Thursday, December 08, 2005

To Tribunal We Shall Go.....

... but at least after today's meeting that's not so scary. For those that understand the workings of school stuff and how nobody ever makes a definitive statement anymore - the SENCo stated they are providing beyond SEN+ and its still not enough, even in a junior school with only 400 pupils.
I said that by the NAS' own stats (thanks Astryngia), 1 in 4 kids on the autistic spectrum still get expelled and SENCo said "Yes and in a large senior school, Son will definitely be one of them without more support".

Lots more was said - school teacher backed up the possibility that he is gifted and cited the difference between the reams of intelligent comment he can make if he has an amanuensis and the six illegible words you will get if he has to write his own answers. As it turns out (as evidenced by contortions of eyebrows and much scribbling) his 'strengths' had been a deciding factor in not granting the SEN statement, because he was performing somewhere just inside the 'acceptably below average' section of the chart, academically.

Beginning to realise the situation, the woman from the county felt that the SENCo daring to make definitive statements was encouraging stuff that she could take back to her boss. She asked the Educational Psychologist, in politico-speak, whether she would endorse what had been said.
"No" says the Ed Psych
"Not [whatever the noncommittal acknowledgement word was]"
"Lets lay it on the line - he needs a statement. I am prepared to state for the record that this kid would not just benefit from a statement, but needs one."


Much was then addressed to me, from all quarters, on how extremely unusual (read: unheard of) it was for a professional employed by the County to be so forthright (read: risking of wrath from on high for costing them money?). This was apparently even bigger news.

All that added to my apologetic remark that I would have to go to tribunal this time, that OCD and depression are closely linked with Aspergers during puberty and that I have to know what the final educational remit will be before he becomes hormonally unstable on top of his other issues and, well, the lady was mumbling things about being able to see that this one wouldn't go away - that even if I didn't go to tribunal there would almost certainly be another application for statement in six months time, from his next school.

She overlooked the likelihood that he would be expelled and in a tutorial unit before that, but hey.

So, like I say, I have experts declaring themselves for Son. So long as they are prepared to do that again on paper asap, to back up the notes she took, and then again for the tribunal, I think we have hope; and if the County thinks so too, then they may look again, to avoid the mess of a trip to London and a formal hearing.

Please God.

Tomorrow I have to phone the County for contact details for the tribunal organisation, and set the wheels in motion, this to be followed by much form filling, evidence declaring and calling of witnesses. Joy. More work.


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