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AR coming up, ds making limited progress, what support to ask for?

(19 Posts)
claw2 Fri 07-Mar-14 09:39:58

AR in a couple of weeks. Ds has made improvements considered where we started from (not able to attend school for a year, suicidal, self harming etc).

Ds is receiving weekly support from counsellor and OT, this is not in ds's statement, but school have given it to him regardless. SALT is available to advise if needed.

Ds hasn't met his IEP targets for 6 months and these have been repeated.

He cannot eat in school.
He cannot use the toilet.
He is breaking down and crying most days in school and when he gets home. Saying its 'all too much' and he is finding school work hard as he just cannot think.
He cannot do joined up handwriting
English he struggles with ideas and writing
Maths he struggles with rigid thinking and using new methods
Science he says he does little work and just doesn't get it
RE he struggles to understand what the teacher is talking about
PE he struggles with movement, following instructions and gets upset at others not following 'his' rules
socially he feels persecuted and 'bullied'

School are keeping a diary of his behaviours, he is getting some 1:1 to help with handwriting and English. He is in a class of 12, with 1 teacher and 2 TA's. Academically he is not behind. However it would appear he is doing little work, getting upset and having to be taken out of the classroom.

Do I continue to 'wait and see' and give this more time?

Do I ask for more support? and if so, what support can I ask for?

ouryve Fri 07-Mar-14 11:19:10

Do you think he would benefit from his curriculum being pared back? The PE he is being expected to do is clearly not appropriate for him, in many ways. Is there any way of him taking part in activities that are less demanding, rule wise and which are more appropriate to his physical capability eg using a trampoline or doing targetted exercises that help to improve balance and coordination in a smaller group (surely, he can't be alone in this, given that he's in a specialist setting)

I would disapply him from RE, full stop. All parents have that right.

As for the other subjects, his problems are common ones, so surely the school have tried and tested methods to teach children with these specific difficulties with these subjects. I would ask what they have done in the past that works.

claw2 Fri 07-Mar-14 13:08:27

Its difficult with ds, as he doesn't want to do anything 'different' from the others. So any support I ask for, I have to be mindful or try to find a way which doesn't single him out.

School are giving ds a lot of support. For example he has 10 minutes writing practise with TA to model how to do it. TA is advised by OT. He also has 1:1 support from OT weekly. This has been one of his IEP targets for 6 months, which he hasn't met.

Im not sure whether I just need to give it more time or whether school need to change strategies or increase help.

StarlightMcKingsThree Fri 07-Mar-14 13:34:54

If he hasn't managed to eat in school in 6 months then the target is far too big.

Sit in the canteen for 30 seconds might be more of an appropriate target.

claw2 Fri 07-Mar-14 13:47:40

He doesn't have a target for eating, its not even listed as a difficult in statement. So obvious changes have to be made there. The whole statement needs re-writing.

He will sit in the canteen, he just wont eat. Counsellor is addressing his eating weekly and agreeing a menu with ds for him to follow at home, but no support in school.

lougle Fri 07-Mar-14 18:29:59

Bottom line, Claw, is this school right for your DS?

If it is, then you need to be careful to make targets that are manageable for both your DS and the school, and a statement that is right for your DS and manageable by the school. Otherwise, you'll end up with a school who says 'can't meet need due to restraints of his statement' and you'll be back on a hunt for another school.

claw2 Fri 07-Mar-14 18:49:21

I think the school could be right for him Lougle.

The statement that ds currently has is what is wrong, not school iyswim.

lougle Fri 07-Mar-14 19:51:55

Hmmm...I'm not so sure, tbh. The statement shouldn't prevent them from meeting his needs, even if it isn't perfect.

DD1's statement didn't say 'requires cued articulation'. She got cued articulation sessions because it was what she needed and it worked towards her statemented goal of improving speech and language skills.

What is it about the statement that you feel inhibits the school in providing for your DS?

The worst a statement can do is make the school provide something that is no longer necessary, but specified on the statement. The school isn't compelled to stick only to the statemented provisions. They are able to go above and beyond its requirements. So if they aren't, then the problem is more about them and ?funding, not the statement itself.

If the bottom line is 'we aren't funded sufficiently to provide everything that DS needs' then they need to put that case forward to the LA.

claw2 Sat 08-Mar-14 11:29:47

Lougle, the statement is wrong from start to finish.

part 2 does not identify any of his needs. The introduction just says that ds has ASD, a large number of services has been involved in assessing his needs and advising on them. Ds hasn't attended school since x date.

There is no mention of his other dx's or difficulties. No services were involved in assessing his needs for the purpose of SA.

Communication and interaction - basically says that ds is progressing well, then just packed out with how well he is doing.

Cognitive - a pupil of high potential, then just filled out with how well he is doing

behaviour, emotional, social - school advice that ds has friends and is happy. He is a happy child who enjoys school and has no difficulties with other children. Then a bit slagging me off saying I removed him from school for no reason

Sensory - there are no reported concerns

Part 3 just follows suits with things such as 'access to' 'advice from' 'an opportunity' 'ongoing support' 'help to manage' 'adult support'

School have provided the support of SALT, OT and counsellor and TA. But they really have no direction at all from statement.

ouryve Sat 08-Mar-14 12:33:04

I remember when you posted the statement, claw. It was alarmingly short.

Are the SALT, OT and counsellor going to be contributing to the AR? After all, it's their input that needs to be in the statement and, by now, they should know enough about your DS to know what his needs are. Your own submission for the review needs to include what you posted here about how he finds each subject and how he is coping, socially, as that's all something that should inform his statement, too.

claw2 Sat 08-Mar-14 13:01:49

Ouryve they have padded it out with lots of irrelevant info, mainly relating to how well ds is doing and how happy he is and just not mentioned any of his difficulties or dx's at all.

Behaviour, emotional, social - despite having numerous reports from CAMHS, EP stating how concerned they were for ds and what his difficulties actually are etc. They have chosen to quote from my parental advice 'mother reports' what his difficulties are etc. Then school report (from a school he hadnt attended for over a year) he has friends, is happy, has no worries about school etc. Then minutes of a meeting with school (which were not circulated to anyone who attended and over a year ago) stating I am removing ds from school for no reason.

So part 2, no dx's or difficulties identified. School are then faced with a child who refuses to write for example. They think he is just being wilful, as they are not aware of his eye disorder, his hypermobility, his poor motor skills etc or the provision he needs.

School have been very good at providing provision ONCE I have pointed it out, but it is always down to me to point out why he has this difficulty iyswim. Even with professionals, I am having to point out how one difficult has a knock on effect to another etc.

His needs are very complex, hence why he needed a statement. School/professionals are still finding him a bit of a puzzle, so again until I sort his statement out, its down to me.

ouryve Sat 08-Mar-14 13:30:46

Do you have older reports highlighting his difficulties? If you do, even if they're from half his life ago, show them to the current professionals working with him. I doubt you have time to get any non-private evaluations done before AR, but you could point out at the meeting that x, y and z have all been highlighted as issues in the past and his current statement makes no mention of them. For this reason and in light of the problems he is currently experiencing, it's important that his needs are fully re-assessed. I have no idea how the upcoming changes will affect you if you asked for a statutory re-assessment (something to ask IPSEA, I think) but these are the sort of circumstances when it's reasonable to suggest only 6 months until the next review, when hopefully, you should all have meaningful reports about his actual needs.

claw2 Sat 08-Mar-14 13:32:43

Sorry yes I would hope that OT, SALT, Counsellor are going to provide reports for AR. I will double check with school.

ouryve Sat 08-Mar-14 13:34:09

And, as I said upthread, as it's a specialist school, I'm quite surprised that they don't appear to have seen this all before. I'll PM you something.

claw2 Sat 08-Mar-14 14:01:33

Ouryve, ds has lots of previous assessments. EP's, years worth of CAMHS reports, OT reports, SALT reports, feeding clinic reports, eye disorder reports, hypermobility dx etc, etc.

The only up to date ones for SA were

LA EP attempted assessment at her office, she was only able to do 2 sub tests before he broke down and assessment had to stop. She did comment about this in her report that she was extremely concerned/shocked at how he presented and his emotional state and views on school and how much he had regressed since her last assessment of him and what school were reporting could not be correct. LA chose not to mention this in statement. They just spoke about the 2 subtests and blamed the fact he had not attended school for the regression in tests. What school report his NC levels to be over a year before.

Indi EP assessment, he assessed ds at home, but due to the circumstances he did not attempt formal assessments, he just spoke to ds and I and raised his concerns about ds's emotional state, school phobia, his inability to have a two way conversation etc. He slagged off school and stated there was no evidence to support anything school were saying, quite the opposite. LA chose not to mention his 40 page report at all and asked him to withdraw it.

CAMHS reports were up to date. A&E emergency mental health assessment report etc. They had signed ds off from school at the time. Again they chose not to mention this or any CAMHS reports. Just 'mum reports' and 'school report' that ds is happy, no worries about school etc from a year earlier.

This is a 6 month AR. I insisted on early review when I accepted statement. As assessment of ds at that time was impossible, CAMHS were advising against it etc.

ouryve Sat 08-Mar-14 14:06:02

Well, if assessments are ignored, this time, then you need to appeal the contents of the statement. Have the school seen the reports that the LA ignored?

claw2 Sat 08-Mar-14 14:17:58

Yes, the LA attached them to ds's statement as part of my parental advice!

Ds's school isn't specialist as such, just indi with specialist support on site and a large number of children with SEN, particularly HFA, very small class size etc.

Just feel like a lot of pulling it all together, writing IEP's etc is left to me. As Lougle says maybe this isn't the right school for ds. What I do like about the school is they are very upfront, honest and willing to communicate and will say we don't understand, we need help.

claw2 Sat 08-Mar-14 14:22:09

I will have the backing of the school to appeal. Previous school were saying don't know what mum/professionals are talking about, he is fine, happy etc.

This school are more than prepared to say he isn't fine, he isn't happy, something needs to be done immediately, he cant carry on like this. Hence them providing OT, SALT and counsellor, even though it isn't written in his statement.

School are trying hard to piece together what support he needs and they are relying on me quite heavily to help them.

claw2 Sat 08-Mar-14 14:31:33

The more I think about it, the more I think Lougle and you could be right. Maybe this school isn't 'specialist' enough for ds. However with the crap statement ds had, it was a miracle the LA agreed to indi.

Reading ds's statement, he doesn't actually have any difficulties and the provision required to meet his needs could be provided in the café down the road, let alone bog standard MS.

I suppose all I can do is make sure his needs are identified, regardless if this school can meet them and I might need to reconsider placement.

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