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About Carrera74

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  1. Hi everyone. I’ve not been on for a while. We have had our ups and downs since the last time I came on but normally things seem to iron themselves out quickly but not this time so I am turning to experience from other parents as everyone I speak to doesn’t understand or thinks I am worrying unnecessarily; maybe I am? I hope I am! L My son is 17 (turns 18 in July) and has become more and more withdrawn over the last month or so since finishing a two week work experience which he really enjoyed doing. He attends an independent 6th form which was joined to his school. The 6th form only opened last year (my son was the one of the first pupils there) and we fought for his place there as he had settled so well in the school and we knew he wouldn’t manage a mainstream college. He is due to leave this Summer but it feels like he has given up. He completed a 2 week work placement at the school after the Christmas break and he absolutely loved it but after his first week back at the 6th form he has become more and more withdrawn and has refused to go back. During this time his link worker at 6th form has come out to try to get him to go back with them (this has worked in the past) but this isn’t working this time. He managed to get him to yesterday and we thought we had turned a corner but this morning we are back at square one and he has refused. The staff at the 6th form are getting fed up with him and I am worn down by it all. We meet with the LA monthly due to the additional years funding they want regular updates but the only update from the last meeting is that he has been to school for only 2 days! I am expecting them to pull the plug on the funding but I don’t know what to do. I feel totally out of my depth. He won’t talk to me and has just shut down. He is up all night – he’d play games 24/7 if he could but I have taken the wifi off him – no school no internet! I worry that he is depressed but he won’t go to the GP and if he would he certainly wouldn’t take any meds / attend any counselling sessions to help his anxieties. What happens to our children when they become adults? I had hoped he would be more independent by now but it feels like after his work experience he has returned to a very anxious young man. All we are getting from him when he does decide to talk to us is ‘he can’t be bothered’ and ‘he doesn’t care’. I have fought for years to get him the right education and to help him but how can I continue to help him when he won’t even help himself? Is this just teenage rebellion or his autism? I don’t know where to turn or what to do. Everyone keeps saying they don’t want him not in education; training or employment but that’s exactly where he’s heading. I’m sat here in tears. This isn’t what I wanted. I fought so hard and it’s gotten me nowhere L I’m actually wondering if I did the right thing fighting for a special school as he couldn’t be more excluded from ‘normality’ now L
  2. Thanks Sally. I put everything in my initial pack last time and they pulled out but I think they were stumped that their EdPsych made our case stronger and looking back I had mentioned that they had changed his type of school from special to mainstream without him seeing anyone! Should have kept that one quiet!! I'm trying to do the bare minimum but it's difficult as I waffle on. I also want to put enough information in to make sure they accept it. The only reason they have given me for ceasing his statement so quickly after sending me the final statement is to give me time to appeal! It's like they think they are doing me a favour. Would you put in the initial application that you have asked for reasons and they've ignored you? I guess this could give them time to think of some reasons why he doesn't need one! I should ask out loud more often. I seem to think better!
  3. Mmmm don't panic. Think I did just that, and some! Thank you everyone for your comments. This forum helps so much. I managed to get through to SEND yesterday. I explained that the letter I received said I had two months to appeal from the date of the statement and she said it wasn't right. I had two months from the date of that letter. Seems the LA have sent out an incorrect letter! Not like them to get anything wrong eh I am so much more calm today. Appeal paperwork is done. I just need to send it off on Monday. I have kept it to a minimum - I had planned to send the whole case at once but will keep it back and tweak it and send it off in good time when I get the directions. Thanks again everyone. What would I do without you all!
  4. Hello, I'm back. In tears as I think I have messed up The local authority pulled out of tribunal with a month to go back in December and I received the final statement in January. A month later I received a letter to say that they were ceasing his statement. I contacted IPSEA and they were as amused at this as I was as all his needs are the same, there isn't one reason that the code of practice lists that matches him. I have been contacting the authority regularly to ask what the reasons are for the statement ceasing and haven't had anything back except about a month later they finally stated that they wanted to give me the right to appeal?! Anyhow, tonight I have collated everything and was putting the finishing touches to my pack before sending it off when I have reread the letter they delivered and it says I had two months from the statement date to appeal not the date I received the letter. I have looked in the code of practice and it does say you have two months from the statement to appeal but I assumed, wrongly I fear, that I would have two months from the date of the letter as I wasn't appealing against the statement - that was perfect as they made all the amendments before I pulled out of Tribunal. Does anybody know when the two months appeal period should be from - the correct statement or the letter I received? I am going to ring SEND tomorrow to ask their advice as I think I can submit a late appeal and it will go to a judge to decide if it can go further. I am in absolute bits. I know I have left it last minute to get it back but I just assumed I had two months to get it done. I wanted to see how he got on trying to go to college before stating my case and for extra evidence The last month has been so stressful. It's hard enough day to day without the extra stress the authority put on us making us try him at college. It's damn cruel on all of us that's for sure.
  5. Apologies if this is already on the forum but I haven't seen it before so thought I would share. My son's recent DLA renewal / first application for adult was recently closed as they received it late and they have sent me the PIP forms for him. I have just been reading on the National Autistic Society website and spotted this little gem. It's on the right side and is a PDF document. It lists the criteria and has a few pointers of what sort of thing they may be looking for. It helped me as I was stuck on the reading question - he can read perfectly well but needs 1:1 in English but I am not sure how this lack of concentration will affect him in the real world. Actually I probably do but because it's our norm I may not see it! Anyway it may be of some help to you that are filling this awful form in! http://www.autism.org.uk/living-with-autism/benefits-and-community-care/benefits-for-adults-with-autism/personal-independence-payment.aspx
  6. Hi everyone. Well the Local Authority backed down 4 weeks before the Tribunal date. Looks like the EP report they insisted on worked in our favour. I received his final statement with all my requested amendments on 17 January and on 17 February, just one month later, they hand delivered a letter to me to say they are ceasing his statement this year! I've contacted IPSEA who were absolutely fantastic! They seemed as baffled as me. How can they give notice to cease a statement so quickly after saying he still needs it! Anyway, guess who's going to appeal, again. This will be my fourth time! My LA drive me absolutely bonkers but I won't give up!! I may be here quite often over the next few months so please remind me to keep fighting should I get fed up :S
  7. The LA have advised that the statement will reflect his current placement and my request for him to stay for a further year (I wanted the full two years). They said they only agree out of county placement on a yearly basis Post 16. Therefore there is no case to resolve currently at tribunal. I'm going to try and contact IPSEA for some advice as I don't want to pull out of the Tribunal if they can name the 6th form for 2 years? :/
  8. My son attends a 6th form which is connected to the independent special school he has attended since late 2010. The LA had wanted to name a local mainstream 6th form from September 2013 but I appealed this and the LA have finally backed down a few weeks before the Tribunal date and have agreed that mainstream is not suitable and have named my choice of 6th form. They have advised that the tribunal would just hear my case about wanting the special school 6th form to be named for this financial year and I will need to withdraw but I am worried that if I withdraw we will be having to go through all this again before September? Can I go to tribunal to request a placement after the Summer holidays or do I need to do that after his next annual review? I’m so confused by it all. The plan is for my son to stay on at this 6th form and for them to link with their local colleges but be based at the 6th form with the hope for him to eventually build up his confidence and to be able to access an apprenticeship. I know that the new system is coming in later in 2014 and the LA said that this would benefit children like my son but they have put up a fight at every opportunity so the fact they are being nice now is unnerving me. Any advice is most welcome :/
  9. Hi Sally, thanks always for your responses. You are so very helpful and I really appreciate your help. I received the EP report on Saturday and it is quite a good report although the recommendations are quite vague the body of the report describes my DS to a tee and it is clear in that report that the current school meets his needs and that is why he is doing so well. The Local Authority contacted me yesterday for an update following the moderating panel. They advised that the panel have agreed for my DS to go to my chosen sixth form from September (the new sixth form is connected to the independent school he has been going to for the last 3 years). It seems the EP report went in our favour that he needs a slow transition and needs a certain type of schooling but the panel want him to go to my chosen school from September with the plan being to move him to their chosen sixth form as part of a slow transition! Apparently their chosen sixth form has put a plan in place to the panel (first I had heard of it!) for my son to stay at his current school for an extra 12 months and for him to have a slow transition to their school and to start there a year later to start his A levels. This was our original request back in January at his transition review but we changed our mind once we visited the different colleges as they aren’t right for him and we felt they couldn’t meet his needs. We want him to go to the sixth form connected to his school and they are planning for him to start his A levels from September. The LA made it out like we had won. That this was the best plan for my DS and they also said that my DS needs to know that he can’t stay at his chosen school forever as a transition to University (if he goes) would be bigger than this but that has got my back up. Yes he can’t stay at his current school forever but he hasn’t been fixed overnight and he needs whatever support he needs for however long he needs it! We are going into school next Thursday to collect my son’s GCSE results so I hope to be able to speak to the Head and voice this out with him. I still think I should go ahead with the Tribunal and get the statement watertight. I am feeling very deflated today. Yesterday I was happy as he has a place from September but it does just feel that the LA are paying for an extra year for his school to put everything into him moving on to do his A levels when I wanted him to start his new 6th form journey concentrating on his A levels and life skills with his peers. He’ll know at the back of his mind that it’s just temporary and I know that that won’t work either!
  10. Hi Sally, thanks for this - again I think I had better phone the Tribunal helpline to ask them if I need to resend my paperwork as I only printed off the appeal form single sided (everything else was photocopied as it was and the statement is all double sided). I also need to find out what I am going to do with my son from September til the Tribunal date. The Head seems to think he has to stay where he is until there is an outcome but I have an awful feeling he has to go where the statement says (which is the 6th form mainstream). Not that he has a place there as I didn't officially apply for one as it would have just added to the stress and DS said he isn't going there either! His current school (where we want him to stay) has put a programme in place for him from September but I need to clarify if this is the right thing to do. I am still waiting for the EP report (took place 3 weeks ago) and the next moderating panel is next Tuesday. The LA are quiet at the moment. They are waiting on the outcome of that before advising me further about September. I feel like I am annoying parent keeping on at them as they don't have any answers. Just keep telling me to wait to the 13th....
  11. Thanks for your comments. I decided to just go for it and I typed out the 'reasons for appeal' part and handwrote everything else. It came to 17 pages when I'd finished so glad I typed it! I have a feeling I may have overdone the form as the tribunal paperwork came through this morning and it asks for statements, reports etc etc to be sent before December (the appeal date is January) but I had already attached those! Now just have to wait and see what the Edpsyc report says which I am hopeful has good news in it after the vibes we got but won't hold my breath!
  12. Hi Sally We had the EP visit a few weeks ago and I now await the report. She seemed to be on our side but I don't trust anyone unfortunately, not to do with the Local Authority anyway. I filed the papers for the appeal and have received the hearing details this morning. The tribunal is set for January 2014 :S I am waiting for the EP papers to come through as the LA are then going to take my sons case to the County Moderating Panel (for the third time!) and dependant on the outcome from that I need to get the statement watertight! I have the special school sixth form (where my son already atttends) on my side 100% and they said they will do everything they can to help. I just need to ask. So now my next move depends on what the EP report says.
  13. just received the tribunal paperwork. Tribunal date January 2014. Eeeek!

  14. This might seem a really silly question but I will ask it anyway.... I've just noticed that the appeal pack is in word and pdf version. Am I okay to type out the appeal form or do I have to hand write it? I've left my appeal til the last minute and my arm feels like it's going to drop off but I can type quickly and prefer that way of getting my thoughts down but don't want to type it all out, print it off and send it if they'll just knock it back? Helpppp please x
  15. Hi Sally, thanks for this. I have been in a bubble for the last few years as he was in the right place. I should have known better after my experiences with the LA over the years that they wouldn't have played fair now. They don't give a hoot about what's best for my son. I have requested the final statement so I can appeal and received it this morning. I am kicking myself as at his last 3 reviews where we have had very detailed feedback from the school we have agreed that the statement still stood - I didn't request any of the detail to be included in his statement so we still have the statement he has had from yr 7 with a few extra bits included about S&L. There's no new stuff in there from his current placement so will go through that with a fine toothcomb and ensure that we ask for that to be put in at appeal. We had an awful day yesterday. DS had a huge meltdown which consisted of swearing in class, shouting out, refusing to leave the class for timeout, the class were removed so he upped it by going for a teacher, drawing on his desk, putting his foot through a wall and finally throwing stones at a window which broke leaving £450 of damage. Breaking the window seemed to snap him out of his destruction. All this because he was getting frustrated in Maths and he couldn't use his time out techniques as he was so overloaded he was in meltdown mode I've contacted the SENCO at the 6th form and told her what happened yesterday. I have told her I will not send him to her school unless they can deal with this sort of behaviour which is extreme. She said they would do what they could and would have done the same up to the taking the other children out of the class but she wouldn't go any further. She's advised that I write to the SEN office advising of what happened yesterday. I was hoping she would see how ludicrous it will be to uproot him from a school that are used to dealing with this behaviour to a mainstream school but she wouldn't admit to anything. If he'd behaved that way yesterday in a mainstream school I am pretty sure they would be able to permanently exclude him and have him arrested! I'm going to write to the SEN office now. Spelling it out that I am not applying for a place at this 6th form (which I have to do for him to be given a place) due to him being emotionally vulnerable and not ready for a mainstream environment. When I picked my son up yesterday from school the Head said that my son isn't ready for mainstream. I am pretty sure they will support me with whatever I want and he needs to stay at his current placement at least for the next year. He isn't ready for mainstream not emotionally. If he's going to flip out about getting stuck with teachers he knows he can trust what would he be like in a school where his senses are going to be overloaded just with the sheer difference from such a small special school environment
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