It’s silly to continue a blog post the following day so I’ll start fresh from now. I’ve had a slightly more chilled evening than the last week and had a little lie in, albeit a very small one as my husband is at work this morning, I can recommence from yesterdays post.
The ‘My Views’ pack for my son to complete contained the following sections each with their questions: –
Things I would like people to know about me
I don’t like:
How I’m getting on
Outside school I am good at:
These things are a bit difficult for me:
At school I am good at:
These things are a bit difficult for me:
It’s a good day at school when:
How I am helped in school
These people help me:
They help me by:
What I think about the help I get:
I don’t need help with:
What I need to make things better
I would like help with:
These people could help me:
These things could help me:
They could help me by:
Sometimes I am unhappy or worry about:
People who know me say I am:
I would also like to say:
As I said in my earlier post: my son had two home attempts and one school attempt at completing this worksheet. We started last Sunday, picked a quiet room, somewhere comfy and started the first attempt. He took just under two hours to complete this task with me discussing the questions with him as we went a long but him writing a response. Apart from his name, date of birth and completion date – he wrote thirty-one words, not including the little break times; that works out roughly 3 minutes per word. You can also tell from the amount of words in comparison to the questions, that there wasn’t much of a response overall in what he wrote.
Attempt number two I completed the following evening. I allowed him to continue with his playing while I asked the questions and basically wrote down our whole conversation from start to end. I thought, if allowing him to continue doing his own thing, he’d be happier thinking about his answers and not be too hasty in wanting to rush off again. This attempt took an hour and three-quarters; I got a lot more feedback but at the same time had to repeat the questions, coax and motivate for an answer, I also wrote down how he acted, his reaction, what he was doing etc. give them the full benefit of his behaviours.
I typed the commentary from each attempt into two separate documents and then was ready to begin on my pack. The parent pack has various questions but with some bits duplicated which really wasn’t necessary.
Initial form – Childs surname, Other names, Date of birth, School, Address, then you have Father and Mothers name and address and phone numbers. They ask you to give your views about whether they should assess your child? Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate that this form was needed should the school be the one to ask for the assessment, but they didn’t – it was me! So for me to have to duplicate the information I had sent on the letter in the first instance, requesting they assess our child for a Statement was a bit silly. At that stage I wrote that they could refer to my first letter that I had kindly re-attached for them, and that yes I wanted them to assess our son, he needs help and as soon as possible. The last section of this form was to detail all the contacts we would like them to get help from if they decide to go ahead with the assessment. Again, this information was also in the first letter but I went along with it, writing it all out again.
The next section was my main parent questionnaire – the pack for me to fill out with all our concerns; but first we had to complete the top section that again had the child, mother and father details. The questions to complete were:
What are your concerns about your child’s education?
Why have you asked for statutory assessment?
How has the school helped your child?
How often have you had meetings about your child’s progress at school in the last twelve months?
Has the school explained the way it helps children with special educational needs?
Help is being given to my child at SA or SA+?
The following people have met my child in the last twelve months (list of specialists incl. School doctor, Educational Psychologist, SALT etc)
What is your child good at doing at home?
What is your child good at doing at school?
What do you think your child’s special educational needs are?
How do you think your child can best be helped at school?
Is there anything else you would like to tell us about your childs difficulties?
Then, at the end, again they ask for contacts we would like them to speak to if they agree to assess for Statement.
Now, I’ve re-read my response to these questions and its shocking; I’ve gone off on a tangent, talking more about his special needs than his special educational needs! FFS
I actually feel like I’ve just failed an exam, like I’ve let our son down and that what I have written is utter crap. It’s like sitting in a big bubble, typing up your thoughts, feeling secure and comfy when BAM, someone pops that bubble and you come tumbling down to earth* with an almighty crash!
What are my concerns about my child’s education? I’ve started to answer this then gone into more the reasons WHY I have requested the statutory assessment, I’ve rambled, fumbled, and failed! I know in my earlier post I said I wouldn’t fail, maybe I am over-reacting as emotions are high at the moment, but I know me and I know that what I have sent in compared with what I could have sent in, is poor.
These two packs combined with the school pack – again attempt three for our son but this time, in a quiet room with SENCO asking the questions and scribing – took 20 minutes! They also sent in some work, where he completed one word in about half an hour.. plus all the other gumpth they had to fill out, that I haven’t seen. But yes, these packs are for LEA to decide whether they are actually going to progress with statutory assessment, so at this stage I suppose I am worrying about nothing. Maybe I HAVE completed enough to get the ball rolling… they will supply the main pack if they agree for which I can then put in all the right detail. Speak to the Key Worker find out what information I lacked to give the first time.
Fingers crossed that I haven’t just failed our son.
*down to earth – free-falling to the ground from a great height, maybe bashing into a few things on the way, such as a tree!