Advanced search

Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on SN.

How to help my friend? (LONG, SORRY!)

(24 Posts)
CardyMow Tue 02-Aug-11 18:31:24

I have plenty of experience with Autism (DD is on the spectrum, as is Ds2). However, my friends' ds has just been dxd with Aspergers AND ADHD. He has just finished Y2 at school, he has been excluded 3 times and has been doing only 2hrs a day at school for most of his time there (up to AND after his dx).

The school have told her that they won't accept her ds back FT until she has him medicated with ritalin for the ADHD. Back story is school is ABYSMAL at dealing with dc with autism anyway, but NO other school in 30 miles with places in this yr group (I should know, my Ds2 is in the same yr, is on wait list for 6 other schools, has been since reception, no higher than 32 on the list for any of them). I KNOW they can't do this, but I don't know how to help her.

She also doesn'y have the internet, or a landline, and she has LOTS of dc. She has 2 in one secondary, 2 in another, one in a different local primary as no space at our one, and her DS and his twin sister at our primary.

She has no time to sort this, and tbh is just accepting that she is having to do a school run that includes leaving her house, going one direction to drop her 10yo at one primary and leave him in the playground early, then walk in the other direction to drop her DD at our primary, go home, then go back at 1pm to drop her ds off, then pick her dd & ds up at 3 and rush to the other school for 3.30. In September, she will also have to add in a pre-school run for her youngest. hmm. Her Dp works away in Afghanistan., and is only home for 2 weeks every 12.

What the HELL can I do to help her before they go back? At first the school were saying that her ds hadn't been excluded enough times to ask for a statement hmm! But I went with her to one meeting and pointed out to the HT the utter bollox untruth he was telling her, and the school have at least sent in (grudgingly) an application for a statement.

(I don't give a hoot what the HT thinks, he knows I'm a right royal PITA when it comes to SN through dealing with MY dc!, and I won't let them screw her around)

School has bad form for Autism/ ADHD type sn. Any ideas what I can do for her?

Ineedalife Tue 02-Aug-11 18:40:13

Sorry can't offer any advice but I am sure someone will be along who knows the legal ins and outs.

All I wanted to say is she is lucky to have a friend like you and I am sure that the school would not be able to force your friend to medicate her son.

Good luck.

CardyMow Tue 02-Aug-11 18:53:23

There has been practically a witch hunt from the PTA mums (you know the type I'm talking about....) Not wanting this lad in their class. He and DS2 haven't been in the same class before but will be next year, as they are cutting LSA's, so need the 'difficult' children in one class. Despite the fact that this lad NEEDS 1-2-1. Which ds2 doesn't.

Tbh, when I spend time with my friends' son, I see NONE of the behaviours he has exhibited in the classroom. One of his exclusions was for an incident that I DON'T believe was his fault - He had his hand up to go to the toilet, for OVER 30 MINS. (His twin was in his class, this is HER account). Teacher ignored him, and there was no TA or LSA in the class to speak out for him. When he got absolutely desperate, he started screaming and, admittedly, he kicked the teacher's shin, but he said he just wanted the teacher to listen before he wet himself. He was excluded for 4 days for that, and hasn't been allowed back FT since.

He is 'young' for his year (birthday end of July) AND he is a twin, AND he has had a dx of aspergers and ADHD. School so crap. No real help offered. Senco 'doesn't believe in Autism, it's just something made up to call badly behaved children' hmm hmm. (Been there, got recording of a meeting where she said that to me!)

When he is with my ds2, they sit for hours playing hero attax cards or gogo cards, as long as my friends' ds is 'engaged' with the task, and it is made relevant to him, he WILL concentrate.

BialystockandBloom Tue 02-Aug-11 19:00:19

The school must put in place provision to support him. First is School Action, then use funds for School Action Plus. The funds will already be in place for this (ie each school will have funds ringfenced), so they should work out how much they can help, whether it is 1:1 support during the times the boy needs it most, or whatever is most suitable. This can be put in place immediatley while they wait for a statement.

They cannot legally exclude him on the basis of his condition alone - this is disability discrimination.

She should speak to the local Parent Partnership, and possibly SOS!SEN could help too.

Good luck for her, sounds a nightmare.

bochead Tue 02-Aug-11 19:04:00

Ipsea may be able to sort out an advocate to argue her case for a statement etc if you contact them. Sounds to me like she needs an advocate who knows the system more than anything?

If she gets a high enough level of tax credits for legal aid Levenes are a decent legal firm and organised an amazing EP for my son who actually had a clue what she was talking about (well it was enough to leave me sitting there wiv me gob open lol so rare an occurance is that within my lea!) + SALT assessment that might be worth the paper it's written on.

The NAS may also be able to sort out an early bird/earlybird + course. This involves the school so they HAVE to pull their fingers out.

Re the medication - ONLY a shrink can prescribe ritalin the school can get off their arses an organise a referral to the shrink for her if they are that keen on meds. (Don't worry if it isn't needed the shrink will put the reasons into writing as to why and they won't be able to argue).

Lastly she needs to write to the local education welfare officer + SEN officer requesting an assessment for a statement. She should copy the letter to the Head of Children's Services and the school governors. If she has it in writing that they won't educate her kid full time for the time being then they HAVE to assess the child and organise PROPER support. It's a legal requirement for full time education and if they can't supply it at school they'll have to send a home tutor round till they can ; ) Otherwise it's an illegal exclusion - OFSTEAD don't like those ; ) If there is a school further away that can eduacte him they'll have to send a taxi daily.

This will be ordered from on high and the school will HAVE to comply. You could help by drafting that letter for her to sign, perhaps with IPSEA's support. They are relying on the fact she's a busy lady to get away with nonsense - an offical letter to the education welfare officer and sen officer will put a stop to it.

drivemecrazy63 Tue 02-Aug-11 19:07:04

tell her SHE should apply for a statement now she doesnt have to go through school and get someone to mediate for her / go along to appointments with her to meetings and take notes she does not have to put up with the way this is going , the school has a duty of care the curriculum must be accessable to her dc which it clearly is not atm and deffinately not whilst spending most of his education at home so the school have sent an application in doesnt mean its actually been sent yet the LEA take more notice of parents in this instance so still apply herself now and make sure she sends in reems of evidence they can not and have not supported her dc before and whats worse since dx they need to be putting stratagies even if no statement for coping and getting what dc needs out of education and he probably needs a TA of hi own extra lessons in certain areas a QUIET SPACE for when things get really bad or maybe they have an enclosed outdoor space he could retreat to to calm down, doesnt sound like the teachers or TA have had possitive handling courses. she could also ask thet the get the outreach team involved infact as i did too id INSIST, once these have been tried maybe when / if the statement goes through these can be insissted upon or other ideas sought like worst comes to worst if they cant supply what your friends dc needs a home tutor Insist on a place outside catchment even if 30 miles or more away there are lots of options , best of all IMO is she had YOU and im green with envy smile

keepingupwiththejoneses Tue 02-Aug-11 19:09:04

Loudlass, tell your friend to also send in a request for a statement, including information from every source she can, include reports.
If the school have reluctantly sent a request in you can guarantee it was a crap one.
Try and get hold of a copy of SEN code of practice.
I would also get in touch directly with sen dept at the LA and explain the situation.
A child doesn't need to be excluded from school once to get a statement.
I would also check that the exclusions have been official as some schools don't always record exclusions 'for the sake of the childs future'hmm this is illegal.
In the way of practical help in the meantime, could you offer to take her dd to school with you, freeing her up a bit.

zzzzz Tue 02-Aug-11 19:14:56

Well done bochead!

I think helping her get the paper work sorted and maybe doing a little gentle tea drinking and child watching while she works through some stuff would be a godsend.

She won't be able to say thank you properly so you can have it from me grin, Thank you very much for helping this family.

Forcing parents to medicate their kids so they can get an blood is boiling. angry very angry

EllenJaneisnotmyname Tue 02-Aug-11 19:48:56

You've already had the good advice. Just wanted to post to support you. smile

Agnesdipesto Tue 02-Aug-11 20:09:38

Tell the SEN officer if the school does not take the child fulltime they will have to arrange FT 1:1 or a home tutor or FT support from their ASD or behavioural outreach team + significantly increase social care support / provide school transport as can't have 5 year old twins in different schools
Can she call an emergency CAF or similar?
Even if she can't just writing and saying an emergency meeting is required puts the LA on notice that they have a duty of care and need to do something about that
The LA can send in support without a statement eg outreach, EP etc
Its rare I think to medicate children at 5 and no way a school can suggest this!
Has she got this in writing? Or can she put it in writing "I just want to confirm that you said DS cannot return FT unless and until we arrange for him to be placed on ritalin' Once these things are written down often Heads retract / deny them.
If the school exclude him are there other options eg units etc? out of area placements? ABA? independent schools?
She wants to be careful to know about alternatives in case he gets dumped in pupil referral unit as I have seen happen to 5 year olds on here
Schools can fund FT 1:1 pending a statement if it is needed, as can a LA
The LA can exercise discretion to bend any of its usual rules.
If child is excluded she should appeal.
Could contact Maxwell Gillott Solicitors they do legal aid cases if eligible
Otherwise IPSEA, NAS, SOSSEN etc
What about the MP?
I don't think she should be waiting for a statement she needs to push LA to intervene and arrange support for Sept even if they have to use their own outreach staff - it is not her issue who funds it, thats between school and LA

CardyMow Wed 03-Aug-11 09:59:47

He's not 5, he's just turned 7 now. She hasn't even got in writing that the school are only having him part time, and nothing in writing about when he was excluded either. (Told you this school doesn't follow procedures...) The only local placement for asd/ADHD for primary is full in their yr, MY ds2 should have gone there.

In our area, the schools SA/ SA+ funding just goes into the school funds to be spent as the school wishes, only statement money is ringfenced, which is why this school is happy to keep him on SA+ and only pay for an LSA for 2hrs a day, and spend the rest of the money on god knows what (the new library the school is getting?) whereas if my friends' ds is statemented, the money HAS to be for him. There is actually only 2 dc in a school of 420 that have statements, and they already had them before starting, one is fed by gastro tube and is in a wheelchair (quad CP), and the other is in a similar medical position.


Oh and when I asked the HT to write that down for her (about having to medicate before FT return) , he tried to call her a liar. Yet her son still isn't back FT, as she doesn't want to medicate him (fears he will lose his personality and not be him IYSWIM). HT has form for lying about things - he has personally lied to me repeatedly, won't let anyone write notes in meetings, if you do, but refuse to hand them over at the end of the meeting, they accuse you of 'threatening behaviour' and try to get you BANNED from the school premises, even contacting the LEA saying you're being threatening. When all you've done is walk out of a room holding a notepad that you've written in. They don't tell the bloody LEA that though. And if they really thought I was guilty of threatening behaviour, they wouldn't have me go in once a week to help with reading, would they?! HT is an egocentric megalomaniac. Always in the right even when he's bloody wrong.

EllenJaneisnotmyname Wed 03-Aug-11 10:08:13

You need to get someone unconnected with the school like Parent Partnership, involved. They can attend all meetings with the school and take minutes. The head can try telling them they can't take notes! He would struggle to refuse them access to meetings, that is exactly what they are for.

CardyMow Wed 03-Aug-11 10:14:42

No PP officer for our area (^again^) at the moment. Tried them first. The lack of PP officer is why I am trying to help her!

CardyMow Wed 03-Aug-11 10:15:58

And even when I had a PP officer, he didn't 'refuse' them access to the meetings, more refused to book appointments when the last PP officer was available...He has done that to lots of parents in the past too...

EllenJaneisnotmyname Wed 03-Aug-11 10:34:56

Sorry, that is shite. Your head is such a knob. So whoever you try to get involved on your side, he's going to make it awkward/impossible for them to help? Is there an LA inclusion or outreach team that can get involved. The fact that he's being unofficially excluded should interest inclusion. All the advice re SOS SEN and IPSEA is good. They are hard to get through to, but worth perservering.

mariamagdalena Wed 03-Aug-11 14:04:56

I was googling to find you
this bit, just scroll to the end

The searchwords 'essex' and 'exclusion' generates mainly solicitors specialising in unlawful exclusions. So, I then tried 'exclusion' with Sussex, Surrey and Kent but, interestingly, Mr Google doesn't think people in other counties would be as interested....

sc13 Wed 03-Aug-11 14:33:31

Not much to add, but just posting my support. Your friend is lucky to have you! Applying for a statement is definitely the way to go; IPSEA, SOS SEN and NAS should also be able to help

BlueArmyGirl Wed 03-Aug-11 19:44:35

Have a look at the appropriate leaflets here as they will help you to know what information she should have had re: the exclusion/s. You could also ask to see the register and how the absence has been recorded in there as it is quite probable that it wasn't registered 'legally' either.

Becaroooo Wed 03-Aug-11 19:48:56

Sorry havent had time to read the whole thread BUT
She needs legal advice and she needs to get that recording of the SENCO (!!!!????) to someone in authority...OFSTED, LEA, anyone.

If there is good local media then going to them might help her case....

He def needs a statement!!

Your friend can apply for need to wait for the school to do it.

Best of luck x

CardyMow Thu 04-Aug-11 22:35:10

LEA have had the recording of SenCo - it was MY recording about my DD, they conveniently 'lost' it!! Fuckers. If he isn't allowed back FT within a week of the school restarting in Sept, I'm going to book an appt with her and threaten the HT with solicitors for unlawful exclusion...and insist he gives it to her in writing that they are refusing to have her ds there FT, and why. And if not, then I'll make sure that her ds GOES ft - because if there's no letter saying that he can't, and why he can't...then he CAN! grin

HT KNOWS I know my way around the 'system', And he's going to realise that I'm getting my teeth into this one!

Becaroooo Fri 05-Aug-11 08:08:44

Sorry LL cant remember if this has been suggested before, but would you consider another school??

I realise it may not even be possible, but if she was happier even a FT college would be a better bet wouldnt it?

Or a home tutor? IME LEAs will do ANYTHING to stop you home schooling grin

Agnesdipesto Fri 05-Aug-11 08:27:35

You could collate all of this into a complaint about the head to the governors eg not putting in sufficient support, unlawful exclusions, head's attitude etc. Its not going to make the relationship easier but if the head is that awful what does she have to lose?
Insist on the governor responsible for SEN attending meetings about this child until proper support is in place
Agree leave him there all day - cannot force you to collect your child - and tape record any phonecalls asking her to collect him
Try MP
But I would also write to the LA SEN Officer and say urgent support needs to go in and they must ensure the Head complies eg send in their quality / monitoring team, to see how sen money being spent etc
Advantage of telling the LA is that you can complain about LA to Local Government Ombudsman but you can't complain about the school
And every time gets called by school, ring the SEN officer and ask them to make a note on the file about exclusion, hard to keep going and make a pain of yourself when you have your hands full but it sounds like harrassing others to get involved is the only way forward

Do the army not have support eg access to free legal advice? A support officer? Someone who could go to meetings with her? Or at least help with the admin / phone calls
Don't the army pay for private schools for children from age 7?
I found this

CardyMow Sat 06-Aug-11 02:25:18

Hahahahahahaha. Agnes - I'VE already complained to the governors about numerous incidents. Like calling my 9yo a liar when he was pushed over and got such severe concussion that the hospital thought he may have fractured his skull. (He hadn't, thankfully). HT made out he had 'tripped on a paving slab' When in actual fact, he had been pushed over by a child 4 years older than him (this was a couple of years ago). He didn't fill in accident forms properly, (Lied point blank, still have copies of form) etc etc. I complained to Governors, then LEA, then OFSTED. Did the sum total of bugger all diddly squat.

Her DP isn't army - he's private security. So no help from Army. In Essex, anything less than a full statement, and the school don't have to show the LEA what the SA/SA+ money is being spent on.

Becaroo - There are NO other schools with places in this year group, mainstream OR SN. Closest MS school with places in Y2 is 30 miles away. In another school no-one wants their dc at. And you can't send a 7yo to college??!!

The reason they won't do anything to get rid of this HT is because no-one wants to be HT at this school - after the last godawful HT retired, it took them 2 years to fill the job. With this twunt. Who knows the LEA won't get rid of him, so doesn't give a toss about whose dc's education he buggers up. GRRRRRR. School still only getting satisfactory on OFSTED after 7 yrs. Surely at some point, satisfactory isn't bloody good enough? It's only one step above special measures FFS. The DC that have left Y6 this July have spent their entire education in a 'satisfactory' school that barely has half the pupils reach lvl 4 at the end of Y6 each yr.

Becaroooo Sat 06-Aug-11 09:03:22

Hmmm I see.

Is HE an option for you?

I am so sorry you and your dd are having to go through all this sad

I guess my next port of call would be SOS!SEN, my mp, parish councillors and PM....

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now