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Clueless - School, Respite, ASD!

(10 Posts)
isy3493 Tue 06-Oct-15 13:13:25

So my son was diagnosed with ASD and CP in march this year. He is 5 and has just started at a mainstream school this September. Im finding it incredibly difficult to cope as the school have reduced his timetable meaning he is only at school for 3 hours per day. most days the school will call me and ask me to pick him up before 12. He has been suspended twice and I just have no idea what to do. we have applied for an EHC for him which I completed myself with SENAR. The school seem to see him as a burden rather that a child that see's the world differently. I have started homeschooling after 12 and am just sticking to a weekly theme and trying to incorporate the academic side that he is missing out on. He is very behind his peers but is capable of learning. Im worried that if he doesn't start learning he is never going to be able to catch up, AND I JUST NEED A BREAK. I so badly need a break. Does anyone on here have any advice about how i should deal with the school as well as any information on respite for me so i can focus on myself just sometimes!! PLEASE HELP ME IM DESPERATE! Sorry if this all seems a bit jumbled my head is all over the place

zzzzz Tue 06-Oct-15 13:27:13

What would happen if you didn't pick him up?

isy3493 Tue 06-Oct-15 13:44:22

truth is I don't know. All i know is whilst he is there he is distressed since he started he has gone from being a lovely bubbly happy go- lucky child to almost unrecognisable, he seems depressed, he's rude and nasty which is the complete opposite to his usual personality. This is why i haven't already not picked him up because I dont want to make the experiance worse for him

zzzzz Tue 06-Oct-15 14:53:43

I think you are supposed to say you will take him home if they exclude him. Then you collect all the exclusion letters and use them as proof that he needs extra support

c4kedout Tue 06-Oct-15 16:16:01

do you get exclusion paperwork from school when you get him early? you really need that.

no advice on respite. At breaking point myself. The first step is usually accessing a Carer's assessment from the LA. you are legally entitled to it to identify your needs as a carer but I cannot even get across this hurdle in my LA. respite is very difficult to get esp if the children are younger (Dd is 8 and I am told this is too young by my LA tough I know this is nonsense).

InimitableJeeves Tue 06-Oct-15 17:16:02

The school is acting unlawfully. I completely understand why you pick DS up when asked, but the trouble is that you are making it easy for them not to bother to do their jobs: if you didn't, they'd have to work out how to cope with him and meet his needs.

I would suggest that you contact the SENCO and say that DS is entitled by law to be in school full time unless he is excluded, and he is also entitled to have his SEN met. Ask her to get urgent advice on how to support him in school so that he is happy again. Tell her that in future if they want him picked up early you will only do so if they issue a formal exclusion letter.

Also, I strongly suggest you contact Children's Social Services. Write or email them to say that DS is a child in need and that you are therefore asking for a core assessment under section 17 of the Children Act 1989. That should result in an assessment at which you can discuss the possibility of respite care and other support, and ultimately they should produce a care plan setting out what help you can get. To be honest, I wouldn't get my hopes too high at this stage, but if you don't get yourself onto their radar you'll never get any help.

Nigel1 Tue 06-Oct-15 18:35:26

1. As he is over the age of five he is entitled to a full-time education. For his age that will be around 21 hours a week.
2. If he is not in school then he's at home on medical grounds i.e. he is ill or has been signed off by a GP/consultant. There is no such thing as an informal exclusion/giving him some extra time/it's for health and safety reasons. None of these things will count unless there is very specific evidence to the contrary particularly on the health and safety point.
3. Anything else is an illegal exclusion by the school unless they have completed the formal exclusion paperwork. There is no ifs or buts about this that is the law.
4. It appears to be clear that the school cannot cope with the way which he is behaving during the day. That may be as a result of his reaction to his new environment or the way that they are teaching him/managing him or a mixture of both.
5. It is clear that the school and you need additional support. The school should be asking for an emergency assessment by the local authority and ask for the specialist advice and support teams to come into school and assess him. The educational psychologist should also by now be involved. If they are not put in writing a request to the school to ask for them to be involved.
6. I would agree entirely with the advice from Jeeves in relation to the section 17 assessment/CAF. A CAF has no statutory framework and is not enforceable. The quality of CAFs vary around the country. Some are brilliant some are wasted time.

I am very aware that it is very easy for me to to give this very formal response and far more difficult for you to find the inner strength to directly challenge the school in this way. However the law is on your side and you simply have to be robust enough to keep pushing your point. Please come back to me if you need the school exclusions guidance references.

I have no doubt that the local authority will say that the needs are not clear at this early stage and that they need more time to fully assess him. Point out that the school is excluding him. That is de facto an illegal exclusion and as such challengeable before SENDIST under the Equality Act-disability discrimination legislation.

I would also point out that the school clearly have difficulties in understanding their responsibilities and need the assistance of the local education authority to meet this child's needs in the full. Since they are illegally excluding him then they must need additional support since as an inclusive school they would not otherwise be excluding him.

Hope this helps

amunt Tue 06-Oct-15 21:32:40

Brilliantly helpful post Nigel1. We are also in a similar situation, although I think our school is willing, but clueless. I feel a bit better armed after your post.

Hope things get better for you isy3493, it seems unbelievable that they have suspended him twice already. It's great you are teaching him as well, but don't panic that he's falling further behind - once he's got the support he's entitled to he will be able to progress.

isy3493 Fri 09-Oct-15 10:39:27

Thank you so much everybody for the advice. I have decided to contact the SENCO at the school to find answers, and I will definitely be writing to my local social services for support.

AgnesDiPesto Fri 09-Oct-15 22:15:30

Do you a branch of charity homestart in your area? They may be able to help you at home and give you a break.
Do any of your local special schools have assessment units? If so he may be able to go there while the EHC assessment is done
You can also self refer to the Council Ed Psych and explain you can't wait for ehc process to be completed and need support to go in much faster. It doesn't mean it will happen but theres a record you asked. Follow everything up with emails and letters if you can to confirm what you said / advice - whats been agreed.

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