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Ed Psych & School

(35 Posts)
coolpatterngirl Tue 21-Mar-17 12:40:06

My youngest has some behaviourial issues which the school have brushed off over the years.

I know there's something up and am desperate to help him. We've enlisted the help of a private Ed Psych to assess him.

I've just found out his teacher and head are having a meeting before and after his assessment. Am I entitled to insist on being present at the meeting? Am I entitled to ask that the assessment take place in our home?

I find it strange that the school are happy to talk to the Ed Psych but not me. I'm trying really hard not to be THAT mother, but I'm really irritated at the school's reluctance to say anything about my son.

paddlingwhenishouldbeworking Tue 21-Mar-17 12:43:47

I would think it perfectly normal to insist on being present at a meeting about your child and for which you are paying.

Not sure about the home part. I think its fair to assume that a meeting with the head takes place at school unless there are significant reasons why not.

paddlingwhenishouldbeworking Tue 21-Mar-17 12:45:58

Good luck by the way. I am also trying hard not to be THAT mother but needing to get support for my DD. Its hard to find a balance, schools are an odd environment.

gillybeanz Tue 21-Mar-17 12:49:08

The assessment has to be done under strict conditions adhering to guidelines, not the thing to have done at home.

You are entitled to find out the results and read any reports, but if the teacher and head are initially discussing the results, intervention and support then they will need to do this in relation to the school, teachers, and your child.
I'd expect to be involved in due course but some of it won't be of any use to you at all.

We are going through the same atm but with secondary school, we as parents won't be told anything until it has all been sorted.
have faith in your head and teachers and ask when it is necessary for you to meet to see report and discuss findings/ their plan for support.

lottieandmia Tue 21-Mar-17 12:51:26

If your child is attending school then it would benefit him to be assessed at school because the EP will look at interaction with others as well as executive functioning in the classroom. These things will go into a report which could ultimately prove support that he needs.

I would definitely expect to be invited to the meeting. If you feel that the school are not supportive of your position then let the EP know this before. They are familiar with the system. They know that parents often have to fight for every little thing.

Don't worry about being 'that parent'. If your child has additional needs then you have to be. These people won't work with your son in 10 years time but you will be guiding him throughout his life.

coolpatterngirl Tue 21-Mar-17 12:51:26

Thank you, I will insist on being there for the meeting about my child. I think I needed someone else to confirm I'm not being OTT.

Sorry to confuse you, I don't expect the head to come to my house, just for the actual assessment of my child to be done at home (as most of his issues seem to be school related).

I'm sorry to hear you are also wading through the system at the moment. I hope you manage to find a solution and your balance.

coolpatterngirl Tue 21-Mar-17 12:55:16

Thank you Gillybeanz and LottieandMia, I'm afraid I don't have faith in the head or his teacher. I've been driving the meetings, the school won't/can't tell me what their thoughts are hence the reason we're seeking the private Ed Psych assessment.

gillybeanz Tue 21-Mar-17 13:02:57

I'm sorry you can't have faith in your head and teacher, this must be a worry.
Tbh, I'm not 100% confident in ours, and didn't mean to sound smug thanks

I think it's a narrow line between being too pushy but standing up for your child and supporting them.

You sound like you have had a fight to get this far and feel so sorry for parents having to fight for some basic support.

Don't be surprised if they don't want you at their initial meeting, it may be that they have to discuss their side of things first before they can discuss with you what they propose, as long as they include you, this is the main focus.

I know my dd have had meetings about support for dd that I wasn't invited to or expected to attend, but as soon as it was necessary and appropriate they called me in.

Could you speak to them and say that you want to be involved at the earliest opportunity, and find out their time scale and when you will be informed.

winekeepsmesane Tue 21-Mar-17 13:04:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

lottieandmia Tue 21-Mar-17 13:08:31

How old is your dc?

The bottom line is that schools and local authorities will have their own agendas which are not necessarily beneficial to your child but your child's best and only advocate is you as a parent. So you have every right to have his needs identified. I've ruffled a lot of feathers over the course of my dd's life and she's 15 now. Some of those people haven't seen her in years, though. Do I care what they thought of me then or now? Absolutely not...

lottieandmia Tue 21-Mar-17 13:09:15

Oh, and take someone with you to the meeting if you can so that you have a witness to what was said.

coolpatterngirl Tue 21-Mar-17 13:10:31

Thank you. I only found out about their private meetings as I called the Ed Psych's secretary about the questionnaire...

I was advised the Ed Psych would observe in the classroom. I'm awaiting a call back from her and will tackle the school accordingly.

lottieandmia Tue 21-Mar-17 13:10:45

An independent EP will want to interview the parent to form part of the report.

coolpatterngirl Tue 21-Mar-17 13:12:11

He's only 7. Although it's a state school, there's been no support or mention or any support.

The Head knows this is a private assessment to understand his internal frustrations and help him better. Although the head never did reply to my email.

lottieandmia Tue 21-Mar-17 13:19:49

If he's struggling then it's really poor that the school themselves have not at least referred him to the umberella team by now, I have a nearly 8 year old with ADHD but not with behaviour problems and she was referred to the umbrella team in year 1 for concentration issues.

If the head is ignoring your correspondances then this is completely unacceptable. There is also no reason whatsoever for you not to be at the meeting unless they want to say things behind your back. What is more, you are paying for this and you have absolutely every right to be there whenever the EP is if you want to.

Are you confident in the EP's abilities? Whenever I used someone independent it was always someone who I knew would be on my dd's side primarily. And was also someone who I felt I would be able to ask to be a witness at a tribunal if the need arose in the future.

paddlingwhenishouldbeworking Tue 21-Mar-17 13:21:25

Sorry for the hijack but what's an umbrella team?

lottieandmia Tue 21-Mar-17 13:24:14

Where I live it is when a child is referred for a SALT assessment and if necessary to be under the care of a paediatrician to identify any issues and make a diagnosis if necessary.

coolpatterngirl Tue 21-Mar-17 13:36:26

Thank you Lottie, I needed that. I will be there, whether they like it or not.

I don't know the EP. I found her online and am waiting for a return call from her tonight regarding my concerns.

My older son was assessed when younger but his EP isn't local. She was lovely, she met at home and did everything to put him at ease. I don't see how my younger son will open up to a stranger in the school environment.

lottieandmia Tue 21-Mar-17 13:48:27

Good luck OP. Don't worry - the EP will be used to working with children in those settings. What you need is a report which explains your son's profile. Do bear in mind that Ed Psychs are not qualified to make a diagnosis, even though they might have an idea of something. What you should expect from an independent report though is clear recommendations for support and educational need and also possibly an idea of whether further assessments are needed regarding diagnosis.

mrz Tue 21-Mar-17 16:58:09

It would be quite normal for the Ed Psych to talk to parents and the school separately then together

lottieandmia Tue 21-Mar-17 18:36:21

Ime, the Ed Psych would usually do a classroom observation before talking to anyone. The situation the OP describes though sounds like a meeting which is a different thing. If it's a deliberately orchestrated attempt by the school to influence the outcome of the assessment or report then that should be avoided.

I may sound cynical but I've had years of experience of children with SEN in both mainstream and special schools and professionals are often afraid to say what they really think and know because of the potential costs of providing support. There are conflicts of interest so as a parent you have to be assertive and show that you are not going to back down. Now more than ever before (and it was bad enough when New Labour was in power).

mrz Tue 21-Mar-17 18:40:36

My experience as a parent and a SENCo is different. The Ed Psych would normally talk to parents and staff separately before conducting any observations or assessments in order to get a full picture of the child as it unusual for children to be different at home and school. Mine certainly was.

lottieandmia Tue 21-Mar-17 19:13:24

The EP would want to speak to the teacher regarding how the child presents. I don't think it would be usual to have a meeting with the teacher and head to which the parent is not invited. And as a parent you have the right to know exactly what is being discussed.

mrz Tue 21-Mar-17 19:45:56

The head could be the SENCo this is often the case in primary schools.

lottieandmia Tue 21-Mar-17 20:36:22

The senco should be involved and should be writing IEPs (think they're called maps now)?

OP, does your ds have any input from the SENCO?

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