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HFA with behavioural problems urgent help needed

(10 Posts)
Katsamjam Mon 03-Nov-14 12:38:01

Hi all, DS, 12 diag of HFA and has behavioural issues within school, aggression, anxiety, not able to engage with lessons, calling out etc. Started MS secondary with statement in Sept. Going further and further downhill, 3 fixed term exclusions so far, emergency statement review imminent as statement was not specified or quantified and he currently has 1:1 full time. We had problems in junior school but not to this degree. We saw local EBD school earlier in the year and it seemed like a good fit for him. Although he is very bright he cannot access lessons with any success at the moment anyway. My question is do I contact LEA now, tell them we are nearly at crisis point, and start looking for alternative provision? Or wait for the emergency review and school get extra funding but how will that transfer to helping him succeed? And would his statement be relevant in SS? School doing their best, they have lots of ASD strategies in place but it seems he becomes too anxious to engage with anyone. So worried - any ideas?

OneInEight Mon 03-Nov-14 13:26:36

We made the decision to move from mainstream to specialist school for ds1 and ds2 when they were not coping at the end of primary.

For ds1 it was almost forced upon us when he was first permanently excluded and then had a failed managed move. He was then placed in an EBD primary for Year 6 and did fantastically well with the majority of the challenging behaviour disappearing within weeks. Truly, I don't think we realised how stressed he was in mainstream until he left. One thing that surprised me was the feeling that he was far more included in his special school than he had been in the last couple of years in mainstream. For secondary he is attending an ASD specialist school as the secondary EBD school in our area only offered very limited academic opportunities.

For ds2 the decision was more gradual. He become progressively more depressed and disruptive in mainstream so we tried an ASD unit for Year 6 but his anxiety was too great to cope despite the staff's best efforts. Like his brother he is now in a tiny specialist school for secondary. He is still very anxious but copes with a full day and has started to engage with his peers again. He probably tolerates it rather than liking school but given his hatred of school over the previous two years this is a massive improvement and he is certainly less depressed.

I guess you have three options.1.Ask the LA for additional/different support at his current school - whether this might help depends on what you think the causes of his anxiety are. 2. The EBD school - worth checking what his academic opportunities would be there as you say your son is bright and 3. The route we have gone an independent, specialist school. The latter will not be popular with the LEA but your son does have a right to have both his behavioural and academic needs met.

MeirAiaNeoAlibi Mon 03-Nov-14 13:32:50

Probably cheaper and easier to add-in higher level academic curriculum work to a school with all the other stuff as standard , than vice versa. Question is, whether your LA would do this.

Katsamjam Mon 03-Nov-14 13:35:14

Hi OneinEight, thanks for replying. Our situations sound similar. I will take your advice and start exploring other options. I really don't see him succeeding at the MS secondary now, they have told us that one more episode of aggression will see him permanently excluded. This is just a matter of time. Do you think I should contact LEA now before the emergency statement review to start looking at alternatives? I'm not sure on how his statement would stand if he transfers to SS.

Katsamjam Mon 03-Nov-14 13:36:06

Hi Meir, do you mean within MS setting?

OneInEight Mon 03-Nov-14 13:53:52

For ds1 and ds2 all that changed on their statement was the school placement when they moved from mainstream to specialist school. The difference was that the special school could actually implement what it said whereas mainstream found it impossible because certainly for ds2 his anxiety levels were too high.

Katsamjam Mon 03-Nov-14 14:03:48

Thanks OneinEight So should I wait for the emergency review meeting and for LA to agree to amend the statement before I start looking? Or would this not really make a difference in SS. At the moment his statement is very woolly but I'm guessing if his anxieties came down in a different setting, this might be irrelevant. Were your boys out of school while you waited for your specialist places?

OneInEight Mon 03-Nov-14 15:17:51

Personally I would start looking so you know what to ask for at the annual review. I don't think it would do any harm to talk to the SEN team in advance of the review and see if they have any options you might not have considered.

ds2 was on reduced hours but still attending school when the LEA agreed to a change of placement. The school agreed totally with us that they could not meet his needs which helped and the emergency review was an anti-climax as the SEN officer announced straight away they would go to panel for an out of borough placement. Things moved quite quickly after that - I think he was in his new school about six weeks after the annual review.

For ds1 it was even easier as the PRU was part of the EBD school so effectively we had a trial period and knew it was the right place for him. Still took the LEA nearly a year to agree to a specialist school for secondary though!

Katsamjam Mon 03-Nov-14 21:40:03

OneInEight, thank you for all your advice and your positive experience with EBD schools. It's good to hear that maybe there is light at the end of the tunnel! Its nice to know there are others out there that understand.

MeirAiaNeoAlibi Thu 06-Nov-14 10:58:08

Hi Katsam
a school with all the other stuff as standard could theoretically be MS. but so far, I've only seen social-behavioual-life skills taught properly in SS

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