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Confused about the statementing process

(36 Posts)
Socci Mon 07-Feb-05 11:36:23

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amynnixmum Mon 07-Feb-05 11:47:13

We're going through the statementing process at the moment. Its not much fun as you have to spend so much time looking at the negatives. Our LEA have been helpful and supportive so far and I have a named person who I can call if I have any concerns or questions. How old is your dd? ASAIK statementing can be started whilst they are at preschool. LEA may be talking about provision in mainstream. My ds (4)has behavioural problems but no diagnosis as yet. He has had such problems at school that he has been excluded 3 times . We wanted to put him in a special school but in our LEA there is nothing for children like him under 8 and so when they talk about special provision for him they mean in mainstream. Are you in contact with your local parent support group? The lady that runs ours has been really helpful.

Socci Mon 07-Feb-05 11:59:06

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amynnixmum Mon 07-Feb-05 12:08:46

Is your dd in a nursery or preschool? I'm pretty sure that children need to be in some sort of educational enviroment to go through the statementing process because its a statement of special educational needs. Once she is attending something like that I think you can ask for her to be assessed. When I said about the parent support group I meant yuor local parent partnership service. They have loads of them all over the country and as i said the lady that runs ours has been a godsend. She has given me loads of advice and also come to meetings with me. I have a DfES guide for special educational needs and it has a list of all the numbers in the back. I can find the number for your local service if you want.

beccaboo Mon 07-Feb-05 12:13:05

Hello there Socci. We haven't embarked on this yet, but I was told by the paed that policy is now to try and defer a statement until they've started school, so their difficulties can be assessed in that environment. It sounds suspiciously like a money-saving policy to me....! I don't know if this is just in our London borough or across the country.

That's so exciting about the ABA starting, how are you feeling about it?

onlyjoking Mon 07-Feb-05 12:28:00

we have done the statementing thing three times, our two girls got one without a battle at five, our DS was DX at 2yrs 4 months we started the ball rolling for statementing and he had his statement in place by 3, he wasnt in any educational provision until he got his statement, that was nearly five years ago so things may have changed, but take no notice of the LEA people who try tactics to put you off statementing{i reckon they also work for the DLA}
it is much easier to get statement early on

MeerkatsUnite Mon 07-Feb-05 12:32:08

To you all,

If you haven't done so already I would strongly suggest you contact IPSEA and talk through all this with them. Socci - I think IPSEA in particular would like to hear about this particular LEA. IPSEA's website is www.ipsea.org.uk and there is also a helpline number you can call.

Statements can be issued to children below the age of 5 but generally speaking the LEA's policies are very much dependent on where you reside.

In my experience the LEA in question were okay.

I wish you well

MeerkatsUnite Mon 07-Feb-05 12:33:36

If your child's needs are not being met by the school and your child is failing as a result, then a statutory assessment is necessary ­- indeed, it is your child's legal entitlement.

But it is not likely to happen unless you, as a parent, requests it.

Do not be put off by talk of Government or LEA targets and the expense of assessment. Get your request in, in writing, to your LEA as soon as possible (IPSEA have a model letter). Make it clear that you will appeal to the Tribunal if the LEA refuses assessment. Last year over 60 per cent of parents appealing to the Tribunal against refusals to assess were successful ­- that is, the Tribunal agreed with them and ordered their LEA to make a statutory assessment.

If you think your LEA is operating an unlawful policy with regard to assessments of children with special needs, please contact Brendan King, IPSEA's Campaigns and Complaints Officer on 01384 232225.

heartinthecountry Mon 07-Feb-05 12:36:52

Hi Socci - I just came on to mumsnet as I have a query about statementing and found your post! (I'll start a new thread though as mine is slightly different).

Every LEA is going to be different but in our area (which is just adjacent to beccaboo!) they are trying to statement early. dd is only 2.4 and we have just started the process. The reason I have asked for it to happen so early is because she is going to need help in any preschool setting and I want to make sure she gets that. I am pretty certain that you have the right to ask the LEA to assess (as opposed to waiting for someone to refer you) this will then go to a panel who will decide whether they will assess or not. Unfortunately I guess if your LEA are against early statementing they will say no. But you have the right to appeal against that (as TC did with Lottie).

Anyway, as you have a diagnosis I would at least send a letter to the LEA requesting that they look at statementing.

At this stage though don't mention ABA, esp if your LEA is difficult about funding this. If they agree to statement, then you can start mentioning ABA and hopefully get your EdPsych on board.

We are also hoping to start an ABA programme with dd within the next month or so. I am sure Davros has given you lots of useful info and advice (I know she has me!) but I went to a Peach Parents day a few weeks ago and got some useful info re getting LEAs to fund and the statementing process - would you like me to copy it for you? CAT me if you do.

Socci Mon 07-Feb-05 12:44:57

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chatee Mon 07-Feb-05 12:56:53

i was told by my lea that they wouldn't come out and meet my dd until she was 3 and then they would decide whether to statement or not, i told them in no uncertain terms that i wanted the statement in place for when dd was 3........funny enough i had a phone call from the ed psych the following week and the process began......it was in place for when dd was 2.10 months and i initially requested it at 2.3months

FIGHT....FIGHT....FIGHT....PLEASE!!!!
i know we shouldn't have to

Socci Mon 07-Feb-05 12:58:29

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Saker Mon 07-Feb-05 13:11:27

Socci

ds2 has a 1:1 at preschool which is funded by the Preschool Learning Alliance which is a lottery money thing - for this he didn't need any statement or even reports, just a visit from a representative of the committee who allocates the money. I don't know if this is specific to Cambridgeshire though where we are. Here is a link to their website.

There are also 1:1 funded children without a statement - I think there should be other sources of money for nursery children. Are you in touch with the preschool learning people / area SENCO etc - they should be able to provide this information rather than just portage?

I agree though that from what I've heard it is worth starting the statementing process as early as possible - from what I have heard it can be a long one, and I am currently trying to get ours started (ds2 is 3.5y).

Cristina7 Mon 07-Feb-05 13:45:28

You can refer you daughter for Statementing yourself. You need to write to the LEA. If they refuse to start the process, they have to give their reasons in writing. You can then appeal. You can refer your daughter for Statementing at ANY AGE, however young. It has nothing to do with schooling. We wanted to start with our son when he was 1 (he is profoundly deaf). We started in the end when he was 2.

IPSEA are great and someone has already posted the link. There's a wealth of info on their website.

Good luck.

Socci Mon 07-Feb-05 14:18:01

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Davros Mon 07-Feb-05 16:48:20

cristina7 and chattee are right, statementing has nothing to do with being in an educational setting. We applied for DS's statement ourselves when he was just over 2. These "policies" of only statementing at certain ages or once a child is in formal education are illegal and should be reported to that IPSEA man. Mind you, I do think that even LEA people sometimes actually think that these policies are good and do not realise that they are illegal which is no excuse, but some of them certainly do know and just want to put you off. You could also contact PACE, especially you Socci as Virginia and Su who are the founders of PACE are both ABA mums, visit http://www.pace-uk.org/

Davros Mon 07-Feb-05 16:57:15

Oh, and what HITC says is right. Don't mention ABA until they have agreed to assess and then tell them that is what you want and, if you have hopefully started your program, that you cannot continue to fund indefinitely. Have you thought about getting a solicitor? There are some very good ones around who have a lot of experience, I think I might have sent you a list which includes solicitors. Also the PEACh funding pack is worth having. We did it all our way at first and then used some of their material when we disagreed with the proposed statement and it was worth using.

Socci Mon 07-Feb-05 18:24:53

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Socci Mon 07-Feb-05 18:36:02

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JakB Mon 07-Feb-05 18:37:48

Socci, sorry honey, missed this early as in my own flurry! Just to add my support- we started the process with dd just after she was diagnosed when she was 2 and 3 months. It came through almost exactly 6 months later in the September. We expected it to be a real fight, which it was to an extent but parents in our area had done all the hard work for us. We didn't tell them about ABA to start with but did further down the line as we had started her programme. Good luck! How exciting, starting the programme soon. Have you got all the therapists you need and so on? Would love to hear all about it

JakB Mon 07-Feb-05 18:39:11

Sorry, our posts crossed. What a nightmare. That's the thing, once one family has fought and won it's so much easier but it looks like you may have to be that 'family'. Very tough but programmes are so expensive it's very hard to fund it yourself for long

Socci Mon 07-Feb-05 18:52:21

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heartinthecountry Mon 07-Feb-05 20:39:51

Of course I'm right Davros - I had a great source of information .

Socci - know what you mean about tribunal for funding. I hve been thinking along similar lines ie. would we be better off using the money to fund her programme for a bit longer? Our battle is probably going to be that dd isn't autistic and ABA really isn't established in this country for general development delay.

beccaboo Mon 07-Feb-05 20:41:59

Thanks Davros - I'm going to look into our LEA's policy further, now that I know they can't actually say they want to wait until he's 5. I had no idea. I used to be a good rule-follower, but now I'm learning to dig a bit deeper! The expression 'postcode lottery' springs to mind.

Socci, fingers crossed for the ABA, hope it's going to be brilliant for your dd. See what you mean about the tribunal, it's a lot of money. I know very little about ABA, but are there any charities in your area that could help you out with costs? I seem to remember in Charlotte Moore's book that she gets some financial help for her boys' programme from a trust.

Cristina7 Mon 07-Feb-05 20:49:19

Socci - when we went to Tribunal we represented ourselves. We lost the only bit left to negotiate but getting to that stage was still worth it because a couple of days before the hearing our LEA agreed with most of our requests and the morning of the Tribunal, minutes before going in, with a few more. There was only one request left for the hearing itself and we didn't get it. So I'm glad we didn't spend money on a lawyer as I honestly don't think it would have made a difference. At the time (Nov. 2002) the SENDIT website had a PDF document with details of % of parents who had lawyers and % who represented themselves and TBH there wasn't a huge difference between the two groups. The programme we wanted for our son would have been £12000 a year for 2 mornings of 2.5 hours of specialist nursery for deaf kids. I know it's a huge, huge sum of money and I kind of understand why we didn't get it. He was in mainstream nursery instead and - don't tell them - but their decision was right. He absolutely thrived. We didn't see it like that at the time, though.

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