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is it time to try and get a statement?

(8 Posts)
likeacuppa Wed 30-Sep-09 22:46:50

I'm sorry if this topic has been all around the houses again and again, but I would really, really welcome any advice from people on MN who have so much experience of all this.

OK, DS1 is now in yr 1 of primary. He has a dx of AS and has been on school action/school action plus since nursery. The school is fantastic -- we are so lucky in this -- and have lots of strategies to support him, make use of specialist teachers and autism adviser and paid for two TAs to attend the NAS early bird plus course with us. School say DS1 is managing very well in class now.

BUT at home it is a different story: wet beds every night in term time, phantom illnesses most days, melt-downs, tearing the place apart, aggression and violence. It's as if he can hold it together at school but only at the price of letting everything out at home. Some of the time it's ok, we cope, but too often it just feels a real struggle.

I've talked to the school about extra support, and the Senco suggests going for statutory assessment -- even though he's managing ok. (Though I wonder what their criteria are for ok sometimes.) What do you think, ladies? Is it worth the struggle and heartache? I worry that the school is just saying this to keep us happy, but actually the problem is us. Has anybody else been in this situation? How do you manage it?

WetAugust Wed 30-Sep-09 23:37:10

Definitely go with SENCO suggestion to initiate assessment that may lead to a Statement.

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 01-Oct-09 07:42:21

likeacuppa,

I would go along with the SENCO's suggestion and apply personally to your LEA for the Statement. This is for two reasons; one you know its been done then and two, you can appeal in the event the LEA say no.

Statements are not just about educational needs; they also cover social/communication difficulties as well. My guess is that your son is just about coping with the school day hence his behaviours at home (he may well be bottling up all his frustrations). For that reason as well I'd go for the Statement now - don't wait for instance until he gets into Junior school.

Unlike SA/SA plus as well a statement is legally binding so the school will have to stick to the hours he is given. They cannot move the goalposts.

I am really pleased to read that his current school are looking after him and have been proactive but that may not always be the case so you need to look longer term as well. After Y2 he will be heading up to Juniors and that can be a different ball game entirely. Junior school can be particularly trying for some children on the autistic spectrum and the pressures generally are greater.

IPSEA have a great website re statementing and there are model letters you can use:-

www.ipsea.org.uk

You will need to write to the Chief Education Officer at your LEA and give them six weeks to reply.

misscutandstick Thu 01-Oct-09 09:04:13

I would say ABSOLUTELY GO FOR IT NOW!

The fact that your SENCO is backing you, and advising that you do is a miracle in itself! Many sencos (like ours) are actively trying to persuade me not to ask for assessment hmm when its as clear as the nose on anyones face that my child needs one. Its fantastic that you have support of school, it will make a difficult job slightly easier not having to battle them as well.

good luck!!!

firelighter Thu 01-Oct-09 09:47:59

misscutandstick we too have a SENCO who seems reluctant to statement our son. i'm confused. surely it's in a school's interests to get kids who need it statemented, or am i missing something?
good luck likeacuppa. go for it.

likeacuppa Thu 01-Oct-09 10:24:11

Thanks, everyone. That's really helpful and very confidence building.

Btw the Senco told me that if he gets a statement the first 15 hours of support have to come from school funds -- LA only pays for anything over that. That may be why schools don't want them. Mind you she also said 'you will have to fight to get anything over 15 hours' because the LA won't want to pay for it. It's all about the money, I guess.

misscutandstick Thu 01-Oct-09 11:39:03

I thought exactly that firelighter, can i steer you to: moonlights comments

firelighter Thu 01-Oct-09 12:53:12

thank you miscutandstick. have read moonlights comments. i think i finally get it now. the school don't want to be legally bound by a statement and will instead get by as best they can, even if that means teachers are stretched/stressed by my son's needs (e.g. disruptive in group time) and no-one, i.e. staff and my son, are getting the proper support they need (by the way, his teachers have bent over backwards for him but it just doesn't seem to be enough.

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