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Here some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on SN.

Educational psychologists specialising in twice exceptional

(20 Posts)
Peaceflower Sun 17-Jul-11 10:44:04

DS (8, with working dx of AS) is on the G&T register at school. According to his year end report, he is currently working two years ahead across the curriculum, except for writing where he is age appropriate (no progress in the last year though). His reading age at 6 was 11+, and for maths and ICT "significantly above age expectations and beyond most of his peers".

This is NOT intended to be a bragging post, as I am hoping for some guidance.

He hates school, and tells me there is too much work. Everyday it is a battle to get him to school. He does all his maths in his head and refuses to write anything down. He has a photographic memory for spellings but doesn't get them all right in tests because of the speed at which words are given, and he finds processing this and writing challenging.

He tries and works hard at school as he is a compliant boy. He is however extremely frustrated and over the last 2 years, I have seen him change from a very happy boy to one who is "carrying a heavy weight on his shoulders" and "his stomach feels dry" when it's time for school.

I believe an educational psychologist may be able to unravel his issues and have been trying to get the LA EP to see him. A million obstacles have been put in my path and school are willing to request an EP, but believe he "will not get past moderation, as there are others more severe". The HT also believes his problems are because of his AS, and nothing else.

The questions in my head are:
1. Is the HT right
2. Should I persist with trying to get the LA EP
3. Do I get a private EP
4. Where do I get a private EP who deals with twice exceptional
5. Estimate of cost of private EP

I would be grateful to hear from anyone with similar experiences.

hannahsmummsy Sun 17-Jul-11 11:40:01

sounds like me when I was a kid , I loved to learn , but I spent a lot of time skiving lessons in the school library, teaching my self . im afraid private ep not cheap my dd has mild sn shes about to see private ep it will cost £500. if i can give you any advice about growing up with as please ask xx

hannahsmummsy Sun 17-Jul-11 11:41:59

dr bettina hohen is worth googling

pinkorkid Sun 17-Jul-11 11:51:10

The HT may well be right that your ds' problems are down to his AS alone but that should not imply that the anxiety it causes for him is insignificant or that he needs no support to access an appropriate education.

You should definitely push for the LA EP to do an assessment but make sure they do a full cognitive assessment - something like the WISC IV is the gold standard. This should highlight any disparities between for example reading levels and processing speeds. It can then be used to work out his most effective learning style and any support he needs to learn most effectively.

For example, my son has a processing speed on the 2nd percentile and a reading level on the 85th centile. He can be articulate in discussions but struggles to write a sentence. With the benefit of a scribe his test results have jumped from a 4c to a 6b national curriculum level.

Any recommendations from the assessment can be incorporated in an IEP or potentially a statement of SEN.

His wisc iv assessment was carried out by a clinical psychologist at CAMHS as part of his treatment for school related anxiety. This might be a possible route for your son too.

I don't have any experience of private EPs but I'm sure there will be others here who will know.

zzzzz Sun 17-Jul-11 11:52:48

Try reading the mensa sight on high IQ children. Ed psych will be helpful, but is pricey and frankly even just plane high IQ kids at school get very little help. The Epsych would at least be able to test him with the need to write taken out of tasks, to see what his "real" profile is.

If it was me I would add an instrument for dexterity and brain power and have him tutored for Grammar/scholarship places at 11. The extra classes will stretch him and may find him some friends. Otherwise spelling bees, chess and bridge tournaments are all brain powered but also semi-social.

Starchart Sun 17-Jul-11 12:41:53

Oh ffs. Yes, ds' delay in speaking was down to his ASD. Should he not be given help communicating? Or should we just not expect it of him ever?

His fine motor skills are under-developed because of his ASD, should he not get extra support with writing? Or should we remove all pens from him?

His coordination skills mean that he can have problems getting dressed. Shall we let him stay in his pajamas all day?

Starchart Sun 17-Jul-11 12:43:30

It reminds me of my ds HT. 'We are not an ABA school, and do not allow it'.

Er, okay, but you're not a blind school, would you not allow white sticks?

The HT should provide support to your child as is appropriate to his needs if those needs not being met affects his learning. Social and Emotional skills are now considered important educational skills.

Peaceflower Sun 17-Jul-11 15:20:50

Thank you for your replies smile.

hannahsmummsy Thank you - £500 sounds reasonable, have heard much higher, but I'm down South grin. I also have a 13 year old dd with AS so I can see what's ahead sad, pda is also being considered for her sad sad. Very interesting you mentioned Dr Bettina Hohnen, have you experience of her? I actually knew her personally when she was 17!

pinkorkid Thanks for the tip about wisc. I'm putting off the evil day when I apply for a statement. I'm gathering evidence though, having been through it already with dd, and have just postponed a tribunal for her. But that's another story grin.

zzz What does "instrument for dexterity" mean? I'm learning all the time from you knowledgeable MN lot grin. I have glanced at the Mensa website but my eyes glaze over after a while!

starchart I feel the pain and frustration too. I've watched my dd completely wiped by her experience. She has spent the last year out of school without any education, not gone out or seen anyone for 8 months. Yet she has an IQ of 126 but is dyslexic and AS/or PDA.

My fear is my ds will also start falling behind and become a school refuser. In the last year, I have set up a CAF for him and he receives the following:
- learning mentor for 20 minutes a week
- shares a TA 3 times a weeek for maths
- is fed a sensory diet by a TA 20 mins a week
- visual class timetable
- preparation for changes to routine, eg school trip

I don't know what else I can do sad

littletree Sun 17-Jul-11 15:47:37

Hi- I started a thread on another board about getting my 8 year old son assessed for ASD. Now we are having possible dyspraxia bandied about as well. We received a referral letter from school to take to gp to try to get a referral to an Ed psych but my head started swimming from it all and I was getting depressed at the thought of getting stuck into the NHS bureaucracy. I have since booked in to see one privately at £500 (gulp) but feel it will be worth it to get to the bottom of my little guys issues. Like you, I have really seen him flounder in the past year or so at school- picking the leaves off trees at playtime instead of socialising with peers (even though he plays really nicely with them one on one outside of school), yes to the spellings as well- doing them in his head perfectly and then bizarrely getting them wrong on test even though we know he knows them. Same with the reading- fluent reading before his 3rd birthday. etc. etc. So bright and so lost at our lovely village school. The school reports say he is slipping because of his lack of concentration (in his own bubble) despite ability. I am soooo looking forward to the assessment. I want answers!

littletree Sun 17-Jul-11 15:49:49

By the way, what is twice exceptional?

EllenJaneisnotmyname Sun 17-Jul-11 15:54:30

Peaceflower, zzzzz means a musical instrument! grin

Peaceflower Sun 17-Jul-11 15:56:10

littletree twice exceptional, see www.nagc.org/index.aspx?id=973.

Will go and look at your other thread now.

Peaceflower Sun 17-Jul-11 15:58:34

EllenJane gringrin musical instrument grin thought she was referring to some technical term like that used legally

EllenJaneisnotmyname Sun 17-Jul-11 16:02:45

Or some instrument of torture!

littletree Sun 17-Jul-11 16:08:00

ahhhh...twice exceptional. yes yes yes. That is ds absolutely. Wow! I love it when pieces of the jigsaw come together. Regarding musical instument- my ds took up piano this year and is doing fabulously well. Again, great relief that he discovered a talent- something he could nurture outside of school. He had no interests outside of sticking his nose in a book and, voila! the piano. Same as his reading- from 0 to 70mph overnight. He couldn't play and then a week later playing grade 1 pieces proficiently. And, no, not a brag or boast. Most times I feel so sad and muddled about him and the lack of cohesion that I want to shout it out when he does something well and is happy about it!

zzzzz Sun 17-Jul-11 19:36:44

Sorry about the "instrument for dexterity" sometimes I try to write things too fast and get in a muddle.

What I meant is piano for instance is very good for strengthening hands and might help limber him up, plus music and maths skills are supposed to be the same sort of intelligence so it would work his hands while stretching his brain.

Littletree I'm glad you said it helped your son because I was starting to feel a little silly blush.

I think if you can't trust school to stimulate your children or promote their self esteem then you really have to start thinking outside school. Music lessons is one area where it is relatively easy to find a tutor and set it up.

I'm sorry you found the mensa sight boring, for me the description of high IQ children was so like many descriptions of HFA or Aspies, I found it fascinating. But then I am a huge Einstein Syndrome fan.

Peaceflower Sun 17-Jul-11 19:53:06

Perhaps I should persevere with the piano. I play a little and ds was interested when he was 7. Within 10 minutes he was playing "twinkle twinkle", but then Pokemon regained its grip on him grin.

He has shown no interest since, but then music is not his thing. Singing and PE are the only two areas which he got a "working towards NC targets" on his school report grin.

coff33pot Sun 17-Jul-11 21:47:39

Could he not be given the permission to use a laptop rather than actual writing? If it is the writing that is stressing him out. At least that would be a small part of the issue resolved smile

hannahsmummsy Sun 17-Jul-11 22:26:12

dr bettina hohen was recommended by great ormond st so she must be ok dd hasnt had appointment yet xx

Peaceflower Mon 18-Jul-11 07:30:54

coff33pot he does have access to a laptop but he gets frustrated because he can't type fast enough. He used Nessyfingers at home and got his speed up to 20 wpm and plateaued.

There are many lessons where the teacher says it's essential to put pencil to paper as well.

hannahsmummy good to hear that about Bettina, she was such a sweet girl, and has done very well for herself. She was dyslexic and a gifted piano player.

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