Help with SEN - newbie(4 Posts)
I need a bit of help & support understanding what's going on.
My little boy started primary school in September, and a few weeks later we were called in to talk about the fact that he was behind the other children in his letters and numbers. We knew he wasn't miles ahead with his writing etc. but we had no idea that he was going to be formally identified as having SEN.
The teacher set the targets, and in the last couple of months he has clearly exceeded all the targets set. However, he is still behind, the teacher has set new targets, and now someone else is getting involved. I'm not sure who this is, but I assume they are external. I'm meeting them next week.
I just can't quite get to grips with the process, I don't think it's being explained properly, and I can't find any clear info that helps explain it online. Are there any flow charts or anything online that explains this?
It's all a bit of a shock really. My partner and I are both highly educated professional people, and I'm finding the fact that my son is behind very difficult. I also feel that the school are not acknowledging the progress that has been made. Even though he clearly exceeded the targets, they just said he's not up to scratch.
I also feel that this is a problem with the educational system. My son may not be writing well and is only just getting to grips with recognising numbers and letters, but he is great at building things, has a vivid imagination, and can concentrate very well when he's enjoying something. It just feels that the school has specific targets, and my son's not meeting them, therefore there's a problem.
Any help or advice would be gratefully received. And links to websites or documents that might help me understand what's going on would be great.
Have they actually used the phrase they think he has SEN?! It May be that they are just trying to get you involved with ways to help in areas he could do with more support. Don't panick yet. Have the meeting and take with you a list of questions and any observations you have. is this a private school? Did your child's nursery have any concerns?
There isn't really a defined process at this stage. The school is basically supposed to identify possible difficulties and put in place the relevant help. They may put him formally on what is now known as "SEN support" which calls for a graduated response according to the needs of the child and whether he is responding to the support given. If he catches up, he'll be taken off it, if he doesn't they can consider getting in outside advice and support; if necessary they can consider applying for an Education Health and Care Needs Assessment. However, it sounds as if you are long way off that and they are simply being commendably alert.
DS2 has what turned out to be mild dyslexia. I was aware of the problem well before the primary school because his progress was so different from that of my older children, and it took a lot of pushing to get them to recognise it. But when they did, they put in place a lot of support to the extent that he was able to come off the SEN register and did fine in secondary school.
I could have written your post Castlegirl, my daughter is in exactly the same position. She is behind in her reading and writing but more than happy in more general knowledge, science and will really focus when she's enjoying something but her mind will wander if she isn't interested which frustrates her teacher.
She does have hyper mobility, particularly her ankles and knees so she has always been a bit awkward and slightly clumsy. As well as being behind in reading and writing, I was told she was behind in her gross and fine motor skills (doing her coat up) and has just started in an activities session before school based around circuit training. I am hoping that through the course of these sessions some sort of assessment might be made.
The school are helping with more one to one sessions and I am hopeful that she can perhaps adjust and catch up with the rest of her class. I do agree that a lot of it is down to teaching methods. I have to try hard to make a game of numbers and maths as otherwise she really isn't keen. Reading is a struggle though which is a shock as she's always loved to be read to.
I hope that your son settles in and the school manage to allay some of your concerns.
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