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Advice please Re CAF Meetings.

(30 Posts)
snowgirl29 Fri 27-Mar-15 12:48:55

Hi there, i am an old MNer who has rejoined. I am just wondering if anyone could help me please as I am new to all of this and this is proving very confusing terroritory and I'm not sure what the best approach is to take.
Ds (6) has always struggled and we are thinking he probably has ASD which currently remains undiagnosed. He was eventually referred to a Paeditrician last year who at the first assessment told us he has GDD, Autistic Features and he has the Mental Age of a three year old.
Fast forward to the next appointment when she has all the reports through from School etc and now the Paed is hesitant as the School have said "He is fine for us". I know this is untrue as I have seen this with my own eyes and so have other schoolmums when they have been dropping off and collecting their children. Not to mention the times the Teachers have called me in because x y and z happened.
To cut a long story short, the Paeditrician said she was going to set up a CAF meeting where we could go through the Issues ourselves.
I'm confused as to why the Paeditrician is now adamant it is all developmental yet when a Behaviour Professional visited us recently, they signed us up to classes for children with additional needs?! Why would they feel the need to do this if they thought he was 'fine' for want of a better word.
The last contact I had with the Paeditrician I was told "Cant you just implement at Home what the School do for him, it seems to work fine for them".
I'd appreciate any advice you could all give me, I have recently had a lot go on in life which has knocked the stuffing and the confidence out of me and I need to get it back for my son.
To give you a brief insight into what ds is really like, when a Member of the Behaviour Team came out for a home visit, ds didn't say a word to her the entire time she was there and he growled at her.
The paediatrician refuses to investigate further as in their words "well he talks to me okay".
Thankyou in advance I hope you can help.

p.s I have asked the GP for a second opinion and the GP said they don't think one is necessary right now, I have been advised to put a complaint through PALS about the Paeditrician but I am unsure as to whether if I do so this will be brought up in the next CAF meeting as me being difficult and or obstructive.

Ineedmorepatience Fri 27-Mar-15 13:31:07

The Paed should know that children can behave differently in different settings! There are loads of us on here whose kids can hold it together at school!

Before you go to PALS try writing to him and asking him to do a formal assessment of your son I did this when a paed tried to discharge my Dd without actually doing anything!

Keep a diary of all the times you get called into school and one of his difficulties at home, what causes them (if you know) and how you deal with them.

Schools are notoriously crap at spotting conditions such as Asd and are happy to say "He is fine" when they actually wouldnt know "fine" if it smacked them in the face!!

I sense your journey may only be at the beginning! Stay strong and fight for your son.

Good luck flowers

snowgirl29 Fri 27-Mar-15 13:43:35

Thank you for your reply I need more patience.
They currently have me on a Parenting Course to deal with his 'Ishoos' as it must be home caused because I'm a single parent!
I spoke to the Paeds Boss and the Boss offered to have a word with them (I've deliberately been vague as to not identify them) and the Boss offered to have a word with them but the thing is I want things in writing as this is what's happening. I'm having one person tell me one thing and another another and there's no proof to counteract them. Do you think I should write to the Paed before I ask their boss to have a word with them? Also what should I put in the Letter if you don't mind me asking?
I'm happy to PM you further but it seems to be a case with school and the current Paed they are only prepared to help if your face fits. They told me the only way I would get a different Paed is if I officially complained about Dr's current one.

snowgirl29 Fri 27-Mar-15 13:46:49

P. S I have been keeping a diary for the past six months and I also forgot to add that the GP asked for a statement to be done in October and the Senco went barmy at me and basically said he wouldn't get one as he isn't severe enough hence why I backed down and didn't go ahead. I have the forms ready to fill in I'm just hesitant to do it as I know how they can twist things and with me having an unsupportive Paed as it is at the moment I feel it will be pointless to even try.

Babieseverywhere Fri 27-Mar-15 13:48:26

Honestly...I gave up sad

My child is naughty and badly parented.

The fact that he is highly anxious, bad sleeper with no friends is irrelevant.

School just see bad behaviour.

Comm Paed dismissed all other reports in preference to schools 'we see nothing, he is fine' one.

So I watch my anxious reluctant child attend school, whilst the bad behaviour points rack up.

At home I comfort him though all his irrational fears.

Tell him the missing party invites are simply 'not his turn yet' (awaiting the yearly invite from the boy who has full class party)

I listen to his endless monologues about his latest obsessions. Correct him when he speaks in the third person.

Encourage him to play his computer games with visiting children, surely sitting side by side is the start of a friendship.

I now tell strangers who ask me 'what is wrong with him?', that there is nothing wrong with him.

However my answer is disbelieved, as they watch him refuse to get off the floor, endlessly spin or scream and hit me.

I hope you find a solution for your child.

snowgirl29 Fri 27-Mar-15 14:10:54

Babies everywhere I'm so sorry sad it's so disheartening isn't it?

I plan to fight this. And I intend to let them know I'm not going away In a hurry x

snowgirl29 Fri 27-Mar-15 16:02:29

Do you know what the right things are to say at a caf meeting to get them to open up? A friend said her daughter just kept pushing and pushing and on the end they admitted they was a problem at school and then she got the help she needed.

senvet Fri 27-Mar-15 17:09:21

Do they keep an incident register that dc might appear on? If so you can ask for it,

Otherwise for the meeting, I wonder if sorting your diary into a list of eg times called from school with a brief comment

Then a list of times you observed stressed behaviour

With the language, examples like the growling are excellent, so a load of those.

Another option for consolidating the info in your diary is to go through a typical day for dc, and then add eg on a bad day dc will do x, and on a good day dc will do y.

Hope this helps

senvet Fri 27-Mar-15 17:37:41

Another thought
To get anyone eg school to open up, it pays to be very nice. If they start feeling attacked, they will dig in and justify themselves.

So something like "I know it is hard at school, because the law expects you to do loads of admin, and identify all sorts of needs, and teach the kids as well. But still schools manage to do all sorts of amazing things with kids, so obviously with dc performing as a 3 year when he is 6 you will have been doing lots of amazing things, so could you tell us what you have done"

With luck, the opportunity to tell everyone how amazing they are will get them going. Then you can ask maybe what extra things they would like to do in the hypothetical situation that they had masses of time and masses of money.

So even going on what the Pead has said so far, the school should be doing loads of stuff for dc. "dc is coping" does not come into any test under the law. The law says that there should be early intervention of any SEN - there is no requirement to have a diagnosis.

Hope this helps

snowgirl29 Fri 27-Mar-15 18:01:09

Thank you senvet. The School teach him in a smaller group (they think this is sufficient) and the class TA does his speech therapy sessions with Ds.
I started off being really nice to them but it seemed to have the opposite effect in the fact they now think they can walk all over me.

snowgirl29 Fri 27-Mar-15 18:05:32

We had an incident recently where another kid in the class hurt him and the first thing the HT said to Ds was "well I was told that you hurt x first".
I plan to bring this up because in the last caf they said he was an exemplary pupil and well behaved. If ds is well behaved and gets on well with everyone in the class why would they assume he had hurt this kid?
Ds left the room in tears and kept saying I didn't do it mummy. He's one of those children who had no filter when he speaks. If he had done it not only would he have admitted to doing it he would have told me proudly too. (we are working on this with him and he is getting better).

senvet Fri 27-Mar-15 19:25:38

Yes, with you snow. Time to be firmer.

Once they realise that you have all the evidence then they may start to wriggle.

It sounds like they have pulled in SALT - have they pulled in any other experts eg EP and advisory teacher as well as the behaviour person who got growled at (I so often feel like growling at these annoying LA people, too)?

I am just wondering if there are other schools with a better attitude to SEN that might do better, although the problem sounds more LA than school.

Wish I had a magic wand for you

snowgirl29 Fri 27-Mar-15 20:12:51

senvet the Nursery pulled in SALT years ago as his Nursery teacher at the time was concerned about his speech delay and antisocial tendencies (it was noted on his SALT referral). The behaviour lady was a referral from camhs. I had to push for camhs alone.
If I'm sounding vague I do apologise. The Paed in question is rather identifiable as they have an unusual (in my opinion anyway) close relationship with the school. I know professionals are often friendly with schools but I noticed there was a lack of professional boundaries the last time.
I am already planning on moving them school but I have spoken to school admissions already and they don't have two spaces in the same school for an in year transfer so I have to apply for a September one instead. I know it won't magically make things better but I hate the fact my kids go to school miserable every day and I have no choice but to send them. The School got slammed by Ofsted in their last visit and I stupidly thought I'd wait and see if things improved.
I am unsure about an advisory teacher. Would I have been told if Ds had one?

senvet Fri 27-Mar-15 22:10:16

The advisory teacher is a specialist - eg in autism and language.

They are employed by the LA to advise schools. They can be helpful to get extra ideas for the staff to use.

Similarly, an Ed Psych could observe and give the school ideas for intervetnions and techniques to use.

snowgirl29 Sat 28-Mar-15 14:00:31

I know he doesn't have anything like an advisory teacher as they don't believe he has ASD or anything so don't feel a need.
Have you any advice tor to write to the Paed to try and get some sense put of her please and are you aware of what the statementing criteria is? I was told to ask the senco what it is but don't think said senco will be very forthcoming.

senvet Sun 29-Mar-15 21:14:10

OK - Statements are now called Education Health and Care Plans.
The test for whether or not one should be made is in the new Code of Practice
"9.54 In deciding whether to make special educational provision in accordance with an EHC plan, the local authority should consider all the information gathered during the EHC needs assessment and set it alongside that available to the local authority prior to the assessment. Local authorities should consider both the child or young person’s SEN and the special educational provision made for the child or young person and whether:
• the information from the EHC needs assessment confirms the information available on the nature and extent of the child or young person’s SEN prior to the EHC needs assessment, and whether
• the special educational provision made prior to the EHC needs assessment was well matched to the SEN of the child or young person

9.55 Where, despite appropriate assessment and provision, the child or young person is not progressing, or not progressing sufficiently well, the local authority should consider what further provision may be needed. The local authority should take into account:
• whether the special educational provision required to meet the child or
young person’s needs can reasonably be provided from within the
resources normally available to mainstream early years providers, schools
and post-16 institutions, or
• whether it may be necessary for the local authority to make special
educational provision in accordance with an EHC plan"

What would be good would be if you could get an IPSEA or NAS volunteer to help you.
The IPSEA website is good - www.ipsea.org.uk - it has a link to show you how to apply for an EHCP yourself

And to see if you can get a trained National Autistic Society volunteer call 0808 800 4102 - you leave a message and they ring back. That would be goo I think.

IPSEA have trained volunteers that man their helpline as well.
And lots of people recommend SOS SEN

Good Luck

orangepudding Sun 29-Mar-15 22:22:17

Have you spoken to the salt regarding the EHCP. My sons was the ine who really pushed for him to get one as without it she couldn't give him the hours he needs.

I agree that everytime you are spoken to the school about your DS make note of it.

My DS' Paed has told me and DH to go on a parenting class. If there are any sort of behavioural issues its standard, don't take it personally. His Paed also told me he doesn't have ASD based on his behaviour in clinic, two weeks later he was diagnosed with ASD by a private Dr!

snowgirl29 Sat 23-May-15 00:08:03

Hi everyone. I'm at my wits end with the whole thing now. Ds had another incident at school. I've always maintained that he needs watching 24/7. They always maintain that he's fine and doesn't need much watching etc (until one point the teacher pointed out that they didn't want him collecting something himself because he'd get distracted easily). Fast forward to the time he was left on his own for a few minutes in the toilets and he managed to Base jump off the top of the cubicles bang his head and scratch all his back (for a kid that has no problems communicating in their eyes he wouldn't talk to any of them and tell them how he'd done it!). I told the Paed this when we next saw them and they were just incredibly patronising - last year it was traits of ASD. This year it's traits of ADHD. No proper assessments to distinguish or rule out either suspicions but they did want to discharge there and then. Whilst simultaneously giving me the 'there there' approach and telling me "I'm not denying that it is very apparent Ds is a very difficult boy".
I didn't like the fact there was obvious attempts to get him to talk because he didn't want to just so they could say in the report again "Yep he communicated well with me etc etc". In the last caf meeting I then had the senco asking me if the doc thought it was ADHD now why were they talking about discharging him? What else could I say other than your guess is as good as mine. I checked DS 's back again today. He has a massive scar across his back now and I'm being pulled in that many different directions I now don't know how to handle it. What would you say to the school now? And am I right in my gut feeling to go ahead with a private dx in the meantime.
Also. As I spoke before I was planning to move them schools. But we've also had incidents with Ds's older sister (mainly pre teens hormonal stuff) but they've brought her in under the CAF now too. Does anyone know if you can still move schools with an open caf or if I'm going to have to put that on the back burner for a bit? I'm sorry for the late post but I really would appreciate some advice on how to deal with this. It's slowly sending me mad!

fairgame Sat 23-May-15 09:00:52

Yes if course you can change schools with an open CAF, lots of children do without any problems. It sounds like your ds needs a lot of supervision at school, what have they put in place? Are they funding a 1:1 lsa for him?
Your paediatrician sounds awful tbh. Can you ask to see another one or be referred to another hospital for a second opinion?
A private assessment will be very expensive but i can understand why you're considering that route as you are getting nowhere with the current assessments.

snowgirl29 Sat 23-May-15 12:31:08

Fairgame no he has no 1:1 as the school say 'he's fine for us' followed up with 'he settles down eventually' when we've had a bad morning getting him there in the first place. I've asked to see another one and they've said there's none available. They're all under the same Paeds team. I've asked the GP for a second opinion and he said no and hesitated 'to just wait and see as he's developing fine'. We have another appointment in June where I'm going to ask again. The Paeds Boss said the only way to get him moved to a new Paed is to make an official complaint against the current one. Other than 'X is a patronising individual who thinks one size fits all in ASD' I don't think that's a valid complaint - there's a lot more to it than this but they already think I'm neurotic enough as it is.

snowgirl29 Sat 23-May-15 12:32:03

The senco told me we wouldn't get a statement as 'he's not severe enough'.

BlackeyedSusan Sun 24-May-15 23:04:38

right, that sounds like a spectacular failure in supervision. some sort of formal complaint at their lack of supervision would be in order. I think you need to build up the evidence for him not being fine in school.

does he need to see the practice nurse or the gp for perhaps limping as a result of his accident?

email the school asking for clarification. set up a paper trail of their fineness. (not)

mention failure to safeguard, accident with scarring, ring the lea for advice? anything to get this incident recorded as a failure on their part.

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 25-May-15 08:22:23

The senco told me we wouldn't get a statement as 'he's not severe enough'

Poor SENCOs always say this and its untrue. Its a classic fob off line designed to put parents off. Its not up to them and statements are now called EHCPs.

I would talk to IPSEA www.ipsea.org.uk and get their advice as well, you've certainly been given the runaround by school, your GP (I would now change practice) and the paediatrician (is this a community paed by the way) to date with not too surprising result.

I would also be seeing your MP about this matter as well, after all you are one of their constituents.

Your son and you have been soundly failed here by his school, GP and this paediatrician. None of these people have no idea at all how to work with your son effectively so they have taken the default position of, "if in doubt blame the parent".

snowgirl29 Mon 25-May-15 11:23:29

Thankyou for advice everyone. The thing is because Ds wouldn't tell anyone what he'd done I don't actually know if it's been recorded as an Incident? I asked in one of the CAF meetings for the Senco to confirm in writing what they'd said about the statement and they said yes. They put it in to the end of the CAF notes stating that 'we've spoken to Mum about statement process and we will support her if she goes ahead with this'. Not what you were saying last year was it? hmm
Ds has a scar on his back from where he fell, they said he was only in the toilets a few minutes, I said in the CAF well that just proves my point when I discuss the need of him being constantly supervised and I expressed concerns that Ds hadn't been able to tell anyone what he'd done. (I'm beginning to think it's selective mutism reading up). The standard reply was well I think it was because it was a different teacher that found him, accompanied by 'to be honest I don't think any of my class would tell me if they'd done the same as Ds'.
The thing that winds me up the most about this is I know what would have jolly well happened if I'd have sent him into the school with the same injury!

snowgirl29 Mon 25-May-15 11:25:27

Thankyou Attila. I will contact Ipsea and my MP is actually rather good when I've contacted them before about other matters so that is worth an avenue to look into to.
The 'if in doubt blame the parent' thing rings very true. I'm a single parent too so I'm often given the impression they think I 'can't cope'.

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