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Support for social skills in Y1

(8 Posts)
newbrunette Thu 04-Oct-12 20:06:32

I've just had an annoying email response from our SENCO in which she failed to answer any of my questions and made some odd comments. I'd appreciate your thoughts.

To cut a long story short, ds is in Y1 and doesn't interact well (or even at all) with his peers. We are due to have a second visit to paediatrician next week but currently he has no diagnosis.

The school clearly think we're making a fuss about nothing. They did an IEP for him last year with wishy washy targets about making friends and handwriting. This hasn't been updated although we agreed in June that targets have been met.

In July, they promised some support for him at lunchtime (where he has struggled and usually ends up playing/sitting alone) but this hasn't really materialised. Apparently a member of staff "keeps an eye on him" but they just keep telling us: "He doesn't really want to play with the other children, he's happy on his own".

They've also said they will set up a social skills group, which they also did last year but it sort of petered out, so I'm not holding out much hope. Do you think it's reasonable to be asking for more targeted help at play/lunchtimes to actively encourage him to mix and to develop his social skills?

One thing that's confusing me is that they have said he is on School Action Plus, which I had thought was when outside agencies were involved. I queried this and the SENCO said "School action plus is when a child has another agency involved or when they have over and above the support usually given to a child in school." Which, as far as I can see, he's not getting ! So just not sure why they are saying he's on it. Do they get extra funding?

mrsfuzzy Fri 05-Oct-12 09:40:34

i'm no expert but i don't think your senco is terribly helpful, my eldest son, now 20, has aspergers and he had a difficult time at school, i was made to feel like a complete first child, neurotic mother. i had to fight tooth and nail to be taken seriously and it only happened after his diagnosis was finally made, having that in place can make the world of difference, it's not about having a label -that's wrong- but there being a reason for why your child is the way he/she is. the attitude of the senco and school staff became very different once they knew i had been right and wasn't just a pushy mother, good luck with the p. appt, keep us all posted if you can.

AgnesDiPesto Fri 05-Oct-12 14:28:13

school action is extra support in school. school action plus is extra support+at least one outside agency. No they don't get extra funding for action plus.

yes you can ask for more support.

you should ask for a statutory assessment (see link at side of page) - this is likely to be refused as the school cannot show it has put in place all the strategies / used all the resources available including outside agencies. However simply by making the request the school will have to provide evidence to the SEN officer at the Council explaining what they have done and why they have not done more. The SEN Officer will want them to put in more support rather than risk you appealing to a tribunal if statutory assessment is refused. You will be regarded as PITA / jumping the gun but you will be taken more seriously. statutory assessment has a legal timeframe and rights of appeal so it gives you leverage you will not otherwise have.

Look at P scales an example is here but ask your school what they use. Tell the school you want his social skills (see 4 PHSE and 5 social / behaviour) assessed against P scales and then you can track whether these improve. You want a new IEP targeting social

If you look at NAS or IPSEA website you will find info on applying for statutory assessment - also on your own council website. Get a copy of the SEN Code of Practice - you can download it but also get a free hard copy. This explains all about school action plus, statementing etc. Also download the SEN Toolkit (should be on Dept for Education website)

You also need to write down everything eg if the school tell you he is happy on his own & they are not going to help him make friends write that down. If you have a meeting write notes and email them afterwards to confirm what was said. You need to start getting a paperwork trail to show you have asked for extra help and it has been refused.

You can self refer to the Educational Psychologist at COuncil and ask them to see your child at school. Every school has an EP attached. If your child was punching the other kids rather than withdrawing they would be doing something. Being passive and withdrawn is as much of an educational need as being aggressive or hyperactive. In fact some leading experts on autism eg Rita Jordan say that withdrawn / passive children are the ones who need 1:1 the most as they will not seek out learning opportunities without it.

How is his speech? Speech and language therapy is something else you can self refer to. They will be one attached to school and they often advise on social groups etc. But if the school has not involved SALT you can refer yourself or ask the paed to.

AgnesDiPesto Fri 05-Oct-12 14:35:46

Sorry I just looked and not sure if you can get a free copy anymore.

newbrunette Tue 09-Oct-12 22:16:33

Thanks for the replies, and sorry not to reply before now. Agnes, that's really helpful. I hadn't thought of requesting statutory assessment and I'm slightly terrified about starting that whole process, but I can totally see why it makes sense.

I will also ensure I write down everything they say. We have a rather haphazard record of things they've promised and not delivered over the last year. When he started in reception, I trusted them to do their job, and gradually realised I had to nag them constantly.

I did self-refer to Ed Psych, and the they came along to a meeting, and were fobbed off by the SENCO that the school was doing lots to support him etc etc (which they're not), and is no longer involved, so ds hasn't had an Ed Psych assessment. I don't know whether I can go back and request one.

He was seen by SALT last year, who wrote a report and left it for the school to handle. They haven't carried out any of the SALT's recommendations (which were mainly re. social skills). I also have concerns about some of his speech sounds and have contacted SALT again, and she is due to come in and assess him after half term.

Re. P scales, what exactly are these? Sorry, I feel very ignorant.

MrsF, the paediatric appointment is on Friday. We had one just over a year ago and they said, while there were some autistic traits, it was too soon to make a diagnosis. They didn't do any assessment of ds, just talked to us. No idea what to expect from Friday. Will keep you posted.

newbrunette Tue 09-Oct-12 22:25:26

Just realised I sound contradictory on the school action plus thing. Neither SALT nor EP are involved at all at the moment (and both were initially contacted by me not the school), which is why I queried the SA+ thing.

AgnesDiPesto Tue 09-Oct-12 22:55:04

P scales are for children achieving below national curriculum levels. Usually they are for academic stuff but there are also scales for social and behaviour. If your child had not met all the criteria on a P scale this would be evidence they were below expected levels in those areas (a child would expect to be at NC level 1c at the beginning of year 1, so scoring below the social skills of a 6 year old basically). Not saying this will be relevant but if it is it is a way of showing delay

mariamma Tue 09-Oct-12 23:49:02

The actual P scales Tips on using the P scales

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