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aspergers - too clever for a statement? please give me some advice, I don't know what to do about ds school (this is long, but please bear with me, I really need some help)

(41 Posts)
deaconblue Sat 11-Feb-12 07:30:09

Ds is 5. He had 15 hrs of funded support at pre school, largely because he hit other children a lot. At 4 we got a diagnosis of aspergers. In reception the school put in place 15 hours of TA support. He had a mature, experienced teacher who set really firm boundaries and he made massive progress, making proper friends and only having melt downs occasionally. The TA was used to keep an eye on ds rather than for one to one close support. This gave him some independence. At the end of reception he got a really good report.

He moved into yr 1 and in October last year I was told he had made such great progress he no longer needed TA hours or even an IEP. I was over the moon.
I've since discovered that the TA hours were removed due to a reduction in budget not ds' progress and his behaviour has been getting steadily worse in school. He is in a class of 26 children of 2 yr groups and the teacher is often left with no TA support at all, despite there being 5 other children with some level of SEN in her class. In the last 3 weeks ds has started hitting children again, has drawn on the furniture, thrown toys, refused to do his work and spent a lot of time in the head's office.

I had a long meeting yesterday with the head and ds' teacher (who is also the SENCO) and am really unhappy with how it went. The head began quite defensively, telling me that only children with a statement received any SEN funding. I replied that this was not true, every school gets an SEN budget to share among children on the register. Statemented children get EXTRA funding. Well, yes,she said, that is true. She said it was evident that as soon as ds arrived at the school that he had 'severe problems'. I then asked why I had been told he no longer needed an IEP, why they had never logged any behavioural incidents and why they hadn't sought the help of an Ed psych. I asked if a fundamental error had been made last year. "no I wouldn't say that' was her reply.

The upshot seems to be they won't (they say can't) give ds back the hours he had. The head said we need to get him a statement in order for support to be funded. I pointed out that even if he got a statement it was unlikely to be for more than the 14 hours necessary to get an extra funding. The senco then said that ds would need to be two levels behind his peers to get a statement anyway. He is 2 levels above in reading and maths and average in writing. They say they can't put any extra support in now because they need evidence of the poor behaviour for the statement application.

So we are trapped. They won't support him without a statement, therefore his behaviour will get worse. He won't get a statement because he is too clever and even if he did it probably wouldn't bring any more money into the school anyway. They have said they will try to get an Ed psych appointment but that could take months. I ended up tearful and despondent. We have agreed to meet in two weeks to discuss his behaviour again but I can't see the point.
Please can anyone give me some advice on where to go from here? For what it's worth his behaviour at home has continued to improve. We see a bright, funny little boy who would be coping with just a little extra help.

Bignorthernlass Mon 04-Aug-14 17:46:47

Hi that's useful thanks!! He's 12 and now has his AS diagnosed.

OneInEight Sun 03-Aug-14 07:12:36

Bignorthernlass - try asking your question on SN children - several posters have school refusers on there and should be able to help (probably won't get seen here). Mine are the exploding variety so we have got through the statementing minefield more smoothly. How old is your son?

Bignorthernlass Sat 02-Aug-14 10:31:25

Just on the way to my sons Asd assessment. It does seem that getting a statement is so much 'easier
' �� if your child explodes rather than implodes? My son is refusing school. Any ideas on how to navigate the statementing system based on potential mental health triggers and anxiety? School have already offered the adjustments but he still won't go in! Thanks

Lizzyjs Sun 20-Jul-14 01:17:57

You need to instruct a good SEN barrister if you can to get a Good SEN statement and excellent specialist AS school to meet your Sons academic and special needs

handerson91 Mon 18-Nov-13 18:28:38

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

sophj100 Wed 13-Nov-13 15:09:47

My 5 year old, also ASD / poss Aspergers and a big hitter / poker etc., started Reception this September and his Statement was turned down. He is very bright, reads and writes already but no actual knowledge of what a lot of the words mean. I appealed to a Tribunal for the Statement decision to be overturned and after a few months, the LA have overturned their decision and awarded it - this morning, in fact. With the IEP and 'Action Plus' provided by the school, this added weight to my own letter of request and reasons why the help was needed.

I agree, you need to appeal their decision and maybe try for a Statement, where funds will be provided to give him the support he needs.

My son also hates the cushion and struggles to stay still in any situation - he prefers to bounce around, poking, pushing and hitting others in his way!

I am more hopeful now that with the Statement, he will get the additional support. Good luck smile

Goldmandra Tue 08-Oct-13 14:39:11

pinkbunny they don't have to do a statutory assessment. They have to consider whether it would be appropriate to do a statutory assessment and ask the school or Early Years setting for evidence of progress and current levels of support. They then have to inform you of that decision and any other action they consider appropriate to ensure your child has the support he or she needs.

If they choose not to do a statutory assessment you can, of course, appeal and take them to a tribunal so they need to have a good reason to refuse.

pinkbunny2012 Tue 08-Oct-13 13:23:50

I am going through a similar situation at the moment, except my daughter is starting school next year and she is currently at a sen nursery and they are reluctant to statement her, even though she is on the waiting list for an autism diagnosis, I have since found out that I don't need them to put forward a statement and that I can do it myself, if you type in statement gov into google and go on to the official government website u can download the form and send it off to ur local authority and they have to do a statutory assessment. So just do it urself, and if he still doesn't get a statement then appeal it, hope this helps xxx

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Tue 01-Oct-13 11:51:52

I think it is worth noting that the NHS Map of Medicine care path recommends statementing for ASD but not for other conditions such as ADHD. With regard to ASD (there is no such thing as AS anymore):

"•needs should be documented in a statement of special educational needs (SEN):
•the local education authority should provide for the needs identified in this statement
•the child’s progress can be reviewed through an individual education plan
•approaches that focus on social functioning should be introduced as an on-going intervention strategy from early years to adulthood

•inclusion of children with ASD in mainstream schools:
◦some children cope with good support
◦some studies have found that social isolation, loneliness, and bullying are commonplace for pupils with ASD who attend mainstream schools"

Also look at the DfE stats of how many children with different diagnoses have statements or are on SA+.

Goldmandra Fri 27-Sep-13 17:25:50

I think the key phrase for us is the bit about 'despite the school's efforts and external support'. I think if we tried for a statement now the lea would point out that the school has done very little to support ds and has only recently asked for external help.

If you apply for a statutory assessment and the LA decide that the school could do more from within their own resources they can issue a document detailing what support the child should have. The school is then expected to implement that support and, if no progress is made, a statutory assessment request can be made again.

cheekymouse I have two DDs who have AS, are advanced academically but still have statements. The crucial thing is that your DD cannot have access to the curriculum if she can't attend school. Tell your SENCo that they need to either start meeting her needs or apply for a statutory assessment for on social and emotional grounds. If they won't do either you can apply for the statutory assessment and the LA will call the school to account.

Igottaproblem Thu 12-Sep-13 19:38:47

Sorry should say "how to apply for assessment for a statemet"

Igottaproblem Thu 12-Sep-13 19:37:48

Hello, the ipsea link on how to get a statement mentioned up thread is really helpful.
You can apply yourself and get the ball rolling.

cheekymouse Thu 12-Sep-13 12:17:06

I've just found this post! My daughter is 13, diagnosed as Aspergers, but the school won't statement her. It's always been said that because she is doing so well academically, she doesn't need statementing! She is now refusing to go to school as she says they are not giving her the help she needs sad Her anxiety levels in crowds are now very high.
I am lost! She is emotionally exhausted.

Bonkerz Sun 26-Feb-12 20:49:12

I had this problem with DS (apologies I haven't read other replies). You need a statement for your sons behaviour. My DS was/is aggressive and his behaviour prevented him from accessing the curriculum. Despite this my DS was intelligent and still managed to stay top of his class. He is classic intelligent autistic with severe emotional an behavioural
Issues. Keep fighting. I won a 32 hour statement for DS and he now attends a private school for autistic children mainly because by age 8 his aggression was I controllable despite 1:1!

If your lea are saying your DS cannot have a statement because it's not academic that is a blanket statement and illegal. Statements can be academic or behavioural.

deaconblue Sun 26-Feb-12 20:41:30

I think the key phrase for us is the bit about 'despite the school's efforts and external support'. I think if we tried for a statement now the lea would point out that the school has done very little to support ds and has only recently asked for external help.

Lougle Sun 26-Feb-12 20:19:13

I am always baffled by how complicated people seem to make the statementing criteria. Schools tie themselves up in knots about it. Parents are misled either intentionally or unintentionally. It really isn't difficult confused

The SEN Code of Practice says:

"7:34 In deciding whether to make a statutory assessment, the critical question is whether there is convincing evidence that, despite the school, with the help of external specialists, taking relevant and purposeful action to meet the child’s learning difficulties, those difficulties remain or have not been remedied sufficiently and may require the LEA to determine the child’s special educational provision."

"8:12 If the statutory assessment confirms that the assessment and provision made by the school or early education setting is appropriate but the child is nonetheless not progressing, or not progressing sufficiently well, the LEA should consider what further provision may be needed and whether that provision can be made within the school’s or setting’s resources or whether a *statement is necessary.*"

In a nutshell:

The LA must do a Statutory Assessment if it is probable that the child will need a statement.

A statement is needed if:

The child is not making sufficient progress despite the best efforts of the school and the LA identifies provision that would enable that progress, which is beyond the school's resources (that could be either equipment or extra assistance from teaching staff, etc.)

There is nothing there about academic ability - it is sufficient progress.

deaconblue Sun 26-Feb-12 20:11:27

They have just given him a sit and move cushion - which he hates because it smells of new plastic! So often one 'cure' brings with it associated problems. He had a fidget thing in reception, bound to be another thing that has been forgotten about. Will check tomorrow. They used sand timers last week and were delighted with the difference it made. I sighed inwardly as Pre school and reception teacher used them and I had assumed they were still in use. Lots of the stuff they have put in place this week is so simple and obvious and should have been used all year sad
Thanks to everyone for replies and suggestions

madwomanintheattic Sun 26-Feb-12 19:38:45

Or a dynaband on the chair legs, or a fidget box on the desk that he can choose one item out of (or a small piece of blu tax that he can squish -not distracting to peers)

School should be applying for the statement if they say he needs funding and they can't provide. Tsk.

Sadly, you are quite right. The more disruptive and likely to distract or actually hurt other hurt, the more likely they are to pay attention. Has ever been thus.

And yes, she is talking out of her arse wrt academic attainment.

Dd2 was working 7 years ahead in reception and was statemented. Each case is judged on need, not academic ability. Or it should be, anyway.

alison222 Sun 26-Feb-12 19:07:40

Ask if they have tried a move'n'sit cushion. The OT recommended it to us for the classroom. It gives them some physical stimulus while sitting on the chair without having to get up and fidget so much.

deaconblue Sun 26-Feb-12 18:14:22

thanks all. The school has miraculously found time for a TA to be with ds now (having told me in October he didn't need one and two weeks ago that there was simply no funding for him to have any TA support at all). It seems that the more one kicks off the more help one's child will get. I've emailed the Head with a detailed summary of his time at the school, term by term, including awards he has won for good behaviour and incidents of poor behaviour I have been informed of. That was 10 days ago, no reply as yet. I'm lucky that he is unfailingly honest so tells me every time he's done something wrong or been in trouble as the school aren't recording much at all.

He is now apparently sitting in the classroom and getting on with his work but apparently can't sit for more than 10 mins without getting stroppy (this irritates me because by the end of his reception year he was working with as good concentration as the other children and I feel that the teacher has let him slide backwards). At least they are making him do the work now though.

Friendships have suffered as a result of his behaviour break downs before half term. This is so disappointing as his reception teacher had worked so hard to help him develop and maintain friendships. His 'best friend' doesn't want to play with him at the moment. I'm hoping that a few weeks of better, calmer behaviour will lead to his friends wanting to play with him once more. He finds this really confusing as he forgives and forgets so quickly.

I'm going to work towards applying for a statement myself as the school can't be trusted to get anything done imo

alison222 Sat 25-Feb-12 17:20:39

albeltasman I just wanted to let you know that we had the same issues with DS before his statement too. I pushed and pushed the school as all the issues were mainly around play/lunchtimes when it is unstructured. I managed to get them to run things to keep him busy over a period of several years leading to him having much less unstructured time outside.

For instance they run a "social " club one lunchtime where specially invited children (selected by TA) have lunch separately and talk and play games all related to teaching him social cues/how to relate better. It has then helped the other children to get to know him better and then things are better in the playground too. They also have one lunch where the year is allowed to use the computers so he spends one lunchtime there, and one where a sports teacher takes several children to play team games who require intervention.

Overall this lack of stress around lunchtimes has led to his behaviour improving both in and out of the classroom at school.

I know that this is a bit of a long "me" post but wanted to give you examples of what can be done and what has worked for us. all of this was under SA+ by the way.
Don't give up. Push for help in these times

abeltasman Sat 25-Feb-12 11:35:55

I have great sympathy for the OP, my son has Aspergers but because he was so far ahead academically they failed to accept there was a problem until Y2, despite significant behavioural issues that they either verbally told us about (but never recorded), or neglected to tell us about and I heard about 2nd or 3rd hand. Grrr.

Very long story short, we asked for inclusion on SEN register at School Action, but a statement was considered too 'much' as yet, but we will have to see how it goes. The Outreach worker hasn't visited yet due to paperwork issues, but I am hoping that will make a difference. They have made some concessions re sensory issues, but the biggest issue for us is the playground; the lunchstaff are not in any way trained to handle his issues with unstructured time, despite this being his biggest problem.

I would just be very pedantic about recording everything. I wasn't and that's why it took us so long to force the school into action. If you have a concrete record it will a)force the school to have to take action and b) hopefully show that the school has been remiss in record keeping; trust me, with OFSTED changing and toughening up they will be running scared of this failure and will step up a notch.

Well done so far. I am sure our school thinks we are really 'hard' on my DS but he craves structure, and letting him get away with stuff at school undoes all the hard work. Sounds like you have your finger on what makes your DS happy and secure, and the school needs to work with you on that.

Good luck and let us know how you go.

deaconblue Tue 14-Feb-12 15:15:06

Great advice Alison thanks. I've written a detailed review of last week's meeting as I was aware no one was taking minutes and intend to send it to the head. Will make my own log too

alison222 Tue 14-Feb-12 12:50:55

Just to let you know we got a statement for social difficulties and "barriers to education" - sensory problems re music , social difficulties -and physical (hypermobilty) re PE and also for writing - he has OT program for hand strength, so it is possible.

In truth academically my DS is doing really well and we were initially advised by school that we wouldn't get a statement because of this.

Have a look at your council's guidance re ASD and statements and cherry pick the phrases they look for and find out how you can evidence these if they apply. In my borough it was called "guidelines for schools for statutory assessment in schools and early years in XXXX" and also the Special educational needs code of practice is worth a read to help you use the right sort of language when they ask for parents views- you can download it here

Start putting everything to the school in writing to provide a trail of evidence. Start with sending notes to confirm the content of your meeting on Friday. Keep it factual - you said "xyz" . "ABC behaviour is happening" etc. Detail each of the incidents over the last 3 weeks as you have been informed about them with a date and ask the school to confirm that this is what they have on their records (I's a way to check if they are keeping proper records of them, so that you can use it as evidence - and so can the school when talking about the reasons you have for needing a statement).

Ask for a date for the Ed Phyc appointment. You can also ask to meed the Ed Psyc too.

Ask if they receive outreach help from any local special schools who deal with ASD. Ask to meet the outreach worker. Ask to see the recommendations of the outreach worker.

Every time there is an incident that your DS tells you about, write a short note to the teacher detailing what you have been told and ask them to investigate if appropriate. This means that you are helping them keep a log I know but then you are sure it is being done.

Niceweather Mon 13-Feb-12 10:42:29

Also try Parent Partnership for advice:

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