Question re: TA support for 5 year old in primary school — Scope | Disability forum

Question re: TA support for 5 year old in primary school

koowhite Member Posts: 3 Listener
edited January 2015 in Education
Our 5 year old daughter who has spastic diplegia started in Reception at her new mainstream primary school in September 2014. The local school is well respected for it's inclusive approach with SEN children. However, they do not have any experience with CP or physically disabled children. Our daughter has just started taking independent steps, but is still very unsteady and gets around with her tripods and K walker in school. The management team at the school insist on having several TAs (one main, one back up, 2-3 other TAs over breaktimes). I understand this is to make it easier for the school to manage any TA absences. However, our daughter has had several falls since the start of term, far more than when she was with dedicated 1:1 in nursery. All of the falls have been with TAs who have had insufficient manual handling training. I am trying to make the school understand that it is not safe to have a rota of untrained TAs working with a physically disabled child and would very much like to know from other families how their childrens' school manage dedicated TA support.
Many thanks.


  • Farshideh
    Farshideh Member Posts: 6
     May I suggest to you to encourage your physio to train the TA at school. This what we do, or we ask TA to come to our centre so we can train them.
  • Andrea Robertson
    Andrea Robertson Member Posts: 4 Listener
    I had the same problem when my son started school. I wondered at the time weather to put a helmet on to protect his head, especially because he was not able to protect falls with his hands. I was told by his pediatrician to allow him to fall as he's not falling from a great hight he's not likely to cause anything more than superficial injuries and they will heal up. He told me that a helmet will cause him to be identified as different from the other
    Children and the humiliation will not heal as easy. I was told that he will learn to fall better and eventually he will not fall. Although I thought it was cruel I believe it was the right thing to do. He's 15 now and although he stumbles he never falls. He learnt his lessons while small and he's amaxing because I learnt to stop wrapping him in cotton wool. I hope you are both well. X
  • forgoodnesssake
    forgoodnesssake Member Posts: 406 Pioneering
    I would echo that you need to have the physio or someone else with the correct skills to train up the TAs in manual handling. Apart from anything else they could injure themselves if they try to prevent a (preventable) fall and that has big implications for their employer (the school or local authority) This could then come back and bite your daughter as schools/the LEA will be even more nervous about letting her have any independence. My son's statement always said that any TAs working with him have to have appropriate training.
    Whilst I agree that a helmet is not a solution for this, for a number of reasons, I do not believe that disabled children should just be allowed to fall and that they will eventually learn not to! Some will, but many will not, esp as they grow bigger. My son could take some independent steps at about age 9 or 10...but as he grew into puberty lots of things changed and whilst he can stand and step with support he would fall if not supported, and he has never been able to put his hands out to stop himself, it just doesn't work like that with his athetoid CP. Of course whilst it may well be the case that young children tend to bounce when they fall (my son was very adventurous and had at least 3 trips to casualty with head cuts (parental guilt trip big time when you have "let" your disabled young child injure themselves!)) when they get a little bigger and are in a crowded school environment, there is much more for them to fall on and hurt themselves...not least of which being other children...which does NOT go down well in general. I totally agree with the last poster about not wrapping disabled kids up in cotton wool and my son does all sorts of things that others wouldn't (parapenting, off-road power chairing, fast down-hill skiing etc!) but I do not believe that stopping them (where possible) from falls and possible injury due to ill-trained support workers, is molly-coddling.