cannot even begin to say how bad this school are/have become wrt SEN.

What bothers me is that this is not equal - they are not equally crap to all and they do not allocate resources based on need. In fact, to some parents they offer services that the rest of us can't access. How do I become one of those parents? Clearly not by just having a child with needs.

DS2 does not have similar issues and would not be helped by this intervention but has very different issues with non-verbal social communication.

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Sat 12-Jan-13 16:57:32

cwtchs I appreciate your opinion and your comments may have been useful - 5 years ago - no offence but now its a case of been there, done that, got the t-shirt. Back off with the confidentiality thing - everybody knows that there is only one child in the school who has a statement (official data) and who the child is (mums talk to each other confused).

ime mums with DC with SEN, especially in the same class, do not seek to hide this from each other, our DC do interventions together, we share the same problems, we set up play-dates for our DC etc.

inappropriatelyemployed Sat 12-Jan-13 17:05:58

I understand your frustration at the lack of resources for your child but I agree, your anger is misplaced.

Firstly, I agree, your husband should not be sharing any data that is not available to all other parents. It could be a data protection act issue and also a confidentiality one.

Secondly, you cannot seriously be suggesting that governors know everything that is going on on the frontline in their schools. Most of us would not have such crappy times battling the system if the heads and sencos were telling governing bodies the whole truth about their practices! It is highly doubtful that you know the whole story.

Thirdly, make an appointment or fix a time to see the teacher daily. Don't resent other parents talking to their teacher about high need children. I am always very conscious that I probably monopolise the teacher because of DS needs, but I come in very early and in the middle of the day or whenever it suits the staff.

Finally, the fact that they have such a high need pupil in the class with such a high demand for help should mean that you have a much better argument for your son to have his own TA.

inappropriatelyemployed Sat 12-Jan-13 17:06:45

Oh and move if the school is so bad. Life is too short to spend bitching about it her children.

inappropriatelyemployed Sat 12-Jan-13 17:08:05

Other children..

porridgelover Sat 12-Jan-13 17:25:01

ime mums with DC with SEN, especially in the same class, do not seek to hide this from each other, our DC do interventions together, we share the same problems, we set up play-dates for our DC etc

If I was the other mum in your school, this would not be the case.
I have kept my DS's issues private, not out of a sense of shame, but I feel the information is his. I dont want him trying to shake off a label later, if he wants to adopt it, fine, his decision.

I would be very cautious with another parent approaching me about their perception of shared issues with my DS.

I cannot even begin to say how bad this school are/have become wrt SEN.
What bothers me is that this is not equal - they are not equally crap to all and they do not allocate resources based on need

^^ It seems to me, this is the issue for you and I am sorry you have so little support from school.
Are there other schools nearby you could access for him?

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Sat 12-Jan-13 17:29:50

IE - I feel I am being misjudged - I repeat I am angry with the school not the child or his parents. I do not feel this is misplaced.

I am angry that the school is not putting in place interventions to meet DS2's needs despite external assessment and advice that the school requested. This cannot be adequately understood unless it is known that at the same time the school is putting in place interventions to meet the needs of another child otherwise it might be assumed that the school are equally crap. They are not - they are selectively crap.

If there is to be a rationing of resources the criteria for doing so should be clear and all should be equally able to access it. I have no problem with the criteria being based upon the needs of the child whether or not they have a diagnosis or a statement. I do have a problem with schools who appear to have idiosyncratic criteria that are not based upon the needs of the child but based on who their parents are (and their ability to meet the number 1 priority of getting a better ofsted rating).

DH is not sharing information that I did not already have or is in the public domain.

School runs are hard enough as DS2 is not able to attend school atm. Maybe the other Mum could see CT early or in the middle of the day to give the rest of us who are less pushy/have another child unable to attend school and have to be home for lea tutor a chance to make contact.

I have already made the argument to the senco that DS2 needs his own LSA - by the way it was the senco who told me that the TA spends her time with this child and this has been confirmed mutiple times by comments made by DS2.

CwtchesAndCuddles Sat 12-Jan-13 17:30:20

You didn't say you knew there was only one child in the school with a statement because the data was publicly available -youir answer implied you knew because of your dh.

"I know that this child is not on SA+ or have a statement, that a statement has not been requested etc. Or rather DH, as a member of the BOG, knows this for a fact. "

I don't understand why you haven't moved your children if the school is really that bad?

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Sat 12-Jan-13 17:42:35

porridge as DC get older ime some decide for themselves whether or not to share their issues/diagnosis - DS1 did.

I have mentioned similarites as I spent some time out of school with the parents when they had to stay with their child at DS2's birthday party. They were embarrassed and so I talked about my experiences with DS1 at birthday parties at the same age. Didn't realise compassion was a crime confused.

The decision whether or not to move him will be make in the near future, when doing so does not create further delay (ie he has a statement)

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Sat 12-Jan-13 17:50:39

cwtches DS1 has now left the school (failed transition to secondary). He joined the school in year 4 (3rd school) as he was developing school phobia at his old school. We had no choice but this causesd delay of around an academic year as difficulties were seen to result partially from transfer.

DS2's SALT and OT assessments have only just been completed and he is still being assessed for ASD as the primary cause of SLCD. Moving him atm would create further delay and he does not want to leave.

porridgelover Sat 12-Jan-13 17:52:39

I'm out of this thread. I am not seeking an argument with anyone who also has DC with SN. It's bad enough in RL.

Would I do anything about another child receiving support from in school?
Yes, I would cheer on the parent who had got support as I bloody well know how hard and long one has to fight to get it. Good luck.

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Sat 12-Jan-13 18:08:18

I believe that the needs of both children should be met. Not either/or.

But they are not. It has been decided that DS2 will not have his needs met. He is the loser. But hey, that's OK because another child is the winner. Forgive me for not cheering. I would feel that this were just as unfair if my child had been the 'winner' and the other the 'loser'. I do not want anyone to lose support - I want DS to have it.

What more can I do?

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