Some would say it wasn’t something to celebrate, less than 1 academic year at a school is not an achievement but should be a given for a 7 year old.
Ah! But Dinky is not a typical 7 year old.
Her first placement crashed and burned after 2 terms. Her second placement after 2 terms but she ended up staying 2.5 while assessments were taking place. I’m pretty sure they would have kicked her out earlier if they had the opportunity.
So special school and we are past the 2.5 terms and not only that we have had several passing mentions of Dinky not only being in the same school, but also the same class for a few years yet!
The teacher is making a commitment to Dinky by asking to go to the PDA conference later this month!
It is very positive!
Dinky is doing well and learning! She is really enjoying school, and I’m so proud of her and know it is only because of the work her teacher and TA’s put in!
I look back and see all the negative and see just how far we have come.
The thing that is strange is that it felt like a massive fight, but in reality I only had to fight for assessments, because once assessed she was given the things she needs.
I had to fight for an ASD assessment- she was Easily diagnosed ASD-PDA
I had to fight to get her seen by an OT- she was easily diagnosed with sensory integration difficulties.
I had to fight for an ADHD assessment- she was easily given the ADHD diagnosis and meds which have really helped her.
I had to fight to get a statutory assessment for a statement- once assessed she was given access to an amazing independent special school and the therapies she needs (OT, SaLT and Drama)
I had to fight to get a social care assessment- she was given a personal budget to help her access the community, for sensory and other equipment and for me to have some respite.
People look at Dinky and her surface sociability and ability to mimic others and don’t see her struggles or how disabiling her conditions are for her. So I had to fight tooth and nail for the assessment and not once have I had to argue the outcome.
I haven’t been to a SEND tribunal. I’ve not had to fight for a second opinion after a full medical assessment. And I didn’t have to argue for more from social care as her package is way more than even I anticipated.
The only thing I did have to fight is the DLA mobility element (disability living allowance) because they don’t always follow their own criteria, and although it went to tribunal, I didn’t have to say anything they had awarded before I walked in and the DLA rep agreed and said he didn’t know how it had got that far!
Would I do it all again?
Hell yes! I didn’t do any of it for me, I did it all for the awesome little lady that is Dinky. (Although slowly but surely she is becoming less ‘Dinky’ despite my appeals for her to stop growing, but she assures me she can’t – haha)