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Considering HE my 5 year old ASD DS........Please help ??!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(14 Posts)
ChunkyMonkeysMum Wed 21-Oct-09 16:43:11

Right, the long & short of it is this:

DS1 is 5.11. He has ASD. He is currently in a mainstream school but he is not coping, spends 95% of his time at a desk outside the classroom with a TA. He is statemented & currently gets 25 hours of support a week.

We had an emergency review meeting at the end of last term & it was agreed that we all feel MS is not right for him & that he needs a specialist provision.

It was put to panel last Friday & was suggested that he needs a placement in an ASD only school.

I spoke to his case worker at the SEN Dept of the LEA today who advised that he has had the decision back........

.......REFUSED!!

Basically, the reasoning behind it is that the panel feel that 7 weeks into a new term is not long enough to establish whether the strategies put into place within his current school are benefiting him or not. They want the school to give it at least a full term.

What they have failed to pick up on is that he has already been at this school a year & things have gone rapidly downhill in this time. He was integrated gradually into school (1 hour a day to start with, working up to full time by March this year - coincidently the same time he was statemented!! .) Things have got worse since he started full-time. He has had 2 informal exclusions & now 2 formal fixed term exclusions in this time. The school have said that they are not equipped for his needs.

So, basically, I am now considering the possibility of HE him, but I have no idea where to start, or the costs involved etc. Is there any funding available for people who HE SN kids? What happens with his statement & the support given in that?

I will also post this in the HE section.

Any advice welcome. TIA.

chopstheduck Wed 21-Oct-09 17:01:12

I've been leaning more and more towards this lately, and the cost is one of things that I've wondered about. I posted a thread here and found the responses really helpful and encouraging.

sickofsocalledexperts Wed 21-Oct-09 17:09:35

Your story is almost exactly mine, but I would definitely recommend using ABA tutors if you home educate. We do half and half at the moment, so in the mornings his ABA tutors come to the house and teach him one-to-one , then in pms he goes to school. But he has been really acting up at school, connected to the fact that we're trying out new meds, so I think full time ABA at home is a possiblity at some stage for us too. Go on a website called the ABA/VB community for tutors. If you can prove that the LEA aren't offering you any viable alternatives, you can get some funding, but they may insist you try the special school first.

ChunkyMonkeysMum Wed 21-Oct-09 17:10:43

Thanks chops smile

ChunkyMonkeysMum Wed 21-Oct-09 17:20:51

Hi sickofsocalledexperts (very apt name btw wink).

Thanks for that info, I will definitely have a look later on when the kids are in bed.

At the moment, the LEA aren't offering us any viable alternatives because a SN placement has been refused for the time being, so they can't really insist we try a special school. I desperately want him to go a special school, but atm, sadly, it is not an option. (We will have to build up more evidence for the panel before submitting again....absolutely ridiculous!!).

IMO, if he is going to continue to be excluded from his current school, and the LEA aren't prepared to accept at present that he needs a SN placement, then the best option is HE. I would rather have a tutor than do it myself, but as always, it's the costs involved.

He has delayed speech (equivalent of around 3.5 yo & he is almost 6), behavioural issues (screaming & hitting out in frustration), and he is really struggling at school. He is still very much a baby, so it saddens me that the panel deciding his future, have never even met him or know what he is like, yet they can make a decision based on some paperwork. It makes me really angry. If he doesn't warrant a place at a SN school, what or who does???!

sickofsocalledexperts Wed 21-Oct-09 17:54:50

Chunky, I do know how it feels, it is awful when all we want is a halfway decent education for our kids and we have to fight every step of the way! Is he at risk at mainstream at all - either a risk to his own or others' safety? The reason I ask is that I find making an argument that the LEA is failing in its "duty of care" by having your child stay on at mainstream , as he is at risk himself (eg does not understand road safety, water safety, electricity safety etc) and a risk to other children too. It sometimes gets everyone moving, as schools and LEAs are fXXXXX petrified of health and safety law suits. Just a thought!

ChunkyMonkeysMum Wed 21-Oct-09 18:57:22

Well, he has been excluded for hitting his TA's, throwing things, knocking chairs over etc. He also head butts the table when he is frustrated, so yes, I would say he is a risk to his own & others safety.
Thanks for that, I think I will mention that to his case worker.

sickofsocalledexperts Wed 21-Oct-09 19:03:44

Tell them that you have taken informal advice from a health and safety lawyer, which you sort of have by talking to me here!

grumpyoldeeyore Wed 21-Oct-09 19:53:51

Do a FOI request for his LEA file and ask if the Panel made any minutes - you need to see what evidence they based this on - we did this and found the LEA had "forgotten" to put most of the evidence before the Panel. You should appeal (see IPSEA) but there is a good chance they will back down sometimes they wait to see if you appeal. Keep a diary of every incident at school. Is there any way you could fund some ABA to show its more suitable? Once you get a Tribunal date don't withdraw your case until any provision offered has actually materialised. If when you get the decision letter (and they have to give written reasons) there are mistakes eg say only at school 7 weeks and not 1 year and 7 weeks - write back and point this out and ask them to send it back to panel. Do you have any professionals on your side? Ed Psych etc? If you just decide to HE I don't think you get any funding - you'd have to start ABA yourself and show it works and then try and get funding via a tribunal.

ChunkyMonkeysMum Wed 21-Oct-09 19:58:26

Thanks everyone!!
I will definitely do that grumpy. Sadly, we have absolutely no spare cash in order to fund some ABA ourselves.
Ideally, I'd rather he was at school that HE, but I just want whats best for him at the moment.
It's so hard watching your child struggle. It breaks my heart.sad

sarah293 Thu 22-Oct-09 08:08:38

Message withdrawn

bettywobble Thu 22-Oct-09 10:19:56

Hi, posted about this in the home education bit

ChunkyMonkeysMum Thu 22-Oct-09 21:55:28

Thanks Riven, it's so good to hear all the HE success stories. It's really encouraging.
We have decided to appeal the panel's decision but if we have no luck in getting him a SN provision, I will definitely look into HE.

daisy5678 Sat 24-Oct-09 12:14:48

The thing is, if you take him out of school, you'll have no further evidence to put before the panel. I think a request for a re-assessment of his Statement (which will probably be refused) and then a SENDIST appeal form might shift their arses.

The other thing I would say is that my J (ASD & ADHD) was just like you described in his first full-time year in education. Multiple assaults on staff and children, attacking with scissors, knives, running off, self-harming...it was terrible, but there were no other suitable schools and everyone agreed we'd give it a term. He made progress in that term; he was taught to go to his quiet area rather than lash out, and now he is in Y4, has friends, spends most of the time in his classroom doing exactly what the others do and has not assaulted anyone for ages (touch wood). He is largely happy at school and everyone is stunned by the progress that he's made. He never presented as a mainstream child in that first term, and it's only over time that I've been confident that that was the right decision. It may not be for you and you ds, as of course there are differences between children, but I do think that it takes time to see if things will work and sometimes there is extra provision that can be put in place e.g. SALT, OT provision and recommendations. There's an ASD school team, behaviour team and an inclusion team here that were all also heavily involved in making the school work for J. You might find that the LEA, like mine, will be willing to resource whatever it takes to help the school in meeting his needs, as they will accept that it's cheaper than special school!

It's not perfect and never will be but he is unrecognisable now compared to the child he was in his first full-time year.

Good luck with whatever you decide.

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