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Is there more chance of getting a statement if you apply before your child makes progress?

(22 Posts)
lingle Sun 14-Jun-09 11:34:28

Reading between the lines of a few posts, I'm getting the impression that to get a statement for a child, you're best off applying when that first ultra-depressing can't-bear-to-read-it nursery/school/ed psych report lands in your lap.

Sounds like if you wait until the child's progressed and then see where you stand, then they may say s/he no longer needs one for the ASD/ish type issues?

Would be interested to know if this is right.

We've elected to defer starting reception for a year instead of following council's support teacher's recommendations to prepare to apply for statement and as DS2 is progressing (albeit slowly in the case of nursery) I wonder if our case may be weaker when we have to make the decision (all comes back to statementing being the only reason I'd go through a diagnostic process).

I'm not complaining. A statement sounds like having a lifebelt in the deep end whereas another year at nursery is like getting an extra year in the shallow end (with arm bands).

pagwatch Sun 14-Jun-09 11:38:03

Tob be honest I would be far more wary of the failure to apply for a statemnet and then your child regresses scenario as places are finte and the parents who followed that route were always caught in the worst situation.
One child I knew had no school place ( because the place available no longer met his needs) and his mother was struggling to get any support at all

lou031205 Sun 14-Jun-09 19:04:00

It is interesting. Pagwatch - that is what I would be frightened of. Whenever DD1 makes any progress, I am delighted, of course, but at the same time frightened that then they will decide they can just send her to a mainstream primary in 2010 without support. That terrifies me.

When her preschool 1:1 says she has been 'fab', I think "why is it she is fab at preschool but not able to take that home?" Then I realise that the 1:1 is saying "fab for DD1", rather than NT.

lingle - I think you are doing what all parents have to do - you are weighing up your options, and taking a calculated risk. You believe that your son may outgrow his issues, as your older DS did. But I personally think you need to set yourself a low 'bar' for requesting a statement in the next year if he isn't making sufficient progress.

lingle Sun 14-Jun-09 19:27:06

sorry am being thick- didn't quite understand the last sentence. Can you put it another way?

Peachy Sun 14-Jun-09 19:27:07

I do think it's best to get in early.

having a statement doesn't mean you have to palce your child in an SN unit or have masses of provision, once they'reawarded they can be altered 9albeit with extra faff). DS3 started in MS but has had his amended to state a specific SNU now.

I refused to start ds3 at school without one and HE'd him, but they take a minimum of six months to get and worst case scenario is that it's a lifeboat not just for the deep end but for the sudden depths: who knows whats around the corner? if we're not here to protect them it's best to have everything in aplce JIC.

lingle Sun 14-Jun-09 19:30:09

"if we're not here to protect them it's best to have everything in aplce JIC"

<nods whilst shuddering>

lou031205 Sun 14-Jun-09 19:59:20

"But I personally think you need to set yourself a low 'bar' for requesting a statement in the next year if he isn't making sufficient progress."

Sorry, lingle. What I mean is don't wait until half way through the year before thinking 'this isn't panning out as I thought'. Make sure that if you even suspect for a minute your DS is going to need a statement despite being held back a year, you get on and request one.

You can easily withdraw a statement request, and LEAs love to turn children down, but putting one in place is a much longer and harder process.

What you REALLY don't want is your DS spending two or three terms in mainstream primary unsupported when he really needs a statement.

juliaw Sun 14-Jun-09 20:53:01

I have heard lots of anecdotal stories about how once a child is on action plus and makes any progress (which lets face it we would hope most would make some natural progress anyway) this is held up as evidence of action plus working and a statement not being necessary. I am kind of hoping by getting in early (our private nursery hasn't done anything formal yet at all) we won't end up in this scenario. It will take 6 months to get a statement (and might be refused in which case appeal or reapply 6 months later). Personally I just feel safer having a legal document which the LEA has to fund eg DS will have a legal right to any speech therapy listed on a statement, whereas on action plus we could be fobbed off. I can understand why you have reservations about the diagnostic process but some schools do put in alot of funds at actionplus - look for the schools with peeling wallpaper but 3 TA's in a room! You obviously know your school and perhaps can decide whether they would fund what your child needed in worst case scenario until a statement was obtained. I would have thought if the school felt a statement was merited they would be applying themselves? In a previous post you referred to finding out what an LEA expects a school to put in at action plus - IPSEA have a new pack on their website about appealing a refusal for a statement and a model letter which asks just this - I don't see why you couldn't ask for this info now (I think the legislation they refer to in their standard letter only applies for children over 5, but under freedom of information rules etc I think you would be entitled to ask for this now). You might decide that actually what the school would be required to put in would cover your worst case scenario.

lingle Sun 14-Jun-09 21:24:36

Hmmmmmm, thanks for the replies. Yes I think it might have been a post of yours juliaw that made me "twig" that applying earlier gives you the strongest chance.

SALT has made references to doing standardised tests in October whereas nursery manager has referred to making decision re statement application in Jan 2010.

Hmmm, need to get my professionals and timelines straight methinks!
Am not too sure what I would be asking a one-to-one support type person to actually do as we don't have one-to-one SALT input at present, but hopefully some mild ASD/language people will be doing lots of posts about their support and statements and I can read those/pick their brains over the next few months.

Thanks again for taking the time to reply.

TotalChaos Sun 14-Jun-09 21:38:51

well DS gets bog all 1-1 etc, but I imagine you would want any prospective 1-1 to do some language work with him every day, and to be around to help with transitions/explaining new activities etc. I can see why nursery would be thinking of Jan 2010, on the basis that they reckon 8 months would be sufficient, but if you are having SALT do standard assessments in October,that seems as good a time as any to kick start it - as bear in mind that the LEA can refuse a request for statutory assessment, so appealing that refusal would take up time....

TotalChaos Sun 14-Jun-09 21:41:54

oh and don't forget that the statement can also specify the amount of SALT your DS will get and I think training for the 1-1.

lingle Sun 14-Jun-09 21:49:49

So

language practice
transitions
explaining new activities

It's so confusing. What do they do for your DS at school Total? anything?

DS2 told me today that "Miss Smith reed book about caterpillar nursery" which was thrilling and I think means that they read "The Very Hungry Caterpillar".

Peachy Mon 15-Jun-09 14:38:17

Lingle, something I find very usefulwith ds3 is that it'sspecified in his statement they have to use the home schoollink book daily as we never find out what he's doing otehrwise, he doesn't share that info

Well worth adidng to your list IMO

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 15-Jun-09 16:21:52

Re the comment made by lou:-

"What you REALLY don't want is your DS spending two or three terms in mainstream primary unsupported when he really needs a statement".

Couldn't agree more.

magso Mon 15-Jun-09 16:28:19

We ran into trouble when ds (very little language) started reception without a statement. He had a lot of support from the small supportive nursery and they did not feel he needed a statement. In reception we effectively had to start again even though he had been on action+ at nursery. In the end it took almost 3 years of vertually no support. Ds has mod/sev LD, ASD and profound lang delay.
So I would say start as soon as possible!

flyingmum Mon 15-Jun-09 18:07:41

Simple answer: Yes

I got my son statemented early because the infant school said 'once he has learnt to read its all going to become much more difficult to get it'. Also LEAs are putting more resources in early on. It is very very difficult to get a statement once they have reached year 5 and onwards. Some primary schools are resistant because it is a long long haul with paper work for them. In secondary (and I've got my secondary SEN teacher hat on here) there are very few statemented. The ones who have made the most progress (this is after 13 years of teaching) are the ones who have been statemented from early on.

Go for the statement EVERY time. My son had a horrendous year in reception (even with full time one to one). It was absolute hell for us, him and them BUT it got us what he needed statementwise and support wise which we then took on and it all improved considerably.

Its a hard decision but geting it over with now is yuck but then its done, gone. You don't have any more hassle until transition in year 6 and then that's another ball game . . .

daisy5678 Mon 15-Jun-09 19:25:21

I applied for J's statement when he'd just turned 3 (summer birthday) in the knowledge that it would take that long to get it in place for the following September. It only arrived in the October, so took about a year in total. Because of this, I am another advocate for applying early. We were turned down twice before it was accepted but we eventually got what was needed. The Statement means the school can't easily wriggle out of anything and the LEA just email draft Statements to me now to make any changes I want, to keep the school in line.

J was very young when we applied, but it was clear that he'd need extra help, even though academically he was really quite able. Socially, emotionally, behaviourally, he still needs that help at nearly 8 and the school are funded for full time 1:1 & extra hours for liaison and prep purposes. Plus SALT and OT are specified. That's all taken a while to get right, but I shudder at the idea that he'd have started school without the statement. The school made it very clear that they wouldn't take him without full 1:1 on health and safety grounds - it is worth getting the potential school to be an ally and explain why they will need the Statement too.

hth

lingle Mon 15-Jun-09 21:03:14

thanks givemesleep and everyone.

There is a parent partnership thingamyjig about statementing (to do with Barnados?) with a helpline so I will call them and find out a bit more.

Might start another thread asking people with and without statements what support they get/ought to get/wish they got.

I don't particularly want him to have speech therapy in school (unless progress stops or reverses but that would change everything wouldn't it?)

maybe someone to design the visual aids?

someone to ask him if he's understood? (assuming that by next year he'll be able to answer that question)

someone to turn all instructions into a Simon Says routine!!!!!!

Maybe a one-to-one for all the other children to make them speak more slowly and clearly? smile!!!1

ooh now I'm getting the hang of it.....

One more question: there is a little girl, N, who I believe has DS going into reception this next year. Do you think it would be a good idea to befriend her mum and get some feedback/find out how switched on the school is? I'm assuming that N will get a statement as she is not yet walking/is not yet very verbal.

daisy5678 Wed 17-Jun-09 21:13:07

I would befriend the parent - good plan!

lingle Thu 18-Jun-09 09:08:51

Thanks, I will pluck up courage on the playground (she has three kids so is always busy-looking).

lingle Fri 19-Jun-09 13:29:16

Plucked up courage yesterday. Great news for DS2 is that N. will also remain in nursery next year. They have the same therapist and although they are at very different levels, both use lots of visual aids, so this should mean much more SALT presence and training throughout the year.

<opens champagne>

daisy5678 Sat 20-Jun-09 10:59:55

Great!

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