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Practical questions about statements please

(7 Posts)
BialystockandBloom Fri 17-Jun-11 23:47:19

Have a couple of questions about practicalities of statements, would be vair grateful if anyone can help me please.

We are in midst of statementing. Had first proposed statement 5 weeks ago, sent back comments. Final one due next week. If (as we anticipate) it is still rubbish and doesn't include our changes and requests, do we have to go straight to appeal, or is there an option where we can continue negotiating without a formal appeal?

If we are either forced to go to tribunal or negotiate, this will obviously delay things. Ds is due to start Reception in September. What happens if his statement is not finalised? Does this mean he starts school without any statement, or will the current working document be used in the interim?

Does a statement apply in a private school? I cannot seem to get a clear answer on this one.

You'd think between them our caseworker, our early intervention officer, or Parent Partnership might know the answers to these questions wouldn't you.... but apparently not as they keep referring me back to each other <headdesk>


AttilaTheMeerkat Sat 18-Jun-11 07:24:33

Private schools do not generally operate within the remit of the LEA so it may well not apply.

If the statement is still pants I would appeal the statement and submit this to SENDIST asap. IPSEA's website has information on the appeals process and they also have a separate helpline regarding tribunals.

Would suggest you speak to one of the charitable organisations out there like ACE or SOSSEN to name but two as they are more knowledgeable on such matters.

Agnesdipesto Sat 18-Jun-11 09:17:15

I don't think it applies to private schools
They will issue their version as final whether you agree with it or not
You appeal it but can keep negotiating as well. Don't delay appealing to negotiate there will be no urgency your case will drop down their priority list unless they have a deadline against them. You can negotiate right up to the tribunal door
The final statement will be implemented from date issued unless you do not comply with it.
So DS statement was 15 hours TA in mainstream nursery. We appealed it for aba but DS got the 15 hours 1:1 and went to nursery for the months until tribunal. So in his case the statement was being implemented even though we disagreed with it
That was tactual as during those months we were able to show the provision was inadequate
If you do not let them try their provision it is much harder to win at tribunal as you must show their provision will fail as well as yours will succeed
People on here have been able to show fab progress eg with aba but lost because they had not been seen to have tried the LA provision sufficiently to prove it would not work.
Unless their provision is not something you can live with for 6 months you should let them implement it as otherwise the tribunal will just send you back to try it.
You only win independent provision when everything else on offer has been shown to have failed.
We were advised you only win aba on 2 grounds, lack of progress with LA provision and very challenging behaviour. You cannot win by showing aba is better, more efficient in long term, best research, better suited to your child etc etc
The system is set up that you must prove nothing else which is cheaper will work.
So if I assume your statement is mainstream reception with some 1:1 then personally I would put your child into mainstream reception and just stand back and let what happens happen. All the time collecting evidence.
As DS only went 15 hours we did 15 hours aba at home and we were able to show aba was working much better than nursery. Is part time reception an option? Although there is something to be said for making the school have to cope with your child for a full day.
I know it's horrible to put your child somewhere you know will fail them, but if you want to win something more expensive it's usually the only way. Better to try it for 6 months than have a tribunal uphold the LA offer and then be stuck with it for a year until annual review until you can appeal and then another 6 months to get back to tribunal.

BialystockandBloom Sat 18-Jun-11 11:33:46

As ever, thanks for the help. Has clarified things smile

Agnes We're not totally sure what we'll do though - we actually don't hold out hope that we'd win a full ABA programme even at a tribunal, as a) we so far haven't done as you suggest and compare his progress to that without ABA, and b) he is pretty high-functioning and it could be argued that .

Even our consultant has also advised that we don't spend months and months and £000s on a tribunal just to win ABA as he doesn't think ds will need a high level of ABA (or even any) after Y1 or earlier.

However it's still important we get a good level of support in his statement as of course it applies forever, so we are still prepared to appeal if the final version is still saying 15 hours TA support (which it is).

So we're thinking we would top up his statement hours with our own funded tutor (at school and out of it), but this would make it hard to prove that the progress is down to ABA alone, especially if it still involved school shadowing. How did you manage to do this if your ds was still doing ABA during this period? I mean, if he made progress in xyz, how could you demonstrate this was down to ABA and not down to the LA provision?

BialystockandBloom Sat 18-Jun-11 11:36:03

* he is pretty high-functioning and it could be argued that his progress is down to natural development

drivemecrazy63 Sat 18-Jun-11 17:19:47

my ds goes to private school (BUT) the lea are paying for it and yes his statement still applies

Agnesdipesto Sat 18-Jun-11 23:16:01

We thought it would be difficult but actually it proved really easy because the autism outreach team were supposed to set up programmes, train the 1:1 and monitor etc but their team was a shambles and they did effectively nothing.

So we had a long list of mastered programmes and targets and they had one programme.

Same with speech therapy

ABA did not go into nursery initially - only when it was obvious outreach were not going to bother doing what the statement said they should do - so nursery were really fed up by then and aba was a huge relief

DS only learns through direct teaching (but then can learn quite quickly). So there was a pretty clear connection really as often it was quite immediate - he had never used a word before - we taught it - then he started using it. His natural development is pretty non existent - so it wasnt like all his scores in EYFS were going up across the board, it was only those areas we were working on at a particular time where progress was happening. He is very severely affected by his autism eg he had 2 words of functional speech before aba, so any difference was immediately noticeable. So apart from the specific skills we had taught there wasn't anything they could point to and claim as down to them - they made it even harder for themselves in that they did not see DS at all for the 5 months before tribunal so they actually did not know how he was doing and what he could and couldn't do.

I can see its a hard call for you as your DS is doing so well. And so frustrating when only a little bit of ABA is needed. it was easier to argue for a child with very high needs, because frankly they should never have put DS in mainstream. He can only go to mainstream because of aba, they and he would not cope otherwise.

I would think the school would see a pretty big difference between the quality of input from aba and elsewhere. Will outreach train the TA?

I suppose you could not do ABA in school initially perhaps have a term of the standard provision and just do aba at home and as much as possible work on different skills eg leave social skills with peers to school - they almost certainly wont be able to teach this - and then put aba in later on.

Also put really SMART targets in IEP they would struggle to teach without ABA eg sitting and attending without stim for x minutes; playing a structured game with a peer for x minutes

In practice without ABA most mainstream staff struggle to get children to do much at all, I have seen many well meaning TAs gently trying to nudge the child along or even trailing after the child, but not really setting the agenda or moving the child on, or even able to get the child's attention. But again that will be harder for a HF child - DS was very hard for his mainstream staff to reach so without aba they could not get him to do anything.

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