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Confused. How to get statement and who gets one? What does it entitle you to?Help!

(14 Posts)
mammone Wed 09-Jul-08 19:58:03

I'm confused.
My son is just finishing Reception.He is struggling badly to cope and has been diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome.
He has had assessments from the local special needs centre based at our local children's hospital and has been seen by the LEA educational psychologist too.They all agree on the diagnosis and his problems.
The upshot of all this seems to be that,yes, he is struggling and is way behind the others in his class and only engages in lessons when there is one to one assistance but that next year one to one assistance is going to be in pretty short supply.He is in a class of nearly 30.
I asked if he would be likely to get a statement and was practically laughed out of the room-something to do with the funding and the number of children already there who have greater needs.
I don't blame the school or staff, they have been helpful but how can this be acceptable that he will practically be left to sink or swim and he is more than likely to sink?
What can I do,if anything about this?
How can it be right that a child like him will have no help?
I feel angry and confused and don't know what to do next.
Mammone

chatee Wed 09-Jul-08 20:03:36

you can request an assessment of his special educational needs , please check out the IPSEA website as they have draft letters -sorry must dash but wanted to answer quickly
hth x

milknosugar Wed 09-Jul-08 20:05:56

i applied for a statement for my ds (also AS) and got it no probs. was told it wasnt worth applying even tho he was on the verge of being thrown out of school, teachers refused to even try!

i used lancashire parent partnership website, they have standard letters and will advise you how to deal with your lea. google for your county and if there isnt one near you am sure they will help. be prepared to be told big fat whopping lies, man i spoke to at lea said he didnt know who i should send letter to - it turned out it went to his boss who was in the same office as him.

not a decision to be taken lightly but the best thing i did was move schools. old schools attitude stank - new one falls over themselves to help him out. he doesnt get a huge amount of help with statement but it helps a bit, teachers are the ones who are most important imo. i thought last school had been helpful but they had just been going through the motions, they didnt care at all and it wasnt til we moved i realised that.

Blandmum Wed 09-Jul-08 20:07:47

What you will 'get' depends on what the statement says.

What it should mean is that your son's special needs are recognised and it is a statutory duty of the school to meet those needs . (in practice this doesn't always happen, but that is another issue)

getting a statement is hard, and the earlier you start the better IMHO. But be prepared for a struggle, others on the board will have more info than I do.

IME the children who get the help that they need are often blessed with tenacious parents who will fight long and hard. Other children who are less fortunate in their parens, with the same needs, get over looked.....horrible but this does happen with 'inclusion' as it stands

Candlewax Wed 09-Jul-08 22:45:57

I agree with Martin Bishop. You will have to be prepared to fight long and hard over this.

I have used this charity SOS!SEN to help me and they have been absolutely brilliant.

We do now have a Statement, although it is rubbish and are off to Appeal at SENDIST.

My ds has AS and he was not dx until he was in Year 4 and he has struggled all his life in mainstream.

If you can do it, do it now. Don't wait until your child gets to be aware of his own problems and the problems with his peers. Do it now whilst he is still young. And remember, a Statement is a legal document. What is in there is enforceable by law.

Good luck.

Romy7 Thu 10-Jul-08 11:53:46

what level support is he actually on in school?
School Action?
School Action Plus?
Do you have copies of his IEPs, is he meeting targets, are they being reviewed regularly? All these can be used as evidence of an SEN. Your paed can also request a statement - i would contact the ed psych who has assessed him already - what was the outcome of that report? What intervention did it recommend or was it staggeringly bland ie dx but no recommendations?

our infant school has a TA full time who deals with all the 'leftover' kids who have SEN but no statement, and is run ragged because no-one can keep up with the seemingly ever-increasing numbers of children who need support - it is absolutley worth fighting, even if in the end you get told no. as mb says, sadly it is those children whose parents have the patience, inclination and determination to fight for support for their kids that get it, and those that do not have that capacity (for whatever reason) that get left behind.
our secondary school can't even carry out reassessments for the number of annual reviews it has for statemented kids, so the statement just gets rolled over to the next year with no discussion over whether more/ less support is required. the system is not perfect, but worth getting stuck into if you believe strongly that your dc has an educational need that can be addressed with support.

strawberrycalpol Thu 10-Jul-08 12:12:07

Contact your local Parent partnership service - you can get their details from your Local Authority or from the national association - 0207 843 6058, www.parentpartnership.org.uk

twolittleboys Thu 10-Jul-08 12:14:53

Hi there

Yes, keep on at them. It is a lot of work, but your childs education is worth it - I know it must be for you to ask our opinions on this, than just accept their answer. My son is in a mainstream school, he has moderate to severe deafness in both ears. He can communicate quite well with his hearing aids in, he does not use sign lagnuage as he has enough language skills to get by, but he is easily distracted and obviously way behind his peers. I got him statemented last year, the school were extremely supportive, but did tell me that I should not get my hopes up as there are many children who do not get statemented, as obviously the council have to pay for extra support / equipment. Anyway my son got 18 hours one to one support in school, which means everyday (apart from one afternoon) he has a SSEN teacher with him to keep him focussed, help him follow what is going on, and tell him what he needs to be doing. They have also had to install a soundfield system in school, which will move classrooms with him. In the statement they also specify what other support he will get, eg. Speech and Language Therapise, Hearing Impaired Teacher, SENCO support, Ed Pschy (all of which visit him regulalrly to assess his progress). I have just renewed this for next year and had no problems. You definitely need the schools support with this, as they will need to write reports on why this will help - so push them, I was told this and it worked. Keep progressing them and if they say you will not get it - just say you at least would like to try to get this for him. Let us know how you get on, and if you need any help feel free to ask!

PeachyBAHonsBirthdayGirl Thu 10-Jul-08 12:18:12

we were told we cwouldnt have a chance of getting one for ds1. his gives him 10 hrs 1-1 a week, he also has specialist input from a dyslexia teacher next term.

It wasn't easy and you have to fight (as ds1 is aggressive, I told the i would use their refusal to assess against them in a lawsuit if he hurt anyone badly blush) but its worth it. they also get special help with school transition planning apparently if statemented

PeachyBAHonsBirthdayGirl Thu 10-Jul-08 12:20:20

oh

if school applies there is no right of appeal iirc

if you do (and you can, school opposed ours comletey) there is right of appeal.

it takes six months to action as well, so my advice having been there twice is to get standard letters (ipsea have them online) and start asap.

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 10-Jul-08 13:36:08

No statement = no support of any real value.

Apply for the Statement asap - do not leave this in abeyance. Ignore also the naysayers who say you have no chance in getting such a document. A child with AS in mainstream and without a Statement will struggle badly in school.

You will need to write to the Chief Education Officer of your LEA and give them 6 weeks to reply. Note that date on your calendar.

IPSEA's website is www.ipsea.org.uk.

SOS;SEN are well worth contacting too.

"Parent Partnership" are often funded by the LEA so are not always helpful, or more importantly, totally independent of the LEA so can tow their party line. Bear that in mind if you contact them.

If the LEA refuse you can and must appeal their crass decision.

As Peachy rightly states it can take six months to set such a document up so do not delay.

You are your child's best - and only - advocate.

Romy7 Thu 10-Jul-08 13:54:10

peachy - even if school write the initial letter requesting assessment the OP will have the same parental rights to express her opinion and exactly the same appeal rights all the way down the line. don't think it matters who asks for assessment to take place, the actual statutory assessment procedure is the same. you don't have to have input, but you are given the opportunity to.
no idea who applied for ours in the end - certainly wasn't me, but i was involved all the way through and could have gone to appeal if i wanted to.

MsDemeanor Thu 10-Jul-08 13:59:50

Yes, we are appealing to improve our son's statement. The school applied. We want more 1-1, direct speech therapy, direct OT (not just 'advice to teachers' from the OT and SALT hmm )We went through their statement line by line and have challenged it throughout. In our area I was horrified to find that the statement brings no extra funding for the school at all to cover 1-1 and equipment unless you get something like 30 hours a week 1-1 which we are now asking for!

Romy7 Thu 10-Jul-08 14:02:47

v complicated, depends on high or low incidence and i don't understand it. we have 15 hrs 1-1 which the LEA funds as low incidence... apparently.

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