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Going to tribunal, how many SALT hours in the statement do ASD children usually get

(8 Posts)
Nigel1 Sun 09-Dec-12 20:09:22

I would suggest that you focus on what is appropriate - which is the legal test.
10 hours is appropriate as that is what was being provided before. There is no evidence to prove that with that level of intervention he has made accelerated progress.

The sort of arguments you may wish to consider are: there has been no progress, child is of average ability therefore there must be a core reason that has not been addressed. He has not naturally learnt language up to now what is going to change?
He need the 10 hours actually more if he is to make progress.
Hope this is of help.

bochead Sun 09-Dec-12 17:41:52

My lad was 5th centile for receptive language, BUT his expressive skills were actually ahead in a lot of areas when he started school. He was an early talker, (full sentences at a year).

He had NO SALT input at all, (bar the usual report listing the issue and sign off), until I won it via Tribunal in Year 3. We are just completing his 4th term now. The programme beng overseen by a SALT worth her salt has made all the difference in the world. I'm really excited at his latest set of targets as they are for stuff I never thought he'd be capable of. He does it via a 30 min "social skills" group weekly and then each week's skills is generalisedby myself and his TA in the classroom and at home on an adhoc basis. Some items have been embedded by prompting him in the playground too.

A less extroverted/more passive character or one with poor expressive language skills would need LOTS more 1:1 than my DS, even if the two children were identical cognitively. He's ASD, but highly self-motivated to interact with others, so participation in the group is his "motivator" if you belive in ABA principles. He was 8 before he got his diagnosis, so I'm sure you can imagine how many years I was winging it alone by myself at home with him.

Communication is SO important for all sorts of learning (social and academic) that it really is worth digging your heels in and fighting the LA on this one. The LA officer won't remember your name in 10 years, whereas your child will be living with the consequences forever.

perceptionreality Sun 09-Dec-12 17:22:08

My dd, with quite severe autism had a report which recommended that she had an educational need of at least 1 hour a week of SALT - this was when she was 3.

Tiredofpushing Sun 09-Dec-12 16:31:13

Thank you Bochead. Does your DS have a specific language impairement?

My DS's school is doing something similar to yours, but without the SaLT. This was meant to cover social skills. I haven't seen an improvement.

After the diagnosis of SLI my DS needs 1:1. But the LA argues the school is doing it.
Anyone else?

bochead Sun 09-Dec-12 16:17:02

My LA had the nerve to tell the Tribunal panel that the level of support I was asking for was unprecented.

He got:-
3 visits from SALT per term to devise monitor, set targets etc a programme to be delivered weekly via TA in a small group setting and skills learned then "prompted" by TA on an adhoc basis as and when required in lessons each day. He'd never had SALT intervention before this (bar my inept at home attempts). His progress has been phenomenal - it was SO worth the fight iykwim.

As you can see that's not a lot in terms of pro input, and certainly not a greedy request yet I was made to feel as if I were requesting the moon ffs. If my lad had needed more, I'd have had NO hestitation in requesting it.

Interventions are based on NEED, not opinion, blanket policies are illegal. Statements are supposed to be individualised for damn good reason - even within the same diagnosis ASD kids vary so much in their individual needs that a one size fits all approach is the antithesis of what statements were originally designed to address. What does your child NEED to make progress focus on that and only that. Other people's kids in this circumstance are a complete red herring.

Tiredofpushing Sun 09-Dec-12 16:05:24

Yes, Nigel I am with you. But the LA really uses this argument, based on case law about "best possible" and "excessive" provisions being unnecessary. In April 2013 statements will change and the new system uses monetary thresholds, so maybe the LA knows what it is doing under the new system coming in April.

I guess they are implicitly saying that now in the age of austerity we have to make do with 5 hours. That is why I would like to get a sense whether 5 hours is the norm now and 10 looks excessive. Personally I don't see what good one session per months could do.

Right at the time when government cuts were announced, the SaLT assessed DS and declared that his speech and language were "average" and discharged him. She recommended that the school should do SaLT. The school put in place some provisions (although not real SaLT) , hence those 3 LSA hours the school pays for in addition to statutory 5.

I appealed to the tribunal and had DS assessed by an independent SaLT. She found SLI (not diagnosed earlier) and recommended more than 10 hours because he needed 1:1, social group and preparation/liaison time. She implied that the SaLT who discharged DS did a selective assessment.
The LA appointed a new SaLT, who assessed my DS and confirmed SLI. So basically now we have both the independent and the LA's SaLT having the same diagnosis and findings, but different recommendations for hours.

The LA case is that DS speech is "average" and the school is covering his needs, hence limited specialist SaLT is needed. But the hours the school is funding for SaLT are "stallen" from curriculum support, so I argue the LA should pick up the bill. Is this also excessive?

I would really appreciate if some parents could share their experience. How many hours does your ASD DC with statement get for SaLT and LSA?

Nigel1 Sun 09-Dec-12 15:00:42

This is absolute tosh. If he used to get 10 hours per term fine. What has changed to make him now want 5 hours per term? SALT must have done standardised assessments to prove his improvement over time. Or have they? It is immaterial what the LA average is. SEND don't do averages they do - what does the child need, where is the evidence, who says so and why. Thus it is based non what he individual child needs.
Stay firm.

Tiredofpushing Sun 09-Dec-12 14:30:07

Of course I understand all DC are different.

We are appealing withdrawal of speech therapy from the statement. DS, AS, ADHD, Sensory problems, Specific Language Impairment, semantic and pragmatic impairment, word retrieval and recall problems, referred to CAMHS for anxiety, double incontinence. He used to get 10 hours per term of SaLT. LA case is that we are asking for excessive hours, much more that "majority of children" with statements "usually get". They are also arguing he is "average".
So could you share any wisdom as to how many SaLT hours AS children ?usually? get?
The LA proposed 5 hours per term to be used for 1:1, 30 min social skills group and liaison with teaching staff. That means one session in every 3 or 4 weeks. Total waste IMO.
What is the baseline? Are 10 hours really excessive these days? How often the "majority" of ASD children who have SaLT in the statement "usually" see their SaLT?

Another argument the LA uses is that they don't need to fund so much SaLT because the school is already doing a lot of SaLT and social skills delivered by the LSA. The school is funding 8 LSA hours instead of 5. The problem with this is that not all lessons are covered by an LSA and DS is struggling. But there is an even bigger problem. DS needs support to do homework, he was unable to complete it so the school actually used the LSA to do homework rather than those SaLT and social skills stuff, which is the reason the LA doesn't want to fund more SaLT hours. He is in mainstream school and homework is preparing for GCSE controlled assessments. Should I ask the LA to fund those 3 additional LSA hours or would this also be excessive? DS gets 15 LSA hours from the LA.

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