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DS2 being assessed for SA - so school reduce provision (of course)

(14 Posts)
KeepOnKeepingOn1 Thu 03-Apr-14 09:06:31

Following the surprisingly good LA EP visit, I was given, several hours later, the new IEP that was supposed to reflect the changes agreed with the LA in January (especially 10 hours in class support - which incidentally the EP thought was arbitrary as he needed support all day, every day) plus the advice given the SLCN and ASD specialist teachers. I should mention that the school and the specialist teachers are all in the neighbouring LA (most definitely not the only way wink).

Specialist SLCN repeated an assessment that did not identify any issues in 2011 and it still does not identify any issues so he is now fine. She did not repeat the tests that showed narrative delay of a third to a half of chronological age. So need removed and IEP target and provision removed.

The ASD specialist teacher's report was unbelievable. I can't judge the accuracy of her observations of DS2 but the report of parents views are the opposite of what was said to her. It actually says 'DS2's mother feels that this year in school has been better than other school years' - how the hell did she come to that conclusion! There have been numerous discussions and emails about using a token reward system for over a year. Initially the school LA EP warned against using 'autism friendly strategies'. It took advice from a SALT therapist and consultant pead before the school agreed to use the strategy that had been enormously successful at home. But, the school have decided that a sheet of stickers is a TRS. This is like saying that a cardboard box in the shape of a car is actually a car. No, it's not. But according to the ASD teacher, parents are full of praise for the sticker reward system 'which his parents feel has had a positive impact on this self-esteem in relation to his work' and despite not adding a reward until they had been using the 'system' for a whole term (a single reward at the end of the day whilst the other DC are putting their coats on!) says 'DS2's father said that he can be extremely focused on activities of interest to him' as if parents believe DS2 is positively motivated.

It concludes 'It is very positive to see DS2 being educated in such a calm and structured environment, supported with clear visual instructions... I understand that SA is being initiated. I feel that it is important that any resulting increase in support should be primarily hover support, as DS2 would risk learning to become more dependent with any increase in the level of direct support given'.

The school have of course acted on this advice immediately and removed the 10 hours in class support agreed in January and deleted half the targets on this IEP.

The EP said that the sticker system was wrong and could not modify behaviour as it is written from an adult perspective with no explicit instructions relating to the behaviour required. She said that at the moment he does not know what to do to get a reward and as they are also using removal of Golden Time to punish him he is afraid to do or say anything. Six months ago his behaviour at school was challenging but he did not give a toss. Now his 'challenging' behaviour has reduced at school because he is fearful of being punished but has increased at home (he has started having meltdowns) where his weaknesses are not punished.

Bastards.

Sorry this is long. Pissed off. This new emotional abuse thing - is it just parents or can criminal proceedings be brought against teachers?

OneInEight Thu 03-Apr-14 09:50:03

You might want to ask for your son's name to be removed from your message but can understand why you are fuming.

I do like the idea of criminal proceedings for emotional abuse to include teachers - have a certain lady in mind!!!! It took just six months in her class for ds1 before he was permanently excluded. Not that I'm bitter or anything.

For ds1 a positive reward system does help BUT it has to be done consistently, frequently and very, very positively. His current school give feedback after every lesson with a tickbox system. The actual 'reward' really does not have to be even tangible for him e.g. he responds well to being given points for the day.

ouryve Thu 03-Apr-14 12:40:24

Good grief.

I did have the same thought about the emotional abuse thing, when I heard it announced, the other day.hmm

PolterGoose Thu 03-Apr-14 13:20:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Thu 03-Apr-14 14:13:03

The EP also said that he is now 'vulnerable' and unable to act with any independence in legitimate circumstances - eg if he needed the toilet.

She said he was totally dependent on adults who randomly punish and/or reward him - he doesn't know how to behave to avoid punishment and risks rapid development of 'learned helplessness'.

I've emailed the school and asked how much golden time he lost last week. DS2 says 15 minutes because of school anxiety relating in lateness on 2 mornings, difficulty working in a group and insufficient written output in literacy.

I see a disability discrimination case being brought by me pretty soon. Tbh I think the EP agrees - she was getting quite passionate and declaring it was the law. But at the same time I had to make it clear that there were too many different people involved for the school to be able to keep the IEP up to date - eg in a 15 month period, only 3 months actual provision was given to DS2 with most of the time taken up with assessment, report writing, training TA etc.

It is more than clear that DS2 needs to get out and I suspect that the school also want him gone and so are piling on the pressure. Either his response would be to externalise stress and so become more challenging (exclusion) or internalise and either parents or LA will be forced to fund a placement to undo the psychological damage.

I've got about another year of this crap confused

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 03-Apr-14 14:47:39

I would speak to IPSEA about all this and seek their advice. It is all too clear that your son is being failed by school currently.

How far are you along with the Statement application, has this actually been made by you as yet to the LEA?.

bjkmummy Thu 03-Apr-14 15:53:13

oh keep - im so mad for you - I also wonder about being able to sue as well - my friend who has an elder son is finding that everyone is now listening to him rather than her as a parent. The LA admitted its because they are terrified that in the future he may come back and sue them if they don't listen to his views now that hes's 16.

what a load of crap you have to deal with. im so pi**ed off for you

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Thu 03-Apr-14 16:34:37

Tbh I'm not surprised that the home LA are recognising anxiety now that they have their shiny new provision specifically for HFA where anxiety means m/s placement is not working. They have already told me they would have a place by September. They don't start til year 4. But limited to 3 GCSES - DS2 is on the 99th percentile hmm. They can only access more by leaving the ss. What's 6 months more for tribunal for Indi ss with full NC access?

ouryve Thu 03-Apr-14 17:08:26

That's why we pushed for DS1's placement, Keep. It was the only option truly accessible to him which would have the same sky's the limit options for him as MS would for an NT child of the same academic potential.

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Thu 03-Apr-14 17:23:24

Thanks - I am steeling myself. smile (As well as coping with DS1, an ailing mother ( currently living with my brother following fall - he has a toddler and a newborn) and writing up my PhD thesis. Joy)

TOWIESpringHasSprung Thu 03-Apr-14 17:31:00

It is all load of crap. I'm beginning to think that we really are the generation that is failing SEN children.

She said he was totally dependent on adults who randomly punish and/or reward him - he doesn't know how to behave to avoid punishment and risks rapid development of 'learned helplessness'.

^^That is absolutely appalling. Poor child doesn't know whether he's coming or going!

The school's LA will not believe in the anxiety and will fight you about it (as the same LA did with my DS's dx)

The only "good" thing I can see is that DS's anxiety will get progressively worse so by the time you are either appealing NIL or part 2, 3 & 4, the experts will be able to fight a very good case for getting him the proper provision in the correct setting.

How wrong is a system that drives our DC to almost breakdown before LAs are forced to find the right setting! It makes me so angry.

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Thu 03-Apr-14 17:47:13

This is how I feel. DS2 won't leave the house at weekends. He used to be skinny (9th percentile) but went to the 91st percentile in a matter of months. Not again. Never again. If this continues next term I will get him signed off.

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Thu 03-Apr-14 17:51:34

I know Essex will deny anxiety. Luckily they are not my home LA. Last year anxiety did not exist in my home LA when DS1 was out of school, but now it is crucial.

RaRaTheNoisyLion Thu 03-Apr-14 22:37:03

So sorry Keep.

Can you withdraw him on the basis that you must do your duty as his parent to safeguard him? - until provision is in place?

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