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Frizz needs your opinions

(15 Posts)
frizzcat Mon 26-Nov-12 14:54:41

Ds 8 ASD, yr3 just moved to the jnrs (MS) in September, new head and senco in jnrs, infants have their own head and senco.
Ds has a statement in place two excellent LSA's and a great teacher. My issue is with the senco, basically she has not spent time with ds to understand his needs - instead she is relying on the LSAs to take the lead. There has been no updated IEP or term targets in place since arriving in the jnrs. We were last week meeting for a statement review due to unforeseen circumstances the CT could not attend and I advised that we wouldnt be doing a review as the CT was needed. The OT was attending so we could discuss the implications of ds doing Theraputic Listening in school and also making a note to statement that we may need to repeat it next year.
Whilst I was there I brought up the fact that there was no IEP, and asked the SENCO to explain how she would be able to manage ds progress if she didn't spend time with him. She said she would once we had IEP set, to which I said how can you set an IEP if you don't know his needs? I made it clear that it was unacceptable. We moved to the SALT report (ds has SALT in school and privately at home) - to me (private SALT agrees)the report could have been aimed at any child - targets were not specific and there was no indication as to how they would be delivered. The report stated that ds couldn't do much of anything in the group sessions - which alarms me as I have been to group sessions with ds and he copes well, taking turns and generally being involved. I inquired what activities they were doing and found the activities were so basic that I imagine that ds is bored. I told them I would be bringing my own SALT to the review meeting as I felt that the school SALT probably needed more insight into ds and that I wanted the strategies success measured and targeted. The SALT was not in attendance as she is at the infants this half term, I expressed grave concerns that the LSA's were currently running the language group under their own steam, without guidance, supervision and clear targets - afterall this is in ds statement.
We were reviewing the statement to see where we should insert the OT reccommendations and I casually said that the section attributed to expressive and receptive language should be attributed to SALT. The OT piped up "oh yes it should also be on social development and playing". I stated that no that a group language session does not teach children how to play initiate games or ask to join games in a social environment - those are separate skills that need to be learned. A classroom environment talking about putting things in a box or what you bought from the supermarket does not help with that. SALT comes into play when the child has made the social connection and can then maintain contact using the expressive and receptive language skills that have been learnt. It then degenerated into an argument between team A me and the LSA vs Team b the OT and SENCO .... Of no it doesn't, yes it does. The OT pushed me over the edge when she said well, your ds does have autism and then it sounds like you're looking for a cure. This was rude, insulting and patronising and I told her so.
I told them that if they wanted to put SALT under social development that I'd have to see SALT being more imaginative and working on social skills in a real environment ie playground playing real games. And that observing ds standing beside someone did not mean social interaction. The SENCO told the LSA that she could be doing this - the LSA got annoyed saying that she needed direction and advise as for all she knew she could be doing more harm. There was an actual argument between the LSA and the SENCO - where the LSA said she did not feel supported and needed some guidance in developing ds as she didn't want all his hard work to be wasted. THIS WAS NOT A GOOD MEETING!
My next port of call was the HT - she listened sounded appalled, was shocked ds had no IEP and we still had none in place. She said that she felt the SENCO provision was inadequate and she was currently moving to change this situation because she needed more support for the children that were slipping through the net. Now, here's the bit I need help with, she wants me to put in an official letter stating all the above directly to her - she's very clear that she wants it to be official. I'm miffed why would she want me to do this about her staff - I'm worried I'm being blindsided and I can't see it. I have no problem putting this writing but you know what it's like you're always suspicious .

If you're still here any insight would be appreciated

frizzcat Mon 26-Nov-12 16:22:20

Sorry bumping this - I know it's long but need some independent eyes

StarlightMcKenzie Mon 26-Nov-12 18:15:11

Frizz, sorry for saying this but I couldn't understand it all. Coukd you break it down a bit and put more paragraphs, or perhaps list some bullet points.

Was it an annual review of the statement?

Lougle Mon 26-Nov-12 18:38:29

I think I understood it.

1.You went to an annual review meeting, but due to unforseen circumstances the class teacher couldn't attend.
2. You weren't prepared to go ahead without Class Teacher.
3. SENCO hasn't spent time with your DS
4. No new IEP since Transistion
5. SALT not onsite this term, so LSA has been unsupported
6. OT and SALT not agreeing on who should provide social skills support.
7. LSA arguing with SENCO because she feels unsupported
8. Headteacher unaware of all of the above, and disgusted.
9. Headteacher asks you to put official letter of complaint outlining the above, so that she can take action.


The question is - is it ok to ask Frizz to do that, or is Frizz being stitched up?

StarlightMcKenzie Mon 26-Nov-12 18:53:31

Right. No. I wouldn't put in a letter of complaint yet. I would put in a letter requesting clarification of accountability on each of the points. So you can ask the HT why your Ds has no IEP and how often does the SALT supervise/visit the LSA and what social skills provision is received.

But also my question is how much of what you want is specified in the statement?

frizzcat Mon 26-Nov-12 19:02:52

dont be sorry - I was speed typing trying to get it all in before dd woke up from her nap blush I'll try a bullet point sort off:

DS has moved from the infants to JNRs in September.Yr3
Statemented, LSA's and teacher are fantastic
To date we have no updated IEP or term targets relating to Jnrs
Due to have statement review last week but CT could not attend.

I said review could not be done without CT, also SALT did not attend but provided a report that was woefully inadequate. It looked like a template report and did not clearly set goals or how they would be achieved. The report suggested that ds wasnt really participating, this concerns me as he has private 121 SALT, in addition to school group sessions. Plus I have done NHS group sessions with him and he has participated well and he was much younger.
I questioned what he was getting out of these groups and asked what they were doing. It was so basic that I think he is bored. Private SALT agrees with all of the above. School SALT is at the infants this half term and LSA's have been left to manage the language sessions with no direction from SALT and no supervision. This is within ds statement

Senco has spent no time with ds. I questioned her ability to set an IEP that was relevant and subsquently manage it if she didn't spend any time with ds or know him. I made it clear that it was unacceptable.

I only found out before the meeting that CT couldn't attend and it was too late to cancel OT attendance. So went ahead with a view to discussing that part of the statement and make reccommendations.
OT felt it was in her remit to suggest SALT as the answer to social skill development. I argued that SALT can help receptive and expressive language, but does not easily translate to a playground environment and teach a child how join in and/or initiate play. Odious OT said "well he does have autism and it sounds like you are looking for a cure" Senco added that "it is a social communication disorder" I lost the plot and through gritted teeth explained I didn't need to be patronised that I knew exactly what autism was and that my son had.

During the course of the meeting the LSA and Senco argued, as the LSA did not feel supported by the Senco and felt that she was self-directing ds progress, she was not an expert and needed guidance to ensure she wasn't doing more harm than good.

I went home and phoned the HT - who was genuinely appalled by the fact the IEP had not been updated. She was honest that the Senco provision was inadequate and she was already working to change this as she was worried children were slipping through the net and not being supported. Then she asked me to put everything into an official letter to her - all good you may say.... I'm just a bit worried I'm being blindsided in some way that I cant see. I have never heard of a HT asking a parent to write a letter against their own staff......

Am I being stupid and paranoid - no offence taken if you decided I'm idot and need a good kick up the arse

StarlightMcKenzie Mon 26-Nov-12 19:11:03

The HT is ultimately responsible at this stage. So the letter to her should be as I mentioned. Raise each point as a concern with a question about how she can reassure you.

Depending on what you get back you can then raise it with the LA.

frizzcat Mon 26-Nov-12 19:11:45

@Lougle your way is much better grin please can you do all my posts? Only thing was OT and SALT weren't arguing, SALT wasnt there. OT felt it was SALT and I say it isn't.

@Star all of these areas are covered by ds statement. Adult let support in playground for social skills, baiscally help him join and stayed joined in.
OT element is there which I have fought for
Ongoing SALT for expressive and receptive skills
19hrs support from trained ASD LSA (they are)

I like your idea of asking for clarification on the processes, who is responsible for what etc etc

wasuup3000 Mon 26-Nov-12 19:14:12

The Head teacher is accountable as in a managerial position and you need to clarify this with the head teacher that she is directly accountable.

You then need to ask her what she is going to do to rectify the issue.

frizzcat Mon 26-Nov-12 19:23:48

@wasuup I tried to do this today, I called her back and basically asked what would the outcome be. She wouldnt say if she was using the letter as a means of performance management or to canvas the governing body for a redistribution of funds. She did however say that I hope you know me well enough to know I will not allow this to continue and will be dealing with the situation. She said my concerns were valid and I should raise these concerns formally.
I do rate this HT - I should also say she is a former Senco and inclusion officer and has close experience of ASD within her own family

StarlightMcKenzie Mon 26-Nov-12 19:33:47

It's still the HT that is responsible here.

If you ask her why there isn't an IEP in place she can go directly to the SENCO and ask her iyswim. You don't have to complain yet. You only complain when the HT writes back saying that she has spoken to the SENCO and agreed no need for one iyswim.

frizzcat Mon 26-Nov-12 19:41:50

Star thats what I am kind of worried about - then trenches will have to be dug and grenades launched ...... a potential christmas in the trenches

frizzcat Mon 26-Nov-12 22:03:56

Right, starting this letter to HT following Stars method and linking to the statement provision, wish me luck and cheers for all the advice

Lougle - I shall pm you when I need to post again, you're much better than this than me

porridgelover Mon 26-Nov-12 22:42:53

frizz, I hope you dont mind. I have sent you a pm.

frizzcat Tue 27-Nov-12 00:08:02

I never mind porridge - I've seen it and it's much appreciated I'll ping you back in the morning

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