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Professionals saying NO to starting statutory assessment

(15 Posts)
2006hildy Sat 27-Oct-12 12:29:12

I have come to the conclusion I have been barking up the wrong tree.
Going to apply for a statement on grounds of social communication and social interaction.
DS aged 6 Y2. We are in Herts.
However, SALT says he is getting the maximum amount of help which is 10 visits to school a year teaching his LSA to deliver the SALT.
The Autism Advisory Service also say he is getting the maximum amount of help which is possibly two visits a year at school and training the teaching staff how to handle/teach DS.
DS is not doing well socially he is developmentally a two year old for social interaction. Still learning to share and take turns. He does not realise what he has to do in a group situation. He sometimes takes his cues by people watching and being fiercely independent.
Social communication he is developmentally a three year old knows vocabulary but cannot string sentences together. He utters single words or learned phrases only and then expects you to guess what he is telling you.
I agree DS is causing them no problems, not that DS has no problems only a few minor behavioural ones.

So I suppose it is measurable in terms of developmental age but was hoping for more scientific response.
He does need extra support during unstructured times ie break and lunchtime.
He has 1:1 support for mornings only.
He is not under CAHMS or had an Assessment from Ed Psych at all I have been asking but they keep on fobbing me off.
He does not attend a SULP (Social Use of Language Programe) group developmentally I don’t think he is there yet.
I don’t think he has MLD

If you could help with the above question I would be most grateful.
I don’t think DS is receiving the right support regarding his SEN otherwise he would have made progress in his social interaction and social communication as a direct result of the outside agencies poor involvement.
I look forward to hearing from you soon.

StarlightMcKenzie Sat 27-Oct-12 12:50:41

'SALT says he is getting the maximum amount of help'

DS in Herts received 1 hour weekly of SALT which his 1:1 LSA (who had 4 years working in a SALT base) watched and replicated 3 more times a week.

But tbh none of this matters. You don't provision on the basis of what someone else has had. You SHOULD be getting provision based on your child's needs, and 'maximum support' is a blanket policy and illegal.

You can write to them, the SALT and AAS puting in writing that they have told you that what your ds has got is 'maximum support' and that if your ds needs are not being met with this then this is tough, and ask them to clarify this point. Ask them too, to define what they actually MEAN by maximum support. Do they mean 10 SALT visits a year?

StarlightMcKenzie Sat 27-Oct-12 12:51:58

'The Autism Advisory Service also say he is getting the maximum amount of help which is possibly two visits a year at school and training the teaching staff how to handle/teach DS.'

This is also bollocks. DS had 3 termly visits from the Autism Advisory Teacher and WEEKLY visits of a whole afternoon from their service outreach to work with the school on implementing strategies.

StarlightMcKenzie Sat 27-Oct-12 12:53:45

The thing is though. I am pointing out that they are lying to you and they are talking bollocks because ds had an awful lot more provision, but after a year of this he had made absolutely NO progress and in some areas fallen further behind.

So you might want to consider whether the battle is worth it. (although I would still apply for a SA because that could ultimately be your ticket to better provision, if not in the short term).

Veritate Sat 27-Oct-12 12:56:18

The fact that they are saying that he is getting the maximum amount of help available for non-statemented children might actually help you. If the fact is that he is getting the maximum and is still not making progress, then that proves that he needs extra that will not be available unless it is in a statement.

2006hildy Sat 27-Oct-12 13:36:07

OK I will ask for Statutory Assessment. I think the battle is worth it and I have been told by another parent Herts are incompetent liars who is going to help me with the careful wording needed for my paperwork.

Just by doing this I know I will have done the best for my son.

bochead Sat 27-Oct-12 16:04:55

The Head of SN for my area told the tribunal panel that the amount of support I requested for my son was "unprecedented".

I won. As I only asked for what he needs to access the National Curriculum.

Draw your won conclusions.

2006hildy Sat 27-Oct-12 17:04:50

I will ask for what he needs to access the National Curriculum then.

As a direct result of the outside agencies poor involvement I feel utterly wretched this afternoon. I can't believe they have been so sloppy towards a vulnerable person - he could do with their help. The thing is I don't was to sound as if taking it personally.

What I will do is point where they have been late and not turned up to meetings and as they noted when I was once late.

2006hildy Sat 27-Oct-12 19:02:56

The law, in the Education Act talks about meeting a child's needs. It does not say follow LA policy etc.

The only 'criteria' for SA is set out in that Act and the COP.

I am being lined up to try and accept the barest of minimums in terms of support.

The main reason I want a statement for him is for his language problems.

"well he seems intelligent and get his point across" its as if they think Speech and language impairment must mean mental impairment. I have found that most professionals other than SLTs do not get this and just see him as fine.

They do not realise that as he is getting older he is finding it difficult to work at a more formal level as the language is becoming more complex.

AgnesDiPesto Sun 28-Oct-12 19:36:41

Your DS sounds developmentally about the same level as DS (nearly 6, Yr1) he has 35 hours of ABA per week, 48 weeks per year won at tribunal. He is making good progress with social / language despite severe deficits.

Herts are right, what your DS is getting is 'usual' for many LAs, in my LA they justify it by saying provision is 'equitable' - BUT the law says your child's SEN must be met and every one of his SEN including social. When told by the LA its not fair my DS won this and other child don't get it, my response is to say that the other children need it too and the answer is not to take it away from my DS but to also give it to the others - why should we aways be told to level down not level up?

SALT may have a maximum, but that is a maximum of what their service can provide, not an indication its the maximum a child could possibly need. if your child needs more the LA must buy it in privately.

Interestingly at Tribunal the Panel also gave us half termly direct and indirect SALT which we did not even ask for on top of the ABA.

I would also agree with Star in that NHS SALT and LA outreach IME do not know how to teach social skills or even language to children with autism, without exception every one of their suggestions achieved nothing for DS, which is why we turned to ABA

So I suppose I would say go for the statement and know a Tribunal will not look on the current provision as appropriate and you will win more, but consider whether more piss-poor SALT and outreach is really worth the fight. You may be better asking for specialist support - DS has ABA come into mainstream, private ASC specialist SALT is another option, dual placements, indep special schools etc. The downside is you would have to fund some private SALT or ABA yourself to show it will work for your DS in order that a tribunal will award it. You could perhaps if you could afford to buy in some ABA help after school and do playdates etc to work on social skills.

I would also video him from now on to show his level of language, social communication etc as its amazing how children suddenly improve on paper when you criticise the provision.

If you pm me I can send you a copy of DS statement which lists all his objectives and provision - much of which would be what your DS would need. It might help you know what to ask for on the statement.

By the way nothing you have written yells LD on top of autism. Severely delayed language and social skills are entirely consistent with autism on its own - DS is very bright, but his deficits in language / social are very severe and need a lot of intervention to achieve the progress we are seeing.

inappropriatelyemployed Sun 28-Oct-12 19:51:44

Yes, definitely go for SA and as others have said, it is not about what the service usually provides, it is about what your child needs. The NHS are under a duty to rationalise provision for their services according to greatest need, the Education Act however doesn't allow the LAs to do this. This frequently ends up in confrontation between LA and NHS and parent. It's a god-damn awful system.

The reality is that you are often left to try and identify the appropriate provision for yourself as LAs will despatch generic, often useless, bog standard provision which may be worse than nothing (your child will be credited with the benefit of an intervention which is useless). I have to say I am still trying to find the right provision for my son 2 years after the issue of his statement.

Getting the SA agreed is the first step. it's an ongoing process, a learning curve and we are here to help!

2006hildy Sun 28-Oct-12 20:56:52

AgnesDiPesto thank-you, thank-you, thank-you yes I can see it may be expensive but worth it

Inappropriatelyemployed I agree Getting the SA agreed is the first step which I am finding so hard hence all my posts. I am trying to think several routes outside the box!

MWB22 Sun 28-Oct-12 21:01:55

Just curious, if you haven't had a Ed Psych how do you know the ages for social interaction and social communication?

StarlightMcKenzie Sun 28-Oct-12 22:04:07

What Veritate said.

He is getting maximum support, and his needs are not being met, therefore a SA is requirements to figure out why iphe is not making adequate progress and what needs to change so that he does.

2006hildy Sun 28-Oct-12 22:26:00

MWB22 Just what has been discussed in our CAF/TAF.

Starlight I don't think he has the right type of support even if it is the maximum I agree what needs to change so that he does. The thing is I am in a catch 22 situation because I can't tell them because I don't know that is why they need to do SA. Sorry if I sound stupid still trying to figure out the system.

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