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Been told they would like to put ds on special needs register - is it the right thing?

(13 Posts)
hippo123 Mon 17-Nov-14 18:41:23

Have just had parents evening. Ds is 7, in year 3. He has ot input for handwriting and whilst his writing isn't great it has improved loads and is now readable. He used to be seen by salt and audiology. However salt discharged him at 4 1/2 years (after not really doing anything) and once ds had grommets in at 5 his hearing had been fine. Ds has always been lispy.

So today teacher expressed her concerns over his speech. That's fine, i will get him a referral back to salt. However she is also very concerned about his lack of concentration / constant fidgeting. I totally agree with what she's saying, he has always been like this, he is also very immature and emotional.

He is find with his school work, understands everything with no problems but is just very slow at doing everything due to being easily distracted. So where other kids are doing 10 sums he's done 3.

His teacher says he works very well if given 1:1 but obviously she cannot do this.

She has suggested putting him on the special needs register. However when I asked how it would benefit him she said he might get 1:1 for about 20 minutes a week.

So my question are, is it worth being on the register just for 20 minutes 1:1 a week? Once on the register are you always on it? If we applied to a secondary out of catchment can they refuse to take him because he's on the resister? Shouldn't he be getting assessed by someone else before being put on the register?

Mostlyjustaluker Mon 17-Nov-14 18:46:19

If he has a referral to salt then he will put on the sen register. I am unsure why you would not want him on to be honest.

beautifulgirls Mon 17-Nov-14 19:03:10

Being on the SEN register doesn't put him at a disadvantage, it brings awareness to his issues and hopefully the right support. It sounds like you needs to go further than the SALT and maybe see a paediatrician to discuss his concentration issues further and see if this is just a normal variation on his age or if there is more to it. Unless you are going for selective schools and/or private schools it is unlikely to prejudice your application for secondary, and to be honest if he has issues and they school are not supportive of that would you really want him there anyway? It sounds like you have a school who are keen to support from here and I would embrace that and work with them. Time to have a chat with the SENCo at school and talk through everything with them about their concerns and what they are going to do to support him, and find out where they think you should go from here out of school in terms of paediatrician/SALT/OT etc. Worth perhaps coming to the special needs children board on MN too to have a chat with people who have been through this sort of thing before too.

hippo123 Mon 17-Nov-14 20:29:12

I didn't realise that having a salt referral automatically puts him on the special needs register. Is that true of all schools?

I'm not against him being on the register at all however I'm just not sure how it's going to benefit him. 20 mins 1:1 a week (if we're lucky) doesn't sound like much to me. And I guess I'm not sure why they want to put him on the special needs register without assessing what his special need is first.

The reason I ask about secondary schools is that the schools in our catchment area don't teach in our first language. The only one that does is out of catchment. Normally children living in our area do still get in, but can they refuse him just because he's on the special needs register? I do not wish for him to continue his education though his second language at secondary level ie - attend the local secondary school.

I guess it is good that his school wish to support him, but I guess I'm not sure what support they are offering. I feel he needs to have a full assessment with a pedicatrician before just being put on a register. School have agreed that this is a good idea so I will see my gp to arrange a referral.
I'm not 100% sure this is the rightway round to do things though or even what a pedicatrician will do.

I guess I'm just a little bit unsure of what to do for the best. The school have very much left it in my hands, which is fine. I just want to do what's best for my son, no matter what that is.

I will have a look at the special needs board. Thanks.

LittleMissGreen Mon 17-Nov-14 22:26:59

A child can be on the special needs register because they have a medical (but not educational need), or they can be on the register for an educational need. Sometimes that educational need can have a medical reason behind it - e.g. child has ADHD and finds it hard to concentrate, or it could be purely educational - child is behind in maths and is having catch up lessons.
If you look at a recent OFSTED report I imagine it will tell you what percentage of children are on the register for your school (we are in Wales so guessing slightly as we have ESTYN not OFSTED). About 20% of children in our school are on the register at different levels of support. In Wales (maybe different names in England, and it is all changing at the moment too) there is school action which is the lowest level of need and the school can provide all the help needed. Then there is school action plus where the child is seeing an external person for help - so if your child was seeing a SALT they would get put at this level. Then at the most severe end there are statements where a detailed plan is produced for the child and legally has to be kept to.
Our list is fairly fluidic, children may be put on catch up for reading or maths and get taken off again when they have caught up. Every child on our register has their own IEP (Individual Education Plan) that details specific things that the child is working on and what the target is and who will help the child achieve them and how.

hippo123 Tue 18-Nov-14 09:19:00

Thank you littlemissgreen, that makes a lot of sense and is very reassuring. We are also in wales. 1:5 are on the sen register apparently. I think I will chat to gp / school nurse to get him referred and then speak to head teacher / teacher / seen co to discuss further.

honeysucklejasmine Tue 18-Nov-14 09:28:08

By the time they get to secondary school, a lot of kids have outgrown their sen. I remember being surprised multiple times when looking at the register and I would never have thought there was anything "wrong" or any reason for concern. With a new class, I would prefer not to look at the register for a week or so, so I could see if the need really existed anymore or if it was a historical problem. Children with severe or limiting sen are usually known to teachers by name, even if they haven't taught them before. I do not ignore children's needs at any point in this process. I merely prefer to identify needs from evidence for a few lessons rather than pre-judging their ability based on something which might not be relevant any more. Some students only struggle in certain subjects or skill areas.

What i am trying to say is that an identification as sen now is unlikely to affect him in further years, unless his sen is ongoing, in which case he needs the help! A lot of senior schools have a code "N". This means that they did once have a need but it is no longer relevant/true.

DeWee Tue 18-Nov-14 10:12:32

Ds has glue ear and is currently in year 3 and on his third set of grommets.

He was on SEN register for SALT last year. It meant he had 5-10 minutes 2-3 times a week working 1-2-1 with a TA who specialised in SALT (in fact they're now training to be a speach therapist).

he's now at juniors (different school) and we've just had parents; evbening and she said she didn't see any reason why he should be put on the register now. His concentration most of the time seems to be better and his speech has improved greatly.

MrsDrJohnWatson Tue 18-Nov-14 11:35:51

20 mins can make a big difference. 20 mins a week of 1:1 handwriting for instance. Isn't Wales on the same system as England for admissions. Schools don't get to select pupils in England. You put in your application and if you meet the admission criteria you are in. The school knows nothing about the pupils applying until they have been offered a place. I cannot believe that schools in Wales could possibly be allowed to cherry pick pupils as you are suggesting.

RiversideMum Wed 19-Nov-14 18:32:12

Under the new SEND system children can only be in the register if they have specialist help from an outside agency. So if you DS gets S&L help, then that would count. School support does not.

If your child is fidgety he probably needs more physical activity during the school day. Children aren't built to sit still.

What is the school doing to support your child? They can't just moan at you, they need to try stuff and be able to show what they've tried if they want any outside agency to be involved. If your child understands but is slow due to being distracted, maybe he just needs a sticker chart, or a reward from you at the end if the day if he does all his work in lesson time. Has any of this been tried?

fullcircleagain Wed 19-Nov-14 22:09:30

RiversideMum - you made a very interesting point. Do you have any links to the fact that children can't be on the SEN register without involvement of an outside agency!!

hippo123 Thu 20-Nov-14 11:57:36

Thank you for all your responses. I have been in to see the head, senco and his teacher in a meeting I set up this morning. Having talked it though with them I am feeling much more positive about things. Basically by him being on this register he can access things like salt, ot etc in school, get proirity for 1:1 and small group sessions etc. they will also do some kind of plan which will clearly list his goals and how they hope to achieve them, which should be reviewed regualrly. If I agree to him going on the list an educational psychologist will become involved and give him a full assessment. It's this assessment that I feel he really needs as I feel there are lots of little things going on. He can be taken off the special needs register after 2 terms if appropriate. It will not affect how the secondary school I want him to go to select at all, that's all done though the council, thankfully they don't cherry pick outside of catchment.
If I'm honest it's quite a scary prospect having your child put on a special needs register when you aren't expecting it. It's strange as academically he's doing very well, his reading for example is a good few years ahead so I guess it took me by surprise.
So I need to convince dh it's the right thing for ds (shouldn't be a problem) and then hopefully ds can get the help and support he needs. In the meantime I suggested reward charts etc like riverside suggested. He has had these in year 1 and they worked well so his new teacher is going to try some traffic light scheme with him which sounded good.

LittleMissGreen Thu 20-Nov-14 12:46:38

smile sounding positive

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