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Can someone help me find quote from SEN Code of Practice please? Refusal to assess

(60 Posts)
smugtandemfeeder Tue 19-Jul-11 09:01:01

Trying to complete my appeal form for statutory assessment. DS is 3 and is being assessed at a nursery assessment in a few months time.

Can someone help me find a quote from the code of practice?

Agnes said a while ago "you need to find the bit in COP which says young children with severe and complex needs can get SA without having to exhaust the graduated approach"

Ive tried using the search but im muddled.

Thanks for any help.

TheNinjaGooseIsOnAMission Tue 19-Jul-11 09:10:59

4:36 In a very few cases where there are severe and complex needs the extent of the child’s needs will be evident. In such cases requests for assessment might be made prior to any early education intervention, and there should be no need for reports from all the agencies involved with the child before the LEA can reach a decision. The LEA should act on reports from the professionals most closely involved with the child.

think this is the bit you're looking for.

smugtandemfeeder Tue 19-Jul-11 09:12:53

Thanks Ninja. At least I have the paeds report stating that DSs needs are complex so im half way to proving severe and complex!

utah Tue 19-Jul-11 09:45:03

Word of warning when filling the form this is education so you need to describe the complex needs in how this will effect their education and not medical. You would hope that the paed has got some authority but this is not always the case, they can only offer advice and evidence. This is good timing for a statement as the LEA does like to issue statements (when they have to) the spring/summer term before the reception school year when applied earlier they will delay just so the timings are right and the statement will be for school and not pre school setting. Good luck and use clear bullet points and do not give them reasons not to issue, all positives should be double edges e.g. my child is active and loves freedom although this puts him into trouble due to lack of danger. It may have changed as I left a few years ago but the word disorder was a key word e.g. speech delay versus speech disorder.

smugtandemfeeder Tue 19-Jul-11 09:57:50

Would a letter from pead saying DS has "behavioural difficulties" be helpful or unhelpful. I read it in a negative way as I feel it trivialises the problems but should I include it or not?

Letter states

"It was clear DS had behavioural difficulties. Currently this is being investigated as to a cause. It may be that there are many factors influencing any ultimate diagnosis and what is important is that what has been going on so far needs to continue. This means the CAF shoould continue. DS will be seen at the assessment nursery from November."

My feeling is that this is not helpful.

justaboutWILLfinishherthesis Tue 19-Jul-11 15:03:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Lougle Tue 19-Jul-11 15:11:48

From an educational point of view, the bottom line is 'will the school be able to cope using their own resources?'

Reading between the lines, I agree with you that the Paed is saying 'not sure why the child has behavioural problems, but eventually we'll either be able to rule out 'conditions' or we'll find out what 'condition' it is....'

Now, that may not be too useful for DLA, say, because the letter doesn't clearly say 'disability' or 'SN'.

However, education is different. Educational needs do include pure 'behaviour' issues, and there are children up and down the country who are statemented for 'Behavioural Educational and Social Difficulties'.

I'm not suggesting that your child does have a BESD issue, or that he doesn't have ASD/PDA or any other condition. What I am saying, is that actually for education, it doesn't change the bottom line, that your child has behavioural difficulties and that the LA has to assess whether those difficulties will impact on either his own education, other children's education or both.

The difficulty you have is that the bit of the SEN CoP that you refer to, is saying that when a child has such clearly severe and complex needs at a young age, that it is obvious that they will need extensive support, the LA shouldn't follow the convoluted path they usually do.

I don't think that this letter, on its own, will demonstrate 'severe' or 'complex' needs (unless there are paragraphs that you haven't included that do indicate this, of course).

Only 2% of children nationally achieve a Statement of SEN, so you need to gather as much evidence as you can to show that your DS should be given a SA, rather than starting school on School Action or School Action Plus.

What support do you think your SD will need at school, how much and why? We may be able to think of phrases/examples that will help.

Also bear in mind that environment plays a huge role. DD1 would have needed 100% 1:1 in MS school. In Special school she is in a 7:4 ratio, so not 1:1, because the environment is secure and safe for her already.

smugtandemfeeder Tue 19-Jul-11 18:48:56

I have an appointment booked with a private OT and will probably book a
private Ed Pych. LA Ed Psych will assess DS at the assessment centre when he finally goes. Im just asking for an assessment of his needs.

At DSs age you only have to demonstrate that DS might have severe and complex needs to warrant an assessment dont you?

Preschool is very unknown at the moment as he has only had 3 sessions. He is only able to have 6 hours a week because of the anxiety. So far he has been too anxious to have his nappy changed. He explodes when we pick him up from school and is very upset when we leave him. At the moment he is acting like a little adult at school, spending all day talking to his keyworker and helping her and being ultra helpful. This is classic PDA. I beleive its only a matter of time before DS kicks off and starts hitting/kicking if something doesnt go his way. At the special needs play centre we go to DS has being going for a few months now and is comfortable there and has had quite a few episodes of trying to beat the crap out of the other children there over sharing a toy. He has no empathy and no ability to share. Childminder agrees with no empathy thing. Showing more PDA signs at her house now. How do I get evidence from childminder?

We cant get him to do anything at home, his play IMO has hardly moved on since he was 18 months old. DSs play involves watching wheels of car turning, driving toy car over me, riding on ride on toys, pretend to hoover, collect bags of stones, shout at stones in bag. Try and get him to do ANYTHING else and you just cant.

So far I have no idea if he is retaining knowledge from preschool. I suppose I would need an Ed Psych to help with this and the support of the preschool.

PDA website says

The educational needs of a child with PDA can be summarised under three major headings:

1. keeping the child on task for a substantial period of each day;
2. ensuring that what she appears to be learning is actually absorbed and retained;
3. (not in all cases , but in most) ensuring that a minimal degree of disruption to other children takes place, and trying to create positive peer relationships despite the resentment such disruption can cause in other children. Sometimes this will include the need to keep other children physically safe.

Sorry for the long post!

smugtandemfeeder Tue 19-Jul-11 18:53:56

Agnes post on my thread here seemed to suggest I have hope.

justaboutWILLfinishherthesis Tue 19-Jul-11 19:01:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

smugtandemfeeder Tue 19-Jul-11 19:09:20

Right, well im seeing the private paed next week so I may be able to get some more clarity on diagnosis or route to diagnosis from him. If im lucky.

We had one childminder where DSs behaviour was terrible, we literally had to drag him over the doorstep for months and he refused to participate in anything at all, cried the whole day. But will she write a letter to say so - no - because she thinks that all 3 years olds are like that or some other crap.

Current childminder has been documenting evidence for me but not in a very logical way. Childminder is certain he needs a statement.

At the very least appealing might ensure that DSs NHS assessment happens in September rather than December.

justaboutWILLfinishherthesis Tue 19-Jul-11 19:15:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Lougle Tue 19-Jul-11 19:23:11

The trouble with documents such as the SEN CoP, is that words used in them have legal definition rather than language definition. So whereas in normal English Language we can substitute words that mean roughly the same and still convey the same essence, in using the SEN CoP, substituting even one word can be troublesome.

For example: '4:36 In a very few cases where there are severe and complex needs the extent of the child’s needs will be evident.'

The tendency is for parents and posters (me included) to think 'ahahaaa I can show 'severe''. Or 'ahahaaa I can show complex'. Then the enthusiasm and desire to help turns clause 4:36 into:

'4:36 In a very few cases where there are severe or complex needs the extent of the child’s needs will be evident.'

But, for clause 4:36 to stand, the child in question must have severe AND complex needs. That means that

a) a child with moderate but complex needs
b) a child with severe but non-complex needs
c) a child with moderate but non-complex needs

would not be covered by the clause.

That clause is reserved for 'a very few cases'. To rely on that clause, you have to demonstrate that your child's needs are so severe AND so Complex that they should not have to follow the usual process.

If the child is not one that has severe AND complex needs, or where the child's severe and complex needs are not to the extent that they are immediately obvious, then the procedure from 4:41 applies.

'4:41 In deciding whether a statutory assessment is necessary for a child over two but under
compulsory school age, where the child is attending an early education setting, the LEA
should ask the following questions:
a. what difficulties have been identified by the setting? Have the practitioners provided
individualised strategies through Early Years Action and Early Years Action Plus to
assist the child?
b. has outside advice been sought, regarding the child’s:
 physical health and functioning
 communication skills
 perceptual and motor skills
 self-help skills
 social skills
 emotional and behavioural development
 responses to learning experiences.
 have parental views been considered?
4:42 Where a child is not attending an early education setting the LEA should try to collect as much information as is possible before deciding whether to assess.
4:43 The LEA will then assess the evidence and decide whether the child’s difficulties or developmental delays are likely to be addressed only through a statement of special educational needs. Where a child’s educational needs appear to be sufficiently severe or complex as to require attention for much of the child’s school life, or that the evidence points to the need for specialist early intervention that cannot be provided in the current setting, then the LEA is likely to conclude that an assessment is necessary.'

Note, that the language changes from 4:41 onwards, to 'Severe OR complex'. However, the trade-off is that there will be a much more detailed look at what the pre-school have tried to do themselves.

So, back to your dilemma...perhaps worth trying, but I agree with Justa, that an uphill struggle is on your way until your suspicions are proven.

Having said that, the setting where your DS has hurt other children would have evidence for you.

smugtandemfeeder Tue 19-Jul-11 19:25:20

No idea. Its just the only thing we have found which fits DS entirely.

I think im understanding from my DLA, statement and social worker threads that we probably arent going to get any help with anything until DS is older.

Not sure I can cope with that.

sad sad sad

So frustrating. My only option seems to be to stick him in preschool full time and wait for him to fail.

justaboutWILLfinishherthesis Tue 19-Jul-11 19:25:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

justaboutWILLfinishherthesis Tue 19-Jul-11 19:26:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

smugtandemfeeder Tue 19-Jul-11 19:31:15

What sort of support can I get though. Im already asking for all the support I can think of and keep coming up against NO.

smugtandemfeeder Tue 19-Jul-11 19:33:04

I wouldnt even know where to start with drafting letter for childminder. Im so tired and confused.

Lougle Tue 19-Jul-11 19:41:32

OK, so start from the beginning. Pretend you don't have a back story, or previous posts. Start from your DS:

-Does your DS have any developmental delay? Do you have concerns about milestones? If so, list them.

-WHAT is it that concerns you about his behaviour, in an educational sense. Not how hard it is at home, but what is it about his ability to access education?

-If he is as disruptive as you say he is, why doesn't anyone want help enough to support you? (genuine question). Or is it that he is managing to cope in these settings right now?

justaboutWILLfinishherthesis Tue 19-Jul-11 19:41:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

smugtandemfeeder Tue 19-Jul-11 19:55:09

Lougle I will do that shortly. Bear with me.

I didnt start with statement, DLA and social services. I started with CAMHS. I lost it with CAMHS after 18 months of home visits during which CAMHS saw DS have meltdown after meltdown after meltdown , and all the time not sleeping, and me expressing concerns about ADHD etc - all of which they dismissed. I asked them for evidence of behaviours witnessed for the pead assessment and they wrote a letter saying that he was a busy boy and rabbitting on about me still breastfeeding.

HV then referred us for assessment by NHS pead who said that yes your son does seem to have autism but youll have to wait for nursery assessment. And by the way that will be a years time.

If I can at least worry them about a statutory assessment then they will make damn sure that they do assess him in September rather than December.

I am due to have a BIBIC assessment in September which will help.

I am due to go back to see private pead next week but if DS does have PDA and it is difficult to diagnose at this age then im not sure what will happen.

Lougle will post DSs autistic/pda/behavioral traits for you.

smugtandemfeeder Tue 19-Jul-11 20:07:14

DSs problem is anxiety. In places where he is comfortable and isnt being watched he expresses anger, terror and frustration when he gets anxious. He spends most of the day resisting demands, eg when we try to get him dressed, get in car seat, get him to bed, get him to eat.

This is what I wrote 7 months ago on here and its all still the same. Sleep slightly better in terms of early morning waking but bed time even harder and night time waking now involves night terrors and always wakes screaming that things are biting him etc. None of this is about education Lougle but I need to think seperately about that.


DS has been a TERRIBLE sleeper since birth. He now wakes up at 10pm and we can settle him. But from 3 or 4am onwards he is awake for the day. That is the best we can manage and that is with DH sleeping in bed with him every night. No amount of consistent discipline or sleep methods have ever had any effect what so ever. He does not sleep during the day and really hasnt done since birth.

He has always taken everything to a completely different level than friends children of the same age. Physically he is slightly crazy, jumps off tables, climbs the walls. swings upside down on door handles. He is never still. Not even in his sleep.

He has terrible tantrums, mostly from frustration, or because he cannot sit still when I need him to. We have reached a stage where we cannot go out to the shops or any sort of restaurant as it is totally pointless. He just wants to run off and do what he wants to do - totally understandable for a 2.6 year olds but we just cant do anything. Things we expect to be fun and nice like going to the park or for a walk always seem to end up being a nightmare.

He is sociable so I cant imagine he has any straight forward autism. DH has just done one of those online autism tests on himself and comes up with a very high score so its made me realise that there might be some genetic thing going on.

He plays with the following - pretend hoovers, pretend chainsaws, pretend tea set, trains, anything with wheels. All of the above involve making a kind of hoover noise incessantly throughout the day. He repeats things over and over, little phrases he picks up off the tv, things he hears us saying. repeats repeats repeats.


DS also walks on his toes with his toes bent over and used to spin all the time but this has eased.

justaboutWILLfinishherthesis Tue 19-Jul-11 20:10:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

justaboutWILLfinishherthesis Tue 19-Jul-11 20:10:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Lougle Tue 19-Jul-11 20:18:46

Ok, thanks Smug.

So, reading between the lines, it sounds like you don't have any concerns about his milestones related to learning?

-Speech? (Other than repetitive stuff)

But you do have concerns about his ability to be flexible in play?

What is his understanding like? What do you say to him when he wakes? What do you do?

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