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Would you put your dc back a year?

(15 Posts)
MaryShoppins Sun 18-Nov-12 17:54:47

Hi, have put this thread on various boards. Looking to hear more peoples experience/views.

My ds is 3 years old. He he has speech delay, and minor physical delayed development (nothing overly obvious or intrusive). Basically, he looks and acts more like a 2 year old toddler.

My dilemma is, that he is due to start reception next year in September. He is currently on the waiting list for a nursery place, but, realistically, it's not looking likely he'll get a place before September, meaning he'll have to go straight to reception - full time.

I'm uncomfortable with this for several reasons. The fact that he has speech delay, not big deal really, as this is common, and the school are brilliant. I feel confident they will do their best to encourage further development on that part. But, he has physical issues too, including hyper-mobility and short stature (possibly requiring growth hormone injections). Because of his physical and speech delay, I have tried tirelessly to potty train him and failing miserably! If by chance he does get offered a nursery place before September, they will not accept him unless he is fully trained.

A few friends have suggested I ask that he be put back a year. Until now it hadn't crossed my mind. Thinking about it, it seems like a perfect solution (if they agree) because it will give me an extended time frame to potty train him, he will have a few additional months to continue with his speech therapy and 'catch up', I can give him the settling in period if he starts nursery in September, and he will then be one of the oldest children, therefore should feel less inadequate and a confident learner.

But, I don't know anyone who has done this. Are there any draw backs? What criteria does he need to fit to enable him to do this?

Ant help, advice or experience would be appreciated. Thank you!

Lougle Sun 18-Nov-12 18:00:47

Welcome MaryShoppins.

You know my opinion, but for the record, 'No'.

Your child's needs will persist for some time. One year isn't going to make enough difference to make all the problems back-yearing brings worth it.

What you need to do, is contact the LA and ask for them to arrange suitable provision for him ASAP. You also need to apply for Statutory Assessment, so that he has suitable provision when he starts school.

HecatePropylaea Sun 18-Nov-12 18:06:11

both my children have autism. We arranged for our youngest to repeat reception because he was not ready to go into Y1.

He's stayed that year behind throughout and is now in the first year of secondary (would have been Y8 by now had we not done this). It was the right thing to do for him, based on his needs, his development and his understanding. We didn't do it with our other child because we didn't feel he needed it.

The head at his school told us that "'they' (the LA) don't do that". We did as we always do and ignored the 'experts' grin and wrote to the LA, detailing exactly why he needed this. (It was a VERY long letter indeed. ) They agreed, with no fuss at all.

Probably worried they'd have to deal with more letters like that one wink

He's in the right year for him. We see it so clearly. That one year has made all the difference.

lovethesun1 Sun 18-Nov-12 18:35:12

Have posted on your other thread,but totally agree with lougle.

HecatePropylaea Sun 18-Nov-12 18:36:39

oh, meant to add, haven't experienced any problems at all with him moving back a year. and that's from reception to him now being in Y7.

StarlightMcKenzie Sun 18-Nov-12 18:41:29

Wot lougle said.

AgnesDiPesto Sun 18-Nov-12 19:19:12

Yes, if i felt at the end of that year the child would be accessing learning at the same level as children a year younger (ie they were just a bit delayed). No, if one year would not make any significant difference as they would always be behind their peers.

What we have done is have DS who is in year 1 with speech disorder and asd attend part-time. The rest of his education is made up out of school in an ABA programme but other options would be flexi schooling (home educating part of the week) or dual placement eg with special school / speech unit. He started three half days and now attends five half days.

A child does not legally have to attend school fulltime until the term after they are 5 and then you can explore options like dual placements, flexi schooling.

I agree you should apply for a statement it sounds as though your child will need 1:1

You should challenge the nursery abut toilet training that is discrimination under the Equality Act and they cannot refuse to take a child who is not toilet trained. If the nursery is a LA nursery or takes children who get free 15 hours paid by LA then you should complain to the LA about the rule on being toilet trained.

We have seen no drawbacks from part-time school but my son is getting good therapy during the time he is not in school. Much of the learning at school is above the level he can access so he is there as much as is beneficial. If he attended school more, his 1:1 therapy would have to reduce and his progress would slow down significantly.

What support are you getting now? Speech therapy? Portage? Sometimes the CDC has a community nurse who can help with toilet training.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 18-Nov-12 19:28:21

I doubt very much the LEA will readily agree to put DS back a year; it was unusual when I was at school many moons ago.

I would apply for a Statement of special needs from the LEA if you have not already done so and ignore any naysayers.

Walter4 Sun 18-Nov-12 19:31:28

My son is 4 he has asd PDA and hypermobility syndrome. He is also a tall boy. He is very bright and physically nothing noticeable , however , he is hypermobile and tires faster and is more prone to falling.

We made the decision to keep him in nursery another year with his psycologists and school were happy to do this. He is still only going mornings and I know he could not cope at the moment with full time. I feel keeping him down now rather than getting him to repeat reception while the others go on to year one is fairer on him, he will never know he's been kept down ( also summer born , so would not be much older than the oldest child in class). It also allows him to continue with mornings and a concentrate on accepting being in school and the social side without more structured work and a long day to deal with.
To me it sounds like you're son could only benefit from being kept back and he would not notice if you did it in September.
Trust you're instincts on this one, I know for me , the thought of him starting full time in September filled me with dread!

MandiH69 Sun 18-Nov-12 22:33:39

I wish I'd have thought about keeping DS (4) in nursery for another year. He has speech and developmental delay, amongst other things, and started reception in sept. He gets full 1:1 but only does 3 hours a day as everyone agrees he is just not ready for full time school. Only last week the head was saying that she wished they had anticipated the problems he was going to have in July, before he left nursery so 'reading between the lines' I think that would have been a viable option especially since he'd had STePs involvement since he was at pre-school at 2.

I wish I'd have asked the questions you are asking at the time. I'd go with your gut feeling. Hope this helps and good luck.

MaryShoppins Sun 18-Nov-12 23:02:39

Thank you all for your messages. I'm still learning the lingo, and feel rather foolish that I can't work out what 'LA' is abbreviated for? I bet it's obvious?!

Lougle How would I go about getting my son statemented? Would he fit the criteria based on what my initial post has covered?

At the moment, I have no direct contacts to help me orchestrate a plan of action. My ds had a lovely lady who acted as a coordinator for all his speech therapy, physical and dietary needs. She was my point of call if I had questions etc.. Now, it seems he has been discharged by her team, even though my ds is due to start another course of speech therapy. I'm a little confused. It seems that because he is making progress, they are confident that he will continue on the right path. This leaves me in limbo though..

HecatePropylaea Glad you got things sorted and it sounds like it's worked well for you. Did you mean that your ds always stayed that year behind throughout primary school? I get the impression that is very rare?

Walter4 Your situation is exactly what I had recently dreamed up for my ds. I feel like it could only benefit him (he's still sometimes mistaken as a big baby when he's in his pushchair!) I think on a social level as well as his learning needs, he would struggle immensely going into reception. I have two older dc's that I was practically shooing out the door at 2.1/2 3 years old :-) I feel a little more protective - I admit. But I can't see him being 'ready' at all by September.

I am open minded though, and that's why these boards can be so great. Last week I was all guns blazing and adamant that I wanted him put back a year and that it was all going to be straight forward. Now, after hearing lots of different views and peoples experience, I realise I am going to have to weigh out my options and give it a lot more thought. I also now realise that it is going to be a real challenge if I do decide I want to go down the putting him back a year route.

EllenJaneisstillnotmyname Sun 18-Nov-12 23:57:17

LA is local authority. smile

Unless your DS has a statement it's very unlikely that he'll be allowed to drop back a year, at least that's the case in my LA. The law on infant class sizes has meant that you cannot take a place from a DC who is the correct age so unless your school is undersubscribed and will remain so until juniors you would need a statement which required this to guarantee a place. Also LAs are keen to get your child to catch back up in some areas, nightmare!

If, as said above, you have a summer DC whose delays are very minor, it could be really useful IMO, but you would need to sound it out with your LA and find out what their stance is. They may be flexible but you don't want your DS to have to skip a year later on and have to make new friends. If your DC is likely to need a statement, don't delay, apply ASAP. If you still want a year delay, try to get it written into the statement.

EllenJaneisstillnotmyname Sun 18-Nov-12 23:59:33

Have a look on MN useful stuff >>>> over there on statutory assessment for a statement. IPSEA website is also good and has standard letters you can use.

EllenJaneisstillnotmyname Mon 19-Nov-12 00:05:15

By the way, if all else fails, he doesn't have to start school full time until the term after he is 5, so you could argue that he should attend only on a part time basis until then. Or not at all until then, but then he'd have disadvantage of his delays and having missed schooling the rest of the class have had. My DS attended his correct year but part time in MS until Easter in reception, part time in a SN early years setting.

HecatePropylaea Mon 19-Nov-12 06:24:28

Yes, he has stayed that year behind. He should be in Y8 now, but he's in Y7.

It is rare, apparently. Everyone was telling us they just don't do it grin

But we got a medical report from our GP and all sorts and wrote them a long letter detailing exactly how his problems had been a barrier to his learning.

As well as his autism and (at that point not officially diagnosed) ADHD, he had also recently been diagnosed with severe anaema and put on medication. he hadn't grown for 3 years! I'd had a hell of a battle. The 'experts' kept telling me there was nothing wrong, he was "in proportion" and I was saying yes, but it's not NORMAL for a child to be in the same shoe size for three years!

But they dismissed me angry. He was grey, he cried all the time, he flopped on the sofa and didn't move. In the end, he stopped eating and we were forcefeeding him complan.

Eventually they did the tests we'd been begging for and found - yup! Boy has a medical condition! They put him on supplements and he made a full recovery.

We used that, plus his autism and the difficulties he has there, to argue that he had not been educated. Although he'd been there physically, his problems meant that he had been prevented from learning.

He's got a statement, has had since he started school, f/t 1:1. We set the ball rolling through his early years home visiting teacher.

We knew the drill because our oldest already had his statement by then.

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