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ASD for Beginners

(6 Posts)
mum2fred Sat 06-Jun-09 14:40:26

Apologies for asking these simple questions, but I'm only 2 days in. We've been reading all the posts on ASD with huge interest, to the point where we are taking notes and googling anything we don't understand. Indeed Im sure many of you agree that MN appears to be as good, if not a better source of information that many of the other traditional routes (talk about overwhelming!).

But I am confused with exactly what 'statementing' is? We saw a communty paed specialist 2 days ago who told us that ds1 was undoubtedly autistic (cue ongoing white noise in my head) and that he woudl write and send a report and that we would see him again in 3 months. He gave us a few pamphlets and directed us toward some support channels and that was that. Is the report a statement? Or is that related to DLA?

thanking you for your help in advance!

ps. I just wanted to say how awesome I think MN has been for us these past 2 days. The sharing and the caring so many of you have exhibited has been inspiring. So far I have not cried once today and I have no doubt that my positive thoughts are largely due to MN. THank you. I look forward to one day being as capable and knowledgeable as all of you so that I can do the same for people where we are right now... (blah blah blah)

lingle Sat 06-Jun-09 14:53:13

I'm not an expert mum2fred but.......

A "Statement" is to do with school. You get your child assessed by various professionals, and then the local education authority write a big letter saying things like "ok, we have been told that he has no sense of danger therefore we accept he will need additional supervision at break time in the playground and on school trips therefore we will pay to make someone available for this"

or whatever the particular needs are.

It might be someone helping with handwriting or turntaking, etc.

One of the key benefits of an ASD diagnosis is that it makes getting these "statements" easier.

feelingbetter Sat 06-Jun-09 15:15:08

I'm no expert either but I try to read all threads on here and get the feeling that getting a statement is like getting all professional opinions as to what your child needs into a document for the school/LEA to commit too.

Don't know how old your LO is and, as you are new to MN, can I point you to the special educational needs board (Obviously as well as the SN board - not trying to get rid of you!)

There are lots of threads about statementing in this section too, and some very knowledgable Mums, so you can just stay here. Just wanted you to know the other board existed - MN is very big now!

feelingbetter Sat 06-Jun-09 15:25:49

this is a nice little thread with some general pointers for you

juliaw Sat 06-Jun-09 21:51:30

A statement is a statement of special educational needs (SSEN), basically the local education authority (LEA) assess your child (they get all the medical evidence and an educational psychologist's view + your preferences) and decide what help your child needs in school or nursery. Most children with SN get support in nursery / school without a statement as schools now get a budget from the LEA to make their own provision (I have heard it said that schools are expected to put in the first 15 hours). There is official info on directgov website but as a parent you'd be better looking at ACE and IPSEA. The good thing about a statement (provided you and the LEA agree with what is needed, which seems rare!) is that the LEA are legally obliged to provide the help listed, eg if your child is assessed as needing weekly speech therapy and there aren't enough speech therapists so you only see one every 2 months, you could go to a tribunal and force the LEA to provide the therapy specified. Without a statement you have no real come back if the support doesn't materialise. Having said that many schools are great at putting support in. If you are thinking of a nursery I would visit them well in advance so they know your child might be coming and they can make sure they have budgeted eg for 1:1 support for your child, nurseries we have visited for Jan 2010 have really appreciated advance warning about our son as they would be setting their budget for Sept 2009 for that school year. Also if you wanted a special school you would have to have a statement naming that school. However its early days for you so I would get your head around the medical stuff first. You will find that although the assessment process is medical, the provision is often deemed education so some things are NHS (eg physio, OT etc) and some LEA (Portage) and speech therapy seems to be NHS funded but often provided at schools and nurseries rather than at home.

mum2fred Sat 06-Jun-09 22:12:52

thanks eveyone, thanks juliaw for all the detail. It is early days fo this sort of thing for us of course, but im trying to make sure I understand everything i read.

sounds like a nightmare to be honest!!

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