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research to back up what is (to us) common sense(15 Posts)
Hi just nipped out of the goose and carrot, (where I seem to spend all my time ) I am looking for some research into the effectiveness of support given to children in MS...
it is now a moot point to me as we gave up and now HE, but a friend who is connected with ds's old school has come to me to talk about the provision school is making for another (un-nammed) child, school are still spouting the old '1-1 makes children dependent, therefore all TAs must be moved around (for the convenience of the school not the needs of the child).
Looking back I 'know' that changing his TA every year, (loosing any training/knowledge/understanding gained during the year) meaning that he got an un trained inexperienced worker, who, just at the point they 'got' him and some idea of how to work with a child with ASD in general was moved back to class TA again.
Does anyone know of any research or background work which she could use to try and get school to recognise this, (I know just asking the school for the evidence base for moving the TAs or for their assertion would also be 'informative' , but I think they will just 'stonewall' her.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
I do have a child with SEN but have ironically also worked as a TA for 10 years and have been a 1-1 support for several individual children across that time period.
I personally feel that the best outcomes for the child, (if supported full time,) come from job shares. Ie one TA morning, one TA afternoon or one TA 2.5, the other 2.5.
I feel if one TA is with the child all the time, dependency can occur and other staff don't get to know the child very well, yet if two TA's are involved, information is pretty easy to share and the child is exposed to different personalities.
I do though agree that changing of TA's each year isn't ideal as it takes a long time to get to know a child and all their individual targets, strengths and weakness well and even if the same strategies are being used, each TA will inevitably implement slightly differently. To me a change evey few years ie key stage 1 to key stage 2 is more ideal (however I also know that this doesn't take into account illness, maternity leaves etc.)
So in an ideal world job share on a key stage 1 then key stage 2 basis.
Please remember complete personal opinion but I hope that helps xxx
I think it all very much depends on the TA. We had a few over the years and the inconsistency we had in terms of quality of support is terrifying.
Someone very wise said to me recently that all the training and experience in the world doesn't matter if the person started with bad practice and continues that way.
So the difficulty with one continuous TA is that they may never change what they do and the child may always be with someone who doesn't get the best from them.
By having a bank of staff (as zzzzz said) the child begins to trust other adults and do things for a self sense of acheivement rather than for reward from that adult.
Communication between the staff is often the factor that determines whether the support is a success or not. Sharing practice is very well known to produce best possible outcomes. Especially as what works for one child doesn't work for the next.
Any TA who will learn with the child and learn about the child will be worth their weight in gold.
I agree though the the set up needs to be a routine if the child needs to know who will work with them when for anxiety reasons.
Personally I thinknit depends entirely on the child!
One yr I worked alongside another 1:1 and between us we supported 3 children (they were part time). All of the children were pre verbal although one communicated via symbols!
One of the children was unphased by the swapping of support between the 2 of us but the other 2 much less so! On communicated by facial expression and one of us was much better at reading him he also played one of us up terribly at meal times!
The other little one was better for the other 1:1 much more responsive and able to access more of the curriculum when supported by that person!
We were very lucky to be in a position where we could work in a flexible way and I dont think any of the 3 children were over reliant on either of us!
DS has 2 TAs that job share. I think it works really well for him.
The SENCO said to me years ago that they don't like the same TA always supporting the same child as apparently the child becomes too reliant on that person and it's also very hard for the TA to be with the same child year after year, as there is the risk of them getting burnt out (or words to that effect).
NAS advice to schools is that the same LSA is not always used for all support in all contexts so that the DC don't become anxious when that particular person is not present. Hence the issue of dependence on an individual.
Schools otoh seem to think this means that DC should not have 1:1 support per se but should only have access to the class TA. This is about money. The issue of dependence can be dealt with by job sharing 1:1.
This has been really useful, thanks guys for all your input, I think reading back that I wasn't clear to begin with, I didn't mean one TA rather than two, more a specialist than a general worker.... I too think that a job share would actually be best, but it isn't so much only one person that he needed, rather he needed a bank of people who could work with him, and if that wasn't going to happen then at least one, who could build up skills, not a constant round of un trained staff who needed to be re-taught each year what it was needed working on....
The ex school will only employ TAs who will work as one to one or class TA, they have to be willing to do either, (even if the funding is for a specific statemented child) and I really believe it is because it suits their plans to have that flexibility. Parents never get any input or say in the matter. (It also allowed them to remove ds's TA to send on an outing with a completely different year group, technically the class TA then became 'his' TA and the class had no TA... (of course she did both in practice )