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WWYD - ABA/Tribunal/Day Care

(17 Posts)
salondon Thu 30-Jan-14 16:27:04

This is rather long and I dont quite know what are various people saying here so pls bear with me.

Background - child on ASD spectrum. Self funded aba[They pay LSA rate to the tutor and we top her up] 10 hrs in day care and 12-15 hours at home. Statement (no aba, just LSA support. OT and SALT written but not quantified) issued 20th sept. Tribunal on 11th march. 4y5m. Nursery year.. starts reception in sept 2014


This morning I had a meeting with the LEA and the day care to review the statement.

When I had received the invite I had asked for the agenda. The LEA EP had told me it’s in preparation of the Tribunal. However, today the LEA SENART said it was the bi-annual review. Statement was issued on 20th Sept and the SENART would like it reviewed now. I pointed out that it’s only been 4 months. They said it’s being done to get it ready for end of spring term!

The other attendees were the Nursery manager, key person and NHS OT.

LEA SEN Advisory Teacher,LEA EP & NHS SALT could not attend due to short notice. The nursery could not allow the LSA because she was working with my child as 1-1 at the time. LEA EP saw our daughter on 23rd Jan and NHS SALT saw her on 29th Jan.

Nursery manager & key person agreed our daughter was making progress. They said she has achieved many of her targets set in Oct. However, they think she is very dependent on ABA tutor's instructions(and that she doesn’t work with other staff as nicely as she works with LSA). The general mood of the nursery management is that ABA doesn’t work well in their approach.

Two examples:
1.The OT said we should get our daughter to trace using stencils (to promote writing skills) and the manager said he cannot allow this in his nursery. I did say that the statement says that we need to make adjustments to the curriculum because of her autism (and that should alleviate his concerns). He said he is worried his manager or OFSTED won’t like to see this happening. I said to the OT that we will cover this in the home program, but SENART said we need to prepare her for school and can’t be doing things at home only. I do not know how useful a target this is, but that is besides the point

2.When LEA asked us how we felt about the program, I said we feel sheis making good progress. However, the manager said he doesn’t feel that ABA works well in his setting. He is allowing it, but isn’t comfortable(I did not ask him why had he allowed it in the first place. Don’t want to rock the boat. Its been running there since Apr 2013. He wasnt happy with the first tutor so I changed that). On 22nd Jan when the independent EP came, I think the keyperson also said something to that effect. She also said to the group that she gets very little time to work with our daughter(However, she doesn’t work with the LSA at all when our daughter is there).

When the ABA consultant and supervior were in the nursery a week ago it was a nice opportunity to raise these concerns, however, the manager and key person did not speak to them beyond any pleasantries. I was honestly quite shocked by what they said today. The nursery is coming from LEA as witness and could they say that ABA isn’t working for our daughter/their nursery isn’t the right setting to run ABA in? They are very much closed to the idea of ABA. (As parents, we are happy to plough through because its only 8 more months and we run a home program anyways).

Contrary to that, the LEA EP was very impressed by what she had seen (on 23rd Jan) while the session was going on. She even commented to me(verbally on 23rd Jan) that the ABA tutor does so much more work for the nursery beyond her role as a 1-1 and our daughter's progress amazes her.

The NHS OT is very supportive of ABA. She agreed what the nursery manager said about tracing was crazy.

Since quite a few key professionals were not present today and their reports weren’t in yet(I doubt anyone was asked for reports, they assumed that the reports have to go in for tribunal, not for this meeting), it was decided we need to set up another review meeting. I proposed we do it after the tribunal. I am not sure this suggestion will be taken on board or not. I was asked if I wanted any changes made to the statement and I said Fiona had sent the changes already. They want to see the 23rd Jan ABA workshop notes(as part of the statement review). I have offered to forward the ABA workshop notes. I do not understand how we can use ABA workshop notes as reports on one hand and say that ABA isn’t needed/working on the other. It was a very confusing meeting to me.

What do you think it was all about?

bialystockandbloom Thu 30-Jan-14 20:18:55

Hmm. Is the nursery private, or funded by LEA?

The first things that struck me are

1) Nursery do not seem to have been able to provide any evidence against ABA other than it doesn't work for them or fits in with their setting. That is not the point. The point is whether it is the right/best/most successful teaching method for your dd.

(Generally ABA doesn't always fit with nurseries/schools, especially (ime) nurseries, where behaviours like tantrums (from all children) are generally overlooked as being a normal 3/4yo behaviour. We found that some really inappropriate behaviour resulted in the children being not just pacified but actually rewared) for the tantrums - obviously totally opposite approach to ABA. So eg if ds was having a behaviour about moving on from an activity, nursery would not try to persist in moving him on in fear of his tantrum, so would rather leave him to play with the eg sandpit for 2 hours.

Consequences are not followed through in the same way as on an ABA programme. And some of the reinforcers used may not fit with the nursery policies (eg we had a massive struggle getting ds's nursery to accept us using raisins as reinforcers when we were trying to toilet train him as "other parents would be asking for the same for their children" hmm).)

But all of this is irrelevant - it's the LEA who are behind it, not the nursery. It will obviously help the LEA if the nursery back them up, but I would spend the rest of the time at nursery nodding and smiling, while pursuing what you want on the statement tbh.

2) I would not be showing them the ABA workshop report before the tribunal evidence is collected, tbh. I suspect they're fishing around and may try and use this somehow against you - eg go through it and try and prove how they are doing all the things in your programme already, or try and show that the progress she is making (whcih will be evident from your workshop notes/data) is down to them.

3) I also suspect some foul play trying to call a review 2 months before the review date hmm As above, I really do think they're fishing for as much info as they can get which they will try to use against you.

I would refuse another meeting before the tribunal. The LEA know what you are asking for, if they want to negotiate they can do so. Imo the 'early semi-annual review' is a massive red herring and fishing exercise for them.

Concentrate on the tribunal and getting as much evidence for that as you can (ABA reports, EP etc). Give away as little as possible to nursery/LEA in the meantime. You only have a few months left at nursery - you need to be looking ahead to getting what you want in the statement before choosing and starting school.

What does Fiona think?

bialystockandbloom Thu 30-Jan-14 20:25:07

Re-reading your OP, just to reiterate what I said in my first post, the following two sentences stand out:

The nursery is coming from LEA as witness and could they say that ABA isn’t working for our daughter/their nursery isn’t the right setting to run ABA in?

The LEA have obviously got to the nursery (they did this with our school too, seems standard practice). But remember, they have to provide evidence that ABA is not working for your dd, not for their nursery. You have all the cards on this really, as you have the evidence of progress made with ABA (data).

Give away nothing more to the nursery until after tribunal.

it was decided we need to set up another review meeting. I proposed we do it after the tribunal. I am not sure this suggestion will be taken on board or not.

If they ask for another meeting before tribunal repeat that it is not necessary, as tribunal coming up.

AgnesDiPesto Thu 30-Jan-14 20:39:23

May be a cover to issue another final statement that slightly improves on current one so they don't go to appeal on a rubbish statement. Don't worry you don't have to appeal again you just write to tribunal and explain your appeal still stands if they change wording.

At least you know what you are up against now. Tribunals do know nurseries get nobbled.

salondon Thu 30-Jan-14 21:30:16

It's a private nursery bailey. Your post is 100% to the point.

I have only promised the aba workshop notes. Not the ep or aba reports. Is that a risk too?

And how can they take credit for progress? I have an ep report - lea and independent for spring last year. Those are baselines. That will cleArly show aba progress. The keyworker herself said she can't work with my daughter because the aba worker is with her all the time.

Agnes you are probably right. They want to edit the statement. There is nothing to edit unless they add aba.

Your posts put my kind to rest.

salondon Thu 30-Jan-14 21:32:27

Agnes should I ask Fiona to write to the tribunal that the appeal still stands to the original statement and that this semi annual review doesn't change anything?

Still waiting to hear back from Fiona. Have emailed he already.

bialystockandbloom Thu 30-Jan-14 21:54:48

You may need to check, but afaik you don't have to write to the tribunal about this - unless you withdraw your appeal with them, it still stands.

You're right, they won't have the evidence and data that you have, but that might not stop them trying. For the appeal, you need to get your ABA team (if they haven't done so already) to provide graphs along with the datasheets to show progress against every target. But obv don't present this until you put in your evidence for tribunal!

I may be overly cynical, but if this is the first time they've asked to see a workshop report (?) I would be rather suspicious.

Remember, its the LEA behind this, not the nursery.

AgnesDiPesto Thu 30-Jan-14 22:41:50

No you only need to write if they issue a new final statement (this happened to us and I wondered if that meant we had to start appeal again! but you don't you just make it clear you are appealing the original one and any amended one!) But they haven't done this yet so do nothing for now.

Bialy is right you need to sit tight. They are ones digging for info and pressuring witnesses, so they are worried about your case. Keep your powder dry (a lay member of SEN Tribunal panel DH knew told me that wink)

You can always 'forget' to send the notes until evidence deadline passed or just delay a bit. To be honest I have yet to meet a LA member of staff who understands ABA data anyway so I doubt the workshop notes will help them much. Fiona can advise how best for ABA to present their evidence to help tribunal understand it (she gave some training on this to my ABA provider recently)

I know it feels like you should be doing things but the best thing you can do now is go quiet, any info you give them will just help them build their case

LA will almost certainly take line you have not given nursery a try as your ABA staff take over (we had this), lots of comments about how ABA was 'rigid' and 'stressful'. Tribunal didn't even talk about this, all they interested in were what problems did DS have, how severe were they, what had been done and what worked (or didn't work).

LA will blame lack of progress by nursery on you being obstructive (in our case they made me sound like I was in an ABA cult and would only consider using ABA every minute of every day and was completely resistant to any other approach). That was their plan for how to justify why the outreach teachers had not showed up for months…to say I was so extreme in my views and obstructive I would not let their staff come. They also said I was unpleasant and their staff found me intimidating and impossible to work with. So be prepared to grow a thick skin!

ProfJamesMoriarty Thu 30-Jan-14 23:37:30

"They also said I was unpleasant and their staff found me intimidating and impossible to work with. "

shock, bloody hell.

zumbaleena Fri 31-Jan-14 00:25:17

Pls don,t share your workshop notes, EP and ABA reports

salondon Fri 31-Jan-14 06:15:33

Thanks all.

If I don't give the workshop notes that will be obstructive to the ABA program right(being run in the nursery).

zumbaleena Fri 31-Jan-14 08:26:46

Just forget them conveniently until they pestrr you again for it.

salondon Fri 31-Jan-14 08:46:55

What if they don't pester me and say to the tribunal that the ABA supervisor didn't send the workshop notes around?

I am not being difficult. I am just thinking like a devil would.

bialystockandbloom Fri 31-Jan-14 10:42:39

I agree, I would 'forget' it too. If they pester you, you could always give them a summary report which doesn't give them much to work on (ie use against you), eg list of current targets, lots of terminology which they probably won't understand anyway.

I can't see it being a major card against you if they don't ask you again for the report and you don't give it to them. After all, presumably they'll hae been working cooperatively with you all the way so far so will have agreed targets, iep etc with you anyway, right? So in effect, what more would they learn from seeing your workshop notes in any case? wink

bialystockandbloom Fri 31-Jan-14 10:43:52

Is it normal practice that you'd share your notes with them, btw? Have you done so before?

salondon Fri 31-Jan-14 11:14:16

Baily - All the information has always been 'out there' always.. They have access to her folder which has notes and all info.. I doubt anyone has ever opened it. Never asked for notes below.

I wont give it to them ;-)

salondon Fri 31-Jan-14 11:21:29

Never asked for notes before*

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