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Competing needs - what would you do?

(57 Posts)
KeepOnKeepingOn1 Sat 12-Jan-13 14:41:22

DS2(6) has being undergoing various assessments with SALT and OT and has been referred to the comm paed. It looks so far as if there is SLCD that is secondary to ASD.

There is another boy in DS2's class who fits the bill perfectly for AS/ASD. Textbook. I have spoken about DS1 in particular and behavioural similarities in a subtle way. Nothing. Mum speaks to the class teacher after every day because of behavioural difficuties. Special dispensation is made for the child. Mum (used to be a secondary teacher) will watch him spin and say 'aren't you dizzy' - he looks at her disdainfully and says he never gets dizzy. Dad is an academic (statistics) - so there might be some denial. Parents are very much 'he is terribly bright - that's why he stabs other children with pencils - he is just not challenged'. Mum says behaviour is never problematic at home.

Thing is that a social skills group has been set up for this child - actually a Friendship Circle (why not just go the whole hog and call it a Billy-No-Mates club?). I am not opposed to this. But... this child is not statemented or on SA+ whilst DS2 is on SA+ and has external advice of the need to attend social group. I've been told - sorry we don't have an appropriate one - and the need has not even been recognised whilst another child has a group set up for them without external advise. Dad is the chair of the BOG confused

I am conflicted - I do not doubt that the child needs intervention but the parents seem to be going about this a strange way (provision of SEN resources should be prioritised by need, especially in times of austerity) and it appears to be at the cost of my child. eg he is not provided the 1:1 support he needs because the TA priotises the need of another child. (perhaps if his needs were assessed they would be considered 'severe' but they have not been assessed).

Would you do anything and if so, what?

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Sun 13-Jan-13 11:51:35

Thanks for the HONKS (my firstsmile)

DS2 is 'disruptive to the learning of other children' according to his IEP and in the mad world of SEN I thought 'Thank God'. Both children are differently disruptive, neither are 'chair chuckers' but DS2 doesn't 'attack' the other children - hence the other child has difficulty making friends - hence the friendship circle. If only things were so simple.

I guess funding is what really pisses me off. The previous head employed a ft LSA for a child with downs without requiring a statement - ie inhouse provision. This is a true display of empathy. I don't care who funds the provision just that it is made. The current head however is trying to do things on the cheap.

Whilst DS2 is becoming increasing problematic, the other child has been a problem for teachers since day 1 (they are now in class 2). The other children in the class refer to him as the 'naughtiest'. I can understand that the teachers need to do something - I would not be surprised if the parents of other children in the class had complained that their child could not access the curriculum or complained that their child was 'attacked'. Even DS2 complains about not being able to learn because of the other child 'being naughty and fighting' the other children sad. As the school can fund according to their own criteria (however injust this may feel) I had hoped that they would properly support him. This would have a knock-on effect for DS2 in terms of his accessing support and other DC in the class. I am trying to think about the future - not just the transition from KS1 and KS2 but the make-up of his particular class.

So if this child needs an LSA it seems likely that he will need to go through the assessment and statementing process because the school will not provide an LSA from its own budget under the new head to make it unneccessary. His parents seem to be actively resisting that route preferring to agree with teachers that he is 'naughty' than considering that he may have SEN. I have defended both DS when CT etc have tried to blame their behaviour on their being 'naughty' or 'lazy' or 'awkward' etc. I have seen what these comments have done to DS1, lying on the floor in a foetal position punching himself. I'm not angry with his parents but I do have to suppress the urge to grab them and say 'look at your child, you are his advocates'.

I am trying to restrict my focus to DS2 but that means that it is in my interests that the needs of other children in his class are properly supported.

Besides which it is OK to scream 'what about DS2?' without being accused of anger toward children receiving support. And I may not have used PC language in my OP but I'm with Francesca Martinez on that one ('I don't get up til midday. I asked by doctor whether it was because I had CP. He said 'no, you're just a lazy cow' ... the line between CP and laziness is very, very blurry'). Also wrt the relevance of parental profession, I agree with Temple Grandin ...

Maybe its raging against injustice rather than accepting it that makes me

auntevil Sun 13-Jan-13 15:51:09

Another HONK from me Keepon

I read the first page, and the last couple of posts. It made me sad as I have a similar situation - although my DS3 s needs are not as severe as the little boy that takes all the TA's time up to the exclusion of her being able to help anyone else.
It often seems to me that either the child has to be so disruptive to learning, or the parent has to be the squeakiest wheel, and everyone else has to fight for crumbs.
It is total and utter bollocks that each child's educational needs are looked at separately, and that their needs are met.
At DS1s last school the SENco actually said that they only had the resources to deal with the 'worst' 6 or 7 and DS was just outside. I asked should I make him more disruptive so he would be in the bottom echelon. She gave me this shrug - as if saying that it might be the only way, but she couldn't verbalise it.
I bought my DS1 a writing slope several years back now. Each year I have a fight with the CT as they have 're-distributed' it. This year it apparently spends more time with a lad who has a 1-1 and has CP. FFS school - buy the lad one himself so my DS1 can have the slope that I paid for!!!!
As for DS3 - when he finally has his assessment, and we pretty much know what it will say, I have decided to go hell for leather in getting him support in class. I will turn myself into the squeakiest wheel parent.
We shouldn't have to though, but unfortunately it is the world in which we live in. Fairness has nothing to do with it. sad

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Sun 13-Jan-13 16:25:21

Thanks aunt DH has also suggested that we encourage DS2 to be more disruptive confused - it is mad that we are even contemplating this. I am less [shocked] than angry that DS1's writing slope has been 're-distributed'. I had to pay for a paintbrush that DS2 broke (wilful damage of school property).

I am trying to be a stealth squeaky wheel this time around and am the flea in the ear of SALT/OT who then become the flea in the ear of the senco. I intend to move it up to thorn-in-side level by applying for SA and getting the lea involved. I still have total pain in the arse to play to get the statement right. I don't want to peak too soon. smile

Crawling Sun 13-Jan-13 19:09:22

I feel for you op I can see why you are finding it hard being a mum brings the lines out and we all want the best for our child which is hard if there needs are not being met but I think you need to forget about this child and concentrate on fighting for yours. Life isn't fair if it was none of our children would have sn.

auntevil Sun 13-Jan-13 20:13:18

LOL Keepon
We should get a list together of levels of intervention, not for our children to receive, but for us to be involved.
Flea in Ear
Squeaky Wheel
Pain in Arse
vexatious litigant being somewhere near the top!! grin

StarlightMcKenzie Sun 13-Jan-13 21:10:32

In my experience, children without advocates, get better provision (far far far from adequate, but better all the same) because it strokes the egos of the providers.

Schools can deliver on their 'working in partnership' business on their terms. They can feel good about the difference they are making to that child and they can fulfil their role of outreach.

They can't do that with us, because all they hear from us, however carefully said, is that our children are being failed by the system that they are a part of.

auntevil Sun 13-Jan-13 22:19:00

I think it's probably that children without advocates can be directed in a way that they can provide for - rather than us pushy parents giving them a fait accompli which they are unwilling don't have the training for can't provide.
When school management teams stop treating the school as a business with projected spends versus projected outcomes and remember that their responsibility is to educate all children regardless of their abilities, life for our children might get a little fairer.

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