Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on SN.
ASD School Support for DS1 (5) - stratgeies?(7 Posts)
DS1 is an August born currently in Y1 of a MS primary. We suspect he is somewhere on the ASD, although he lacks much of the strict routine adherence, sensory issues and repetitive behaviour displayed by many on the spectrum, so he may actually be more SCD plus extreme anxiety. He is currently in the system awaiting a referral to SALT, basically because of his extreme violent outbursts (hitting/pushing/kicking etc) both at home and at school. Last year in reception he seemed to keep it together (mostly) and whilst we have now learnt that there were many episodes of distress (crying etc), he wasn't physically aggressive. This changed over the summer holidays (which were hellish) and has continued in Y1. So far this term he has been excluded 3 times.
We are going into school later today (2.30pm) for yet another meeting with his class teacher (and hopefully the head - she is the lead SEN - and the SENCO). The school doesn't really seem to accept that DS1 is likely to be on the specturm and seems obsessed with behaviour charts, which we long ago abandoned at home. His teacher has dififculty believing that DS1 is actually anxious (she uses the term 'agitated') as often as we clearly see that he is (all the time at school at the moment) and seems to think that she can differentiate between real anxiety and naughtiness. She has even told me that he deliberatley picks the most inconvenient moments to 'misbehave' e.g. whilst walking the class to the dining hall, in order to get attention. Whilst I don't discount the likelihood that sometimes he does just misbehave (as all 5yr olds are wont to do) as we can't tell the difference we are opting to assume everything is anxiety related and manage accordingly. It is also clear to us, and the head, that his behaviour is not attention seeking.
It would be really helpful to have some ideas of strategies to suggest school employ to support DS1, and any reference to professional opinion about how much of a pointless waste of time behaviour charts are would be particularly good.
To add to it, we recently had DS1 assessed by an ed psych, and she seems to think he may be gifted. Regardless of what that loaded term actually means, I suspect that the fact he is (by his teacher's own grudging admission) working at least 1 level above his age (and he's almost the youngest in the year) means that school are even less inclined to believe he simply isn't able to respond to the ordinary behavioural approaches that work for NT children. Also, there is another boy in the class who is quite considerably further along the ASD spectrum than DS1 (mostly non-verbal, learning disabled etc) and despite the fact that it's a spectrum, I think that his teacher simply cannot believe that DS1 can possibly have the same diagnosis.
Thanks for listening
How did you get on at your meeting?
When you approach the difficult behaviour as anxiety instead of him just being naughty do you have more success with managing it?
If you do then that is what you need to push! If exclusion was going to work as a deterrent they wouldn't need to keep repeating it!
If they cannot meet his needs in school and feel the need to keep excluding him they should be applying for an EHCP to help them to get extra funding to support him.
Check out the IPSEA website there is lots of info on there.
Meeting went better than feared. They are putting some strategies in place that hopefully will improve stuff, but still with the bloody behaviour charts. Baby steps.
My DS2 (does that mean 2nd child?) is part way through year 3. He moved up to the Junior school at the beginning of term and he is now part way through the ASD assessment although most certainly Aspergers. During his time at the Infants school we suggested frequently that he might be and the school dismissed it. Today we had a meeting with them to tell them how let down we feel. In short, my advice would be to stick with your instinct and keep asking for an assessment to be made. Good luck!
Same here - school didn't see DS' problems. I think they don't have the skills/experience to see the milder ASD problems. Before diagnosis he was "too able to qualify for help". They've admitted that they don't really know what to do with our DS post diagnosis either. I try to keep an eye on things and highlight where small supports are needed. The lack of awareness of ASD is a massive hurdle. Many of DS' difficulties are worsened by the school's management of things. Get info on the diagnostic criteria and get lots of examples to illustrate how your DS meets them before you see the SALT. Could you ask if the school SALT can do social/pragmatic observations of your DS in school before then and do a note for you? Or use the note to get you referred for a social and communication assessment as in our area it's a SALT plus a paed who diagnose. Seeing just a SALT suggests there will be more appointment/delay. Could you find a SALT drop in at a children's centre to take him to? I suppose I'm saying that you need a certain amount of evidence to get referred for an ASD assessment and it sounds like you may not be there yet, but there are things you can do to gather evidence and help speed it up. Once you've got a diagnosis get straight in to an EHCP application yourself with a view to getting support in place late primary for secondary transfer as that probably takes ages too! Good luck!
Thanks for the suggestions. I think we will pursue the EHCP route once we get a diagnosis, which should hopefully be by the summer. I am hoping to have an EHCP (if one is going to happen) by the end of KS1 - so within 18-20mths. Sorry if I hadn't made it clear, but we are already in the system for an ASD assessment. I saw the GP, who referred us to the paeds and after that meeting the Dr agreed DS1 had sufficient traits for a full assessment and has referred us to the SALT. SALT do an observation in school and then there is a parental questionnaire/interview and something else possibly before they decide to diagnose, or not. We are waiting for the referral letter to go to the SALT so they can triage us (I feel like we are seriously in crisis but I imagine others are worse) but they are woefully behind with the admin and so I'm not expecting anything before mid January now.
Ah - that sounds better!
It took me a long time (3-4 months) to bulk out the standard IPSEA letter - my advice would be to start now! The other advantage of this is that once you know how you will present your case to the LA, while you are in the diagnostic process you can ask the professionals to add in items/evidence to help your case. I didn't think of that at the time and it's taken me ages after all the other paperwork to get little bits of extra paperwork to help us. Good luck!
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