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Very angry about proposed statement - Bastard LA

(42 Posts)
zen1 Wed 24-Apr-13 14:36:49

I've finally received a proposed statement (only 6 weeks later than they should have sent it hmm) and I've never read such a load of wishy-washy crap in my life. In my parental report, I was very clear that I want DS (ASD) to attend the same mainstream school as my other DCs. I gave clear and concise reasons for my decision (with evidence to back this up). DS's best way of learning would be in MS with 1:1 support.

Well, the LA have completely ignored this, named a unit in the opposite direction to where I currently have to take DCs (I don't want him to attend a unit), and have not quantified or specified a single piece of provision he will receive. Lots of sentences begin: 'DS will be supported to meet the following objectives..to develop his play skills, to develop his speech/language, to develop his self-help skills...blah,blah"

There are other sentences beginning "DS will be given the opportunity to..." As I said, nothing is quantified and no actual 'provision' is mentioned. There is lots of talk of "visual support" in the form of signs and symbols which we have never used as DS's understanding is good and he can talk (although he does have language delays). Infact, he ignores symbols.

I am so worried that he will end up somewhere where he is set up to fail from the outset. Obviously, I am going to send back the form saying I disagree with the outlined provision and their choice of school, but what is the best thing I can do to enhance his chances of getting 1:1 in mainstream?

Any advice very gratefully received

bialystockandbloom Thu 25-Apr-13 18:24:30

It's quite good news if the pre-school disagree already with the LA Ed Psych report - you/they can argue they have a much better, in-depth idea of him and his abilities. Are they backing you up on this, and was their report what you wanted to see? If so, keep referring to that too in your response to the LA.

Are you looking for ABA support in MS school?

zen1 Thu 25-Apr-13 18:32:52

I think I know what you mean Star. Out of interest, did you get your LA to fund ABA (think I joined MNSN just after your DS started primary, so I wasn't sure)? If we had a SS round here that I truly believed would meet DS's needs, I would have no hesitation in sending him, but there is no such provision.

I've researched the unit a bit more that they want to send DS to and it is ASD specific. The irony is that all the specialists recommended he was not put in the ASD class at the SN pre-school (he was put in general SN class), because they thought it might be detrimental to his emerging social skills {hmm]

No Zen we lost our tribunal as the LA threw more expensive provision at us on the day of the hearing that looked impressive to the judge, plus one of the panel members was a well-known ex-LA EP who was notorious for hating ABA and a Judge who was brought in on a salary to meet demand and didn't recognise the 7 areas of learning that the HT droned on and on about killing valuable time, as being nothing other than the National Curriculum and he thought it was something special this particular school was offering. hmm

zen1 Thu 25-Apr-13 18:56:13

bialy, I'm not looking for ABA support at school, just 1:1 with a TA to help him access the curriculum. I've read some ABA books and kind of apply little bits at home, but I'm nowhere near a true ABAyer grin

Yes, MS pre-school was very supportive and I have all their SIPS sheets, reports and personal statements to show DS's progress there. His key worker even volunteered to be a tribunal witness if necessary.

zen1 Thu 25-Apr-13 19:00:33

That's awful Star. You're well out of that LA now though aren't you (though you shouldn't have had to move!)? It's so frustrating when you're dealing with people who aren't as informed as they should be.

Well if we'd won it wouldn't have worked. The sheer arrogance that runs through that LA and all who sail in her is something I am well rid of.

Daft additional issue but I really got cross about their pavements. They kept them in an awful state and then for 'environmental' reasons decided to switch all street lights off from midnight. Just one additional reason to move imo grin

zen1 Thu 25-Apr-13 19:29:53

Shouldn't laugh, but that is actually quite funny - can just imagine people trying to totter home in the pitch black after a night out grin. I grew up in your old LA, so probably a good thing I moved away (not that where I am currently living is much better!)

bialystockandbloom Thu 25-Apr-13 20:11:00

Tbh I suspect they'll back down pretty quickly if presented with clear evidence (eg from his pre-school, and especially a competent indie Ed Psych). It sounds like the usual thing of them just trying it on, seeing if they can get away with the waffly rubbish that, sadly, some parents probably accept if they don't realise what more they could get.

When I was at your stage, I looked at the ACE guide to checking a statement - think they shut down recently so not sure if it's still online but will see if I can find a link. It was really helpful (as was IPSEA - have you looked there?)

bialystockandbloom Thu 25-Apr-13 20:13:42

Ok so I was wrong, they haven't closed! Not sure why I thought they had but anyway - here's the ACE guide for checking statements - really helpful.

lottieandmia Thu 25-Apr-13 20:19:57

zen1 - hmm what you describe at the unit does not sound good. I'll never understand why anyone thinks that children with ASD need to sit at stations doing shape sorters etc if they already have basic skills! And if your son is quite HF then it's very reasonable for you to want him to be around suitable role models, especially at 4. Have you thought about getting an independent Ed Psych to write a report which will more accurately reflect his profile?

The problem is that what should happen is for the LEA to assess a child's needs and then provide something to meet them but what they really do is to look at what they have and then work backwards from that to make the child fit the provision. Because of this you often get LEA EPs writing reports that are in bad faith angry

eatyourveg Thu 25-Apr-13 20:37:50

if you have trouble hanging on to get through to IPSEA they do a call back service now where you book a time slot for them to ring you. see here

MareeyaDolores Thu 25-Apr-13 20:46:38

Sometimes the ed psych has been exposed only to very selected evidence about a dc, because the file is hidden somewhere 'unavailable' while they prepare the report. It has been known for then to be forced to cut a visit short by being summoned back to base early. The report will reflect this nonsense: Garbage in, garbage out.

Now, they ought to refuse to work under such conditions, and carrying on regardless can put their professional registration at risk. Problem is, constantly insisting on everything being done properly isn't popular. And a P45 won't pay the mortgage.

If you present the full evidence to te EP and make it clear you expect a proper, professional job, it's very likely you'll get some improvement on the shoddy advice. The risk is that they have already totally succumbed to the culture of a nasty LA, and instead use the info to stitch your dc up.

Thankfully, this isn't (yet?) the norm.

zen1 Fri 26-Apr-13 13:31:59

Thanks everybody for helpful comments and advicesmile. Bialy, thanks so much for linking to the ACE guide - I shall be going through it with a fine-tooth comb!

I did finally get through to IPSEA just before they closed the line last night and I was very glad I did as they pointed out that it is actually illegal for the LA to have named a school in part 4 of the proposed statement. I've also been on to my local Parent Partnership (which I was a bit wary about approaching as I know they are funded by LA), but they were actually really good and said they are used to the LA dealing out poorly defined provision in part 3 and have offered to get another parent to go through the whole thing with me and help re-write so that all provision is quantifiable and specific. At least now I feel I have a starting point in how to repond constructively (think if I'd have contacted them yesterday, they would have received a letter full of vitriol and expletives angry).

Mareeya, the 'garbage in, garbage out' notion really resonates grin

sweetteamum Fri 26-Apr-13 17:25:11

That's great that Parent partnership are going to get someone else to go over it with you.

When I tried to give pp the benefit of the doubt they said I should highlight anything I wanted taking out/putting in as I know dd best and it wouldn't do any good them seeing part 2.

I just can't get my head round specified and quantified bit as pp told me it looked fine - and it doesn't!

zen1 Fri 26-Apr-13 17:54:12

Sweeteamum, I know that support from P Partnership can be really variable so I wasn't expecting much from them. It's hard when you have to research it all yourself and you're not sure how to approach it.

sweetteamum Fri 26-Apr-13 18:39:59

Keep us updated how you get on. We are both at the same stage. I will be watching your thread with lots of interest smile

zen1 Fri 26-Apr-13 19:56:09

Will do. Good luck with yours smile

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