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DS in reception (sorry long)

(17 Posts)
Cheeka Thu 11-Feb-16 13:52:34

Hi there, looking for some advice about my ASD DS.

Just to give you a little background, he has just turned 5, he's doing well in MS reception in that he's happy going to school and comes out reasonably cheerful. The school is excellent as far as i know, they are very sympathetic to SEN and they have an autistic provision. He does not have an EHC (so he's not part of the provision), because he is reasonably low maintenance in the sense that he doesn't have meltdowns, he goes to the toilet independently, he is verbal, happy to socialise, etc.

He does have an ILP and he does get TA support (not 1:1) but tiny chunks of 1:2 throughout the day for help at carpet time, phonics, getting ready for lunch etc.
He also attends a few intervention groups throughout the week to encourage social interaction and communication. he also has a task box that he completes every morning to get his reward at the completion of tasks. The SENCO told me he probably wouldn't qualify for EHC funding at the moment but he's does get top up funding to 8k, which i'm guessing funds the additional support he's receiving.

He's had a SALT report which states that he is definitely delayed in Social and comms, he is very much self led, if stuff doesn't interest him, he always turns away or ignores. I can definitely vouch for this because at home when we try to practice phonics and writing, he is very resistant, unless i bribe him with ipad/chocolate buttons etc. he hates holding pens and writing is a struggle. He can write his name but the quality ranges from pretty good if he's in a good mood to scrawl if he's not complying. He speech is quite clear and his understanding has improved hugely but not to the level of a NT 5 year old, IYSWIM.

I about to have my second SENCO meeting tomorrow on his progress and I'm wondering what type of questions to ask. I am definitely going to request an EP visit but i think the purpose of this very long winded post is to ask:

how does your ASD or SEN children attending MS reception get assessed with regards to baseline measurement? Are expectations lower for ASD children? I'm a bit concerned because i notice he's is behind the kids in his class, for example, the other day they were all on the carpet happily copying 5 letter words off the OHP, and I just know that this is beyond DS at the moment. Of course, I know that children progress at different levels but I guess I'm worried that he's going to fall behind his class. Or is it putting too much pressure on DS to expect him to keep up? I also worry about his level of understanding, he seems much younger that the kids in his class, he struggles to grasp more complex subjects such their class discussion topics, such as "what would he do with 3 wishes", "what are endangered animals and why are they endangered" that sort of thing....

Whenever i've spoken to the class teachers, they always say how well behaved my DS is and that there are never any problems.

Cheeka Thu 11-Feb-16 13:53:36

sorry forgot to add, he was diagnosed with ASD when he was 4yrs 3mths

lamya190 Thu 11-Feb-16 21:55:44

Hi I am almost in the the same boat as you. No ehcp for my son and no 1:1 but small group work with ta. I send him to private speech therapy myself and he has come on so much! I get what u mean about asking 'are expectations lower for Asd kids?' We asked my sons teacher if when she was banging on about him doing so well was that in comparison to his peers or the fact he has asd. Ofcourse there was no direct answer! A speech therapist went to see him at school this week and said so far school are meeting his needs so nothing more needs to be done for now and she said things may change in future and he may need more help etc.. So I think it's a case of monitoring him till the end of the year? Maybe by the end of the year they will have a clearer picture of what he needs and especially for year 1? I even told my speech therapist that I was worried my son would slip through the net as he's well behaved like your son as the more distruptive children will probably get most help..

Notgivingin789 Thu 11-Feb-16 23:30:00

Does your son have an ECHP plan???

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 12-Feb-16 08:47:19


Re your comment:-

"He does not have an EHC (so he's not part of the provision), because he is reasonably low maintenance in the sense that he doesn't have meltdowns, he goes to the toilet independently, he is verbal, happy to socialise, etc".

Not good enough reasons not to have an EHCP. You also need to think longer term because from Y1 upwards the pressures both educational and social become greater. If he is struggling with all that now, that gap will widen even more without extra input. He is already at risk of being ignored in class because he is so compliant with his teachers; such children really do get missed/ignored in class and he will fall further behind. As his peers become older they may well become far less tolerant of him socially because they will understand the unwritten social conventions whilst he will not readily do so.

Re this comment:-
"The SENCO told me he probably wouldn't qualify for EHC funding at the moment but he's does get top up funding to 8k, which i'm guessing funds the additional support he's receiving".

On what grounds are they suggesting he would not qualify for funding?. Forget about the money; he is not receiving anything near 8Ks worth of support now. Some intervention groups and a few 1;2 sessions is not costing them anywhere near 8K. They're feeding you a line here and also they do not want to put in the work associated with an EHCP.

I would urge you to apply for the EHCP document yourself and do not accept this reasoning from them at all!!.

I would read the SOSSEN and IPSEA's websites and further inform yourself on his educational rights You are his best - and only - advocate here and no-one else is in a better position that you to fight his corner for him. This is also because no-one else will do so. The school are not already acting in his best interests now and likely will not do so either.

Writing as someone who has gone through similar with her DS and has come out the other side I would urge you to not simply watch and wait (for failure or further problems to really start) but pre-empt problems as much as possible by acting now and arming yourself with proper information. Knowledge after all is power!!!.

Cheeka Fri 12-Feb-16 12:30:42

Thank you for your replies! Yes, my gut feeling tells me I do need to sort out an EHC plan for DS but I'm just woefully unprepared for what to ask for. I obviously need to do some further research. At the very first SENCO meeting I did ask about applying for EHC and the response was accommodating enough in that she said what do want from an EHC?actual specifics. At that point DS had only just started reception and I just didn't have a clue about what to expect and push for. I confess now in his second term I'm still a bit lost. I do have a firmer idea of what to push for, as a result of reading his latest SALT report. Would I be able to ask for stuff like I want him to write his name consistently, to be able to write the letters from hearing their sounds, blending two/three letters to recognise a word? To be able to keep focused on a teacher led activity...Would it be as prescriptive as that? Could anyone wiser and more experienced out there give me an example of what their EHC includes, particularly for reception year children? In his ILP plan it says stuff like "at the end of reception to be able to socially interact engage and communicate with small groups of children for prolonged periods of time".this does sound rather vague!

Youarentkiddingme Fri 12-Feb-16 20:14:54

The level of attainment expected will be based on cognitive skills.

So if your DS is behind age expectations for reading, spelling/writing etc then you'd expect his literacy to be delayed. Therefore I'd be asking for support in reading/spelling or whatever it is he needs.

If your DS comes out as expected age for individual skills then I'd expect his attainment to reflect that and if it doesn't then some specific and targeted interventions to teach him those skills.

It's a difficult age anyway because in year R there will be a wide variety of what children can do and what skills are emerging. Plenty of children in year R hold and one and write when they enter school - but plenty don't. And those plenty don't necessarily have SN.

The system works on below expectation, emerging, achieving and mastery now. I'd ask for a breakdown of where DS is with each skill area.

The most important thing is to have a long term plan. An ed pysch report will be necessary for this to see what his strengths and weaknesses are.
Make sure any goals or targets are measurable.
Also talk in terms of attainment rather than progress.

Schools can be quite good saying a child has had X,y and z input and made more than expected progress but their attainment may still be below expected. In that case though it shows that the child has the ability to progress at a faster rate than expected with support so they should reach expected attainment.

The whole of SENDCOP (Sen code of practice) focuses on best possible outcome so I'd use that to say to school you won't know what his best possible outcome is unless he is assessed fully.

lamya190 Fri 12-Feb-16 20:38:17

Spot on youarentkiddingme! Very informative and makes so much sense! These direct questions are what matters..

Notgivingin789 Fri 12-Feb-16 20:38:54

Cheeka I strongly recommend you go on the site SOSSEN (Google it). There would be information on how to obtain an ECHP plan. Please do not delay in getting an ECHP plan, it's a God-send for our type of kids.

Youarentkiddingme Fri 12-Feb-16 21:11:02

Id definitely recommend sossen!

I've just applied for DS to have EHCP assessment. Got the 6 wk wait for a yes or no now.

But my advantage is that DS cognitive skills are extremely high except for verbal reasoning which is well below average.
Also when he was out of class for 2 afternoons and having further daily interventions his attainment went up.
So evidence for my DS is that he can learn, that he should attain very highly, but the environment and some planning and processing difficulties affects his ability to communicate his knowledge.

This is where the EP report helps. So when (his current school!) are continously trying to justify why they've pulled 15.5 hours a week support from previous school and shoving stand alone tests and cognitive scores under my nose I can say "yes, stand alone he perfumes well. Put him in a busy and noisy environment and he doesn't attain his targets."

He also reads accurately at a speed expected for his age. Except he has no inference skills so he doesn't understand and can't I for any meaning from the text. So what good is that stand alone skill iyswim?

He also is attaining behind the targets they set him. They say he's highly intelligent so will do well. So I ask why he's already behind expected attainment after 1.5 terms then? Surely if he's as able academically as his actual cognitive skills he'd be reaching his targets.

When your faced with change of curriculum and change of level descriptors etc point out that the school set targets they expect the pupils to attain. Why did they set X target if they didn't expect them to attain it due to all these factors. Ask what interventions they currently are doing to help him reached his expected attainment, what else they have they can try and what they think his barrier to learning is.

If they can't answer these questions that more evidence for EHCP.

I did a parental application and I'm happy to email you a copy if you want to read it for ideas?

Cheeka Sun 14-Feb-16 09:06:01

Apologies for the delay in replying! Thank you for the advice, I will look at SOSSEN.

Following my very brief meeting with the school(DS who was with me, kept interrupting us!), the good news is that the SENCO will arrange an EP visit for DS after 1/2 term. We did discuss EHC and we are to have a follow up meeting after the holidays to talk about the possibility. Not sure if she's going to fob me off but I think I'll do my research and let her know at this meeting I'm intending to apply for the EHC request myself.
Youarent-thank you for your amazingly generous offer! Yes, I would love to have an example of a EHC application. That would help so much. Thank you!

Youarentkiddingme Sun 14-Feb-16 09:21:11

There's no rules about the speed you have to reply!

If you pm me an email address I'll send it over later today.

Good news on EP front. Make sure you get a chance to talk to her too. State what your concerns are and ask her to observe and test his abilities in these areas and give recommendations on how to develop weak skills.

Cheeka Sun 14-Feb-16 18:23:54

Hi Youarentkiddingme
I've just sent you a pm

RoaringFirePlease Mon 15-Feb-16 09:24:01

DS is in Year 1 now, so we have just been through Reception last year and were fed all the usual lines of 'all children progress at different rates'.

Your DS is half way though the academic year now, so ask for a full breakdown of the end of Reception targets and which ones your DS has met. Put this request in writing.

My DS is similar in that he is very well behaved, happy and does not cause a problem. He will do exactly what he's told to do. However, its clear to us that he is developmentally quite behind his peers, even though he is one of the oldest in the year.

Is your DS receiving any social skills programme? Our doctor has said that is key for ASD children, but we are still working on getting this for our DS!

Youarentkiddingme Mon 15-Feb-16 21:22:28

Echp emails sent smile

Cheeka Mon 15-Feb-16 21:42:19

Youarentkiddingme - thank you! This definitely gives me an idea of the level of detail and indeed, how I should be questioning the school! Best of luck with your request. Again, thank you so much x

lamya190 Mon 15-Feb-16 21:54:58

Thanks a lot youarentkiddingme for sending that over its much appreciated, hope all goes well with the request and they agree to assessing smile x

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