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Help with statment stuff again.

(75 Posts)
staryeyed Fri 03-Jul-09 10:02:31

WE have gone through the statementing process so far we have rejected the 1st proposed statement and had a meeting with the case worker with the draft of the statement with my amendments. Our school choice was agreed to but they wanted to remove all references to PECS trained people working with Ds. I was told that the case worker had spoken to the head mistress who had confirmed all staff are PECS trained so it was irrelevant anyway. I agreed to contact the school myself and if the staff were all properly PECS trained to have it removed from statement. However it seems although they have a PECS coordinator they are given in house training only and I am currently trying to find out from the school if the coordinator is trained to train because it sounds as if the school is not using it correctly - I spoke to a class teacher who said they use it for snack time[sigh]. I have left several messages since last Friday with headmistress who has not got back to me I keep being told she is busy.

I had also requested that the Occupational therapist write more specific input recommendations but they have also come back quite vague. The SALT has quantified input but says " up to" which I requested they removed. I will contact the OT but I am hitting a brick wall in terms of getting the statement to be specific and quantitative. The professionals writing the report say they are not responsible for quantifying input and the LEA say that they can only include what the professional have written.

So my questions are :

1) Even though DS is going to a special school can I insist that staff are properly PECS trained? (the case worker said that its not for the LEA to dictate how the school spend their budget or train their staff).

2) is there anything I can quote at OT to get them to write more specific recommendations?

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 03-Jul-09 10:37:21

Hi staryeyed,

Have you talked with IPSEA, SOS;SEN or ACE about these issues?. I would think one of the above would be helpful to you in these circumstances. I only wish I could be more helpful here myself but I do not know these particular answers. I would try one of them and run parts 2 and 3 past them as they are now written.

Best of luck.


electra Fri 03-Jul-09 10:55:15

Message withdrawn

staryeyed Fri 03-Jul-09 10:59:34

Yes I did speak to IPSEA and SOS;SEN who both helped a lot but suggested getting a private OT report. I am trying to avoid that if possible because they are so expensive and I think my LEA will dismiss it anyway. I will though, if the OT is unhelpful. IPSEA said I should insist on PECS training but I wondered if there is anyone who has personal experience or anything I can quote because its just being rejected.

vjg13 Fri 03-Jul-09 11:36:26

I think LEAs will accept independent reports because they know a tribunal will. We had to get an EP one and one for SALT and the LEA has included parts in her statement as we requested.

It is a pain and expensive but probably the best way to go.

staryeyed Fri 03-Jul-09 12:35:10

The thing is in terms of PECS provision The SALTs he currently work with don't really use PECS much and mainly focus on pre verbal skills. I went on the course so we use it at home and he uses it with the preschool intervention team but at nursery I think they too use it for snack time and a few specific sessions. PECS is barely mentioned in the SALT report anything relating to PECS in the statement I actually added so I have no real backing except the intervention team report.

Thanks for those pages Electra I will quote them at the case worker worker.

staryeyed Fri 03-Jul-09 14:16:35

I spoke to the OT who had been told by her manager that she couldn't really write anything more specific and it would be up to the OT who would assess Ds how much input he would get. I said that she should be able to give a professional opinion of what he should receive otherwise the statement could not be amended. She said she will speak to her manager and get back to me on next week. I don't know if she will be able to get back to me before I have to respond to the latest amendments. They are so flipping tied, they all come out with the same- "I'm not allowed to specify" etc.

moondog Fri 03-Jul-09 17:17:16

Stary, why have you removed the reference to PECS?
Unless people have been on 2 day course, THEY ARE NOT PECS TRAINED.

The 'in house training' is not PECS training.

Contact Pyramid Educational Consultants for confirmation that they would reject these people's affirmation that they are 'PECS' trained.

Ignore what the case worker says and stick to your guns.
If she comes out with crap like this, ask her where it is written and is it leggaly binding.

staryeyed Sun 05-Jul-09 12:48:58

Moondog, I was assuming that the PECS coordinator is trained to train in PECS i.e. is an implementer or supervisor: . Since talking to the teacher I'm not sure she is. Plus I have been trying to speak the the head mistress since last Friday to clarify. I have called everyday but she hasn't returned any of my calls even though I have been assured she is receiving my messages.

Ideally I would like it in there but panel have rejected it and I don't have any reports to really back up how necessary it is both the SALTS he has worked with are not PECS focused. Now because I have been unable to clarify with the head IM not sure what to do and I have until Thursday to respond to the 2nd proposed statement.

moondog Mon 06-Jul-09 00:01:43

I woukld be writing to the head (and ccing it to everyone else) listing your failed attempts to make contact.That will embarrass them.

I would seek assurance that PECS person is indeed an implementor (ask to see documentation .PECS are very strict, and quite rightly so about terms and conditions.)

PECS themselves shouod be able to give you some written support to back up your wish that all people involved have PECS training (why 2 SALTs though?)

I wil ltell you categorically that unless all people on board are singing from same hymn shett as it were, most intervention is a waste of time, irrespective of numbers involved.

staryeyed Mon 06-Jul-09 12:02:49

We have one salt through school and one through pre school intervention team.

moondog Mon 06-Jul-09 17:24:05

Are they doing the smae tihng?
If not,I suspect it's a waste of energy.

staryeyed Tue 07-Jul-09 15:49:45

Im pretty sure it is a waste of time moondog. But then nothing has been what its supposed to be. The fact that a pre school intervention team specifically for autism would hire a SALT that doesnt support PECS speaks volumes- another ticking the box service, I feel. Nursery despite having SALT and being PECS trained have made no progress with his PECS at all, despite DS1 being very capable of learning new vocab. I have lost faith in government funded SN services or maybe its just my borough.

Also I did email head and called again and have still had no response.

moondog Tue 07-Jul-09 19:35:54

As I said, would be documenting all this to put in a devastating letter of criticism to be sent to very many people.

moondog Tue 07-Jul-09 19:36:39

The fact that a pre school intervention team specifically for autism would hire a SALT that doesnt support PECS speaks volumes

What do you mean by this?
Have they told you this?
Ask for a written statement on what they do and don't advocate.

staryeyed Wed 08-Jul-09 10:42:53

No Moondog, this was never said, the official line was that she was supposed to work with PECS, but she didnt use it and wouldnt make targets for it and even made reference towards pprefering other methods. Instead she made speaking targets which for my non verbal Ds was pointless.

I think if I did complain there would be a big cover up - they have never been straight and sometimes have been outright manipulative with the truth from the beginning. The service sounds fantastic on paper but in reality they can not offer anything like the number of hours they propose to, The staff lack the training and experience they need, and they all talk like bloody politicians- You seriously can not get a straight answer from them. I have wanted to complain many times but felt I would be shooting myself in the foot as some service is better than none.

staryeyed Wed 08-Jul-09 11:13:09

Finally the head teacher answered my questions with:

"the majority of my staff have Pyramid training as has my PECs co-odinator. school has aslo been monitored by pyramid to make sure we are doing it properly!

Pecs is one part of a total communication system involving symbols, signs and speech. visual symbols are used throughout the school, the school day and subject teaching. we had a glowing report on PECS in a previous OFSTED.
pupils also use PECS at break and lunch times to request their food."

Not exactly answering my q of whether the coordinator is an implementer or supervisor or how often it is used in the day.

moondog Wed 08-Jul-09 18:56:15


Ask to see documentation and/or a list of staff with specific training by thier names (and dates). They may indeed be well trained in which case she should be happy to share info.

The average OFSTED bod knows eff all about PECS so that means nothing.

Most places can use PECS at snack time.The important point is how often is it used at other times.

moondog Wed 08-Jul-09 18:56:47

Ask to see Pyramid documentation re consultancy visists.

staryeyed Thu 09-Jul-09 16:19:48

The headmistress has now said that she is not sure the school can cater for DS needs and has suggested another school for him. I think its because Im asking too many questions. I think I have got a reputation as being difficult because I dont just accept things as they are. The school she is suggesting, is not appropriate. It will now go to panel to be decided and my case worker did not even inform me. I had to ring her to find this out.angry

moondog Thu 09-Jul-09 19:09:57

Oh dear.

StarlightMcKenzie Thu 09-Jul-09 20:32:23

Message withdrawn

vjg13 Thu 09-Jul-09 20:56:11

Parental preference for a school is the starting point and does carry a lot of weight. The decision for a school is made by an education officer and the 'panel' is just a bit of window dressing.

If you haven't already been to the other school suggested, visit, appear open and then have good reasons as to why it would not meet his needs. Good Luck.

StarlightMcKenzie Thu 09-Jul-09 21:05:34

Message withdrawn

cyberseraphim Fri 10-Jul-09 10:35:44

What were the supposed advantages of the other school ? Why would it be supposed to meet his needs ?

It's not a crime to ask 'too many' questions. The school should welcome it as a sign that you are a committed parent. But I have had this reaction too - as if it is strange that a mere parent would want to know what happens in a particular school. Do we get a skewed view here on MN ? Are there parents who just sign for anything the LEA advises ?

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