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Is a LEA ed psych impartial?(11 Posts)
I don't know whether I am already so jaded that I distrust everyone who is employed by the LEA in any role, or whether I am right to be sceptical.
DS is 4.1 yo. He was diagnosed with ASD at 3.6 yo, and has a sever speech and language delay. We have been doing a home based ABA programme with him for 9 months. He has made amazing progress. Some of the skills he is learning are transferring well to his pre school setting (he does 6 hours at pre school a week term time, and 20 hours of ABA at home a week, 48 weeks a year) eg sorting, matching, puzzles. When we started ABA he was severely developmentally delayed across the board. He still is, but less so (save for speech and language, where he is still 11-20 months).
LEA ed psych went to see him at pre-school. She observed him and commented on his matching, sorting and puzzle skills. His support worker told her that it was all learnt as a result of specifically targeted teaching through ABA, not something he had picked up in a way that a NT child would. The ed psych however didn't really take this on board though, and gave every impression of believing that he would be able to learn through other ways if he had come this far with matching, sorting etc. We don't have a report as yet, it could be six weeks.
Am I being unfair in thinking that the ed psych did not want to acknowledge the positive impact of ABA because they think that we will then make a case for funding?
I don't think ours "wasn't impartial" so much as he wasn't allowed to say certain things. So for example he couldn't name the setting he thought was appropriate or even say "not XXXX" despite having worked int he area for years, knowing all the schools/staff, and presumably being very well placed to give an educated recommendation. What he could do is slant his report so that it obviously pointed towards one or other setting.
As far as the "generalising", "learning process needed", and insight into ds.....I suspect ours did the best he could but some of the stuff was just not possible. eg XXXX will only be able to learn once he can sit still and copy/be lead by a teacher (I'm not quoting I can't remember but that's the gist of it). I'm not quite clear how he thought ds could read, do maths, cook spaghetti or play the piano if this was correct . That said would have been excellent if he'd needed ABA
the first time I dealt with an Ed Psych was a bit of a shock, it was a bit cloak and daggers but this was years ago, so might be different now, DS is 12 now so about 6 years ago.
DS was severely delayed at age 6, his memory was like a goldfish, if you didn't reinforce everything every single day, he would just forget it, his issues were really obvious & undeniable, but the first time the ed psych visited, she (it was a woman) wouldn't tell me anything for certain, every word was very vague, lots of "he might, perhaps" etc and in the end, it was decided that the lea couldn't step in as the school were failing him & had to up their effort, the school implemented the 2 very minor things the ed psych thought DS needed and then in the next visit about 3 months after, they couldn't deny he needed extra help. I do think they're impartial but I also think they're given a very high threshold in which to judge the support kids need.
WellTidy, your post is an almost identical description of our situation. I had to do a double take because it was so similar. Our EdPsych and the rest of LA team are in no way impartial. They have done everything they can to avoid the LA spending any money. It's an absolute disgrace - I'm making a real fuss about it. I wonder if it is the same EdPsych?
I have had mixed experiences with LA EP's. One was very fair, reasonable and helpful. The other was working to the school's agenda - the school wanted ds out of there . He wrote a very short report for the statement and was as vague as he could be, with nothing actually specified or quantified
Our LA EPs change every year. The current one hasn't even seen ds and the only thing she contributed at his review 2 months ago was that his file has now been closed. His paediatrician referred him for ASD and ADHD assessment last week so he obviously has no issues worth her investigating .
I don't think there are many LA EPs who would 'be allowed' to acknowledge the impact of ABA and still keep their job.
Professionals from our old LA were banned from ever observing ABA on account that those who did, came back recommending it, demonstrating apparently, it's brainwashing voodoo effect.
Thanks for the replies. I will wait for the report. What you've all said is confirming to me that maybe they don't have the child's interests at the very top of their priorities list. DS was so severe delayed in all aspects when he started ABA that he didn't even score in some of the baseline levels. We did private speech and language therapy, as well as what the nhs offered, for nearly a year and it made zero impact. ABA has allowed him to learn, and I can't for the life of me see how that shouldn't be recognised and recommended for him.
I don't think they are impartial but I think they are good at highlighting need and inputs required without stating what actual inputs, at what level, how often etc.
Both DS salt and EP reports say he learns through rote and praise and reinforcement. He struggles at each cognitive stage of written work. Recommends someone to support him, provide visual, explain tasks, support with spelling etc. But not what way to support spelling (so he's had 2.5 yet as of phonics learning that's increase spelling age by a month!), whether it's 1:1 support, small group, how to rote teach him - whether it's salt input etc.
Schools are varied massively in how they then interpret the results. Ds junior school threw support at him for every recommendation - his secondary will not give anything that is not quantified and specified.
Ds is being assessed again after half term - my oarental views this time asked for specific testing and results and a report of how this looked in the classroom and what programmes he'd need, how often etc to meet the need. I'll let you know if they comply
Ds1 saw a LA ed psych who was - I'll phrase it politely- not at all impartial. And this person has stuck the knife in to other families I know.
Ds2 saw a different LA ed psych, who was very professional and highly competent.
I believe the evil incompetent one is now the line manager for the good one. Which must make for some interesting meetings.
They won't ever recommend ABA. As star says, they would rather keep their job. But the decent ones will refrain from specifically twisting their findings in an anti-ABA direction.
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