Tag Archives: SEN assessment

Tears, Buses and awards

9 May

So it’s been a while since I’ve updated on the subject of life at home and school. So heres the latest.

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The behaviour chart seems to now be having a sight effect on little man. He didn’t really care about stickers before but since his sister Alice got her bonus reward of £10 on top of her normal pocket-money little man has sat up and took note. But my did he go on and on with his blandishments and pleas for the same reward as his sister! Yep mummy was a BAD MOTHER and he went on to more inappropriate name calling, So much so it’s better I don’t write them down here in the event I may offend others. He spent the whole day till the next day swapping from one technique to the other. None being particularly helpful to his case but nevertheless he consider it to be wroth a try! Well I am exceptionally pleased to report that despite his tantrums escalating into full on meltdowns and me heading to bed early hours with a pack of painkillers in hand due to receiving a verbal head bashing for hours  I stood my ground showing no mercy and indeed not giving in.

Little man has decided to put us through the hell of bedtime once more. As most know already getting little man into a bed time routine is hellish. Yes children with ASD like structure and routine but when it comes to bed then well a lot of that flies out the window. It’s like the Melatonin has stopped working. I know he can over ride the medication but he often goes with the flow resulting in him getting some much-needed sleep. The thing with children like Little man is there tends to be no in between. Your tired or you’re not! Your staving hungry or not hungry at all. There seems to be no build up to anything little man does. When he goes to bed and to sleep he just goes, One moment his wide awake the next his sleeping. And when his awake well it’s the same his WIDE  awake. Being his parent  who is observing his recent changes in behaviours and reluctance to sleep I have come to the conclusion that the worries little man faces surrounding school and his continued obsession with buses are both contributing factors. School is up and down for the little man right now. He recently had a physical fight with his “best friend” Alex that had escalated as a result of a play fight which took place in the classroom. Little man ended up with a pretty nasty mark behind his ear. I will write more regarding school a tad further on in this post right now I want to write a little more about Little mans obsessive behaviours and how these are now beginning to affect everyday life. Little man used to like both Trains and buses but it’s easy to see that now buses are top of his interest list. He lives and breaths buses. I’m not extracting when I say buses are his LIFE. From the moment he wakes till that last moment of conciousness they are fixated firmly  on his in brain, No wonder he has trouble working in school. It’s become very intense and he is very focused on anything resembling buses. His Father got him up and dressed and out the house for school with only minor problems. All this because of a promise made by Dad. Get up and ready for school and I will take you on the bus. Not just any bus but the 194 to west Croydon and back after school. How in god’s name he got through the school day with that extent of excitement mounting throughout the day surprises me. Don’t get me wrong I’m pleased he has an interest and what the hell buses aint that bad a thing to like BUT it’s just very over powering at this present time. Yes we can use the buses as a reward to engage him in displaying good behaviour at home and school but at times I wanna scream “SOD THE BLOODLY BUSES” No I haven’t done this but I’m not denying the moments been close. Having an important conversation with your child only for them to start beeping like bus doors is more than annoying but please go into any conversation with little man with caution because the possibility of him dominating it with his “special interest” is pretty likely. I have been lucky enough to be excepted into a course which I think is run by the ASD outreach in my area called Early bird plus. It’s a new course as it used to just be the early bird which was for parents of very young newly diagnosed children. Now its up to 8 years ( Little man is 9 but thankfully It was over looked ) It is fantastic it’s a small very personal course with about 10 parents but we are all given the opportunity to take two others one being family or close friend the other being a professional from school. I have researched and read a ton of books relating to little man’s Aspergers in order to educate myself but there is always room to learn more. It’s great meeting like-minded parents and the organisers are so nice and more than understanding. I loved that you could see it was more a passion to bring awareness then a job. I got to voice my main concerns at present when It was my turn to speak about my child. Well as you may have guessed School and obsessive behaviours were at the top of my list. These were followed by concerns of bullying towards his sister and use of inappropriate language already after the first class I feel a much more positive person and parent. Looking forward to the coming Tuesdays when I plan to attend with a close friend who relates and is non judgmental towards my little man.

SCHOOL

Well we had the Meeting and lets just say it wasn’t what I expected but then again what did I expect? What I was most disappointed with was the fact it was only the headteacher , the Senco/assisting headteacher and Little mans class teacher who I must add has always been extremely happy to discuss my sons progress and he really seems to care what happens to him. What a shame he has a classroom of 30 something other children. I took a friend and some on from the parent partnership service. Yes I expected a good deal more professionals to attend, We had already postponed and one of the reasons was in order for it to be convenient for others. Regardless of this disappointing turn out the meeting went a head as planed. There was a lot we didn’t agree on and a reluctance to discuss past events given some were only weeks if not days ago. I do wish I had been so much stronger as at the very end I did cry a little. I tried so bloody hard not to but I’m just human at the end of the day and this is my child we are discussing. It’s not easy having him excluded and as his mother being powerless to stop it. The parent in partnership worker felt the meeting was extremely tensed we were in need of someone outside the cycle to help the strained relationship rebuild as yes it was clear to all there is a huge breakdown between myself and the school. She did suggest a mediator which I’m good with however the school seemed a little less keen but you never know maybe. Well the good news is that little man now has good provisions and accommodations in place. He has his own TA for the best part of his structured day ( sadly not much of unstructured time where I consider much of the problem to be ), his own workstation with laptop and visual timetable. He has been taken of the going for gold system as it isn’t working for him. The going for good is a system setup for every class. Each child starts on a gold card and throughout the day can have it turned due to bad behaviour, Once your on RED your out that class and mum and dad are getting a phone call or letter. Well as you can guess little man hit red a lot of the time. I would go as far as to say he sometimes had his card on red before morning play. So he now has his own behaviour chat and with it his own rules which to me seems better for now. We have also started a contact book which seems a good move as I can warn them of his morning moods and report anything I feel will distract his day at school. I also get to read how things are going and see his progress daily. This is something I wish we had started long ago. So yes at present the level of support is good but the Headteacher said the problem is that the current level of support on offer is not for a long period as the resources and staff it uses hence the reason an educational assessment of needs is needed. But the likely hood of this being grunted is low and this was something we were both in agreement on.

In relation to exclusions have they stopped? Well I really thought that progress had been made and yes exclusion were being avoided. On the return from the Easter half term things seemed pretty good but nothing lasts forever and he was excluded on the 5th May for hitting the teacher. It was said he threaten to hit her then swung his arm and his hand hit her face ( This is what the letter stated ) And then there was a number of other reasons basically the same ones as always so lets skip that and go back to the hitting afterall that’s pretty massive stuff. Little man again got upset claiming to be playing with the teacher he said he threaten in a playful way and the teacher was laughing he said he did put his had on her face but didn’t slap her it was soft just playing. It’s my opinion that my son has problems relating with adults in a different way from children. He don’t see a difference and if anything sees adults as peers. He regards a certain TA as his buddy. This lead to another exclusion where it was said he hit them, Again he says it wasn’t meant this way he was playing. The only positive thing is that it’s for the shortest time possible this being just one day. Still will exclusion have a good effect on little mans behaviour? I don’t thing so, It hasn’t so far, why now? We still have to reintegrate him back into school which is always a difficult one as he has to attend part of the reintegration meeting which mostly gives him the hump as he wants to go to class and not sit and discuss past behaviours. Needless to say this has to be done and is an important part of reintegration but that still don’t make the situation any easier.

So school has been a very mixed bag these past weeks but I do wish to end on a positive as often this isn’t the case. Well Little man received an award at school for his mathematics. The ward meant a certificate which stated Math genius. It was presented in school assembly a place little man often struggles resulting in him shouting out and disrupting the whole school, so it was nice knowing something really positive was taking place. I was so proud I almost cried when he showed me. Ok that same day he had a classroom fight and kept leaving the class without permission and was a bit disruptive in class but to say I was proud was an understatement. To see him with that certificate was so much more for me then it maybe would have been to another parent with a child presented with the same award. I’m not saying they wouldn’t be proud of course they would but for little man its massive! I can not tell you the last time he brought a certificate home. His sister yer all the time which made this extra special it was like a rare gemstone. I have displayed it proudly on the fridge and I’m hoping it’s given some company really soon.

Too little to late!

24 Feb

That school is driving me loopy. How can they say they had not received little mans written formal diagnosis when My copy says it was sent to six different departments within the school! Not only this but we had a meeting with the Sengo and little mans doctor. I’m a little angry and who can blame me as he was diagnosed well over a year ago and I have only just this past few months discovered little man wasnt receiving the support and services right for his condition. Anger, sadness and disbelief are just a few of the words that describe a few of my emotions these past weeks. I was shocked when I discovered that Lewisham education were taking me to court. How can they even consider doing so when they have done so little for my child. None school attendance for a five month period. Yer right. The school think its acceptable to mark the children in as absent if they are late. Cheeky ****** . Little mans attendance has improved a great deal but only due to me not through any help on the schools part. His well-behaved at school blah, blah, blah. It was this that almost stopped him being diagnosed. It made the process a whole lot longer. two stinking years longer. Thing is his been threatened with exclusion and they want him to be collected every lunch time. Wow is it just me or am I right in thinking that well-behaved is something that don’t seem to be occurring here. I told them that enough was enough I’m gonna apply for a statement. I had to laugh when they told me he would not get one without a diagnosis. So with this I marched down there with my copy of his diagnosis in hand to show the head and get it copied. His face was a picture. Now deny you have it. Since then little man came home with a letter it was an information sheet with help lines and information on ASD. There were events and workshops listed. I have already booked myself into these workshops as I saw them advertised on the net so please stop pretending to care as In my eyes it’s all to little to late!

Saw the solicitor yesterday Was pleased to hear that he was convinced we had a great case. This is fantastic as we still havent even gone through everything and for him to feel that’s our case is strong already at this point makes me feel a lot more at ease. He thinks that the school have not done right by little man and once it’s over we should make our own case for court. I’m In big time agreement with this idea. Let them see how it feels. Then again I can’t see them every being put through what I have. I was days from giving birth when they surprised me with a court summons stating that the case would be heard In just a few short weeks. I had to canceled how could I be expected to attend! I’m just glad that things are looking a little better and I’m hoping that once the 30th March has passed I can then begin the fight to remove him from his school and into somewhere much more suitable for his needs.

You can send as many letters and information sheets home as you please. As I have already said It’s all to little to late. All I ever wanted was the help and support in getting my son assessed, diagnosed, educated, statemented and most of all excepted for who he is. You let me down on all and it’s time to stand up and take note because if you think im gonna turn around and hide your so wrong. I’m gonna try my hardest to get my son and every other child like him his right to assessments, statements, support and services within the education system.

BRING IT ON! I HAVE A VOICE AND IM GONNA USE IT!!!

STATEMENT OF SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS

28 Jan

Ok so you get that formal diagnosis the one that has taken so long to get. After many assessments and meeting have taken place it’s all complete and filed. Yes my child has been diagnosed as having a life long condition but relief floods over you. At long last we can move on! Carry on with life and just get on with it. The assessment process on little man took forever and I know thats exactly how I felt. I had a lot to learn and after talking with other parents of child on the autistic spectrum, reading and just understanding my son I learned a little more each day. However and not surprising There was something I hadn’t learnt. I didn’t have a clue about SEN. Yes I now understood an awful deal about my sons condition Aspergers but what in the world did the word SEN represent. Well lucky for me that was before and that since then I discovered this stood for special educational needs. This was something I stupidly assumed would apply to my son. Well he has a  social & communication disorder, meaning that surely extra help would be on offer for him when it came to schooling. You know from my last angry and frustrated post that little man and SEN don’t go together. Help, extra services what the hell is that ? As I write this I will try my hardest to contain myself. But It’s hard as thinking about the extra support that little man has so crawly been deprived of makes me a tad crazy. But that was far from the end of my frustration

as too much to my horror It turns out having a formal diagnosis of Aspergers is not enough! Shocking I know. It’s up to the school to decide if your child is entitled to or requires any extra educational help. Well god help me! This is the school that labeled my child as having behavioral problems after telling me and others on a number of different occasions that little man was well – behaved in school and showed no concerns. This is also the school who sat and spoke with myself and little mans doctor about his diagnosis, introduced me to the school Senco only to recently inform me that they don’t have a written record of his diagnosis. How on earth is this going to happen? So just when you think the long process of assessments and meetings have come to an end it turns out they have only just begun. In order for your child to access the education that is right for his particular needs an assessment for a statement of needs has to be completed. This is not a day thing but could be a minimum of 6 long weeks. Yes it’s a long time when you are at breaking point and need a school move asap.

So now I wait to see if an assessment can go ahead. The decision to assess is made by the local education authority and in some cases can be refused. It gets better! After inquiring I have been told to state my concerns leading to the request of an assessment. Well from what the school, other parents and children and my son have noted back to me this is some of what I have come up with and I am putting it to you guys before the authority for some much-needed advice and opinions.

  1. Giovanni has problems building relationships with other children with in his school. This makes attending a problem as fear of bullying and rejection.
  2. Finds some of the chosen work un challenging and some to challenging but will not ask for help so therefore will just refuse to do it.
  3. Has issues with using school toilet facilities though fear of the doors becoming locked and also their cleanliness. This has caused a number of problems as I have often had to collect him and bring him home to go.
  4. His outspokenness  has a tendency  to get him into trouble with this being confused with rudeness to other children and staff meaning at times he has unfairly been punished.
  5. Giovanni not eating despite bringing in a packed lunch. Mainly because he wont eat in front of others or maybe another reason that I am not aware of just yet.
  6. The disturbing fact that staff are sometimes unaware of Giovanni not being present at lunch. I then discover He has not eaten a packed lunch for weeks at a time.
  7. His fear of changing for PE in front of others meaning a reluctance to take part or even attend school on them days.
  8. stereo type behavior on Giovanni’s part.
  9. Frustration with others not understanding his way of thinking causing him to have outburst and lash out. His taken a door of its hinges by kicking it.
  10. His need for routine. When ever there is a temporary teacher teaching class he always has problems throughout the day. Mostly being behavioral. This is due to the sudden change. He is also deeply upset if a teacher that has become close to him leaves the school on a permanent basis.

these are just a few of my main concerns and I feel his current school are not equipped to deal with some if not all of them given recent findings and revelations. The school that I wish to place little man at is a school for children on the autistic spectrum including Aspergers, as well as other learning difficulties and certain disabilities. As my child clearly falls into this category I’m hoping he can be offered a place as soon as one is opened. The school has fantastic reviews and always hits its yearly targets. It would be both wonderful and exciting for me and little man for him to be excepted into this school.

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