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Statutory Assessment Refused for ASD + delayed expressive language child

(82 Posts)
2006hildy Thu 20-Dec-12 22:12:34

Their reasons:" The Panel acknowledge your parental concerns that ds is not making progress and that you understand that his progress is affected by his difficulties associated with Autism, however the Panel noted from the evidence submitted that ds is making progress both academically and socially with the support that has been put in place.

Based on the evidence considered by the Panel ds's difficulties do not appear to be impacting on his learning and academic attainment levels. The levels reported within the documentation provided as part of the request for Statutory Assessment show that he is making academic progress and is responding to the interventions put in place.

The Panel were pleased to see that the school have a good awareness of ds's needs and have implemented an appropriate level of support in order to address these needs. The school report that they are catering for ds's present needs and are able to seek support and advice from professionals, including Speech and Language Therapy Service, Communication Disorders Team and the Educational Psychology Service when needed and will continue to monitor ds's progress. The Educational Psychologist substantiates this and notes in her report that the school are demonstrating good, inclusive practice in the way they are supporting ds and this opinion is support by the progress he is making."

1. Reading this has made me feel as though they have extracted the positive points from all the reports and made them look even better.

2. He is making only very limited progress. He was averaging P4 when he should have been on level 1 so nowhere near the National Curriculum.

3. They did not mention his Speech even though I gave them all this information:Speech
Although George is described as having delayed expressive language, he has a speech delay of at least three years. As he is getting older he is finding it difficult to work at a more formal level as the language is becoming more complex. Specific aspects are describing it under five headings.

Attention
He has difficulty in all situations, especially when the teacher is addressing the whole class. He is easily distracted and requires constant refocusing. He often has single channelled attention, for example, on Thomas the Tank Engine. We suspect that the problems that he has in taking part in activities may be that he does not understand what is happening.

Receptive speech.
George responds slowly and sometimes only to part of an instruction. He may repeat an instruction instead of responding to it. He relies on visual information.

Expressive speech.
Is very limited, he does not speak in sentences, using only two or three word combinations, using only the most meaningful words e.g. toilet, I want Thomas.

Diction
Is very variable, some words are very clear, others are very difficult to understand, even for his parents.

Interaction
He is reluctant to interact with other children and shows isolated and poor imaginative play.

4.They are able to seek support and advice from professionals, including Speech and Language Therapy Service - seen 10 times a year
Communication Disorders Team - last seen in June
Educational Psychology Service - only seen in April

Unbelievable! I will appeal of course and will note all his needs and complexities from reports which they totally overlooked.

Can you help us put our appeal together with all your comments and advice please. Thank-you

bjkmummy Fri 21-Dec-12 07:52:25

Definitely appeal. Get a code of practice. In the code it breaks down the areas to look at and it also states that it's not just about academic progress but also social, emotional etc. if he has language delay then that will affect him socially. The IPSea website have a really good refusal to assess pack on their website which also explains how to appeal. Often they refuse, parents appeal and then they agree to assess. At this stage you have nothing to lose by appealing. My own son is academically capable or somi thought. We are appealing parts 2 3 and 4 and what my reports have shown is that in fact although on paper okay actually he is working way below his actual potential. This is through much more detailed professional reports than then ones the LA do.

AgnesDiPesto Fri 21-Dec-12 13:06:07

Yes do appeal. Second the IPSEA pack.
My DS is similar and we won a full ABA programme.
What sort of support are you looking for over and above whats on offer?
You may need to gear your appeal to that eg if specialist placement etc you can talk about smaller class sizes, more individual teacher time etc

wasuup3000 Fri 21-Dec-12 16:42:49

Sounds like my council - I had a bugger of a judge at a recent tribunal when I appealed and he believed all that the school and LA said despite them having provided no evidence of this progress, academically and socially. I had loads of evidence of no progress and complex and significant need. What you have quoted above is exactly the argument that the tribunal judge accepted.

2006hildy Fri 21-Dec-12 17:23:07

Hi, I need you to crit what I have written, essentially shoot me down because I want to make sure we are watertight. Thank-you.
Reasons for Appeal

1.A full assessment is the only way to identify my child’s difficulties and find out what my child needs. Although he receives a lot of help with Communication and interaction and Behaviour, emotional and social development, he has a significant language delay then that will affect him socially. I believe difficulty with understanding school work related to this may be a factor. My reports have shown is that in fact although on paper okay actually he is working way below his actual potential; refer to the Speech and Language and Autism Advisory Service reports. Our appeal is based on his language needs, his social communication and the fact that he does not work to his potential due to his ASD. Making progress academically should not be the only consideration. Our child should be making appropriate progress in each area there is no requirement to be behind in all areas.
2.329 Assessment of educational needs at request of child's parent
(1) Where—
(a) the parent of a child for whom a local education authority are responsible but for whom no statement is maintained under section 324 asks the authority to arrange for an assessment to be made in respect of the child under section 323,
(b) no such assessment has been made within the period of six months ending with the date on which the request is made, and
(c) it is necessary for the authority to make an assessment under that
section, the authority shall comply with the request.

The school are able to seek support and advice from professionals, including Speech and Language Therapy Service - seen 10 times a year
Communication Disorders Team - last seen in June
Educational Psychology Service - only seen in April
His diagnosis of ASD is often described as a hidden disability of which many don’t understand, hindering access to these services. Being “on call” is not enough.

3.The school could not normally give all the educational help my child needs unless it receives the right specific targeted help from the local authority in relation to Communication and interaction and Behaviour, emotional and social development.
323 Assessment of educational needs 1(d) of the parent's right to make representations, and submit written evidence, to the authority within such period (which must not be less than 29 days beginning with the date on which the notice is served) as may be specified in the notice.

4.The school has had to provide much more help for George than they would normally provide at School Action Plus for over three years and his progress is slow/limited in all areas especially Communication. The other children are leaving him further and further behind. I refer to the School report.
Section 312 of the Education Act 1996 (a) he has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of children of his age,
(b) he has a disability which either prevents or hinders him from making use of educational facilities of a kind generally provided for children of his age in schools within the area of the local education authority.

We believe that George needs a different type of support within his current school than Action Plus and that he needs the level of provision that only Statutory Assessment can enable.
His triad of impairments should be looked after by the department of Education as well as academic provision. If his social progress, communication is inadequate, his grades don't matter. Unless you can prove adequate progress in EVERY AREA, then we have grounds for a statutory assessment.
He has needs which cannot be met from within the school's resources (if they cannot effectively identify this due to hidden nature of complex needs) and an assessment is needed to find out the nature of his difficulties within the area of communication especially. It is not just sufficient that the outreach services are “on call”. The school are very good at nurturing their pupils and adapting to their needs but is there an underlying problem that needs solving?
The SALT and Communication Disorder departments have not quantified his progress. He has significant delays in these areas. There are no plans of actions to meet his needs. We do not know the extent of his needs. Social and language targets haven’t changed. An IEP could not possibly contain details of all George's needs; they are effectively beyond the scope of IEPs.
For example, George has sensory, social communication, coordination, routine, social skills problems etc. How are SMART targets (3 maybe 4 very brief, time-limited, measurable steps) possibly going to tackle all these issues within the educational context?
The school might be giving him plenty, but is he 'receiving' plenty, and more to the point is it appropriate and is it making a difference.
Adequate progress is not being made as attainment gap is growing wider and does not ensure access to the full curriculum.
Refusal to Statutory Assessment reasons do not address the points we have made. By addressing his communication needs it will lead to him requiring less support in the future. An appropriate education means appropriate to every single one of his needs including communication which is a barrier to his learning.
His special educational needs cannot be determined without a statutory assessment.
Speech
Although George is described as having delayed expressive language, he has a speech delay of at least three years. As he is getting older he is finding it difficult to work at a more formal level as the language is becoming more complex. Specific aspects are describing it under five headings.

Attention
He has difficulty in all situations, especially when the teacher is addressing the whole class. He is easily distracted and requires constant refocusing. He often has single channelled attention, for example, on Thomas the Tank Engine. We suspect that the problems that he has in taking part in activities may be that he does not understand what is happening.

Receptive speech.
George responds slowly and sometimes only to part of an instruction. He may repeat an instruction instead of responding to it. He relies on visual information.

Expressive speech.
Is very limited, he does not speak in sentences, using only two or three word combinations, using only the most meaningful words e.g. toilet, I want Thomas.

Diction
Is very variable, some words are very clear, others are very difficult to understand, even for his parents.

Interaction
He is reluctant to interact with other children and shows isolated and poor imaginative play.

lougle Fri 21-Dec-12 18:05:49

hildy2006, can I ask if this piece is your planned appeal submission, or a summary of points which you intend to turn into a submission? I don't want to be overly critical, but at the moment that is very confused and hard to follow.

2006hildy Fri 21-Dec-12 19:36:48

Hi Lougle, I was hoping you would help. Definitely not overly critical.

It's my first draft of thoughts which I intend to whip into submission. As you know from helping me previously my written work is not up to scratch. Yes it needs a lot of work. I will be pressing my family into helping over Christmas. Poor them Lol

2006hildy Fri 21-Dec-12 22:43:34

I have just seen the statistics for communications & SALT appeals - not good. I will have to work on all aspects then.

Yes we are in Hertfordshire.

I have managed a meeting with HT and SEN officer together for 10th Jan so will take all my Christmas preparations with me then. It's to discuss the refusal to assess outcome. I feel the school are coming round to my way of thinking and have offered to help with my appeal thoughts but can't actively go against the criteria of the county.

Veritate Sat 22-Dec-12 09:12:50

You will need to get your own reports, preferably from at least an educational psychologist and speech and language therapist. The more weight you can throw at the appeal the better chance you have of the LA giving in.

mariammama Sat 22-Dec-12 22:19:23

Lack of progress, being way behind peers, and loads of unmet needs isn't grounds for a statement. They will just say "we agree his ASD is severe, and he's way behind his peers; we're doing as much as is reasonable, SEN dc are expected to make minimal progress (insert spurious statistic) so he's doing ok". Cue LEA representative looking sympathetically at you, then meaningfully to judge/panel while their witnesses suggest bonding issues, and/or a Welcome to Holland workshop.

Parent evidence of unmet potential is almost worthless. SEN or no SEN, all teachers are immune to hearing what mum says little Billie is really capable of. Professional evidence better, especially if they can demonstrate that interventions led to progress (eg 3 terms in group social skills-no progress but one half-term of 1-1 music therapy-now turn-taking)

2006hildy Sat 22-Dec-12 22:27:01

I really didn't want to go down the route of getting our own reports because we can't afford it but if we have to then we will.

I don't want Parent Partnership to help anymore because I feel they are on county's side.

I am going to go for language adjustments and ensuring learning environments are appropriate from a sensory point of view.

I am worried the LA will take us all the way to Tribunal with only one argument and that is that he is making progress even if it is limited and below the NC.

He isn't making progress within his areas of need and he needs provision over and above what a school can provide using their delegated resources. Find this really hard to identify and put in words.

mariammama Sat 22-Dec-12 22:27:41

I found visiting a special school very useful. Even though it would have been academically unsuitable, I could picture ds1 there benefitting from all the other input. It wasn't just the therapies, not even the small classes, flexibility of approach, life skills and communication practice.

It was simple stuff like always pre-warning the dc when an anticipated routine will be changed, which is often impossible to reliably achieve in your average mainstream unless it's spelled out to them and monitored (eg via a statement wink).

lougle Sat 22-Dec-12 22:37:16

"He isn't making progress within his areas of need and he needs provision over and above what a school can provide using their delegated resources."

You realise that this one sentence is the core of the Statutory Assessment process, don't you?

You can't just say a sentence like that - it's meaningless without defining and substantiating each and every part of it:

-What are his areas of need? Why are they areas of need? Who says?

-What progress has he made in them? How is it measured? What was the starting point? How does this compare with progress in other areas? Is the gap widening or narrowing? Is the progress steady or sporadic? What intervention has he had and what was the impact?

-What provision does he need? How do you know? Who says? Why does he need it? How do you know it is over and above the resources of the school? What provision has been put in place already? How effective is it? How do you know? What provision is left that could be tried within the school's resources? Why won't it work? Who says?

2006hildy Sun 23-Dec-12 01:05:29

I can see now this is why we need our own reports because the NHS ones do not offer this kind of detail. I'm annoyed now because I feel I shouldn't have to.

Or do I just write to the SALT, EP and Autism Advisory Service and ask them to answer these questions and if they won't, write to MP and tell them my problem?

lougle Sun 23-Dec-12 08:11:39

Well a lot of that info will be contained in his school file. Also, you need to think what you are aiming for? 1:1 isn't the sole aim of statements. What does your DS need, in your opinion?

justaboutchilledout Sun 23-Dec-12 08:23:23

(lougle, just started a thread, would be very grateful for your insight, sorry for hijack)

justaboutchilledout Sun 23-Dec-12 08:24:49

And yes, you need your own reports.

And it's unfair and annoying but that is the way the system is, and it is part of the unfairness of having to fight for your child.

lougle Sun 23-Dec-12 08:26:43

seen it, Justa, and replied.

mariammama Sun 23-Dec-12 09:10:22

Paying for private reports feels better if you use them to hone your own judgement. For example, i simply didn't know about ds's core body strength or poor proprioception (OT), his auditory processing funnies (EP) or his underlying but untapped good receptive language (SLT). My ideas of the interventions he needed were ok, but the EP knew a lot more about the range of possibilities.

With all the stress, time and expense of tribunal, wasting that effort on fighting for even slightly wrong interventions would be disastrous. We aren't (fingers crossed) far off getting a decent statement now, but if it all goes wrong, and ds ends up out of school at some point, at least I now have some idea of where the most important gaps lie, and how to approach them.

2006hildy Sun 23-Dec-12 12:41:18

- he needs 1:1 adult support to ensure anxiety levels remained low
- he needs 1:1 lunchtime support to enable her to eat in a quiet environment.
- he needs SULP group
- he needs direct SALT input

StarOfLightMcKings3 Sun 23-Dec-12 17:03:06

'Lack of progress, being way behind peers, and loads of unmet needs isn't grounds for a statement. They will just say "we agree his ASD is severe, and he's way behind his peers; we're doing as much as is reasonable, SEN dc are expected to make minimal progress (insert spurious statistic) so he's doing ok". Cue LEA representative looking sympathetically at you, then meaningfully to judge/panel while their witnesses suggest bonding issues, and/or a Welcome to Holland workshop.'

maria honestly, the way you word things..............not sure whether to cry or rofl.

hilady I'm sorry but this is spot on. Herts; general view is that children with ASD can't make progress, so any at all is amazing. The Herts SS are variable but there are some okay ones, but you are pretty stuck if your child is not severe enough.

You need an EP to assess your child and do some tests that can show ability potential. I would recommend too, an independent SALT assessment. If you are not going down the ABA route then you might want to focus on SALT interventions more than anything else.

StarOfLightMcKings3 Sun 23-Dec-12 17:06:47

'Or do I just write to the SALT, EP and Autism Advisory Service and ask them to answer these questions and if they won't, write to MP and tell them my problem?'

No. The fact they haven't goes in your favour when an independent does.

StarOfLightMcKings3 Sun 23-Dec-12 17:18:19

1. A full assessment is the only way to identify my child’s difficulties and find out what my child needs. Although he receives a lot of some help with Communication and interaction and Behaviour, emotional and social development, he continues to have has a significant language delay then that will affects him socially. ^His lack of progress in this area is alarming and we are concerned that the intervention isn't individualised or appropriate and is allowing him to fall unnecessarily further behind his peers'.

I believe His difficulty with understanding school work is also a concern and his understanding has not been fully assessed related to this may be a factor. My reports have shown is that in fact although on paper okay actually he is working way below his actual potential; as evidenced in the refer to the Speech and Language and Autism Advisory Service reports. Our appeal is based on his language needs, his social communication and the fact that he does not work to his potential due to his ASD even when his dx of ASD is taken into account--. Making progress academically should not be the only consideration. ^His academic levels are low, but without proper assessment of need and provision to match that, they will fall lower as his ASD and social communication difficulties, unaddressed confuse him further

mariammama Sun 23-Dec-12 21:46:03

Although the various services will have done minimal assessments, you can bet you don't have the full results of what they did. Not necessarily on purpose, but still problematic. Vague cr*p like 'delayed receptive skills', 'achieving at an age-appropriate level', 'within normal range', 'well below average', are fairly meaningless unless the overall assessment has been unusually comprehensive and the conclusions top-notch. In which case your main danger is being hit by a flying pig which you didn't see because of the blue moon wink.

Make sure you get copies of all their files with all the raw data and including any handwritten notes; if funds are limited it might help you to prioritise private assessments, and anyway it'll be useful to the independents to have some baselines to compare to.

mariammama Sun 23-Dec-12 21:48:49

Star, if the day job goes, I've always fancied trying my hand at stand-up comedy wink

lac13ma1 Sun 23-Dec-12 23:23:46

Here's a link for the ipsea refusal to assess pack.
www.ipsea.org.uk/What-you-need-to-know/Going-to-a-SEND-Tribunal/Refusal-to-Assess.aspx
Hope this will help. X

2006hildy Tue 25-Dec-12 07:06:16

Happy Christmas everyone.
All you appealers are loosing me because I am starting to feel it’s not worth it. I feel so miserable now. (Not that I don’t want to appeal) In terms of: we are getting nearly as much support as we probably would get with a statement. To go the extra distance doesn’t seem to be of much benefit. -Just the security of having him assessed and a legal document. Looks like we are stuck as ds is not severe enough then. Or do I prove that they have been negligent on SALT interventions more than anything else by not providing enough information. They have told us he is making progress via the academic route.

Thank-you Star is there anymore or was that the crux of the appeal?

2006hildy Wed 26-Dec-12 00:59:09

Has anybody used video evidence to show lack of communication progress?

wasuup3000 Was loads of your evidence from independent professionals?

I feel soo bad that's why I am up in the middle of the night again.

2006hildy Thu 27-Dec-12 21:25:47

Anybody gone through appeal stage without independent reports?

lougle Thu 27-Dec-12 21:31:25

Hildy, I think you do need to think about what you are trying to win here. What will a statement gain you? What is the cost?

I think that to have any hope at tribunal, you will need someone to sit with you and look at all your documents, giving you an objective overview of what your argument is and how to phrase it.

Perhaps you should focus your energy on gaining the support of a charity such as SOS:SEN or IPSEA? Then the burden would be less on your shoulders.

sickofincompetenceandbullshit2 Thu 27-Dec-12 22:05:07

I've had 4 SENDIST appeals submitted, no independent reports and none of the 4 tribunals actually happened.

Admittedly, my ds's needs were more clearcut because of his violence and hyperactivity, but appealing is a good thing to do if you a) feel you will get something/ something guaranteed if you win and b) you feel you have the evidence to prove why you need the thing you are appealing for.

I don't think you always need independent reports for appeals BUT more detailed reports will enhance a case if it isn't clearcut.

sickofincompetenceandbullshit2 Thu 27-Dec-12 22:06:12

Sorry, last message wasn't clear: LA backed down in all 4 cases.

mariammama Fri 28-Dec-12 23:32:45

The big advantage of appealing is that it forces the LEA professionals to properly read what you've submitted, and then take a look at the dc for themselves. Sometimes this is done in a Machivellian, -pushy-parent-hounding way. But sometimes the process genuinely focussed their attention, and lots of LEAs will then realise the dc's needs.

Many (sadly not all) then also change their minds about whether simply fobbing you off is really the cheapest and most effective option.

mariammama Fri 28-Dec-12 23:43:21

P4 is quite far below level 1, but a spot level isn't enough. You also need to know his rate of progress. You then compare both of these against his 'expected' progress if properly supported. What is 'expected' should be defined and stated by his teachers / the LEA ed psych etc. The other way of deciding what should be 'expected' from him is your own gut feeling as his parent: if it's very different, that's when expert reports become really important).

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Sat 29-Dec-12 09:40:02

With regard to progress and what is expected you should check out the following posted by lougle some week's ago. www.education.gov.uk/rsgateway/DB/STR/d001092/index.shtml - link to the "DfE: Children with Special Educational Needs: An Analysis - 2012". Chapter 3 of the above linked report deals with progress, and confirms that there is no difference in expectation between children with SEN and without. See if they have similar for KS1.

Refusal to assess means that DS is at SA+ - historically 73% (english) and 65% (maths) of children at SA+ level make progress of 2 full levels between KS1 and KS2. Even if DS were to have a statement with SLCN as the primary need this would only fall to between 65-68% approximately.

You need to be careful about asking the school what their 'expectations' are - DS2's school use historical data of the progress of children with SLD and PMLD to set targets for children at SA never mind SA+. ime 3 lea EPs have never calculated rate of progress and neither have the school. Inadequate progress is a criteria for SA but if the rate is not calculated then it is not necessary to carry out SA - catch 22 and hence independent reports so that parents can calculate it themselves and it not be dismissed as subjective.

lougle Sat 29-Dec-12 13:31:38

Remember, though, that progress isn't defined in the SEN CoP in numerical format:

5:42 Adequate progress can be defined in a number of ways. It might, for instance, be progress which:
- closes the attainment gap between the child and their peers
-prevents the attainment gap growing wider
-is similar to that of peers starting from the same attainment baseline, but less than that of the majority of peers
-matches or betters the child’s previous rate of progress
-ensures access to the full curriculum
-demonstrates an improvement in self-help, social or personal skills
-demonstrates improvements in the child’s behaviour.

So the SEN Code of Practice itself does not hold adequate progress to be 2 full levels between KS1 and KS2, and it is the SEN Code of Practice that the Tribunals must refer to.

If your DS is making 'some' progress, then the core of your disagreement with the LA will be whether that 'some' progress constitutes 'adequate' progress.

For that, you'll need to ascertain what progress has been made (either quantitative (ie. Plevel/Sub-level increase) or qualitative (ie. less exclusions, less incidents in the playground, etc.)

It's tricky to argue on one hand that he should be making x number of levels in progress, if you go on to argue that academic progress doesn't matter without social progress. You'll need to be very clear that these are very separate issues.

You may have posted previously, but what evidence do you have that your DS isn't working to his potential?

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Sat 29-Dec-12 15:35:44

lougle - the issue is that it is impossible to address the SENCOP criteria of 'adequate progress' (academic) unless progress rate has been calculated as even where the gap is growing wider and is not similar to peers with the same starting point 'previous rate of progress' is the catch all phrase. Unless you know objectively what the previous academic rate of progress was it is not possible to compare it to current rate of progress. Therefore it is assumed that current progress reflects capability rather than capability being linked to the meeting of needs.

Unfortunatley it is often the case (pre-tribual) that progress in non-academic areas is not sufficient alone and that it is necessary to also have evidence of impact on academic progress rate or ability to access the curriculum. Often this evidence of impact is or could easily be made available - but only if the progress rate is calcuated over time. This can work in parents' favour both in terms of meeting criteria for assessment but also as an 'early warning'. For example a HFA child may have a progress rate of 4 sublevels per year in some subjects or in KS1 but that this falls to 2 or 1.5 sublevels in other areas of the curriculum or in KS2. This reduction in performance which may indicate unmet social needs would be missed if rate of progress were not known.

I would advise an independent EP report which differentiates between attainment and ability as you need objective evidence that attainment does not meet the expected attainment of a child with similar cognitive ability.

lougle Sat 29-Dec-12 16:14:14

I agree, keepon, but I worry that Hildy is starting from a position of 'well it's quite obvious he's not making progress, the question is, what is being done about it', when the LA (and tribunal) will be starting from a position of 'is progress being made/is it adequate'?

2006hildy Thu 03-Jan-13 11:54:03

Happy New Year Everyone.

I have spoken to the SALT today.

He is not able to do a formal assessment for communication due to his Autism so they have done an informal check sheet to show what he can and can't do.

I have requested a copy of the SALT's files I think through Data protection laws she says her management have to get back to me on that one.

She says his targets are made not to hinder his learning to ensure it keeps up with his learning. I found out his provision is even less now because it is taking him longer to make his targets. So his progress is slowing down? No apparently because the targets may be more difficult. It just does not make sense to me but she has all the answers. Slippery!

lougle Thu 03-Jan-13 19:14:57

Hi Hildy

I think the SALT is saying that they are perhaps giving broader targets that he can work on over time?

What do you mean when you say 'his provision is even less now because it is taking him longer to meet his targets'? Does his time with SALT directly relate to target setting?

2006hildy Fri 04-Jan-13 01:18:27

Hi lougle,

Yes, broader or in her words "trickier" targets that he can work on over time.

Yes, his time with SALT directly relate to target setting. She only visits him when he has met his target and to set new one. I think that is showing "not adequate progress" if she is doing less visits and "the attainment gap between the ds and his peers is widening."

Correct me if wrong.

The photocopying and administration charge including special delivery of the requested data is £40.00.

I still feel utterly miserable and feel like giving up as far as: done what I have written and submit it with hope.

lougle Fri 04-Jan-13 11:55:34

I don't think you can conclude that less visits = 'not adequate progress' or that it = 'the attainment gap between ds and his peers is widening.' in itself.

Don't misunderstand me, both could be the case, but you are missing a few vital pieces of information to make that judgement (or at least, what you have posted misses the information.)

For instance, if the SALT visited and set one target that he was already near to attaining, he might 'achieve' it very quickly. If she then visted and set a target that was completely new and had 3 parts to completion, it might take him longer to achieve the overall target, but he may well have made more genuine 'progress.'

2006hildy Sat 05-Jan-13 01:41:50

Hi lougle, and anyone else,

should I pm you with his SALT report? coz I am struggling I don't think I have a case yet?

lougle Sat 05-Jan-13 06:31:38

sure smile Remember I'm just another Mum though.I'm not qualified in anything other than life experience wrt SN.

2006hildy Fri 11-Jan-13 15:53:02

Here are ds's most up to date levels.
The level in brackets is where he was at the end of Year 1.

Number P6 (P5)
Shape and Space P5 (P4)
Reading P8 (P4)
Writing P6 (P4)

Should I still appeal?

lougle Fri 11-Jan-13 17:46:14

I don't know. Standard progress explained here

He's made 4 NC points progress in reading, 2 in writing, and 1 in number and shape and space in one term of Yr 2?

If he continued at that pace, then at the end of Yr 2 he'd be:

Number P8 (+2 NC points)
Shape and Space P7 (+2 NC points)
Reading 2C (+8 NC points)
Writing 1C (+4 NC points)

Of course, there is no guarantee that he will make that level of progress.

I still think that whether you persue a statement will come down to what provision he needs that can't be met out of the school budget. A statement won't, in itself, lead to more progress or higher attainment. It will only ensure that provisions are legally required.

DD1, for example, hasn't seen an Ed Psych since she was statemented, 4 years ago. She doesn't have individual SALT now, she gets SALT through school in the form of group sessions. OT she gets via the Rainbow Road programme and then the teaching staff liaise with the OT if they need specific advice/review. She actually only sees her paed outside of school now, because it's all done in house at her school otherwise.

mariammama Fri 11-Jan-13 22:52:34

Make sure you find out exactly what interventions are being used in the various areas. Especially the for the fab reading progress. So when they're all removed, and it slows down, you can prove that restarting it is worthwhile.

mariammama Fri 11-Jan-13 23:03:11

Panel considers the "Difficulties do not seem to be impacting on his learning" might be digging themselves a hole, as it seems a bit unlikely optimistic. P5-6 for numeracy is still way below year 2 expectations. Which is a bit hmm for a child with a social-communication disorder, and no other identified learning impairments.

2006hildy Sat 12-Jan-13 10:49:02

Thank-you, Thank-you, Thank-you, for all your good advice as usual.

You guys are my mentors at the moment and feel like it's still worthwhile again today. I shall relentlessly pursue. Just shows you how the system cuts out all those families who are feeling vulnerable and their poor children will never be assessed.

My decision letter is dated 18/12/12 and will be meeting with SALT, EP, Communication Disorders Team, school and SEN officer on Friday next week to discuss the reasons for their refusal. But will get my appeal in well before 18/2/13.

2006hildy Tue 15-Jan-13 16:35:52

Whoa the pressure is on for the Friday meeting re:refusal to assess explanation, as they could back down at any time but probably won't until tribunal.

But as far as I can see it's down to this:

1. I just have to prove that he MAY need help to further improve his communication at tribunal to get a Stat Ass.

2. EVERY AREA of his needs to be making-

3. adequate progress,

4. Especially in Speech and language and social and emotional areas.

Parent Partnership have phoned and will be doing a decent agenda for the meeting on Friday as we only have one and a half hours to sort it out.

I feel calmer now that I worked out these four points as no doubt I will be roasted alive.

Don't worry about the meeting. Take notes (and someone with you if you can), and if being asked to agree or give your opinino on something don't do it then, but say that it sounds interesting/helpful but you will need to give it consideration and get back.

Parent partnership can be helpful at navigating but are often trained by the LA and share an office so use them but don't always take everything they say unquestioningly.

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Tue 15-Jan-13 16:58:41

Not just may need 'help' but help beyond that the school can provide internally at SA/SA+ and you know that because the school have been absolutely on the ball and provided all the help they can (even if they haven't) wink

Why don't you ask the bods at the meeting what 'evidence' of progress you (ie the school) need to collect to determine rate of progress during the run-up to tribunal. There are SMART IEP targets for social communication. Try and get them to agree that new evidence of inadequate progress would meet the criteria for SA.

As this tribunal would be refusal to assess there is little to gain time-wise between tribunal and second application to assess (5 months v 6 months). But the time-span can also be reduced if you can get the lea to pressure the school to measure progress within one term. Then you can present new evidence to the lea within 3 months of the original application for SA - the lea can then go back to panel and (hopefully) agree to assess. Meantime, if you appeal, tribunal ticks down ...

'Why don't you ask the bods at the meeting what 'evidence' of progress you (ie the school) need to collect to determine rate of progress during the run-up to tribunal'

The answer the OP will be given is that you cannot assess progress in tangiable terms of the difficulties that children with ASD face, as they are things like social skills which cannot be measured. Therefore the only appropriate measurement is professional opinion, which will be that he has made good progress.

OP, go to the meeting and gather information. Do not get into a debate or argument with these people and do not give away any of your arguments that you will need for tribunal. I'm sorry but I do not think you will make much progress at this meeting so don't give them any advance warning of your tribunal case.

That is my best advice and it is sent sincerely.

2006hildy Fri 18-Jan-13 09:58:44

They have cancelled our meeting due to snow - they say. We got there ok. They are sooooo PATHETIC! I'm furious.

I will use my anger today to build an even stronger case.

2006hildy Fri 18-Jan-13 10:46:42

Would you go through formal mediation or don't waste your time and go straight to tribunal?

I woukd go straight to tribunal, but agree to mediation in the interim. I believe mediation coukd be more productive with a tribunal looming.

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Fri 18-Jan-13 13:42:25

Keepon, If Hildy produces that she will be told that is Amercian rubbish in a stupid culture where they talk about cures and recovery, and isn't applicable in the UK where we accept our children's disabilities.

Her local NAS branch will support this position.

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Fri 18-Jan-13 15:53:53

star - nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Might be dismissed as rubbish but on the other hand if targets are set that are unmeetable (as they assume cure or recovery) then this provides objective evidence of 'inadequate progress' and meets a citerion for assessment.

The legal process takes so long that there is always time to see what can be achieved in the meantime by playing the rules of the bureaucratic game.

Is there anything in SENCOP that supports the view that social skills and progress in such cannot be measured objectively? (I am asking seriously as I know some of you can quote it smile)

If so it is illogical that objective measures of progress are a necessary part of statementing. (I am aware that logical coherence is not the priority of the average LA).

Yes you're right Keep. I'm probably too close to the LA to be objective. I spent 3 years trying to argue with this lot before I understood that 'because we say so and we are professionals' is the extent of their argument and asking for objective data or evidence is sim

ply met with 'we don't feel it is in the interest of the child to spend time measuring when we coukd be using that time to work with the child'.

When I asked for a single outcome from each agency at a TAC meeting the response was that they don't have to answer the question because they are professionals and other parents are able to accept that.

I tell you. Try it if you want but don't waste time trying to reason or believe that they just aren't understanding. They understand alright.

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Fri 18-Jan-13 17:54:49

I find it useful to use policy against policy-makers - hoist on their own petard iynwim. The LEA bods are really not that clever (or motivated) and it is quite easy to tie them in logical knots. The case is passed up the nearer tribunal but it doesn't hurt to have constructed this backstory - especially if, when the going gets tough, you have IPSEA or similar onboard.

I know what you mean star - I suspect that the only reason that the lea were willing to collect progress data irt DS1 - with inadequate progress being an 'automatic' trigger for SA - was because they actually believed that the rate of progress would be adequate. But they had agreed in writing to something they thought would not be case and had no way of backing out - hence SA. The statement is crap but we just face tribunal to amend rather than a prior tribunal to get SA (which may have resulted in NIL).

There is so much difference, at the same time as striking similarity, in all our experiences. Sometimes what works in one instance does not work in another and this has nothing to do with the actual needs of the child (or persuavive powers of parents).

Hildy - it is not an either/or. You can put in the appeal and then be open to mediation in the interim if you think it is possible to reach compromise. Sometimes it is meaningless as 'never the twain' and all.

2006hildy Fri 18-Jan-13 19:56:25

Star - I am ready to be pushed as far as you can push me as mentioned in another thread. I'm feeling militant, hell hath no fury and all that...

2006hildy Thu 28-Mar-13 20:33:56

I am miserable now because the "adequate progress" argument has been blown out of the water. At least the SENCO has shown she knows what she is talking about and now I feel like trusting her a bit more. All the staff are new to Autism and the Statementing Process so I didn't know if they knew what they were telling me. It took them sometime to get back to me though and by letter when I emailed them.

"para 5.42 SEN Cop are intended to be indicators of defining progress before school intervention has taking place. The CoP defines the procedure for the school to follow when determining the level of support a child needs in their learning. Monitoring children's progress is the first stage, which then moves onto School Action and then School Action Plus. DS is on School Action Plus."

But surely now that he has 1:1 help his progress is even more inadequate? I feel like I am loosing the ability to understand English!

Social Interaction and social communication skills can have quantifiable values, apparently, through using the P scale descriptors for PSHE. So why were they not monitoring them? Taking them to tribunal is really making them work! I feel so terrible about it but at least I am getting some answers.

There is no formal scale or measurement for flexibility of thinking.

I can't understand why they are being so nasty I just want to know how it all works but the seem to have taken offence. I am sure I am on the spectrum lol.

marchduck Thu 28-Mar-13 22:49:43

Hildy, I'm sorry I have no knowledge on tribunals but just wanted to wish you all the best.
And never feel terrible about trying to get your DS the support he deserves. I hope that you have some support too, it's not easy trying to find your way through the unknown.
Good luck with everything

CouthySaysEatChoccyEggs Thu 28-Mar-13 22:56:34

What about if you can't afford these reports? It's why I've been unable to challenge refusal to assess for my DD - she needs too many separate reports and I'm stony broke.

lougle Fri 29-Mar-13 07:35:49

Hi Hildy, sorry this is so stressful, it's hard when you feel your child's needs aren't being met.

It does sounds as if you are a bit confused about the role and purpose of Statutory Assessment and what defines adequate progress at the moment.

Whoever wrote to you is right about para 5:42. The SEN CoP deals with SEN as a whole, so all stages of intervention are covered. On MNSN, we tends to focus on how it applies to statutory assessment because that's where the right to appeal begins, etc.

The graduated response is key to the SEN CoP. If you look at statistics, around 20% of children will be at some stage of the SEN register (SA, SA+, Statement), but only 2% will have a Statement. Expressing that another way, 90% of children with SEN will have their needs met by schools, from within their budget, on either SA or SA+.

'Adequate progress' is not defined exhaustively in the SEN CoP; it isn't as simple as saying that if a child doesn't fit the examples in the SEN CoP then their progress isn't adequate. Also, adequate progress will be different for each child.

Remember also, that there is no expectation within the SEN CoP that a child will makeexcellent or even good progress once measures are in place. The bench mark is 'adequate'. This can be easy to forget, because the quoted 'expected progress' for typical children is benchmarked on 'good' progress.

The P levels are pre-national curriculum levels for children with SEN. These can be further broken down into pivats. By assessing with P scales, progress can be tracked. Some LAs use different systems from others. My LA uses 'CASPA' to track progress.

Adequate progress will be different for each cohort of children. It would be very unfair to expect the same amount of progress from children with profound and multiple learning difficulties as children with moderate learning difficulties. Similarly, it would be unfair to expect the same level of progress in social interaction from a child with ASD as you would for a child with general learning difficulties.

CASPA, for example, allows staff to set up a profile for each child, with their main need/diagnosis, then it plots their levels against typical levels of a child with that profile, to give a more meaningful analysis of progress.

The other thing to bear in mind, is that his SN only matter in as much as they create S*E*N -if an area of difficulty doesn't translate through to causing a problem at school, it's irrelevant to them. It's taken me a while to see that. DD2 is very literal and doesn't generalise well. She's learned her number bonds beautifully because it's concrete. I've realised that until school becomes more abstract, it's not an issue for them.

Anyway, I hope that helps a bit.

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Fri 29-Mar-13 09:15:28

hildy - have you got a copy of the LA SEN policy? Adequate progress is not exhaustive defined and so each LA will base its different practice on an interpretation of the SENCop and, for the benefit of the staff employed, there will be criteria for those staff to make consistent across the LA rather than idiosyncratic decisions on whether or not assessment should be granted. So for example what can be used to measure progress and what the rate of progress should be to be deemed adequate. Some children will attain less than others but all children are expected to progress.

The school should not have stopped measuring progress - how do pupils move up from SA+? The school need to measure progress to calculate his individual progress rate in order that they can measure the effectiveness of interventions or 1:1, especially at SA+ level. The LA will want to know that the school has done all it can at SA+ level and it is only when school resources have been exhausted and the child is still not making adequate progress that they move up.

The expectation of progress is the same for SEN as for NT but historically certain groups such as SLD make less than 'adequate' progress. The same data shows that the progress rate for ASD as the primary need is similar to that of NT. It is important that there is not an expectation of inadequate progress or that SEN are used as an excuse for inadequate progress. In DS1's year 6, 3 of the 4 pupils who did not make adequate progress were SEN. This is not an explanation but an indication that the school failed to meet their needs.

Have you seen www.education.gov.uk/rsgateway/DB/STR/d001092/index.shtml

2006hildy Fri 29-Mar-13 12:02:25

Thank-you for your kind words of encouragement.

Hopelessly confused. Have I been unfair to my LEA? I was wondering why things are getting nasty. lol.

I have definitely got a copy of the LA SEN policy, it's huge. As well as Guidance Criteria for Stat Ass.

I still think I can take them to tribunal on the Threshold criteria of Autistic Spectrum Disorders, so all is definitely not lost.

But anyway this is a copy of my latest draft (maybe just letter to myself to vent) letter just to show you what has been going on.

Again I agree DS has made progress but have not been successful in ascertaining what definitive progress was made. I agree we have discussed DS’s needs at our termly TAF meetings and that his learning needs have been met. Have his “triad of impairments” needs also been met as some of them weren’t being monitored, how do pupils move up from SA+? I thought all his needs had to be met. Statutory Assessment is rarely only about academics. The school need to measure progress of his triad of impairments to calculate his individual progress rate in order that they can measure the effectiveness of interventions or 1:1, especially at SA+ level.
What is going so badly wrong for DS that the professionals involved have to resort to using semantics to confuse/twist the situation?
What exactly happened then? There were four people left in the meeting at the time. What did you hope to achieve by passing on my email about XXX’s outburst?
Why is there an aggressive tone? Why aren’t my questions answered in the meetings so that I have to clarify them afterwards by email?
I am trying to navigate my way through a difficult area of Code of Practice of which (as a lay person) I admit to not understanding. I am trying to avoid taking the LEA to tribunal for which I believe I have had a case since DS was diagnosed. (Reading through the Hertfordshire Guidance Criteria for Statutory Assessment DS had a CARS rating score of 32 which states you only need 30 or above. Again the LEA did not feel the need to Statutory Assessment which was another missed opportunity for DS, to receive the correct targeted early intervention).
I agree the LEA may think they are supporting DS with ‘outside agencies’ but without a Statutory Assessment how do they know the correct targeted course of action? I believe he is not receiving the optimum support especially in the area of his triad of impairments. He is so far behind the National Curriculum now, (the correct targeted early intervention could have avoided this) how will he ever catch up? Does this mean he will be on benefits now for the rest of his life?
If I have made a mistake as a lay person I will change my appeal taking the LEA to tribunal.
At the first TAC meeting my family and I were told that if I was to take the LEA to Tribunal all support for DS would stop. The reverse has happened.
Resorting to these tactics makes me distrust the professionals involved which is difficult as a lay person relying on information from them.

I hope my case study helps someone else out there.

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Sat 30-Mar-13 11:04:32

hildy - I'd keep it as a vent for now if I were you smile

If DS is now making progress because of the additional focus your appeal has brought then this is good for your DS. It demonstrates that interventions impact on progress.

You need to know whether your DS is making progress (ie what are his levels now) because you don't want to base your argument on inadequate progress when the school have bent over backwards to make sure that there has been progress and to measure it. Expected progress is only 3 national curriculum points an academic year. Check out pupil tracker http://www.stokehilljunior.devon.sch.uk/downloads/National_Curriculum_Point_Scales.pdf

Attainment and progress are two separate things. The LEA will always focus on the average/above average which they can now demonstrate progress to be rather than attainment which is well below average in some areas. You can still use progress to argue that attainment should be higher. If the same rate of progress had been achieved earlier then his attainment would be better iyswim.

2006hildy Sat 06-Apr-13 23:09:31

The thing is I am just not happy with the poor service ds is receiving from Speech and Language Therapy Service and Communication Disorders Team because they don’t have a full data set of values. Therefore can’t know his rate of progress. Therefore cannot compare both of these against his 'expected' progress if properly supported.

Showing that they have not been monitoring him in an objectionable way. But how do I get this across at Tribunal. The LEA are saying they are providing everything they need to but it is p**s poor- that’s why he is making poor progress.

Appealing ‘But sometimes the process genuinely focuses their attention,’ - ain’t that the truth, this is what is happening with us. Ds has never had so much attention.

lougle Sun 07-Apr-13 09:00:12

Hildy, you can't take what is seen to be a 'gold standard' approach and hold the LA to it. In an ideal world, all children would have an array of detailed baseline assessments, quantifiable intervention and regular consistent data measurement, etc. The SEN CoP doesn't give children the right to gold standard intervention, only that which is adequate.

The parents on this board who won such intensive, specific and measurable intervention, didn't do so because it was the 'best' thing for their child. It wasn't because their children could make better progress with their intervention than the LA's. It was because they could prove that the intervention they proposed would allow adequate progress and, crucially, the LA couldn't prove that their proposed intervention would do the same.

2006hildy Sun 07-Apr-13 09:55:38

Good point Lougle maybe I am onto a looser then. Here are my latest thoughts.

DS needs must be met with different /better support and strategies from the appropriate professionals mentioned. His rate of progress is neglible or very slow. Academically has a significant delay. Annex 7 does not report all his Triad of impairments which are educational needs as well , have not been monitored objectively although he has a significant delay. There is no data set available despite four years of therapy.

I asked for his Triad of impairments data set but was told that there was not one even though I knew the P scales have a Speaking and Listening section on 8th February eventually I was given the Speaking and Listening result of P5 and now there appears to be a column in Annex 7.

Therefore para 7.4 Cop SEN does apply as ds probably has special educational needs. The LEA probably should determine ds’s special educational provision.

Therefore 7.34 Cop SEN does apply as ds’s difficulties have not been remedied sufficiently ahead of his learning and may require the LEA to determine ds’s special educational provision. Being Autistic does not mean his attainment is expected to be low, his special educational provisions are stifling his learning and incidental learning.

Educational Psychologists achievement report contradicts the SEN Individual Record of Attainment and Provision. Annex 7.

lougle Sun 07-Apr-13 11:13:46

I don't actually think 'triad of impairments' is a helpful term to use unless you are specifically talking about the diagnostic criteria for ASD. Yes, there is a triad of impairments, but those won't necessarily be evenly matched and will present differently in every child.

P levels and Pivats are not objective. They are the subjective judgement of a teacher who compares the child's current performance against a set of descriptors. If the child meets the descriptors for the P level, they then are deemed to be 'achieving P6', for example.

Depending on the child, their areas of difficulty, etc., you may expect to see quite good progress in some areas and less progress in others. That doesn't mean that the SEN provision is failing the child in those areas with less progress, necessarily, it may mean that they are simply less able in those areas. After all, we don't expect children who are NT to get the same grade in every subject at GCSE level.

DD1, for example, is 7.4. She is 'doing well' in maths. For her, that means that she has managed to count 60 coats at school. She knows the names of 2d shapes and some 3d shapes. She can use words such as heavier and lighter.

She is doing less 'well' in literacy. She is finding phonics hard to grasp, and is learning words using whole word recognition. She tries, but literacy is not going to be her 'thing' as much as maths.

7:49 of the SEN Code of Practice says:

"In the light of evidence about the child’s learning difficulty, LEAs should consider the action taken and, in particular, should ask whether:
the school or setting has, in consultation with outside specialists, formulated, monitored and regularly evaluated IEPs and whether the child’s progress, measured by criterion referenced or standardised tests, continues to be significantly and consistently less than that which may be expected for the majority of children following such programmes. "

That means that when you are making your argument for SA, you have to argue not that your DS is making less progress than same aged peers, but that he is making significantly and consistently less than other children who have the same provision as him.

"Although needs and requirements can usefully be organised into areas, individual pupils may well have needs which span two or more areas. For example, a pupil with general learning difficulties may also have behavioural difficulties or a sensory impairment. Where needs are complex in this sense it is important to carry out a detailed assessment of
individual pupils and their situations. However, the accumulation of low-level difficulties may not in itself equate with a school being unable to meet the child’s needs through school-based provision. In some cases pupils will have needs that are not only complex but also severe.

7:54 In considering evidence as to whether or not it is necessary to carry out a statutory assessment LEAs should bear in mind the particular requirements of the individual child, and whether these requirements can be met from the resources already available to mainstream maintained schools and settings in their area in the context of school-based intervention, monitoring and review arrangements"

These paragraphs clearly make the distinction between accepting that a child has SEN, even multiple SEN, and concluding that a school can't meet those needs from within its own resources.

It isn't necessarily so that the school are doing everything they can for your child. It's possible that they have further measures they can use without SA/Statementing, but aren't. If that's the case, that is what needs to change.

Statements are for children whose needs cannot be met by the school from within its own resources. So that's where the focus needs to lie. It isn't enough to show that progress isn't adequate. There is another step which is to show that the school cannot meet those SEN without the provision from the LA.

2006hildy Mon 08-Apr-13 23:15:56

Thanks for your help so far.

I am stumped it has taken a while to think about my reply. I need someone to tell me what to do.

“It was because they could prove that the intervention they proposed”

I have no idea what intervention he needs. I am worried that that is it and just to live with him the way he is. They have actually asked me what it is that I am looking for.

“ crucially, the LA couldn't prove that their proposed intervention would do the same.”

That’s easy - They wouldn't be able to because they just have not done the work. They don’t know enough about ds.

I think I am trying to request that they need to do an objective assessment to target the correct problem he has to help him make better progress.

Am I losing my appeal, should I give up?

lougle Tue 09-Apr-13 08:25:17

I don't think you should give up. I do think you need to contact ipsea or SOS:SEN and ask for their help.

The basic questions are:

1. Does your DS have SEN? Well it's obvious that both you and the LA will agree that he does.

2. Does he 'probably' need a statement? This is where you and the LA disagree.

To find out whether the answer is 'yes', you have to look at the criteria for a statement:

a) Does the child have SEN that are 'severe' and/or 'complex'?
b) Is it likely that the needs of the child can not be meet from within the resources of normal schools in the LA's area, from within their own budgets?

No condition is a passport to meeting the 'complex' definition. What matters is how it impacts on the child's education. ASD is, by its nature, pervasive, however, so that's a start.

My argument was that each of DD1's difficulties on their own were not severe, but they layered together to create a profile that was extremely complex. I do think, however, that if she had not been so flighty and disruptive, I would have been turned down first time and then had to wait until mainstream failed and have an emergency assessment.

2006hildy Sat 13-Apr-13 21:00:17

Know I am always seekng help and not offering advice but please can anyone help?

I hope our case does help someone else as this has happened before and will happen again.

lougle Sat 13-Apr-13 23:11:15

What, specifically, would you like people to help with, Hildy?

MareeyaDolores Sun 14-Apr-13 09:13:45

Do not give up. Three good reasons:
1) Most parents win 'failure to assess' tribunals (I can't remember where I saw this data, and it was a few years ago, but the percentages were definitely in favour of the parents.
2) Having to give evidence against you at tribunal will ensure that much more data and information (including the meaningless waffle about how marvellously he is doing) is recorded about your ds, and this in itself forms the baseline you're after. If their information is true, any deterioration will then be clearly evident. If their information is lies, it will demonstrate his future 'failure to make adequate progress' in even starker contrast.
3) Lots of parents have to go to tribunal several times (to assess, against note in lieu, and to get a specified/quantified statement). So even if you lose, it's good practice for the 3 tribunals you'll win subsequently.

Plus 'it's a marathon, not a sprint', 'the LA are playing mind games with you', 'you are your child's best and only advocate', and the LA might even give in at the last minute once they see you're well prepared (they did for us).

MareeyaDolores Sun 14-Apr-13 09:15:16

in terms of general help, I would just end up cut and pasting lougle's answers wink. Which is why I haven't added to the thread much. But if there's something in particular, post and I'll have a go too

2006hildy Mon 06-May-13 15:53:43

Hi sorry don't know enough about the subject to ask for specific help.
But this is what the independent SLT recommended, sorry it's long:

With regards to the above special educational needs, DS requires a statutory assessment. He requires input that is undertaken collaboratively between relevant staff at his school, parents, occupational therapist, speech and language therapist and any other involved professionals working together.

DS needs a language and communication programme written by a speech and language therapist (SLT) with specialist skills and experience in working with developmental language / communication difficulties and with children on the autistic spectrum. It would be important for the therapist to have proven experience of working effectively in the context of a multi-disciplinary team.

The role of the SLT in DS’ educational programme should include the following:
•Language goals should be jointly written in consultation with the school and parents in order to facilitate generalisation.
•The SLT can provide support to ensure that the goals of the programme are communicative and functional.
•The SLT can advise on developmentally appropriate toys to expose DS to and advise on play strategies.
•The SLT can offer information to the team on developmentally appropriate linguistic forms and the developmentally normal communication sequence. These need to be considered and incorporated into DS’s programme.
•The SLT can demonstrate how to incorporate specific goals into daily, preexisting activities such as dinner, bath and bedtime, which will be helpful with generalisation and sequencing.
•The SLT should assess and provide advice on the manner in which language and communication skills are used by adults working with DS to ensure maximum benefit of these interactions.
•The SLT can trouble-shoot specific linguistic problems e.g. errors in word choices, responding to echoed language.

DS should receive a minimum of 80 minutes of support per week from the SLT who should use their time to meet his changing needs in language and communication. Currently, I recommend the therapist’s time to be used as follows:

Regular direct therapy (1:1) to support the development of language and communication - One session of 40 minutes in duration per week. DS’s LSA should attend these sessions.

DS’s language and communication goals, which should guide the content of therapy sessions, should include the following:
•Increase intentional communication i.e. deliberate, goal-oriented communication behaviours which have an effect on another person. Include structured settings such as Communication Temptations. Develop DS’s use of persistence, proximity to the adult, eye gaze and body language.
•Increase DS’s spontaneous use of a range of communicative functions, which should have a strong focus on facilitating more social communication:
oIncrease consistency, frequency and integration of requesting
oPromote participation in social interaction through requesting social routines, showing off, greeting, acknowledging and calling
oPromote his skills in focusing joint attention, including commenting, providing information and requesting information.
•Promotion of a range of means of communication, to be discussed and agreed among all members of the team, bearing in mind that different children have different learning styles, strengths and needs.
•Increase the frequency with which DS spontaneously communicates. This will help reduce his frustration and increase rapport with other people.
•Development of prelinguistic communication behaviours and integration of these in specific contexts e.g. combined use of eye gaze, pointing and vocalisation.
•Development of social awareness through joint activities with others including turn-taking.
•Development of symbolic play behaviours and symbolic understanding through opportunities to develop functional and pretend play.
•Development of attention (in particular auditory attention) and listening skills, to help DS become more oriented towards spoken language and other people’s actions and to promote independent working.
•Development of receptive and expressive language skills through teaching of vocabulary, language forms and generalisation of these across settings.

Specific recommendations following on from my observations at school:

•Social story addressing routine of expected behaviours and steps to go through for the morning, including leaving home, journey to school, arriving at school, spending time in the playground, lining up, entering the building.
•Use of visual prompts to support his transition through the steps of his various routines and expected actions: for example, coming into school, changing shoes, water bottle in box, book bag / replace book, join peers at carpet for registration, do work with TA etc. Include using objects of reference.
•Staff to receive refresher training on facilitating active use of visual strategies such as visual schedule, Now-Next board, I’m working for board, expected behaviour ‘flash cards’ e.g. ‘good walking!’, ‘good sitting!’. DS’s ability to use these strategies to be assessed and his response to these over time to be monitored.
•Specific training on transitions and why these are difficult for DS and how to facilitate these during the school day and across longer stretches of time.
•Specific training on the links between communication and behaviour so staff understand that DS’s ‘behaviours’ are in fact largely due to a combination of communication impairment and sensory needs, and are able to identify and put into place appropriate supports to increase his understanding (communication), expression (communication) and emotional regulation (responding to sensory needs).
•Specific training on use of reward systems must be delivered to promote DS’s motivation to follow adult directions, complete a range of tasks and start to develop more of a sense of achievement.
•Referral to occupational therapist with specialism in sensory processing disorders.
•Praise DS for completing expected behaviours and actions e.g. ‘good walking’, ‘good sitting’, on an ad hoc basis.
•Language programme to include receptive objectives at 2-3 word level involving real objects, toys and games with peers. DS needs to demonstrate comprehension of each phrase-type at the two word level (e.g. parts of a whole) before moving on to the three-word level activities.
•DS needs to be encouraged to independently complete short tasks e.g. puzzle, game. Structured teaching should be used to support his skills e.g. start box, work box, finished box, schedule, first – then board, reward system.
The SLT will need to give advice to all adults supporting DS in the implementation of his language and communication programme, with regards to strategies aiding language and communication development. They will also need to be familiar with intervention approaches suitable for use with autistic children to help DS cope with change, understand what he is expected to do and orient himself through the day, including adaptations to the environment. A minimum of 20 minutes SLT time per week is needed to provide this support.

The remaining 20 minutes per week should be used in the following ways:
The SLT will need to work closely with all members of the team in order to engage in joint planning of IEPs, social communication and language targets and to ensure generalisation of learned skills across all contexts. Planning meetings should occur every half term and include all those working with DS.

The SLT will need to attend IEP and Annual Review meetings.

The SLT will need to engage in regular monitoring of progress through processes such as evaluation of therapy targets.

The SLT will keep clinical records, write reports and undertake relevant administrative duties in accordance with professional requirements.

DS’ speech and language therapy provision should be stated in specific terms, as outlined above, in Part 3 of a Statement of SEN. This principle is supported by the Code of Practice.

2006hildy Thu 09-May-13 13:09:11

What do you think? It's too much isn't it.

Anybody? Are you there Lougle? It's a bit of a liberty I know.

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