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What are my chances of getting a statement for my boy?

(17 Posts)
HoratiaNelson Sat 11-May-13 19:02:27

He's 9 yrs old, in yr 4. Has moderately severe dyslexia and mild ish dyspraxia but his sensory issues can be overwhelming at times. He's basically reaching his limit of what he can take at school - the constantly feeling rubbish/bottom of the class/ odd, is really taking it's toll on him.

The school is very supportive and his class teacher is excellent, so I feel educationally he is being served adequately by his current school - although nowhere near his potential. The problem is that emotionally he is really struggling - I ultimately fear for his mental health going forward like this especially once he hits senior school. I'm trying to put no pressure on him, focus on strengths etc and the only aim I have at the moment is to get him to adulthood healthy and whole. Not sure this can be achieved in a mainstream school.

He's currently in an indie, so haven't engaged with the LA to date, and feel out of the loop. What are my chances of getting a statement for him in advance of senior school and is there any chance I could get dyslexia specialist school named on it? I have identified one which would suit him down to the ground, but the fees are beyond me...

Any experience / advice would be grately appreciated :-)

HoratiaNelson Sat 11-May-13 19:03:44

"greatly" - d'oh!

beautifulgirls Sat 11-May-13 22:25:03

Unless you try you won't know. It sounds like it is worth doing though, but be prepared for a fight with them over it. High chance of the request to assess being declined and appeal being needed. They may or not back down once appeal logged and even one assessment is done they may not give you the provision you want. Indie specialist school is likely to need a tribunal so be prepared to go all the way if necessary.

Flappingandflying Sat 11-May-13 22:45:16

You are going to have one hell of a fight. What do you want out of him having a statement? That's your starting point. Then, think like an LEA who have to be accountable for the public money and think of all the arguments and questions they might have and then work to refute them to get what your son needs. I would say indie schools are not great for self esteem and that it is very easy for a perfectly average student to feel 'thick' when they are just within the normal range but not super stars academically. I would also say you have to be realistic. He needs to have a reading age at least three years below his chronological age plus other issues which have to cause him a significant barrier to his learning that requires a high level of intervention before you will get anywhere.

HoratiaNelson Sat 11-May-13 22:47:05

I just worry that in this climate of cuts, him "only" being dyslexic makes it hopeless?! But his current performance levels but him in the bottom 3% for his age - on track for no GCSEs :-( the sadness of this is I my compounded by the fact that his NVR scores put him in top 2%.

When do I ask LA to assess? And is it made harder because he's not in a state school ATM?

HoratiaNelson Sat 11-May-13 22:51:21

Reading age 6.5, chronological age 9.8 :-( this is not a case of indie making him feel thick - he felt thick in state sector too - and less able to cope because classes larger and the noise louder which he felt hard to cope with

nostoppingme Sat 11-May-13 23:48:19

Horatia - go for it

I have just received my final statement and an independent specialist school in part 4

I never ever listened to anyone, especially not the SENCo nor the Head teacher!

When I applied for statutory assessment, I only thought he had severe dyslexia. What I had not realised is that dyslexia goes hand in hand with other specific learning difficulties such as dyspraxia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia and ASD .... I put everything under the dyslexia header. Anyways, I received his draft statement for dyslexia (something everyone told me I would not get), then when we had to amend the draft we were finishing off the other assessments so we could include them all on the amended draft statement.

I would have got an independent specialist school just on his dyslexia too ...

Go for it, stay calm and positive and keep your mind focused on just your child. Don't be afraid either nor listen to anyone.

You need the best possible person to assess your son to rule out any other issues.

PM me if you like.

All the best!

HoratiaNelson Sun 12-May-13 07:56:41

nostoppingme congratulations on getting it for your DC, that really is a job well done! It is very encouraging that it is at least possible. I'm aware that there are plenty of children with greater needs than DS, but equally he's not going to get what he needs without significant extra support, so I'm going to have to at least try this fight.

Did you need lawyers? Should I start now?

HoratiaNelson Sun 12-May-13 07:58:34

The only thee thing that occurred to me is that a large percentage of DCs on specialist dyslexia schools are LA funded - so it must be possible...

Ineedmorepatience Sun 12-May-13 08:40:22

Have to be quick but focus on the vast difference between his intellect and what he is able to do on paper. With the right support via a statement he should be able to close that gap.

You should definitely apply.

Good luck

HoratiaNelson Sun 12-May-13 11:22:23

Thank you for your responses everyone, I feel greatly encouraged! I will definitely pursue it - as you say, you never know til you try and I think more, I'll be letting him down if I don't go for it. On contemplation, the education he's getting ATM can't be adequate, or there wouldn't be such a gap - or it would at least be closing not widening.

Still would welcome any other insights people can offer. Thank you smile

nostoppingme Sun 12-May-13 22:50:07

I had a solicitor at the 'refusal to assess' stage. Unfortunately he was a crook so I got rid of him once the LA backed down from going to tribunal. He was cheaper than several other solicitor firms I had contacted. I then instructed an advocate (A LOT cheaper). In hindsight, I would not go for a solicitor, but an advocate.

I have since discovered, there's a lot of money to be made from desperate parents. One legal firm I would suggest if you do decide to instruct a solicitor: Leigh Day (I think this is what they are called!) - they were very quick to respond and offered to look at all my paperwork including my draft statement for free!

All the best, and go for it!! I look forward to hearing your news :-) ... Remember to keep an open mind, look after yourself and don't forget this process is actually horrendous but it is so worth it. I have read it from others, can't believe I can now say this myself.

rosielou678 Mon 13-May-13 13:33:07

My DS story is very similar to the op's story. We had a massive battle with LA to make them assess. We now have a Statement but isn't worth the paper it's written on. Tribunal for independent ss in 2 months. Be prepared that the LA will fight very very dirty. I engaged services of top Suffolk educational lawyer who have been fantastic - without them he'd never have been assessed.

I can honestly say that the whole experience has been one of the most stressful experiences in my entire life because of the tactics of the LA (and I've already had my fair-share of stressful experiences!)

HoratiaNelson Mon 13-May-13 18:04:51

Rosie and nostoppingme thank you for your replies, it's really encouraging - I know it's a tortuous journey, but if it's at least possible to get a result at the end then it's worth fighting for. I wanted to know whether we had a hope in hell before putting us through it. Definitely going to get started now and I'll be back for advice/support/updates. What did anyone do before MN?! Can't believe lawyers required to make them assess?! Will have to get investigating...

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Mon 13-May-13 18:26:39

First of all you are unlikely to get indi ss for 'just' dyslexia funded by the LA . They have dual placement, outreach, Accelerite - whatever. The vast majority of SpLD are met in the mainstream. DS1 has just been funded for Frewen (LA conceded at tribunal hearing) but the majority of LA funded pupils there are not 'just' dyslexic but have complex needs (esp ASD and anxiety) and have been out of school for several terms before placement.

Accept that your first request for SA will probably be refused and that you will probably need to go to tribunal if not for assessment then for placement but that if you keep on going, even if this means that you will get indi SALT and OT and EP assessments (not now, necssarily, but if needed in the run-up to tribunal) and that you need IPSEA and (I would suggest )legal representation for the hearing (advocate - Fiona Slomovic).

For EP assessment of discrepancy between ability and attainment I would recommend Ruth Birnbaum.


rosielou678 Mon 13-May-13 19:43:22

As you DS is at private school, you will have an extra battles on your hands. I would recommend gathering together every single piece of paperwork you have from your indie school. If you don't have all the paperwork now, make sure you get it asap as the relationship may turn sour with the school. Everytime you have a meeting with the school, document/minute the meeting and get them to sign it. Make sure this is very factual - don't put any emotions into it - just minute the meeting and who said what.

Private schools don't have School Action and School Action+ so make sure you get a documents from them stating all the extra provision that you have paid for/provided and at what level it would be if your DS was at State school. My DS's school only formerly stated he was on School Action+ when they knew I had asked for assessment (they were busy covering their backs) - although he had more measures then state's SA+ since he started in Reception. Also watch out for all the glowing school reports that indie schools tend to give. The LA latched on to my DS glowing reports and took them all out of context. I had to plead with his school to stop the glowing reports because they simply were not true.

The LA also attempted to use the fact that my DS school is Ofsted Outstanding and a very well known school. I removed my DS from the school last year and have been home educating ever since. At which point my previous excellent relationship with the school soured to the extent that in his final term when we had given notice, his LSA used to run away from me if she saw me because the school couldn't accept that they'd failed and I had the cheek to remove him for HE in place of their wonderful school (I'm not joking about this - I could say a lot more about this but it would 'out me').

Be prepared that the LA will fight you hard and very dirty if you DC has been in a mainstream indie school.

HoratiaNelson Mon 13-May-13 21:04:35

Thanks for the input, I really value it. Even if we can't win this fight, at least at the end we will stand a better chance of having got him better provision for secondary level. Have paid private primary in desperation, but couldn't afford the step up to independent secondary costs and definitely not specialist boarding school! His current school dont give glowing reports - they're praising of him, but focused on the level he's at, so not misleading as to ability if you see what I mean. They also do annual SATs and CAT scoring (I have copies of all previous results) so they have a clear picture of where he is and I have a record. To be honest I think they regret accepting him - I think they assumed he was a case of previous poor teaching and he would quickly catch up, and the reality of him is like nothing they've experienced before! Might they accept he's beyond their ability to help? I don't know.

DS currently asking for me to HE him, due to his struggles - but not a possibility at the mo because we need me to work even if there were no school fees! Maybe if things get desperate we'll have to revisit the options- might be possible at secondary if I work flexibly...

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