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Statutory Assessment: Parent Advice: ABA

(42 Posts)
AngryWasp Fri 04-Sep-09 17:32:04


I have to submit the parents advice within the next two weeks and we are hoping to get ABA - eventually.

Do I put this in the parent advice?

I'm guessing that I write down all of his needs, and then how I see them being met, and plan to put things that would lend itself to ABA being the only real solution so would appreciate any help with that, - but, do I just go ahead and blurt out that ABA is what we want?

If so, do I also write a wish list of other specifics i.e. SALT and OT?

We haven't yet actually done any ABA, but will have by the time we get to the tribunal.
I can blag my way a little saying that our home programme IS predominately ABA (it's a recorded list of taught milestones, but approach not mentioned).

Any advice would be invaluable at this stage about this or anything else experienced statementing people can suggest.

Many tia.


AngryWasp Fri 04-Sep-09 17:33:20

Oh, and if I put ABA, do I list the research etc. showing it to be the only adequate provision, - or should that all be saved for the tribunal (you always needs something in reserve don't you)?

sickofsocalledexperts Fri 04-Sep-09 17:51:57

I put in my bid for ABA in the parental submission, but we had been doing it for quite a while so could definitely point to its being effective. We had also tried TEACCH etc so could prove that this wasn't effective. You may have to slightly enlarge on what you've done so far on the ABA front, and how well it is working. Is there any way you can say other methods are not effective?? Or a pal of mine did recently just argue that ABA was so effective that it was simply irrelevant that she hadn't tried the other methods. So I suppose that's my longwinded way of saying, yes, you should put it in your submission, but try and head off at the pass all their possible ojections, subtly. It's basically your way of foreshadowing what a strong argument you have, so that they had better take you seriously and you will fight all the way. I would mention the research, yes, but make sure you have some practical stuff to say rather than just theory iyswim.

AngryWasp Fri 04-Sep-09 18:03:49

Great sickof I reckon I have some practical stuff. I submitted a list of milestones a while back to the Ed Psych, which shows that we are recording. It would be fairly easy to demonstrate that we were following an ABA pathway I think (coz we were quite frankly, - just not very pure or with a consultant). None of the achievements can be attributed to anyone other than the parents because we've been sitting, abandoned, on a waiting list for 6 months.

The Ed Psych even said 'I can see the evidence of your hard work' when she came to see him and the private Paed said the same and wrote it down - yay!

I was planning to write in a list of approaches and link them to our programme, showing our journey 'homing in' on ABA as the most effective tool I suppose.

sickofsocalledexperts Fri 04-Sep-09 18:38:47

I think this is all good. The best advice I ever heard was that if you build a reasonable case, properly argued and worked through, and put it with courtesy rather than anger they may just consider giving you what you want. Plus, they will see from the quality of your submission that you will probably go under the heading "Will be pain in arse and take us to tribunal if doesn't get what she wants." This was pretty much my approach, and I have had ABA (part)paid for 3 years now. But of course it varies so much from borough to borough. Beware that they don't give you some old flannel about how their provision (probably TEACCH, undoubtedly crap) uses an approach not dissimilar from ABA and that "the two types of education aren't that far apart nowadays dearie". You just stress that a behavioural approach works better for your child than a more unstructured TEACCH approach. Good luck!

moondog Fri 04-Sep-09 19:07:17

Sick is right.

I would say something along the lines of

'ABA is requested as research shows it to be most effective intervention blah blah blah' and then cite some/all of refs. I gave you plus other stuff in Sense and Nonsense.

List them as I have done separately then under reference section with fuill citation.

This is what peopel who really know their shit about evidence based practice do so straightaway they go 'Hang on, here comes someone we can't fob off!'

moondog Fri 04-Sep-09 19:08:46

Sterr clear of TEACCH.
Not intrinsically bad but the average staf member has had 10 mins. training by someone clueless over a cup of tepid Nescafe and then thinks they are 'doing TEACCH'.

Bottom line noone.

AngryWasp Fri 04-Sep-09 19:16:00

Yay, - feeling positive. DH has kidnapped the children for the weekend, - (just left) - for me to do this properly.

I reckon I can put in around 16 hours this weekend, - and include developmental stuff from that book you suggested moondog when it arrives. That should do it?

Hmm, - do you think a glass or two of wine will help with writers block? smile

Are there any examples of these documents flying around the internet or are there really no rules?

moondog Fri 04-Sep-09 21:14:12

Sent you mine.
Hope it helps.
Keep off the wine until its done.
Then go mad. grin

AngryWasp Fri 04-Sep-09 22:13:18


Thanks once again! but - oh the pressure sad

Does anyone know if I need to ask for more hours than needed? Is the process a negotiation i.e. I want x, what about y? okay. - or is it black and white i.e. I want x, no, tribunal, yes.

daisy5678 Fri 04-Sep-09 22:38:56

Hate to say it, but my LEA didn't even seem to read mine. Virtually every bit of parts 2 and 3 of his Statement was quoted from the ed. psych. I think they allowed something like 'J likes reading' from mine hmm and that was about it.

I think it's worth doing a good job on, absolutely, and making it clear what you want and why and what you'll do if you don't get it, but IME, parental advice is flicked through and they'll do what they want anyway (or what the ed. psych. recommends), so I really wouldn't assume this is your last chance to say your bit, iykwim.

Out of interest, how do you know that ABA's the only thing that will work if you've not been doing it? Not saying that in an arsey, LEA way grin, just interested, cos a while back you didn't seem very keen.

Yes, you definitely need to ask for waaaaaayyyy more than what is needed, so that you have a fighting chance of getting what is needed. But not so much that you sound silly and can't back it up iykwim. ]

I'm sure what you write will be great - but you will have more chances to say your piece I think - don't feel this is your last chance.

AngryWasp Fri 04-Sep-09 23:26:33

LOL, - it doesn't matter tbh givememore it IS the only thing that I could win as an alternative to what the LA are currently offering iyswim and what the LA are offering fails to fit in with ANY research, even the flawed stuff. I don't believe there is anyone who knows anything about SN that wouldn't be shocked by their offer.

However, we HAVE been running a home programme of sorts getting more and more intensive as we've been learning and have found ourselves steering more over towards ABA as it appears to be the most effective way of teaching ds skills. We have evidence to show this. Our basic programme is DH works with DS for 2-3 hours each night 1:1 at the drawing board using reinforcers (whilst I am documenting and planning ahead), and then during the following 'normal' daytime I find as many opportunities to generalise the skill, and feedback to DH the next probable skill that needs teaching iyswim.

It's an ace programme, but we're exhausted and need tutors to come in as soon as possible and take over some of it.

We have done a LOT of reading now on ABA and borrowed a book from the LA on their approach and been to see an ABA home programme and can see quite clearly how ds will benefit. I have also reconciled it with my psychology training and can see how it fits and how it is relevant, particularly with a 3yr old who doesn't even reach 6months on the social and emotional development scale. (an poor argument against behaviourism is that it isn't for 'socialised' beings)

Thanks for reassuring me it isn't my last chance. I don't expect them to pay any attention to it in this round but I need to make sure nothing comes back to bite me on the bottom though and show a consistent story don't I?

daisy5678 Sat 05-Sep-09 00:33:59

Yep, that all makes sense!

God, it's crap that we have to do all this though. Really crap.

(Sorry, in a down mood about going back to the hell that is school term time on Monday)

Think what you're doing for your ds is brilliant, you and dh.

moondog Sat 05-Sep-09 10:31:38

Don't take it all personally AW. They are people whose remit is to keep within budget and toe the party line. It's not a vendetta.

As Sleep says

'The best advice I ever heard was that if you build a reasonable case, properly argued and worked through, and put it with courtesy rather than anger they may just consider giving you what you want'

That is true.

Prepare to have your home programme 'of sorts' picked to pieces. However formally you think it is run and however much you think you know, you aren ot followin an established pathway (as an ABA consultant would, following an in depth assessment using a recognised tool such as ABBLs). You have to accept that they will quite rightly think
'Why should we fund a programme she is telling us will work when we have no proof that it is either being used or wil indeed work?'

I can't think that anyone has got an ABA programme funded without funding it independently first. So you need to think really seriously about this.

Also re transport and helping you with looking after your other child. This isn't their remit. It's your responsibility to sort that out. Limited public funds are just that. Limited.

It's a bummer, all of it is a bummer but it wouldn't be right or fair on you to approach this difficult situation without being brutally honest with yourself.

Make sense? smile

moondog Sat 05-Sep-09 10:33:13

BTw, what was the LEA book on 'their approach'?

Is it some sort of self produced booklet?

Would love to see that!

AngryWasp Sat 05-Sep-09 10:37:18

Thank you giveme. These things come at a very high cost to the family don't they?

It's all in my head - the best case in the world - just need to get it down in a coherent way on paper. At the moment the adrenaline is so high I just want to phone up people and shout at them, - so thank goodness it is Saturday.

Hope Monday goes well. I expect it'll be like my driving lessons, - dreaded but once in the driving seat not to bad at all and sometimes even enjoyable.

AngryWasp Sat 05-Sep-09 10:55:33

Sorry, - I have one more question:

If I don't submit much, and they think they can get away with not issuing a statement, will we then get to tribunal faster? And in that tribunal if they enforce a statement to be issued do they decide what should go in the statement?

If so, would this not cut down on the time taken by the whole process?

daisy5678 Sat 05-Sep-09 12:17:25

If they decided not to make a statement, you would have to do a Tribunal to get a Statement, where they wouldn't bind the LEA as to what would go in it (though could make strong suggestions) and then you'd have to do a second Tribunal once they'd done the Statement to change what was in it. Not An Ideal Situation.

I do agree with Moondog about needing to prove ABA works officially before going to Tribunal. All of what she says makes sense.

AngryWasp Sat 05-Sep-09 12:37:15

Yeah she does grin

We will have been doing ABA for AGES by the time the tribual comes in that case!

How long are these things suppose to be? I've written 6 pages already and only feel I've done the introduction. Will that count against us? Should I put in a page of contents? An executive summary?

moondog Sat 05-Sep-09 15:04:30

Keep it as concise as pssible (in retrospect mine was waaay too long).
Peopel zone out when it is lengthy.
Temptation also to become emotive and rambly and accusatory (speaking from bitter experience)
Bullet points help a great deal-keep things crisp.

AngryWasp Sat 05-Sep-09 16:22:44

Dunno moondog Mine is alread 12 pages and I haven't even got to the ABA bit blush

Anyhow I'll probably heavily edit it before I submit and I was known in my last job for my harsh editing and good layout and signposting in documents, - who'd have thought that would be a skill that would come in handy as a parent hmm.

I'm really getting into it now actually. Even if none of it get to the final edition, it's helpful to have it all there iyswim!

Exec summary:

DS' needs: - ASD
DS' required provision: - home and school ABA plus SALT
Cureent provision: worthless and ineffective and they can't prove otherwise - ask them.


moondog Sat 05-Sep-09 16:35:35

Your expertise in paid work will come in really handy.
As you say, even if you don't use it all it is handy to have it there.
(I'm editing my MSc thesis at present and it is v painful procedure.)

I've concerns for you re SALT bit. Very few SALTs really understand ABA and you need to have someone completely on board once your regular programme starts.
Failing that, you need someone who will not interfere or jeapordise ABA. Ideally the SALT assesses and points to where the child needs to go and the ABA peopel figure out how to execute it in a relaistic reinforcing fashion.

AngryWasp Sat 05-Sep-09 16:48:24

Ouch moondog I've never done an MSC but have lived with people whilst they are 'editing' and they seem to lose a bit of their soul with every paragraph they chop, until it is complete and then they feel that they posess a rare and valuable diamond that they made themselves! grin One girl said editing was like scrubbing it clean.

Don't talk to me about SALT (well do - yes please)! You know I have ongoing concerns with their pure hopelessness and have been considering for a while withdrawing from their service completely because they have been 'undoing' our hard work at home (purely because they don't have the resources to make time to listen to me I know, not because they aren't lovely expert people) and the frustration is giving me a headache, but you're right, - I don't want rid of rubbish SALT I want appopriate SALT.

I've already asked for regular assessments and targets, but as usual, we had a meeting, - it was agreed, - not heard anything since! hmm

moondog Sat 05-Sep-09 16:57:07

In your meetings, insist on a date for these things to occur and don't let it continue (the meeting) until one is set. Sit there, pencil poised.

MSc hasn't killed me off yet as it is all ABA so that makesit pleasurable.But it's been very hard to do this for 2 1/2 years, work f/t, run my business, look after my kids and chase after inadequate provision and go through everything you have gone through. Dh of course is hardly ever hme.

Still, it' true what they say.What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. I could take on an army now and come out without a scratch on me.

Yes, remember you don't have to take everything offered to you. If you feel it's not helping then don't bother (but give it a go first and if you do reject it, then explain why in writing. Don't just withdraw.)

Keep the lines of communcation open. Don't assume they understand your reasoning and direction.

Get it all down on paper.
I did a sort of timeline with my actions and theirs which was very effective (and showed up a lot of people too!)

lou031205 Sat 05-Sep-09 17:18:30

AW, can I ask a Q? If you do this intense work with your DS, how does your DD fit in? I only ask because ideally I would spend every waking hour working on DD, but I have 2 other girls (2 & 5mo) to care for too. They need care & attention. I can't do it all. I feel guilty for having to let DD1 coast at times because DD2 or 3 needs me too. But they all have needs. I'm rambling, but...

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