This morning dinky woke up, after a very small amount of sleep, and despite being off to breakfast club at school, she had a little breakfast at home to keep to her routine and to tide her over until she got to school.
I then took the dog out and tidied up and hoovered before the social workers descended.
The old social worker was bringing the new social worker.
Now, i must admit, after a rather bad start, this social worker has moved things along and really fought for us, as did her predecessor. Most would think I would then have a high bar for the next person… Actually, I was just hoping my luck hadn’t run out!
So on the dot the two social workers came into the house.
I was handed the care plan, carers assessment and the personal budget paperwork. We didn’t run through it, we had a little chat and from the sounds of it Dinky’s new social worker is exactly the type of social worker with the right knowledge that we need. She is more than aware of the charities that we could apply to, she has already said if Dinky’s DLA doesn’t come back with the right rates she will help me fight it. She had already looked over Dinky’s case file and asked some questions… More importantly she took the time to understand PDA, which is great.
The personal budget should be in effect soon, so I can get dinky some sensory equipment and pay for the payroll service ect and the 1:1 when I can find a new one.
We discussed a meeting to be had with all relevant professionals, although they are aware that most medical professionals don’t attend these meetings.
It was my choice to phone the school and camhs later to find out if the ADHD assessment had been booked and whether we could have the meeting that day so that the CAMHS doc could come.
Other than that we discussed how dinky was getting on at school, the social worker did what everyone does when they come to my house and commented on all the pictures we have of our days out. We have 30, and that is without one on every day out, but those are from her time out of education.
I didn’t have much time to go over the paperwork they left me because I went to a parent meeting straight after. It was interesting to see that after we have pretty much passed the point of needing the services in area, they have decided to get their act together!
Speech and language have been restructured, again. However as Dinky is now in an independent school and has OT and SALT in place, we no longer qualify for these services. However it is annoying for them to talk about early intervention… Dinky is almost 7!
Then they discussed EHCPs, our area SEN team is so back logged with transfers and new ehcps that they have had to put a stop on non urgent phone calls and emails and are pumping out 21 transferred ehcps a day!
This didn’t make me feel sorry for them, nor make me regret sending a massive email to the head of customer relations as the step before taking the county council to the local ombudsmen, over the seriously late statement and ineffective and time consuming process of identifying and agreeing a school placement.
The most irritating part was having to listen to someone contradict themselves countless times regarding their child’s difficulties, the same person who said her son definitely had PDA and then when she was told he didn’t, the symptoms disappeared overnight. The same person that seems to think that we are all stupid and don’t know how the system works.
But I got out of there, phoned the school, and surprise surprise, CAMHS didn’t reschedule the appointment at the new school.
So I phoned CAMHS and they said that they have received some very good and detailed information from the school and we should go from there, but the person on the phone was unable to tell me when this was likely to be. I explained about the meeting that needs to happen at the new school and that it would be beneficial to have the doc attend, so she took my number and is going to get him to phone me at some point in order to go over the new plan of action and find out whether or not he would be available to attend a meeting regarding Dinky.
The social worker emailed and gave me some dates that she would like to meet Dinky, just so she has met her.
Dinky came home from school…
She refused point blank to walk the dog… We had been doing so well… But in her special buggy She went.
She was talking but it made very little sense.
Then she had dinner, played disney infinity and went up to sit in her sensory net swing before bed.
When it comes to the ADHD assessment, I don’t think I am bothered which way it goes. At the moment we are managing, the reason for the assessment is to discuss medication for her current hyperactivity, impulsivity, attention and concentration difficulties, to see whether that helps her learning.
I however, know that even if I did agree to medicate, as the idea is that it will help her… I don’t think it will have as much impact on her learning ability as they think. ADHD meds won’t stop her ASD-PDA, so she will still avoid work and that is what the biggest barrier to her learning is. So even if they decide she doesn’t fully meet the criteria, it won’t make that much of a difference.