I've been strongly advised to seek statements for my twins by their hospital consultant. Any advice welcome.(60 Posts)
My twin boys have been behind in their development since starting school almost 2yrs ago (they will be 6yrs old in July and were 10 weeks premature). The nursery that they attended strongly recommended that they delay starting school (in fact my first thread ever on Mumsnet was a couple of years ago asking about the implications of such action). They eventually started in Reception against our better judgement but after 3 weeks ended up back at the nursery until 5 months later when they rejoined. We tried to get them held back to do Reception again as they had missed so much but the Head assured me that they would be fine and would get extra help in yr1.
Now in yr1, they have struggled albeit with a great teacher but we had a meeting with him a couple of weeks ago and he expressed concern about them. He said that it would be very beneficial if they could be held back and do yr1 again and asked if we would be happy with that and of course we concurred.
The Head has now written to us saying that she spoke to County Hall and that they cannot be held back unless they are statemented. We assumed that they weren't that bad and so agreed that some extra help would be the way to go thus keeping them with their peer group.
By coincidence one of the twins had his annual consultation today with the paedeatrican and she is strongly recommending that we apply for statements for both of them. Apparently we are to contact the Educational Pyschologist who will visit them at school to observe (she came to the house a year ago but didn't report back on an awful lot).
Sorry, very long winded but can I ask if anybody knows what happens next, how long it takes and how hard it is to get them statemented? I get the feeling that it is a very protracted and hard won process from odd threads and articles read before.
Thanks in advance!
agree with yurt. 4-5 years sounds conveniently similar to when your twins would leave primary school, doesn't it
/slight hijack but on a similar note
on another board a lady said that in her authority kids had to have 18 months documented evidence of falling behind at school before they could start the statementing process - that's also bollocks, isn't it?
yup. A parent can request a statement whenever they like the school then has to provide evidence etc etc. Of course it's harder if the school are being obstructive but there are appeals processes etc.
I'd post in SN as well (and special educational needs, although the SN section is busier). Plenty of people who have been through it in there, and many don't bother to read the main boards.
Thanks everso much, I will go and have a look on the SN board now. Thought 4/5 years seemed pretty unlikely and she is definitely being obstructive which makes the whole thing even more depressing. Thanks again!
Defintely do as Yurt advises- - she knows loads!
I'm in no way an expert, just an English teacher who has done some support re dyslexia/dyslexic type problems (shouldn't be me but needs must when there's no money). I get bloody angry and cynical when a child gets all the way to year 7 & should clearly have had a statement at primary and hasn't. For us, once identified they normally go through in about 7m to a year, but there's already been 4 or 5 wasted years fgs! Schools can and should put in place in-house support whilst the statement is being processed. It isn't fallow time.
There's so much crap spouted about statements, such as they can only be given to the bottom 2%- absolute rubbish and a complete twisting of what was said when they were introduced.
there's a lot of good advice on here
I would telephone the local council / education officer for SEN first; ask them to explain the procedure for FORMALLY requesting a statement, get personal contact going with the relevant department like yurt says... this is really helpful.
use 'parent partnership' or IPSEA for advice: but don't let it stop you if you can't get through to them
Most local council websites explain the procedures, and how to request a statutory assessment Its a statutory process with timescales & appeals procedure.
sadly it seems schools are often not too helpful, although you will need their input during the process, so they need to be on-side. If the paed will send you a letter / email confirming his advice that might help get the ball rolling.
we got one for my son in about 6 months. there's no need for it to take 4 - 5 years if everyone agrees it's needed. If the local authority don't agree its needed, that's when it gets drawn out and you have the option to appeal decisions at tribunal.
I agree that the SN threads are a great source of advice, And there are many people on there who have had to fight for statements, But its not necessarily going to be a struggle if your DC(s) have clear needs.
sorry, meant to say I also was advised by the school to contact the ed Psych. This might be one route, but it doesn't contsitute a formal request for the statutory assessment, and you could just get delayed for months and have to make the formal request later anyway. I would follow the statutory procedure, then the LA is obliged to carry out the assessment.
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