Jump to content
  • Announcements

    • Kris

      Depression, Mental Health and Crisis Support   06/04/2017

      Depression, Mental Health and Crisis Support   Depression and other mental health difficulties are common amongst people on the autistic spectrum and their carers.   People who are affected by general mental health difficulties are encouraged to receive and share information, support and advice with other forum members, though it is important to point out that this exchange of information is generally based on personal experience and opinions, and is not a substitute for professional medical help.   There is a list of sources of mental health support here: <a href="http://www.asd-forum.org.uk/forum/index.php?showtopic=18801" target="_blank">Mental Health Resources link</a>   People may experience a more serious crisis with their mental health and need urgent medical assistance and advice. However well intentioned, this is not an area of support that the forum can or should be attempting to offer and we would urge members who are feeling at risk of self-harm or suicide to contact either their own GP/health centre, or if out of hours contact NHS Direct on 0845 4647 or to call emergency services 999.   We want to reassure members that they have our full support in offering and seeking advice and information on general mental health issues. Members asking for information in order to help a person in their care are seeking to empower both themselves and those they represent, and we would naturally welcome any such dialogue on the forum.   However, any posts which are deemed to contain inference of personal intent to self-harm and/or suicide will be removed from the forum and that person will be contacted via the pm system with advice on where to seek appropriate help.   In addition to the post being removed, if a forum member is deemed to indicate an immediate risk to themselves, and are unable to be contacted via the pm system, the moderating team will take steps to ensure that person's safety. This may involve breaking previous confidentiality agreements and/or contacting the emergency services on that person's behalf.   Sometimes posts referring to self-harm do not indicate an immediate risk, but they may contain material which others find inappropriate or distressing. This type of post will also be removed from the public forum at the moderator's/administrator's discretion, considering the forum user base as a whole.   If any member receives a PM indicating an immediate risk and is not in a position (or does not want) to intervene, they should forward the PM to the moderating team, who will deal with the disclosure in accordance with the above guidelines.   We trust all members will appreciate the reasoning behind these guidelines, and our intention to urge any member struggling with suicidal feelings to seek and receive approproiate support from trained and experienced professional resources.   The forum guidelines have been updated to reflect the above.   Regards,   The mod/admin team
Sign in to follow this  
Sally44

Anyone got very specific specialist input in their statement??

Recommended Posts

Sally44   

 

Has anyone (probably at tribunal :rolleyes: ) argued for a very specific teaching method or specificially trained professional to be quantified and specified in the Statement?

 

I have evidence that a specific way of learning to read/write/spell may teach my son to read and write. It is not phonics, it is using morphemes and icons to teach a child with dyslexia.

 

We have a dx of auditory processing problems. We have evidence of memory retrieval problems. I am convinced that he cannot associate sight and sound. So with the phonics method he cannot use the letter sound to prompt his memory to retrieve the visual imprint of the letter he needs to write. Using the morpheme and icon approach he can remember words immediately and permanently.

 

This is obviously going to be costly if I am going to argue for the LEA to either fund a place at a special school that will use this system, or agree to train a SPLD teacher in this method.

 

Anyone achieved anything like this, even if it is in a different area, but managed to get a totally different system/approach used to the one being used by the LEA and their professionals?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
lisac   

Ive never heard of any one doing this . My guess is you would probably have to set this up yourself . i really dont know. very interesting to hear what others think/say , x

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sally44   

The way the LEA tends to go is to put in that the child "will need an individualised multi-sensory approach to literacy ...."

 

However I have been to a seminar by Olga Bogdashina, and others, where they talk specifically of finding out what mode of learning is the pathway for that child. For some it might be visual, others auditory, kinesthetic etc. And their point is that one mode of input is usually good, whilst the others are bad or confusing. So my child is visual. He has problems with auditory.

 

The Dyslexia specialist I saw yesterday says many children don't need 'multi-sensory' they need 'uni-sensory' ie. the thing being taught is taught using one sensory approach. Using morphemes and icons is 'visual'. No sound is added, until right at the end when the whole word is read to the child.

 

For other children they might need a totally different approach.

 

Therefore 'phonics' is not suitable. And actually forces him to use systems he is already known to have difficulties with ie. auditory and auditory processing and verbal/visual memory retrival problems.

 

I have documented evidence from myself, since reception year, asking them to try to tap into his amazing visual memory to learn. But all schools have the same teaching methods.

 

I am waiting to speak with someone from the Dyslexia Association to tell me about different approaches to teaching dyslexia.

 

But very interested to hear others experiences about what they managed to get included in the Statement.

 

I think I can manage to get specific input from a SPLD teacher into the Statement, but if they then just put together a phonics programme, then we are just messing about.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
julie1   

Have you tryed sound therapy, it might help with the auditory difficulties. We havent tryed it yet but my dd1 starts it in january. She has severve difficulties with auditory processing. she has had hearing difficulties from birth we have been told that her brain needs to learn or retrain to hear different sounds.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
baddad   
I have documented evidence from myself, since reception year, asking them to try to tap into his amazing visual memory to learn. But all schools have the same teaching methods.

 

 

I don't know quite what that means, but if you're saying that you have evidence that you have asked for a specific type of provision but have no child specific professional evidence to indicate that your son needs this provision (or any professional evidence to indicate that he has received it and it has been beneficial in achieving results that could not, demonstrably, have otherwise been achieved) then (IMO) it's very unlikely that you could convince a panel to wrtie it into a statement as an identified need, especially if it is a teaching method that is not generally supported, acknowledged or practiced within schools or through regular support services (i.e. S&LT). Similarly, the source of any evidence put forward would be a huge factor - if it was not from a service they recognised/acknowledged then chances are it would be rejected.

Hope that's helpful, and admittedly I'm only 'educated guessing' based on general knowledge of LEA's and statementing rather than from direct experience of a similar situation.

 

L&P

 

BD :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Kathryn   
Anyone achieved anything like this, even if it is in a different area, but managed to get a totally different system/approach used to the one being used by the LEA and their professionals?

 

Yes it does happen, but it's a very tough battle and parents have to believe in the approach and understand it totally, find professionals who also believe in the approach, be armed with very specific evidence of the success of the approach, be prepared to explain why your child needs this particular approach, why the usual methods don't work for your child and be prepared to defend the approach against all the evidence the LA will dig up to discredit it (because they will try). Also you have to show that it is cost effective i..e. that in the long run it will benefit the child and save money.

 

Parents have achieved ABA and Sonrise programmes, specialised speech therapy programmes using a particular approach, conductive education and specialist dyslexia tuition involving complex programmes and equipment to name a few examples I'm aware of.

 

It can be done, but it has to be said that the parents who are successful have usually had experience of this approach for some time (often by funding it themselves) and have evidence that it works for them. Even if there is evidence, expect to meet a lot of resistance along the way as the LA understandably will argue that what's good enough for most children is surely good for yours. If the child remains in mainstream, even if you persuade the LA and school that extra support is necessary, it isn't easy to get them to accept that a specialist teacher is necessary or an LSA must be trained in a particular method which isn't normally used in schools. As BD says, the less well recognised the system, the harder it will be to persuade the LA that it's a good idea.

 

So not totally impossible to achieve but there are a lot of hurdles.

 

K x

Edited by Kathryn

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sally44   

Thanks Kathryn. That is what I am thinking.

I have documented proof of auditory processing disorder from the audiologist and the SALT. He has had a listening programme as well to help with that. It is also documented by the EP and SALT that he has verbal to visual memory retrieval problems. I went to see a specialist who is an EP/neurologist and teaches this specific way in his school for dyslexia. His school is used by our own LEA and is on their lists of approved schools. This man has demonstrated that this approach is best for my son and is going to write to that effect. School are saying he is doing much better in school - which we are going to see. But at home and other environments he cannot write and his reading is rote learnt with some attempts to use phonics to decipher a word. I am aware that this is early days and, as you say, I would need more evidence.

I have an AR in February. I have been told by IPSEA/NAS that it might be better to ask for a re-assessment as he has made little progress in literacy in particular from P6-7 and P7-8. His Statement says that the school should seek advice from their specialist ASD teachers and the EP regarding the approaches and supports used to ensure they are working and sufficient progress is being made. School haven't done that, and say they don't intend to because they are happy with his progress.

As his Statement says he has traits of Dyslexia and Dyscalculia, it has also been said that his statement is unlawful because it does not specify and quantify SPLD teacher input or EP input for this need, ie. itemised in section 2 with no recommendations in section 3 for suitably qualified professional to have input and monitor outcomes.

 

I am aware that going for a re-assessment now, might be too soon to ask for this specific teaching method.

 

I'm waiting for school to confirm that they are fulfilling certain aspects of the Statement. I have been very surprised and annoyed to find that they were not doing some things. School are taking this very badly and are suggested I am being over critical and that if I am not happy with the school then ......

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sally44   

Some of the above issues I have raised might be resolved by writing to the LEA about non-compliance.

I'm trying hard to keep a good relationship with school, but it is hard to do that whilst also complaining to the LEA!

Having said that, they have to comply with the Statement, and i'm not in this process to make friends.

But it is very difficult at the moment. Some members of staff and now refusing to see me. And I have not done anything other than ask for certain documents and confirmation that things are being done, which is my parental right and some things I am asking about are detailed on his MEP (IEP) as things I should be doing at home and reporting to school. But they don't like that I am reporting his failure to achieve those targets.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Kathryn   
I am aware that going for a re-assessment now, might be too soon to ask for this specific teaching method.

 

If you feel strongly about this method, could you pay for a private specialist to teach your son at home? If it works, you would then have the evidence to present to the LA. That's assuming you can find someone, besides the head, who uses this particular approach, or something similar.

 

K x

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think Kathryn has it - pay for tutoring that will show him making significant progress over and above what the LA call 'satisfactory'. It doesn't come cheap, but cheaper than a tribunal.

 

Possibly without telling the school that's what you're doing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sally44   

His statement says that he has persistent difficulties with phonics and graphemes, and it is consistent with dyslexia. The Statement also says traits of dyslexia and dyscalculia.

So I have been told the Statement is unlawful, because it mentions those difficulties in section 2, with no recommendation in section 3.

So the obvious route is to ask for an amendment at AR, or a re-assessment.

So I am trying to find out via the Dyslexia Association whether this system is one that a SPLD teacher would know of. I suppose it all depends on how rare this approach is. It starts from this school, but Dr Browns book is about this approach, so there maybe others out there already trained, or willing to train or read up on it.

I'm going to see what IPSEA and the NAS think about it.

At doctor Browns he spelt 'house': haTicif; and 'tractor': raton ufo.

 

So I cannot see how school can say he can write some independent writing. So husband and I are going into school to see it.

 

I went to see him during a numeracy afternoon yesterday, this also involved the SALT visit.

What I noticed was that alot of the work was prompted with gestures and was not independent. His numeracy skills have moved forward from what they were at his last school. But I would say he is still the lowest performing child in the lowest performing class, and we are being told this is 'good' and 'accelerated' progress and should be happy with that. It just doesn't add up. I came away feeling so depressed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Daisydot   

I am unsure about the specific teaching method you suggest, as it is not one I have come accross. However, our DS has a diagnosis of severe speech & language difficulties, phonological awareness difficulties, dyslexia and auditory processing difficulties.

 

The SALT at school has spedifically recommended NOT to use any system which uses phonics when teaching him to read and spell (ie Jolly Phonics). So, when he spells a word, he uses the letter names, rather than the sounds. Ditto, when he comes across a word he cannot read, he spells out the word using the letter names rather than trying to sound it out. Apparently, phonic systems are a disaster for some children like our DS (yet schools seem hell bent on ramming this kind of approach down everyones throats). This approach has been hugely successful with our DS, and he can suddenly spell lots of words and read just about anything, wheras a year ago he could not spell anything with more than 2-3 letters. Interestingly, his writing has improved hugely as well. Apparently, having auditory processing problems means that he will never ever learn through phonics as he cannot process the sounds. So, my advice would be to look at/consider using a system that does not use phonics. At DS school, they use a system called THRASS which seems very successful with pupils with speech & language difficulties.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sally44   
I am unsure about the specific teaching method you suggest, as it is not one I have come accross. However, our DS has a diagnosis of severe speech & language difficulties, phonological awareness difficulties, dyslexia and auditory processing difficulties.

 

The SALT at school has spedifically recommended NOT to use any system which uses phonics when teaching him to read and spell (ie Jolly Phonics). So, when he spells a word, he uses the letter names, rather than the sounds. Ditto, when he comes across a word he cannot read, he spells out the word using the letter names rather than trying to sound it out. Apparently, phonic systems are a disaster for some children like our DS (yet schools seem hell bent on ramming this kind of approach down everyones throats). This approach has been hugely successful with our DS, and he can suddenly spell lots of words and read just about anything, wheras a year ago he could not spell anything with more than 2-3 letters. Interestingly, his writing has improved hugely as well. Apparently, having auditory processing problems means that he will never ever learn through phonics as he cannot process the sounds. So, my advice would be to look at/consider using a system that does not use phonics. At DS school, they use a system called THRASS which seems very successful with pupils with speech & language difficulties.

 

Thanks I'll have a look at that if I can find something on it.

The system we were shown was using pictures on one side of the flashcard and the word morpheme on the other.

My son does appear to be able to use some phonics to help him decipher a word to read, but cannot apply phonics to help him write. As you say, I think the 'sound' is not helping him because he has to try to retrieve the appropriate letter from memory. When he is reading he already has the written word to prompt him and help him associate it with the sound. And the fact that he has these difficulties is so blooming obvious to me, yet as you say, all professionals keep going on and on about phonics!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Daisydot   

The Dyslexia Institute use a similar system to THRASS, I am not sure what it is called though.

 

You are definitely on the right track, and it sounds like our DS's have similar difficulties. I would be asking for specific input from a SALT who has experience with auditory processing and auditory discriminiation and phonological awareness. Since my son gets weekly individual and group sessions from a SALT plus daily teaching from a teacher who is highly experienced in teaching children with such language problems, I guess thats maybe along the lines of what you should be looking for in provision for your son. I know the THRASS system is used in at least two specialist speech & language schools.

 

As far as asking a tribunal for a specific teaching method, I would think you would need an independent SALT to recommend the specific system in their report for the tribunal. Then you have the evidence and its up to the tribunal to consider it.

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sally44   

I had a look at the THRASS system, and yes that is the kind of thing I am thinking of where words are backed up with visual information.

 

The SALT has just asked to reduce her visits to school from weekly to fortnightly.

I sort of verbally agreed to that, but now thinking about it, I don't agree, so I'm going to write to her asking her to put her request in writing. She said it takes her over an hour to travel to/from my son's school. I've checked where she is based and she is closer than me! It must take her no longer than 10 mins either way.

 

I don't think she has my son's interests at heart, just her travelling time. I asked her whether she thought my son would be able to attend for an hours session, and she said "it doesn't have to be that long". But it does if she is to fulfill the Statement as he is supposed to have 6 hours per term direct therapy which equates to one 30 mins session per week.

 

I sat in on one of her sessions and was very unimpressed. I'm feeling very low over all about what input my son is getting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Daisydot   

Sally,

 

Not sure where you live but may I recommend you visit the ICAN website and look at the provision they offer in their schools. Even if one of their schools is not viable for you, they have assessment services where your son could be properly assessed and have reports written which you could present at a tribunal. They are experts in the field of speech & language.

 

I am not allowed to name schools here but definitely recommend the school beginning with M and the assessment centre. We went down this route and never looked back.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sally44   

Thanks i'll put that info on the back burner for future reference. The other school on the website is only about 12 miles from us.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Flora   

I went to tribunal in February 2008 for all parts of the statment. We argued that my son needed access to a school that used a whole school approach to TEACCH (not sure if I've got that spelling right!) which is a specific environmental and delivery approach for kids with social/communication disorders. I can't remember the details but can dig them out if you need any more information. (I won the tribunal btw).

 

Flora

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sally44   
I went to tribunal in February 2008 for all parts of the statment. We argued that my son needed access to a school that used a whole school approach to TEACCH (not sure if I've got that spelling right!) which is a specific environmental and delivery approach for kids with social/communication disorders. I can't remember the details but can dig them out if you need any more information. (I won the tribunal btw).

 

Flora

 

Well done. Is this school an LEA maintained one or independent?

When we went to tribunal in February 2008 we were asking for an independent school, but the LEA bought the deputy head of their Enhanced Resource school to tribunal and both said that they would fulfill it in its entirety. The LEA did not contest anything in our reports or in the Statement. So we never even went through the tribunal itself, because the Panel told us to go into a separate room and finalise the wording.

 

The school I originally was aiming for is still the best one to meet his needs. The LEA maintained ones are just so basic with no access to any professional (unless it is part of the Statement). If you don't assess you don't find needs - how convenient for them.

 

The biggest laugh I've had recently is finding out that the department for specialist teachers for specific learning difficulties do not go into schools anymore. They don't diagnose and they don't assess. They give a telephone service! I've been told that is illegal. But I think it is going to take me asking for a re-assessment for that to get included.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Flora   

Hi sally

 

The school I was fighting for is an independent residential special school for kids with AS. Like yours my LEA also brought the HT of one of their best special schools (for hfa and as that is) to the tribunal, but she was on my side which of course helped enormoursly as she was prepared to tell the panel that she would only have Bill if he had two full time dedicated TA's with him but ultimately didn't think it was an environment he would ever settle in which when she said it I had to refrain from dancing round the room! It was a rotten long hard battle but worth all the effort when the tribunal ruled in our favour (literally everything I asked for) and after 18 months at the school my son is a different lad, he's blossomed and growing into a really lovely young man.

 

Good luck in your quest for services, my youngest son has dyslexia and dyscalculia (with strong asd leanings) and I know how frustrating it is to get any school to really take that on board, but as he's ultimately a happy chappy I decided to give us all a break and leave well alone

 

Flora xx

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sally44   

The type of school I want my son to go to is especially difficult to get.

My son does not fit the criteria for an autism unit.

He does not fit the criteria for mainstream.

He does not fit the criteria for MLD.

He does not fit the criteria for a SPLD school.

In his current school he is in a class where everyone in it is on the spectrum or on SAP.

He fits the criteria for an independent speech and communication/SPLD school for AS/HFA children.

However, the LEA tries very hard to keep those children in their maintained schools.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
bettyhen   

Off topic really but we have used easyread (which we paid for ourselves to teach my son to read - v. expensive but you can cancel it and get your money back). I don't think he uses phonics there is much more whole word recognition but this includes phonics and icons. Schools can pay for it. There is a free trial.

 

I don't know if it works but F can read now. How much is maturity, how much is the course and how much is my input, I don't know.

 

http://www.easyreadsystem.com/index/index.html

Edited by bettyhen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sally44   
Off topic really but we have used easyread (which we paid for ourselves to teach my son to read - v. expensive but you can cancel it and get your money back). I don't think he uses phonics there is much more whole word recognition but this includes phonics and icons. Schools can pay for it. There is a free trial.

 

I don't know if it works but F can read now. How much is maturity, how much is the course and how much is my input, I don't know.

 

http://www.easyreadsystem.com/index/index.html

 

 

Had a quick look at the website with my son. We tried the sample lesson. I presume they have symbols for all the different sounds. How do they use symbols to teach the words that you cannot sound out phonetically?

How long did it take before you began to notice an improvement in your sons reading and spelling?

How much do the lessons cost and how long do they last.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
bettyhen   

"I presume they have symbols for all the different sounds. How do they use symbols to teach the words that you cannot sound out phonetically?"

 

They have symbols for all of the different sounds including things like st and dr. The first lessons are learning all of the different sounds with games etc and then it goes onto text with symbols used for all of the sounds. For instance we had oxygen the other day which he read easily and Dutchman which he found harder (I'm not sure he knows what it means).

 

"How long did it take before you began to notice an improvement in your sons reading and spelling?"

I think it took 3 months. We finished the course yesterday and after 9 months he is reading fairly well including reading in his head at times. He's ORT level 7 at school but they never move them on quickly so he may be better.

 

 

How much do the lessons cost and how long do they last.

It is very expensive. £370 if you pay in advance (lots more if you stage it) but that is 200+ lessons and you are registered for a year. I think you can get a refund if you are unhappy. I think it might be worth seeing if the school/LA will fund it as part of the support for your son. There is a section for teachers and it is a lot cheaper than getting in a dyslexic specialist for a year. It might be worth talking to the director - he will phone you back.

 

We did it because my son's teacher is useless at teaching kids to read let alone my son who needs to do anything daily or he won't do it. F loved the daily nature of the lessons though we still struggled with motivation sometimes. He has now become obsessed by 'David' the director of the company whose voice you hear and he wants to meet up with him! He loved the spy toys too.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
chris54   

Just looked at easyread, and I would agree it seems from this first lesson, a good way of teaching phonics, I think it would be best aimed at children of junior school age.

 

I'm not that sure it is to far away from the charts that were up on the wall when I was at school with a picture next to each letter. And to some existent, is similar to Jolly Phonics.

I think that the big thing here is that it is 1to1 teaching, and for a 9 year old at least would/could be fun, all be it a computer program that's doing the teaching.

 

I would think it was well worth seeing if a school might be agreeable to using it, I know that my sons school spent out £100+ for a program for hand writing for him. And if this system is as good as they claim it would save the school money in the long run.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sally44   

Well the Head teacher at my son's school and the Head of SEN at the LEA will have received my letter about non-compliance of the Statement. I have also sent the diagnosis of dysgraphia to the Head of the school as well.

So I'm waiting for a response from them in writing.

The Educational Psychologist should be involved. Then I can speak with them. As good as the teachers are at that school they are not suitably qualified to make decisions about programmes or approaches, and of course there is the funding to be met as well.

They may totally ignore the letters. In which case I will have to think about what step to take next. But even if they don't respond, that is also useful evidence I can use at any future tribunal.

I don't have anything personal against anyone. I just want my son to be able to read and write and do basic maths. I'm not asking for miracles. He is supposed to be above average cognitive ability, so there is no reason why he should not gain these skills, and to tell me that he is falling further behind his peers and that the gap will widen and continue to widen over the future years, is unacceptable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this  

×