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S&LT battle - any S&LT advice

(87 Posts)
appropriatelytrained Thu 09-Jun-11 17:36:13

OK. NHS S&LT therapist is suddenly appearing next week as Tribunal reports have to be filed soon.

She has never undertaken any assessments with DS but is wanting to measure progress. She has previously met DS once for half an hour to model a session for his useless TA.

He is supposed to get S&LT visits a year. 3 of them (including this one) have already been used up without any sign of progress.

I have two problems:

(i) I really resent this woman appearing just because she has a report to do when she has not worked with my son, trained his TA or offered guidance on how targets are to be measured/ work recorded etc. She will just be saying 'yup indirect therapy going fine'

(ii) bloody stupid TA is a lying cow who is just interested in making herself look good. One of DS's targets is to encourage communication with adults. We got our own S&LT involved who organised with her how she is to do this e.g. send DS on messages etc. She has done absolutely nothing. I know cos DS liked the message stuff when it started but tells me he hasn't done this for weeks

LA have recently had their application to add a senior S&LT to their witness list for Tribunal refused so this is getting very heated.

I really hate the thought of them putting DS through assessements just to fix them for Tribunal purposes when they couldn't bother to assess him before. It will only go one way because they have already decided what they are going to write. I wish I could tell them to f* off.

I want advice on what kind of questions I can ask about how progress should be recorded and monitored and how I can deal with the inevitably lying TA and the S&LT's failure to bother to train or advise or even appear to assess before.

moondog Thu 09-Jun-11 19:07:19

Ask what is the evidence base for her intervention.

Ask to see your son's fiule and copy pages realting to her input to ascertain whether they were face to face or not.

Ask her to detail in writing how, in accordance with RCSLT guidelines, her targets and input is SMART.

Specific Measurable

It's probably most effective to focus on 'measurable' which is the weakest aspect of most s/lt provision.

If I (an s/lt) had as a target sending kid on messages, I would get the TA to tally these daily, having given her a target (say 3 a day) I would want details of nature and recipient of these messages and I would then grapph it up and do some data analysis so at the end of term i could tell you

'Your son this term has taken 12 messages to the school sec, 15 to the head, 9 to the class next door etc'. The nature of the messages was as follows and delivered in the following form. 56% were successfully delievered, 28 % necessitated adult support and he refused to undertake 16% of them.'

Get my drift?

moondog Thu 09-Jun-11 19:11:53

Sorry, it's your own s/lt who has recommended carrying messages.
Well is she measuring it or showing you how to?

appropriatelytrained Thu 09-Jun-11 19:21:27

That's great. I kind of drafted the targets so I think they are ok grin

But it is measuring provision in relation to the target that is the key point and I will look to question her on that as there is no way anyone is doing anything like you suggest

appropriatelytrained Thu 09-Jun-11 19:22:08

She told the TA to but she isn't doing it. The NHS S&LT didn't tell her to do anything

moondog Thu 09-Jun-11 19:33:04

Why isn't she doing it?
I suggest writing to the school saying you have no record of targets being carried out and in line with recommendations from the Code of Practice, Lamb Enquiry and Bercow Report you are insisting on a written record.

If this is not forthcoming, then you assume it is not occuring which is a matter for grave concern and a clear breach of the statement (if you have one).

beautifulgirls Thu 09-Jun-11 19:34:44

I don't know how relevant it may or not be, but our private SLT told us that some of the standardised tests can only be repeated at appropriate intervals and if used more frequently can lead to inaccurate results. It will be worth scanning the tests that are done and comparing the last ones he had done officially and seeing if you can use this against the LEA SLT if she does start waffling on about acceptable results.

appropriatelytrained Thu 09-Jun-11 19:42:14

Thanks. Moondog we got another S&LT involved (we had one who'd done a report for the SA) because DS's programme was not even in place three months after his statement was issued. That S&LT recommended we apply for Cerebra vouchers to instruct someone to get it going. This S&LT has been in twice but she has ended up having to try and set up training for the TA who didn't want to start the programme as she felt 'overwhelmed'.

beautifulgirls that is a very good point. We have an update report organised for DS and this one will come first. I have asked her to explain the nature of her assessment and explain why this is the first assessment she has done(another NHS S&LT did one for SA) but no answer yet.

This S&LT has, however, already filed a very lengthy report (without meeting my child) detailing how his needs are met wonderfully by their indirect programme which was not even in place at the time (unlawfully)!!

moondog Thu 09-Jun-11 19:53:26

Whether or not programme is indirect or direct, it can still be SMART.

Like most NHS s/lts, I do very little 1:1 work (impossible with my caseload) but in any case, I don;'t need to as there are plenty of people to carry out work. Anyone with 1:1 support is laughing in terms of time to carry out recommendations from an s/lt.

All of mine is SMART-as it should be.

I don't do wooly advice and general tips.

appropriatelytrained Thu 09-Jun-11 20:14:35

Thanks that is good advice. Should I put this in writing before the meeting do you think, just to record my concerns?

moondog Thu 09-Jun-11 20:31:13

I would.
Record everything in wirting.
Cc it to a few important people too-the boss of the s/lt and her boss.
Phone the s/lt dept. and ask for their names and addresses

appropriatelytrained Thu 09-Jun-11 21:12:30

I usually send emails but do you think it is better done by letter? I wonder whether they just delete emails!

working9while5 Thu 09-Jun-11 21:28:47

No we don't! It has to be dealt with the same as any written record under the law.

appropriatelytrained Thu 09-Jun-11 22:17:53

Oh, that's good. It's a lot easier! Thanks

feynman Thu 09-Jun-11 22:45:54

Appropriately trained-I email everyone involved with my son as it's quicker and easier and they can't just lose them. They have the same 'weight' as a letter. I would do as moondog says and ask for your sons file and evidence of meeting targets.

Moondog, I am 'wrangling' with my lea over provision in my sons statement, with an impending tribunal, we are finally starting to make progress on an agreement. Would you mind looking at the provison part of his statement relating to slt (its a couple of paragraphs) and letting me know if it seems ok? Don't worry if not I just thought I'd ask as I notice your posts alot and they are really helpful. I'll pm you if thats ok.

moondog Thu 09-Jun-11 23:10:40

I'll do my best. smile

appropriatelytrained Thu 09-Jun-11 23:32:51

Thanks. I have got a copy of his file which I can't face looking at presently!

There won't be any evidence of meeting targets in there though as before the statement was issued, he had absolutely no input from S&LT(save for the SA report).

The statement was issued in Jan and S&LT only saw him in May for the first time and that was to 'model' a session for the TA for half an hour.

They then issued targets (which I had to redraft) and left us to it.

Then the LA asked them to do a report for Tribunal next month so now they're back to measure progress - in what way and against what I don't know.

Moondog should I make the point that there has been no baseline assessment. Reports were issued for the SA but this S&LT hasn't ever assessed him and did nothing before setting up a programme for him

moondog Thu 09-Jun-11 23:38:32

Generally speaking i am suspicious of 'assessment' which is much loved in the public sector and is often a euphemism for doing not very much at all.In addition, it's pretty easy to detail areas of need.What is less easy is addressing and remedying those areas.

However if they are purportinig to be 'measuring progress' how on earth is that possible without some srot of formal assessment? An initial assessment can be quick and easy. I can reel off something like the Test for Abstract Language score it and explain the implications to a teacher or parent in half an hour.

appropriatelytrained Thu 09-Jun-11 23:40:54

What she suggests is even more wishy-washy than that:

She will be doing a combination of both informal and formal assessment. The formal assessment will look at specific areas of difficulty within the area of pragmatic language and will contribute to target setting and help track progress over time. The informal aspect of the assessment will look at how he is able to use his language functionally and areas where he benefits from support.

working9while5 Thu 09-Jun-11 23:41:31

Moondog, I am surprised! How do you functionally analyse without assessing?

moondog Thu 09-Jun-11 23:54:54

I'm not anti assessment.
It goes without saying change only possible to track with assessment.
I am very much opposed to constant ill defined 'assessment' and observation.

I spend my life reading files and reports which read as a stream of consciousness of areas of need.
Er yes. What are you going to actually do about it then?


moondog Thu 09-Jun-11 23:56:08

'will contribute to target setting and help track progress over time. '

Great. So ask her how progress will be tracked and what specific interventions will effect desired change.

appropriatelytrained Thu 09-Jun-11 23:57:45

So, am I not right in thinking that some form of assessment of his needs should have been undertaken before the programme was set up so progress could be measured against a baseline?

The assessment they appear to be recommending seems vague and ill-defined but it should have been undertaken initially.

working9while5 Thu 09-Jun-11 23:59:12

I know what you mean, you mean the half-termly trot-out-a-TROG stuff. I understand now! smile

moondog Thu 09-Jun-11 23:59:22

It's nigh impossible to comment on something you only know some details of over the internet but to me it is unthinkable that I would propose any sort of intervention without knowing where the child was already at in terms of the areas i am targetting.

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