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What does a diagnosis give you? What does a statement?(45 Posts)
an ASD diagnosis can stop social services and other such professionals of suspecting you of bloody all sorts.
I think other things like family fund are more likely to help you.
IME a diagnosis isn't necessarily going to lead or not lead to a statement. The older the children are the more 'helpful' it seems to be but certainly for under 5s it's not the be-all-and-end-all. The most important information you need for statutory assesment and securing a statement is the impact of the difficulties on dc's ability to access learning. As and when you get a dx what you also want with that is what that means for dc's ability to access education and school life.
I was under some impression that when my ds was dx help would begin to flow which it didnt, I dx will help if your child is struggling and the school seem to turn a blind eye or brush off your concerns as for a statement it is as important to make sure the child is on school action plus/EY plus as even with a dx they will want the school to have used all their resources first.
A dx in itself doesn't doesn't lead to a statement but it may mean achild meets the critherea for services etc.
In ds2's case his asd dx means he is supported by the school age asd team and therefore has specialist OT, sensory therapy, psychology, specialist SALT etc.
All of these provide reports for his annual statement review and have helped to tweak his statment over the years to get what is needed by him and the school.
A diagnosis is an official recognition of the existance of set of problems.
A diagnosis of ASD means meeting the required minimum 6 of 12 behavioral criteria set as a minimum set of issues for a diagnosis of ASD.
A statement is about the support needs you DS may require as a result of having these problems.
ASD is a wide spectrum of issues, and the research to identify the underlying cognitive deficits / disorders which combine to cause the behavior issues continues. Some leading researchers are considering different subtypes of autism based on the underlying cognitive issues causing the problems.
Cutting edge research seems demonstrate a very strong link between ADHD and ASD, and links to a wide range of auditory and visual processing problems related to ASD.
So finding the correct support your DS needs will only really be confirmed by a diagnosis.
School usually request in put from their EP - though they may not feel the need to do this if they feel they are adequately able to meet his needs at this time. You can request the LA to consider statutory assesment/statement yourself and this usually requires assessment by EP.
DX just gave me the name to look up on the Internet and the chance to read up on it. I was very ignorant about ASD beforehand. Something to get my head around the fact he wasn't going to 'grow out of it.'
My DS (3.6) was already in a special early years school, so nothing changed there. I think it helped to get him a statement for MS just before he turned 6. He was part time at MS school and part time SS in Reception. The school funded 10hrs 1:1 for him for a term before his statement came through. That had 15 + 5 hrs, so his support increased.
The Advisory Teaching Service (autism outreach/inclusion etc) are called communication and interaction in my LA and you don't need a DX. That's not the case in most places. Our advisory teachers were and are lovely. Again not the case everywhere.
A Statement can mean the difference between your DC learning something at school and not. It can help that support access training. It can make the school more tolerant of challenging behaviour. These are all 'can' not 'will.'
our school asd team is a NHS one the LEA asd outreach is pretty crap unless the child has disruptive behaviour so they seemt o eb much more about helping the school than the child iykwim.
School can refer for ed psych assessment at any time but in our case the lea requested an ed psych to assess as part of the statemnt assessment process but if you have an exisitng report it can be used as evidence when requesting that the lea assess.
if its off curriculum 1 to 1 that is very different to supporting him to access the curriculum and in some ways the opposite to inclusion.
Whilst it is sometimes helpful the best support my son receives is when his targeted support is incorporated in to whole class strategies and work, i suppose this is when proper training pays dividends.
You know him best, go for what you believe he needs plus some & then be willing to give a little.
LeninGrad, I think you are very sensible.
Sometimes the process of applying for and then appealing (often needed) can put the school in the middle of a battle between you and the LA and make them jumpy and less communicative/willing to work with you. Not because they are horrible (sometimes) but because they have found themselves in a tricky position and the LA will persuade them their discomfort is due to your pushiness/greediness/delusion etc etc.
However, whilst you do not have a statement, your child has no protection of provision. A statament isn't about getting 1:1 hours. A statement can clearly lay out when a TA is required and what they are expected to do. It can say 'TA to stand back in the background, watch and jump in to repair any potentially disintegrating peer interaction', or that your ds should have twice weekly sessions on group/social skills work with good typically developing role models.
Of course, there is no guarantee that the TA employed is any good at recognising deteriorating peer interactions, or that the Class Teacher will not chose two trouble makers to work with your child in their social skills group in order to help them or give her a break from them.
I think that a diagnosis is essential if you are going to go out and fight the authorities for your rights and your child's rights. Once you go down that road, they may well try to blame any problems on parenting. A diagnosis is your protection as well as the tick-box buzzword that releases provision (it isn't supposed to be like that but it is). If you apply for a statement, it is better if you have a diagnosis.
The trouble is for you, that both the diagnositic process and the statement process take a long time, if you suddenly decide they are needed.
A lot of the difficulty of funding comes from the money devolved to the schools to fund the first 'so many' hours of 1:1. If the school funds the first 15 hours and your child only needs 15 hours or less, they don't get a statement. Fine, saves lots of money, schools get more money to do what they want with. But unfortunately they very rarely go on to support a child 1:1 for 15 hours (or even 5 hours) from their own funds who is on school action plus. It is up to them how they support that child, there is no legal document saying that child needs a certain level of support, no protection.
SALT and OT will sometimes get involved in the statutory assessment itself, especially if you ask that they are involved, (you can ask at the first stage) but you will often only get that one report, no actual therapy. Same with the EP, one report in the 7 years my DS was in primary school! But the autism advisory teaching service continued to be involved, and they were excellent. (In my LA)
If your child needs direct OT or SALT then you should get a statement, even if it only says 10 hours of TA support.
The trouble is, the school won't like be having a legal obligation to spend that 10 hours on your ds as they will have less to go round for the other children. This is, by no means your child's fault or problem and it is not yours or his responsibility to worry about or make available provision for other children. If the school have an issue with the funding arrangements set by the Local AUthority then it is them who they should take their concerns. Usually though, they prefer to take their concerns to parents in my experience.
Sorry, crossed! My DS has 15 hrs plus 5 hrs lunchtime on his statement. But for the last 4 years (all of juniors) his TA was the only one in the classroom. So, obviously being used as the class TA. My DS isn't in the bottom groups, even for literacy, as he can spell and punctuate perfectly well enough. He doesn't need constant 1:1 at his shoulder, though, so I never pushed it. She was always there if he needed her, if he got upset or stroppy, if he needed help with paired work or group work, etc. She also took him for a couple of sessions outside the classroom for inference work, etc.
He's going to secondary in Sept, so that 15+5 will be really useful there. He'll need more than that to start with, I expect.
So it is very flexible, without a statement they would still have needed a class TA, with him in the class, not sure jow the school would have coped otherwise. Other classes don't have a TA at all. This varies from school to school.
IME the most important thing is a school that wants your child there, wants to work with you & is willing to try. Sounds like you have a good school on already.
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