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Amelia has her statement BUT......................

(16 Posts)
Dingle Thu 22-Feb-07 12:23:55

I rang LEA today to check if they had recieved Amelia's last OT report as they needed to shortly make a decision as wehter or not to statement her!!!

WELL. the good new is that they have decided "Well of course, you and I both know that Amelia needs a statement!" Waaay hayyy at last, the penny has dropped, someone, somewhere has finally seen sense.

BUT and it's a big but, they also have decided that Amelia would be best provided in a specialist educations provison!! OK- let's put this into perspective, we have a 5 year old girl with DS who last year was capable of being thrown into a mainstream school with no statement, no additional classroom support and no staff training or knowledge to meet her needs. Now they are saying that "the powers and knowledge of the LEA" feel a SN School would suit her best.

I am not saying Amelia is some undiscovered genius BUT she is fairly on par with a few other children I know with DS, in MS school, with support (from the start) and who are coping very well at this level of their education. I at least wanted to give her the opportunity to have a fair stab at mainstream, even if it's only for a couple of years- research has shown that this really benefits children with DS as they can copy appropriate role models!!!

The LEA then go on to say that she has been given 15 hours a week! ( The other children I know in MS are getting 25-30hours!)

I am feeling sooo mixed up. If I accept the 15 hours, the final statement can be approved and "legally" ( for what that's worth?) the school will need to put the provision in place straight away!
If I reject it, then it obviously means Amelia has to continue with no support while I appeal and go to tribunal if necessary!!!!

HELP.......why oh why is this happening, they have already wasted so much time she just cannot afford to spare!

Sorry for rant, this was supposed to be a "free day" full of lovley relaxing crafty stuff!

I have spoken to my friend whose son is one of those children with DS and 25 hours support...then I have left a message with our PP support..wait 'till she calls back and I feel it may be back to IPSEA for more advce!!

geekgrrl Thu 22-Feb-07 12:37:15

oh dingle, what a pile of poo.

my dd2 is in m/s Y1 now and also has f/t support, she's no DS genius - in fact, her speech is worse than that of other children with DS her age. But m/s is so much more suited to her and her learning style than s/n could ever be... (and we have tried both)

you really need to get on the IPSEA again. Sorry to hear you're having to deal with this now - it's this kind of stuff that makes having a child with SN hard work.

TeetheCeeofDavedom Thu 22-Feb-07 12:44:59

Bollocks. Pure bollocks. don't stand for it.
My DD couldn't walk or even stand when she went into her MS school. Limited vocab. Absolutley couldn't attend the school if she didn't have a 1-2-1. She is still in nappies, doesn't conform unless handled in a certain way that her 1-2-1 teacher has had to learn etc.

No-one ever suggested a SN school to be, ever.
And we were given 25 hours straight off. I'm now trying to get another 5 hours a week to cover lunch breaks.

Sorry they are being their usual wankery selves, I really am. Sorry you have a fight on your hands but I'm sure you'll get there in the end.

Get onto IPSEA. Ring your old Portage worker and ask for some advice. Speak to the SENCO at the school etc.

theheadgirl Thu 22-Feb-07 13:21:46

My daughter also has DS, when she was first statemented at age 3 the LEA where we then lived offered 27 hours. When we moved, the LEA for the new area offered 15 "Thats the norm for a child with Downs" !!! She was later diagnosed as also having ASD, and I then felt special school was more appropriate for her. But I strongly agree that if you feel m/s is right for your DD she should have appropriate levels of support to make it work. Good luck with all this, let us know how you get on.

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 22-Feb-07 13:51:00

Fifteen hours I would also say is not sufficient.

Hope the parent partnership is good and is not totally in the pocket of the LEA.

You need to call IPSEA asap and get their advice re the situation. They will probably tell you to finalise the statement and then go to Tribunal.

I believe you anyway need to finalise the statement before you can go to Tribunal (but don't just take my word for it). You can arrange another meeting with the LEA and they will have to agree to meet you but this will delay things further.

Dingle Thu 22-Feb-07 16:42:36

Well our PP support didn't get back to me today.
Our IPSEA rep said she would be willing to see it through to the end when the LEA backed down the day before the Tribunal Services deadline. She is on holiday until beginning of March, but bless her, she emailed me from Thailand!!!

I cannot believe their attitude. How on earth can they get away with it. How can a child go from, in their professional opinion, not needed ANY support in mainstream- when they refused to even assess her last July to now saying she is better off in SN school...and have the audacity (sp) to only give her 15 hours!!!

[completely mixed up face!]

amynnixmum Thu 22-Feb-07 16:56:10

When ds first had problems at school the LEA and ed psych said to me that his needs would be best met in specialist provision. I was so desperate at the time that I looked into it and it turned out there wasn't any available in the area for children under 8 with his particular needs. When i questioned them on their advice given the lack of available provision they told me that what they had meant is specialist provision within MS

Sorry you're having such a tough time with it

FioFio Thu 22-Feb-07 16:56:15

Message withdrawn

Dingle Thu 22-Feb-07 17:23:44

I haven't got the draft statement yet, it was only with the panel yesterday so I am not 100% sure what it says. All this info came directly from our LEA officer who I spoke to on the phone today.

It was jus the way the conversation kept swaying...I was even told to ignore what I had heard about the waiting list to get into SN school, and that he had spoken to the SN school head, who as good as said there was a place for Amelia in September!!!

I feel I need to go with my gut instinct. If Amelia is somehow managing to cope, and progress ( all be it not as fast as her peers!) with only 20 minutes support 4 times a week,then I feel I just have to continue my fight and get her the support she deserves in a MS environment. Perhaps I AM wrong but that is what all the specialist DS research tell you is the way to go!!!

jenk1 Thu 22-Feb-07 18:23:09

Oh thats just flippin typicle of LEA,s.
Thats what theyve done with us, offered us not enough and we have told them to finalise the statement and we are going to tribunal.

Can only echo what others have said try IPSEA or PP.

They are arseholes they really are.

nikkie Thu 22-Feb-07 18:48:00

They are thinking SN school because she wouldn't need full time 1:1 in there hence 15 hours.If she stays in MS she needs 1:1 full time and as Teecee said lunch time support could be needed.

tia2 Thu 22-Feb-07 19:06:39

hi everyone can i join in and have a moan? my daughter goes to a special teaching facility she has global learning delay! my problem iss aith the local health authority! LACK OF SPEECH THERAPISTS!!

Dingle Thu 22-Feb-07 19:17:56

WE pay for our SALT, via a group called Symbol who specialise in SALT in Down Syndrome. The LSA and SENCO went on a course last March and realised the benefit of using this "approach" in Amelia's SALT. In Amelia's very limited time with the LSA they do work to the SYMBOL targets. But I am paying for the sessions as and when I can afford them.

Last time I did take Amelia, unfortunately the school were so short staffed they couldn't release the LSA to attend with me.

What is interesting that our LEA use SYMBOL to go into selected schools in the area who fall under the excellence cluster. So the "specialist" SALT is being used in schools were there are no children with DS and the children with DS have to go without!!

So it seems their thinking was give her 15 hours as she will be going to a SN school, even though they knew my aim was to keep her in MS with relevant support!

nikkie Thu 22-Feb-07 19:50:33

Thats what it sounds like to me.We get less for kids with us than they would for same in MS, although majority need less support in SN anyway but its not fair.We get a lot of kids on 1:1 in ms and when they transfer LEA tries to change statement.

Just sounds too much of a cooincidence that they went from no support in ms to 15 hours and SN

Don't get me started on SALT though!

Dingle Sat 24-Feb-07 13:22:34

Spoke to LEA again, I think the officer dealing with me was getting a bit fed up with me so he passed me to his line manager- who was much, much easier to talk to- but being a woman rather than a condescending bloke who's attitude came accross as if he really couldn't care less!

Basically I am going to send the statement back saying I want Amelia to stay in mainstream but request 25 hours support.
So I am told, it shouldn't need to go as far as appealling/tribunal again.

I was also recommended to put her on the waiting list for the MLD school. I was told that I can refuse a place when if/when it comes up if, at the time we all feel Amelia is doing OK at MS! Saying that if I refuse a place, it will be very unlikley they will offer har another place all the while she is in Infants.
While she is in MS and on the waiting list for MLD school- I believe the MS school can get advice/support from the Outreach support worker- who have got a very good reputation.

Briefly spoke to Amelia's LSA on Friday after school ( the one that works with her 20 minutes, 4 times a week!) and she was just amazed that they had tried to put her in to the MLD school!! But only time will tell if I am doing the right thing!

BTW- Both our LEA and the PPservices have told me she should be getting 6-8 hours on School Action Plus!!! I know I asked about it on her before.

nikkie Sat 24-Feb-07 14:56:01

Don't get the waiting list thing?Surely if she needed it now, she should get it now?
We end up taking kids that takes us over our 'limits'
No MLD schools round here though the last one shut 20+ years ago I can vaguely remember the kids coming to my primary, my year had 6 kids who should have been there.

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