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Can anyone talk to me about SEN in the classroom without statements/ECHP?

(12 Posts)
plimpton Fri 17-Mar-17 13:51:20

DD is in reception. She has a mild hearing loss managed with hearing aids and has/had a severe speech and language problem. The hearing loss was diagnosed very late and a huge amount of damage has been done to her social communication and understanding skills. She has been discharged from LEA SLT as since hearing aids her speech now meets their minimal functional standard. She does see a therapist privately every couple of weeks.

However, although she can now speak and construct a sentence she can't use her speech in any useful social way (eg can't find language quickly enough to join in games, often uses language completely out of context and her speech sometimes becomes completely untintelligible with the stress etc).

Reception has not been a success. She seems completely isolated at school and is starting to misbehave, and has switched off from learning at school, although is happily learning to read with me at home.

Almost everyday I get a call/email from the teacher to advise another list of bad behaviour (eg screaming at another girl to go away, emptying the bookcase and refusing to put the books back, refusing to sit on the carpet or join an activity and sitting in a corner, occasionally hitting refusing to come in after break). There's no suggestion of what the school are doing to help and when I ask I am just told she needs a lot of attention and they don't have that kind of time.

I'm not sure what they want me to do with this information. It seems that they are very frustrated but also very passive. I'm never told what they are trying to do to help. Her IEP is very vague, lots of 'try to support littleplimpton in.....'

She was in a very good nursery 3 days a week prior to reception (they picked on the hearing issues), behavioural issues weren't raised at all, other than it was clear her social skills were very undeveloped and she preferred to play alone so she didn't have to speak. They were very helpful though and she made progress which has now gone backwards.

I know its harder to recognise in girls but I don't think she is on the spectrum, she attends dance, swimming and rides horses outside school and plays happily with her old nursery friends. She is very happy outside school in general and apart from the language skills not really different to DD1.

She's on the school SEN register but this doesn't seem to equate to concrete help and I'm getting very tired of hearing a long list of DDs failings and how hard it is to deal with her with no indication of what they are doing to help. I do ask and am told in varying ways that they just don't have time.

We will apply for an EHCP but the delays on everything are huge. Just advised we have an 18 week wait to see a paediatrician, similar for EP, and then obviously they all need to make their assessments and then there's the actual application process so nothing at all this school year and some way into next, if at all.

I'd love to hear any feedback on what is reasonable to expect the school to put in place in the meantime.

hatchypomagain Fri 17-Mar-17 14:03:45

you need to self refer to sensory support at your local council. she needs a teacher of the deaf to advocate and steer you through the maze of EHCP, You should also apply now for the EHCP, you don't need someone to do this for you. The school need to do more, but you do too. Speak to the NDCS to get an educational advisor to help you too.

plimpton Fri 17-Mar-17 14:12:09

Thanks for the reply.

She has a teacher for the deaf, but as her loss is mild and managed well now with hearing aids she is eligible for one observation per term. On my request they have contacted the school recently and given some additional recommendations but advised they aren't really involved in the school's behaviour management. Sorry I took this out as the post was so epic! I will get in touch with them again and see what it needs to up their involvement.

I was told I couldn't apply for an ECHP until we had reports from EP and Paediatrician? There are waiting lists for both, although we are on them. Can we apply with these reports pending and go straight to the application assessments?

gatorgolf Fri 17-Mar-17 17:54:04

Ask for your thread to be moved to Sen chat or repost query in there as there are some really helpful knowledgeable ppl that post in there. I don't think you need ed psych or other reports to apply for Echp however the school have to be able to demonstrate what support they are giving already out of their own resources and that it is not working, you may struggle on this if they are not doing much

SlapperPJ Fri 17-Mar-17 19:27:57

Your school should be doing better. Seriously. Have you seen the school's SEND policy (poss a lot of cutting and pasting from the DofE stuff so can be wordy) or the SEN Information Report (should be far more user/parent friendly). These are required by law. Ideally on the website (Ofsted would go loop if not there tbh) Ask for them. See if you think the school is doing what it should.

I would suggest you make an appointment with your SENCO and outline you would like a greater understanding of what is in place to support your DD. Even without an EHCP your DD's education (SEN or otherwise) need to be met by the school. If you do not get the answers of how they are helping her speak to the head. If no answers there write to the Governors. (I am a School Governor with responsibilities for SEN - all schools should have a governor who oversees vulnerable groups like this.)

Each meeting follow it up in writing. We met on XX and discussed YY. You said you would do ZZ.

The school should be doing more (from what I can tell) even without an EHCP. At our school we have 20 children on the SEN register. Only 1 has an EHCP. The other 19's needs are met with regular classroom interaction with additional 1:1 support, SLT, emotional and behavioural support provided/paid for by the SENCO, TAs and LSA when needed. And outside help when needed. A further 30+ children also received some support though their learning vulnerabilities are not "enough" to be on our SEN.

I am not an SEN expert - so as PP I would also suggest you go over to the SEN boards as there are experts there who can help.

Your daughter needs you to step in. <hugs>

notapizzaeater Fri 17-Mar-17 19:32:30

You do not need the reports to request an EHCP, look on the council for disabled children (or private message me) and I will find the independent supporter in your area, these are free and can help you apply for an EHCP.

Mary21 Fri 17-Mar-17 20:18:35

You can apply for an EHCP yourself see the IPSEA website. In the mean time you need good a SMART IEP in place laying out the interventions in place and evaluated to seen what is working of failing. This will help prove the need for a EHCP. Also make sure you have a copy of the code of practice

Mary21 Fri 17-Mar-17 20:19:33

The national deaf children's society may also be worth contacting

mrz Fri 17-Mar-17 20:42:01

I would ask to be re referred to SALT because even though her speech meets their standards she obviously still has language and communication difficulties (word finding etc).

smilingsarahb Fri 17-Mar-17 20:44:29

It sounds awful. We have a few children with hearing issues at our school. I know that the class teachers for those children went on a one day course on hearing loss and classroom management at the start of the year as I booked the course. I know we have a quiet area of the playground (not just for the deaf children) where an experienced play worker facilitates games with children who struggle in the playground..They normally pick a friend to come with them. It's just a bit calmer and more structured. I also know the SENCO meets with the parents regularly. I don't know much else as I am in the office but ypur daughter sounds totally lost and overwhelmed poor thing.

plimpton Mon 20-Mar-17 10:53:59

Thank you to everyone who replied. Sorry I didn't come back, we were away for the weekend.

'Lost and overwhelmed' is it exactly. She is behaving atrociously, I don't disagree but it just isn't who it is. I was talking to her dance teacher and she couldn't believe the problems we were having. She said she has a problem focusing sometimes and following verbal instructions but just needs to be brought to attention and shown visually and she's a 'joy'!

The teacher is probably stressed, she has lost her TA and has an inexperienced replacement until a permanent replacement is found but DD is retreating entirely, is stressed beyond belief about school (perfectly relaxed and happy at home) and is reacting in the only way she can make herself heard.

Any ideas how to approach this with the school? I feel so emotional and angry that she isn't being supported but know we have to work together.

I wil try and get this to SN too.

GrassWillBeGreener Tue 21-Mar-17 16:22:08

No concrete suggestions but just wanted to say I was in a similar position to your daughter when I started school - in my case my hearing had been improved by ENT intervention a few months before, and I'd had about a term of speech therapy before that therapist moved and wasn't replaced (this wasn't in the UK btw ... same old problems everywhere it often seems).

Within a couple of weeks of starting school I'd been stood up as the "naughtiest girl in the infants school", typically for things like talking out of turn as they completely ignored the advice they were given about the need to encourage my speech...

If you asked my mother now what one thing she would have done differently, it would have been to have fought harder on our behalf - not that she didn't, but that she would recommend ignoring thoughts of "don't want to be seen as making a fuss".

As regards "spectrum" stuff - a lot of the early signs of autism are similar to signs of hearing problems, some of the same behaviours can arise from both causes. Doesn't mean they can't coexist, but any behavioural issues at this stage are far more likely to be solely related to her hearing delays than anything additional.

Can I just say, do enrich her "aural environment" as much as you can - let her hear a range of music and birdsong and other interesting sounds, as well as speech, in a context where background noise is minimised. She's got 3 or 4 years of sensory development to catch up, effectively. (doi without the wonderful music experiences I had age 4-12+, I probably wouldn't have ended up able to appreciate music at all, let alone a musician - now I'm teaching the violin!)

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