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Arguments for having one person throughout the day as a 1-1 TA for ds.....please(9 Posts)
Ds (7) has been in a complex needs resource base in mainstreaming school since he started, he has complex needs including a speech disorder, health issues and physical difficulties (plus he is still in nappies) At the end of year 2 it was suggested that the resource base was no longer suitable for his level of academic ability (he has good understanding, and an average IQ), and that maybe it would be a good idea to phase him into mainstream.
This was done in the most disorganised way possible, with him being thrown into mainstream with the support of a TA who was frankly rubbish. She has been moved on, and. Another TA was taken on for ds, however, as his funding is still linked to the CNRB! He has ended up sharing a TA in the afternoon. He has a different TA in the morning and then a lunchtime TA helping him during lunch. In the morning I hand him over to a completely different TA.....it is pretty chaotic.
Yesterday I had a meeting with the senco and his class teachers, saying we were not happy with this set up - we feel that because of his care needs, consistency would be best, and we would prefer him to have 1 TA throughout the day (someone different at lunch would be fine) - ds has to have drinks monitored, movicol given, splints changed, nappies changed and we are trying to work with him on sitting on the toilet (big sensory issues). His speech disorder means that he is often very difficult to understand and he uses signing and an AAC device. Trying to communicate day to day needs and work with several TAs on all this stuff is frankly a pain in the arse, and has led to some ridiculous mix ups about how much to drink etc. His home school book is full of virtual essays about simple care needs because I don't get to speak to a particular TA at all.
The senco and teachers seemed to take everything on board, but we have a huge stumbling block with the head teacher, who has always maintained that she wants him to have different TAs to prevent a 'Velcro TA' situation, she states categorically that no child has a full time 1-1 TA and that it works better with different TAs throughout the day.
Please help me formulate a clear concise argument for having the same TA throughout the day
to prevent me swearing at her and if possible some links that I can point to or a body I can speak to about how this would be beneficial to ds (I am unfortunately a parent that attracts a huge eye roll from this head, so could do with some back up!)
Vecro-ness or otherwise of a TA is dependent on the quality of the TA, not the quantity of them.
Stating no child has a full-time 1:1 is a blanket policy and her school should be catering for needs not her own made up policy. You can be very glad that in her experience so far she has found that no child has needed one member of staff for consistency but what works best is not up to her, it is up to your child's needs.
You need to supply her with documented evidence with dates times of mix-ups, evidence of distress at home, your own as well as your childs. You can remind her that it is your duty in law as your child's parent and advocate to safeguard his wellbeing and to cause him to receive an education. By not pursuing this you are allowing the school to fail him and neglecting your legal responsibility to him.
You would be willing to listen to a reasoned argument about her preferences but unless you can be convinced that her version is not interfering with his educational rights, you cannot agree to her provision-led support.
I would argue this by a question of priorities.
So whilst independence from a TA is a worthwhile goal I would have thought it is of less priority than your ds's care needs being met.
I would also suspect that there is clear specification of care needs in his EHCP plan but not about steps to secure independence from a TA so you could argue that having multiple TA's means that the EHCP can not be met.
One thing is what if the only 1:1 is off sick or taking a break etc. My son has one 1:1 which is good for consistency, she is really good and knows that to do but it is bad in other ways (e.g. The 1:1 has a lunch break and as far as I can work out he has a hot husband potch of people during her break). We didn't ask for this and school told us their policy is to split the time but here we are and we're happy enough with the arrangement.
I don't have anything useful to say but I can't believe hazeyboy is 7
Where have the years gone?!
Hope you're all ok.
Difficult. I think for us having a mix of TAs was genuinely helpful for ds, BUT if the quick solution to adequate care (ie making sure water, food, toileting is consistently supported) is to have one TA I would argue the benefit of having more people involved is lost. When is his next review? The easiest way to address it would be to set some tough targets that refocus his EHCP to make the things YOU are most concerned about a priority (and most sensibly solved by having the single 1:1 TA you want).
Have you thought about what could make the multi-TA system real effective for him? Sometimes the process of sitting down and finding solutions really highlights the real concerns starkly.
I have to say 7 how is this possible?
Could the school have set it up like this so if one TA is ill there will be someone there to meet your sons needs? If my sons 1:1 is ill he just has to cope for the day - not right but the way it is. Ds has different lady at lunch as she is only supervisory.
Does ds find different TA distressing?
I have create a list of ds needs and how to deal with them - almost like crib sheet. It's laminated and TA has it - would this be an option?
Perhaps make them fill in a sheet about when they gave him drinks, movical, changed him etc so you have a record and evidence if it's not working.
You could also request weekly meetings with all support TA on a monday to give them a full brief - make yourself a pain so head can see how hards it's dealing with 3 TAs?
Well to my surprise, when I picked up ds yesterday, his class teacher said that they had had a meeting with the head teacher and they and the senco had set out why they thought that supporting ds with one dedicated 1-1 (with additional staff to support in specific areas - eg lunchtime, speech sessions and elsa) would be more beneficial to ds, and it looks as though this may be happening. I have to go in next Monday for further discussions.
I have made a bullet point list of the ways his ehcp isn't being met, because of the staffing issues, and the priorities at this present time in meeting ds's needs, and also pointed out that their lack of clarity in how they are going to support ds, led to a position where we started term (in a new school building, in juniors and full time in mainstream) without a clear plan of who was going to be doing what with ds and that this is unacceptable.
School were brilliant when Hazeyboy fitted into their parameters - in the complex needs unit in the morning, in ms in the afternoon with support. As it became apparent that his understanding far exceeded his expressive speech, and that his physical and care needs weren't going to disappear overnight he has fallen completely into a crack between mainstream and resource base. The last year has been a bloody nightmare - partly due to some crappy TA behaviour, partly due to the increased problems ds has with eating and bowel issues, and partly due to school being very unsupportive about ds having an ASD assessment.
However - Hazeyboy is happy at school (he actually likes the teachers, and is very flexible when there needs to be another TA), he is making progress, he has 2 friends, he loves maths (especially at 2.30 in the morning) and lives for lego and you tube videos of lego - and yes he is 7!!
Unfortunately he has had lots of difficulties with his bowels (and school have been a nightmare in this area), he has seen a gastroenterologist, who wants to do further investigations His diet is even worse than it used to be, and he is having to have fortified drinks and puddings (the under stairs cupboard is now full of bloody Nutricia products) to support his growth (he hadn't grown for a year).
We are awaiting an ADOS wrt ASD, as the community paed thinks there is a very likely chance of a social communication disorder, SALT (we are on our 7th SALT!!) thinks this is more likely due to his speech disorder, but I am not sure how the speech disorder would explain the sensory issues, rigid behaviours etc
He is now part of the 100,000 genome study, as the geneticist and paediatrician still believes there is a genetic condition out there that ds can hang his issues on. But in the meantime he is 100% utterly amazing Hazeyboy. (Love to your little zzzzz's and Polterboy!!)
that sounds like you’re all on the same page.
We had very similar discussions re ASD or just humongous communication difficulties. It’s really why ds wasn’t dx’d early (he has always been quite obviously disabled so there wasn’t really the same need to battle for dx as some have, more a need to clarify things). He’s 12 now and finally communication is easier and he is in some ways more autistic. (As in its easier to see). It still isn’t what makes life difficult for him really and there are still days when he is very un-autistic to my mind. (Though I do have problems pinning down what autism IS even after all these years). The diagnosis has made things easier simply because every Tom Dick and Harry, doesn’t feel the need to discuss if he “is or isn’t autistic” and so we can get on with their ACTUAL expertise.
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