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DS, 8, autistic traits, cannot concentrate at school, falling behind, I dont know where to start with helping him

(12 Posts)
bunny3 Sun 27-Jul-08 17:02:34

Ds, 8, has been assessed in Reception for ASD but no dx. Since then he has had IEPs constantly but is still falling behind. Teacher thinks concentration main problem - affecting reading (below age), writing (below age), spelling (below age). He is also poorly organised and finds it difficult to follow instructions.

SENCO and class teacher now say he need one-to-one and have suggested I request Statutory Assessment for a statement as they are unable to provide what he needs.

Class teacher says in her opinion he is not dyslexic or dyspractic, she has mentioned autistic traits several times recently.

I would love any practical suggestions to help him improve his concentration/reading/writing. He has so much potential and I dont want expectations of him to be low.

cornsilk Sun 27-Jul-08 17:05:25

Why aren't the school applying for the assessment? Has he been seen by an ed psych?

bunny3 Sun 27-Jul-08 17:09:13

Hi, the school said it will be quicker if I apply. Have spoken to LEA who estimate 18 wk time span. He was seen by EP in Reception who then referred him to PAED who after assessment concluded ds didnt have ASD. He was seen again by EP in Yr 2 and referred to SALT who concluded he didnt have any speech or language problems ( I never thought he did btw, and was confused about referral to SALT, ds very articulate).

bonkerz Sun 27-Jul-08 17:11:20

you can apply for a statement yourself and it is better than the school doing it cos you have a right to appeal.
www.ipsea.org.uk/sevenfixes.htm this website has all the info oyu need and also has draft letters to use.
We have been in the process of getting a statment for DS (no DX of ASD but has ODD and being assessed for ASD) since Feb 07 and have got 32.5 hours and enhanced package at the minute but are still fine tuning it so apply ASAP.

bunny3 Sun 27-Jul-08 17:29:32

bonkerz, obv your child and his needs might be very different to my ds' so ignore this question if it is irrelevant. Does it worry you that the one-to-one might be something your ds starts to rely upon and could therefore let him become lazy? I am only asking this because the SENCO (in almost the same breath as saying ds needs statementing) said it might allow my ds to do less/get lazy.

bonkerz Sun 27-Jul-08 20:16:38

I think that DSs one to one helps him access the curriculum and at the moment allows him to socialise, although at present he isnt in MS school as we cannot find one that can cope with him! I also beleive the statements can be reviewed regularly so if 1-1 isnt needed as much it can be reduced or indeed increased if needed. I think it comes down to the LSA employed to work with your child, most 1-1 support rarely menas the child is attached to the LSA 24/7 and more that the LSA is available when needed by the child so no i dont think 1-1 makes the child lazy, more that the 1-1 gives the support to help that child access school!

smartiejake Sun 27-Jul-08 21:08:10

I see what you are saying about the 1-1. Sometimes dcs become too reliant on it and then "learned helplessness" becomes an issue.

1-1 does not have to mean a dc sitting on their own with an LSA. A skilled LSA in close liaison with the class teacher and SENCO will not work with a DC but include him within a group of his peers especially if social skills are part of his IEP.

bunny3 Tue 29-Jul-08 14:54:26

"learned helplessness" - that's what I was trying to get to! Is a LSA the same as a TA? I am reassured to read your responses - I imagined someone permanently glued to ds' side and doing his work for him! blush I dont really know what to expect.

Are there things I can do? I have seen Dore/Kip McGrath/ Davis Dyslexia websites etc but I dont really know where to start finding the appropriate help. Is it best to leave it to the school to decide? He is my ds so I feel I am best qualified, or at least most determined, to help him. But I havent got a clue what to do.

smartiejake Tue 29-Jul-08 21:45:13

Yes LSA is just another name for a TA (at least it is where I work)

It does sound like your dc needs to be assessed. Not sure why the school are not inititating this? Why have they asked you to do this?

If you can afford it, it might be worth a private ed psch/ developmental paed assessment- it would be quicker and more thorough- schools only have limited appointments with ed psychs per year and they have to prioritise the most needy cases. They would be able to advise you of other agencies to get involved such as the dyslexia institute if appropriate.

I think you need a formal assessment before looking to tuition centres as, good as Kip Mcgrath can be, it's not individual tuition which sounds like what your dc might need.

Has ADD ever been suggested? My nephew has terrible probs with concentration and has been diagnosed with this.

bunny3 Tue 29-Jul-08 21:52:39

From what I understand the attention deficit needs to be present in all situations for ADD. Ds can concetrate very well when he wants (drawing, playing chess, play station etc), he only lacks concentration when he is in school and doing soemthing he doesnt find interesting. I am so confused with it all, does he have ADD/ASD or is the school failing to engage him by providing stimulating lessons?

mumeeee Sun 17-Aug-08 18:02:39

Sounds like my DD3 i6 who is Dyspraxic. She does mot have a statement but has been on school action plus since she was about 8.
Both the primary and high school arranged for her to be seen by an educational Phsychologist.

Niecie Sun 17-Aug-08 18:27:49

Its a minefield isn't it?

If you haven't done so already, I would go to the GP and get a referral to see a paed who, if it is like the system round here will refer on to a clinical psych, OT SALT etc for further investigations. If your DS saw a paed in reception, he might well have been too young for it to be clear what was wrong. They aren't always keen to dx at that age unless something is really obvious - they weren't with my DS although by the time he had gone through the system he was 18mths older and it was clear there was a problem not just a developmental blip.

My DS1 has traits too, has a dodgy DX of AS and also dyspraxia. Has the poor handwriting, lacks concentration, doesn't work well in groups etc.

Also, it depends where you live but I was told that despite all his obvious difficulties, DS never stood a chance of getting a statement. They are hard to get in some areas of the country so relying on one to get help could be a problem.

However, it hasn't been an issue for us as the school has been prepared to give him some one-to-one anyway, since he is on the SN register and obviously needs it. As a result of his DX he has a programme from an OT which helps with his handwriting and other coordination problems and an LSA works with him on his IEP and stuff that the school has highlighted as a problem as well, including concentration.

From what I remember (DS is just about to start Yr 4)the head teacher told us when DS was in reception, that the school has some responsibility to provide help if a child is struggling and that you don't even need a dx to get that help, just an identified area of weakness. I think the school maybe be trying to get out of their responsibilities with your son tbh. It sounds like they should be doing more to help him.

By the way, an EP is able to diagnose very little, you really do need to see a clinical psych for a dx.

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