Preparation – Sun 5th Oct 2014

By | October 5, 2014

Today has been dominated by two things primarily, homework and paperwork for D’s annual statement (SEN) review.

The fact that T’s homework can take up the majority of the day on a Sunday, doesn’t seem to concern T. He sits there and concentrates, whilst listening through his headphones, coincidentally that’s how I used to study but, not having had headphones, I’d frequently be shouted at for having music on (and it wasn’t loud by any means)..not an ideal study environment.

Anyway, T seems happy to plod through, occasionally asking for advice, it’s kind of become routine on Sunday now.

There was also paperwork to complete, for D’s statement review meeting next month. It’s been such a busy year that Hubbie and I have only just realised that a promise had been made to look at and update her statement at last year’s meeting, which obviously hadn’t happened.

It would be beneficial to have it updated, it was submitted when D was a very overwhelmed little 5 year old in mainstream, despite having a full time 1:1, it was very obvious that she was not coping in that environment and the differences between her and her peers where already very apparent.

She still most definitely needs a SEN, of that there is no doubt, the smaller class:higher staff ratios in class are very suitable for D and she has flourished in the last couple of years, going beyond expectations in reading and writing. The mainstream environment just isn’t suitable for her, with the hustle and bustle, I know we will be asked if we consider that the SN school is the best place for her and the answer will be a resounding “yes”.

We’ll have an hour for this meeting, with a separate IEP (Individual Education Plan) meeting happening next week.

I’m going to contrast that with the meeting arranged for T, which coincidentally is on the same day but we have 5 (yes, 5!) minutes with his tutor.

Barely enough time to say “hello, we’re xxx”. Certainly not enough time to gauge how our son (who has an autism diagnosis but is not statemented) is doing. I appreciate that time is short and the tutor will have 30 sets of parents to see but, it’s a new school with vastly increased work, a new environment and yes, T is “coping” but some days it’s been very obvious that he’s been masking how he’s really feeling and …well, we have 5 minutes!

Oh, but there is a tutor evening in February!!

I wonder if the SN pupils’ parents with statements get longer?

It does concern me that the new Families and Children’s Act will “look after” those disabled children with statements up to the age of 25 but, those without, would seem to be on their own. Those parents I speak to with older – nearly school leaving age at D’s school – are concerned about transition help and resources already and those are the ones who should be “looked after”.

Is there an answer? Probably not, the parent partnership representative I asked about children like T – diagnosed, registered disabled but unstatemented – didn’t have an answer for me. He didn’t know what would be available for them in terms of support, advice and assistance with transition and college placements. I’m not alone in this, many children are in mainstream with or without a diagnosis, prone to struggling.

To be honest, what happens when T leaves school concerns me more than for D at the moment, because I know that her school will endeavour to work with the local college.

I might be wrong, but I can’t see that happening for T. Onwards with the 5 minutes!!

I hope everyone’s day has gone well Jx


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