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Laptop question

(13 Posts)
jomidmum Thu 01-Sep-16 11:02:44

My son is about to start Year 9 in a state school. We've just moved back to the UK from overseas.
He has hypermobility syndrome,which affects his ligaments relatively badly. We mentioned it to the school when we had a brief look round at Easter and they said he might well be able to use a laptop for longer sessions of writing (he can only write half a page of A4 before pain sets in).
Does anyone know if we have to supply the laptop, or if he will use a school one? Also, he has had numerous injuries during contact sports and he is really anxious about it.
Should i be going to speak to them about it all, or just fill it in on forms (we've had no paperwork to fill in yet)?
We've been unable to ask these questions of the school as obviously they've been closed.
Any advice appreciated. Thanks!

LIZS Thu 01-Sep-16 11:08:36

Does he have a place at a specific school yet? Once he does you need to meet the senco and take copies of any reports and adjustment recommendations. School laptops may not be consistently available or reliable.

jomidmum Thu 01-Sep-16 11:11:25

Thanks LIZS, yes he starts at a specific school on Monday.
We've been overseas and have no reports or adjustment recommendations. We've been home educating for the past 4.5 years.

LIZS Thu 01-Sep-16 13:45:19

Anything from a paed re hypermobility or fatigue? Ime you will need something in writing for the future but it may be that the senco can arrange it or you go via gp.

jomidmum Thu 01-Sep-16 17:10:01

Thanks. It will be on his old GP notes I'm sure, from when he was younger. He was under community physio for 6 months when he was about 8yo, so I'm sure there must be a report somewhere. Everything else will just be summaries from emergency department, as he has had a number of sports related joint injuries.
I'll try and talk to the SENCO first, then see what the GP can do to help.

TheSecondOfHerName Thu 01-Sep-16 17:31:59

DS2 is about to go into Y10. He has hypermobility in his hands and wrists. He starts to get pain after 2-3 minutes of writing and struggles to write legibly for any length of time.

The school suggested the possibility of him using a laptop about 15 months ago, but needed a report from the occupational therapist. We got an OT referral via his paediatrician and the OT sent a full report to the school (recommending laptop use & other strategies) 1 year ago.

The school did some computer testing on him and some other pupils in his year about 3 months ago, which another parent told me were to assess eligibility for special consideration in the GCSEs he will take in 2018.

And that's as far as we've got. He is allowed to type nearly all his homework. He does his best to make notes in class, and types some of them up in his own time at home. But no laptop at school yet.

rosesarered9 Fri 02-Sep-16 21:43:18

If you get a letter/statement from your GP/SENCO then the school should provide either a laptop or a tablet, usually the latter.

jomidmum Sat 03-Sep-16 13:55:59

Thanks TheSecondOfHerName, it's good to hear what has happened in similar circumstances.
The school have now sent us an email saying that they will give us medical forms to complete on his first day there, then we can make an appointment to speak to a member of staff about it.

jomidmum Sat 03-Sep-16 13:57:01

Thanks rosesarered9, that's v useful to know.

Runningtokeepstill Mon 05-Sep-16 09:34:25

The last time I looked at exam board regulations, you didn't need specialist reports to be able to use a laptop for exams like GCSE and a levels but you had to say that using a laptop was your usual way of working so dc need to be already using one at school. You did need specialist reports (not GP) for extra time, rest breaks etc.

Ds3 has hypermobility and chronic pain syndrome. Despite having an OT report from a leading NHS hospital before he started his first secondary school they failed to sort out a laptop in the two and a half years he attended. They failed to meet his needs, or accept that they were real, despite specialist reports so he ended up moving. We decided not to provide a laptop for him as he would have had nowhere to keep it safe.

At the next school they were great and even arranged for ds to take his GCSE exams at home (using their laptop) as he had a mega health blip in year 11. So much depends on the school.

jomidmum Tue 06-Sep-16 11:48:51

Thank you Runningtokeepstill. I'm so glad you got everything sorted out for you son, eventually.
I will keep contacting the school. Day 2 and I still have no medical forms to complete. He has hypermobility syndrome affecting his writing ability and contact sport safety, he has ASD characteristics they need to be aware of, and he also was in a nasty accident last year and has ongoing extensive dental treatment which he has to be very carefully with. And the school only know a small amount about this which we said during a school tour at Easter sad

Runningtokeepstill Tue 06-Sep-16 13:39:02

Sounds like you need to be proactive. How about sending in a letter to the form tutor, or if possible an email as my ds's tended to leave forms in their bags and not hand them in. I assume you've already raided his bag for any missing paperwork.

I'd also write or email the SENCO with deals of all his needs.

My ds3 ended up not doing PE as he was in pain and wiped out for days afterwards whenever he attempted it. He's more physically able now at 17 than he was at secondary school.

If your ds is doing PE how about a laminated sheet outlining his hypermobility and dental issues that he can keep in his kit bag and just show it to the teacher (in ds's school the teachers rotated groups so it wasn't the same one every lesson). I did this for ds, and for other subjects where teachers rotated as he found it difficult to speak up. I also added a bit at the bottom staying that if they needed more information there was a named teacher who know more eg form teacher or SENCO.

Runningtokeepstill Tue 06-Sep-16 13:40:02

Details of his needs not deals!

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