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How do you know when to walk away and stop complaining! S&LT in particular

(17 Posts)
appropriatelytrained Tue 06-Sep-11 17:12:45

How do you know? Star said something about this being the hardest lesson to learn and she is right.

I have two outstanding complaints with the LGO and the S&LT are acting despicably and have been for a year. Lying about provision they never gave and backdating provision to make their intervention look effective.

I recently asked for details of a meeting S&LT let slip they had with school without my knowledge (clearly a pre-Tribunal stitch up) but they have ignored me - as have PALS FFS!

Seriously, these people just think they can do what they want. But I don't want to be driven mad and ruin my son's family life with it all. Equally, I am aware that these people do what they want because people do walk away from it all.

Also, my son does have to go to school somewhere and I am concerned with this crapness following him.

But then the crapness might get worse if you complain.

How do you find the balance ??

smugtandemfeeder Tue 06-Sep-11 19:42:05

No idea AT, once I get a sense of injustice or complaint in my mind I find I am unable to let it go if I can see some sort of official channel to pursue. We need Star to enlighten us. I have a recent complaint with the LGO and after reading all the threads on here about them, wish I hadnt bothered. It just seemed so easy to complain, I didnt realise they were a pile of uselessness.

OT we saw today said something about picking our battles and only going for the really really important ones. MY LGO complaint doenst really feel like a mega important one now we have the DLA. But something still makes me feel like someone should damn well change something because they did something wrong and thats not fair and if we dont make a stand who will? They will do it again unless someone makes a right old fuss.

But I must admit I am tired and cannot fight 100 battles. Perhaps I just need to pick one.

leesax Tue 06-Sep-11 20:03:12

I learnt many years ago to choose my battles. With children with disabilities there is always going to be something to fight/complain for/about and as parents we can only do so much. So I prioritise the immediate need - fight that and then move onto the next one.... Altogether I have been fighting and complaining for things for the past 9 years and I expect to continue to have to fight many years to come.

If it is important and will impact directly on your child then keep fighting. If it will not improve their development/quality of life ... some battles we have to consider conceeding for our own sanity x

BakeliteBelle Tue 06-Sep-11 20:06:45

What a good question.

I am involved in a long row with social services during which a variety of professionals have lied, misheard us and then repeated things we haven't said and made things up as they go along. They are closing ranks and refusing to address a number of very specific challenges we have made to them about their policies and practices. Every challenge to their nonsense brings more lies in return, so the situation spirals.

I don't know what to suggest apart from try to think of strategies to make sure it doesn't end up making you feel mad and ineffectual. For instance, only address the issues on certain days, not every day. Give yourself time out from the madness.

StarlightMcKenzie Tue 06-Sep-11 20:12:43

I don't have any answers, I can just share my rationale.

Decide what your outcome is wrt to your child and then ask yourself is this particular battle relevant to that. Revenge/justice alone is not helpful to your child and it would seem by going down that path you simply collect more and more people on whom to seek revenge/justice.

Think about whether seeking revenge/justice is a tactic to get better provision or whether you are well past that. And ask yourself if there are creative alternative solutions, even though you believe you should not have to find/fund them.

Use your anger about all the things/causes you have had to drop that you feel terrible for leaving for parents behind and channel it into a cause that CAN make a difference. If you like, keep them going as a hobby in your spare time, but DO seperate them from your OUTCOME battle.

eandz Tue 06-Sep-11 20:27:39

I don't know. Our SALT who is doing an assessment on DS told me that my child was 'Autistic' no real point in doing an assessment anyway, and that she doesn't know if he'll even go to high school.

Do I complain about this? I don't know! In my country this type of statement could get someone fired!

appropriatelytrained Tue 06-Sep-11 20:58:54

Thanks guys. Really interesting answers.

My experience has been that something which starts off relatively straight forward e.g. DS has not S&LT provision in accordance with his statement (and everyone knows it) ends up in a mammoth fight to the death with acres of lying and backtracking.

This is then a self-perpetuating cycle of justice/revenge battling as they produce some explanation or excuse so deceitful it takes your breath away!

By then you are caught up in a 'complaints system' with no way out but every response causes greater stress.

It is a very good and healthy strategy to separate the desire for 'justice' from the battle right in front of you. But these things so often merge. DS's entitlement and need to have his statementing provision was a necessary fight but now it has turned into a retrospective battle for vindication.

Does that make sense????

Agnesdipesto Tue 06-Sep-11 21:36:04

I find it easier to take this advice than give it! But I would say when the service you want is worth it / will add value to your life.
We have an outstanding SALT complaint, but I regard that as a bit of sport really as although I think the points we make are important / valid - I just wanted the chance to say it, I don't really care about the outcome, I hope just the fact we have fired a few shots and they have had to sit down and think about what we have said may make them think twice about doing the same thing to others in future. But I don't feel NHS SALT have made one single bit of difference to DS because they don't know enough about autism.
So I wouldn't fight for more NHS SALT because more crap intervention is well just more crap.
However I would fight to the death to keep DS ABA programme because the alternative and what that would mean for DS's whole future is too horrific to think about.
Sometimes there is a real value in having these damaging people out of your life even if you haven't 'won' the argument.
We are heading towards annual review and I am completely stressed out because once again I have to deal with the people who made our / DS life worse not better, who hate that he's so expensive and hate us because we mess up their targets; instead of living in my lovely ABA bubble where all that matters is DS and everyone loves him and is in his corner.
I walked past a shop today with a sign which said 'be nice or don't come in'.
Thats sort of how I feel about professionals, if you are not going to make things better, then don't bother.

insanityscatching Tue 06-Sep-11 22:19:45

I have my complaint with LGO which they'll most likely drag out until after Tribunal at least. I'm going to pursue it because I fear at the first AR the LEA will try and get ds out of the Independent Special School. If I thought ds would be secure there until his 19th birthday then I'd tell them to stuff it tbh because my only interest is getting ds what he needs I'm not somebody who wants to fight for those that come after me or to get revenge even. I want to spend time enjoying what I have because the last 9 months I have thought of little else.
I think you have to decide when the cost is greater than the gains and back out then.

StarlightMcKenzie Tue 06-Sep-11 22:26:30

It does make sense AT and sometimes you do have to fight the battles on principle because it secures a future of them not daring to fuck with you again. DS is only 4. I have therefore felt it necessary to make it known to many that if they lie to me they'll regret it, even if I don't win that particular battle I have felt that by having it, they are more careful about making sure their data is accurate and they don't miss appointments etc.

appropriatelytrained Tue 06-Sep-11 22:30:06

Thanks - the cost is greater than the gains. That is a good way of putting it. The problem with this whole SEN business is that I started off, confident that the law was on my side, that people could be made to do their jobs if you followed the correct procedures and challenged bad practice which was affecting your life.

Now, I feel like they will just hound you back so, ultimately, you feel nothing is worth taking that sort of crap and you back off and move schools, services, counties etc.

I can see there are situations where you just can't do that, like agnes' and I suppose those are the ones that you pursue fight rather than flight. The ones where you really have no choice.

I am sorry you have all this hanging over you again agnes - it is a crap way to live. I feel the exact same way about S&LT but I wish to God I'd figured that out earlier. It is so stressful to be stressed when a letter comes through or feel your blood boil as you read another pathetic report or nasty letter. It erodes the quality of your life. Hope your DS has made loads of progress in the meantime.

Does the annual review go from the issue of the original statement or the Tribunal issued statement?

Insanity - we shall face off the mighty LGO together!

appropriatelytrained Tue 06-Sep-11 22:30:34

Good point Star.

Eveiebaby Tue 06-Sep-11 22:31:24

DD has had four Speech Therapist's over the course of four terms!! I complained to LA as during one half term she had no provision at all when her statement said she should have had one session. It was only a few months ago but looking back I realize how ridiculous one session per six weeks is anyway - not worth fighting for. However, my complaint (after several back and forth letters) did get the LA to give DD the session she was entitled to (she even got a few more sessions due to inconsistency). I do realize now though that a speech and language therapist cannot help DD. She has made a lot of progress with speech over the summer. It is more her social speech with peers that is lacking and I know SLT's should be able to help with that but in my heart of hearts I really feel they can't. I don't think SLT's have done anything to help my DD they have just generalised (she has been diagnosed as ASD) ie put things like turn taking as part of her targets when turn taking has never been an issue anyway confused and I feel what she achieved she would have done through maturation anyway.
I think it depends on each child though if you feel SLT helps your child then carry on complaining!
No, I don't think the crapness gets worse as you complain as long as you complain in a polite way and can back it up with legal quotes smile

StarlightMcKenzie Tue 06-Sep-11 22:38:34

'Does the annual review go from the issue of the original statement or the Tribunal issued statement?'

Well, you know,........there's the law, and then there is the alternative parallel universe that the LA's work in.

Agnes, - so soon? You know I've actually had some respite with our lost tribunal. Someone else ordered the failure of my ds and there was absolutely NOTHING I could do about it. I tried to work with the school nonetheless but found out they had been advised not to work with me. In short, it's been miserable, but peaceful. And having to live with that tribunal decision day after day, I got used to it. I did what I could outside of school and ds has progressed in ways that they would not be aware or be able to meaure and actually the nursery DID care about his happiness and confidence and for that I will always be grateful. He loved nursery.

But I have everything to play for now. I have nothing to lose and an unarguable case (yeah right.....I've seen too much to actually believe that). My heart really does go out to you though at the fear of losing your provision, and whilst I have been waiting for this day with hope, I imagine you have been awaiting with dread.

It doesn't bloody well leave you alone if you win, does it?

appropriatelytrained Tue 06-Sep-11 23:07:15

What does the law say on it Star?

StarlightMcKenzie Tue 06-Sep-11 23:18:06

Sorry, I don't know this one, but do need to shortly (but the truth is I haven't investigated because I am scared of what the answer might be).

I think I was just suggesting that it could be either, or neither, despite what the law says. Because what is the consequence for the LA?

Agnesdipesto Wed 07-Sep-11 00:04:20

Our AR has been from the date of the Tribunal Statement.
We got confused by this as the LA wanted to call a review within 4 weeks of tribunal before they had even issued the new statement! We refused.
SENCOP says if an existing statement is amended, the AR goes from the original statement date not the amendment.
But we thought perhaps the Tribunal Statement was a new one (it bore no resemblance to the old one!) and took the AR date as 12 months from then. The LA agreed (mainly as DS was under 5 and we had to have a 6 month review anyway).
But I don't think its exactly clear...

DS has made good progress but we are still only in the foothills of a very large mountain to climb. We have great evidence. But the LA have never been very interested in that!

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