I am so cross I have to rant for a bit, and if anyone has any advice it would be appreciated...(12 Posts)
I started the Statementin process for dd1 last december. Despite the supposed 6-month limit, we are nowhere near getting a statement for her.
We had a proposed statement in june, which was, quite frankly, pathetic, and we rejected it a asked for a meeting to discuss ways forward.
It took the LEA 2 months to arrange said meeting, despite many chasings etc.
We are now in a no-win position, due to their time wasting, and there really is no good way forward.
dd1 was 4 a couple of weeks ago. we want her to start attending the (not very close to us but nonetheless local) ASD unit, attached to a mainstream primary. the propsed statement was suggesting she spend another year in mainstream pre-school, alongside a SN nursery placement.
we do not want her to start at the SN nursery for 2 reasons:
1) the staff there refuse to listen to us as to how to engage with dd1 (in fact, the SALT refused to read a book to dd that dd wanted her to read (on the grounds that it was too difficult as about dinosaurs - too difficult for the SALT, that is, not for dd1 )) and I have the feeling the will forge ahead with their "tried and tested" methods, which will leave dd1 cold, and bored, and drifting off into her own world.
2) she can, due to her age, only be there ofr a maximum of a year. She has been offered 2 terms. i do not see the point of settling her in for the year (which will take at least 6 months) only to have to move her on andstart again once she is settled.
She is due to start at the SN nursery on 2 Sept. We had our meeting with the LEA last week to say all of the above (and more), and they promised to get back to us within 15 days, but also said that the next meeting to discuss places at the unit is not until 9th Sept.
So, due to their ridiculous procrastination, we are now faced with:
starting dd1 at the placement we do not want her to go to (in the abscence of any other placement)
withholding dd1 from the SN nursery in the hope that we get our wishes and a place at the unit. If this does not happen, then she could well be left without a place at the SN nursery too, as the pressure is so great.
starting dd1 a the SN nursery, only to withdraw her after a couple of weeks would be cruel imo. She would not know whether she was coming or going.
aaarrgghh. it just makes my head spin.
if you have read this far, thank you very much. If anyone has any ideas, i'd be very greatful to hear them.
I know this sounds a bit sneaky but could you pretend to be away at the start of September and then decide what is happening after the meeting on the 9th which you are back for. Or she could be 'ill' for the first week and that way you keep her place if you need it but don't have to unsettle her if you don't. From my experience LEAs are really underhand so you may as well be back!
I have just removed my DS from the SN nursery you are mentioning.
I am in a very similar situation to you, DS was 4 last week and KCC expect him to start school in a few weeks.
Proposed statement was a farce and apart from acknowledging my letter asking for a meeting to discuss it (also June) there has been no progress. Deadline for final statement has passed.
OKAY, my thoughts are...
If thay are offering you a place at the SN nursery they always state it is only for 2 terms of observation, DS was there for 18mths despite this.
If they are offering you a place, saying she will have to leave by 5 then I would say they (KCC?) are verging towards an SN school as you have to be 5 to go to our local one (which I believe is yours also) - DS has been offered a place there (against our wishes, that of his SENCO and KCC's own Ed Psych) on his statement despite only being 4 and a few weeks at the start of the educational year so too young to attend.
If your SALT was R I have always found her a challenge.
TBH there has been a complete staff turnaround in the 18mths that DS was there, the 3 group workers (inc DS' Keyworker) have all left. There are agancy staff and senior staff who have been pulled out of admin and outreach work to run the group now.
I have had some major issues with them in the past 18 mths and struggle with their approach to managing behaviour (of some really quite agressive children towards my DS) and engaging DS in activities.
The mainstream placement and SN pre-school for an extra year is what they have offerred to a friends DS who was 4 in may and already attends the SN nursery.
My DS has Always done a mainstream nursery placement alongside the SN nursery one - he is far happier in mainstream.
Also bear in mind this, the SN nursery group is mixed age with the intake generally being at 2.5-3 yrs old. We decided to remove DS due to this, he is now one of the most able pupils there (not a boast a basic fact), his friends are moving on to special needs school and there is a large intake of new/young children. DS needs positive peer example to model his behaviour on which, being realistic, he is not going to get from a child of 2.5 be they SN or NT.
Anyway I have gone on rather and not been of any great use, but I wish you luck never-the-less!
Thanks for replies.
vjg - that is probably what we will do, but if we have to wait for the meeting on the 9th, and then the usual minimum 2 weeks for a letter (even if they phone us, nothing is finalised until we get the letter it would seem) then it will be nearly October by the time we know...
Marmaduke, thanks, a lot of useful info there.
R is indeed our SALT, and was in the middle of talking to me about engaging dd1 when dd1 walked up to her, stood in front of her with the book, and said "I want to read dinosaurumpus". R laughed, and (ignoring dd) said to me "oh, she won't catch me out with that one, I've had to read that before" and then proceeded to try to get dd1 interested in bubbles or something equally inane. . I had had small nigglings re the placement before then, but that cemented it for me. To willingly ignore an autistic child begging you to engage with them because you do not like their book choice is bordering on negligent imo, and I do not want dd1 having to deal with that on a regular basis. We have worked very hard to get her to this point, and I will not let anyone undo that hard work.
I knew the info re: placement length - we are using their vagueness hopefully in our favour , as if we do not know what will happen half way throught the academic year, we should not have to accept the placement.
The unit do usually take from 5, but have spoken to the head separately, and she would be happy (subject to entry requirements, which dd1 should breeze tbh) to take dd1 ths year. Also, just because it is the norm, does not mean that we have to go by that. LEAs are not allowed any blanket policy - have to take each case as it comes.
Interesting that most intake is at 2.5-3. dd1 would not fit in for the same reasons as your ds. She is on the abler end of things, relatively speaking, and would also benefit form being around peers more. That is a very valid point.
Also very interesting re: staff turnover. Dd1 has already had a change of keyworker, before she has even started there... does not bode well.
dd1 does have a mainstream pre-school place. she will continue to go there in Sept (2 mornings instead of 3, though, as she should be starting somewhere else alongside...). She does enjoy it, and is able to cope (which is why we want the unit - access to mainstream is beneficial to dd) but does not progress as well as she could. On the whole mainstream is currently too noisy and busy for her, but hopefully one day soon she will be able to be in mainstream with suport (again, hence why we want the unit for her)
We have got our solicitor to write a stern letter saying we know they are time-wasting, and itis unacceptable, and that we expect a full decsion on what is happening before the start of term (ie end of next week).
we will see...
I think the solictor's letter sounds a good idea and may panic them into action hopefully. Let us know how you get on.
Good for you with the solicitor's letter, I hope this galvanises them into action.
I am using their tardiness to my advantage, I do not want DS to start reception this academic year - at any school be it SN, maintained mainstream or fee paying (his current pre-school and intended school).
Having promised the head of AEN would call be Thursday she didn't call or on Frid.
I know they have made an application (complex case referral) for DS to be given assistance in his current placement as I (and my solicitor) have pointed out that they cannot have a blanket policy and it is against their own guidelines.
I am also furious with them. After the proposed statement was released recommending the local SN school (wholly inappropriate, DS is already further up the P scales than their average child many years older) I refused the head of education access to assess DS (my immediate reaction on the telephone and then, after taking advice from solicitor, I backed up my verbal request with a written one) and I discovered this week that, despite my instruction, the head of education at the special school was sent all of DS' paperwork to review and has deemed him suitable for her school.
I have heard of LEAs ignoring parental wishes and supplying details of children to schools parents have said are unsuitable, don't think it is illegal.
Yes, solictor's letter.
I am very shocked at SALT action too.
I am one and have had to fight v hard for a statement for my own dd (language disorder.)
Well, we had a response today to say that a full reply would be with us by the end of the wek, and to ask us to confirm when it was we were asking that dd1 start at the unit...
Roll on the end of the eek - am sure that there is a hidden catch somewhere, though
hmmm, well the reply has comein, and while not completely useless it is still stalling...
their position is that we stated we had not made up our minds on our parental advise statement (yes, that was in DECEMBER LAST YEAR!)
that we had said that we wanted dd1 to start at the SN nursery ASAP (yes, that was 18 months ago, when we were keen for her to go there)
and that we had said that dd would be starting at the SN nursery (yes, we did, before it became obvious that they of less use than a chocolate teapot, and also in the abscence o any other place, etc)
hoever, they have moved the meeting to discuss entry into the unit to next monday 9brought it forward by a week, so it now takes place before the start of term) so you never know, she may yet be starting there.
we have solicitor drafting scathing "well, if you hadn't dithered for so long you'd have known all this earlier" reply, and will send that this pm...
after that, more wait and see I guess <sigh>
Im sorry your going through this Silverfrog. Ds has this all to come now- same situation but in the earlier stages. We applied for Ds to go to ASD unit that we liked when we visited. The council intervention team are supposed to be helping us with this. Didnt get their reports written or collated and after a very late application the places at the ASD unit were unsurprisingly full. After saying they would help us with the appeal nothing still has been done from 6 weeks ago. DS now has no place and all we were offered is mainstream schools which are completely unsuitable. Now we have to do the statementing process but are still waiting on the reports to do this. We have this huge battle ahead of us which I really dont have energy for at the moment. Its so crap that we have to fight so hard for what our kids deserve.
Goodluck fo rthe meeting Silverfrog, let us know how it goes.
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