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Help needed again please <<looks at you polter, ineed>>... dd still not settled ...

(27 Posts)
frazzledbutcalm Fri 12-Feb-16 14:01:43

Won't post background yet as I'm sure many of you will know my situation. Happy to give details though if needed.

Dd still not happy with school life. She's been off 5 days in 2 weeks, but she's made it in every day this week. We've recently had a meeting with school and whilst they're really very good and want to help and support dd, I still think they just don't 'get it'.

My question now is, dd receives level 3 top up funding. Does anyone know how school use that? Is it just for dd, or added to their SN budget and used for any SN for any child? I'm asking because when dd first received her ASD dx a year ago, the psychiatrist said she'd benefit for SALT .. but no-one else seems interested in obtaining this for dd hmm
So, I'm wondering if I can speak to the Senco and ask if they will arrange SALT using dd's top up funding. Would this be reasonable?

Every time I mention SALT/EP/OT ... I just get met with "how will that help dd" and similar expressions. I just feel like no-one is seeing dd through my eyes, no-one is recognising her difficulties. We're happy to pay privately, but surely her top up should fund things?

I'm at the point where I haven't got it in me to be strong anymore ... my mental health is now suffering ...

bbkl Fri 12-Feb-16 15:16:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PolterGoose Fri 12-Feb-16 16:12:50

The absolutely easiest way to find it how school are using the top up funding is to apply for an EHCP. If you look up your LA's high needs funding arrangements it may enlighten you! It did me.

From what I can tell, schools get a delegated SEN budget, worked out to a formula, but if they get children whose needs means they can't afford to provide what they need then they apply for extra. To do this they have to prove what they are already doing for that child. But the money is not ring fenced, it's doesn't have to be spent on the named child at all. It's not well audited at all.

On the SALT front, unless it's in an EHCP then SALT is usually a health funding issue. But school should have access to whatever their version of autism advisory/language and communications/complex comm's team to advise based on a pupil's diagnosis/profile.

I think EHCP is your only choice now to get her properly assessed and to work out what she needs flowers

frazzledbutcalm Fri 12-Feb-16 16:13:26

Hi bb .... You remember correctly, our situations with our dd's are very similar!

The written dx report basically said "mini frazzled has been dx with ASD using ICD-10. SALT would be a good idea" .... that's it! hmm I was expecting a big long report, but no, just an A4 size paper, most of which was taken up with our name and address etc!

I've emailed the senco about dd's top up funding, she's replied back saying the top up funding gives dd a TA for some lessons. I assumed the TA is employed by the school anyway, so surely dd's top up has nothing to do with the TA being there? I assumed the TA would just help whoever in the class needed helping? Senco also said she wasn't sure how SALT would help dd, but it would require dd to engage in the process. Something she usually can't do. She doesn't have an EHCP, school, CYPS, LA all say she wouldn't get one because she's too academic hmm
Dd has no further reviews. We just got the dx then were left to get on with things. sad

I've tried and tried to get help for dd, someone to look at her, assess her to see where her difficulties and anxieties lie, but no-one is willing to help. I just keep hitting a brick wall, sad

frazzledbutcalm Fri 12-Feb-16 16:16:27

Thanks polter ... an EHCP are the dreaded words I thought would be the only next step forward. I'm so down and drained and just can't face the battle that everyone seems to have over them sad

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 12-Feb-16 16:21:51

"She doesn't have an EHCP, school, CYPS, LA all say she wouldn't get one because she's too academic hmm"

Hmmm indeed.

They've basically lied to you; the criteria IIRC is the same as for the previously issued "Statement of special needs". It is needs based.

I would have a look at IPSEA's website and read the information on there www.ipsea.org.uk. They also now offer a callback service.

I do not think you have any other option than to apply personally for the EHCP yourself. You are her best - and only - advocate here.

GruntledOne Fri 12-Feb-16 16:38:20

It could be worth pointing out to them that the criterion for getting an EHCP isn't totally academic. If your child has problems even getting in to school then she isn't able to access education and they aren't meeting her needs. I agree, you are going to have to go down the route of applying for an EHCP and appealing if or when they refuse.

PolterGoose Fri 12-Feb-16 16:40:34

frazzled I know re the EHCP, I never did it for my ds and we are bloody lucky we've landed on our feet with a fantastic secondary.

I had some excellent advice on this thread a couple of years ago, I haven't read it through since as those were hard times. But there might be some helpful stuff for your current situation.

bbkl Fri 12-Feb-16 17:39:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

zzzzz Fri 12-Feb-16 18:34:59

The ehcp is an admin exercise, and while tedious it won't involve much more than boomeranging letter/forms (the emotional side is harder to cope with but you can do it if I can).

Honk honk

Oh and here salt only comes through school but you can phone them direct and they should see you. Write with photocopy to school saying SALT was recommended in XXXX letter and ask why they have ignored the advice?

frazzledbutcalm Fri 12-Feb-16 19:20:37

Thanks polter ... I've briefly looked at the first few posts on the thread you've linked to ... definitely looks like it will be helpful. First thing that struck me is the 'if dd is receiving level 3 top up, then they already have recognised her difficulties'.

Attila... You're right they have lied. When I'm told by LA, school, dd's care co-ordinator that she won't qualify, I just give up because I (think I) know I'll have a huge fight on my hands. When every professional around me is saying she'll not get one then I just fall back and wonder how I can ever fight her case, how can I ever prove every professional wrong? I'm struggling to understand how to find out the true nature of dd's difficulties, so how do I convey them if I don't really know myself?

Gruntled ... I'm so low and worn down with trying to get professionals to listen to me now that I just can't imagine being able to fight the resource to fight further. sad

bb ... Dd's latest report (just got it today) shows effort level A in 8 subjects, and effort level B in 3 subjects. Her attainment levels are WAAY above average in all subjects (some are 2 years ahead, maths even more so!). I think this is what's making everyone say she wouldn't qualify for an EHCP. I'm not sure who I can get onside, but I'm going to check out ipsea and maybe my local autism charity.

zzz ... Ah thanks for the honks. It's the emotional side that will finish me off at the minute. sad
It's funny but I've just had an email from the senco tonight to say SALT is not something that would be provided with dd's top up funding confused
She also said the funding has been used to get the TA into most of dd's lessons - without the funding the TA wouldn't be there.

bbkl Fri 12-Feb-16 19:21:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

bbkl Fri 12-Feb-16 19:27:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

zzzzz Fri 12-Feb-16 19:33:18

Reply saying that SALT has been recommended and ask them why they aren't following the advice?

frazzledbutcalm Fri 12-Feb-16 19:37:27

I'll look into SALT more proactively. I understand what you mean about the expected progress. My older dd started to not make the expected progress from year 8 onwards .. I got fobbed off by school for 2 years, until we realised her problems - even after that school didn't understand. I don't want to make the same mistake again. It's just even harder this time round.

GruntledOne Fri 12-Feb-16 21:54:29

OP, I found it quite empowering and encouraging going to a workshop run by SOS SEN. If you can make it, I recommend you give it a try.

frazzledbutcalm Fri 12-Feb-16 22:23:30

I've taken a look there gruntle ... I don't think it's anywhere near me .. unless they travel?

knittingwithnettles Fri 12-Feb-16 23:08:05

Frazzled I don't know what age your daughter is, but ds2 received no direct SALT despite an ASD diagnosis at 8. His EHCP has written in just 6 hours of SALT per annum. I would have disputed this, as his private SALT suggested 2 45 minute sessions PER WEEK, except for one thing. Ds2 has had SALT arranged privately by me 1:1. It was good, he enjoyed it, he liked the SALT therapist. But I think there was a finite number of times he could have engaged in helpful strategies. What he needed most was a group of other children to engage with, supervised by a SALT perhaps or someone trained to use a proper programme. Most schools should provide that anyway, without needing an top up funding or EHCP, especially if your daughter has a diagnosis. Have you asked about mentoring, pastoral support for social communication issues, someone to go to on a regular basis (it has to be written into ds1's diary for it to work for him, he is dyspraxic and has issues with expressing his fears/frustrations - a mentor works much better than a counsellor or a SALT)

I suppose what I am trying to say is, sometimes you don't need an EHCP to crack the SALT nut. It should be in the EHCP but they very seldom will put it in without the most enormous fight and then it is so difficult to schedule it into the day, as well as all the other things your child usually needs in the EHCP. You might be better off just asking for her to be included in a social communication group, which is a form of Speech and Language Therapy..

People fight for SALT and they fight for specialist schools, is it something you are prepared to fight for? I know that I weighed it up against drama and sport and all the other holistic things I wanted ds to do to improve his communication skills and decided the SALT was a finite intervention, which I was prepared to pay for, for a short time.

But an assessment is worth having for other reasons, processing etc. The irony is that you are unlikely to get the EHCP assessment without first producing the evidence, ie; a private assessment showing your dd's SALT needs.

Anyway, this has been my experience so far.

knittingwithnettles Fri 12-Feb-16 23:12:42

of course I'm not saying that drama and sport and other holistic interventions cannot be provided in specialist schools, just that in mainstream you have to imagine HOW the interventions are going to be scheduled and how they can add them into an already packed day in a busy classroom. Our SALT report basically just said ds2 needed a specialist school - we believed his needs could be met in mainstream with more support than previously, but not as much as she specified. Time will tell.

Certainly, LA's will fight tooth and nail NOT to provide you with more than the bare minimum of SALT or OT to a child who has no obvious physical or verbal disabilities.

Ineedmorepatience Sat 13-Feb-16 14:50:00

Hi frazzled sorry to see that your Dd is still struggling!

I saw up thread that someone had said that if your Dd is receiving high needs funding then the authority have already agreed that she needs provisions which are over and above those which are normally provided by mainstream schools! That is the key to an EHC needs assessment! The law says that any child who may have SEN or who needs provision which is more than that which is provided in school "may" need an assessment!

I think you should apply yourself and see what happens! The fact that your Dd is getting the funding and she still cant manage in school regularly is screaming that she should be assessed!

If your request is turned down [and it is highly likely that it will be] you must appeal because the vast majority of appeals are sorted out fairly quickly!

Dont be put off by the experiences of people on here including me! Because we are still a minority that post on here and often because we are desperate for help!

I really think you should check out how your authority are wanting parents to request, it should be as simple as a letter to your director of childrens services but many have come up with forms to complete to get the information that they want. IPSEA are still saying that a letter should be enough but personally I think jumping through some of the LA's hoops makes them slightly less awkward!

Feel free to pm me if you need any more info!

Good luck whatever you decide flowers

knittingwithnettles Sat 13-Feb-16 15:30:17

We were told ds2 would not qualify for an EHCP. Senco in two schools said this.

We were turned down for a statuory assessment on the most spurious of reasons.

We went to mediation (which was rubbish), and appealed. They conceded. We now have an EHCP.

But it takes a long time. I had to do enormous amounts of paperwork. I had to arrange private assessments which cost money (and this is what SOSSEN will suggest you do). I engaged a solicitor (which is why they conceded rather than going to Tribunal, I would guess hmm Tribunal would have taken even longer. Witnesses cost money too if they are expert witnesses

If what you want is a different school and lots more help then it is worth going for an assessment (which is why we battled it out) but it is not something that yields immediate results. However, I would try and get immediate intervention from a SALT now instead of waiting for the system to deliver. Or a CBT therapist. In the event that might give you further evidence that she needs more funding from the LA.

frazzledbutcalm Sat 13-Feb-16 21:23:22

knitting ... Dd is 12 and in yr8. The reason I'm thinking about SALT is because dd goes almost selective mute at school. She just works hard, stays very quiet, doesn't let her difficulties be known, can't speak out. She had a worker from LIST working with her who very quickly identified that dd needed questions broken down and very direct. She said it would impact all of her learning.

Dd doesn't like school, doesn't want to go every day, masks at school but explodes at home. School are being really good, but they're at a bit of a loss because dd looks just fine in school so they don't know how best to help her. I've asked for dd to be assessed by professionals to try to get to the bottom of what she finds difficult so then we can work out where to support her. But I just keep hitting brick walls in trying to get people to look at her. I thought of SALT after hearing about how they look at a wide variety of issues not just actual speech.

When I hit a brick wall with SALT, I decided the only thing I can do is pay privately for assessments or apply for an EHCP. From what I've heard an EHCP isn't really worth the paper it's written on so to speak. But, I think it's the only way to get someone to look at and assess dd's difficulties. I'm happy to pay privately for assessments ... I just don't know what assessments would be best for her.

ineed ... hello! I just have an awful feeling that they'll look at dd's academic grades and effort grades and just say all is very well, no assessment needed. I'm sure all staff would just say she's a quiet girl who works very conscientiously. Again, no problems.

It's much harder when you have the backlash at home sad
She's so different in the school holidays, but obviously, no-one is going to see that.

Thank you for your offer of pm smile

knittingwithnettles Sat 13-Feb-16 22:08:48

We had a private SALT done which showed the difference between his expressive and receptive language, ie: what comes out of his mouth and what goes into his ears, also his understanding of social situations and of instructions etc. Ds2 is extremely articulate and scored higher than average in his use of language, vocabulary etc but it doesn;t mean he can make a conversation flow or respond appropriately in some situations to what is being asked, or indeed respond to instructions. He can understand all sorts of higher order language, jokes, idioms, allusion, satire. But he was still thought to need 2 x 45 mins SALT written into his EHCP by the private SALT. Not that we were ever going to get that....3 years ago I was unaware he had ANY SALT needs, I just didn;t understand what the term meant - I thought it referred to stammering or speech impediments or children who were unable to vocalise.

No-one ever historically even suggested we needed a SALT assessment. Not school, not CAMHS, not family therapist - all dealing with the fallout from ds's ASD and its effects on him. I am just trying to show you the gap that can exist between the provision available and what your child MIGHT need, and what she might be found to need if you had her assessed.

SALT is definitely more than just being able to communicate physically, it is about using language to communicate needs, which your dd is not managing. I am surprised that any SENCO can say she doesn't need help with communication in that light if she is anxious and frustrated.

There are "programmes" you can work through at home, didn't Polter mention the Dawn Huebner books? Ds2 is quite good at telling me what is wrong or if he is angry at something specific now, so I have never had that particular issue with him (perhaps in the past more when he was upset about homework and didn't know how to do it)

RoaringFirePlease Sat 13-Feb-16 23:58:18

Dear Frazzled

We are similar in that the consultation recommended when our son was diagnosed with ASD that SALT would be beneficial. We have been told 'they always say that for ASD children' and that DS doesn't actually need it. My DS is getting very negative about school because he finds daily life there, plus the actual work, too challenging.

Just a thought - I was told by my LA (Kent) that to get high needs funding, the school has to quantify exactly what they think the child needs (eg Xhours OT, Xhours SALT, Xhours on social skills), so that the LA can calculate how much this would all cost - and this is how the LA calculates if the school should get extra high needs funding for that particular child. Can you get from the school a copy of the application form they would have filled in for high needs funding? I assume LAs will differ a little in ther approach perhaps, but it could be worth a go to get more info on what they originally projected your child's needs to be.

PolterGoose Sun 14-Feb-16 08:14:21

That's a good idea Roaring, I did a subject access request in Y6 and saw the original application for high needs funding, which was illuminating hmm

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