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Received draft statement, what to do now.... (a bit long, sorry!)

(6 Posts)
Ahhhcantthinkofagoodname Fri 07-Mar-14 22:26:26

A bit of background....

DS, who's 3, is due to start reception in sept. he has severe verbal dyspraxia (can hardly say anything that can be understood) and ASD diagnoses. While he undoubtably shows some ASD traits, eg limited imagination in play, a lot of the things that probably contributed to him getting the diagnosis 8 months ago have faded away, eg he no longer hand flaps, is really happy and settled at his mainstream nursery, copes ok with changes to routine... He's definitely a lot happier and more confident and independent than he was last summer when he got the diagnosis. The consensus among professionals seems to be that verbal dyspraxia is his "primary" diagnosis and that a lot of his social problems are to do with the fact that he cannot communicate verbally. The pre school specialist teacher assigned to DS says he tries to communicate a lot more than other children with ASD diagnoses. He doesn't seem to have any sensory issues aside from being a bit scared of handriers and fans in toilets. His understanding (receptive language) is average / just slightly below average, depending on which test is used.

We are very keen, desperate even, that DS goes to a mainstream primary with speech unit and we are lucky enough to have a great option in this regard only 20 mins away from where we live. His nhs and private speech therapists both agree this is also the best place for DS and the speech therapist in charge of our local unit came to observe DS and said she would be happy to take him. The LA have just done a SA and when I called for an update last week and was told they had drafted the statement, I asked if the content was consistent with DS being placed at the speech unit. The case officer confirmed it was and said that if we named our local speech unit in part 4 they would have no objections.

So, on the plus side, things all seem to be heading in the right direction for us. However the statement itself is not great. Although part 2 seems generally ok and reasonably accurate, part 3 is a load of crap. In line with what loads of other people get, very little is clearly specified or quantified.

For us the key thing is speech therapy, and what is in the draft is:
"communication targets written by the SLT... incoprorated in the IEP"
"individual sessions following a particular speech intervention programme carried out by a member of staff several times a week" and a few other similarly pointless things!

I'm kind of ok with how to deal with that sub section on language skills, clearly we need to be pushing for the recommendations of the SLTs to be adopted, which include 3 sessions a week with a therapist experienced dealing with VD, and daily practice.

However what is trickier for us to determine is what other support we want written into the statement. There is currently some stuff under "early learning and play skills", "attention and concentration skills", and "social skills". Our main area of concern is that he will be ok during playtimes and lunch times and where things are not structured or closely supervised. We feel he is vulnerable to being bullied by other kids and he often tries to join in with what other kids are doing, but is shunned, which is clearly going to damage his self esteem if it is allowed to happen regularly. Sometimes because he cannot talk, or because he doesn't understand social rules as well as others, he will do something inappropriate like snatch a toy from another child.

Some of the bits in the draft are:
"an appropriate programme of support which focuses on developing his early learning skills"
" a daily programme of reading development ..."
"frequent adult supported teaching of early literacy and numeracy skills through play based activities... Sessions will be short and frequent and delivered through direct instruction with an adult"
" use of visual prompts and support ..."
" use of a move and sit cushion"
" short term work on developing attention and concentration..."
" adult directed play sessions at least three times a week but ideally daily with the adult facilitating the interaction and helping support and interpret DS' communication with his peers"
" access to an adult who can help him work through tricky situations arising in and out of the classroom"
" a programme of activities to develop his understanding of appropriate social interaction. Staff can use role play or puppets..."

Obviously a lot of the above is way too vague but I'm not really sure what we should be asking for or expecting. One thing we are aware of is we don't want to jeopardise his place at the unit. The idea is they don't take children with "complex needs" so i am scared if we are too demanding they will say they can't meet his needs and it's not the appropriate placement for him. On the other hand we obviously want DS to receive the support he needs for his wider ASD relatd needs.

Any advice on what to go back with to the LA will be appreciated. Should I write back confirming we want the speech unit in part 4 but saying we want to tighten up all the stuff in part 3. Do people generally rewrite the statement themselves and send to the LA? Should I ask for a soft copy so I can make comments / proposals directly on that ?

Thanks in advance for any help or advice, and thanks for reading if you've made it this far!!

osospecial Sat 08-Mar-14 15:37:20

Hi, I'm no expert on this but didn't want you to go unanswered. I'm in a similar position but I'm waiting on the draft statement at the moment.
I think you are supposed to write any amendments you want made (like the rewording to tighten up part 3) on the actual draft and send that back. Or, can you copy it first then write whatever you need changed on the copy and send that back to them? Just rewrite it how you want the final statement to look. I think they then get in contact with you to arrange a meeting to discuss your amendments.
I don't know much about the actual wording that should be used but I've read a few other threads on here before that have some good ideas for how to word things in part 3. The more detailed and specific the better. Ill have a look if I can find them again now and link to them if I find them. I think IPSEA can help with this part too if you ring them.
Ill look for the thread I'm thinking of now, I may have bookmarked it ready in case I need to rewrite mine!

Lesley25 Sat 08-Mar-14 15:49:11

Tighten up part 3.
The key thing to remember is that your son has made great progress in a provision he is used to. School is very different.
Think of him starting somewhere new and what needs to be in place for a new provision (school) to be successful.

adrianna1 Sat 08-Mar-14 15:53:37

Hi aaahhcantthink.... I'm just popping out. So'll I'll give you a detailed answer soon.

But if you want a statement guidelines book..which covers basically everything. I'll be happy to email it to you if you want.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sat 08-Mar-14 18:34:38

If part 3 is neither specified or quantified it needs to be rejected out of hand. It does not sound like Part 2 is up to muster either.

You do not want vague or woolly minded stuff in the statement; it must say child x will have access to.., child x will be provided with.....

Both Parts 2 and 3 are the most important parts of this document so they have to be bang on.

Give IPSEA a call next week and talk through Parts 2 and 3 with them; they will tell you what it should say.

I sincerely hope you will not have to go to Tribunal to appeal the contents of parts 2 and 3 but this is wholly dependent on how the LEA react to the changes made. They may well refuse your changes.

IPSEA's website is www.ipsea.org.uk and IIRC they offer a callback service these days too.

Ahhhcantthinkofagoodname Sat 08-Mar-14 21:37:47

Thanks very much for the replies....

Osospecial, I think I bookmarked the same thread, someone posted a link to this v useful doc http://www.sossen.org.uk/reports/Check_statement.pdf

Lesley, thanks thats a good idea to think about that but what is difficult is we dont really know what DS will need in order for a new provision to work, other than our thought that he should always have access to an adult he knows and trusts. Will try to think about it some more though!

Adrianna thanks that's v kind, will PM you my email address.

Atilla, thanks for responding to another post from me! I've arranged a call back from IPSEA. What do you mean by "reject out of hand"? I was thinking of emailing the LA to say: "this is the school we propose for part 4. We note that part 3 is vague with very little clearly specified or quantified and we are currently considering what proposed changes to make. In the meantime can you email me the draft statement?". Would that make sense do you think?

Anyone else able to give any advice?

Has anyone else whose DC attends a speech unit got a statement?

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