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school dinners

(12 Posts)
queenoffairies Thu 23-Jun-11 16:29:36

Hi, I am looking for a bit of advicesmile

My 14 year old DD (ASD, dyspraxia, processing difficulties and extreme anxiety) is trying to struggle along with school - and although they are finally more accepting of the idea that she needs more help, it is very slow in coming.

One of DDs main problems is school dinners. She is allowed to go straight to the front of the queue now, so she doesnt have to stand with everyone else, as prior to this she would simply not go in for lunch. However, over the past few month her anxieties have been raising again, to the point where now she is allowed to go to her head of year's room and eat her lunch in there. By herself - which I admit to being a bit hmm about, as I dont want her singled out all the time.

However, this poses additional problems. Due to her dyspraxia, she is very clumsy, and cannot reliably carry a tray/plate from one room to the next, let alone across the playground (she is also worried about being questioned about this). So, she is restricting her lunch to whatever she can put in her pocket - which is usually just a sandwhich. Dont get me wrong, I am pleased that she is actually eating something, but is there anything that I can request to make this a bit easier for her?

She doesnt have a statement, is school action plus but no IEP (school say that these are only for when children are educated outside the school grounds etc - I have questioned them on this a number of times).

I can see DD getting back to the point she was at a couple of years ago, when she was so stressed she needed to be homeschooled for a few month. On top of these worries, she is about to enter her GCSE years, which she has worried about for yearssad

Does anyone have any advice please?

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 23-Jun-11 16:40:33

I would be applying for a statement for your DD asap as school action plus is not fully meeting her additional needs here.

What's the SENCO in this school like, have you met with this person?.

IEP should be done termly and with you present to discuss this - the school are certainly misleading you when they are stated that they are for children who are educated outside the school grounds. I am wondering exactly why they would be saying this.

queenoffairies Thu 23-Jun-11 16:52:47

Thanks Attila. I have been thinking of asking for a statement, but as the SENCO keeps saying nothing can be done until she has an official dx (just waiting on the official multi-discp dx of ASD - although CAMHS and community paeds consultant both agree she is definitely on the spectrum - and school know this)

Thankfully, this SENCO is leaving soon, and yes, I have been to numerous meetings with her. Things are agreed in principle, very informally and nothing actually down in writing. SO then, two or three month later when nothing has changed, we have to start again.

Re the IEP, when I was working (sw in a previous life), I did actually work with many schools on different IEPs, so her comments were news to me also. But, a couple of weeks after this, DD came home with a piece of paper stuck in the front of her planner - a learner support planconfused She was not even consulted on this, let alone me - she had no idea as to what it was, only that she had been asked where she wanted it stuckhmm

I guess I will start searching the 'applying for statement' threads. Her old consultant (recently retired) was well aware of how frustrating this school could be - he repeatedly said that as DD was so quiet at school, would simply sit and cry quietly, or use her time out pass without any fuss, that school thought she was coping. It was only when she got home that she would be able to express herself (sometimes violently).

Sorry for long post, guess I am offloading a littleblush

TheNinjaGooseIsOnAMission Thu 23-Jun-11 19:51:38

your senco is talking rubbish, you do not need a dx to get a statement, it may help but you don't have to have one. You should be consulted about the iep, please read the sen cop and work out what they should be doing for your dd as far as the process goes. Have a look at ipsea for info on statementing, they have a model letter you can use to apply for a statutory assessment should that be what you decide to do.

Oblomov Thu 23-Jun-11 21:04:58

You need a paper trail. Write an email to senco. or write a letter, detailing some of the things you have discussed/agreed.
its easy to deny verbal things. or when new senco comes, for new to dispute what old senco did/agreed/said.
Get it all down on paper/email.
Then it can't be disputed.
You won't regret this.

I did this to my school last month.
All the twaty things they said to me, denying me a SA and IEP for the last 10 months, but all done verbally, and now down on paper/e-mail. Makes them look really silly.

Oblomov Thu 23-Jun-11 21:09:05

Just to confirm ..... you said that twaty thing .......
Just to clarify .... you told me a load of shit about IEP's /statements etc,
Following on from ....
Oct 10 .....You commented that .....
Jan 11, I suggested .... but you ......

Things like that are helpful.

queenoffairies Thu 23-Jun-11 21:29:28

thanks guys, I will check out IPSEA. Would/could they refuse a statement though as DD is not behind too much academically - although she would be doing a lot better if her teachers actually broke down instructions for her, like the SENCO and head of year have apparantly requested many many timeshmm

bigbluebus Thu 23-Jun-11 21:57:46

queenoffairies A statement is not linked to how well your child is achieving academically - it is about whether or not the school can meet your daughter's needs from within its existing resources -( which clearly your DD's school is not), regardless of what those needs are.
My DS (14) has had a statement for 25hrs help a week since he was 7 and he is in top stream for every subject - it is help with social skills and behaviour which gave rise to the need for his extra support. Don't let the school fob you off about the statement like they have about IEP's - you do not need an official diagnosis or to be under achieving academically to qualify for a statement.

Triggles Thu 23-Jun-11 22:27:07

Nope. DS2's statement has just gone through, and he does not have an official diagnosis yet, and he is well ahead academically. But without full time 1:1 he could not function in MS school.

queenoffairies Thu 23-Jun-11 22:51:38

God, I feel so embarrassed at letting things get this bad! DD does have 1 to 1 help in practical lessons, but again, that is not wrote down anywhere, and if the teaching assistant is busy, then DD goes without.

I did think of writing a list of what school have said they were going to do, then sending it in to new SENCO with a friendly letter, but now I am thinking I need to more firm- something with which I struggle though.

DD is supposed to be having a cognitive assessment by the Ed Psych ( requested by the consultant) but each time I mention it, the school seem like it is the first time they have heard of it.

I really need to pull my finger out here and get a grip, don't I.

Oblomov Fri 24-Jun-11 05:49:59

Yes, you do. Polite, but firm.

pinkorkid Fri 24-Jun-11 09:14:17

The sen code of practice will give you most of the answers and reassurance you need about your dd's eligibility for a statement. link here:

It's very long but with an index at the front so you canpick out the most relevant bits for you at each stage. Ch 7 gives you the information on applying for a statutory assessment to evaluate whether your dd likely to need a statement or not.

Re the academic problems only myth, here is a direct quote to be aware of next time someone tries to sell that one to you:
"Other factors
7:42 While academic assessments will provide important evidence, LEAs should not delay their
consideration of a child until up-to-date assessment results are available. LEAs should
also have regard to teachers’ own recorded assessments of a child’s classroom work, the
outcome of IEPs and any portfolio of the child’s work compiled to illustrate their progress.
7:43 LEAs should also seek evidence of any other identifiable factors that could impact on
learning outcomes including:
 clear, recorded evidence of clumsiness; significant difficulties of sequencing or visual
perception; deficiencies in working memory; or significant delays in language
 any evidence of impaired social interaction or communication or a significantly
restricted repertoire of activities, interests and imaginative development
 evidence of significant emotional or behavioural difficulties, as indicated by clear
recorded examples of withdrawn or disruptive behaviour; a marked and persistent
inability to concentrate; signs that the child experiences considerable frustration or
distress in relation to their learning difficulties; difficulties in establishing and
maintaining balanced relationships with their fellow pupils or with adults; and any other
evidence of a significant delay in the development of life and social skills.
7:44 Some factors, including significant problems in the child’s home or family circumstances
or their school attendance record, can contribute towards under-attainment but may not
always be indicators of special educational needs. LEAs should therefore seek any
evidence of such identifiable factors that could impact on learning outcomes including:
 any evidence that the child’s performance is different in different environments
 evidence of contributory medical problems
 evidence from assessments or interventions by child health or social services."

Sorry the formatting is all over the shop, but hopefully you can still read it.

You can also ring up to ask for sencop and the sen toolkit to be sent out to you by post - all free- as it's very useful to be able to scribble over and underline your own copy. The number is: Telephone: 0845 60 222 60.
Keep strong - we've all wished we had been pushier in the past but it's a lot easier when you have the information to show yourself and others that you are actually being perfectly reasonable in your requests.

You could also try your local "partnership with parents" for support in getting started on the process - example here of kent's pwp website but every county council in England has one.

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