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how best to obtain full ABA funding at tribunal

(2 Posts)
sherbaz Fri 18-Jan-13 10:46:30

Dear Parents
My question is about our non-verbal 9 nine year son with ASD who with an ABA package had accessed a busy mainstream school part time, where he was able to mix and interact with his NT peer group quite successfully on a social level ie dinner times, making friends, lining up at play times, some class time, assemblies, PE, outings etc . He has also attended special schools (without ABA) twice but both times he found it difficult and did not make much progress and behaviour was a constant concern. Although he is non verbal but he is very sociable, it is documented to show that he doesn’t have issues with routines, places, face, sounds, touch etc. You would think that the issues for an ASD child would be in coming from a special school to a mainstream school but for him it was problematic coming from a mainstream setting to a special. LA ended his successful ABA programme which in turn ended his involvement with the mainstream school despite all reports confirming a child meeting targets set out on his statement. The LA could not deny progress but used the “not enough” progress card, as they felt a small ASD class in school for PMLD children could bring about the same progress and therefore meet his needs. Long story short, I have given them a 6000 word summary highlighting systematic failing in his provision at the school and strong references in regards to regression, but the LA still insist that the school is the right place for him He was there for a year and since Sept 2012 I have not sent him back and he has been home with no assistance or support form SENAR in any way. He has 1 hr of SALT or OT supplied by private SE professional, but even that has been refused on the basis that it will be supplied if I send him back to school. Sending him back to the PMLD school will be putting him back in harms way both a physical level(he been injured by other children) and emotional level. I am asking for ABA to be reinstated as it has been the most appropriate and successful provision for him but the LA oppose and have forced us to go to tribunal. How can most strengthen our case at the tribunal to secure full ABA support to enable p/t mainstream school inclusion, also to enable learning in the community ie buses, road safety, supermarket queues etc and some home based learning for generalisation and academics., The LA seemed to have blocked a few local mainstream schools from “getting involved” and without a local mainstream saying yes to our son attending a casual basis ie for social opportunities this weaken our case . any advice welcome

AgnesDiPesto Wed 30-Jan-13 22:05:22

Ask the tribunal to order a type of education 'education otherwise than at school' via ABA programme to include ABA support to attend mainstream school part-time.
We were in the same situation at nursery age where the tribunal took place before we had to choose a school and the wording said the LA would fund ABA package plus 'provide access to a mainstream school', it did not name a particular school.
If you win the LA will then have to find you a school. You do not need a school to say yes before, a tribunal can order a type of education.

Also you have evidence it worked before - he was moved not because the school could not cope but because of funding so no reason to say it will not work in future.

There is a legal case called MS v London Borough of Brent (SEN) [2011] UKUT 50 (AAC) which was a case where argued for part time ABA and mainstream rather than special school. The Judge said if parents wanted mainstream, even part-time this could only be refused if incompatible with education of other children and nothing could reasonably be done to overcome this incompatibility. If you can't find it online PM me your email and I will send it to you. So this means LA could not refuse mainstream on basis child could not go to mainstream full-time. You then have to argue the remaining education cannot take place in school ie any school including SS - and needs to take place at home via ABA.

It sounds tricky have you got any legal advice e.g. NAS, IPSEA etc
Fiona Slomovic at Advocacy & Mediation Partnership did the advocacy at our tribunal and would recommend her - cheaper than a lawyer but very busy - however I know she has experience in ABA cases. Even if she could just help you draft the appeal. She is ace negotiator as well

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