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School advice please (not supporting statement application)

(13 Posts)
mariamagdalena Wed 15-Jun-11 13:54:27

DS has asd and adhd (medicated), year 2 with a lovely peer group, very smart, extrovert, tries to please. Reading and numeracy are strengths. Has been on SA+ for almost 2 years. Has lots (really lots) of informal extra support from TA & teacher; the SENCO thought I was an over anxious nutter initially so was not at all helpful then but has become much more so of late.

Title says it all really. How on earth can I convince them to closely evaluate, document and work on all the anxiety, social, communication, self-care, shared attention problems which I see as clear as day, but they (apparently) don't. Doing this right may well be a lot of work, and may not quite succeed in a funded statement (this time) but I KNOW it'll save them a huge amount of time, money and aggravation in the long run.

Aero Wed 15-Jun-11 14:36:49

Apply to the LA yourself. I did and after two refusals and a threat of tribunal, dd finally got her statement (still in negotiation over content, but it's a huge relief to us all). School were not suppoortive as they need to be seen to have done every possible thing to help and support your child and they will want to be seen as successful if possible, so unless they really can't 'meet his needs' as they see them, then they are unlikely to support you, but they should at least be honest when it comes to penning their evidence. You know your child best, and they don't always exhibit the same behaviours in school where everything is a structured as they do at home where things can become very strained and the whole family can feel burdened.

To be fair to our school, they were supportive during the porcess and helped me with what I wanted to know etc, but they would never have sought a SSEN for dd themselves and it has been solely down to me to get this far. The HT firmly believed we would not get a statement for dd, but we have been persistant and they have finally seen that the problems she encounters need to be addressed as all the strategies already in place are not helping dd achieve her potential.

I wish you luck - you will need a strong will and be prepared for a long haul and a mountain of paperwork, but if you believe your child needs it, then be persistant and it will pay off in the end.

IndigoBell Wed 15-Jun-11 14:45:55

I'd echo what Aero said.

I applied for a statement a few weeks ago, and haven't heard yet, and don't expect to get one..... But school were fine about it. They supported my application even though they would have never applied themself.

So far it's resulted in a better IEP, and an IEP review meeting and another meeting scheduled before the end of term...... So quite a lot really.

If your school has given him lots of support, they shouldn't mind at all.... Like Aero said, it's the schools that haven't been doing enough which have something to fear.......

mariamagdalena Wed 15-Jun-11 14:58:06

Didn't really make it clear. I did apply, but we've been turned down on the grounds that school say he's making progress on SA+ (which in fairness he is, just not in the areas which concern me most). So I need to work with the school and see if they can give me any more evidence to persuade the LA to take another look at the decision. I'd rather just submit whatever is missing and avoid going into the 'local resolution of dispute' or, God forbid, having to resort to tribunal (though I have marked the last 'submission of appeal to sendist' date ont he calendar...)

IndigoBell Wed 15-Jun-11 15:26:56

Can you ask for a playground observation?

Can you ask for a classroom observation?

Does he have a dx of ASD? Can the ASD team help you / school?

Can you get PP to talk to them?

Can you talk to the SENCO and be really clear about what you think he needs extra help with?

Can you get those things on his IEP? Which he can then fail? Quickly?

<<Racks brains......>>

moosemama Wed 15-Jun-11 16:17:12

When you say 'making progress' do you mean progress on his non-academic skills or are you talking about National Curriculum Levels progress?

If the LEA turned your application down on the grounds of him making good academic progress:

1. They aren't allowed to do this, its in contravention of SENCOP, because they aren't allowed to have blanket policies stating who will or won't get a statement - it has to be done based on the needs of the individual.

2. If the statement you require isn't to do with academic stuff, but rather social/communication and emotional, then his academic progress is irrelevant. Statements can be given purely on the basis of social/communication skills if necessary, there are plenty of high achieving, even g&t children who have statements.

We are in the process of trying to get a statement for ds1 (9 AS) purely based on his social, communication and emotional needs, with help from the specialist autism teacher service.

We were told you need to demonstrate, not only what has been tried and didn't work, but also what has been tried and worked, but is not sustainable in the long-term from the schools SEN budget eg, my ds works best with an adult working 1-2-1 with him, we have evidence that this has been tried at different times at school and worked well, but the school says they do not have the funds to cover proper 1-2-1 support. Unfortunately, this means you do have to make it sound like the school has tried really hard and exhausted every avenue of support for your ds, but that more is needed and the school is unable to fund that level of support long-term. It grates, but its a case of gritting your teeth and doing it anyway.

If its social/communication stuff he needs the most suport with, this will need to be evidence in his IEPs, so you may need to make sure you have a few s/c targets on there for a couple of reviews and then use these to re-apply. We are just doing a couple of extra rounds of IEPs, with 6 week review dates for exactly that reason, up until the last IEP the school seemed set on addressing his fine motor skills etc and other more practical academic issues, but pretty much ignored how his ASD issues were causing barriers to him accessing the curriculum. We're now hoping to plug this gap in evidence with the new IEPs.

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 15-Jun-11 16:59:54

Also your son will presumably be transferring to Juniors at the start of Y3 so this may also be why there is no real will on the part of the infants to do anything else.

I would be speaking to his new Junior school asap and appeal the LEA's decision against assessment as a matter of course.

mariamagdalena Wed 15-Jun-11 20:36:25

Ta everyone. Am printing this to memorise and regurgitate inform my discussions with senco tomorrow.

pinkorkid Wed 15-Jun-11 22:32:04

Maria, it sounds like you're doing the right things and there's lots of good advice from others here but you shouldn't worry about going to tribunal - at least in our experience appealing to tribunal seemed to galvanise lea into action. It might also be worth searching your lea's website for their criteria for carrying out a statutory assessment - it's always useful to be able to quote their own documents back to them when arguing your case and obviously finding the parts from sencop which apply to your son are essential.media.education.gov.uk/assets/files/pdf/s/special%20educational%20needs%20code%20of%20practice.pdf

signandsmile Thu 16-Jun-11 07:41:10

Hi maria (long time no talk, I am still around... just being a headless chook) just wanted to say hope meeting with Senco today goes well. will pm you later..

mariamagdalena Sun 19-Jun-11 00:23:23

Update: No more evidence to help me with LEA. In fairness to the school, they say they genuinely don't believe assessment is needed, they feel they are managing fine, and they aren't willing to spin the paperwork to make it support something they don't agree with. Obviously, I think they are mistaken in their judgement, because they just don't know what to look for as he really is a complex little cookie. And I am unreasonably incandescent that they won't just take my word for it, because I am his mum and I know best and they should just do what I tell them grin.

There are also a couple of bits of rather odd practice that might be sheer ignorance, or else a rather devious attempt to undermine my arguments. But I can demonstrate that the odd practice is exactly that, and the staff also made some helpful suggestions and gave offers of more help in some of the areas I'm concerned about. I'm racking my brains trying to think of other ways to accumulate documentation that will show his difficulties and why they are causing major, albeit masked, problems. So far I've come up with

use the link book much more
ask for 3-4 item, termly IEPs, with a midterm progress review
document all meetings
get as many outside assessments as practicable
make sure whenever I have concerns, I email or discuss them with someone who will routinely record them

More suggestions on a postcard please...

pinkorkid Sun 19-Jun-11 13:42:02

Maria, just a thought - would you be able to get someone from CAMHS, presuming you are involved with them for his ASD to come into school and observe or if you can afford it an independent EP. they might be able to supply you with the extra evidence you need to support your application for assessment. Other sources of evidence might be from leaders at any extra curricular stuff he attends re struggles socially or following instructions.

mariamagdalena Mon 20-Jun-11 15:41:26

Good thought pinkorkid about extracurricular evidence, and I have a contact in beavers wink
Clinical psychologist saw him in class and he really did look fine. So might save private EP till beahaviour more likely to manifest itself during visit...

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