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Looks like the fight is beginning

(28 Posts)

I knew this was coming but am feeling unaccountably put out and stressed by it!

LEA are in the process of assessing for statement. DS (3 and a half) is on a home ABA programme and they are well aware of that. I wrote to them last week alerting them to the fact that we are going to be wanting to ask for ABA school. I knew full well they were not just going to roll over at this stage and so "ok, go on then"! But their response letter today is really perverse and got my goat (as my late granny would have said).

Their reasoning for why "the Panel did not agree" to the request that he be assessed for the ABA school is that he is making progress and his concentration has "vastly improved", so they are of the view that "a behaviour managament programme was not neceassary" to meet his needs.

WTAF? So because he is doing well on the ABA programme, this means he does not need it? This seems like saying to a diabetic on insulin, well you are doing so well on the medication that you don't need it so we will stop it.

It is also the case that while he certainly has demonstrably improved on the prgramme, he is still totally non-verbal, not toilet trained, has an attention span of a couple of minutes, is demand avoidant and has challenging behaviours including headbanging. Does that really sound like a child who does not need behaviour management? Grrrr.

I phoned IPSEA and the lady was extremely helpful. Helped me calm down a bit! She told me not to start firing off letters to them right now but to wait for the propsed statement and then focus on Part II and Part IIIB, making sure all the needs and required provision were in there before I focused on the school issue. So I sahll do that then (although fingers are itching over the keyboard to write and tell them what i think of their erverse logic!).

Sorry it's a bit long, just needed to offload a bit!

It is in Part 3, but I will certainly be looking for them to quantify what "intensive" means.

lougle Sat 02-Feb-13 16:25:50

If it's in Part 3 they have to provide it. Bear in mind though that unless it's quantified you can't hold them to an amount if hours. Check that they aren't looking to name your home program until school age then another provision after.

sickofsocalledexperts Sat 02-Feb-13 15:37:58

I think so - my ABA stuff is under Education and Provision in part 3 and they certainly legally had to provide it. Then Part 4 is where. I'm no legal expert, but it worked for me

Am I right in thinking that what they list under "provision" they have to provide, basically?

sickofsocalledexperts Sat 02-Feb-13 15:24:10

Quite possible btw that they don't know VB is ABA

sickofsocalledexperts Sat 02-Feb-13 15:23:40

I know this is a bit controversial, but I never cared too much about all the verbiage in the statement - just what is said in part 4, what it said in the budget statement (ie what they'd pay) and that it mentioned ABA. Mind you, a pal has had very good outcomes from getting one particular phrase in her statement: "child needs 1-to-1 teaching")

I thought so too. And not just VB but "intensive VB". I wondered if they have made a mistake and don't realise VB is ABA?

Now have to figure out my clever response. Not everything in the statemnt is right (they have totally played down his behavoural issues and demand avoidance for example)so I need to go through the things they need to change.

sickofsocalledexperts Sat 02-Feb-13 13:55:54

Wow! Even getting those 2 letters - VB - in the statement is a major result!

Well this is odd. The Proposed Statement arrived today. I have not had time today to do the going through with a fine tooth comb that i obviously will, bu what stands out is that they have put "intensive VB" on the provisions part. This seems good (it is indeed the form of ABA we are using now), and out of kilter with their previous letter saying he didn't need behaviour managament! It seems to me to open the door for argument bith for some funding for our home programme, and for continuing to press the ABA school route (if now now then later).

I have to work this weekend, but the next few evenings and any free time will obviously be involved with a forensic analysis of this proposal ahead of the 15 day deadline for me to reply.

sickofsocalledexperts Wed 30-Jan-13 08:13:34

Two other thoughts it is best to mention that you are doing ABA in order to ready DS for eventual full time ms inclusion. They like to see an endpoint. And also, employ Fiona Slomovic and play good cop bad cop.

bjkmummy Tue 29-Jan-13 20:57:24

yes to the evidence at the end - i did something similar and its quite fun at the moment listening to the LA bleating how it wasnt fair as they didnt get any reports !!!! theyve tried to argue for more time to get them and tribunal told them to go away and stop bleating so as long as you serve them before the deadline tribunal will back you up

I also like the idea of serving a large bundle on them on the last day for evidence admission. Will keep that in mind!

Thanks for all the honks and support! I particularly like the idea of a charming and unstoppable Terminator; c'est moi from now on!

I think what really got me about today's letter was that they are already using the very points I have been making to everyone about the progress he is making on his programme (agreed by all the professionals, even their own EP), to turn around against me! Yes he is making progress but no, we won't agree that is an argument in your favour, we will somehow by a weird logic twist it to make our own point. I just thought that is a really unexpected low blow to start with!

sickofsocalledexperts Tue 29-Jan-13 15:37:51

For any Wire fans, the quote that sums this all up for me: "it's all in the game".

It is just a job for them: their boss wants them to save money and their own performance at work probably looks better the more ABA they turn down.

I used to work in a v cut-throat industry, so think it is best for the soul not to personalise any of this stuff.

Just keep ploughing on. Like a polite, charming Terminator figure! You cannot be stopped!

Shellywelly1973 Tue 29-Jan-13 14:12:55

Honk Honk- look after yourself.

AgnesDiPesto Tue 29-Jan-13 14:06:59

Yes it is different. I've advocated and litigated for others but totally different when its your own, loads more stressful. And SEN / ABA requests have a funny way of bringing out the worst in LAs and making them super aggressive in their tactics which it is hard not to take personally.

I would not worry, agree sit tight and wait and see what the statement brings - no point fighting every detail. If you know they will make you go to tribunal to get ABA then 'keep your powder dry' until you have to submit evidence for that. Everything you tell them they will start working on a rebuttal to and tie you up in knots, so better to wait and hit them late in the day with a whole heap of evidence.

LA told tribunal DS had no behaviour problems. They were so anxious to keep any mention of behaviour out of statement (so to prove ABA unnecessary) they would not allow us to put in wording about challenging behaviour. Our advocate suggested maladaptive behaviour - which lets face it you can't have autism and not have maladaptive behaviour and they even objected to that. However their own EP observation recorded DS pushing a child in the face when she tried to take his toy so they had no chance.

Just note all the points and possible tactics and gather your evidence then as ouryve says whack them with it at the last minute. I took great delight in serving 2 lever arch files of evidence rebutting all their stupid points on the last day for evidence 2 weeks before tribunal when it was too late for them to do anything about it.

ouryve Tue 29-Jan-13 13:09:33

Or you could just let DS at them with his iPad grin

ouryve Tue 29-Jan-13 13:09:08

Such wonderful logic sad

I'm sure you've been documenting in minute detail what you've been doing with him and the progress he is making as a result, and I'm sure it's quite a thick wad to proverbially whack TPTB over the head with when the time comes.

Honk honk!

zumbaleena Tue 29-Jan-13 12:48:03

willowcat...very good idea....of trying to pick up the relevant points from a report and not getting upset about the rest of the stuff. BUT saying that, I often find myself becoming more of a therapist than a mom to my kid.

Yes I am really trying not to personalise it! My job entails a lot of very similar type stuff, applying for highly expensive services for my patients and fighting for them against authorities who refuse to fund them, going to court and Tribunals, all that. I don't get stressed out about that , but it is different when it is your child!

willowthecat Tue 29-Jan-13 12:43:22

I do this now and it is so much easier. I read a SALT report in about 30 seconds last month and took from it only what I needed to advance my position. At the beginning I would have spent a lot of time reading and re reading and getting pointlessly upset and annoyed.

willowthecat Tue 29-Jan-13 12:41:22

One good way to get away from the annoyance factor is to imagine ds is a friend's child and you are responding on her behalf - in some ways this is accurate as the person writing the letter has no clue whatsoever who your ds is or what he can do or not do, it is just a a very general excuse that he or she hopes will fob you off, it is not a personal response about your ds

Honking! It's not nice. You need to find a way to stay calm throughout this as the 'excuses' for not awarding ABA will get more and more stupid and despite that our culture allows those excuses to prevail as common sense.

Practise Exercise or meditate and factor in at least one night a week for a holiday where you don't let your brain think about it, or you will think of nothing else and not be as effective in the long run.

zumbaleena Tue 29-Jan-13 12:09:47

honk honk!

Handywoman Tue 29-Jan-13 11:41:09

I mean with. No excuse for my typos I am home alone (and still Honking).

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