Here some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on SN.
Proposed statement and 'professional' reports. HELP(13 Posts)
Name changed as I am paranoid that people from 'the darkside' (LEA) may be lurking!
So the proposed statement arrived today - I was expecting it to be shit but secretly hoping it wouldn't be but guess what? Yeah, it's shit!
Nothing has been specified or quantified.
Our son is at a SS nursery and all the experts have assumed that he will be going on to the SS school and as such the 'professional' reports are basically just saying carry on with what he is doing now. Nothing in their reports is specified or quantified. Are they legally or professionally bound to do so? When we spoke to the EP she indicated that she was going to recommend that our son be taught in small groups and when we asked her whether she would be more specific (ie how small is small/ any 1-2-1 etc) she stated that she NEVER specified!!! She observed our son in nursery without our knowledge (we had expressly told the LEA that we wanted to be informed of all assessments) and she had no intention of meeting with us all and was most put out that we requested a meeting! We asked her whether she would actually do any assessments on our son (she has never actually interacted with him) but she said that they didn't do any cognitive assessments as basically there was no point, IQ remains constant and would not improve! I should mention here that we have recently started ABA and we wanted a baseline assessment so that we could tell if there was any improvement but this 'expert' has basically advised us we are wasting our time-kids like ours don't improve! The SALT report is also meaningless. So we will of course redraft the statement but if the professional reports are crap what can we do to support our redrafted statement without having to get independent reports? We are not going to request ABA yet as we don't have enough evidence although if we have to go to tribunal we may well have some by then!
Can we ask the EP and SALT to do another report?
Can we ask that they properly assess our son?
We will contact IPSEA asap but I would really appreciate some words of wisdom from the wise Mumsnetters!
Whoops-I didn't actually name change! How can I be trusted to get a decent statement!?!
I would insist on a formal baseline assessment from both parties.
This is your right.
How else will you measure progress (or otherwise?)
Make written requests and cc them to to the bosses of these people.
Oooh Moondog - I am a little starstruck having you reply to my post! I had hoped that we were entitled to formal assessments but now that you have said it is so I feel more confident in demanding them! Do you know whether they have any legal/professional duty to specify and quantify in their reports or is it at their (read LEA's) discretion?
All of the professionals will be bound by their own professional codes of standards. The code states that everything should be quantified and specified so how can this be done if a professional refuses to do this due to their LA politics?
During my tribunal we got the following wording added into my sons statement regarding his progress following OT therapy ' they should be reviewed against functional outcome measures'
This wording means that any progress will have to be correctly recorded and an OT can't just turn up and say he's fine. This wording was added and advised by my private OT
Booby, can't think why. I'm just a concerned parent like the rest of the people writing here. I'm also an s/lt so know something of the inner machinations and professional obligations of the industry.
I would have no problem at all with a parent asking me for a full baseline assessment. SAs I said, put your request in writing and cc it to line manager. To find out who the line manager is, ring the relevant dept. and ask the admin staff.
How will you measure progress if you don't know exactly where he is now?
[[http://www.ipsea.org.uk/apps/content/html/?fid=50 This IPSEA link is clear and jargon free and summarises important judgements where parents have challeneged Kafkaesque machinations of statutory bodies. Important ones for you are that s/lt is an EDUCATIONAL need. Do NOT let them put it in the 'Non educational' section of the statement (as 95% will try to do)
Insist that all input is QUANTIFIED and SPECIFIED.
'Monitoring' 'advising' 'supporting' mean nothing. In the case of efficient service provision and delivery, these might suffice but assume the service isn't efficient (and that way you won't be disappointed).
Keep a record of every phone call. Correspond as much as possible through letters, and cc to other people and keep copies.
Attend every meeting looking smart and organised. Keep notes (with a nice pen and a good notebook) and attend if possible with another person at all times.
You have a right to see your child's files at any time too. S/lt will have one, as will the ed psych.
Be calm, courteous and communicate clearly at all times and co-operate with them fully (eg if they ask you to work on something at hom with your child, do so and show them proof you have). In this way you cannot be accused of being obstructive or uncoperative.
This is important because many parents give services a hard time, yet don't turn up for appointments or training sessions, or demand input yet then do not do carryover activities at ohme, which understandably causes resentment in those who work with large caseloads and are stretched.
Read the SEN Code of Practice. It's pretty vague but good to know about as chunks quoted back can be very useful indeed to let them know your stuff and wil lnot be messed about or fobbed off.
Sorry to sound like a cynical old boot but I learned all this stuff the hard way. I don't want it to be as painful or difficult for other people.
Regarding anything that's suggested you do at home - it's well worth it as it's really only when you do summat yourself you KNOW hand on heart that it's actually been done properly e.g 5 x a week as opposed to a couple of times a fortnight when someone remembers.
I get SALT targets posted to me at home nowadays, and hopefully have shown the OT I'm prepared to do enough this year that she'll begin to do the same soon. In both instances DS has made massive strides forward cos of me doing my "homework". . Progress breeds progress, everyone gets off on a good result so it becomes a lovely virtuous circle that then wakes up the school if needed.
There's an old African saying "success has many fathers, failure is always a bastard". Basically everyone wants to be associated with a success story, just as no one wants to admit responsibility when things go wrong. In the world of SN - this is true to a crazy degree, even when the reasons for failure are so glaringly obvious & simple it's painful to witness.
Thank you so much for your wise words -all duly noted. We have tried to get information from his nursery/SALT regarding what he's working on, targets, problems etc but information isn't very forthcoming. We feel the SS nursery has a bit of an attitude of 'we know best but don't have to evidence what we do and don't need meddling parents interfering!' We haven't been involved with IEPs (are they meant to let us have input?) and when we have queried the targets (things like build a tower of blocks - that he has been able to do for ages) we are more or less ignored! We have told them that we just want to support the work they do by working on targets at home but we haven't been really supported in this. We are hoping to arrange a meeting with the nursery once half term is over and will get on to the EP/SALT regarding proper assessments.
Talk directly to the SALT if you can .
I found using the excuse of wanting to keep things up over the long summer holidays my best way of getting that initial "in" without causing offence to school etc. Just ask for a few things you can work on in the summer hols (make sure that you agree measurable targets so she can tick them off at the start of the new school year).
You are just so keen to maintain all the wonderful progress that nursery has achieved and use the 6 week hols as your bait with lots of flattery of the nursery (try not to barf). That way you aren't seen as a threatening meddler if you word it right.
You sopund wise to be on alert.
Most targets set are not measurable.
They are done to comply with legislative demands and to keep people quiet. Don't waste valuable time assuming competent folk have it all under control. They probably don't.
'Don't waste time assuming competent folk have it all under control. They probably don't'. Listen to that, boobybum, it summarises why the other good advice on here matters.
I think that's going my 'Great SEN phrases of all time' hall of fame alongside 'you are your child's best and only advocate' etc
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