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Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on SN.

David Urani or Ruth Birnbaum…?

(20 Posts)
ProfJamesMoriarty Thu 30-Jan-14 17:29:15

Can you share your experiences of them please. Trying to decide who to go for.. TIA

NewBlueCoat Thu 30-Jan-14 19:03:38

We used David Urani. It made sense, given the ABA co nsultant we had, and the lawyers we were using. They were a well known team at the time.

It is a gamble, as he will not recommend ABA if there is any other alternative, but it paid off for us (although nearly didn't - he was with dd1 all day, but it took until well after lunch for him to be convinced that ABA was the only suitable way of educati g dd1)

I found him efficient, and he certainly kows his stuff. We had the added bonus that the placement the LA was recommendign dd1 stayed at he had experience of, and thought one of the worst examples of ASD specific placements he had ever come across.

I would say if you are sure you have cast iron proof that ABA is the most suitable form of education for your ds, then go ahead and use David Urani. If there is any doubt, then maybe not (I know a family who lost at Tribunal due to DU's recommendations and report).

I have no experience or knowledge of RUth Birnbaum, so can't help you there.

wetaugust Thu 30-Jan-14 19:15:04

We saw Ruth and I was very impressed with the way she dealt with a very anxious DS. Her report was very comprehensive. She will visit school and attend Tribunal if required. Had we ended up at Tribunal I would have felt very confident with her on-side.
I have no idea where she stands on ABA.
She's written books about SENs (available on Amazon)

ProfJamesMoriarty Thu 30-Jan-14 20:25:31

Thanks NBC, your post cleared up a lot of things for me and has been very helpful as always, much appreciated.

Wet, I did speak to someone from her office, but hadn't thought of asking where she stands on ABA. Can she advise parents on a particular school or the type of schools. For e.g. She is not far from us so will she have knowledge of schools in the borough or just types of schools etc.

ProfJamesMoriarty Thu 30-Jan-14 20:26:08

on and thank you to Wet as well off course. smile

bialystockandbloom Thu 30-Jan-14 20:30:02

We used DU too, due to his knowledge of ABA. Don't know of RB I'm afraid.

Ditto what newbluecoat says, DU is unbiased, and won't recommend ABA unless he really does believe it is best method. But the advantage is that he understands it and is not prejudiced/ignorant about it.

He gets very booked up though (though did move his appt for us forward due to cancellation).

NewBlueCoat Thu 30-Jan-14 20:40:53

if you have any further questions, prof, please do ask and I'll try to remember - was 4 years ago now shock

I would be happy to send you a copy of his report, if you want to see what type of report he produces/style etc?

StarlightMcKingsThree Thu 30-Jan-14 20:40:55

I have used a number of EPs including DU. I would say he when it came to integrity he was the most unwavering. If you want a clear understanding of your child's problems with no sweeteners then he's the guy.

If you have a clear favourite school-wise then he will only recommend it if he agrees and tribunal panels know him and know more than any that he will not tolerate parental preferences. He is an extremely powerful ally in tribunal if he's on the same page as you.

jiggles01 Thu 30-Jan-14 21:47:44

We also had Ruth ( local to us ) and would definitely recommend her ,though not cheap!
We visited her clinic and she ds school ,very long detailed report .She recommended school which we had not even considered as we did not know his needs were so complex .
Lea coceded 2 months before tribunal and he is now at said school -ooc resi special school.
Her book is a must

wetaugust Thu 30-Jan-14 22:32:41

I heard that she slays them at Tribunal jiggles. I would like to have seen her in action grin We had to travel over 120 miles to see her sad - and wait 5 months for an appointment sad

ProfJamesMoriarty Thu 30-Jan-14 22:57:50

Bialy But the advantage is that he understands it and is not prejudiced/ignorant about it.

My intention wasn't to mislead but I should admit that we have seen DU over a year ago and at the time, he recommended a particular type of ABA(VB). but we changed to a different provider soon after one who practises the kind of ABA he specifically recommended against. (DS is doing well with this new provider by the way, so we know it was the right call) Do you think he will hold that against us if we were to book him again?

P.S. Please accept my apologies for drip feeding blush, we are very close to finalising the statement so I am trying not to say too much here.

ProfJamesMoriarty Thu 30-Jan-14 22:59:50

Wet we are getting an appointment after about 4 months so not much change there, while DU is available next month..

wetaugust Thu 30-Jan-14 23:03:30

Worth waiting for imo.

StarlightMcKingsThree Thu 30-Jan-14 23:04:30

It won't go against you. He has backtracked on his past recommendations with us on the basis of new evidence, new observations.

I have no idea whether he has an ego, but I have found him quite brutally honest and evidence-bound.

NewBlueCoat Thu 30-Jan-14 23:06:31

that's a tough one, Prof.

in essence, though, DU recommended ABA for your ds before. This will be because he had no doubt it was essential (he doesn't recommend otherwise). This has not changed, only the style of delivery.

When he recommended it for dd1, the setting was very much part of that (for her, given her dificulties at the time). Onetheless, 18 months later, when that placement ended, he had no reservations about recommending her current placement, which is a very different style, just by it's very nature, from his original recommendation.

Did DU specifically advise against the style you changed to? As if not, then no conflict, surely? (but understand your dilemma)

ProfJamesMoriarty Thu 30-Jan-14 23:06:44

Thanks Wet. One of your posts somewhere was the reason why I started thinking about RB, because I have no idea where ds is likely to end up in. At the moment, it is just a guess from us so if someone unbiased can clarify what type of placement will be best for him, it will allow us to plan our next steps.

wetaugust Thu 30-Jan-14 23:12:52

She did suggest a type of placement and put it in her report. She also gave us some possible schools to look at.
It was my solicitor who sent us to her. He always used her.

ProfJamesMoriarty Thu 30-Jan-14 23:22:38

He didn't advise against this approach but rather recommended the other one. Anyway you know what, I am going to win the Euromillions tomorrow and then I won't have to choose…[Grin]

NewBlueCoat Thu 30-Jan-14 23:26:44

sorry to break the news, Prof, but the win is mine grin

got secondary transition looming, and may well need the backup funds <sigh>

ProfJamesMoriarty Thu 30-Jan-14 23:35:57


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