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Best place in UK to live with SEN child?

(26 Posts)
litdog Sat 22-Feb-14 19:42:35

I read with interest the worst place to live thread, and have been wondering today about where is a GOOD place to live if you have a child with SEN?

Is anyone out there happy with their local authority and provision for their child?

Would be so nice (not to mention useful) to hear of good places!

Thank you

Hedgyhoggy Sat 22-Feb-14 22:21:25

Corrr it doesn't look like we have many positive experiences between us does it? I'm quite happy living in the Staffordshire Moorlands, but I wonder how much that is to do with the team of professionals I have been lucky to have around me. Fab ed psych and salt and ct teacher made statementing process really easy. People keep saying to me how did you get a statement (I think they think that because I was a teacher I could pull some strings) but we have been really well supported. I think if you can get the right multidisciplinary team they can adapt/interpret authority legislation to get what your child needs. School was very welcoming unlike when I rang a couple of school across the border in Buxton Derbyshire who near enough put the phone down on me when I said ds had sn...so perhaps that reflects on what support the schools are getting from la

Just my rambling x

litdog Sun 23-Feb-14 12:15:44

Oh dear not many positive replies!

Hedgy it's nice to hear your story. I live in Hammermsmith and Fulham in London and it is appalling! I can't go into reasons why on here as it would take me all day, but the borough has a very bad reputation locally for SEN parents.

I'm told Manchester is good, too. I suppose lots of the happy ones don't come onto Mumsnet!

PolterGoose Sun 23-Feb-14 12:18:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

uggerthebugger Sun 23-Feb-14 13:05:53

These best / worst area things are really hard to work out, tbh, for loads of reasons....

- There's not many of us here who have experience of more than 1-2 LAs, and what one of us might consider to be good practice by an LA would be considered by others as shoddy crap.

- The educational / health split that Polter mentions, and also the split between front-liners and management. In some inner London boroughs, for example, you'll find very high-quality front-line professionals whose activities are directed by a wretched hive of scum and villainy back at the LA. At my current LA, the SEN officers are comparatively efficient and fair-minded - but the front-line professionals I've met thus far wouldn't know evidence-based practice if it slapped them around the face.

- Things definitely aren't consistent across different types of SEN either. I know loads of people who have praised Hertfordshire's sensory impairment services to the skies. If you ask Herts people who need ASD-related support, you'll get a very different answer.

- The quality of SEN service can change quickly over time, particularly as postcode lotteries emerge. Ten years ago, West Berkshire and North Yorkshire were the places to go if you had certain types of sensory impairment. Since then, both LAs have become much tougher - they've made it much harder to get at services, mostly in order to deter people moving to the area specifically for the SEN provision.

That's not to say these threads aren't good places to get anecdotal heads-up and war stories - but it's really hard to get useful comparative information in this area....

mymatemax Sun 23-Feb-14 14:22:21

I'm generally happy with everything that has been available for my son since birth.
Fantastic hospital that saved his life
The most amazing community paed who should be made a saint & has been there for ds2 and us since he was discharged from hospital
Physio has been OK, lots of change of staff but generally OK
Ot Both specialist sensory OT and usual OT have been life changing for us, their input has been great
orthotics great
Asd outreach great
wheelchair services, marvellous (no waiting list)
special school support & outreach in to ms has been good
LEA have been great, no problem obtaining an adequate statement
His small village primary was wonderful
The only thing that has been crap and hard to come by has been SALT.
We also live in a rural county so appointments & clinics can be some distance away

AliceinWinterWonderland Sun 23-Feb-14 17:56:08

The area where I live is IMO quite spotty. I've been pretty lucky in that DS1 has had a lot of input in a timely manner, but I know of others in the same general area that have struggled for every little thing they have gotten. I think that we have just been genuinely lucky in the INDIVIDUALS that we have ended up with, especially DS1's OT, who is the most lovely helpful person ever.

I think the "get a dx, get turned loose on the world" thing is everywhere.

2tirednot2fight Fri 28-Feb-14 15:50:31

Avoid north pants crockashit council in the East Midlands they have an inadequate rating in everything simply because they are inadequate in everything!

zzzzz Fri 28-Feb-14 17:18:20

well we are left alone......is that good?????

Devon

StarlightMcKingsThree Fri 28-Feb-14 19:01:47

Milton Keynes is less bad.

Hth

arabellarubberplant Sat 01-Mar-14 03:14:15

Dd2 has been looked after everywhere tbh. Born in Renfrewshire, they saved her life and gave her an awesome start, discharging from hospital at 6 weeks with twice weekly physio and slt, with OT kicking in as soon as she was able to sit. Attended a communication and feeding group from 6 months. Very lovely. Orthotics from about 18. Mos. Given two mornings nursery place free from 1st birthday. Equipment available and suitable - supplied for both home and nursery.

Wilts/ Oxon border was okay - we chose to go to Oxon, because they have The Hugh Ellis Paediatric Assessment centre, which is brilliant. When we moved there they booked her in for full assessment, and she had regular OT, PT, SLT, Opth, optom, Ortho again. All fine. Ft 1-1 supplied by nursery at no charge.

North Hants. The best OT, PT we ever had (they worked as a team, joint appointments to get the best out of posture and functional motor skills, looking at all aspects of motor coordination and supportive equipment. SLT good. Orthotics good (also supported by pt) very very joined up services. Statemented for school with very little bother. 1-1, pt, OT, and SLT all actively engaged with both nursery and school, training key workers etc.

OT and PT both cried when we moved.

That said, Hants is notoriously shit wrt children with disabilities team. Don't bother applying for a sw if you are a two parent employed family with no addictions. You won't qualify for anything. They also have had some seriously un impressive history wrt reducing respite in order to replace it later and claiming they are giving More Respite, hoorah!

In all honesty, you have to learn to deal with the system. Every area works differently, and it takes a while to work out what happens. You need to adopt a 'working together for the best of the child' grin, and reiterate this a thousand times a day when they won't give you what you want.

Nowhere is perfect. Some places are worse than others.

We then moved to a country where they don't accept immigrants with disabilities who will be a 'burden on the state'.

That was nice ;-)

MsCuddy Sat 01-Mar-14 09:45:00

polter you must be in the same area as me.

Really good provision of NHS integrated services but shockingly lacking when it comes to choice of schools and educational provision in our experience.

bjkmummy Sat 01-Mar-14 09:52:26

where I live provision used to be excellent hence why when we move away as dh was in the forces we came back to settle -big mistake as the staff in the LA had all changed and the SEN team in particular have become horrific and this has led to my 3rd year of absolute fighting with them ahead of me - my only saving grace is that I only have 6 years of fighting to go. NHS stuff pretty rubbish but I don't need to access much of it so it doesn't really bother me but you get referrals and then are discharged in a heartbeat

PolterGoose Sat 01-Mar-14 10:09:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MsCuddy Sat 01-Mar-14 10:30:09

Yes, we are South Somerset.

2tirednot2fight Sat 01-Mar-14 11:34:41

Shame Somerset looks like such a nice place to live but really why should we have to try to find a good place to live based on services for our children? It really gets me down that there is such a lot of inequity, don't we have enough to deal with? Sorry, need to name change and take out the not!

PolterGoose Sat 01-Mar-14 11:37:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheresAHedgehogInMyPocket Sat 01-Mar-14 11:44:11

Just out of interest, can someone link to the ore thread mentioned please?

TheresAHedgehogInMyPocket Sat 01-Mar-14 11:44:41

Other!

PolterGoose Sat 01-Mar-14 12:00:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

2tirednot2fight Sat 01-Mar-14 12:53:40

I misread Arabella's post and thought country said county! Lol Freudian slip as I live in a rural part of a county where outsiders with disabilities rather than immigrants are seen as the burden on the state!!

Babiecakes91 Sun 02-Mar-14 02:43:44

I moved to a different county on purpose for this reason, 6 miles from my home village but classed under two different councils.
My son now receives a lot of therapy's plus and under 3s placement in a nursery for children with additional needs.
We are in east ayrshire which is classed as a deprived area so they have a lot more funding for children with sn x

zzzzz Sun 02-Mar-14 05:12:53

Arabella how has it worked out being somewhere you can't settle forever. We have much the same dilemma as we were planning to relocate to Australia. We often discuss it as a family now as we get little/no support here anyway. I wonder how I would cope knowing that we couldn't stay long term.

greener2 Sun 02-Mar-14 16:47:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

arabellarubberplant Sun 02-Mar-14 17:19:41

zzzzzz, actually, (we have been here 5 years now) it looks like we can - we paid through the nose for long term ed psych reports which give a reasonably sensible prognosis about living independently despite her disability, which means that theoretically (we haven't yet applied for citizenship, but have been here long enough that we can...) we can use that to appeal if we are turned down. She is also integrated into the health and ed system, so there are no surprises - we wanted them to be able a decision based on the reality of her personal situation, not rule her out completely because of her (big fat giant neon flashing) label. It took several extra months for us to get permission to move in the shorter term.

Greener, dd2 was seriously change-averse. To be honest, we had no choice but to move a lot with work, so became extremely adept at managing change for her. It was one of those things, and got easier over time. It was worst when she was between 5 and 7, and has improved noticeably with the last move (within country here). She even switched schools last year with a minimum of angst. Even our kids with disabilities can learn to manage change - whether we feel it's appropriate for them to have to (and whether we can face the trauma whilst doing so) are all up for debate. And of course all our kids are different. I saw it as something that would (eventually) give her a skill that would stand her in good stead in the longer term, despite what I knew would be an awful short term. And for our family, we didn't have a choice. It was either battle through moving, or try for a complete career change (which would necessitate moving anyway...) stuck between a rock and a hard place!!

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