Here some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on SN.

Back from meeting, Star, Agnes, Keep, Maria and others

(110 Posts)
claw2 Thu 10-Jan-13 11:55:39

Room full of people this time, about 10.

Basically, they are offering home tuition now, 5 hours, tutor available immediately. But ds would have to stay on roll at this school.

CAMHS are saying if i home ed, seen as ds doesnt have anxiety/self harm when not attending school. They dont see what they can offer. They would make referral to medical needs for home tuition, if i want them to, then stay involved.

SW is saying ss will be involved long term, passed to another team (she would tell me which team later) to ensure that all of ds's needs are met.

Meeting was TAC, is that the same as CIN?

mariammama Thu 10-Jan-13 12:39:07

TAC 'team around the child', CIN 'child in need'. Can have one without the other, but a lot of children have both. TAC doesn't have to have SW, but CIN does.

I don't think you have to decide 'yes' or 'no' right now. That's a dodgy timeshare sales technique. You could say, 'interesting, try it, let's meet and re-evaluate at half term'. Or try without a time limit and pull the plug if it's harming DS. Having a plan C helped me (plan A= they do their job right, plan B= tribunal win). In the worst-case scenario, could you almost do his long-term education and ASD-specific life skills without the LA's input?

Camhs saying they 'don't see what they have to offer' might be a possible red flag for rapid discharge, unless they formalise their suggestion of referring for medical needs and (especially) the bit about staying involved. If, in reality, he has to stay on roll of a school for camhs input, that would be a priority. Yes, you can reduce the current anxiety by avoiding the main stressor, but that's potentially a slippery slope, and there will be other anxieties to come.

Maybe a rural or private school might do a cheapo flexi-school arrangement where he's on the books but rarely goes? [clutching at straws emoticon].

mariammama Thu 10-Jan-13 12:40:20

'will tell me which team later'

mariammama Thu 10-Jan-13 12:43:11

Actually, thinking it through, I think you'd find a CP team SW refreshingly direct, and probably quite helpful.

They tend to be reasonably senior / experienced, and it's too high-risk a job to give to complete numpties

PolterGoose Thu 10-Jan-13 12:51:45

Hmm, I'm not sure I'd agree there mariammama, recruitment for CP SW jobs is so tough that a large proportion are newly qualified SWs...

Do remember that all children with disabilities are considered to be 'children in need' (rightly so IMO), but that doesn't necessarily mean SW involvement, our Autism Outreach Team carry out advice, support and guidance, I'm guessing they are looking at something along these lines and maybe, because of your ds's complex needs they want to consider which team will be best for him (trying to think positively here!)

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Thu 10-Jan-13 12:57:00

The fact that you are now being offered medical authorisation and tuition via the LEA is a good outcome, not only because CAMHS involvement is retained but because this gives an 'official' stamp - medically authorised home tuition is not provided if Mum is cuckoo.

Also the tutor works with DS 1:1 and for the purposes of Tribunal becomes the current teacher from whom evidence is collected. ime lea tutors have said that DS1 can't cope with m/s and needs specialist placement whereas the last class teacher thought and reported everything was fine. Yes they keep pushing for reintegration because home tuition is temporary but you can cope with this.

As far as the SW is concerned, home tuition means that there are eyes and ears (tutors monthly reports include 'safeguarding') and so she is not reliant on her own visits or on your reports to reassure herself that all is well.

DS's remains on the roll but at least you can be absolutely sure that the LEA retain financial responsibility.

Ticks the boxes for routine and socialisation as well. Plus it shows that you are not defensive otherwise you would not invite LEA staff into your home for five hours each wee.

So, what's not to like - over to you Star!

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Thu 10-Jan-13 12:58:32

each week!

each wee is too intimate grin

claw2 Thu 10-Jan-13 13:05:35

Maria, CAMHS were basically saying that their therapy should run with a plan to return to school, as their plan was for school anxiety and reducing self harm. If he is not attending school, he show no signs of anxiety or self harm, so what would they be treating his therapy.

They didnt say nothing to offer as such (that was me typing for quickness!) just their plan would have to be reassessed as above. I will be seeing them Monday to discuss.

So CAMHS will assess to see if he is fit to attend school via senior psychiatrist, if i am planning to return him to school, but it would appear not prepared to assess if im HE.

claw2 Thu 10-Jan-13 13:11:28

Keep seen as this is what i asked for in the first place, i dont see how i can now turn it down and i did stress in my letter that i would HE'ing as a last resort.

claw2 Thu 10-Jan-13 13:12:49

and im assuming if CAMHS make the decision to authorise, they then have to make the decision to 'unathorise', if someone else says he is now fit to attend.

AtoZandbackagain Thu 10-Jan-13 13:16:39

Actually not a back outcome Claw.

He has to remain enrolled in order to receive the Home Ed as home ed is a temprary solution provided until such time the child can return to (usually) their normal mainstream school i.e fully HE without LA assistance you would have to disenrole him. If he will be re-attnding the PRU he will be enrolled at bothe the PRU and his 'old' mainstream school - again because the PRU is deemed temporary and he will be expected to retuen to his mainstream school.

You can home ed him yourself in parallel with what the LA will provide in home tuition. 5 hours per week is the absolute minimum and if he's fit and able to receive more than 5 hours they shoudl increase it - you'd probably have a battle, I know I did.
Also, if he's facing public exams i.e. GCSEs they should provide more than the minimum.
CAMHS are a bunch of fence-sitters - usually to scared to provide any educational advice in case they are asked by the LA to chip in - that was my experience.

But, I got around that by asking CAMHS for a full diagnsotic assemenet of DS's difficultes and very general recommendations as to the type of educational placement they thought could support his needs.

I felt quite safe in doing that as it was clear that DS needed residential - even CAMHS would agree (off the record). If you don't feel your CAMHS would be so supportive it's probably not a good idea to ask for their recomendations as it could work against you if they just say 'mainstream'.

I found SS bloody useless. Even tryied to get them involved in helping me get residential placemnet for DS but they were totally in cahoots with the Education Service. Actually told SS that ensuring educational needs were was actually part of their holistic duties - they just ignored me. Total waste of space.

claw2 Thu 10-Jan-13 13:17:42

Also seems that SS is stepping down now, rather then stepping up. SW ask someone to take the 'lead' as SS would not continue being the 'lead agency'

So to which 'team' its being passed, i dont know.

mariammama Thu 10-Jan-13 13:20:58

You do want a school, presumably, if you're still going to tribunal. So this probably is a good option. I wonder if we're all just feeling a bit anxious/ paranoid because of the previous tricks and messing around?

AtoZandbackagain Thu 10-Jan-13 13:25:40


You know that my DS also couldn't attend school etc.

The one big difference between your experiences and mine is that CAMHS stated very early on that it would be "inhumane" (their words) to expect DS to return to his old mainstream school where he had been bullied and assaulted to the point of a breakdown and therefore an alternative school was required. The LA agreed.

That may be an approach that you could try.

claw2 Thu 10-Jan-13 13:48:46

Maria, yes i do want a school, just not this one!

Ds has been at this school for 2 and half years, they have arranged zero meetings with me. I literally had to beg for a meeting in September 2011 to raise my concerns, then i was treated like nuisance and the meeting became about them just keep repeating 'ds is making progress'.

When i asked for copies of his SALT programme, Mentor programme, OT programme, anxiety management programme etc, etc which they claimed he had, they ignored me even more.

When i followed previous CAMHS recommendation of home/school contact book writing in ds's school related anxieties and recorded his self harming, they ignored that too.

I requested a copy of his school file and none of the above programmes existed.

They failed to acknowledge ds's school related anxiety and self harm and then reported me to SS for 'my perceptions' of ds's difficulties.

They backed my previous request for a statement, then changed their minds at the last minute and told Tribunal he had all the help in place as above, which ds didnt have.

They stopped his 20 hours of 1:1 overnight without even telling me.

I dont see how i can work with this school.

claw2 Thu 10-Jan-13 13:56:33

They were also opposing my current SA request and appearing as witnesses for the LA, up to a few days ago.

AtoZ CAMHS have assessed ds once to date! I will welcome the senior psychiatrist evaluation of him

mariammama Thu 10-Jan-13 13:59:06

The problem with being on roll at a really terrible school, is that at tribunal the LA can just slag them off and suggest the much better one next door. like they did last time angry.

Try calling a few schools, and ask if you can come for a quick look round. Most areas have the closing date for applications this week or next. You don't have to mention it's not for a reception child till you get there. Log the calls and responses, & various relevant features of the school (too big, noisy, whatever)

The bonus is that even with a brief summary you'll sound like a total nuisance who they don't want to encourage to apply wink. Note down what they say when you tell them about ds. Then ask if they can offer (guarantee?) the huge package which last tribunal recommended in the NIL. Plus the additional help CAMHS say that DS needs to re-integrate...

wasuup3000 Thu 10-Jan-13 13:59:16

The reason that you need to keep him in the school role atm is that the school are charged for the home tutor out of their budget. The SA and hopefully resulting statement will name a dufferent school is the hope?

claw2 Thu 10-Jan-13 13:59:21

Thats not quite true, they saw him another time, but that was with me, for me to explain what had been going on ie A&E emergency mental health referral.

They tried to assess him on his own another time, but he was showing them the sign they agreed for when he is getting too distressed, so had to stop. So assessment time of about 30 minutes so far.

claw2 Thu 10-Jan-13 14:01:31

Maria im not sure another school would take him, he doesnt have a statement, his attedance is 30% and he comes with a whole heap of needs, that cant be paid for without a statement.

claw2 Thu 10-Jan-13 14:11:25

That is what HE EWO was saying, if you deregister, 30% attendance (she didnt mention his difficulties) another school wouldnt be interested and im going to have great difficulty finding one.

So im kinda stuck, CAMHS want to work on reintegration programme, school anxiety and reducing self harming caused by attending school (and it looks as if they are saying without one, they cant offer much, i will check this on Monday)

If im HE'ing CAMHS wont say whether he/is not fit to attend and i wont get senior pyschiastrist assessment stating whether he is/isnt fit to attend school.

mariammama Thu 10-Jan-13 14:12:31

exactly my dear watson, you just need that in a nice little notebook,
so no last minute silly offers of new schools can be brought out mid-tribunal

wasuup3000 Thu 10-Jan-13 14:13:14

That could help your case for a statement claw - email the other schools in your area and ask if they could/would be able to take him with a brief note of his current situation and needs? See if they do say no - not without a statement?? If they say no then that is more evidence for you.

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Thu 10-Jan-13 14:35:08

Look at things the other way - you do not need permission from a new school to make a mid-year transfer. Provided that there is space in the year group (less than 30) the school is not allowed to refuse admission - it is not up to them. The LEA admissions will be able to give you names of the schools and if they do not have the info, a quick phone call to the school office will tell you whether or not the year group is full.

Think about future tribunal witnesses - the opinions of teachers who have not taught him for months and months at a school he previously attended will not be as valuable as current tutors. Teaching witnesses for the lea would be teaching DS as a result of him not being able to attend school and so are less likely to claim that a child can cope (it also does them out of a job). Plus they really do take slow steps - home -> PRU -> placement (either reintegration into m/s or specialist setting).

Would also be consistent with your belief that - whatever the outcome of SA/tribunal - DS must not attend that school. You don't need 'permission-via-statement' to name a different school and you don't want them to think that you are fixed on a particular school.

'will tell me which team later'

^ That.

Tell them you want to be in possession of ALL the details and facts before you can decide what will be in ds' best interest.

CAHMS should continue to be involved on the basis that you need their help TO return him to a school. There cannot be any sensible reason why he has to stay on school role for this surely. Ask for the policy document with this stupid criteria to be sent to you.

SW being involved long term might sound like a threat, but there are probably a host of other agencies 'involved long term' that you don't even know about, taking tax payers money for having your ds on their 'caseload'.

In itself, it means nothing, and you still don't have to answer their questions, have them at your meetings or let them into your home.

AgnesDiPesto Thu 10-Jan-13 15:11:31

If you get a statement - and few schools will want him without - then at that point you can name any school - you do not have to name the one currently at - and LA has to send the proposed statement to the other schools you request.

I agree its probably due to financial reasons in that schools are now being made to pay for their failures by having to pay for alternative provision out of their budget.

I suppose as still on roll then for SA current school and CAMHS will be asked to do reports for SA, so you will get a report from CAMHS one way or the other. School's report will be interesting given LA now conceded medical needs!

In meantime do not get too bothered whether he is fit to go back or not. They know you do not want him back at this school. They know you want to take time to consider advice via SA and visit placements. Whoever is paying for the home tuition (which may be current school) may want to hasten his return but frankly it may cost school more to have him back with high level of 1:1 out of their budget than it does for him to be at home with tutor. Its completely reasonable to wait until SA complete before choosing next placement on basis he cannot risk another failure.

Good news is home tutor may be supportive / see some of learning barriers / OT needs / SALT needs etc - even if there is no anxiety there are still ASD needs.

Another sw team could mean disabled childrens team sw. You never know!

CAMHS are also probably trying not to be dumped with lead professional status. You should refuse school being lead professional / key worker given past conflict.

Who else can be the lead prof? EP?

If CAMHS drop out then does that matter? They haven't backed you clearly and may be better to have no camhs advice at next tribunal on placement than wishy washy / unhelpful advice. You will have your indep EP - anyone else? SALT? OT?

The LA are in tricky position - if he is out of school they can say he will be fine back in mainstream but have to explain to tribunal why failed twice at that level already and have now had to concede on anxiety etc. If he goes back to mainstream and it goes wrong again then they have no chance refusing specialist. It would be as much of a risk for LA to put him back in this school as you. If he self harmed again it would be game over for them.

CAMHS will need to become involved once he moves into a new placement ie to manage transition - unless of course he was transiting into a school which had its own psych support / transition service! I sort of agree there is no basis for CAMHS to be involved until the point he is actually going back. When you get to that point you can argue cost saving of your choice of school as the transition process / psych support will be included in school package.

'They didnt say nothing to offer as such (that was me typing for quickness!) just their plan would have to be reassessed as above. I will be seeing them Monday to discuss.'

Claw There is more they can do. Has he not regressed, even at home? Are you not sleeping with him, battling with food and leaving the house? Are these not as a result of his lost trust in you for going along with stupid opinions?

They need work too. I think a plan returning him to school will need to START with 6 months of him 'stablising' wrt the basics and on his general self-esteem and trust of professionals due to their having let him down. I think CAHMS have a huge role to play here and I would insist they did.

'Also seems that SS is stepping down now, rather then stepping up. SW ask someone to take the 'lead' as SS would not continue being the 'lead agency'

So to which 'team' its being passed, i dont know.'

Two things. 1) The new team is 'probably' disabled children's team, which are pretty useless but you can keep them out of your life by asking for something.

2) SW asked for someone to take the lead. WRT TAC, that can be you. You just have to write to them and say 'I am taking the lead role of key worker for my ds'.

Claw, can you see, you are winning this? slowly.

'When you get to that point you can argue cost saving of your choice of school as the transition process / psych support will be included in school package. '

Ah yes. Very good point. Adding the cost of CAHMS support for transition when the time comes.

So, if you get CAHMS to put in writing that DS will need their involvement (or psych help) when he begins school again, you can put that into the statement in parts 2 and 3.

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Thu 10-Jan-13 15:50:14

If DS has home tuition, the EP that sees him for SA will see him during a tutoring session and speak to his tutor just like in a school. The lea tutor will be seen as a more credible witness (by the lea) than you or an indi tutor but is far more likely to be more on your side than the school.

I think claw needs to stop fighting atm. She has got what she wanted for now - SA and medically authorised absence. It's a long battle and you need to pace yourself and recognise and celebrate when you have won one skirmish. Winning SA and medically authorised absence will impact positively on the chances of winning further along the line. Now is the time that it is safe to ignore SS.

What would be the cost (not financial) of registering DS at another school? You can do this without a statement and so without the school commenting on whether it could meet his needs. As he has not been excluded and does not have a statement there should be no restrictions. It does not matter that they are not able to meet his needs because they can't be any worse than the school he is registered at. You do not need any more desire for DS to actually attend a new school than you have desire for him to attend his old school. Same diff.
Hopefully you will get what you want and it will be irrelevant.

DS1 is no longer at his old primary school and he has never been to the secondary at which he is registered but it does not matter in a negative way at appeal - if anything it reduces the number of witnesses who would say 'all is fine, we can meet his needs' at tribunal.

bochead Thu 10-Jan-13 17:00:50

In my humble experience 2 failed mainstream placements + a period of state funded special provision otherwise than at school = Tribunal Win.

Tribunal Win = SS CP backs off for good (as a family court judge would ask WHY the hell the poor parent had to go thru Tribunal process for SS to recognise the bleeding obvious! None of these people want to risk their own professional accreditation when push comes to shove).

In real terms you are now free to home educate as you see fit for a while, utilising the funded tutor for 5 hours a week as respite.(get the housework done in another room?)

Everyone KNOWS your child isn't going back to that school, the school role stuff is about funding, which I always gnore as not being my problem.

Get all that was offered in the meeting in writing, before anyone notices that you are ahead and tries to rescind on their promises for Gawd's sake.

It would be helpful if you had some idea of the school you would like to name in part 4 of the eventual statement in case Tribunal ask, so in your shoes I'd do some research as others have already suggested. This is just info for your back pocket though at this point and not be acted upon just yet. (keep your powder dry!).

I know it doesn't feel like it but if you can step back a little you'll see you've just won a significant battle. Enjoy the calm now while it lasts for a while. It is a marathon and you need to save your mental strength for the battles yet to come.

Focus your efforts on finding your son under all that anxiety for now, he's still in there somewhere. Also take a little bit of time to just enjoy being his Mum & on family life for a while. You've been living under a state of seige for a while now, and that's not healthy for any family unit.

claw2 Thu 10-Jan-13 17:44:15

Update..........HE EWO has just visited, at last someone with a bit of common sense.

She is saying take the home tuition for NOW, then it doesnt work out for whatever reason then HE, in the meantime look at other schools, so if/when ds is ready to go back, you either put him in another school (she gave me the name of SS in this area), you can transfer him to medical need unit or HE, will be the options.

Apparently she was also telling me when SW, transfers to another team, the whole process starts again from square one, initial assessment etc, etc.

Got to go shopping now, will check back later and read through thread properly smile

bochead Thu 10-Jan-13 17:51:44

The ONLY reason I don't home ed right now is that DS would lose any and all access to state SALT and OT services.

Stay with the tutor for now, 5 hours a week isn't much in the scheme of things but it keeps you in the system just enough to be able to access Cahms etc.

I wholeheartedly agree with the EWO re other schools.


This thread has cheered me up no end. I'm telling you because it is probably hard for you to be cheery when you have simply achieved an aspect of your childs entitlement. It shouldn't be the struggle it has been so make sure that you never downplay to yourself the significant achievements. You ought to be VERY proud of yourself.

AgnesDiPesto Thu 10-Jan-13 18:15:09

Yippee! Who knows in a months time you may be surrounded by positive, helpful, truthful, professionals rather than poisonous, lying numpties.

I am sure they are doing all this quickly / bringing 10 people not because they think you are dodgy and need ganging up on, but because as Boc says they know this is not going to play out well at next tribunal. They have to now try and make amends before the tribunal bollocks them for leaving a child out of school with no provision who has been on sw caseload for months.

Maybe they will even offer you some respite or leisure activities for your DS eg 1:1 swim lessons funding etc.

And if home tutor does not work, well that just more proof you were right. In some ways if bring in tutor before DS is ready and have to build that up slowly then that will help your case.

Our disabled childrens team sw is lovely. Pro ABA. Pro SS. They see what happens in adult SS when children don't get good intervention early on so many of them are supportive - even if only in private. The sw has told me if we ever lose ABA they will massively increase our respite package (because at moment ds has ABA in hols and until 5.30 each day) and in effect derail the LA argument they can do it cheaper.

I agree you have called their bluff and won this battle for now. Time to regroup, take a breather and be proud of yourself.

Yes, but claw has to be aware that new sensible tutor has been 'pre-warned' that claw is a nutter and that he has to try and establish a relationship with her in order to backstab enable the LA to meet the child's needs in the way they see fit.

I'm not saying this tutor will do that, and, quite possibly he will be very helpful, but at the moment he will not have an accurate picture of why he is there.

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Thu 10-Jan-13 18:48:22

Star - reorganisation has meant that DS1's tutor changed - into a stuff and nonsense, we are all on the spectrum monster. After one day I spoke to her, after 2 days I spoke to her supervisor and then the tutor was gone. Can you imagine complaining about a CT and as a result they were gone - immediately? No need to persuade. Now DS1 has a more suitable tutor. The 'good' thing about having a child with ASD means that tutors can be dismissed because they don't fit - for whatever reason. Why - because if the tutor cannot be accepted the child will not integrate.

AgnesDiPesto Thu 10-Jan-13 19:27:17

Star - agreed they may be horrible
but there is always the vague chance they may be decent
Sometimes those who have to pick up others failures are more supportive of not creating a worse disaster

AtoZandbackagain Thu 10-Jan-13 19:35:01

Good news Claw - it's great when you finally meet 'the sensible one' but as warned by those above - don't automatically trust them It coukd be Good Cop/Bad Cop. grin

I'm not saying he will be horrible, but will come with preconceived ideas based on arse-covering bollocks given by the person who commissioned him iyswim.

Hopefully he will be autonomous and come to his own conclusions. I think tutors are fairly good at that since they HAVE to build a positive relationship with the family and just CAN'T bully them iyswim.

However, when I removed ds from school, I continued with the senior ASD SALT that I had battled to get, who did sneaky rushed assessments without consent and then announced a week before tribunal that she was standing against us, and did, and was their best witness.

It wasn't a surprise however, and despite it all we didn't lose because of anything she did (even though she was vile), - but it is something to keep at the back of your mind.

mariammama Thu 10-Jan-13 19:38:29

Tutors are usually sensible. And if not, you can ask for a swap. You could also, as suggested above, look at

I wouldn't worry about the tutor being a LA lackey. Any public sector post where the professionals get to negotiate their hours and be semi-autonomous tends to attract the awkward squad more independent minded staff.

mariammama Thu 10-Jan-13 19:39:28

Aargh. 'Look at 1-1 swim lessons, and perhaps accessing instrumental tuition through the county music service too'

claw2 Thu 10-Jan-13 20:28:19

Agree it is a win! 2013 has been brilliant so far, who said 13 is unlucky! SA win, now this smile ive also managed to pay off solicitor today, so no more montly installments.

All seems rush, rush on everyones part too. HE EWO was here within a few hours of the meeting. SW wants to come tommorow to finish her involvement and pass it on to 'new team'. CAMHS appointment Monday and EP assessing ds in 2 weeks for SA, not at home, in a centre.

A-Z CAMHS are fence sitters, they never want to give educational recommendations, but i suspect behind scenes they have been life savers too. They know me and ds well, from previously. School were telling SW i was fabricating ds's difficulties and she was buying it. CAMHS have stepped in and said no ds's anxieties are very real and school are the cause of them. So SW has proved helpful by pushing them, otherwise we would still be 'we havent finished assessing'

So tomorrow i need to phone medical needs unit, find out training of tutor, and find out whether its time based or not.

and find out from CAMHS exactly what is on offer, either way. They usually 'side step' everything 'havent finished assessments' then 'we are making a plan' 4 weeks later still waiting for that 'plan' in writing. The know that ds's 'issues' are caused by lack of support in school and they are waiting for someone else to solve the problem.

claw2 Thu 10-Jan-13 20:47:23

And as for 'lead', i was told had to be lead 'professional'.

2 people from CAMHS said they dont take 'lead professional'

So left we had HE EWO, SS EIT (another sw, this is the disability team, i think) person from LA, school nurse, medical needs centre, ASD advisory

SW and school, school couldnt take because i might be HE, SW didnt want.

So it was left for 'lead' to be decided at next meeting

AgnesDiPesto Thu 10-Jan-13 20:55:49

oh yes the familiar meetings about meetings
how they manage to spend thousands without actually providing any services
what are they intending to lead exactly?

Googled EIT and it came up as early intervention team and in council i looked at talked about addressing problems early / being involved for short periods and operating at legal level below childrens social work team.

Try googling social work early intervention team + your LA

So doesn't sound like its got any speciality in disabled children - more like problem families!

They seem determined to say its the family not the child who is 'complex' and not provide proper services.

Still when EIT person comes you can ask if disabled child services / respite come within her remit wink

Oh ffs. Tell them all that the only person who has done anything for your child or led anything has been you. And where in god's name is it written that the parent can't be the lead professional, and why for god's sake are you not a professional. You have certainly been more professional than most of them.

er, no don't.

Of course no-one wants to do it. No one wants to take responsibility for the shite not be compelled to take your phonecalls.

When I announced that I was taking on the role, the whole meeting room sighed with relief. Yours should have done the same if they had any sense.

'what are they intending to lead exactly?'

Yes. This ^

My leadership, when 'appointed' consisted of cancelling all multi-disciplinary meetings and meeting individual services ad hoc for specific and defined outcomes.

I remember sitting in a meeting with at my ds' school after lost tribunal and the HT saying at the end 'right, - shall we put a date in our diaries for the next meeting?' and I was able to say 'to discuss what exactly? - why don't we just - er - not, and I'll let you know if I feel another needs to be organised. Again they were all quite happy with that.

Ask the EIT person if they are going to be renamed LIT any time soon.

Sorry Claw. I'm just so relieved for you I'm getting a bit angry in retrospect and sarcastic.

Can you/will you come to the Moondog training on 23rd Feb? I'd like to take you out for a drink/coffee/ice-cream afterwards or night before if you can stay.

claw2 Thu 10-Jan-13 22:12:12

The Early Intervention Teams (EITs) in xxxxx were set up in xxxxx to work with xxxxxx schools supporting children aged 3-16 who need extra help to thrive in school.

Each team is staffed by the following specialists:-
•A Team Manager (responsible for two teams)
•Educational Psychologists
•Behaviour Support Partners (including a Pupil Support Assistant)
•Education Welfare Officers
•AEN/SEN Partners
•SEN Advice and Moderation Partners
•Social Workers

I think this might be this borough 'disability team', but seen as this sw was at the meeting too, as well as SW, im assuming its not that team or maybe that is what Sw planned, thats why she was at the meeting and they speak after.

claw2 Thu 10-Jan-13 22:15:16

Where is the training day Star?

claw2 Thu 10-Jan-13 22:17:03

Im not even sure who or what they are going to 'lead', especially if i had chosen to HE! Maybe me and SW could have just held hands instead grin

AtoZandbackagain Thu 10-Jan-13 22:18:46

And as for 'lead', i was told had to be lead 'professional'.

Crazy! One of the few complaints that the LGO did agree with me was that I shouldn't have been left to coordinate the multi-agency services on my own - sometime should acted as a lead!

Claw - ask CAMHS when they expect to be in a position to provide you with a copy of the assessment report. That gives them a timeline to work on. Also state that you would like their recommendations regarding what sort of educational plcament would best suit his needs (unless you think they'll just say 'mainstream' in which case don't ask them). I did get them to say (in between the lines that DS needed residential but couched in terms such as 'intensive programme of socio-educational support' etc - i.e. not the sort of support one would get in m/s.

Anyway - as you say 2013 and today in particular have been very positive so far. Keep going - you're doing great.

claw2 Thu 10-Jan-13 22:20:34

The EITs were created in order to deal more effectively with the following:-

1.Children whose lack of progress at school stems from a number of different interrelated factors, that ideally should be addressed in a co-ordinated way.

2.Dealing with issues as soon as possible, to prevent more serious problems developing.

3.To help schools and teaching staff with problem-solving and to provide specialist guidance and support where this is needed. This will, at times, include training for school staff.

As well as dealing with children and families in terms of early intervention, team members will also work with such matters as supporting the statementing process, working with children in danger of exclusion, and those with serious attendance problems. EIT team members are also involved with a variety of projects and initiatives within xxxxxx, and some are undertaking research projects within their area of expertise.

Im guessing referral to EIT team? What do you think? thats why she was at the meeting, im guessing.

AtoZandbackagain Thu 10-Jan-13 22:27:27

Probably - sounds like a cross between damage limitatotion and another caring carrot.

Take your foot of the accelerator for a while Claw and coast with the flow. You've achieved a lot - save it for the Proposed Statement battle!

claw2 Thu 10-Jan-13 22:32:26

A-Z All CAMHS would say previous to now was 'they are not educational specialist'

They supported my request for a statement, last time, just by saying that school would find it difficult to maintain the level of support ds needed, without the aid of a statement' or something like that.

Its hard to gauge with CAMHS at the moment, as i said ive met with them once following ds's visit to A&E just to up date on the situation, that was in November. I will get more of a feel, on Monday.

Im getting the feeling, they are thinking school is responsible for ds's anxiety and self harm, weve told you, mum has told you, now someone do something about it, apart from us.

They did say at the meeting 'he doesnt get anxious or self harm while out of school' so its obvious who needs to do something and its not us kind of thing.

claw2 Thu 10-Jan-13 22:42:26

A_Z thats true, they will refer to whoever they refer to you, they will either be helpful or unhelpful, not a lot i can do about it.

School will probably be asking for the role at the next meeting, if ds is getting home tuition, paid for out of their budget.

Still i will deal with the here and now. Off for a bath and cuppa smile

In London somewhere Claw. Venue not yet organised as trying to keep costs down for parents I think.

AtoZandbackagain Thu 10-Jan-13 22:50:38

Claw - you know that CAMHS will not state he needs x school or even specialist provision because if they do the LA will ask them (NHS) to chip in with the costs as they will use that to say that CAMHS think your 's placement will be on medical grounds as well as educational.

The question for CAMHS is 'Having completed your full assessment of DS, what sort of support would DS need if he were to attempt to return to full time education?' That's a very reasonable question which you're quite justified in asking. It allows them to say simple things such as he shouldn't return to an enviroment which causes him such distress right throgh to describing specialist education he may require.

But I'd ask them verbally to ensure anything they subsequently wrote would be supportive.

AgnesDiPesto Thu 10-Jan-13 23:44:39

Sooo..... if the EIT team is for all of those things why the hell were you not under that team months ago instead of idiot sw???????????? FFS. So they don't refer you to one the team that might have some expertise - presumably on basis not want to admit school needed extra advice and support / child had genuine needs.

Surely this referral should have happened at sw initial assessment.

Oh well you can tell the early intervention team they are only about 8 months late.

justaboutchilledout Fri 11-Jan-13 08:37:24

Claw, so glad that things are starting to sound marginally more sensible and productive.

claw2 Fri 11-Jan-13 09:37:09

A-Z thanks, that is a question i will ask, i think i need to go Monday and let the senior psych, sign ds off first. Ask questions later.

Spoke to the Medical Needs person this morning to ask if the home tuition was time based. He said the package they were thinking of for ds had no time limit, they were thinking of offering home tuition up to statement, then tutor to be part of the reintegration into the named school. I will ask for any 'package' to be put into writing, after CAMHS visit and sign off.

Agnes exactly, i dont know for sure, it will be the EIT team, im assuming, as they were at the meeting and had no reason to be there other than that.

It should have been done ages ago, but SW was buying into schools 'its mums fault'. 3 allegations = initial assessment without even speaking to mum = ds's injuries are 'gnat bites' = core assessment = oops we might have this wrong, lets just start again 8 months later.

just thanks, things are looking up, and i will get a breather at last!

Claw. CAMHS is clearly right that ds' anxiety and self harm is linked to school anxiety and therefore if he's not at school there is currently no anxiety. But you want him to return to a school at some point. Surely they can treat school phobia and school related anxiety without the child actually needing to be in school? His anxiety will probably reappear at least initially if you are able to send him to the really good school you are hoping for. Is there nothing they can be doing to help him to prepare for this? It seems like they want to walk away but he still has significant anxiety difficulties that are only temporarily abated.

claw2 Fri 11-Jan-13 10:02:57

Shopping, they might well 'offer' a different plan, i will be seeing them Monday. They were saying, they cant treat an anxiety if it isnt there, kind of thing. Thier plan was for treating school anxiety, reducing self harm and getting ds back to education.

They have given Melatonin for his sleep, they previously treated his eating, they had already indicated sleeping and eating were anxiety related and therefore school related.

I will see what they say on Monday.

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Fri 11-Jan-13 10:43:55

It is outrageous that the policy accepts that supporting children and their families through the statementing process can be so traumatic and take such long period of time battling over the recognition and/or meeting of SEN that referral to the EIT becomes necessary. Statementing is supposed to make things better not worse. angry

claw2 Fri 11-Jan-13 10:50:20

I was wondering whether to mention to CAMHS that one of the schools i have looked at has psychiatrist on site? They might be a bit more forthcoming with what ds needs, if they do not have to burden the cost?

I wouldn't say it like that, but yes to asking them:

'should I be looking ideally for a school with onsite or easy access to a psych?'

AtoZandbackagain Fri 11-Jan-13 11:24:03

Shopping & Claw

To eventually get back son back into school after a year out while he was just too anxious to be in school at all (and I will not use the term 'school phobia' as Ithink it's ridiculous) the one thing you'll find that the child needs is a huge amount of reassurance and practical support. In DS's case we:

Met his course tutor to explain his difficulties (FE setting)
Had neetings with the College Leaning Support team to get their workers involved
DS had a support worker with him throughout the school day (and before and after) i.e. 1:1 support. DS was still unable to sit through many of the lessons and would have to leave for a break.

This 1:1 support continued throughout Fe and into the full 3 years he spent at Uni.

The point I'm making is don't underestimate how difficult it will be to reassimilate him (and my DS was not even self-harming). It's not a matter of the LA suggesting a differnet school and the tutor hanging around for a bit to provide some initial assurance. It will be a long haul.

Sorry but that's my view based on my DS's experiences and of the other ASD students I also saw.

You should be looking for a spacilaist placement with on-site psychiological support.

claw2 Fri 11-Jan-13 12:17:45

Thanks A-Z and Star.

That is exactly what im looking at A-Z, obviously the LA are thinking HT, then hang about for a bit.

The school i have looked at has psych on site, as well as OT and SALT.

claw2 Fri 11-Jan-13 21:42:31

CAMHS phoned today, apparently if i want the referral to Medical Needs, all i have to do is say and they will get Senior Pysch to sign it. So all this Senior Pysch is the only person who can assess and sign off is rubbish. Referral will be ready for me on Monday.

Sw came too today, to say 'goodbye', she still doesnt know the team or the name of SW. Apparently i was her first 'job', she is new to the borough and doesnt know how it works!

She has been asked to provide info for SA and wants to send me a copy first, so i can see what she is saying about me. Im assuming she needs my consent to share info about me? hence she wants me to see it, without telling me she needs my consent and the fact i have seen it, will be my consent, unless i say otherwise?

'Apparently i was her first 'job', she is new to the borough and doesnt know how it works!'

Good grief! Suppose that is the closest thing you'll get to an apology. Hope she's been on a steep learning curve at your expense and is more careful in future.

AgnesDiPesto Fri 11-Jan-13 22:03:54

Claw by asking for SA you have consented (as far as i understand it) to them getting evidence from any of the services involved (see SENCOP for list). They write to social care in every SA and social care then reply saying they are or are not involved & if involved give report.

Usually I think when you apply for SA the SEN team get you to sign something then which then covers them to collect evidence from NHS, social care, school etc.

There is a duty on the services to reply for a request for report as part of SA.

Be prepared for everyone only to advise on their area - and not on education at all - so Paed, SLT, psych etc who were supportive (initially at least) were prevented by LA by giving views on education and were only allowed to give views on medical, SLT, psych needs etc respectively. Which was very frustrating even when we asked profs to give their views we were told they were not allowed to! Only EP was allowed to give view on education for DS.

claw2 Fri 11-Jan-13 22:18:03

Surely its SA, she should be reporting on ds, not me?

She has already warned me 'you are not going to like it'

and that everyone at the first meeting wasnt aware of the difficulties ds and i was experiencing because i didnt turn up!

hmm Ds told her himself, thats why she sent him to A&E, I gave her and CAMHS weekly updates in writing. I meet with the EWO the day before the meeting and told her, gave her copies of everything. They all had a copy of GP medical certificate stating he wasnt fit to attend and saw the pictures he had drawn a few days before, i emailed them to her.

I didnt turn up because ds was trying to throw himself out of a window, due to EWO visit the day before and talk of school, i emailed them all telling them that.

Ds refused to speak her at all on this visit, he sat with his face 3 inches from his ipod, meowing and hissing at her. I think he said it all!

I had his escape ready this time as well, he was just on his way out the door with his brother and i got my older ds to stand there waiting for him, while she spoke to him.

AgnesDiPesto Fri 11-Jan-13 22:34:59

Oh sorry missed that bit - yes you are right you have nothing to do with SA unless they are rec residential as 'Mum can't cope"

Oh well you can tell her she won't like what you have to say about her / her report in your case statement if it goes to another tribunal either!

Is she's new then really its the manager you complained to who is also responsible as she must (should) have been under probation / regular supervision.

mariammama Fri 11-Jan-13 22:47:18

That's fine, Ms SW, I don't need to like professional reports. As we all know, the needs of the child are paramount, and the feelings of the various adults involved are irrelevant. I presume i can expect your professional report to reflect that?

claw2 Fri 11-Jan-13 22:48:05

Just checked on HCPC she wasnt registered until 1/12/12. Im not sure if that is just registered to the borough or to the job or to the Country. So seeing us in September must have literally been her first job

I will wait and see what she writes, apparently she hadnt seen the letter i wrote about inaccuracies in the core assessment to her manager a week ago.

Then why on earth was she allowed to visit your home and terrorise your Ds unaccompanied?

I like all factually correct objective reports written by competent and experienced professionals and I expect no less than that.

zzzzz Fri 11-Jan-13 23:00:01

bochead just skimming to try and catch up (fat chance you chatterers) and have just hit a post from you saying you can't get SALT etc if you HE. This is not correct in my area anyway. The therapy is attached to the child not the institution. Local NHS SALT told me this when I was trying to decide what to do re HE. As a side benefit that means all SALT etc is 121.

claw2 Fri 11-Jan-13 23:00:07

Star, she is acting as if she is leaving ie transfer of case, new SW and she is flying home for a 'holiday' and wanted to tie things up before she goes hence goodbye visit.

She's a bloody nutter.

You know what though. It explains a lot. I have been wondering where she found the time to harass you in the way she did, always on your case etc. now I suspect it was because she hadn't been properly inducted into her role or built up a case-load and had to demonstrate how she was filling her time.

claw2 Fri 11-Jan-13 23:09:29

Maybe i should ask her for HER background information, ie how long been a SW for, how long in this Borough etc, etc, when she sends her report on me, to me, so i can write it in my parental statement to Tribunal!

mariammama Fri 11-Jan-13 23:12:49

Anything she thought or observed up till 30.11.12 might (presumably) be disregarded, on the basis of her not being a SW till then. I'm imagining a paediatrician's report, or even an educational psychologist's...

Imagine if a final year medical student posed as a proper doctor, came and harassed you for months, talked nonsense in meetings, wrote a load of draft drivel, and then finally signed off their report 6 weeks after scraping through their exams... they really wouldn't be very long in practice before getting struck off. And even the worst NHS trust couldn't try to put any store on what their opinions were.

claw2 Fri 11-Jan-13 23:13:26

And why she was planning a meeting and a return to school for a kid, who she was fully aware was self harming, having suicidal thoughts, subject to a safety plan with an 8 day old medical certificate stating he was not fit for school until he had a CAMHS care plan in place.

mariammama Fri 11-Jan-13 23:16:08

Agnes and inappropriately and other clever bods,
would sending a bogus social worker demonstrate incompetence and near-fraud sufficient to be judicial review type material?

Claw. You've every right to be angry, and you appear to have some dry powder for this, but be careful that you use it wisely and for a defined outcome, not simply to slap her in the face. (Which I've been doing in my mind quite a bit btw)

mariammama Fri 11-Jan-13 23:24:52

Perhaps they should go for a full multiprofessional team. I can source them Dodgy doctors and bogus SW plus a fake nurse and a pretend psychologist

claw2 Fri 11-Jan-13 23:25:45

I will point out to her when i get a copy of what she plans to send a) she does not have my consent b) SS has not provided any services, she now has no involvement c) My solicitor lodged a complaint with her manager about her conduct and how views were obtained d) I have written to her manager about her inaccurate core assessment report.

Before she writes anything, my 2 complaints should be answered.

Claw, tbh I woukd sit on this all until you have seen what she has written.

Better to discredit her nonsense than coach her IMO.

Keep your powder dry. She HAS to write something. Don't trap or confuse her. Read what she has written then point out the things you require changing due to her mistakes.

mariammama Fri 11-Jan-13 23:33:52

Perhaps not bogus after all, possibly just useless biscuit. Unison say that SW register has transferred over to a new organisation. With a block "registration valid" date for two years starting 1.12.2012.

claw2 Fri 11-Jan-13 23:35:28

Star, i have encountered some incompetent professionals, but she takes the biscuit.

Having to sit here with her today, i did want to wipe the manic smile off her face, she talks then out of the blue does this wild smiling thing. Its not about revenge on her, i would have been quiet happy, just to let her close the case and have an inaccurate core assessment report floating about, which i had replied to and left it at that.

I have smiled through gritted teeth, i have nodded, i have gone along with whatever. But now she wants to interfere and be detrimental to the help and support ds could recieve.

claw2 Fri 11-Jan-13 23:40:00

She is going to send me a copy of what she has written. I havent said a word to her, it was a case of being polite to her today, smiling, nodding and getting her out the house as quickly as possible.

Well tbh it sounds like she has been drawn to the job for the power and abuse she is able to wield. She appears to be obsessed with undermining, terrifying and stressing you under the guise that it is all for your own good.

claw2 Fri 11-Jan-13 23:52:18

Maria, i dont think she is bogus, just new to the Borough or maybe even the Country, as she has stated she is new, only just started, ds is one of her first cases etc, etc. Doesnt know the name of teams or 'how the system works with transfers' etc.

claw2 Sat 12-Jan-13 00:01:13

Saying that it will probably emerge she has worked there for 20 years grin and was telling me a load a nonsense to avoid answering my questions!

Anyhow on a positive note, i can pick up copy of referral on Monday.

and we wont see that SW anymore.

Im happy.

zzzzz Sat 12-Jan-13 00:15:20

claw finally managed to get some space to read all this. This is dreadful. I am of course totally useless and have nothing clever to add, but HONK!

bochead Sat 12-Jan-13 00:40:40

zzzz I can obviously only comment for my area but DS ONLY has SALT aged 7 because I specifically won it for him via the Educational Tribunal process, otherwise he'd still be going without. I think I have the misfortune to live in the PCT from hell.

zzzzz Sat 12-Jan-13 01:15:33

I think the whole set up is barmy, this whole blurring between medical and educational services is not in the best interests of the children at all IMO. Add a dose of postcode lottery and general heel dragging and you have utter rubbish provision.
I don't see SALT but probably could if I pushed, but I will probably ask for assessment in a few months time because ds is doing well and I would like some input on what to do to stretch him farther.

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Sat 12-Jan-13 11:04:16

I agree that you should wait to see what the SW has written. Even is she has gone with the Mum is barking approach it is a non-medical opinion that is over-ridden by medically authorised absence.

DS is known to CAMHS and so does not require an assessment carried out by the consultant pysch but medical authorisation has to come from them rather than more junior staff. This is good - had you not got the GP to re-refer DS last summer you would have no current consultant to provide authorisation and would have to pay privately or wait months to get authorisation.

Medically authorised absence is proof that DS's needs are genuine. This 'proof' becomes stronger over time by the fact of authorised absence. Just like the 'proof' that you were the problem was given credence by the absence of medical authorisation.

Tutors are far more likely ime to accept that a child can't cope with mainstream/needs specialist placement. Also, the senco from the school that DS1 was to attend phoned me yesterday to check how things are and commented that she and the head thought his statement was rubbish, that it did not describe all of his needs etc. I am willing to bet that she would not be saying that if he did not have the official stamp.

claw2 Sat 12-Jan-13 13:16:14

zzz thanks for support smile

Keep, I have found that once something is written, people dont take the time to read the overwhelming evidence that its inaccurate.

So it will transpire, CAMHS saying ds has overwhelming school anxiety, which no one can deny. BUT mum is the cause of it and i will be back to square one in no time.

claw2 Sat 12-Jan-13 13:22:59

That is what school/LA are trying to prove now. They have moved on from denying that ds suffers with anxiety and self harms and are going for yes we totally agree he has school anxiety, but mum is the cause of it.

She needs help from CAMHS and SW to put this right, rather than ds's unmet needs being the cause.

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Sat 12-Jan-13 14:07:25

claw everything is OK smile

Medically authorised home tuition is both an objective material fact and is written. This will become the new truth.

Nothing that was previously written (in the Dark Ages before the New Truth) is relevant. Nobody in the public sector has the time to read the backstory. Think year zero. Where are we at now? Often asked by a new team that DS has been referred to. 'OK this is our case now' and is seen in a different context. It's OK to roll with it. Can it really do more harm to your ultimate goal?

You cannot cause school anxiety. The other side tried to shift the focus from DS to you. The focus is now being returned to DS. Fade away...

claw2 Sat 12-Jan-13 16:50:43

True Keep, thanks, youre right, i dont have to explain myself anymore. Thats a hard habit to break after 2 and half years of it, i need to take a chill pill and relax smile

What Keep said. The past happened and will no doubt still haunt you, but your frustrations are going to be that the past is denied and implied to be in your head, rather than continuous referals to it from now on.

mariammama Sat 12-Jan-13 21:48:29

"School felt the anxiety was all my fault, because i kept fighting, whilst I felt it was all theirs, because they knew so little about educating a dc with ASD". Succinct, reasonably accurate, sound even-handed, but isn't wink.

mariammama Sat 12-Jan-13 22:00:26

Love 'New Truth'. So true. DS firstly 'didn't have' the behavioural difficulties that they'd flagged up, then he didnt have ADHD, then he 'didn't have' asd, then 'doesn't show' anxiety, then 'didn't need much' at SA+, didnt need SLT/OT/EP, then didnt need statutory assessment (twice), then didn't need a statement. Then he didn't need quantified and specified provision. But their previous reactions to all those things are lost in the Dark Ages; the 'New Truth' has been understood for millenia and everything was in his best interests hmm

claw2 Sun 13-Jan-13 04:35:41

Maria, your experience is exactly the same as mine.

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