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Is this Disability Discrimination

(15 Posts)
keepyourmouthshutox Mon 29-Nov-10 10:39:49

Just asking you experts for advice because people say that I am over-reacting.

One of the traits of autism is impairment of communications. If school terminates communication sessions with an qualified communications teacher without any consultation, and thinks that TA can deliver it, is it discrimination.

My stand is that if someone was physically disabled, school will never think of stopping physiotherapy sessions with an expert and rely on TA without consulting other experts first.

Parent Partnership thinks the the situation is not really the same. What do you think?

r3dh3d Mon 29-Nov-10 10:51:57

I don't think you're overreacting. I'm not sure that disability discrimination is the correct legislation tbh.

Who is the "qualified communications teacher" - not an NHS SALT, then? Employed by whom? Specified in the statement?

The situation is different with physio because the physio is employed by NHS and (depending on the child's needs) defined as health not education and thus would not be appropriate for TA to deliver. Having said that, in DD1's SLD school, TAs are to an extent trained to give physio, OT and SALT as therapy is built into every lesson; in that context it's more appropriate for the therapist to oversee and train and review than spend 1 hour a week with each child who would then get no other input. But in DD1's case, therapy is education.

keepyourmouthshutox Mon 29-Nov-10 11:05:21

Communications teacher was in a special school. Ds used to go to the school twice a week and it was a communications group. It was specified that ds utilizes the inreach opportunities provided by the special school in his woolly statment. I now know better (Badge for believing in them).

For one term, the TA delivered it, the next term, he did not have any. This term, his teacher went on a one day course and is now delivering it for 6 weeks. They managed to find 3 other children to form the group now

Problem is if I let it continue and fail to get communcation sessions from the special school in the statement this year, I would have lost it and it is difficult to get back.

Also school blocking my application to another school saying they can provide for him etc. Need to show they do not understand autism.

meltedmarsbars Mon 29-Nov-10 11:09:56

If this helps, this is how physio works for my (physically disabled) dd2: - a bit like r3dh3d:

NHS physio comes and does session with PA and dd2, maybe half-termly or monthly, leaves PA with plan of what exercises to do daily/weekly. This includes such health-necessary exercises as chest percussion physio as well as improving physical strength types of exercises. These are then built into her daily school life.

tabulahrasa Mon 29-Nov-10 11:45:53

um...I know of TA's who do physio

not helpful I know, lol

r3dh3d Mon 29-Nov-10 13:45:00

OK, I think I can guess what happened.

As part of some politically driven budget flange or other (possibly a bid for specialist school status which means they have to build community links) the Special school offered inreach lessons; availability was limited/temporary and they were only doing it to tick boxes to get funding.

Current government has cut the specialist school funding so whatever money the school had to provide this is now gone; they are not renewing contracts of temp/support staff and drawing in their horns.

I don't think this should ever have been specified in the statement, because it smells to me that this was always temporary provision. Or at least the bit specifying need should have been solid enough that you should clearly be able to say: "inreach met his needs, training course for mainstream teacher does not".

Your problem now is that you have to be very clear in you own mind what it is that the inreach provided and needs to be continued. Just the common-sense feel that the staff there were way more experienced and bound to do it better is of course right - but it's not enough. You need to know exactly how much experience they have and either argue that this is equivalent to eg SALT qualification or say how much SALT supervision & input would bring the current school up to scratch. If he was getting 1:1 though it wasn't specified in the statement you need to show that he needs it.

Like I say, my gut feel is that what you have on your statement is no longer possible due to lack of staff budget at the special school. What you have to do is work out what else would do the same job, and show that the current school can't provide it.

keepyourmouthshutox Mon 29-Nov-10 13:59:25

Thing is special school is ready to welcome him back. They have always said that they can cater for him despite all problems.

Problem is school and Senco's ego. She had said he is not going back and despite autism outreach saying he should, she has put in this alternative class in his school. Situation started with ds hitting TA in car. (I did not know this then as it was presented to me that ds was hitting other children at special school so not getting much from it.) Of course school has to protect TA. Easiest way - cut ds's sessions cos don't have to annoy LA by asking for escorted transport.

Problem is although present teacher went on a one day course etc. what happens when she is ill? what happens if she leaves? The group that they have now - what happens if they outpace ds?

good point though r3, about what is it that inreach provided and needs to be continued.

intothewest Mon 29-Nov-10 14:41:11

This might also have something to do with the fact you are trying to get him into another school ? They are possibly trying to show 'look we can cater for his needs..' (even if as you say,they can't) - It is all about ticking boxes- I'm in a similar situation of trying to prove my ds's school don't cater for his needs- frustrating and difficult - and one of the ways they don't meet his needs is the physio provision...

keepyourmouthshutox Mon 29-Nov-10 14:50:14

intothewest yes, it is a pride thing.

Parent Partnership said they have never seen such determination from school at keeping a child.

They keep telling me what huge expense is involved in running these communication sessions etc. Wonder how the other children's parents feel if I withdraw ds and school stops it. Don't think they would still continue and I think they would give some excuse to the other parents.

donkeyderby Mon 29-Nov-10 15:34:43

special schools often delegate therapies to TA's. DS rarely sees a physio or SALT

vallenster Mon 29-Nov-10 21:56:34

Ok so getting a bit lost on the stroyline here so forgive me if i talk nonsense here!

If your child got in trouble for hitting someone then they cannot be disaplined at school if it as seen as being directly related to their disability, disabilty discrimination in a nut shell is making sure a chuild with a disability has allowances made for them not so that they are at an advantage to other pupils, but also so they are not as a DISadvantage either. Have been throught the mill with disabilty discrimination with my son and got full apology from school. RESULT!!

school have to be seen as drawing (and carrying through) from external advice from proffesionals within the field. If you have been given the advice that classes should still be attended and the school is refusing them, then possible to kick up a fuss, don;t be scared to scream disabilty discrimination if you feel the need. I use to worry about what i looked like to the teachers, and now i have realised it is simply often the only way to be heard!!

Good luck with it - sorry about typos, can't type to save my life today!!

cory Tue 30-Nov-10 09:28:43

I do hope your ds gets the help he needs and I do think he should.

But I think you are totally unrealistic in your estimation of how much help a physically disabled child would get. In the case of my dd, noone did physio with her, despite this having been agreed: we had to do it at home and/or take her out for the day to travel to the local hospital for her to get to work with a trained physio. And when she went to the hospital, the school moaned about her attendance.

So yes, do scream for help- but please don't use the argument that physically disabled children get all the help they need. Half the time they don't. It's a postcode lottery.

keepyourmouthshutox Tue 30-Nov-10 11:03:04

cory I know that help is very much a postcode lottery.

The argument isn't that physically disabled children get all the help they need because even in the short time I have been on this board, I know they don't.

My point is, if someone is physically disabled AND managed to get physio at hospital, a teacher would never think of making a unilateral decision to stop it without talking to, at the very least, the physio.(I hope)

However, because nt people can communicate, it is easy to make the mistake of thinking, 'this is something the ta can continue to do and we don't need any more expert advice.'

Veritate Tue 30-Nov-10 13:09:25

I think you clearly need to get the statement amended or otherwise to generate a right of appeal to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal. If you have an annual review coming up, that would be the best way to go about it, because you have a right of appeal if the local authority refuses to amend after the review. If you haven't, you could ask for an early review in view of your concerns. Alternatively you could try suggesting to the LA that the statement needs to be updated and amended and see if they bite on that.

It is obviously unlikely that the amendments will be adequate, but the point is that this will give you a right of appeal when, with the right expert evidence, you should be able to get improved and specific provision, and you can also appeal in relation to the school placement.

You might need advice from someone such as IPSEA or SOS-SEN, or the Community Legal Advice service can refer you to specialist education lawyers.

BabyJonny Sat 04-Dec-10 10:51:29

if your refering to a spech theripist then yes it is most definitly a form of disability discrimination, i been obsessed with disability discrimination ever since i got kicked out of brockenhurst college 2 weeks after i was diagnosed with aspergers syndrome even though i had one 2 one support there. if by comunication teacher your referincg to a teacher that spechilises in teaching sochil skills then again it is also a form of disability discrimination, a teaching aid does not have the qualifications or experiance to teach comunication skills to any one with an ASD i now that from ekperiance since im autistic myself and have 9 disabilitys in total, i have been to sevral spechial needs schools. youth clubs, day centeres and colleges. unfortunatly none of them offed the spechilist support i need since they all primarly speshilised in other disabilitys, aspergers just happend to be on there list so social servises thought they would send me to these places. its like my childhood all over again i feel im never going to have a life at this rate just like i never had a childhood. I hate social servises.

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