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New and questions about SEN statementing

LibbyP Member Posts: 3
edited June 2014 in Education

The start of my story is, without doubt, one which will resonate with some. Fantastic pregnancy, dreadful delivery, me noticing she's not really reaching some of her milestones, being pushed from pillar to post until eventually, my 2 year old daughter, Susie, was diagnosed with (relatively mild) CP in March, specifically spastic hemiplegia, affecting her right side. She is the most beautiful little girl, who is absolutely adored by all, but gosh, it was a shock! We had been told on 3 occasions, by 3 different drs that the MRI scan she had had was 'fine'. We were getting the the stage that we just thought she was stubborn and would grow 'into' using her right hand. So to then receive the info we did was really shocking. I know that her problems are so slight in comparison to others and there are many times when I have to remind myself to get a grip, but it still leaves me in tears at times.

My specific concern at the moment is related to SEN statementing. She currently attends Nursery and the area SENCO is coming into see her in October. Is there anyone who can give me any information on statementing? The sad truth is, I am a teacher, but of secondary age and so Early Years and SEN statementing is a bit of an unknown for me. I have had different opinions offered to me; that she would receive no SEN provision as she does not appear to have an cognitive or learning disabilities; that her CP has to affect her 'learning' in order to be able to get a statement. I have heard from several people that it's advisable to try to acquire a statement before they start school.

Can anyone offer me any advice if they've been through the statementing process? Are there 'criteria' that I can look at? I have seen the SEN code of practice, which offered me a little bit of info.

Thanks for any responses offered.


  • mafala
    mafala Member Posts: 71 Listener
    Hi Libby,

    I went through the process of statement a few years ago. My son is quite severely physically disabled and need 100% support at school. He is on the top average level in his year, but he needs help to access the curriculum. He can use a computer, but he can't hold a pen, so the support he gets is so that he can still learn and do his work. The only subject where he is a bit behind is writing, but that is because it takes him a while to type text so the teacher finds it hard to assess him.

    If your daughter's disability is very mild and she will be able to keep up with the rest of her peers, she might not need a statement at all. You just don't know how things will pan out. Occasionally children with some form of neuro-disability, even mild, can find it hard to concentrate or focus and need time away from class to be able to work. If she doesn't want to use her right arm she may need someone to support her to do her work and remind her to use her arm. She may need someone to stretch her every day etc.

    From what I recall, my son was seen by an educational psychologist who was able to see what difficulties he might experience in the class room. Then all the professionals involved with my son eg physio, OT, SALT, paediatrician wrote a report each. That was collected and recommendations made. It was a process that took a while, but the statement ensured that my son is not missing out on his education and can be included in a mainstream school.

    I would advice you to try and get as much support as possible. If it turns out that she doesn't need as much, that's great. It's just a lot better to have more support than you need than less, because once the statement is done it will be very hard to amend it.

    In terms of your own feelings about the statement. You need to look at those separately. Having your child statemented is concluding something you may not have learnt to accept yet ie "my child is disabled". Acceptance is not something that comes easily or quickly, but it's a process. Unfortunately, we're having to make difficult decisions for our children while we'd rather want to make it all go away. I know, because I've been there. You daughter is still 2, so you have a bit of time, but you may need to think of worse case scenario with a statement, even if it makes you feel uncomfortable.

    Hope this makes any sense and is of any help!
  • b8s
    b8s Member Posts: 33
    There have been big changes in the way statements are assessed and produced, and the funding available to schools. We have just been through the process in the las few months, my daughter is 3yrs 6mths, and starts nursery in Sept. I would advise you get a referral to Ed Phsych asap, as they will be able to talk you through all options and explain procedures. Ours has been amazing. Your consultant should be able to refer you.
  • ClaudiaCockburn
    ClaudiaCockburn Member Posts: 9
    I agree with what you've said. Also, don't forget there is PE an d break times to deal with and there is a very physical aspect about every day life at school eg dinner queue, carrying food to table etc. So support is still needed even if it is 'only' physical.
  • hilsflynn
    hilsflynn Member Posts: 24
    Hi Libby,

    My son is just 3 and starts his free nursery places next week. We have a statement, which was completed in June. In addition to CP (which I would describe as moderate - he can sit unaided, but needs supportive seating to maximise his hand function, he cannot yet walk) he is also profoundly deaf. He has no cognitive or learning disabilities and is going to a mainstream school with special provision for the deaf. There was never any question about the need for a statement, but the best bit of advice I was given by another parent was to get it sorted asap.

    As I understand it in order to obtain a statement the child needs to be at 50% of their expected level of development. However, I also believe that any parent can make a request for an assessment of the need for a statement be undertaken by their local statementing team - therefore if you have any thoughts that your daughter may need any level of additional support to fully access her educational opportunities then it doesn't matter what one individual thinks - put in the request and a team decision by physios, OT, SALTs, educational psychologists and you will be made on whether or not to prepare a statement. I think the initial assessment should take only a matter of weeks, so it won't take long to put your mind at rest.

    Best of luck


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