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ASD, no statement, think he's OK without one but am I naive?(12 Posts)
DS1 is in year 3, diagnosed last year as high-functioning Autistic Spectrum Condition (Child Development Centre no longer use Aspergers as a diagnosis and his speech was delayed - otherwise he presents as very Aspergerish).
He is on School Action Plus, has a bit of SALT input and is receiving a bit of social skills support in school but not much. Academically he is doing really well, meeting or exceeding age related expectations in reading writing and maths, a bit behind on listening and speaking but improving there as well - for all differentiated activities in school he is in the top groups. He enjoys school and socially he has 'friends' i.e. the kids in his class who he gets on well with, although I'm never sure quite whether the children he classes as good friends would identify him as a particular friend iykwim. He doesn't want to play at other children's houses without me and doesn't have other children back here to play because by the end of school he's really had enough. He goes to one out of school activity where he joins in happily. Behaviour at home is very variable, sometimes great, sometimes incredibly hard work.
School have said he's very unlikely to get statemented because he's not falling behind at all, and I believe them - our LA has a very high rate of SEN. And I don't actually think that he needs a one-to-one assistant - in some ways I think it would actually impede his social skills because he would try to rely on an assistant in a similar way that he does with me. I can see that transition to secondary will be challenging for him though - academically I think he will enjoy it but socially it will be a shock as his primary is small and the secondary he will probably go to is very big.
Everyone on here seems so determined to get statementing - am I being totally naive to think that actually we're OK on SA+?
No I don't think you are naive. However the situation may change and you may feel that he needs more help further down the line. Others may disagree but I am a big believer in saving your energy for the important battles so I would probably continue to monitor him with school and save your energy for the battles ahead! If the support is good and he is thriving then that's fab!
Plus I would also agree that the move to secondary may well be very difficult so it might be worth reconsidering your decision in year 5 or year 6.
I'd agree with Cansu. A statement isn't essential for every child with ASD in MS. But the transition to secondary can be tricky and you need to be keeping a close eye on this. DC with a statement choose their secondary school in Y5 so you would need to be looking at starting statutory assessment by the end of Y4, really.
I dont think a statement matters as long he is getting the support he needs. This is what you need to keep tabs on. It can be hard to keep your eye on the ball unless you have really good communication between home and school. As soon as you feel he isn't being supported or not coping then I would be applying tbh.
Ds (15 asd / hfa and dyspraxia) in is in a wonderful mainstream secondary. He has no statement, but he does have 15 hours funding at level 2c. He doesn't need 1to 1 so his hours are spread with another boy's who has a similar profile which means there is a TA in most of his lessons.
If he was in any other secondary in our area , I am certain I would have gone for a statement by now.
My aspergers son is in MS y6 and doesn't have a statement - a one to one support would be a disaster for him, he would HATE it, but he has SA+ support and will need a careful transition to secondary. Academically he does well - top sets for maths and science, work is level 5 standard in English but he doesn't get level 5s as he can't get enough written down to be graded that high (hurrumph!)
What my son needs is mindful teaching and some minor alterations / accommodations to his social organisation - for example, at secondary he will have access to the inclusion rooms at break and lunch if he doesn't want to go outside. He doesn't need a statement to get that level of support and to request one would only end up in a pointless and expensive tribunal battle with the LA. So I don't think we'll be going that route!
Cansu is right, it's the transition to secondary is a vital time to make sure the right support is in place. A statement can open up lots of doors, the biggest door for us was being at the top of the lost when it came to getting him into the right school for him.
I think what is often forgotten is that statements can also assist with regards to additional social and communication needs as well. Also its a legal safeguard and provides that level of legal protection; what is written in the statement has to be adhered to.
I would keep a very close eye on the level of support because this can and does change. His SALT support may well yet cease. Y3 may be fine now but that does not guarantee that Y4 will be the same because teachers and attitudes do change. Some children on the ASD spectrum do find the social unwritten side of school very hard to deal with.
Do not completely rule out a statement simply because school says he is not falling behind at all. That line is often fed to parents to put off them from applying.
Transition to secondary can be hard and should never be underestimated.
I agree with Attila that the transition to secondary can be very difficult.
I applied for a statement when me son was in year 5, he is very bright but had difficulties with social communication, we got turned down, everyone saying well he is not that bad, he will cope fine in secondary etc. I didn't appeal decision.
My son went up to secondary, no support, managed to get through year 7 but fall apart in year 8. He now has a statement, mainly for social communication difficulties. But he is unable due to anexity to cope in mainstream and was out of school altogether for a year.
I know every child is different but I really wish support would have been in place earlier as it MAY have prevented things going wrong in our case.
I have always had great advice from this forum, keep asking questions! Good luck x
I'm in exactly the same position but in Yr 4. I am gathering all my evidence for the time when we do apply for SA and mindful of the fact that I would like DS statemented before secondary but the worry is that we will not get a statement whilst still at primary (unless things change, at the moment he gets a lot of support and is fine). I get the impression that you can't get one in anticipation of problems at transfer, only once the problems have become evident. I have said all along that I will apply for SA in Yr 4, because it takes so long, but now we're at Yr 4 really not sure on what grounds I should be applying IYSWIM.
Thanks for all the replies. I certainly wouldn't rule out a statement, but I think like WhoKnowsWhere I don't know on what grounds I'd apply for one at the moment as generally everything is going well and he is making progress with the social side of things, although I do worry that as the other kids become more socially sophisticated he will stand out more.
I do think we've been very lucky in that school are very good on inclusion - I'm a parent governor and have also done voluntary work (in the SENCOs class ) so have no problems with communication, they have been very helpful even before diagnosis. We are also 90% sure which secondary he will go to (you can see it from his primary playground, all his classmates will go there, they do a lot of visits to the secondary for various projects in year 5 and 6, and all the alternatives would involve public transport) and I have a friend who is actually working as a support assistant there based in their inclusion unit. So am thinking that perhaps I need to investigate a bit more about what would actually happen in terms of transition and what support he would be likely to get there on SA+. It seems a bit ridiculous to be worrying about this when he is only 7 but the whole system does move so slowly.....
This was actually something I discussed in a seminar today! The consensus was, that too much emphasis is placed on the correct label of diagnoses, statements etc and not the childs needs. The whole introduction of the label of special educational need was to provide accesible education to those not accessing the curriculum. To make changes where change was needed. If he is meeting all his expectations and doesn't actually need much support right now (this is actually true of a lot of kids with spectrum conditions) then I think it's absolutely right that you are questioning the necessity of a statement at this time. You are aware, and that is all you need to be, that his needs may change, but if it's working ok at present I'd leave it be.
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