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Statement application: non-academic needs

(5 Posts)
mariamagdalena Mon 04-Jul-11 18:38:16

Have a meeting lined up with school and LEA to discuss why they've all said statutory assessment isn't necessary for ds1 (age 7, y2, asd & adhd). Their basic argument is he's doing well with reading and numeracy, and can appear to hold things together (sort of) in school with the support they're giving on school action plus.

All of this is true. But his anxiety levels are huge, his self-care isn't progressing, our home life really is ruled by his needs, and apart from reading, he can't demonstrate his school learning in the outside world. Plus I can see him drifting further and further behind his peers in communication, social and independence.

So, how can I prove this?

brandy77 Mon 04-Jul-11 21:54:24

my son age 6.5 years has just got a statement which states all the needs are for social and communication problems and concentration, nothing about learning in it if that helps

pinkorkid Mon 04-Jul-11 22:18:57

I can understand why you want to push for extra help now as you are seeing the impact of his needs not being fully met much more clearly at home than they can see at school. It is quite typical for an asd child to hold it together at school and let it all out at home but sooner or later the anxiety will start to impact more obviously at school - typically coming to a crisis point at times of transition like transfer to secondary or just with growing awareness of difference between ds and peers. It makes much more sense to try to act pre-emptively to prevent the escalation than to wait for it to all go wrong and then try and deal with the fall out. But it will be hard to persuade lea without evidence.

I presume you are/have been involved with camhs or paediatrician for diagnosis and hopefully ongoing support with ds' asd and adhd (although I know many people's experience is to not receive much support post diagnosis). Could you make an appointment to discuss impact of ds' anxiety and struggles with self-care and social interaction with camhs? Their recommendations should carry some weight. It might also help to get some written feedback from cubs/beavers or similar extra-curricular settings of how they see your ds' additional needs impacting on his ability to participate there.
Also keeping a diary of behaviours/incidents which reflect his high levels of anxiety would be useful - if anything you probably underestimate impact of anxiety on daily level because you get used to certain behaviours.

Sorry if none of this is anything you haven't already thought of. But I would say to trust your instincts and persevere. I certainly regret not pushing/being fobbed off re statementing when my ds was younger.

runningonmt Mon 04-Jul-11 22:40:35

I have no advice as such - I just wanted to pop in and wish you luck. I think i will be in your position in September as my ds returns to the state school system and I suspect will also be needing a statement for his moderate/severe ADHD and ODD.

If the school are in agreement that your DS1 does not need a statement at this moment in time then i think you will have quite a battle on your hands. I think you will need to prove that they are not meeting his needs in a specific area dispite the School Action +. Is there anything that you feel the school need to be doing that they arn't because it is not financially viable without additional funding ? That has to be the basis of your argument. Mine was not 'failing academically' in his primary as he is very able in the academic side but we all know that the academic side is only 50% of what being at school is about. Statements can be provided for non-academic issues such as behaviour. Would having x amount of hours one to one reduce his anxiety ?

With the current financial situation I feel that funding is being cut back left right and centre in all areas of education. It could be that the lea feels that his need dont warrent a statement at the moment - that doesnt mean that you cant have it looked at again in 12 months time. The older he gets the more noticable his deficits will be compared to his peers and the more likely it would be that he would get a statement.

Make a list of things you feel the school could be doing now to help your DS - then use that list to ask the school if they can meet those needs on school action plus - If not, they should be supporting your application for a statement.

Best of luck to you and let us know how you get on x

mariamagdalena Wed 06-Jul-11 23:00:47

Sorry not to get back to you all sooner. Was trying not to get stuck on computer for hours and the easiest way was not to start...

brandy, it's useful to be reminded that statements can list social communication and emotional needs only. I may have to anonymously quote that if I may... 'well, i 'talked' to someone whose child had...' Without mentioning the internet obviously!

pinkorkid: we did get the paediatrician to refer us to camhs, and we told them all about the difficulties. Their 'triage team' response was a very short letter discharging us from their care as we'd already done all the parent courses so they didn't feel they could add anything more. The paediatrician does always list all the important stuff affecting DS when he writes letters, which is handy. Good thought about beavers: we've deferred transfer to cubs because ds isn't ready, and the last family camp was 'interesting'... so it might be worth a try. I bought a diary but haven't got properly into the habit of writing in it. I need to do that (and thinking out loud, maybe try something like the incredible 5 point scale with ds...)

runnning: the school say no-one gets a statement round here unless they need TA 1:1 for 16h+ minimum. Which isn't really what he does need, so I can understand why they might be reluctant to use their hard-pressed budget to provide it. After a rocky start, the school really have been doing their best to provide for his needs. In terms of resources, a bit limited, but the goodwill, liason and minute-by-minute adaptation to his needs have been great.

If I could write a list now of what he needs each week it would be 'access' to TA for 30h; 1:1 or small group with TA for 5h (possibly 10h, not sure if an hour a day enough); extra lunch supervision (could be shared, 5 hours); 1:1 or small group with SEN teacher for 2.5h, somewhere to go to for a break when he's overwhelmed, plus fortnightly music or play therapy, regular OT, SLT, EP and most importantly asd specialist teacher input. With protected time for the class teacher to differentiate adapt and liase with the various outsiders, and me of course. And all this without losing any of the goodwill and flexibility we currently enjoy.

And if he had all that now, he would probably be doing ok, and continue ok for the next ?2-3y before that provision would fall below his evolving needs. But I'd be very surprised if any school could routinely do all this on SA+.

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