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DS3 has a Statement (Verbal Dyspraxia) which he really doesn't warrant or need - advice please!(4 Posts)
Firstly, I realise that given some of the hoops MNers have had to jump through to get Statements, this is going to sound bad.
DS3 was Statemented in the run-up to Reception, at the request of his SALT. At that stage, while he had lots to say, he was pretty much unintelligible. He had a diagnosis of "a severe phonological disorder with elements of articulatory Dyspraxia". He has 20 hours a week of 1 to 1 - the LSA has been a bit hit and miss, but just having someone to reinforce the SALT exercises daily has been fantastic.
Now he's 7, about to leave Infant School for Junior School (so Yr3 in September). His speech is still odd/unusual in inflection - he can sound a bit robotic - but he can make all the consonant sounds and unless he's very tired or angry/stressed, he's always intelligible to children as well as adults. He's happy and confident, and academically very very able.
The SALT has effectively said that she feels there is nothing more that can be done for him. I think what she's saying is that his speech will always be odd/robotic, because he's had to learn all the sounds and will always be Dyspraxic. He certainly doesn't need 20 hours a week of 1-1 - and now it seems he doesn't need anything. Reducing the Statemented hours isn't really an option - the SEN funding rules have changed and under 20 hours, it comes direct from school funds. I know the school very well and know they have budget issues.
So - on the one hand I'm embarrassed that he'll go to this new school with a Statement he clearly doesn't need. And there are other kids who could really do with one, and their parents are struggling. I could see it as the opportunity for the class to have a funded additional TA for 20 hours, but that shouldn't be what it's all about.
On the other hand, I'm finding it hard to accept that the speech is as good as it's ever going to get, I'm worried that without the SALT input there will be a deterioration, I'm worried that without the Statement it will be much harder to get them back on board (because they are very overstretched as it is in our Cluster) if things go downhill.
I don't know what to do!
My dd Lucy 6 ASD has a statement too but doesn't necessarily need the 1 to 1 support it provides. Lucy got hers from home before she entered nursery. She is academically very able and has no behavioural problems. In a well structured and ordered environment Lucy is as able as the most able pupil in her year so what tends to happen is that the TA acts as a general TA although should Lucy need assistance her first responsibility is Lucy.
There is the option in our LEA to cut her hours although I won't be asking for the reduction and am pretty certain school won't either because I for one am aware of how difficult it is to get the hours reinstated and Lucy's ability to cope is dependent on the teacher making sure the environment is right for Lucy.
If by using Lucy's TA to ensure that the class is calm, quiet, well organised and prepared then as far as I am concerned the TA is supporting Lucy's needs.
I actually prefer Lucy's support in this way as I think spending 20 hours on a 1to1 basis with an adult is pretty isolating.
I would wait and see how ds copes in his new school and have a chat to them before making any decisions. I know from experience that come secondary school Lucy will need every minute of the support her statement offers so I will fight to keep her statement to ensure her needs continue to be met in senior school
As a Senco, am v impressed you are prepared to consider cutting hours at all - would normally be terrified to broach this with parents!!
My borough is the same re under 18 hrs is not funded, so completely understand your point re school budget constraints, but that is really their problem not yours, though it is lovely of you to think of it! When is his Annual Review? If it is not for a couple of terms, then see how he goes and the school's perspective. They may not feel he needs it either and that several hours a week would be ample, which they may be able to afford. Does the school run SALT groups he would be able to participate in anyway?
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