Karl`s PC Help Forums

SEN Inclusion
Theravad - 9-11-2008 at 22:28

It is the case in the UK that children with special education needs generally have their needs met in mainstream schools.

Is this right in all cases? Does it give parents unreasonable expectations.

Getting a child a statement is like blood out of a stone in some Local Authorities. There is a perceived tendency that children with behavioural issues get statements earlier than those who have real need for differentiated material but are otherwise well behaved - doesn't seem right to me.

Gifted children also have special educational needs (differentiated material) but in mainstream schools are often overlooked at the government sets targets that the school must obtained on average. Is tis right?

The new government children's plan puts parents at the centre of the childs well being and education too - good for parents that care - how do we enage parents that aren't that bothered?


ps: Just a brain dump after half a bottle of wine.

marymary100 - 9-11-2008 at 23:16

Oh lots of questions there. However, while the presumption is for a mainstream education for most children there will be some for whom a special school will be more appropriate.

Scotland, dare I say it, seems to deal with this rather better than English schools if the children who come to us from England are anything to go by.

We attempt to cater for all children and teach them according to their needs. We put classroom assistants into some classes and provide co-op teachers in others. We have to, by law, provide an appropriate learning plan for every child and a support plan on top of that if the child requires any additionality. We consider that differentiation is part anf parcel of every class lesson and is therefore not additionality but I have just drawn up over 110 plans for children with ASN due to specific learning difficulties, impairments or disabilities.

We invite all parents into formal meetings called SATs and there the team shares information and plans with the child, parent and any nominated outside agency the parents want to be present. All parents receive a copy of the minute of the meeting afterwards. I've even drawn up plans over the phone with parents who are too nervous/ill/busy to come in.

It works for us.

We were inspected recently and it went well. :)

marymary100 - 9-11-2008 at 23:25

ps lots of research and links out there - for example


Janet could u2u you more no doubt

Theravad - 10-11-2008 at 10:19

Hi MM, thanks for the response.

It is the presumption that is the cause of some pressure. Sometimes a child may be so disadvantaged compared to their cohort that they (1) appear increasingly different to their peers are they get older - possibly causing behavioural issues (2) put a disproportionate strain on the resources of the school. Say for example a LA Edu Psyc states that the child would benefit more from a specialist school but the parents insist on mainstream.

Likewise we have TAs in most classrooms and are moving towards individualised learning. Statemented children often have a 1:1 adult allocated and all have a Individual Learning Plan.

Given infinite resources we could do everything for everyone; we have, however, limited resources and meeting some parents aspirations with those limited resources whilst also giving all the other children the best we can is proving challenging.


LSemmens - 10-11-2008 at 11:10

SWMBO would be very interested in this thread as her training was in ealry childhood specialising in special needs children. She'd love to talk with you on this subject, but her computer interest is zero!!!

Mary2 - 10-11-2008 at 13:28

So type for her Leigh. ;)

janet - 10-11-2008 at 18:20

Originally posted by marymary100
ps lots of research and links out there - for example


Janet could u2u you more no doubt

Janet did, some time back :)

scholar - 10-11-2008 at 19:12

My younger brother is an Occupational Therapist, and specializes in working with autistic young people. He often gets results beyond what anyone expects. (He has sometimes gotten people to talk, when the parents had been told for years that their son or daughter would never talk.) He has been greatly frustrated when experts have denied he has accomplished anything.

Early in his career, people who were closed to the idea that an individual could talk would accuse him of lying (to claim false progress). So, he began to make audio recordings of his sessions, so that he could play it back if the client did speak. When he did so, stubborn psychologists denied that the client was really speaking. "He's just saying words he has heard, without intending any meaning by them--like a parrot." So my brother has to explain how and why the client was reacting to a certain situation, to which those words were meaningful.

He has come to two opinions:
1--Doctors and counselors often have a hard time getting parents to accept that their son or daughter will have limitations; they are accustomed to arguing for low expectations, and have trouble changing their approach.
2--U.S. schools are required to give appropriate education, and consider themselves short on resources (often, rightly); if a school psychologist admits that a son or daughter can learn to do more, then the school must pay someone teach them.

scholar - 10-11-2008 at 19:47

My previous post makes some professionals sound pretty bad, so I'd like to add something for balance.

My brother does not think they are insincere; but, he sees how the reasons he has mentioned to me might tend to mold their viewpoints.

My brother has apparently had success beyond what the other OTs in his area were experiencing. It is entirely natural for others to be surprised when a single OT has greater success than the others--they wonder if he is falsely crediting his clients beyond what they are really accomplishing.

He is only one OT, in one city and its environs, and the cases where the school has argued against recognizing the accomplishments of his clients have made a strong impression on him. It could be that, if he were working in a city where two or three other OTs were equally talented and had successes comparable to his, those in the school system would be more persuadable. My brother might have encountered this problem more often by taking so many high-challenge cases and doing so well with them.

I think OTs are paid per session, and he would be paid the same whether he was doing such a great job or not, whether he was seeing severely autistic people or not. It may be very unusual for him to go to the extra trouble of recording sessions and editing them on his computer so as to compile examples of his clients talking meaningfully, a few words at a time.

LSemmens - 11-11-2008 at 10:44

If SWMBO could sit and read, Mary, I certainly would. However, she is better one on one, reading and digesting are too stressful on her these days.