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Pro bono legal representation wanted SENDIST. Recommendation required.

(6 Posts)
2006hildy Mon 13-May-13 03:18:31

Hi,
Could you help or refer us to someone to help us with our case.
I have a son diagnosed with High functioning ASD delayed expressive language, sensory processing disorder and in year 2. Averaging p7 to p8 across all subjects. So technically our son is very delayed. Still the LEA argue that he is making good progress.
Their reasons:" The Panel acknowledge your parental concerns that ds is not making progress and that you understand that his progress is affected by his difficulties associated with Autism, however the Panel noted from the evidence submitted that ds is making progress both academically and socially with the support that has been put in place.

Based on the evidence considered by the Panel ds's difficulties do not appear to be impacting on his learning and academic attainment levels. The levels reported within the documentation provided as part of the request for Statutory Assessment show that he is making academic progress and is responding to the interventions put in place.”

Like somebody said though, it is very rarely, that just the academic side makes it through the statementing process.

So we are taking, that angle, at the moment, for tribunal - date July 2013, that:

His triad of impairments are being neglected, as they have not been monitoring them, the strategies to help him have hardly changed over three years and the descriptors of progress are not transparent.

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

hoxtonbabe Mon 13-May-13 06:31:33

Hi,

Try Ipsea or if you go to a CAB ( are they still around following all the changes last month?!?) they can possibly refer you to the pro-bono unit but that depends on your finances, etc..

I assume you work so the Community legal advice line is probably out ( unless you are on a very low wage)

Shame I can't bloomin access all this for myself! Lol..

MareeyaDolores Mon 13-May-13 20:19:14

TBH, I think it would be quite short notice to get someone paid up and ready for July 2013, never mind find someone to work for free. Carry on trying (on the basis of 'you don't ask, you don't get' etc) but perhaps look into getting advice from SOS SEN or IPSEA. SOS SEN are a bit feistier.

You'll very possibly end up representing yourself, there are some courses which are very, very helpful indeed (and you'll meet others going through the process, who will pass on tips, and get some informal advice from the course leader as well)

beautifulgirls Mon 13-May-13 21:16:27

IPSEA worth a call. Start looking to show that academically despite making progress the gap is getting wider (so maybe he was 6 months behind his age at time x, and then 12 months behind his age at time y etc) and point out that this is despite intensive support at the available level from the school (even if the school has been crap!) Socially you would argue he need support (1:1 perhaps to encourage reasonable interaction as well as social skills groups) plus SALT input too etc. Also consider if OT input is needed here (will depend on the reports you have/need). Are you at tribunal for refusal to assess or for refusal to issue a statement? Right now if refusal to assess you only need to show that there is a real probability that his needs can not be met fully without a statement so you don't need too much detail at this point for scores on standardised tests etc. The LA may well back down before a hearing if this is about refusal to assess though may keep you on a hook until the last minute.

nostoppingme Mon 13-May-13 22:46:36

Try this lady - Gloria Vessey (office@advocatesforchildren.org.uk) - when you google her details, you'll see what she's about ... No idea if she does pro bono but she might be able to point you in the right direction.

All the best!

HisMum4now Tue 14-May-13 11:16:49

IPSEA does support by student lawyers - they are not real pro-bono lawyers, jut students getting something for their CV, but they would help with procedures and and some legal aspects.

Based on you post, it seems your hurdle now is to demonstrate that DC is not making adequate progress with the current level of support. So you need to have
- IEP reviews that show that targets are not met, or same targets reappear all the time. Compare his school reports from one year/term to another - are there the same recurring issues?
- comments, any sort of communications from the school that show that the school doesn't think he is making the progress he should but is shifting the task to you - e.g. asking you to do more at home...
- communications that show that the school doesn't actually have [all the time] all the support they promised - that it is only on paper
- keep a diary to show your own evidence of issues: e.g. your DC being upset or anxious at home, even if he is OK at school; anything that shows there is a problem

I 've been through a number o tribunals and my experience is that you and your own preparation wins the case. Pro-bono lawyers are trainees and they would run the case for you but will not create the winning argument. Only you can do it. Lawyers are just dealing with the LA while you are regrouping and collecting your thoughts.

Keep on going brew

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