New here, and not sure where best to post a query

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This topic contains 2 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by  Anonymous 7 years, 8 months ago.

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  • #4227


    Hi Everyone,I have an 11 year old son with autism, diagnosed several years ago, but yet without a statement. Can someone advise where best to post the following thoughts on this forum? I'm struggling with the current categories, as I can't find a suitable fit.Basically I'm looking to pull my son out of mainstream school, but at the same time raise concerns with Ofsted and our current education minister around how Britain today deals with people with Autism and related disorders. I am interested to hear people's views on my thoughts to get a sense of balance and perspective. There are two main points I would like to put forward, as follows. I'm hoping it's not just me who thinks this way.- The system and process leading to a statement can be too bureaucratic, leaving parents feeling they have been put through a meat grinder. Fighting every step whilst forced to justify why their child needs help and support. In my opinion I strongly believe the whole system needs to be dragged from the dark ages.- I believe that inclusion of children with ASD into mainstream school just doesn't work. Yes affected children may attend a mainstream school, but the reality is that they are isolated anyway, as more often than not they need 1:1 support or need to work in very small groups, but again isolated from the rest of the unaffected pupils. Those kids who don't have a statement fall through the cracks, and may get some help, but without a a statement they are left to fend for themselves to attend school with unaffected 'normal' kids who are, in my experience, unable to understand why children with Autism behave awkwardly or even violently in situations they find threatening. I appreciate there is a huge amount of context missing around these points, but I assume I am not the only one who shares these sentiments!? Or am I?Thanks for listening.TGL

  • #5585


    Hi, and yes this is the correct forum.You are correct that over the last 12 years there has been a policy to close a large number of special schools down and to include the students into mainstream schools.I wrote a paper on this when the government put out the white paper.      In a nutshell inclusion will for many lead to exclusion. Also over the last nine years a deliberate leaning to not statement children if possible, and if a statement is acquired to not mention the A word, instead to indicate, language delay, rigid, lack of integration etc., basically the observations of behavior be listed separately instead of calling it what it is (autism).If your son is  diagnosed as being autistic then a statement should be obtainable. I assume you have a diagnosis from the EPS Educational psychology service or is it from the health authority. If not the school can request this, but best self referral through your County Council- education-special needs dept.- philology dept.The normal stages are to either get your son referred to the EPS for a psychological assessment with a view to diagnosis and a statement of special needs.At the same time go through your GP, asking for your son to be referred to a clinical physiologist for a diagnosis.Some letters that might be helpful are at the end of our fact file on this web site. Other thing to try:Contact the head of education, outline your concerns and ask for a meeting to discuss. (All correspondence you send or receive, keep a copy, phone calls take notes with name date time etc.)Go to your Mp's clinic, take all correspondence and notes.Contact the local papers, tell your story.Contact a solicitor versed in special needs, under our uk legal on this web site.Go through citizen’s advice.And no you are not alone; hundreds of others across the Country are having similar problems.Hope some of this helps. Good ~Luck

  • #5586


    Hi,Thanks for your detailed feedback. Much appreciated. I also read with great interest the article you gave the link to.I was interesting to read the push to not use labels such as 'Autism', because my son's junior school failed (I say refused) to recognise any problems whilst he was clearly diagnosed with autism from our GP and the psychologist. Only after 6 - 7 years of battling with the system have we finally got a statement process taking shape, but we are having to initiate it ourselves. My sons middle-school is basically doesn't want to get involved, even though they are providing aproximately 22 hours of small-group sessions with my son. My son has received an Ed Psych report clearly showing he is at a level 2 - 3 years below where he should be across all key areas. Sadly even that is not enough, and we can't help getting a sense that the brakes are being applied by the school system. I'm actually cynically wondering if the schools are deliberately trying to delay statementing to the point where they hope he will have made it through to the end of his school years without the need of a statement or 1:1 assistance, which is what my son needs. Certainly over the last 6 years we have been fobbed off with platitudes by the very system that should be there to help.Anyway, I digress. What I wanted to say is that I can't help seeing lots of individual families fighting for change, and using the old adage 'Safety in numbers', I wonder if there a pressure group that are pushing for change for the greater good of everyone involved? To draw analogy, it took a pressure group and high-profile newspaper articles to change the medical professions use of high voltage convulsive electrotherapy to cure mental disorders such as severe depression. Perhaps the abuse of the ASD community is not quite as devestating as that, but I do however predict that in perhaps 20 years time we will be reading in newspapers looking back to today, highlighting stories and proclaiming how on earth society and government policy allowed such treatment of what I call our 'lost children'.Of course I could just sit and fight my son's corner and leave everyone else to their own devices. A somewhat selfish approach. However, that's not my nature, and if I can lend my voice for the greater good of those blighted by ASD, then that's what I would personally prefer to do.Thanks again.

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