Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on SN.
I've had our request for assessment for ds1 turned down and am gutted (He is 2 and has ASD, unnamed genetic issues, global delay, suspected dypraxia too).
I can't get through to ipsea and was just looking for any words of wisedom re where I go from here?
I don't even understand why they are refusing. It seems to be saying that he isn't well enough known to the Early Years Service because he isn't at a nursery.
He is 2:10 and has been doing ABA at home for several months, and isn't ready to cope with nursery, plus the ABA is working. I set all this out in my submission.
Also, as far as I know we don't qualify for a free place yet, and we couldn't fund his 1:1 and private nursery fees. He frequents 2 drop in playgroups in the area, which has been pointed out to the SEN team, yet they don't appear to have asked them for any input.
They talk about revisiting the decision but no timeframe is set out for that.
"Unfortunately, in XXXs case, the information we were asked to consider, although clear in its description of his needs did not demonstrate the level of his difficulty. It was also difficult to establish how XXX has responded to interventions and the impact this is having on his development. We would therefore wish to offer you:
1. The opportunity to explore the range of Early Years provision options which [LEA] has to offer such as [YYY Nursery], an inclusive setting within your locality.
2. We note from the paperwork that XXX is attending the [ZZZ Playgroup] and will be asking them to provide us with some information about the kind of strategies they are using to support him and how he is responding to targeted support.
3. We are also asking an educational psychologist to visit [ZZZ Playgroup] to observe and assess his levels and ascertain how he is managing.
4. We are also proposing that contact is made again with [ABC] in the Early Years Service who will be able to revisit the range of options that have been made available to you.
In light of these options XXXs case can then be reconsidered. Please be reassured that we will continue to work closely with you in meeting XXXs needs."
Dd2 was initially refused for similar reasons - she wasn't in an educational setting. In order to get round this and obviously against what I felt was right for her, I found a private nursery and put her in for one two hour session initially. I then waited about two weeks and reapplied leaving them in no doubt I would appeal if they didn't act to assess her. They then changed their mind. I also had an independent ed psych do an assessment as well, as I knew I was going to end up at tribunal as I wanted some funding for our ABA.
thanks Cansu. Maybe I should try something similar for one session a week, its just so infuriating. I've booked an independent EP to come in a month's time, so hopefully he will have some input into the tribunal.
Hi JoMaman, just coming in to offer my sympathies and let you know I am feeling your pain. You and I are living parallel lives at the moment I think. I had my SA refused yesterday. I have asked them to review a couple of points in the letter which were incorrect and am waiting for a response by month's end before heading down the tribunal route (although starting to prepare paperwork meanwhile!).
I might be worth writing to your LA asking them to give you a timeline for actioning points 2 & 3 above.
If the LA are proposing to involve all these people they may as well just do an assessment any way - same folk would be called on for the assessment.
Even if they say the decision can be revisited the fact remains that your application initiated a statutory process with outcomes defined in law. You asked - you were refused, so the only way you'll be sure to get an assessment is for a) you to appeal or b) them to agree within the timescales you'd be allowed to appeal their refusal
If they don't revisit the decision (or string you along indefinitely) the only was you can appeal is to make another request for statutory assessment - and appeal the 2nd refusal.
i'd write to them now and state that you do not accept their decsion and that you intend to appeal.
I expect they'd back down and do the assessment.
Just appeal it - they said this to us and my son WAS in a nursery - but because he wasn't 3 and getting a "free" nursery place they thought they could ignore the nursery - in fact they told us "thats just a private business arrangement and nothing to do with us" and said they wouldn't even consider doing anything until he was 3.
On IPSEA website is a guide on how to appeal a refusal to assess download this.
Get copy of Code of Practice -a hard copy is free on Teachernet I think and so much easier to get to grips with than an online one.
There is a section in COP which talks about young children for whom there is no info yet. It says that you just need one overarching report - so ask for the EP to do this - should see at home and in a playgroup if thats possible. You need to appeal on the basis your child's needs are severe and complex and that it is not appropriate to have to go through the graduated approach as it is obvious now that will be insufficient.
Also download a doc called "together from the start' and a more recent one on "early intervention' on Department of Education website - both support early intervention. Star did a recent thread on resources and all docs are on there. The ASD guidelines also says should offer advice on home programmes / consider home programmes. The guidance says they should have an officer happy to talk to you about ABA so ask them to arrange this!
When they say no evidence they mean no info they will consider independent as they won't accept the views of parents or ABA as meaning anything.
They will still try and force you down the graduated approach - unless you have a nice EP who steps in - usually you have to try and fail at mainstream route - but they will probably at least back down on the refusal to assess saving you one tribunal.
When we appealled on refusal to assess they backed down as soon as the letter from SENDIST hit their posttray. They rarely go to tribunal just on refusal to assess esp not with list you describe.
They should be able to offer you a mainstream nursery placement from Jan (when 3?) with 1:1 support for up to 75% of time. My advice would be to take some nursery time - my DS did 3 sessions per week with 1:1 and LA support / SALT and we did ABA at home. we were able to show our approach worked much better than theirs and also get round argument we had not tried mainstream as by the time we got to tribunal for ABA they had been providing services (including 12.5 hours a week untrained 1:1) for months (although autism support teacher only showed up twice which did not go down well at tribunal)
Once the nursery realised how inadequate the LA support was we took ABA into nursery and the nursery were then also able to say how much better one approach was then the other. So again that was good as someone independent was on our side. It gets tricky but if you can try and identify different targets in ABA than in mainstream again you can try and show the difference. At tribunal the nursery were crucial - the tribunal really wanted to hear from someone without a motive that ABA worked and mainstream didn't.
We did not chase up SALT or Autism Outreach - just stood back and let them do a rubbish job. The more rubbish the better. This way the comparison with ABA was striking.
But to start with write to the LA and say you disagree and will definitely be appealling on basis your child's needs and severe and complex; that there is sufficient evidence available from ABA / parents / paed to justify assessment - and that they should get on with arranging for the EP to do the one overarching report.Quote relevant bits of the govt info on early intervention.
You might get lucky and they might engage with you but LAs rarely offer ABA without a fight. You need to just appeal every time and get them to tribunal asap. When their back is against the wall thats when they will start to talk to you (although our LA never did) but until it gets to just before tribunal you will not be a priority.
We had refusal to assess in June - appealed and backed down in Oct - draft stmt in Dec - final stmt (crap) no ABA in Feb and tribunal in Oct (could have been June / July but we were slow at getting stuff together). You can also ask for any tribunal to be expedited eg on basis needs not met and you are having to fund ABA.
I would suspect that a letter or just starting the appeal with SENDIST will be enough to get an assessment.
Thanks so much for all the responses. Will try to digest them more fully tomorrow when not feeling so [grrr]. I think deep down I realise I need to send him to a nursery to demonstrate that it doesn't work, but the thought of how miserable he will be, and how much more productive his time could be doing ABA, makes me very uncomfortable and anxious.
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