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AIBU?

To think my daughter isn’t going to get an education?

90 replies

SENwoes · 13/01/2024 22:21

Ok this is long but I’ll keep it as brief as possible. DD 13, diagnosed ASD and I strongly believe has ADHD, and either PDA or ODD (but I’ll never know about either of those as there’s no diagnostic pathway in my area).

Primary was ok - she started to need a lot of support once she got into year 5 which the school gave her in the form of one to one sessions with the ELSA who was brilliant. And then lockdowns happened so the rest of year 5, and a lot of year 6 just didn’t happen.

Secondary was ok for the first couple of terms of year 7, and then it all started to go very wrong, I believe she couldn’t mask beyond that point. Starting truanting lessons, refusing to do anything teachers asked of her, very rude to staff, disruptive in lessons. Her behaviour at home was absolutely unbearable too, and unbeknown to me at that point she was self harming.

Year 8, more of the same for the first couple of weeks, the school were beyond useless at doing anything to support her and their solution went from putting her in isolation pretty much all the time to just suspend her each time she came in, which wasn’t helpful for me as a single parent trying to work. I could see her behaviour going from bad to worse and so at October half term I made the decision she wasn’t going back to that school. Her behaviour changed instantly for the better and she was far more pleasant to be around at home.

So for the rest of year 8 I tried to get her into another school, we live rurally so options are limited, and basically no one wanted her because of her behaviour record. Did appeals - nothing. Finally found somewhere that would take her which is in another area which has the middle school system so she wouldn’t be able to start until year 9. So she missed pretty much the whole of year 8.

During that time I applied for an EHCP with the help of SENDIAS, but they refused to assess because they said there wasn’t enough evidence, and that her difficulties might have just been circumstantial to her previous school.

So she started her new school in September. She really dialled the bad behaviour up to 11, and after 10 days of having been there she was very close to being kicked out, for encouraging another student to assault a teacher. They decided to put her in the inclusion unit - a small base which only has a few kids in, just for 2 hours per day. The guy that runs it was great and I thought if anyone can get through to her it will be him. But she completely refused to engage, despite being there for many weeks. She was then given the option of choosing one subject to attend and being allowed to attend those classes. But she either truanted them completely or turned up so late it wasn’t worth going, so that was removed as an option. The school then suggested that she go in for 2 hours a day and sit with her head of house, which she point blank refused to do and therefore hasn’t been to school since a couple of weeks before Christmas holidays.

As soon as she was back at school in September her behaviour at home became absolutely vile again, to the point where I ended up in hospital twice due to stress related things, and she was literally making mine and her sister’s life a misery. It got to the point where I phoned SS twice begging them to take her as I literally couldn’t cope. Since she stopped going she has reverted to being relatively nice to be around.

I must say her current school have been great at supporting me and trying to support her compared to her previous school, but the bottom line is that she just isn’t going to cope in a mainstream school. I am being supported by the PFSA and she is really pushing the idea of HE. I realise it would be ideal for the school for her to be off their roll. However I am a single parent with a disability which means that I have very limited energy, and I have two teens with SEN with very high and opposing needs. I am really not well at the moment and barely coping with life. I can’t pretend for a minute that I could home educate her, I realised that in lockdown, she won’t do anything I ask.

In the last year she has been:

  1. refused an assessment for an EHCP.

  2. doesn’t meet the threshold to be seen by CAHMS.

  3. doesn’t meet the threshold for an ADHD assessment.

  4. turned down by every school in the area, and that’s when she only had a bad behaviour record from the first school.

    It’s just dead end roads and brick walls whichever way I turn. And I’m exhausted. I have no fight left in me anymore. She needs a specialist education but my local council is about to go bankrupt, and they’re just not issuing EHCPs anymore. And even if by some miracle I managed to get one, there aren’t placements for her to go to, from what I understand. Everything is about money and there isn’t any.

    I really don’t know where to go from here. I can’t see her going back to the school she’s at and I know from last year no one else will have her, and if they did it would just be the same thing all over again. The knock on effect of all this on me, and her sister…I can’t even put that into words really. For my sanity I’ve been having a few weeks off even thinking about it but I know I have to do something before I start getting fined for her not attending school. But what? To add, I don’t have money to throw at the problem, literally none, I am unable to work at the moment and DD doesn’t have a father.
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Hillsmakeyoustrong · 14/01/2024 00:59

@SENwoes she sounds like a strong, resourceful and creative girl. I know with my own DS (he is in primary but we are beginning the process of collecting evidence for an ehcp) that I can lose sight of where he is able and get overtaken by worry and frustration.There are no guarantees but it sounds to me like she has the raw ingredients for a future with a purpose and that she will know how to find it.

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SENwoes · 14/01/2024 01:09

@Hillsmakeyoustrong good luck with your DS! Yes DD has a lot going for her, she’s very bright, very funny, very determined, stunningly pretty (not that that should matter but it won’t hurt her chances in life). She could test the patience of a saint, but hopefully she’ll grow out of that. She could have a really bright future ahead of her but she’s not going to get there without the right support in place. If she was in an education setting she could cope with that could tap into her brain in a way she could manage then I think she could achieve a lot.

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SpringViolet · 14/01/2024 01:13

I get it @SENwoes. I’m just done now after a 2 year SEND Tribunal and still no education for my DS, who is now a young adult and sounds similar to yours, as there is nowhere to put him and nowhere wants to take him. Youngest DC was diagnosed with a serious long life medical condition halfway through it which was a massive shock and I have been on my knees halfway to a mental breakdown even without your health issues and being a single parent. I am now preparing to go to the Upper Tribunal to appeal my first appeal!

Do you have a friend or relative who could get involved? Pace yourself and set a time period during the day to deal with it, say 30 minutes to send an email or make a call, then try to forget about it until the next day, hard with having DD at home I know.

Hopefully the SW will be helpful with getting a carers assessment done which you obviously urgently need but again that may take time.

I have found Contact a Family very supportive and usually easier to get through to than IPSEA and SOS SEN.

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SENwoes · 14/01/2024 01:24

@SpringViolet so sorry to hear about both of your DC. It’s so hard to keep going isn’t it. Honestly there was a point where I was being taken to hospital in an ambulance in October and after 3 lots of morphine was still in agony, and I suddenly panicked that I was going to die, and then almost immediately relaxed and thought actually that’s ok, I’m ready to go ☹️. I can’t remember what it’s like to feel any kind of real joy or happiness in life, every day is so hard.

I don’t really have anyone who can help me. I’m quite isolated really. I have friends who I can talk to but they have their own stuff going on.

I will add contact a family to the list of people to try, thank you.

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Zoflorabore · 14/01/2024 04:29

Place marking

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Dontjudgeme101 · 14/01/2024 07:41

@SENwoes You sound like a wonderful caring mother. You are amazing in fighting for your dd. You have been given some brilliant information to help your dd. It must be so hard as you are doing it on your own, plus with your own personal problems. I understand the how difficult it is to get an EHCP, Autism Assessment and get into a specialist SEN school. I have had to do this for my dd. It is exhausting and l felt like giving up at times. Somehow, you find some inner strength to keep fighting for your child.
l am rooting for you. 💐💐💐

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EMajor · 14/01/2024 07:45

SENwoes · 13/01/2024 23:42

@Anisette that’s interesting re medical evidence, I will make an appointment with the GP. However I remember from when medical tuition was suggested for my eldest daughter, that it’s just a short term solution until they can go back to school. But I don’t think she’ll ever be able to go back there. So not sure how helpful it would be, if it’s still a short term solution.

But that could be years, and until and EHCP is in place stating a specialist school, and the placement is due to start. Medical tuition is just one form of alternative provision, there are others too which may be more suitable.

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EMajor · 14/01/2024 08:02

SENwoes · 14/01/2024 01:24

@SpringViolet so sorry to hear about both of your DC. It’s so hard to keep going isn’t it. Honestly there was a point where I was being taken to hospital in an ambulance in October and after 3 lots of morphine was still in agony, and I suddenly panicked that I was going to die, and then almost immediately relaxed and thought actually that’s ok, I’m ready to go ☹️. I can’t remember what it’s like to feel any kind of real joy or happiness in life, every day is so hard.

I don’t really have anyone who can help me. I’m quite isolated really. I have friends who I can talk to but they have their own stuff going on.

I will add contact a family to the list of people to try, thank you.

I can empathise with that a lot SENwoes. By luck I managed to do serious chronic illness and children at different times in my life but with both, whilst not being suicidal, I’ve thought that actually ending it all would be acceptable as everything was just so damned hard and I was either so unwell or so beaten down with caring and fighting the system that there was no fun or happiness in my life and therefore no point. DC’s life seemed shit, mine was. And when I was ill I had no quality of life at all. Would we and the world be better off if we all weren’t here? But with both illness and fighting for a better placement there was always hope that things would get better. And they have. Life is actually good at times now and okay the rest.

I can’t imagine trying to do both at once, let alone all alone. The fact that you are on here, still fighting is awe inspiring. You are amazing! Hold on to that glimmer of hope that things can get better.

I also hope the social worker that comes can help. Have you thought about what would help you at this moment? Respite? In what form?

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KeepGoingThomas · 14/01/2024 10:28

SENwoes · 14/01/2024 00:35

@Ifellasleep thank you, how would I go about getting those assessments paid for by legal help?

It isn’t so much “you can have these paid for by legal help.” But you may be able to. It depends on your financial circumstances. You can see a further explanation of the legal aid (which is actually legal help for tribunals) on IPSEA’s website here. For now, focus on requesting another EHCNA and getting s.19 provision in place.

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lifeturnsonadime · 14/01/2024 10:33

SENwoes · 13/01/2024 22:21

Ok this is long but I’ll keep it as brief as possible. DD 13, diagnosed ASD and I strongly believe has ADHD, and either PDA or ODD (but I’ll never know about either of those as there’s no diagnostic pathway in my area).

Primary was ok - she started to need a lot of support once she got into year 5 which the school gave her in the form of one to one sessions with the ELSA who was brilliant. And then lockdowns happened so the rest of year 5, and a lot of year 6 just didn’t happen.

Secondary was ok for the first couple of terms of year 7, and then it all started to go very wrong, I believe she couldn’t mask beyond that point. Starting truanting lessons, refusing to do anything teachers asked of her, very rude to staff, disruptive in lessons. Her behaviour at home was absolutely unbearable too, and unbeknown to me at that point she was self harming.

Year 8, more of the same for the first couple of weeks, the school were beyond useless at doing anything to support her and their solution went from putting her in isolation pretty much all the time to just suspend her each time she came in, which wasn’t helpful for me as a single parent trying to work. I could see her behaviour going from bad to worse and so at October half term I made the decision she wasn’t going back to that school. Her behaviour changed instantly for the better and she was far more pleasant to be around at home.

So for the rest of year 8 I tried to get her into another school, we live rurally so options are limited, and basically no one wanted her because of her behaviour record. Did appeals - nothing. Finally found somewhere that would take her which is in another area which has the middle school system so she wouldn’t be able to start until year 9. So she missed pretty much the whole of year 8.

During that time I applied for an EHCP with the help of SENDIAS, but they refused to assess because they said there wasn’t enough evidence, and that her difficulties might have just been circumstantial to her previous school.

So she started her new school in September. She really dialled the bad behaviour up to 11, and after 10 days of having been there she was very close to being kicked out, for encouraging another student to assault a teacher. They decided to put her in the inclusion unit - a small base which only has a few kids in, just for 2 hours per day. The guy that runs it was great and I thought if anyone can get through to her it will be him. But she completely refused to engage, despite being there for many weeks. She was then given the option of choosing one subject to attend and being allowed to attend those classes. But she either truanted them completely or turned up so late it wasn’t worth going, so that was removed as an option. The school then suggested that she go in for 2 hours a day and sit with her head of house, which she point blank refused to do and therefore hasn’t been to school since a couple of weeks before Christmas holidays.

As soon as she was back at school in September her behaviour at home became absolutely vile again, to the point where I ended up in hospital twice due to stress related things, and she was literally making mine and her sister’s life a misery. It got to the point where I phoned SS twice begging them to take her as I literally couldn’t cope. Since she stopped going she has reverted to being relatively nice to be around.

I must say her current school have been great at supporting me and trying to support her compared to her previous school, but the bottom line is that she just isn’t going to cope in a mainstream school. I am being supported by the PFSA and she is really pushing the idea of HE. I realise it would be ideal for the school for her to be off their roll. However I am a single parent with a disability which means that I have very limited energy, and I have two teens with SEN with very high and opposing needs. I am really not well at the moment and barely coping with life. I can’t pretend for a minute that I could home educate her, I realised that in lockdown, she won’t do anything I ask.

In the last year she has been:

  1. refused an assessment for an EHCP.

  2. doesn’t meet the threshold to be seen by CAHMS.

  3. doesn’t meet the threshold for an ADHD assessment.

  4. turned down by every school in the area, and that’s when she only had a bad behaviour record from the first school.

    It’s just dead end roads and brick walls whichever way I turn. And I’m exhausted. I have no fight left in me anymore. She needs a specialist education but my local council is about to go bankrupt, and they’re just not issuing EHCPs anymore. And even if by some miracle I managed to get one, there aren’t placements for her to go to, from what I understand. Everything is about money and there isn’t any.

    I really don’t know where to go from here. I can’t see her going back to the school she’s at and I know from last year no one else will have her, and if they did it would just be the same thing all over again. The knock on effect of all this on me, and her sister…I can’t even put that into words really. For my sanity I’ve been having a few weeks off even thinking about it but I know I have to do something before I start getting fined for her not attending school. But what? To add, I don’t have money to throw at the problem, literally none, I am unable to work at the moment and DD doesn’t have a father.

I haven't read the full thread BUT the LA has a duty to make alternative provision under s.19 of the Education Act if a child misses more than 15 days of education, this does not have to be consecutive.

This is NOT dependent on a diagnosis of SEN the law is clear that it is 'for any reason'.

Your child seems to have traits of PDA which was the case for my eldest who ended up being diagnosed with autism, dyslexia and SPD after the alternative provision commenced.

So, my serious suggestion, is to look with your daughter at what she wants to access educationally. It might be an internet school? Something like Inter high or Wolsey Hall, many LAs have provisions like this in their Local Offer. Also local colleges often offer English and Maths GCSE to children out of school which many YP prefer. If you can get her buy in then she is old enough to self direct her learning, which is what my eldest did. Wolsey Hall suited him for GCSE because it wasn't classroom based and is done at the child's pace. He ended up much happier at A level, (subjects he loves etc) and is now planning to go to university this September which was unimaginable when he was refusing school.

If the LA refuses this provision then you claim to the LGSO and will win.

Details are on this website and IPSEA run a telephone helpline which I have found helpful https://www.ipsea.org.uk/Pages/Category/get-support

Once the education is in place you can then focus on getting the support and diagnoses.

One final thing is that it doesn't matter if education does not happen 'at the right time'. Mental health is more important.

Get support

Children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities are entitled to support with their education. Follow the links below to find out more and to access our free guides, resources and template letters. If you can’t find the a...

https://www.ipsea.org.uk/Pages/Category/get-support

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DragonFly98 · 14/01/2024 14:32

SENwoes · 14/01/2024 00:21

@DragonFly98 she already has a diagnosis of ASD, but they refused to assess for ADHD 😩

Who is they the NHS? You can still use right to choose for an ADHD assessment. The gatekeeping is awful am sorry.

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SENwoes · 14/01/2024 19:39

@DragonFly98 yes I guess the NHS - whoever schools put the referral in to. Waited a year to be told she doesn’t meet the threshold. If she doesn’t have ADHD I would be astounded, she’s a textbook case IMO. I will ask GP about right to choose.

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SENwoes · 14/01/2024 19:47

@lifeturnsonadime I agree that mental health is more important - I learned that the hard way with my eldest who stayed in mainstream longer than she should have done - I was a lot more clueless back then and didn’t know there was an alternative. So I’ve probably gone the other way with my youngest and taken her out of both secondaries she been to as soon as I could see things escalating - the trouble with that is that then they don’t have enough cycles of evidence to be able to get any help, or so I keep being told. So I have to send my dd in causing her and me untold stress to prove over and over she can’t do it? It seems like such a shit system.

There’s a definite and marked difference from 6 years ago when I went through this with DD1 - she got to see CAHMS, sendias were brilliant, getting an EHCP and a suitable placement was relatively straightforward. This time it’s just brick walls whichever way I turn.

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KeepGoingThomas · 14/01/2024 19:51

You don’t need a certain number of cycles of graduated response. That is a myth peddled by some LAs and schools.

If DD can’t attend school she doesn’t have to but you shouldn’t deregister and EHE.

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Anisette · 15/01/2024 09:27

SENwoes · 13/01/2024 23:32

@Anisette I will definitely apply again. I definitely need some help with it, I am an educated person but completely overwhelmed. Is it worth contacting both of those organisations or just one or the other?

Probably go for whichever one you are able to get hold of first, as I believe their helplines are all very busy. I think SOS SEN also offers to draft appeal grounds, but it may again depend on their backlog.

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