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URGENT HELP: DS diagnosed with learning disability at 12. Primary school was a nightmare which looks like it's going to be repeated in secondary school!

(8 Posts)
JustTryingToGetBY Wed 02-Apr-14 20:27:15

DS is in year 7. He was diagnosed with a learning disability (IQ of around 70), memory impairment and cognitive function of a 6 year old at the end of last year. We had to go through 2 years of waiting with 6 monthly appointments at the child development centre before they would do an assessment which was an assessment for ASD. We were told that DS does fit the criteria for ASD (which I am not sure I agree with) mainly due to good eye contact but was diagnosed with the above. Paed's report and clinical psych report included recommendations for school to use in teaching him as they said that he won't learn the same way as other children and school will have to find different strategies.

I of course had a meeting with school SENCO. He took away copies of everything. As his latest progress report showed DS was slipping down in several subjects, SENCO said they would put him in the 'Nurture' group as smaller class and more assistance. DS has been in normal set but lowest level. This was 6 weeks ago (I was told it would take effect from after Feb half term) but it has not happened. DS also has been getting detention for not completing homework. He says he can't do it, he loses it, forgets it etc. I told SENCO about this at the same time so SENCO said he would put DS in compulsory homework club where he will get extra support in doing it. Again this has not happened. SENCO now denies saying he would do these things hmm. Up to that point (early Feb) DS did not even have an IEP even though he was on School Action Plus all through primary school. I am told IEPS are reviewed yearly at secondary school. At primary school it was every 3 months or so.

Background with primary school is that DS was very disruptive when he started and I was quite shocked at how he was behaving. I was told he 'would not conform'. Behaviour issues were immediately obvious (nothing in pre-school although hard work at home!). In the 7 years he was there, I was constantly called about 'low level' silliness. Nothing nasty just energetic, boisterous stuff. I took DS to GP when he was in Yr 1 as I was worried something may be wrong (instinct), GP said he would do nothing unless school raised concerns as well angry and I still can't believe I swallowed that. His 'outstanding' school preferred to label DS as a 'troublemaker' who did not want to learn. At Yr 5, he was working to Yr 1 levels. That's when I had enough and (with a different GP) asked for DS to be assessed. He would not sleep, constantly spinning around pretending he was in a Marvel cartoon, could not retain information or follow instructions. School made me feel like it was my fault and I 'must do more with him at home'. They got the Ed psych in in Yr 3. She came up with 'low confidence'. Yeah, that's because all the other kids call him 'weird' and 'stupid' and the teachers keep telling him off! He had counselling (through the school at my request) in Yr 6 and nothing changed. In Yr 5, school suddenly agreed with me that further intervention was necessary. I must add that DS's twin brother has always been in the 'gifted' set at school with not one complaint of bad behaviour ever which has not helped DS as he is acutely aware of how different they are.

I actually had a meeting with the SENCO of DSs secondary school BEFORE he started as I was so worried about how he would transition. I wanted it to be a fresh start so he could lose his 'label' (he refused to move primary schools even though I wanted to move him as he felt at 'home' there hmm). I explained we were awaiting an assessment, told him what DS had experienced at primary and how he was viewed. I was assured the school would support him.

Yesterday he was put in isolation at school as he had apparently been given 3 detentions in one day. I know he has had them for homework in the past and for lateness as he just is not aware of time and will take ages to get ready in the morning, forgets stuff he needs etc. I have stopped stressing about it now as I was getting migraines every morning and keep thinking I was going to keel over with a stroke! Anyway the 3 detentions was not correct. One should have been cancelled, the other two were for talking in class after other pupils had started talking to him, he had told them to stop talking to him apparently. I was furious about the isolation. In the schools behaviour policy, isolation is a consequence for bullying, damaging equipment, stealing etc. I have told the school that I am not happy and they are being unfair to him and am having a meeting tomorrow with them.

I want to say, 'FFS, DS is not the same as other 12 year olds, stop giving him ridiculous detentions and punishing him unfairly, you fucking idiots!'. I won't of course! I accept fair punishment taking into account his SN without doubt but I fear that DS is going to go down the same road as at primary which I thought by engaging with the school, I could avoid.

I put off getting a statement for him as the school said they would not get involved and I understand that I had to prove the school had done all they could to help him. As he has still not been put in the 'Nurture' class, I can't prove that and I don't want the LEA to refuse to look at his case.

DS does not have any 1:1 time so he says, so school are obviously not working with him as the assessment report recommendations suggests.

What can I say to them tommorrow. Any experience?

sticksandstones471 Wed 02-Apr-14 20:59:09

I would be telling them that you are going to request statutory assessment to obtain a statement for your son.
you can apply directly to the lea, ipsea have model letters and plenty of good advice.
tbh I wouldnt waste any more time waiting for the school to put things into place I would go straight for a statement if your son is 6 years delayed. outraged on your behalf that this hasnt been suggested before shock

PolterGoose Wed 02-Apr-14 21:33:04

Agree with sticks the IPSEA website has model letters to apply for a statement and also a phone advice call back thing.

joycei Wed 02-Apr-14 22:03:33

What a nightmare for you!!

Who suggested he had an IQ of 70? If that were the case, then more than likely he would have been placed in a Special School. He certainly is struggling but that may absolutely nothing to do with a low IQ but more to do with some undx neurodevelopment problem.

I would certainly urge you to write to the LA requesting a Statutory Assessment, but I would also be insisting your Gp refer you to Camhs (NHS Child Adolescent Mental Health Services)

Don't be fobbed off!!

devilinside Thu 03-Apr-14 10:22:55

I can't believe, he's gone through primary with what appears to be hardly any support. I'd be furious in your shoes. My son is similar to yours, has got an ASD diagnosis, but clearly there is much more going on. He is unable to concentrate, is falling way behind and spins a lot in class. He has never done homework, he just hasn't got the attention span. He has a CAHMS appointment soon to assess for ADHD. He's got a 25 hour statement, but that's only because we pushed like crazy for it, If we see no progress over the next few months, then we'll be taking the LA to a tribunal to push for a special school

mmm1 Wed 30-Apr-14 20:06:47

Your boys levels are the same as my girls were. Her "outstanding" ( according to ofsted) primary told me she would catch up . They lied and wasted years. Her new primary told the truth and tried to help her.

She is now at a Special independent (funded by county) and has a statement. I feel bad I did not get it done years ago as she was bullied badly and her self esteem was poor.Please Waste no more time and try for a statement. Her secondary would have been a disaster but now she loves school and actually dislikes school holidays. Please ask for statutary assessment asap. :-)

babiki Wed 30-Apr-14 21:49:26

Christ this is really shocking how long they left him with no support, poor poor boy sad

On the positive side, if he is so behind you might get statement without much fight, apply asap.

Tell the school in writing due to his disability no more homeworks to be send home as he is not coping. Any more stupid detentions etc quote them Disability Discrimination Act ( or is it called something else now - rather check).

I'm furious on your behalf, how dare they sad

And to be frank if he is struggling so much I would start looking around for SS for secondary as well - you might be lucky in your area...

Good luck!

nennypops Wed 30-Apr-14 22:43:12

It's the Equality Act 2010 that you need to quote. And they are definitely guilty of disability discrimination, and you could appeal to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal.

I suggest you phone SOS SEN.

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