Here some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on SN.
Back from meeting, Star, Agnes, Keep, Maria and others(110 Posts)
Room full of people this time, about 10.
Basically, they are offering home tuition now, 5 hours, tutor available immediately. But ds would have to stay on roll at this school.
CAMHS are saying if i home ed, seen as ds doesnt have anxiety/self harm when not attending school. They dont see what they can offer. They would make referral to medical needs for home tuition, if i want them to, then stay involved.
SW is saying ss will be involved long term, passed to another team (she would tell me which team later) to ensure that all of ds's needs are met.
Meeting was TAC, is that the same as CIN?
TAC 'team around the child', CIN 'child in need'. Can have one without the other, but a lot of children have both. TAC doesn't have to have SW, but CIN does.
I don't think you have to decide 'yes' or 'no' right now. That's a dodgy timeshare sales technique. You could say, 'interesting, try it, let's meet and re-evaluate at half term'. Or try without a time limit and pull the plug if it's harming DS. Having a plan C helped me (plan A= they do their job right, plan B= tribunal win). In the worst-case scenario, could you almost do his long-term education and ASD-specific life skills without the LA's input?
Camhs saying they 'don't see what they have to offer' might be a possible red flag for rapid discharge, unless they formalise their suggestion of referring for medical needs and (especially) the bit about staying involved. If, in reality, he has to stay on roll of a school for camhs input, that would be a priority. Yes, you can reduce the current anxiety by avoiding the main stressor, but that's potentially a slippery slope, and there will be other anxieties to come.
Maybe a rural or private school might do a cheapo flexi-school arrangement where he's on the books but rarely goes? [clutching at straws emoticon].
Actually, thinking it through, I think you'd find a CP team SW refreshingly direct, and probably quite helpful.
They tend to be reasonably senior / experienced, and it's too high-risk a job to give to complete numpties
Hmm, I'm not sure I'd agree there mariammama, recruitment for CP SW jobs is so tough that a large proportion are newly qualified SWs...
Do remember that all children with disabilities are considered to be 'children in need' (rightly so IMO), but that doesn't necessarily mean SW involvement, our Autism Outreach Team carry out advice, support and guidance, I'm guessing they are looking at something along these lines and maybe, because of your ds's complex needs they want to consider which team will be best for him (trying to think positively here!)
The fact that you are now being offered medical authorisation and tuition via the LEA is a good outcome, not only because CAMHS involvement is retained but because this gives an 'official' stamp - medically authorised home tuition is not provided if Mum is cuckoo.
Also the tutor works with DS 1:1 and for the purposes of Tribunal becomes the current teacher from whom evidence is collected. ime lea tutors have said that DS1 can't cope with m/s and needs specialist placement whereas the last class teacher thought and reported everything was fine. Yes they keep pushing for reintegration because home tuition is temporary but you can cope with this.
As far as the SW is concerned, home tuition means that there are eyes and ears (tutors monthly reports include 'safeguarding') and so she is not reliant on her own visits or on your reports to reassure herself that all is well.
DS's remains on the roll but at least you can be absolutely sure that the LEA retain financial responsibility.
Ticks the boxes for routine and socialisation as well. Plus it shows that you are not defensive otherwise you would not invite LEA staff into your home for five hours each wee.
So, what's not to like - over to you Star!
Maria, CAMHS were basically saying that their therapy should run with a plan to return to school, as their plan was for school anxiety and reducing self harm. If he is not attending school, he show no signs of anxiety or self harm, so what would they be treating his therapy.
They didnt say nothing to offer as such (that was me typing for quickness!) just their plan would have to be reassessed as above. I will be seeing them Monday to discuss.
So CAMHS will assess to see if he is fit to attend school via senior psychiatrist, if i am planning to return him to school, but it would appear not prepared to assess if im HE.
Keep seen as this is what i asked for in the first place, i dont see how i can now turn it down and i did stress in my letter that i would HE'ing as a last resort.
and im assuming if CAMHS make the decision to authorise, they then have to make the decision to 'unathorise', if someone else says he is now fit to attend.
Actually not a back outcome Claw.
He has to remain enrolled in order to receive the Home Ed as home ed is a temprary solution provided until such time the child can return to (usually) their normal mainstream school i.e fully HE without LA assistance you would have to disenrole him. If he will be re-attnding the PRU he will be enrolled at bothe the PRU and his 'old' mainstream school - again because the PRU is deemed temporary and he will be expected to retuen to his mainstream school.
You can home ed him yourself in parallel with what the LA will provide in home tuition. 5 hours per week is the absolute minimum and if he's fit and able to receive more than 5 hours they shoudl increase it - you'd probably have a battle, I know I did.
Also, if he's facing public exams i.e. GCSEs they should provide more than the minimum.
CAMHS are a bunch of fence-sitters - usually to scared to provide any educational advice in case they are asked by the LA to chip in - that was my experience.
But, I got around that by asking CAMHS for a full diagnsotic assemenet of DS's difficultes and very general recommendations as to the type of educational placement they thought could support his needs.
I felt quite safe in doing that as it was clear that DS needed residential - even CAMHS would agree (off the record). If you don't feel your CAMHS would be so supportive it's probably not a good idea to ask for their recomendations as it could work against you if they just say 'mainstream'.
I found SS bloody useless. Even tryied to get them involved in helping me get residential placemnet for DS but they were totally in cahoots with the Education Service. Actually told SS that ensuring educational needs were was actually part of their holistic duties - they just ignored me. Total waste of space.
Also seems that SS is stepping down now, rather then stepping up. SW ask someone to take the 'lead' as SS would not continue being the 'lead agency'
So to which 'team' its being passed, i dont know.
You do want a school, presumably, if you're still going to tribunal. So this probably is a good option. I wonder if we're all just feeling a bit anxious/ paranoid because of the previous tricks and messing around?
You know that my DS also couldn't attend school etc.
The one big difference between your experiences and mine is that CAMHS stated very early on that it would be "inhumane" (their words) to expect DS to return to his old mainstream school where he had been bullied and assaulted to the point of a breakdown and therefore an alternative school was required. The LA agreed.
That may be an approach that you could try.
Maria, yes i do want a school, just not this one!
Ds has been at this school for 2 and half years, they have arranged zero meetings with me. I literally had to beg for a meeting in September 2011 to raise my concerns, then i was treated like nuisance and the meeting became about them just keep repeating 'ds is making progress'.
When i asked for copies of his SALT programme, Mentor programme, OT programme, anxiety management programme etc, etc which they claimed he had, they ignored me even more.
When i followed previous CAMHS recommendation of home/school contact book writing in ds's school related anxieties and recorded his self harming, they ignored that too.
I requested a copy of his school file and none of the above programmes existed.
They failed to acknowledge ds's school related anxiety and self harm and then reported me to SS for 'my perceptions' of ds's difficulties.
They backed my previous request for a statement, then changed their minds at the last minute and told Tribunal he had all the help in place as above, which ds didnt have.
They stopped his 20 hours of 1:1 overnight without even telling me.
I dont see how i can work with this school.
They were also opposing my current SA request and appearing as witnesses for the LA, up to a few days ago.
AtoZ CAMHS have assessed ds once to date! I will welcome the senior psychiatrist evaluation of him
The problem with being on roll at a really terrible school, is that at tribunal the LA can just slag them off and suggest the much better one next door. like they did last time .
Try calling a few schools, and ask if you can come for a quick look round. Most areas have the closing date for applications this week or next. You don't have to mention it's not for a reception child till you get there. Log the calls and responses, & various relevant features of the school (too big, noisy, whatever)
The bonus is that even with a brief summary you'll sound like a total nuisance who they don't want to encourage to apply . Note down what they say when you tell them about ds. Then ask if they can offer (guarantee?) the huge package which last tribunal recommended in the NIL. Plus the additional help CAMHS say that DS needs to re-integrate...
The reason that you need to keep him in the school role atm is that the school are charged for the home tutor out of their budget. The SA and hopefully resulting statement will name a dufferent school is the hope?
Thats not quite true, they saw him another time, but that was with me, for me to explain what had been going on ie A&E emergency mental health referral.
They tried to assess him on his own another time, but he was showing them the sign they agreed for when he is getting too distressed, so had to stop. So assessment time of about 30 minutes so far.
Maria im not sure another school would take him, he doesnt have a statement, his attedance is 30% and he comes with a whole heap of needs, that cant be paid for without a statement.
That is what HE EWO was saying, if you deregister, 30% attendance (she didnt mention his difficulties) another school wouldnt be interested and im going to have great difficulty finding one.
So im kinda stuck, CAMHS want to work on reintegration programme, school anxiety and reducing self harming caused by attending school (and it looks as if they are saying without one, they cant offer much, i will check this on Monday)
If im HE'ing CAMHS wont say whether he/is not fit to attend and i wont get senior pyschiastrist assessment stating whether he is/isnt fit to attend school.
exactly my dear watson, you just need that in a nice little notebook,
so no last minute silly offers of new schools can be brought out mid-tribunal
That could help your case for a statement claw - email the other schools in your area and ask if they could/would be able to take him with a brief note of his current situation and needs? See if they do say no - not without a statement?? If they say no then that is more evidence for you.
Look at things the other way - you do not need permission from a new school to make a mid-year transfer. Provided that there is space in the year group (less than 30) the school is not allowed to refuse admission - it is not up to them. The LEA admissions will be able to give you names of the schools and if they do not have the info, a quick phone call to the school office will tell you whether or not the year group is full.
Think about future tribunal witnesses - the opinions of teachers who have not taught him for months and months at a school he previously attended will not be as valuable as current tutors. Teaching witnesses for the lea would be teaching DS as a result of him not being able to attend school and so are less likely to claim that a child can cope (it also does them out of a job). Plus they really do take slow steps - home -> PRU -> placement (either reintegration into m/s or specialist setting).
Would also be consistent with your belief that - whatever the outcome of SA/tribunal - DS must not attend that school. You don't need 'permission-via-statement' to name a different school and you don't want them to think that you are fixed on a particular school.
'will tell me which team later'
Tell them you want to be in possession of ALL the details and facts before you can decide what will be in ds' best interest.
CAHMS should continue to be involved on the basis that you need their help TO return him to a school. There cannot be any sensible reason why he has to stay on school role for this surely. Ask for the policy document with this stupid criteria to be sent to you.
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