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ABA -This is bollocks right?

(25 Posts)
StarlightMcKenzie Fri 07-Oct-11 09:55:10

The LA say there is no basis in law for the tribunal to order a HeadTeacher to accept ABA in her school against her wishes.

Isn't this fundamentally a DDA issue though. She wouldn't be allowed to refuse a hearing aid or visual timetable.

squidworth Fri 07-Oct-11 10:10:47

I think this is where you will be going round in circles I am guessing ABA is not in your statement and as the type of school dictates who employs staff, you cannot force a governing body to chose a certain type of employee. If ABA was in the statement then the school would view the statement and give their views then you could claim DDA issue.

StarlightMcKenzie Fri 07-Oct-11 10:18:40

Well yes, so all we have to do is get ABA in the statement. The judge has no business ordering the HT to do anything. Judge can't even order that the HT allows SALT in her school, but to refuse would be a DDA issue.

silverfrog Fri 07-Oct-11 10:29:24

yes - your second post has it: the judge is not there to order the school/HT to do anything. the judge is there to rule on what your ds needs educationally, having read and weighed up the arguments on both sides. what anybody's personal opinion of ABA is (ie the HT who is 'against' ABA) is irrelevant.

the judge reads, listens, and sums up.

what the LA/HT then do with that judgement, is another thing (As you know) - and yes, if the judge rules ABA into statement as necessary to ds' learning, and the HT refuses, then it is potentially a DDA thing (although DD only accounts for 'reasonable adjustment' - if the HT can argue that the adjustment necessary is too great, then I suppose s/he could therefore say her school not able to offer place?)

StarlightMcKenzie Fri 07-Oct-11 10:51:16

Thank you.

Sometimes I think I'm going insane. The issue is very simple but the LA solicitor is trying to make a complex case out of it.

Out tutors are the least offensive people you could meet and expert to a level that would benefit the whole class be creating a language rich environment for all at breaktimes. This is just the silliest situation I have ever found myself in.

silverfrog Fri 07-Oct-11 10:57:56

yes, it is the LA trying to fan smoke into flames, iyswim?

its a bluff - and the judge should not take kindly to the LA telling him/her wht their job is, but that would probably be too much to hope for.

squidworth Fri 07-Oct-11 11:16:50

What is your appeal based on, is it for an ABA programme or for specific ABA personnel. If it is the latter then strip away the ABA then you are asking for parental choice of staff who work with you child. This would be the same for any 1:1 ta being chosen by a parent. Which again would be area a tribunal would be very resistant towards, never mind the school, governing body and other parents.

Agnesdipesto Fri 07-Oct-11 11:25:11

Sadly they are happy to order parents to accept Teacch-lite.
I would love a HT to refuse to have Teacch-lite in their school because it is forcing low expectations on able, verbal children.
ABA is just the same behaviour systems imposed on all children used more frequently and consistently and individualised.
When our ABA bod went into school to do training the teachers just said but we do all that already.
Teaching a child to swim is ABA - week 1 get in water - week 2 put face in water - week 3 swim on front holding float etc etc teachers break skills down all the time.
Find out what behaviour systems the school has - bet its a list that says smiley face on the happy tree, sad face on the board, marbles in a jar or house points to earn rewards for the class, staying in at break for bad behaviour etc etc
Is the Solicitor going to argue these are behaviour systems which are so far outside normal teaching they should not be allowed / need to be specified in Part 4?
I would also think about videoing the behaviour system because this lawyer is making it sound abusive and extreme when really it might just be giving a child a sticker, a high five or a token.
The Panel can then ask the school what they find so offensive about it.

I suppose you can ask the school on the day what is it about ABA they don't want and then use examples to show that actually they use ABA techniques all the time on all the children.

I don't know the answer about naming this school if they are anti aba but the Panel can name a type of school and then you could ask for this one on parental pref. As you say once you have ABA on the statement and schools would not be going against the LA it might not be an issue. It wasn't for us. No school we approached after tribunal once ABA was already named refused to have DS. You could find out if the other schools locally are full. If the LA lost on ABA + m/s as type of school and had to bus your DS miles to find the next nearest place they might drop their objection. It would be good to be able to tell the Panel that either this school takes your DS or else other schools will have to exceed infant class size or he will need to be transported.

Lougle Fri 07-Oct-11 11:43:16

"1:36 If a child has a statement of special educational needs maintained by the LEA, that LEA is
responsible for arranging the special educational provision and, in finalising the statement,
considering the school’s suitability. Where a maintained school is named in a statement of
special educational needs, the governing body of the school must admit the child to the
school. Further details on the considerations that apply when LEAs name a school in a
child’s statement are given in Chapter 8."

"8:6 However resources are provided, schools and LEAs have specific duties in relation to children with special educational needs which funding for SEN should support.
Community, foundation and voluntary school governing bodies are required under section 317 of the Education Act 1996 to use their best endeavours to see that pupils with special educational needs receive the help their learning difficulties call for. They are accountable through their reports to parents for how resources are allocated to and amongst pupils with special educational needs and the effectiveness of their provision for SEN. LEAs have a duty under section 324 of the Education Act 1996 to arrange the special educational provision in a child’s statement. *LEAs may provide the facility in their funding
arrangements to intervene where a pupil is not receiving the provision in their statement and make the arrangements themselves, charging the costs to the school’s budget.*

My bolded section is what I would be pinning your counter-argument on. If the school doesn't agree with the statement provision, the LEA can put the provision in and charge the school. This means that not only does the LEA have overall responsibility for implementing the provision (although in most cases they delegate this to the school), but they have the power to over-ride the school should the school fail to do it's delegated duty.

Lougle Fri 07-Oct-11 11:43:51

"LEAs may provide the facility in their funding arrangements to intervene where a pupil is not receiving the provision in their statement and make the arrangements themselves, charging the costs to the school’s budget."

That's what should have been bolded hmm

StarlightMcKenzie Fri 07-Oct-11 12:01:07

Thank you Lougle, that helps loads.

And to all on here. You really help cut through the rubbish.

StarlightMcKenzie Fri 07-Oct-11 12:04:03

Agnes, perhaps I'll write to all the feasible schools and ask them whether they have spaces. I doubt they will. If any reply I'll phone them and ask directly whether they would accePt ABA. If not (likely) I'll put it in writing to them.

StarlightMcKenzie Fri 07-Oct-11 12:07:56

Squid. It isn't a 'programme' I am going for. It is a spacific tool/support system to enable ds to access the curriculum and to learn to learn in the way it is taught. The 'programme' is the national curriculum, but the autism specific intervention and suport is of parents choosing on the one had, and adequate or better than the LA's offer on the other.

Agnesdipesto Fri 07-Oct-11 12:35:06

If you go on the council website for primary entry 2012 it will probably list which schools were oversubscribed last year / how many they admitted last year and the PAN.
I am not sure I would ask if they would take ABA tbh as they might all say no.
I would wait until you (hopefully) have it on the Statement.
I would think if this is the only school with a space nearby the Panel will be pushing them to take your DS

squidworth Fri 07-Oct-11 13:23:19

Then your parental choice is ABA and not installing your own team within a school. They are two different entities one which can be placed in a statement and one which could not be IMO. If a ht was forced to have an lsa in the school against their wishes they would be in their right to not allow access to other children.
At my daughters school they now reference parent helpers as well as the usual list 99 and police check.

StarlightMcKenzie Fri 07-Oct-11 13:43:28

Yes, our request is to have ABA tutors, not our own. However, it is reasonable to expect them to have VERY good reasons to dismiss ours when they are well known to ds, proven to get the best out of him, are suitably qualified, work in a team and model that gets the results.

If they LA can find alternative people to match ours within our costs that 'fit' as well with ds' difficulties then I wish them luck with that.

I also think that it is fair enough, that should our 'consultant' be accepted as the 'Lead' in the Autism Specific Intervention then she gets to decide or heavily influence the appointment of appropriate staff to deliver it.

maryellenwalton Fri 07-Oct-11 13:46:35

Don't know if this is of any use but when ds1 was in mainstream (he's now in ss) nursery his statement specified that he had to have an aba-trained LSA to support him.

I was told by our advocate that it was critical to get this locked down in the statement otherwise we would face the same problems you are facing.

I'm not sure it will be seen as a DDA issue without the aba methodology point being won at tribunal...the school/ LEA will claim that they are offering perfectly good 1:1 help

StarlightMcKenzie Fri 07-Oct-11 14:02:29

maryellen, we have one small problem with that being the extent of our wording and that is that this school have a very poorly ABA trained LSA that I expect they would switch in place of ours if they could.

Surely, I could sell the team as a model that works for ds. God knows why in the world they are so opposed to our tutors they are absolutely fab, professional and barely visible and the children they come into contact with LOVE them.

StarlightMcKenzie Fri 07-Oct-11 14:15:11

Agnes,

I thought if I asked the schools and they all said no, I could show there was a blanket conspiracy policy and so the judge may as well rule the one we want, but perhaps you're right that it is better to not get bogged down into too much detail. Our case is simple. The LA increase their chances of a win if we waste time arguing irrelevant points in an attempt to make it look complex.

StarlightMcKenzie Fri 07-Oct-11 14:31:36

Okay, so none of the 8 other closest schools have vacancies, and presumably shouldn't go over their infant numbers when there is a school reserving ds a place, that is named in his statement, that the parents want him to go to.

WetAugust Fri 07-Oct-11 17:42:44

Star - I agree, your case is 'simple' however what you are looking for from the Tribunal is simply not feasible i.e. that they direct a specific school to provide a specific therapy (ABA), delivered by specific tutors (your ABA tutors).

There are multiple reasons why this just will not work.

I would simply limit my appeal to ensuring that ABA is written into the Statement.

If you can achieve that then the LA must deliver the ABA. How they do that is really up to them. A school cannot refuse to deliver anything that is on the Statement simply because they don't want to / can't be arsed - they can only refuse if they cannot meet the support stated on the Statement. And not having trained ABA staff within the school is not sufficient cause to refuse as it would be reasonable for school to be expected to hire ABA staff at the school nominated by the parent, to school enable them to provide the support.

However it's not reasonable to expect school to specifically hire your ABA trained staff. And that's where it all falls apart as you and the school /LA will be engaged in a further dispute as to what constitutes 'ABA trained'.

But the biggest hurdle, as you know, will be getting ABA acknowldged and into the Statement in the face of any extremely bellicose LA and a Tribunal that (last time round) was less than accommodating.

You're best bet is to move to an area that accepts ABA - but i know that's not possible.

StarlightMcKenzie Fri 07-Oct-11 18:16:57

No Wet, that isn't possible right at the moment.

You're right about not being able to stipulate the personnel of course. What happens if my Consultant resigns or a tutor goes on maternity leave? I'm not expecting them to be written into the statement necessarily.

Although one of them tutors has a qualification that makes the model work especially for ds that would be practically impossible for the school or LA to match at anything less than double what she has agreed to do it for. But that isn't my problem. If perhaps this skill can be written into the statement then if she disappears the LA will have to replace her at whatever it costs, which will not be my problem.

dolfrog Fri 07-Oct-11 21:22:30

StarlightMcKenzie

I came across these research papers by accident today.
They may help explain things, even though they related mainly to the USA.
Bridging the Research-to-Practice Gap in Autism Intervention: An Application of Diffusion of Innovation Theory
Credible knowledge: A pilot evaluation of a modified GRADE method using parent-implemented interventions for children with autism

SOTIRIA Fri 07-Oct-11 23:08:13

Please can someone explain ABA and how does it help ASD? Also how can you find tutors?

StarlightMcKenzie Fri 07-Oct-11 23:44:16

ABA is Applied Behavioural Analysis.

Put ABA in the Advanced Search option in the top right and you should get lots of information.

In short it is about applying common sense successfully, whilst being treated with disdain and patronised.

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