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devastating report

(25 Posts)
worriedaboutson Sat 12-Jul-08 05:10:43


Please could someone advise as to how I start the assessment process for dyspraxia/Aspergers. DS is 6 and just finishing year 1. I have had concerns for some time but his report has left me in tears, he is unable to focus, wanders around, makes strange gestures and sounds, is unable to work with the some although not all of the other children, is disruptive and attention seeking, his writing is barely legible and he struggles with any sports except running which he is good at, he talks constantly at high volume and is unable to see the effect this has on others, he has frequent tantrums and so on. He is high maintenance at home and I suspect we have adapted our lives to accomodate his oddities of which there are many more and head off/divert from more of the problems than they are able/inclined to do at school. There is of course a whole lot more. We are in South Wales and can pay for private assessments if necessary and will travel up to 4 hours. Does anyone have any experience of the assessment process/services locally? I have e-mailed the head asking for an urgent appointment before the end of term with him, his class teacher and possibly the SENCO. Any advice very gratefully receieves am going to try to go sleep now but will check in tonight. Thank you

Soapbox Sat 12-Jul-08 05:21:38

Oh gosh - I don't know! I am on holiday in the US and just having a quick browse before bed, but I couldn't leave without writing a few words to you

I'm guessing that posting at 5am means that you can't sleep?

Your DS's report does sound as if it might be worth getting an assessment done - if only to inform you as to whether there is somethign wrong or whether he is just slow to pick up the rythym of school life. Many boys do struggle a little, but it does sound as if a formal opinion might help you work out what is best for your little boy

BriocheDoree Sat 12-Jul-08 06:46:11

Hi, also posting because I wanted to send <<hugs>> because you sound like you're struggling a bit. My DD has speech and language probs and can be quite high maintenance...(tho' a little calmer for being a girlie, I think). I'm not in the UK, but I'm sure that you can start by seeing your GP, amongst others. Hopefully if you have an understanding one they can point you in the right direction. There's also a load of people on here who can prob. tell you more about the assessment process in the UK when they are up and about.

FourArms Sat 12-Jul-08 07:02:06

Perhaps your HV might be able to provide some local information? The school might also know of people - I think my sisters school (which has high numbers of children with ALN) pointed my parents in the direction of somebody to help with tests. Think she was called an educational psychologist. She diagnosed Dyslexia and Dyspraxia for them.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sat 12-Jul-08 07:38:41

If your son is not already under the care of a developmental paediatrician at a child development centre, a developmental paed (specifically that type of paediatrician) is a person you will need to see. The GP can refer you to such a person.

Are you aware of any extra help your son gets at school. Are you in contact with the SENCO, does your son have an Individual Education Plan?.

I would also now looking into applying for a Statement of Special Needs from the LEA on your son's behalf.

You may also want to contact the NAS (National Autistic Society) and SOS;SEN - these people are very good with regards to educational needs.

You may also want to contact BIBIC - they are in Somerset.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sat 12-Jul-08 07:39:39

IPSEA are also very good re educational needs but their phone line is often busy

geekgirl Sat 12-Jul-08 07:52:05

I'm surprised that the school considered his end-of-year report to be the right medium to let you know of his difficulties! hmm They really should have asked you to come in long before to discuss these issues they're flagging up, shouldn't they? You shouldn't have to arrange hurried appointments with school in the last week of term. So angry for you.

I hope you manage to sort out an assessment quickly. And ask they school why they didn't think of calling you in for an appointment months ago. I know ours does if any of the children display behaviour that could be part of something bigger.

HairyMaclary Sat 12-Jul-08 08:25:44

I think peachy is in your area and may be able to help with the local services that are available. I'm sure she will be along soon. I'm sorry that you have been upset, it can be hard to see it in writing sometimes. If you are adapting your lives to accommodate him then I suggest you apply for Disability living Allowance (DLA) for which you do not need a diagnosis. Look on the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) website for a form. It is very hard to fill in from an emotional point of view but if your DS gets it you can use the money to help pay for private therapies and assessments.

Tiggiwinkle Sat 12-Jul-08 08:47:06

Go to your GP and ask him to refer your DS for an assessment if you have not already done so. Much better to go through the GP route than waiting for the school to get anything done.

My DS5 was diagnosed with AS when he was 6-it is very common for the problems to become apparent when they reach year 1, as they begin to struggle more socially. I agree that is very unfortunate that your sons teacher has left it until now to mention it in the form of his report-why did they do nothing sooner?

Hassled Sat 12-Jul-08 08:52:41

Another one here astonished that the school waited until the end of the year and then chose the report as the tool with which to tell you the extent of their concerns. It sounds like he should have been referred for an Ed Pych assessment months and months ago. The school can make that referral but the GP to Paediatrician route might be quicker, especially with the school holidays so imminent.

The school need to review their SEN policy pronto - apart from the unfairness of their inaction to your DS, the situation can hardly have been easy on the rest of the class.

Tclanger Sat 12-Jul-08 09:17:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TotalChaos Sat 12-Jul-08 09:38:43

agree with the other ladies. I would also suggest you speak to your nearest branch of NAS or nearest Autism/Aspergers support group to get a feel for local procedures/waiting times for diagnosis etc, so you know what to expect.

worriedaboutson Sat 12-Jul-08 09:50:10

Good morning and thank you all. Am a bit calmer now. My husband is also very concerned that this has all been left basically to the report and you are right - whatever problems we have at home and niggling concerns it was very hard to see it all written down like that. My main concern is how to get him the help he needs as quickly as possible and address any procedural concerns later on. We were only aware that earlier in the year there had been an issue about sitting on the carpet which we had understood to be resolved. I think the issues have been compounded because he has had an inexperienced maternity cover teacher who I suspect has found it difficult to manage the class and who has not engaged him academically, I wonder if she lacked the experience/confidence to recognise that he may have a problem rather than being a "naughty boy". He does not have any SENCO involvement and no IEP. His report reads that he is doing well academically in verbal work and reading - they have differentiated homework so I know he is in the "clever group" for both maths and reading despite seemingly not engaging in the lessons which may also have masked his issues.

Now specific questions:
Could someone please explain the differance between an IEP, school action and school action plus.

Is it possible to get him formally assessed if he has not been on any of these - which I guess he probably would have been, if only for behaviour management, with a more experienced teacher.

Does anyone know locally do I need to ask the GP to refer to a paed with special interest or CAHMS.

Can I ask for an Ed psych assessment via school as well as a paed/CAHMS assessment - ie can the two referrals run concurrently rather than consecutively?

Finally for now if there is going to be a delay I would rather get some private assessments done over the summer - can anyone recommend specific ed pych/developmental paeds within a 4 hour radius.

I am horrified that he has caused so much disruption for the other children but also very concerned that he has effectively lost a years education with no plan to help him next year in place and that his needs are not being recognised/met.

Many thanks

AbbeyA Sat 12-Jul-08 09:59:45

School action is giving him extra help through resources in school. School action plus is help within school but bringing in help from outside. IEP just means Individual Education Plan which addresses a specific need. I think that the school should have been talking to you informally and formally before now-getting a report like that is a horrible shock. You have done the right thing arranging a meeting at school.I don't know much about assessments but the SENCO should be able to advise. I would have thought that it was a good thing to go for a statement and then he might get his own TA for at least part of the day. I wanted to reply so that you don't feel alone but hopefully someone more knowledgeable will reply soon.

Tiggiwinkle Sat 12-Jul-08 10:07:31

I know nothing about the private route, but I know others on here have experience of it so will leave it to them to answer that part of your post.
As someone else mentioned, Peachy does, I think, come from your area so may be able to help with advice about local resources.

School action basically means that the school are managing your childs needs within the school; school action plus means there are outside agencies involved.
An IEP is an Individual Education Plan and should be drawn up by the SENCO in collaboration with the teacher and yourself, to outline your childs needs and plan how the school is to address them. There should be an IEP in place once your child is identified as having special needs.

Your child does not need to have been on any of these to be assessed. Go to your GP-it is much better than going through the educational route.
My DS has not been seen or assessed by an educational psychologist-it was all done through CAMHS.

It is quite common for children with AS to perform very well academically despite their difficulties-my DS refuses to do a lot of the work in class, but still manages to stay ahead of the others.

worriedaboutson Sat 12-Jul-08 10:14:44

Thank you, will contact NAS Cymru now re local assessment procedures and who to get referrals to. Just to clarify so the IEP outlines the school action or school action plus?
Going to swimming then but am very grateful for the advice/support thus far and will be back later.

Tclanger Sat 12-Jul-08 10:14:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sat 12-Jul-08 10:24:23

Think its appalling that your son has had no SENCO imput to date. The school have failed him because his needs have not been recognised let alone met. Your son should have an IEP (Individual Education Plan) at the very least which should be gone through termly with the SENCO, your good self and his class teacher.

With regards to his educational needs I would still write to the Chief Education Officer of your LEA and ask for your son to be statutorily assessed. You neither need a diagosis or permission from school to do this. SA plus may not help your son ultimately so would look into applying for a Statement for him (scope in terms of support on School Action plus is limited, there will be no or very little one to one support provided and its most importantly its not legally binding).

Reports from the private sector e.g a private Ed Pysch would be informative for you but ultimately the LEA may not take any notice of such things. You need to go through the GP to get a referral to a NHS developmental paediatrician; these people are usually based at a Child Development Centre.

Look into applying for DLA as well.

You are your child's best - and ONLY - advocate.

Celia2 Sat 12-Jul-08 10:40:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Saker Sat 12-Jul-08 11:12:34

As you are in South Wales you might find The Dyscovery Centre helpful. They specialise in dyspraxia.

worriedaboutson Sat 12-Jul-08 20:44:52

Thank you all for your advice and support. We will meet with the head/teacher and SENCO early next week and go from there. I will take in some information re dyspraxia and Aspergers in advance as there is much I recognise there. I have contacted NAS Cymru and Dyscovery today. Once I have some more information from school, I will then go to GP for a paed/CAHMS referral and ask school for an ed psych referral - I assume this will involve observation in the classroom setting and will need to wait until the next academic year? The Dyscovery link provided is very useful and we will use that for a private assessment if needed, I have asked in my initial contact if the LEA will accept their assessment for support/statementing purposes. Are school likely to say he is just a naughty/immature boy who has had a difficult year with an inexperienced teacher and to wait and see? Obviously even if this is what they think he should have some support /intervention both for his sake and that of the other children.
Am going to do an Amazon order tonight - planning to get Write from the start; Tony Atwood Complete guide to Aspergers plus one of either Developmental Dyspraxia - Madeleine Portwood or one of the Amanda Kirby's dyspraxia books - any preferences? If anyone in S Wales/Glos/Hereford etc areas has any of these and would be willing to sell so I can read before school/GP meetings next week I would be very willing to drive to collect tomorrow.

Tiggiwinkle Sat 12-Jul-08 21:02:16

Certainly the Tony Attwood book is the one I would recommend to give a good introduction to Asperger's.

In my experience (and that of many others I think) it can be hard to get a school to admit a child might have AS. We had a very difficult year when DS5 was going through his assessment and it was only after his official diagnosis that they finally accepted it. They would have been only too happy to put it all down to "naughtiness" and in fact his (awful) teacher at the time carried on with this attidute throughout, even though his diagnosis was obvious.

Be prepared for many battles!

lottiejenkins Sun 13-Jul-08 18:15:22

Dyscovery Foundation is near you! They help dyspraxic children.

lottiejenkins Sun 13-Jul-08 18:16:09

Sorry didnt read your last post blush

Romy7 Sun 13-Jul-08 19:43:27

Write from the start is good, but if school can request assessment quickly it may be worth getting an OT report so that the actual areas of concern can be addressed, rather than heading straight for a specific programme - it may be that a sloped writing board and a different pencil grip help enormously for example...

You can have an IEP on both levels of school action, as well as statemented. The main difference between SA and SA+ is that external agencies are involved at + (hence +, as school action alone is inadequate)... school may not be willing to request statementing at this point as he is doing well academically - it may be an uphill battle if his academic scores are fine... why bother putting additonal funding in when it isn't going to improve your SATS results?but worth a try - the IEP can include social skills targets too.

hope your meeting with the head goes well, and you manage to come up with a plan of action.

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