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special needs and the eleven plus

Special Needs and the Eleven Plus

The eleven plus and special educational needs can be a bit of a minefield. With our oldest he should have got into a certain school but on the day did not do as well on the eleven plus tests as we expected for his capabilities. He had no provisions made for his Asperger’s Syndrome (I have since heard of others having a separate room and longer time), not even to become more familiar with the building. But he was always a very able child and “grammar school material”  and we knew that the eleven plus would put no added pressure on him. But the time is getting closer that The Sensory Seeker needs to think about high school and he assumes that he will take the eleven plus following in the footsteps of (what will be) all three of his older brothers. The trouble is he has a Global Developmental Delay and his Sensory Processing Disorder also makes it harder to learn new things. So the question is what to do?special needs and the eleven plusAnnie Spratt

Do we let our son with Special Needs take the Eleven Plus?

Do we let The Sensory Seeker sit the eleven plus tests, in an environment that is most likely going to be difficult for him, so that we have given him the chance and opportunity just like all our other sons? Or do we make the decision that the test/school would not be suitable for him. Which will knock his confidence more – trying and not succeeding, or not been given a chance in the first place? I mean he is a bright lad and he may even surprise us! He has a few years to go yet and may even close the gap and catch up with his peers. He works so hard. Or when the time gets closer he may just be happy to move up to the local comprehensive school – which he is familiar with because of after school activities and will know lots of people there/going up. Oh how it would be wonderful if they never had to grow up!alone at playtime

Of course I have been suggested another option of paying for him to be tutored (which I haven’t done with any of my other sons), but then I really would be worried that the work would be too hard once he passed the eleven plus entrance exam. That then he’d end up switching schools anyway and then find it even harder to settle as the new boy. Other people have suggested this would be just filling the gaps in his knowledge where the education system has failed him.

Has anyone else been through anything similar? Any thoughts please?

Parental Request for Statement @pinkoddy

Parental Request for Statement

I was advised by my health visitor to make a Parental Request for Statement (see my post on Pinkoddy), that it would speed the process up. At this point my son had only had 1 maybe 2 Individual Education Plans (IEPs) and was showing a Global Developmental Delay (as backed up by the Health Visitor). There is normally a procedure of doing X amount of IEPs, moving onto School Action, and School Action Plus – before Ed Psychs etc come out before the child is suggested for a Statement. I think that if an educational setting suggest a Statement and at the first assessment it is decided that they do not need assessing, then 6 months have to pass before another request can be made, this is apparently also true with a Parental Request for Statement. Please anyone correct me if any of this is wrong I have never taken this route.

Edit: I have been told that if you request a Statement and are turned down then you still need to wait 6 months before another can be requested (but you can appeal immediately).

Parental Request for Statement @pinkoddy

I was very lucky in that when I made my request for a Statement the Playgroup were very proactive in helping me, and they arranged for the Educational Psychologist to come out and see my son. However, he hadn’t seen the Communication and Interaction Team and I do feel that  may be he ended up with the wrong Category of Statement due to this.  As he was still at Playgroup he was awarded the full 15 hours to cover 1:1 support for the full time he was there. There was then another meeting to adjust the statement to fit in with moving up to school. He has 20 hours put in place to start school, covering lunch times, and an early review to be called in October, when the school have more of an idea of his needs (evidence of how it is a health and safety issues for himself and others, for him not to be left alone).

Please note that my son does not have any form of diagnosis at all, we are still waiting (only been going on for 2 1/2 years). You do not to have your child diagnosed before you can receive a Statement, and a child does not have to have a disability to receive a Statement of Special Educational Needs, there are lots of circumstances under which a child can receive one.

I found the address of my local Special Needs Department within my Local Education Authority. Below is a template of the letter I used to request a formal assessment for a Statement of Special Educational Needs.

“Dear Sir

Request for formal assessment

I am writing as the parent of CHILDS NAME (DOB) to request an assessment of his special educational needs under the 1996 Education Act.

I would like a statutory assessment for Child X as he is under school age, and I believe that he will also need extra help when he starts school, he currently attends:

 PLAYGROUP ADDRESS

I believe that Child X has special educational needs for the following reasons:

My reasons for believing that his pre-school cannot on their own make the provision required to meet my child’s needs are:

It is my understanding that you are legally obliged by law to reply to this request within six weeks and that if you refuse or fail to do so I will be able to appeal to the Special Educational Needs Tribunal.

Yours sincerely”

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