Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on SN.
HELP! Cant get ds to comply with meds and FII against me? PLS HELP!(117 Posts)
Well my objective view, putting aside all the other stuff because it's like shifting sands, is that education is not the remit of Paediatricians, so why would you run it past them? They've made it very clear they think you are trying to get support for your DS that is unnecessary.
If there is any grain of truth in that, even if you don't agree that it is 'all' about that, but even a little bit, then why on earth would you risk putting him in a school which doesn't want him, meaning you'd have to move him again?
I'm missing something here Why have you gone straight to Solicitors letter without first simply talking to them? Have you attempted to talk to them? Did they refuse to discuss it?
If they did refuse to discuss it, how is a solicitor's threat going to change that?
No harm in trying to build bridges, but if they can't be built then a solicitor can't make it happen.
Forget the solicitor. Charm them yourself or give up. This WILL NOT WORK any other way.
miemohrs...be very, very, very careful here.
"we misunderstood and he does have a place but pls could we be more precise about where he fits in under the discrimination law?"
The only basis for the Equalities Act being used is that he does indeed have a disability and is being discriminated against on the basis of that disability.
You say "I dont know if my son has SN / asd. I have a noncommital dx. Report does say he has asd traits, esp anxiety."
You have a Paed and Ed Psych saying that he does not have a disability.
Please don't misunderstand me here, I'm just trying to illustrate to you how badly this could go.
Why would they need to see more precisely how he fits in under the discrimination law, IF he has a place and there was a misunderstanding? Why aren't they just saying 'goodness me....we see how it sounded now, but that's not true at all, he has a place.'???
Why do they care where he fits, if he has a place?
From the Paed POV, you are reinforcing your view that he has a disability, which they have clearly told you is not the case, by using disability legislation to secure a place which otherwise rejected your DS (let's not get into the possibilities of why right now - you don't actually know).
I am very worried about this, tbh. This could trap you into a position you won't find it easy to get out of.
If it had been a misunderstanding, they could have said in October "Ok, let's give it a 3 day/3 week/ one term trial..."
One other consideration - the bursary is likely LONG GONE. The LA is surely not going to foot the bill, and now that you have had a solicitor threaten them, they are hardly going to say "sure, come on over, and while we're at it... here's a boatload of money you do not have to spend".
You burned that bridge. They said they were not able to adequately support your DS... why you want him to attend there is beyond me. Frankly, I am confused by your motivations through all of this. Sending an unstable and fragile child into an environment that is being forced under duress and discrimination accusations to begrudgingly accept him is setting him up for failure.
Your DS is struggling at school. OK - that is fact.
There are several professionals who question the veracity of your claims to the degree of SEN/SN he has, and have said that in no uncertain terms. The fact that you are adamant that he has these challenges despite the preponderance of evidence stating otherwise has led to SS/CP interventions and now FII concerns. You insist vehemently that this is a conspiracy to ensure your DS does not have access to the help you feel he requires.
Even the private professional you paid for would not formally diagnose him with ASD.
Yes, he has anxiety - another fact.
Does it not occur to you that the adversarial relationships that you seem to have surrounding you might be contributing to his anxiety? That the stress level in your home whenever anything school related comes up might be affecting him? Do you believe he is immune to that?
What are you doing educationally for him at home? Instead of fighting all of these battles that even if you DO win, are going to leave all the combatants so intensely scarred that their interactions will be forced at best and hostile at worst, how about taking that same time and energy and arming yourself with techniques that you can use with him at home to try and navigate the road at school? What sort of future do you envision for him?
You said "I know he needs ways to suceed at school which dont involve reading and writing" (sic) but the building blocks must be there. How do you perform a science experiment? By reading other information, forming a hypothesis, recording your results in writing and then summarizing it all. Otherwise, it is play - and while discovery play is definitely important, with the high IQ you say he has, the time comes where it is more play and less discovery.
My DS is highly gifted and learning disabled, and has AS as well. Throughout his school career, he has had NO 1:1/statement support... what he has had is parental support. We would find something he liked, and work backwards. He liked cellular biology, so we read. I read to him, he read to me. We built cells together, he labelled the parts and learned what they did. He wrote a report, we edited it together. He learned how to learn - I learned how he learns.
He is now in Y9 and doing well in school - many of his courses are at the Enriched level. We didn't get to this point by me fighting the school, we got to this point when I said "Alright, if the school is unable to give him the support I feel he needs, it is up to me".
What I find more exceptional than any of the rest of this however, is how you have once again managed to turn a seemingly unrelated initial post (how do I get DS to apply and keep on his medicated cream) into the same old post it has been a dozen times before. Once again, forum members are telling you the same things over and over, getting frustrated and clearly not understanding what your resistance to what seems so very logical to the rest of us.
Perhaps this seems harsh - but it is intended to be. I have only responded to one of your threads in the past, and I will say the same thing again. You have lost your focus - IT IS NOT ABOUT YOU!
Until you are able to grasp this, put your pride aside and work with your DS instead of against the school, you are at real risk of permanently harming him or losing him to a CP concern altogether (particularly now that there is a concern of FII).
OP, don't get scared off the thread. BeeMom has nicely laid out for you what the meeting could involve. Her intentions are impeccable. There is doubtless some stuff in there which will be useful to your ds once you're over the initial sting.
Much better to hear it from someone who isn't part of the WickerVille clan, so calm down, and reflect on how your situation could look from different angles and perspectives (--ie theory of mind-- which i also find hard, and my own AQ score was borderline )
Honk. And read through BeeMom's post again. It's blunt, and in her words 'seems harsh' but she's telling you important things:
1- local professionals totally disagree with you, and DK wasn't 100% clear
2- ongoing SS/ CP /FII concerns are a big problem
3- private school option is long gone
4- his anxiety and school struggles are fact
5- adversarial relationships and stress will make these worse
None of this is new. In fact, you've said almost all these things yourself. I'm going to paraphrase the rest of it, cos its potentially really useful to your ds and you, and I'm not sure you'll take it on board otherwise:
6. schools may stay rubbish forever. So ignore them and you educate him
7. avoid expending energy on unproductive fights, channel it into ds instead
8. somehow you need to beat dyslexia, which involves 'work' as well as 'play'
9. Getting side-tracked onto the 'old' issues distracts you, and can upset people
10. To help your ds, you have to get over/ past your issues (see below) now
Now, your ds clearly has 'something' and that might well turn out to be an ASD. In soe ways, that's irrelevant though: diagnosis rarely brings any actual help. My guess would be that (like many posters here) you have an overwhelming sense of what 'should' happen, plus some emotional issues which are easily triggered by authoritarian 'bad-guys'. This is a really bad combination when dealing with people who dont like you, dont believe you, and have very fixed ideas of whats right for your dc. Powerful people, who you can't influence much.
The (to my impressions, very real but not necessarily malicious --except for evilHT--) conspiracy you've experienced won't have helped, but of course then you're at risk of a vicious cycle of worsening relationships. Which as BeeMom says could easily end up very badly. And since, by marginalising the role of school, her AS ds has done very, very well right into mid-high school, her well-meant, albeit 'harsh' post could be more use to you and ds than anything the fluffy bunnies like me could write
If my post sounded harsh, and I know it did, it was out of frustration. I don't apologize for the content, but in retrospect I certainly could have delivered it more tactfully. In the past, I have been accused of being about as subtle as a hand grenade in a bowl of porridge. I am deeply sorry for having hurt you.
With that in mind, please know I DO care, but to see you going round and round makes me wonder if the paed's and EP's opinions about his lack of a "disability" vs. the opinions of other professionals about his very specific and very real challenges has got you so muddled in the mire of "opinion" that you are losing clarity. You are feeling the need to defend yourself (even more so with the FII nonsense) and your ire and defenses are beyond maximum level. You are battling DS at home and the authority figures at the school.
I was as blunt as I was because I have been seeing the gentle hand holding for months, and while supportive, it hasn't been terribly productive - and frankly, while what I had to say wasn't easy to hear, I think grouping me among the wicker clan is inappropriate - I am merely trying to help, but in a different way. Clearly it is not something you are ready for.
One other thing that was exceptionally difficult for us, and you may well be facing on your end, is the "starting point" for your DS. You say he is very bright, as is my DS. With this in mind, consider the "average student". If your DS is intellectually their superior, but is limited by his SEN/SN... it is almost a 100% certainty that he is not achieving even close to his potential. I know my DS wasn't - in Y4 he was tested in some areas having knowledge/abilities in excess of Y9, but was barely achieving grade level on his reports. The problem lies in looking at his peers - if you compare him to his peers, he is an average student. Sadly, average students do not get support, even if they are average when they should be superior, or struggling emotionally to keep it together just to barely make it through the day. You will never see money for a child who is "almost" achieving to receive additional support - and with the new funding scheme, it will be even tougher to get statement support. The only exception to this is when it is a safety (or, more likely, liability) issue - and at that point, they will likely be pushing for a "more supportive" educational environment.
It was this realisation that led me to more guided learning for him at home. He has never done HE - we found ways to fit learning into fun (which is why it was almost always science based). He has vision challenges, he has a severe fine motor delay, low muscle tone, auditory processing challenges and is an anxious young man in addition to his AS so like you, we are not dealing "only" with a bright kid on the spectrum.
One thing that took years to accomplish through the school was access to, and ultimately his own, computer. It reached the point that I was accused of writing his papers in Y6 (uhhh... not even maybe) because the quality of work that was coming in to school was so different that what he produced at school. The only difference (aside from the "unrelated to school" work we had been doing for ages by that point) was that he typed his work at home. Finally, after showing that removing the biggest stumbling block for him, the physical act of writing, the administration allowed him to use a computer at school. His next report found him on the honour roll. I used this article to help justify my reasoning for him typing. He is now a young man who can type nearly 120 words a minute - finally a means of written communication that will keep up with his thoughts. If you look around the CanChild website, you will find some excellent resources for DCD (developmental coordination disorder/dyspraxia) and other disabilities that may be of some assistance.
Even Bee has started using some software to help her write (well, type) and what she can produce is exceptional. She is a child who, because of 2 strokes and associated physical limitations is incapable of printing her name. With access to a computer with a touch screen, a keyboard and predictive text software however, she writes the most imaginative and complex stories.
I doubt it'll mean a thing to you - but Honk. I'll send you some decidedly un-MNSN (but very Canadian) hugs as well.
And again - with hat in hand, I apologize.
miemhors, I'm sure that nobody here wants you to feel bad, this board is about support. Yet, if someone, anyone, posts about their situation in detail and asks for advice, it would be deeply unkind to simply reassure them that they are right, everyone else is wrong and they're bound to be fine.
The bald facts are that the local profs won't accept DK report (very unusual for DK) so it doesn't matter if it is weakly diagnostic or classic -she won't back you up with it because she doesn't feel it's appropriate to influence the local team.
Go to your meeting. Try to find a middle ground.It's all you can do. There.
Thing is, I could have a stream of letters to describe DD1. She's statements in 7 broad areas. At the end of the day, what matters is that she can learn what she can, in the manner she can. The rest is just semantics.
They are not telling you that they will not help your son, it is not personal, they are saying that your son does not meet the criteria for receiving help (remember this will be a comparison of his attainment with average peers not a comparison of his personal ability versus actual attainment) at this time. You are being told what many of us are told - he may have SEN/SN but he has average attainment and social communication problems are not proving to be a barrier to the curriculum.
You have to stop fighting. They will not make an exception to the criteria for him to take account of his ability and the impact of not reaching his potential on self-esteem.
If you can (you know what to do and have the skills to do it) and he can learn in this way (ie he is not demand avoidant) help him yourself.
I am sure you will try but this might not be enough. It wasn't in DS1's case and now he meets the criteria.
But you can't keep fighting until DS meets the criteria if this ever happens. I began my fight when DS1 did not meet the criteria. The reason was because of above average ability. My attempts to make this argument earned me an over-anxious mum label and report to SS. The focus shifted from DS1 to me because I was the one who was fighting.
Stop escalating the fight. Take the wind out of their sails at the meeting. Say you have had a long, hard think. DS needs stability and calm. Accept he does not meet the criteria. Its not fair but that is the way it is. You will do what you can to help. Stop attempting to intiate conversations with the school or policing them on a day to day basis.
Time will pass. Sad but true as DC get older difficulties become more recognisable and DC meet the criteria. You still need to fight to get adequate help but there is no longer disagreement between parents and profs as to whether the child needs help (ie meets the criteria). Only then is it truly about the child.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.