Here some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on SN.
Right. About 5 weeks ago, my DS1's dad rang SS and told them that I was 'making things up' about my DC's health.
SW came out, saw massive bundle of 15 years worth of medical paperwork.
I thought that would be case closed.
SW spoke to health, namely the old HV (not my HV any more...) who said she felt that I was 'over-exaggerating' their health issues.
Why would she say that? Because she advised a MS nursery for DS3, yet MS Nurseries all said they don't feel that they can manage DS3's dairy allergy without FT 1-2-1 help.
So I personally found a perfect SN Nursery.
Also had a specialist pre-school assessor out to decide about Portage.
She said her report to the pre-school education board would be sensory integration therapy, Portage in the home until DS3 starts Nursery, and a recommendation that DS3 attends the SN Nursery that I had sourced!
Old HV disagreed, stating that she felt that he needed to be around 'developmentally normal' DC's at Nursery for them to model 'proper' behaviour to him...
Ultimately though, pre-school assessor agrees that he has issues, SN Nursery teacher and HT agree he has issues...
BUT, as old HV has said I'm 'over exaggerating' DS3's issues, the SS case isn't closed and he wants to cone out again on the 15th.
Are they looking at FII?!
I'm actually scared now.
This happens every time I try to push for the help that my DC's need.
I'm NOT over exaggerating their issues - health wise they have the dxd issues they have, and they also have the other issues that aren't fully dxd that I'm currently attempting to get dxd. (Autism - currently DD and DS2 are down as 'Autistic traits' but have never had a formal assessment.)
What do I do if they are looking at FII?!
I really need some help and advice here.
To put things in perspective, I have had prior involvement (10 years ago) with CP, on the basis that when DD was born I was still under 18 and on the 'at risk' register myself, which meant that DD automatically went on there.
I had ongoing issues for about 4 years (I drank too much for a bit, I lost twins and asked SS for some support as DD was hard to manage and they put her in FC for 2 weeks about 14 years ago...)
I'm now tee-total, and that issue has gone.
No proper involvement from the for 10 years except when they have received malicious calls from Ex's - about 6 times previous to this one, last one being around 4 years ago, but before this, nothing major - come out, see the house & kids, then close the case.
SW DID seen shocked by the fact that neither the Primary or Secondary here invite you in to do IEP meetings. I know they should, and tried to fight it for the first 4/5 years of being here, but I just accepted that at these two schools, they don't do that - which they don't, it's not just me they don't bring in!
These issues AREN'T fabricated, they are really very real, but I get threatened with this every time I try to push for the help and support my DC's should have.
Is it because I'm in North Essex?
God, how bad is it if they are looking at FII?
Could I lose my DC's?
Yes, I think that's reasonable.
In the letter of complaint I am drafting to the
fuckwits children's mental health professionals who referred us , I am going to point out that DS2 cried about it.
I would have been happier taking them to the SS offices than it being done at the school!
I'm certainly not going to go stellar about it, much as I might like to. I'm going to treat it as a cock-up for now, and ask them politely not to change these appointments without contacting me first so that I have a chance to talk to my DC's first to explain that a lady will be coming to see them, as DS1 was worried that he was in trouble when he was called out of class, and couldn't work put what he had done wrong!
So it did upset him a bit, and I feel I have a right to politely point that out.
One other potential point of contention for the SW... the child's home is NEVER considered neutral ground. Neutral ground is somewhere that neither party involved has an increased comfort level or familiarity (like a coffee shop or a community meeting place). The SW's office, or the school might tip the scales in the favour of the SW, but "at home, upstairs" is definitely not neutral.
Consider it a test - and respond accordingly.
Yes, what MD said. Truly, truly, I'm not trying to minimise the fact that it was stupid and wrong BUT I don't see it as a red flag or a deliberate attempt to undermine you. If another thing happened like this, then yes it would be a concerning pattern. Now it's at the stage of probable cockup I think.
When NZ SS interviewed my son at school he just refused to engage and played with toys instead
good boy which obviously hampered their investigation :-)
Of course, if FII was officiaaly alledged, itd be a fab fast-track route to a once and fr all decent comprehensive external second opinion on all the dc. Hypermobility and AsD expert with a dash of allergy.
Scuse typos, new bargain price tablet and its rubbish.
Professionals routinely undermine parents. Best not to take it personally, unless you're in a position to do something about it.
What justa said, from a don't worry viewpoint.
Id be spitting feathers if a SW came to talk to the dc at school against my expressed wishes and without my knowledge. I would lose my cool completely if that upset my dc and was used as a point of criticism.
So id be at serious risk of getting overexcited about a point of principle, which is probably not a good approach when trying to show how reasonable you are :-)
You could either ignore their error altogether, or ask them to let the children know beforehand, the next time they want to speak to them. As you can only give the dc warning if you've been told yourself. I wouldn't manage that politely though so id need to go for the 'ignore it' option.
Is it? It's been such a long time since I have had this amount of SW intrusion into my life, and their agreeing to something with you but saying or doing something entirely different behind your back.
I'm determined not to be paranoid, but I am slightly concerned right now, not so much paranoid but concerned.
I think it's small beer Couthy. They listened to you and they decided to do it differently. Perhaps their boss preferred them to do it at school. That's not a big deal.
The social worker talking to DS1 may have just said "you know about this, don't you, your mum said she would tell you" and expected him to agree.
Do not panic yet. This is still - in my mind - routine stuff.
And I can't understand why they would undermine me in my DS1's eyes by telling him that I had said I was going to talk to them before she saw them, yet seeing them 3 days early when I wasn't going to tell them during the school week.
It just feels VERY undermining of me as a parent.
Hmmm...I'm a bit concerned. SW booked an appointment to speak to DS1 and DS2, upstairs at my home without me, for Monday afternoon.
After school yesterday, DS1 & DS2 tell me that she saw them in school, which I had specifically asked them not to do, as I felt that the school wasn't 'neutral ground'.
Obviously, as I wasn't expecting them to be seen until Monday, I hadn't broached the subject with DS1 & DS2.
The worst of it is that the SW acted all 'surprised' that they hasn't been told, and even told DS1 that she "Thought your Mum was going to tell you about this visit first".
Which I feel is quite undermining, as DS1 came out of school and asked me "Why didn't you say that a SW was going to talk to us, she said that you had said you would tell us first".
This isn't a good sign, is it, that they booked an appointment for Monday at my house and then ignored that and did it on the Friday at school instead?
It feels like my Parental Responsibility on decision making saying that I didn't want this done at their school, but at home upstairs, on neutral ground has just been ignored.
I'm now VERY concerned.
Why would they do this?
I didn't realise that SN Nursery was seen as so 'stigmatising'. Does that mean that every DC that attends an SN Nursery is stigmatised for life?!
I can't think of a single job application, for example, that asks which Nursery you attended...
And I'm already looking around for a
better MS Primary, and have probably found one, where they already have Makaton trained staff, things like that. Which the one I currently have DC's at doesn't.
And when DS3 starts Reception, DS2 will be starting Secondary, do I won't have a sibling link anyway.
Their current Primary was never one I chose anyway - when we moved to this area, due to me working nights, DD was in Y2, on SA+, so a mid-year SEN transfer to a school that was the only LA controlled school locally, all the rest were VA schools, who set their own admissions and wouldn't go over 30.
And the school took away all her help when we moved in the November, and the SenCo told me that they would be unable to offer her any help until the new budget in April.
Which I KNEW to be untrue, as the previous school had assured me that the remaining SEN budget for DD would and should be transferred to her new school.
This was my DD, who at 6 couldn't add up to 10, from the age of 5yo till 12yo, her maths target on her IEP was to know her number bonds to 10 - she didn't achieve this until she was at Secondary. Which just shows how little help her Primary gave her...
I knew this wasn't right, and that was the first time I requested the SenCop from the LA, went over it with a fine toothed comb, and made a complaint!
It got DD's
tiny amount of help reinstated though...
Primary school have had it in for me ever since. Especially the SenCo. Who is still the same one 8.5 years later.
The woman will never retire, I think she is part of the furniture of the school...
Thing is, the damn SenCo does more for DS1, who is academically in the top 1/2% of the population for his IQ than she has ever done for DD or DS2 combined, despite DD being in SA+ for her entire time at the school, and DS2 being on SA+ until Y2, and SA until Y3...
I don't bath the younger DC - my Ex does, when he ones round after work to do so. With having seizures, Id never trust myself dealing with a very young DC around water like that.
The over bath shower is for me!
SS are calling this one on the basis of DS1's dad's allegations and the 'concerns' of some health professionals. (Read old HV and old Paed who told me DD was 'on the spectrum somewhere', handed me a bunch of leaflets and left me to get on with it 11 years ago, without a formal assessment that I didn't know was needed back then, I was only 20 at that point...)
Couthy, if you officially need an over-bath shower for yourself, does that mean you really need a wet-room shower to safely bath the younger dc? Cos the DFG builders quotes
are always extortionate cos it's a public sector contract aren't usually as different as you'd guess. If so, you don't need to actively do anything about it yet, other than making minuted comments about the difficulties of bathtime
Yes I totally agree. I am a big fan of TAC/CAF/(Strengthening Families in NZ) but their effectiveness and a positive atmosphere all hinges on the keyworker.
Couthy, who is calling this one and who is in charge?
justa, I know what you mean, you're right.
Couthy somehow does need to make sure someone competent is in charge though... hopefully there will be somebody in the meeting capable of taking an overview. Because the keyworker is what makes TAC work. And if ever there was a family where the TAC approach could be applied really effectively, it's one where the parent has health issues, 3/4 dc have significant SN, an ex-partner keeps making allegations and SS previously had CP involvement.
SN nursery is weirdly (and widely) perceived as stigmatising and life-chance-limiting though. Which is probably the HV's objection. I've never really understood why: most SN nursery dc go on to do quite well in mainstream, often without any additional support. For example: DS1 (with SEN) went to a regular nursery, dd (without SEN) went to an amazing SN nursery in one of their 'reverse integration' places for NT dc, heck, I went to a SN playgroup back in the 1970s and eventually to uni (and I'm widely perceived as 'normal' ---little do they know---), my dad was at special school for 'delicate' dc in the 1950s and he later became a fully qualified skilled tradesman.
Starlight declared herself the keyworker at one of their TACs... that would mean you get to decide the date/ time of meetings plus who to invite
In our area that was explicitly not allowed. I wouldn't try that TBH, it could look presumptuous/trying to overcontrol in the circumstances.
...that sounds positive - hopefully the dc related stuff will start to come good soon as well....fingers crossed for u
On a different note, the SS OT came out to do my assessment, and is going to provide a perch stool, a freestanding grab rail for the toilet, and a shower board to help me get in the bath.
She is also going to request an over bath shower from my Housing Association. If they refuse to stump up, she will go for one through the Disabled Facilities Grant.
And a second hand rail for the stairs - again, request from the HA first, but if they won't do it, then she will, they don't need a grant for that.
So at least I'm getting a bit of help equipment wise.
DS3 will have additional skin prick tests done at the allergist appointment, so that will be firm evidence too.
At least DS3 has his annual allergist appointment the day before the TAC, I won't have the report that quickly, but I can explain what has happened in that appointment if the allergist doesn't go to the TAC.
OT can't change appointment - it was the first available.
SS won't wait any longer than next Thursday for the TAC meeting, they wanted to do it this week, but my Ex isn't off till next week (on a weekday), and as he has PR for DS2 & DS3 same as I do, he has a legal right to be there.
So there's no chance of them postponing the TAC meeting for after the OT appointment.
Preschool lady not likely to be invited to the meeting - a) she would be part of the adult-child ratio at the preschool and b) she hasn't currently got day-to-day involvement with any of the DC's. DS2 left preschool in July '08, DS3 not due to start until Sep '13.
(7 year gap between DC's)
sounds like the SN lady would be good to have in the TAC too. You can ask her yourself if she'd come if invited, then twist SW arms to have her summoned (and if they won't do it, and the meeting is sh**e, it's easily demonstrated that it was unhelpful because the 'wrong' people were there
Quite important to have some continuity for the TAC too. If you were a FII loonymum, it would be really important to have someone there who'd known you and all the dc for years, cos you'd be much less likely to have pulled the wool over the eyes of someone whose seen you over time.
Starlight declared herself the keyworker at one of their TACs... that would mean you get to decide the date/ time of meetings plus who to invite
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