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Everything posted by SharonS

  1. As Sally said, I would email your response to this to Tribunal immediately. Then give tribunal a call just to make sure that they have got your response and are considering that along with LA's request. Our LA sent in a request for changes a week before tribunal as they wanted to postpone tribunal by a few months - we responded to tribunal immediately as was last thing we wanted. All that was outstanding by this point was name of school in Part 4 (they were already funding school), so tribunal suggested they go ahead and name school so that we could withdraw appeal - so that's what happened and tribunal was cancelled rather than the postponement LA had requested!
  2. Oops, posted at same time as you. Sounds like you know what you're doing on appeal front. Do go ahead now with assessment to save time and so your son will be able to get started there without a delay. Phoning LA on Mon sounds good idea.
  3. Just wondering how likely it is LA will name your chosen school, or if they have a maintained special school they are likely to name - just because if it is looking like they won't name the school you want then you need to make sure you get an appeal in soon to save any further delay. I think the requirement is on LA to provide what is in statement rather than school - but maybe you could push SEN department to get on to current school and provide more support in meantime. Or talk to SEN department and tell them that your son is not getting enough support and that school is not able to cope, so can they sort out some home tuition in the interim period. As bed32 said, have that assessment at the special school done now, you do not need to wait until SEN dept have agreed to school, normally you have to have an offer of a place at the school before the LA agrees to it.
  4. Or Louise Williams http://therapyforchildren.co.uk - I don't know anything about her, but have heard other people mention her.
  5. Have you tried Caroline Winfield (OT) - although it's normally a few months to get an appointment, and I presume you need something before end of year.
  6. Hi Mr Dingleman I've been down a similar path to the one described in Jeap's last paragraph. School refusal proper started for us nearly 2 years ago at age 11 after Oct half term of Yr 7. Got referral to CAMHS, got turned down, got re-referral and accepted. In meantime arranged for my son to start a different school in the Jan, we stumbled along till Feb half term and then complete school refusal. We saw CAMHS and got diagnosis for high functioning ASD. We applied for statement (statutory assessment), got turned down, put in appeal and then local authority agreed - Sept of Yr 8. Got statement in Feb of Yr 8 which was no good because it suggested mainstream which clearly hadn't worked. Put in appeal, got tribunal date of 6 months later (this Sept - start of Yr 9). Finally after being out of school for over 1 yr, April of Yr 8 we started getting some home tuition. We paid for independent assessments and reports from psychiatrist, ed psychologist, speech and lang therapist, occupational therapist. Looked at schools etc. told LA we wanted a particular independent ASD school. 2 months before tribunal they agreed to the school. Tribunal has only just been cancelled with a few days to go as we were still getting agreement on rest of statement. And my son started at the ASD school 3 weeks ago and all going ok so far. I am not too sure what I would suggest about doing things differently. Unfortunately nothing moves fast and there is a system you have to follow. Your best way forward is to get a diagnosis, apply for a statement (can do both in parallel) and look for a school that may suit him. Also try to get some home tuition in meantime. Ask everyone you can for help. Contact www.sossen.org.uk or www.ipsea.org.uk for help on statementing. You may also find this helpline useful http://www.youngminds.org.uk/ and www.autism.org.uk - I phoned both at the beginning of our school refusal. Does he want to be in school in theory? Also check out this forum: http://www.schoolrefuser.org.uk/
  7. Schools - I think best match likely to be The Priory Lodge School, Roehampton or Thames Valley School, Reading. I know these are a distance, but give it a go and take your daughter for a visit (go by yourself first though to check out), try not to mention anything about distance etc. to your daughter just focus on positives of the schools and be very conservative if she asks how long the journey takes! Other school is Blossom House, Wimbledon, but I think it is probably not suitable. Do you know of the proposed ASD free school for Weybridge - unlikely to be any good for you though as it is in very early stages of proposal and so not going to happen for a year or so I would guess. Or Knowl Hill School, Pirbright, really a dyslexia school but it may turn out to be right environment. Or Moon Hall College near Reigate, again dyslexia school but accept others who need small school environment.
  8. Hi Robyn I was on another sossen workshop that you went to! Similarly, my son is same age and was out of school since Feb 2012 however we are further on in appeal process and have had agreement on school we want and my son started this term - still potentially have tribunal next week but on a minor issue. Unfortunately I know nothing about legal aid - have you been in touch with these people: http://www.childrenslegalcentre.com/index.php?page=education_legal_practice Given this solicitor says you're being picky, it really sounds like he is going to be little use! As you're entitled to legal aid would be good to get a decent person with right experience involved. How much does the legal aid cover? Does it help with all preparation for tribunal and provide someone in tribunal for you, or is it just for a limited number of hours? You say you're a control freak and that you are the one who can look after your daughter's interests, so you could just take control and deal with it all yourself. We have done all the work ourselves up to this point, with advice from sossen, but now have a solicitor involved to instruct barrister for tribunal - so it is possible for you to do it all and you could represent yourself in tribunal supported by expert witnesses if needs be. You have until final evidence date to name school - we were really struggling with finding a school too - although obviously better to sort out sooner rather than later if you can in case LA agree to it as you need your daughter in school ASAP. Your next step now is to get independent reports done ASAP so that reports are ready to submit as final evidence. Have you had any done yet? How much can you afford to spend? We went for everything in end EP, SALT, OT and psychiatrist. I think in your case it would be worth going for all of those too - but likely to cost at least £3500 for all of those. The next deadline you probably have is naming who will attend tribunal, so you will have to give some thought to which witnesses to take and whether to have a legal representative. Once you have school name and independent reports, you should then write an updated statement of case following on from your appeal doc and highlighting everything you want based on info in the reports, and then send all off for final evidence deadline. After that you'll be onto working doc - which is quite hard work! And then trying to get LA to agree to as much as poss in working doc ahead of tribunal. SOSSEN Working Doc Workshop is brilliant, so you will be well prepared. Having just been through all of this, I'd be happy to help you out. Will have a think of some school names, but I know you will probably have tried them all or they will be too far - I was worried about distance too, but so far my son has been managing (and I've been driving!) Have the LA provided any home tuition? I've also been through that. I can give you names of the independent professionals we used, and I probably know names of some others (you may have heard of them through sossen already though) In fact just cancelled SALT, EP and psychiatrist for next Thurs (tribunal) so they may have availability!! Sharon
  9. This sounds like a standard letter, some people don't send much info when they do the request and then they provide it all when they get a letter like this. If you have any more to tell them, then this is a good opportunity. But otherwise I would write a letter saying please refer to xxxx sent to you on xx - and list out everything sent to them (including your letter detailing difficulties etc), and maybe write a sentence to make it clear that you want all of these document to be used to inform the statutory assessment process.
  10. That's really good news that you have found a school. Good luck! Personally, I would just put the appeal in now, you have nothing to lose and it might get LA focused. Even if they do agree at panel, it still might take time for them to put that in writing for you. In addition, you need to make sure that Part 2 and 3 say exactly what they need to, otherwise the LA may not fund all extra therapies etc. he needs at the new school. My son had been out of school a long time, we asked for expedited hearing when we sent our appeal documentation, but we didn't get it. I don't know whether that was because we didn't apply in the right way - we did consider sending request for changes to ask for expedited once we'd lodged appeal, but as we hadn't decided on a school at that point we decided to hold off. We recently had a meeting with LA and they have now agreed to our choice of ASD school (they had never even named the school they wanted, just said mainstream). We're not withdrawing our appeal yet though until we have Parts 2 and 3 agreed too, and everything in writing for the school.
  11. Get some advice from IPSEA. Has the statement been updated or reviewed recently. I think you need to get it updated so that you can then appeal it.
  12. Sorry, just scrolled back, statement was mid June so I see you're talking about putting appeal in. If you do need extra time, then check that rule out about August (I might be wrong) Will you be appealing Part 2 and Part 3 as well as Part 4? This is normally the recommended thing to do - and is possibly necessary even if they do agree to the school you want as those parts need to be watertight.
  13. Hope the visit to the ASD specific one goes well. I've lost track. Have you already put in an appeal and date for final evidence is mid August, or do you have until mid- August to put in appeal? I thought if the 2 month time period after getting final statement fell in August then you had till end of August to put in an appeal? Although, certainly best to get it in as soon as poss.
  14. I think we hand wrote the appeal form, but presume it would be fine to type if you have word document. However, there is not usually enough space to write what you want on appeal form, so for the main bit we just wrote See Attached and then typed up our main appeal as a separate document -it is absolutely fine to do this. Do you know what you need to write as far as the appeal goes? Have you had advice?
  15. Hmm, I don't know your son, but I doubt that a BESD school is the right place for an ASD child like him. The behaviour methods they will be using are unlikely to be suitable for ASD children - they will be treating the behaviour and won't be looking at the causes of it as should be done for ASD children. This sounds like a money saving exercise. Talk to SOS!SEN or IPSEA about the suggested school. You must make sure that you get your appeal in - don't trust that the LA will find the most appropriate school.
  16. My son's been out of school since end of Feb 2012. Started receiving some home tuition end of March 2013 (so 1 yr 1 month after being out of school). We've now found a school, next hurdle getting LA to agree (tribunal end Sept)
  17. Just to clarify - they should have sent you all attachments with the final, you shouldn't have to add these yourself. Normally on front page of statement they list the attachments.
  18. Anything that was attached to proposed statement should be attached to final. If you gave a written response to the proposed statement then that should also be attached to final. Anything that you provided as your parental input to the statutory assessment should have been attached to the proposed (and final), not sure whether any ad-hoc letters would be included if it was not marked as being parental input for statutory assessment process.
  19. I think the fact that the LA are still saying mainstream shows they don't give a damn and really haven't got a clue. You need to find out how they envisage your son transitioning from being at home all the time to being in mainstream (or any) school. Just looked at Gretton website. Looks like a good option. You need to focus on getting your appeal in now. Do you know what you need to do, and how to go through with a fine tooth comb etc.? Are you still getting advice from IPSEA?
  20. Are you able to pay for independent SALT report? (I would guess about £700)
  21. I don't know how they can get away with it. I think the truth is that LAs keep it very quiet and nobody knows this is going on. And they will say they only have to provide if you have consultants letter saying medically unfit for school. Maybe write to the LA and ask specifically why they are not providing any home tutoring or access to online education. At least then they will have to give you an answer. And suggest that a programme of home tuition leading to integration into an appropriate school should be put in final statement. Write to MP again and get them to push for some home tuition - it is likely that you'll be in tribunal in 6 months time if LA are not going to play ball, so I'd push for home tuition in mean time. I think you mentioned there were schools 6 hours away, would you consider boarding or moving house?
  22. Sally, what you have described is a subject data access request under the Data Protection Act, not a FOI request.
  23. Hi Would you like the LA to attempt to provide some kind of home tuition/mentoring for your son at the moment. My son has been out of school for a similar amount of time to yours. We finally started getting home tuition after a year and a bit when the LA put it in his final statement - so part 4 says something like Home tuition leading to integration into mainstream secondary. Although the mainstream secondary bit is a load of nonsense and we are appealing, we are at least now getting some home tuition (sometimes it works, sometimes my son won't come down to see tutor) Perhaps you can ask them to put something about home tuition/mentoring in the final statement under part 4. It is just so shocking that they seem so happy not to educate our children. The people who have seen us from the home tuition service are shocked that it took so long for us to be referred to them. If you don't see the final statement very soon, write to them reminding them of when it was due. Phone www.sossen.org.uk or www.ipsea.org.uk for advice. Get ready to put your appeal in once you get final statement (you have 2 months) You want to appeal part 2,3 and 4. Don't worry if you can't name a school,provide a description of the environment he needs for part 3 and also describe the type of school in part 4 Lost track of whether you have independent reports - but if not, get those assessments lined up. My son visited a school yesterday (independent ASD school), was very positive and he says he wants to go there. Meanwhile the LA don't want to pay out because they are not sure he is ready for school! He is well and truly fed up of being out of school, he wants to go to the school he visited yesterday, surely the LA have a duty to help him make the transition back to school and can't just say he's not ready when they're not even trying! We have tribunal in Sept.
  24. Good luck Cathcart. My son is same, awake half night and asleep all morning and not wanting to wake up. And then sometimes, if we've managed to push sleep pattern almost back to normal, he goes and stays awake 24 hours so that sleep pattern is all wrong again!
  25. Hmm, tricky! All you can do is try to reassure him that he doesn't need to think about school, but that the medicine is going to help him towards having a happy life. My son takes melatonin - but he seems happy to take it, probably because most of the time he can fight the effects of it!! What is your son's sleep pattern like at the moment? My son's is a nightmare and constantly changing. Special Talent, what issues did you have with melatonin?
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