Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on SN.
Someone sent me this today and I thought I'd share(33 Posts)
My mum sent me this quote today and I thought I'd share it with you lot, as after the day I've had (not good at all) it helped a little:
'Courage is going from failure to failure
without losing enthusiasm'
~ Winston Churchill ~
Personally I'd replace the word enthusiasm with drive or hope, but you guys'll get what I mean either way.
I really wasn't feeling very courageous at the time, just desperate and pretty much defeated after yet another fail and it made me rethink things a little.
Thanks Penney and Coff.
zzzzz, my dream is a croft up in the wilds of Scotland. Walking on windy beaches, running around in the wilderness etc. I would seriously love to see what all of my dcs would be like given that level of freedom. We even looked into moving to a small island off the scottish coast a couple of years back - small school, only about ten children across the age groups and half of every day spent out in nature, investigating, researching, collecting and generally loving life. I wish we'd done it then, because now it's not an option. The only downside to that one was secondary was on the mainland by daily ferry and to a massive not-so-good school, but I reckon I'd have been more comfortable with homeschooling having lived that sort of life, especially as it's more common there.
Alison, Badvoc, interesting you should say that. Inclusion boss lady called me this morning. Really interesting conversation, she really understands why we are so angry and also the problems with getting the school to do anything about it. Agrees the statement has been manipulated and between us we've managed to clearly identify areas where we have been told one thing is happening, they have been told another and ds has told us neither is the case. She explained funding units vs hours to me and that the school clearly isn't giving the level of support the statement dictates. She's going to try and set up a meeting with school, statementing officer, ed psych who has both worked with ds as part of the crisis team and wrote the statement provision, dh and I, ds's inclusion teacher and of course herself.
She totally understood why we felt another meeting wouldn't be any more productive than the previous ones, but said at least if we bring everyone in there's nowhere for them to hide. Statementing officer can insist he get's his funded hours and also inform school that they are misinterpreting (deliberately or otherwise ) the statement content and EP can spell out to them what they should be doing as opposed to what they are/aren't doing. She said it should be a long meeting to properly thrash it all out and then ensure there is a clear path for us to follow if it doesn't happen.
Not sure it will work, but not sure what else to do that will actually change anything. Inclusion lady agreed that there are problems right the way through and that she too feels powerless to sort things out, as the school are feeding her the line that they are doing everything they should and she has no concrete evidence to the contrary, so is caught between a rock and a hard place.
Good to know that we have an ally and this particular lady was fantastic at encouraging me to go for a statement when the school wouldn't and told me there wa no point and supporting me in the best way to write my request and parental information as well. (She popped round for half an hour to explain the process to me and stayed for over three hours trawling through the evidence with me and offering lots of advice.)
I have told ds to just do what the school asks him to do for now and not to worry about any of it, as it's all just crossed wires and miscommunication that school and I will sort out. He told me he is getting upset at teachers asking him whether or not he wants certain aspects of the provision and with regard to that I've told him that he is within his rights to say "I am not comfortable answering that question".
Can't settle today now, it's all more waiting to see if we can get the people we need for the meeting together and as she's making all the calls, all I can do is wait to hear. <wibble>
Moose...time for a letter of complaint to the b of gov?
Contact the LA? Ofsted?
I have zero tolerance for this shit.
moose I am so sorry for your Ds that this is still going on.
I was most dubious about going to the LEA when school were not doing what is in my DS's statement but having talked and e-mailed to death decided that this was clearly the only way forward.
We had a meeting last week and the LEA(or the head as I wrote to him too) seem to have given the SENCO a definite "push" as suddenly they are starting to get things in place.
Is it possible to go to the LEA and cite personality differences with the TA and get them to apply pressure to the school to change her. I have no idea if it would work TBH, am just floundering trying to think of something that could help.
I suspect coffee is right, but the prospect of enduring the next six months and then starting secondary with that to get over as well as upheaval is depressing. In an ideal world you would take him on an adventure and come back to year 7 with tales to tell and skills up the wazoo.
I took dd out of school summer term year 6. She already had a place at secondary and her primary teacher was dreadful. Highlights included, "isosceles triangles have all equal sides" dd pointed out (she is a mouse so very nervously) that perhaps she meant equilateral, but no better to teach everyone wrong than be seen to have made a mistake, and "I am David is a terrible book, it has no story. I wouldn't bother reading that" . She spent a term at home with me reading books and doing Maths and went to school joyful in September.
What I'd love to do with mine is spend a year in a covered wagon, or taming an island. I'd like to see what they were like when totally unstressed. <too much Little House and Secret Island as a child>
Moosemama.....I am proud of you, you have it to the senco both barrels with extras
The quote is useful for the day I have had too I am going to remember that one for tomorrow x
Note down that in 2 months your ds is out of there. Cross it off day by day to give you both a sense of achievement that you have sailed through another day and celebrate with cake. It may make you feel better when you see the crosses mounting up and less clear days left
Moose,so sorry to hear of the on-going struggle. Its rather surreal but your situation is again mirroring ours. Like you,we have decided on the local secondary for ds where all his friends are going rather than another which is very geared up for SN but we are now rethinking this also.Having dug deeper/researched some more we are now thinking that the one we didnt choose might be better for him after all given that he is presenting with a lot more anxiety etc now than he was even 6 months ago.The one we have chosen also has more of an academic focus which I'm not sure will suit ds.But he is having none of it and wants to go to the one his friends are going to.If we push him towards the other one it will cause untold anxiety which will be a terrible way for him to begin secondary school. Also I think that he needs to have the opportunity to have a taste of an academic setting as who knows,he may thrive in it. On the other hand,as zzzzz said,we really want to get it right from the off and not be chopping and changing.Sigh...we thought we had it all sorted.Its hard isnt it?.
Phone the school and ask them? Join holiday clubs/activities?
We know personally, two other parents of boys who have ASD and go to the local school and anecdotally, via friends and the inclusion team, of another lad who went there from ds's school. They all seem to have done ok, although one of them has had a few hiccoughs along the way.
His inclusion teacher says she has had a couple of kids go to the independent and hears they are doing well, but has no direct contact with them because of course now they are out of her area in terms of contact and support. Have also heard good reports about it via the local support group, but none of their dcs actually go there.
Not sure how I'd get to meet parents from the indy school really.
Find some Mums with sen children at each school. Better to get it as right as you can first time than chop and change.
Oh Lord no! The colditz school hasn't even approached the shortlist.
From what I know of it, this independent is kind of set up as an ASD friendly school, so a lot of focus on enrichment (they do kayaking and dog training as options ) and less pressure on standard academic achievements. The thing is I'm not sure that's right for ds, as he is ok academically given the right support to remove barriers/access to learning (eg use of a laptop and extra time in exams).
The local school said they always put y7's in with one friend for their form group and that they tend to put two in with children who struggle socially, as if one is off there is always someone else there first thing, rather than the day starting off badly and going downhill from there (I thought this was quite good and showed they'd considered things from the perspective of needing to keep things as consistent as possible). There are three local primaries that feed into this particular secondary including ds's school, so it's big, but not one of these mahoosive faceless academies they have a lot these days. Form groups are vertical and pupils are buddied with older pupils for the first year and SEN pupils for longer than that, if necessary and welcomed by the sen pupil. They seem to have thought things through and have some good systems in place.
Not the school with in house prison.
I think independent will be gentler socially, but what about academic pressure? For example most independent schools have exams twice a year plus twice termly ranking on grades from class work. How would he cope with that sort of pressure? PE can be a much larger part of the curriculum. How would that sit with him?
I think you are right to worry about how much contact he will get with friends at the state secondary. At our local the primary children have one other child from their primary school in there set.
zzzzz, if I could I would pull him out in a heartbeat, but he doesn't want me to. His rules are that he goes to school every day and on top of that he wants to see his best friend and go to cricket club and choir.
Honestly? In my heart I suspect the independent might be better for his soul, iyswim, but then the local secondary also has lots of things that he would really love and have every chance of firing him up and carrying him through and it definitely felt right when we met the head of LS and went on a tour of the place. They seemed sure they could easily meet the levels of support he needs and they have a large LS department which seems to back that up.
I am really not sure he'd cope with an hour travel there and back to the indy either. He get's travel sickness just going up the road.
Urgh. I just don't know. It feels like whatever we do it has huge potential to go horribly wrong. I wish I had a crystal ball.
It is really hard isn't it.
Part of me thinks that the independent would almost definitely be more tolerant of differences and allow individuals to be themselves. There's always the concern with the local secondary that, although his peers from this school are very accepting of him (with a couple of notable exceptions) we can't guarantee that the pupils that go there from other local primaries will be as accepting and he will be then be an easy target for bullying and teasing.
He does have a nice little group of friends around him where he is at the moment and they would all be going to the same local secondary as him, but of course they will all be split up amongst ability groups and subjects, so won't necessarily be together all that often.
There was a third option, which is a local secondary with unit, although ds wouldn't meet the unit's criteria, as it's primarily children with language and communication problems. The school is where many children with AS are encouraged to go, simply because they have a lot of statemented children and are used to pupils with SEN. We visited it and it literally felt like colditz. We were shown round by two lovely lads from the unit, who did their best to try and tell us they like it there - but failed dismally. Then when we spoke with the senco it became clear that they are seriously overstretched and under-resourced with more and more SEN pupils on the roll every year and no extra provision to meet their needs. The boys were very keen to show us the 'prison' which is where pupils have to work in isolation when they are badly behaved - they informed us that it's very busy down there.
Sorry about the typos, I have boomerang go to bedders tonight. <sigh>
Focus on what will give him inner strength, not exams or commutes. Which situation will give him the bet chance of reaching his potential.
If school can't stop damaging him, think carefully about hat he gins from the next 2 terms.
Challengeing parenting requires creative solutions.
The independent sounds good moose but if your ds would rather be with his friends then that will go a long way helping him to settle at the mainstream.
My ds is the total opposite - everyone from his school goes to the one high school but there's absolutely no way that ds would cope there. It's all very difficult finding the right fit for them isn't it?
Hi zzzzz. Big school is kind of sorted. We've named the local secondary where ds wants to go with his best friend and it did feel right when we went on the tour, but since then we've been told about a very good out of area independent, that a few kids from our local support group attend. Apparently our LEA buys up a certain number of cases every year, but they don't always get filled, so the LEA would probably be happy for him to go there.
It has a high proportion of children with ASD, does a lot of great enrichment stuff and seems to get a thumbs up all round - but - it's a hour's travel on sen transport each way across the city centre and ds is adamant he doesn't want to go there, he wants to go to the same school as his friends.
We have just received a copy of his statement to confirm which school we want named and dh wants to visit the school and have a think - but I feel that ds needs to feel that we are behind him and willing to try and do things his way and make it work before trying something else.
I suggested that in the first instance we put it second, support ds to go to the local school where he wants to go - and to be fair did seem more than able to give him the support he needs and we know of a couple of other lads with AS that go there. Then if it really doesn't work out, we pull him out and give him the choice of homeschooling or the independent school.
We haven't reached an agreement as yet, but ds totally lost it when I even mooted the independent to him the other day, as there was a write up about it in a local education magazine and it sounded great. <sigh>
I love that poem too.
Badger, lol at your dh! Hope your meeting goes well and you don't have to resort to my lengths to make them listen.
I just read all that you'd said to dh and he asked if I was sure that I hadn't written it
Good for you moose. Sometimes these people need to have their crapness spelled out to them . I have a major meeting tomorrow myself and if I get any more rubbish or fob off's am likely to flip.
Sorry to hear all this shit is still going on moose, really do hope that things are sorted asap.
But like ellenjane said, wow! Way to go!!
moose is there any escape? Is big school sorted or still up in the air?
I'll shake her bloody seedlings. Why do people have to be so horrid?
I find this helpful.
Not just to try and be, but because this is what I need to teach my dc.
Well you'd think so wouldn't you NoHaudin, apparently not though.
Good grief Moose how on earth can this be classed as support!
And to make remarks about you in your child's hearing! It is obviously totally unprofessional but it defies common sense as well. Anyone who knows anything about children, SN or not, knows not to run down their parents in front of them surely???
Hi BeeMom <passes Ben & Jerry's> Well there has to be some compensation at the end of a day like today.
The Holland poem... what a lovely piece of drivel.
Our journey has been more like...
Lose your luggage, have your passport stolen, get yelled at in a language you don't understand, denied the right to return home... oh, and those bloody tulips make you sneeze, anyhow :P
Yeah, it is one of those days.
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