Here some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on SN.
Help - having a panic! (statement related)(35 Posts)
Not a good day statement-wise yesterday. LEA knocked back my request to extend 15 day limit, half-term so the head of indi ss that is advising is on holiday and advocates for children are suggesting that the diagnosis that I have from DK and Margo Sharp is not sufficient. That I need a clear and unequivocal diagnosis either from GOSH or Guy's or that I obtain a report from a Clinical Psychologist (around £1,700) specialising in ASD. I've got 7 days left to completely rewrite the statement. Any advice is appreciated. Oh, and I have the first appointment with comm paed and parent/teacher consultation this afto for DS2. [panic emoticon]
I wouldn't get too hung up on the 15 day time limit or indeed the statement itself. Sadly the reality is that you can completely knock yourself out providing the LA with incontrovertible evidence and detailed references to their legal duty, and there is a very good chance that what they will ignore most of what you say and come up with a statement that will still be inadequate. You may be better off keeping your energies for dealing with the appeal.
What Veritate said.
Who is telling you DK and MS is not good enough? I think
the majority of a tribunal would disagree tbh and those who don't wouldn't be impressed with a GOSH one either
KeepOn, You can extend the time limit yourself by either requesting a meeting to discuss it as the timeline gets reset from the date of meeting (I wouldn't bother with this tbh) or write a seriously high level of provision in your new statement that you know there isn't a hope of getting agreed so that there is significant enough of a difference between your expectations and their statement in order to put in an appeal.
It is during the run up to the appeal that you get the opportunity to gather evidence for what you want, and you'll probably find that during this time, what you want changes beyond all recognition as part of the evidence-gathering exercise, - so what you ACTUALLY put now is fairly irrelevant UNLESS you truly believe that the LA will finalise using your wording.
Sorry - away amending statement
leonie I know - this is why we had her do the assessment and saw DK as a belt and braces approach but now DH is concerned that we have wasted thousands and have to pay out for a different set of reports.
veritate I am occasionally visiting an imaginary world where the lea will see the error of their ways and let me completely rewrite the proposed statement from 10 hours ms with a focus on SpLD to indi ss and pretending that I will never have to go to appeal.
star Advocates for Children - I can understand that they have particular contacts who have given diagnoses that have previously been accepted but I am a little shocked that they would diss what I have when they were recommeded for exactly the same reason.
Tribunal will be impressed with the opinions of Daphne Keen and Margo Sharp. Whoever is trying to tell you otherwise is talking utter BS.
It's not fair on the child to put them thru uneccessary assessments that will only confirm what you've already been told by internationally respected clinicians. Save your cash as you may need a decent independent EP report later in the process as you move towards finalising the written statement.
It's a marathon, not a sprint.
fuck, fuck, fuck
DS1 is also having a scooter-related meltdown - he cannot cope with the wrong item being delivered on day 4 of a 2-3 day delivery estimate. What the fuck are Blunt Smith T bars anyway and who gives a toss??
I don't know about Advocates for Children, I'm sorry.
I do know that pretty much most legal services like 'off the shelf' cases and therefore like things to fit their model for THEIR efficiency.
FWIW I disagree with them and think your reports are strong and will be considered so by any tribunal.
I didn't know that clinical as opposed to educational psychologists are involved in the diagnosis. Maybe AFC mean that if I am putting together my own multi-disciplinary team I need the equivalent of CAMHS?
Ask them what a Cinical Psychologist will add that you currently don't have.
Advocates for Children are a charity and they don't do legal advice. They support parents (full advocacy for single parents inc tribunal) with getting the statement right. They don't charge. tbh I felt OK about things prior to receiving their advice but it is not wishy washy - it is quite forthright 'unable to understand...', comments are 'incredible coming from an expert', that his behaviour is typical and she can't understand comments about him being hard to diagnose and that she hopes my stress was not added to by someone suggesting that he is etc.
I can't see the point of a meeting to extend the deadline - never the twain 'n all. I am going to add an addendum to parental and child opinions, submit the reports and then use the content to cut and paste/rewrite the statement and then go to appeal.
Sorry Keeping, I can't understand your last but one post.
'it is quite forthright 'unable to understand...', comments are 'incredible coming from an expert', that his behaviour is typical and she can't understand comments about him being hard to diagnose and that she hopes my stress was not added to by someone suggesting that he is etc. '
The advice from AFC is forthright. Margo advised getting back into system - AFC unable to understand. DK initially addressed her comments to DS but when greeted by lengthy silences turned to me and asked if he were mute - AFC think this is incredible as it is entirely typical behaviour and it is 'hard to imagine what she thought his response would be'. I had taken DK's comment differently - I wasn't offended by her asking me if he were selectively mute. And he is hard to diagnose - he camoflagues his behaviour at school and he does not have a typical (if there is one) profile because of the complexity of multiple conditions. So I wasn't stressed by Margo telling me something that I already knew.
I know I am telling myself to ignore them but this feels risky - like I've made a schoolgirl error iykwim and shot myself in the foot (oh god, here come the metaphors)
leonie for reminding me that Margo is absolutely 'good enough' - she has my absolute confidence and I was surprised that it was not shared by AFC. Your experiences with your girls is far more significant than a single opinion given with no knowledge. And its good to know that even those who try to dismiss her are unable to do so.
hot DS was unable to make the transition from ms primary to ms secondary and on the written advice of DK is not to attend ms. Both MS and DK recommend indi ss and this is what we want even though it means boarding as it is a school where ASD/APD/ADD/SpLD plus the school anxiety and sensory issues are dealt with through onsite therapists. DS has already been offered a place in writing.
Thanks for all your advice - off to the comm paed with DS2 now. This is the same comm paed who refused to refer DS1 for ADOS based on school CAST questionnaire after DS1 had been diagnosed with ASD by DK and Margo. But I'm not allowed to talk about DS1 in a consult for DS2. Have to go alone as DH has to wag work to mind DS1 who of course is not in school.
And then the parent/teacher meeting. Joy.
TBH, when faced with the choice of believing Margo Sharp and Daphne Keen on the one hand and an advocate on the other hand, I'd go for MS and DK every time. I would really worry about an advocate who thinks she knows better than they do about matters which are fully within their professional expertise. I suggest you look to SOS SEN or IPSEA instead of AFC.
The issue here is whether the reports set out the child's needs sufficiently not whether they diagnose.
You do not need an unequivocal diagnosis of anything to get a statement. A child must have learning difficulties: SEN.
The term SEN has a legal and not a medical definition. It refers to children who have learning difficulties or disabilities that make it harder for them to learn or access education than most children of the same age.
Children have a special educational need if they have a learning difficulty which calls for special educational provision to be made for them.
This is what your reports must address. If they don't, get the authors to clarify (a) the need and (b) the provision required to meet the need.
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