Well, it was interesting….
We went over the points from the last TAC, which was boring really, until we got to the point where the school said Dinky now has speech and language sessions in school which started last week. We also talked about how disappointed I was in the NHS speech and language report. Apparently there is supposed to be a meeting between myself, school and the SALT.
We talked about assemblies and after Dinky’s spectacular escape into sure start how I had agreed the school’s decision to stop her from going to them anymore.
The family link worker talked about how strategies she had put into place were working, and if I even tried to mention how things are starting to fall apart I was met with “it isn’t always going to be perfect” and “there will still be days..” TRY WEEKS! Again, I’m not allowed to have much of a voice where the FLW is involved. She said that she would be ceasing the sessions after Christmas. I’m not exactly sorry she is going, she isn’t much help.
I did say that mornings were much more difficult at the moment,and explained that one say I have audio of her refusing to walk and come to school, and another day she ran out of the school office and straight across the road, with the 1:1 chasing after her.
The boss lady asked what the triggers were… I said that I didn’t know what they were for the refusal as she just doesn’t like school, and the second time she was asked to put her smurfs away, or give them to me and she ran off.
Then onto the whole CAMHS thing where I explained that we are still going to be seeing the Paed at the CDC and that CAMHS turning her away was not helpful. She went red and didn’t really know what to say, except that she can bring that up at young peoples planning forum where CAMHS will be in attendance. She just doesn’t listen to me, which is why she didn’t fight, because she didn’t know that dinky was still going to be seen by CDC.
We discussed the PPM, and how that would go, which is the first time that the parent partnership bloke has actually contributed properly to a TAC, which is fine, as it is nice to know he will jump in when necessary. He explained that the PPM will be an explanation of why the statutory assessment was turned down and give the school pointers on how to support her better. I piped up with the fact that we have changes and new information, and if that fails I have sent a wad of evidence for appeal/ tribunal.
Then the SN group leader talked about the trip to chessington at Halloween and the football trip. The first one dinky had run off and hid to calm down. The second she did so well and even managed without her ear defenders for the second half.
This no one seemed to get. How she could need ear defenders for school assemblies yet not need them with a crowd of 27,000 people. I told them that the evening was an utter nightmare, due to her letting it all out at home.
Then onto school… We started off talking about Dinky spending more time in nurture. They said it was because she wasn’t learning and she was disrupting the learning of others. They said she was doing really all in nurture (for all of the 2 full days she was in there last week)…. EXCEPT she was still having trouble doing as asked. Which is funny because that is not what it says in her contact book. They explained that Dinky had thrown something at another child and hurt him which is why she was on top of the pegs in the cloakroom on Friday. Which doesn’t help. I explained that I got her down, and we left… Eventually.
Again the boss asked what the triggers for her behaviour is in school, and the school said…. Wait for it….
She refuses to do work, she won’t do the exercises or things she doesn’t want to do!
We discussed the IEP and went back to nurture as I wanted to know what the plan for nurture was.
Apparently if Dinky wasn’t in nurture then it is possible that she would have been permanently excluded. I said I understood that, but it still wasn’t the right placement for her. I asked if it was because she couldn’t cope in the classroom. Yes, according to the school she can’t cope in the classroom. I said I was unhappy, the school know I don’t want her in there, and they know that that would stop me from socialising as Nurture has a really bad reputation. They all nodded ect. Then the head said that 80% of children who attend nurture are ready to go back within 2 terms. Out of the 20% that aren’t, 15% end up in special education and 5% end up permanently excluded and go to other mainstream schools. I said that sounded about right for what I thought was the case. In my head I was hoping Dinky would be in the 15% and end up in a special school, but not EBD.
Apparently the social communication team couldn’t come out last week so they are coming out tomorrow. I am a little concerned that they will be seeing Dinky in nurture and not in a classroom environment. Apparently the school will let them know what she is like in a classroom environment. Which I said “what about the things you do not pick up on that maybe the social communication team would pick up on.
Then the integrated services lady’s boss chirped in… “What about friends at school”. The school said…. (And I am bloody fuming they have only just grasped this!) “she doesn’t really have any, she finds socialising difficult, and doesn’t have many friends. She tries to control them and they shy away. Dinky usually plays alongside other children.” Now, I know dinky does play with other children but I have also seen her play alongside them when she can’t control them, it is a way for her to be in control of her own game. The SN group leader said that dinky has friends at the group, and I said that for some reason Dinky has always played better with other kids with additional needs. Which apparently is normal.
She then piped up again “well, what are you hoping to get out of this as I can’t justify integrated services lady carrying on”
I said that would make things a bit difficult in the TACs as we would have no lead professional, that we couldn’t pass it on to the school and it would have to be someone with the power, ability and time to fulfil the role. Which no one else could do. (SN group leader doesn’t have the authority to bang on doors as she would be seen as ‘just a respite provider’). I said once they found someone to fulfil the role …fine.” I was annoyed. As much as I said that I should fire her anyway there is no way I could have done for the very reason I told her boss.
I said I was hoping that Dinky would have a diagnosis, be settled in a education and be learning.
I was told by the boss lady that I shouldn’t wait for a diagnosis and a diagnosis mint not come.
By this point I was fuming, but trying to hold it in…. I said that I don’t see why she shouldn’t get a diagnosis, everything said so far even today about Dinky says PDA, she won’t do the learning exercises, “what triggers behaviours”… ‘Refusing to work, Being asked to do things she doesn’t want to do’, being controlling of other children, ect.
She said what if she doesn’t get a diagnosis?
I said I would find that odd as she has a provisional diagnosis, and I don’t see why that won’t go to a full one, and I really don’t see how she won’t get a diagnosis of anything. She is not a typically developing child, typical 5 year olds are not generally excluded from school, do not refuse to work, have friends at school, play nicely, and so on.
So I revised my outcomes, I said “fine, if you don’t think she will get a diagnosis, then I change my answer to for her to be happy and settled in a learning environment be that a special school, a unit within a school or a mainstream school.
She asked the school for their goals
‘To be settled and learning and fulfilling her potential’. I had to laugh as it wouldn’t happen at this school!
I don’t know how we got back onto the lead professional subject, but I did say that the school can’t do it as we do not have a good relationship. She asked why. I told her it started when Dinky started as it took so long to her anything done. She asked what would make it better. I said for Dinky to be supported better, for the school to listen and not make me feel crazy. I also said that apart from the headteacher not to be made to feel Dinky’s behaviour is my fault. Like the wording on the behaviour plan. “Chooses aggressive and violent behaviour”, I said Dinky doesn’t choose this any more than an asthmatic chooses to have an asthma attack. It was then the group leader backed me up. She said that dinky definitely does not choose her behaviour. That she can see it bubbling up inside of Dinky and that is when she ran off at chessington. She said there are some kids in her group that can choose to behave that way sometimes, but dinky tries so hard not to. Which actually made me cry and I said she is misunderstood, I feel no one understands her like I do, or the group leader does. That is why I get so frustrated, and I will put my hands up, I am not perfect and I do say some things in the heat of the moment, but that is because I see Dinky struggling and there is nothing I can do about it. I can’t be in school to lower her anxieties. I have to deal with it when she comes home. She tries so hard to keep it all in and it upsets me.
So the boss lady said that maybe the county autism behaviour person could advise on how to reduce Dinky’s anxieties. I said YES, the reason I wanted the CAF in the first place was to get support for us.
She asked if I had any other support. I said no, my dad sometimes, and the SN group 3 hours a month but that is it. I have had someone out to look at providing a paid 1:1 on a reduced rate for Dinky, but how long it will take… How long is a piece of string? The same with the other short breaks providers. We are on two lists and had someone from one place to take her to a mainstream group after school for 12-15 weeks and then pull back, but at the moment Dinky finds after school very difficult and there is no way she could do a mainstream class. It is hard enough with special swimming. I was asked if she was still 1:1… I said yes.
She said she didn’t know how I expected the school to treat her like she had PDA without a diagnosis. Parent partnership said that I have obviously done a lot of research and given it a lot of thought, and handed the school strategies. I said there are PDA strategies that need funding and there are some that don’t. I haven’t asked for funded strategies, I have just asked for what would be considered as reasonable adjustments under school action and school action plus. I have tried to be reasonable with my requests. I said to the school that if they don’t want her running Around then they might want to use some of them, and most of it is just talking to her in a different way. We discussed a teacher in early years who was really good at it with Dinky.
She said why use the strategies without a diagnosis, I said you have to use what works. If it is free and it works… What is the problem?
At one point the head asked if dinky still needed wrist reins… And the SN group leader said “yes!” Like it was the most ridiculous question she could have asked.
There was more to it, but I can’t remember it all, to be honest I don’t want to.
The main thing is the SENCO showed up and therefore the head didn’t say anything wholly stupid, the reins question was the dumbest!
It looks like I’m on my own. I was really upset when I first got back from the school and in the afternoon, but the more I think about it… Neither of them did very much anyway. Like I said earlier the FLW I am not bothered about, it would be nice not to have to tell someone their own job! But I’m annoyed that we have no lead professional, not that she did anything. I have found everything on my own. I have done everything myself. She has organised the TAC meetings, but she hasn’t actually done anything helpful. The higher up lady has at my request.
I’m wondering if I should ask to be my own lead professional!
The whole thing is bloody ridiculous. Now I have thought about it I have to go BACK to the school and say… Well the IEP and behaviour plan are invalid for the next 2 terms as you won’t put her back into the classroom… So what are her targets, and where is the behaviour plan for nurture.
I still do not agree with it at all! Part of me thinks it is worth getting her to be permanently excluded and going to the LA and saying “NOW WHAT?”
But I don’t want to do that to her… She is 5.
Round and round we go!