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IEP support no longer enough - what to do next

(15 Posts)

DS (9, Yr 4, AS and coordination/phonological difficulties) has been on SA+ since starting school. He has had SALT and OT as part of his provision, plus quite a lot of extra help with emotional literacy, friendship work etc. He has always managed fairly well in class and at playtimes etc, his academic achievements have been on the lower end of average and he has been happy enough. However this last year things have reached a point where I don't think we (the school and us as parents), are doing enough for him, he is finding it harder and harder to keep up in class and I don't know what to suggest next. He has just been discharged by the NHS OT and I think he will be discharged by SALT soon too. In addition he is missing quite a bit of classroom time doing all his OT etc too. It has been made worse this term by a fractured wrist, obviously that isn't a long term problem but it has really affected his performance in assessments etc.

People keep saying I should apply for SA, up until recently I did not feel he needed it, now I think the time has come but I need to know what it is we want to get out of it. Also what can we be doing in the meantime, as the process is so lengthy. His main problems are organisation, listening, focus and concentration. He doesn't have noticeable sensory issues or problems with changes in routine. Does anybody have any suggestions for me?

Also I guess I would need to wait until September now as the school won't be able to provide any info over the summer holidays. I need to be preparing my application, lining up possible professional to write assess him and write reports. I get a bit confused and overwhelmed to say the least, even though I have been looking at these boards for along time.

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 15-Jul-13 16:57:40

I would look at IPSEAs website as this has a lot of info on it re special educational needs along with details of the statement process. There are also model letters on there you can use.

A statement is a 6 part legally binding document (unlike School Action Plus which can only offer limited support, also such support can be too easily curtailed as you are seeing) which outlines what the child's additional needs are and who is going to meet those needs. Support should be both specified and quantified as per educational case law. You can also have SALT in a Statement, I see that this may be removed soon under the current regimen of support.

Apply for the statement now and do not wait until September. Even if the LEA agree to assess, it can take around 6 months to get this up and running. The LEA work during the summer holidays and if they agree to assessment they will contact all the necessary people to ask them to prepare reports.

Thank you. I was also being mindful of the fact that we go on holiday this weekend so it's a busy week and it would be easier to leave it till we get back, rather than rush and not do a good job with the initial letter. I will have a look at IPSEA tonight and see if I think I can do it. I have been preparing for a long time in the sense that I have kept every bit of documentation I have ever had about DS in a big file and talked to a lot of other people about it, but still feel very nervous.

armani Mon 15-Jul-13 18:24:34

Sounds like you have a good case to apply for SA. I applied for my dds 6 weeks ago and it got accepted! Also my LA are including the summer holidays in the 26 week timescale.

That's great that you have kept every report as now you will need them. I went through every school report, professionals reports etc and quoted all of the comments that demonstrated my dds lack of progress and need for a SA. My initial letter was 11 pages as I literally included every detail about dds SEN. I used the ipsea website and included a medical and educational background from birth until present. I photocopied all of my reports and sent them in with it.
Don't be put off if school tell you not to apply, I was told by senco, ed psych, teachers etc that my req would be turned down but it was approved first time.
Good luck!

armani Mon 15-Jul-13 18:27:32

Sorry forgot to say my dd also has co ordination problems and phonological disorder and has only been on school action + for a few weeks when I applied for SA.

Flappingandflying Mon 15-Jul-13 18:34:42

The school sounds good and it may be that they will be on your side. SOSSen are really good and run courses. It can all get very time consuming and emotional but it sounds as if he needs a special school placement with integrated therapy. Its fab for you that he's had tons of input, a school being proactive but still isn't making progress. This is the situation that the lea can't argue against.

Your son sounds lovely.

Thanks Armani - that is what I mean about it taking too long to make the application this week, if I want to photocopy, highlight etc all those reports it will take a while to do properly. I have an A4 lever arch file and it is nearly full (he has been under various types of intervention since he was 2). I also made a through assessment of my own view of his problems about 2 years ago when he was going for formal diagnosis.

Glad yours got accepted, good luck with the rest of the process. I'm not going to let the school fob me off, our relationship has always been very good so I hope they will be supportive but if not I will go ahead anyway.

Thanks Flapping. He is lovely, that is part of the problem, he flies under the radar as he doesn't have any bad behaviour problems. There is a very suitable special school near here, but unfortunately it is in a different LA and it is very hard to get into.

armani Mon 15-Jul-13 18:51:17

You could always write a brief letter req SA , as the LA then write back asking for all of your reports, evidence etc and they will give you about a 4 week time limit to submit all info.

I did think that, although I was a bit worried that if they write back straightaway we might not have much time left when we get back (away for next two weeks). I suppose the chances of them writing back straight away are slim though!

Another question - do you need to know what support you are asking for up front or fairly early on in the process? I'm not sure really (hence the need for assessment). I guess I have to budget for having private assessments and reports made which will outline the actual needs.

I never really thought he was bad enough to warrant special school (he is one of those Aspie types who can put on a very good show of being NT most of the time) so haven't looked into it in any depth, I guess now's the time.

armani Tue 16-Jul-13 00:23:54

I thought the same as you regarding dds needs. It wasn't until I went through every report, highlighting the important bits demonstrating need, that I realised just how complex dds needs were.
I found writing my report very difficult emotionally but also therapeutic, as I was able to identify dds needs and from this it was possible to determine the provision she needed.

sazale Tue 16-Jul-13 07:18:56

My DS 6 has no formal diagnosis but also has coordination/motor skill difficulties and phonological difficulties. He gets no OT as there is no service in our area and the nhs speech therapy is very scant.

He's really struggling to learn to read and write and school have been great but he's finished year 1 on p levels despite having been assessed as having above average learning ability. I recently received his score from the year 1 phonics test and he only scored 5 out of 40 (it's 32 to pass) and I'm now wondering if I should apply for that statement.

Good luck to all applying and I hope they go through ok x

Thanks Sazale - have you considered going for a formal diagnosis? It has helped my DS a great deal and given me more confidence in organising the help and and having the paperwork to back things up now I am going to apply for SA.

Flappingandflying Tue 16-Jul-13 16:10:26

You are me a few years ago. I too wasn't sure whether Flyingboy needed special school. The therapies alone have been worth it.

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