My son was finally diagnosed with autism in Nov 18 after a very long drawn out process. He scored 20/22 on his ADOS test.
I am feeling let down by our school and I’m wondering if anyone might be able to give me their opinion or experiences or if I’m just being over protective.
When my son moved in to his new year at school his new teacher wasn’t aware that he had suspected autism at speech and language issues she hadn’t been told in the transition period. He has a IEP at school but not an EHCP because he is academically stable or above on his subjects( that’s what they tell me) I have no idea if he gets any extra support at school. I went to see the senco She told me that they don’t generally worry about him because he doesn’t cause trouble at school and is quiet as a mouse. That statement upset me a little does anyone else find that if there child is quiet and well behaved they are not worried and supported as much?? I’m not saying he deserves preferential treatment but I felt like because he is good they just let him carry on without support. He hasn’t had his homework marked in over six months because he is to frightened to hand in his book but I told them on the many parents evenings to go in to his bag and get it but they never have.
Well today annoyed me because I was told by his teacher who has just left due to giving birth early that he was going to be given extra support during his SATS test because he doesn’t understand the txt sometimes, I popped in to the school today to talk to his new teacher and his TA that has known him since the beginning of the year to make sure that they had organised the extra support for him before he starts his SATS next week, they turned to me and said they had not been told he needed the extra support and that he has already sat two SATS tests already without them letting me know and without extra support. He has been very tough to deal with this week when he has got home and now I understand why, if I had known I could of put more things in place. The teacher then told me not to worry he’s been good as gold, of course he has he is always good as gold he could of struggled all the way through that and he would never of told anyone and that’s what has annoyed me. Does anyone have similar problems or am I worrying over nothing ?? Please be honest
No I don't think you are being over protective, it's called being mum! At least that's my opinion
Unfortunately alot of children slip through in school as they are not causing problems, behave themselves and hit academic targets. With schools as stretched as they are if a child is not causing a problem they generally don't go out of their way to help even with an iep.
My daughter is in this situation, although we are still trying to get diagnosis. She is achieving above her age group and never speaks out of turn. But she isn't coping as she is a timebomb when she leaves school she is also ripping her nails off with anxiety.
We are lucky our senco and her teachers this year have been fantastic they are aware of her problems and trying to help get assessment, but I know next year it will start again as things get missed when they move years and staff don't communicate!
Which sats is your son doing? Is it ks1 or ks2? If it is one the results really don't matter, if it is ks2 if you feel he should have had the extra time and that it will make a difference could it be worth asking if he can resit? As they did not uphold what he should be offered.
Now he has his diagnosis I would suggest applying for an ehcp, also ask school for social communication assessment. This can help highlight any areas he needs support.
But no I don't think you are overprotective.
Thank you for replying. Getting the diagnosis is so hard, I understand why in a way but as a parent we generally know when things arnt quite right. He is ks1 so I’m not that worried I just don’t like the idea of him sitting there either struggling or not understanding. I was shot down straight away when I mentioned an EHCP, they told me that they are the ones that decide that and he doesn’t need one. I don’t have much knowledge on the EHCP’s to be honest.
Most schools will shoot you down unless the child shows the need for significant help but what they don't tell you is that you can apply for it without them
You can go straight to local authorities
But it is easier to work with school first, simply your son does have certain rights at school have you sat down for a formal meeting with teachers and senco? This can be helpful as sometimes class teachers will notice small signs but not escalate it to senco
We are using a family support worker she acts as a "middle man" calling regular meetings at school to ensure daughters needs are being met, she also works with the kids to find out what they are struggling with
Check the education rights pages on this site they have lots of information on what you can do
You're not being over protective! You just want what's best for your child! My youngest is two and is really well behaved and an absolute dream to look after BUT she has really substantial additional needs! Luckily those needs are high enough that she's been in the system since she was just 1 and she's getting the input she needs but my point is that just because a child is good and quiet (mine doesn't talk yet so she's quiet too!) doesn't mean that they don't have additional needs and it doesn't mean that they don't need additional help and support. Your son may well be above average academically, a lot of people with ASD are but that doesn't mean that he doesn't need support. He is clearly struggling mentally if not academically. I would advise that you book an appointment with the head teacher to discuss and if that fails then go above school level. I had the frustrating thing last year when my daughter should have had a review with her paediatrician in August but by December we still hadn't had a letter about it. I was on the phone to that paediatrician's secretary about 10 times until I got a review date (who says a tendency to perseveration doesn't come in handy sometimes?!). You have to fight for your child and keep on fighting until he gets the help that he needs, it's the only way!
It's not you, it's the life of a parent of a child with special needs. Welcome. I had a similar journey, initially I couldn't have imagined the rules of the game of sen, until I was told to get a Code of practice. Sadly one of additional challenges of parenting a child with ASD is the continuous unrelenting uphill struggle with schools. My daughter was let down by the school as she was quiet and compliant, they left her behind and fobbed me off with her being 'average', until she developed severe anxiety and low self esteem because of her struggles and bullying. You are quite well advanced in the game as you have a dx. That's one struggle won.
The school shut you down because support for autistic children and ehcp cost a lot of money which schools don't have, so the school and especially the local authority will do everything to delay, unless he is disruptive and troublesome for them.
It is incorrect that they decide, your son's needs are the deciding factor, the EHC needs assessment is necessary to decide and then again, you might have to go to SEND tribunal to get your decision. Get the Code of Practice and study it carefully. At the stage you are in, you might like to get advice on what sort of problem your son might have at school, how it could show, and what sort of support he should be getting and start putting pressure of the school to get it and to progress through the phases of SEN support until you will be ready for the EHC needs assessment. I would ask for a meeting with senco to review the IEP and ask for additional provisions that they don't yet do, for example for his sensory needs and his social communication, support with peers and friendships. . I would ask hy progress is slow (i.e. below his potential, his earlier rate of progress or rate of progress of his peers with similar ability) and what more they could do. Keep the pressure and termly IEP review until you could demonstrate that progress is insufficient, which you could use to ask for EHC needs assessment. Document everything, keep all notes, correspondence and letters from school. Start keeping a diary of what happens at school, how you son behaves at home. Over time this could provide evidence of his academic, social and emotional struggles, which would be evidence of needs that the school cannot meet without ehcp.
So, as NAS39248 say, start reading about support at school on the NAS website and other advice sites.
SOSSEN, IPSEA, The SEN jungle, Ambitious about autism.
All these sites have excellent resources pages, I suggest you read them all.
You can also call NAS, IPSEA and SOSSEN for 1:1 advice, they are all excellent and would give complementary detail., they have a treasure trove of resources, model letters, so you are likely to be going back to them for years :)
I just want to thank you all so much you have all been wonderful taking the time to help me out, it’s some of the best advice and support I have had since starting this long journey. I will have a look at all those websites that you gave me and try to get hold of the senco guide, my nest friend is also a senco assistant at a secondary school so I might have a chat with her. Thank you everyone you have been amazing.