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Can you help with legal obligations on LEA for providing 'specified & quantified' provision of SALT?

Replies

  • LoucLouc Posts: 12Member
    Hi Chris, I'm hoping you may be able to help me with figuring out the legal obligations on an LEA for providing 'specified and quantified' provision of SALT in a child's statement in Part 3? I am currently battling with our LEA as I do not feel they have quantified the provision sufficiently. I am told by the PCT that once a child goes to secondary school they don't get direct input at school, but simply they fund the training of support staff. I am not wholly convinced that this isn't compromising a child's needs. Support staff have no formal qualifications in this specialised area and seem to have turned into 'advisors' rather than therapists. Are you able to clarfiy the situation at all for us? Many thanks.
  • Dear Louc, apologies for the late reply. It is true that as a child moves to secondary school it much more difficult to access SLT services and I agree that for a huge proportion of children this detrimental to their development. Research does show that early intervention is fundamental and for this reason the majority of funding goes to work with children pre-secondary school. I would suggest you have your son formally assessed so that you have evidence regarding the level of difficulty. Let me know if you have any further questions
  • LoucLouc Posts: 12Member
    Many thanks Chris for your reply. I am trying to get a private SALT to assess him as the current one I feel is in an awkward position, many feel they need to toe the LEA line. The first independent SALT I contacted wasn't prepared to assess and give an indication of level of input appropriate to his needs. I have written to another independent SALT and am awaiting a reply and hope that she will be able to help. I find it incredibly disheartening that I have to pay privately to gain an independent view when the NHS service who has been giving support from the age of four simply stand back and let the LEA take over. It's a dreadful state of affairs; I believe we have a system which is failing our most vulnerable individuals. Thank you again Chris for your advice, I very much appreciate it.
  • Dear Louc, it really surprises me that you cannot find an independent SLT who will assess and provide recommendation based on your son's needs and not what services can be provided. Please keep in touch and keep asking questions, Chris
  • LoucLouc Posts: 12Member
    Hi Chris, well we may be getting a little closer to getting that assessment but what I hear is that in a tribunal situation the NHS and LEA tear the independents view to shreds saying they are over-egging the needs of the child because the parents have paid them a lot of money to say it and that the parents will go back to them for private therapy. It horrifies me that this situation exists! At least I now have a short list of two independent SALTs who are happy to assess and provide reports but why should a parent need an independent assessment (this will cost me circa £1000) to prove the LEA and NHS are simply skimping on the service because of funding and nothing to do with the needs of the child?
  • Dear Louc, As SLTs we should always provide a comprehensive assessment and 'needs let' recommendations. It should be "what does the child need?" not "what can our service offer". If your case does go to tribunal then the SLT you choose must have experience at this level.
    Chris
  • MixxiMixxi Posts: 32Member
    Good advice to Louc there Chris. Just wanted to add a message of support to Louc - I'm about to step on the tribunal trail so you have my sympathy and good wishes. Also to urge you to access all means of help available such as Parent Partnership Service - can be a bit variable but worth a shot. Don't forget Afaisic - http://www.afasicengland.org.uk/ which has tonnes of useful advice for parents of children with speech and language difficulty.
    (not that I'm treading on your advising toes Chris)
  • LoucLouc Posts: 12Member
    Hi Mixxi, thanks for your support during this very challenging time. I have Parent Partnership on board and have also spoken with Afasic as well as ACE, IPSEA, even my local MP! I still cannot quite believe that I am having to take my LEA to court (with independent reports at my considerable expense) to prove they are breaking the law. There is very little specification of SALT in Part 3 and no quantification at all. Following a recent cognitive development assessment, my sons verbalisation skills scored only 57 and yet his perceptual reasoning is at average, approx 98. He clearly has average intelligence and yet extremely low verbalisation. For me that's clear he needs considerable SALT input to allow him to access the curriculum and achieve his potential and yet no one, apart from an independent paid for SALT will state this. Good luck with your tribunal too Mixxi, keep fighting and hopefully we will all secure the help our children so badly need.
  • LondonSpeechTherapyLondonSpeechTherapy Posts: 60Member
    Good morning Louc, app choices dependent on a child's visual abilities to identify photos vs symbols vs text. I can't recommend particular ones per se but here are a selection of the ones I use on my iPad:
    Smarty Ears - Custom Boards
    Therapy Box - Scene & Heard
    Sono Flex
    Grid Player
    Verbally

    I hope that helps, Chris
  • LoucLouc Posts: 12Member
    Hi Chris, I wonder if you could please give me some advice. My son has been receiving SLT since preschool (has speech/lang delay/difficulties & mild learning disability) and is statemented. He is now in Year 7 secondary, supported by a one-to-one TA. Following lengthy discussions with the LEA and the SLT service, it was agreed to provide one-to-one sessions within school on a fortnightly basis as well as training support staff. I was always told by the SaLT that one-to-one sessions once a week would be 'pointless' as those supporting him need to understand his speech/lang difficulties and be able to manage them as best as they can, hence training was the answer. I was very sceptical of the SaLT losing this control to the school. Who would be released for training? Would they understand it and be willing/able to implement what they had learned with my son? For this reason I insisted on both (i.e. training and one-to-one) and with the help of an independent assessment at the cost of nearly a grand I finally got it written into his statement. The SaLT requested that the statement wording should not be too prescriptive about when the training should take place and what sort of training. She assured me this was for the benefit of my son (and not their service). I have 'pestered' numerous times for this training to take place and apart from a very general 1hour session (to all TAs within the school) when he first joined the school, all we have received in his first six months there is a 30 minute session on social communication. I now regret being so flexible within the statement as I am convinced this was done because of the SaLT's lack of resource. It had been recommended in the statement the Elklan training is delivered (but the SaLT did request that 'or something similar' be written into his statement) I now hear from our SaLT that apparently the Elklan social communication module 'isn't very good'. I feel like I'm at the mercy of the service to implement whatever suits them rather than what is best for my son. How would I know how good the Elklan module for social communication is?? I have his annual review shortly and I'm looking for advice on how we can possibly incorporate well written provision into Part 3 which, if it doesn't happen, at least as a parent I have some comeback. As it stands, the SaLT could wait until the very last day of term and present five minutes of training! I would appreciate your advice. I want to work with the SaLT and not against her but my son's needs are my priorities.
  • LoucLouc Posts: 12Member
    Hi Chris, another quick question please which I've tried to find the answer for online but failed. Could you please advise the time gap for repeating a CELF-4 test? My son was tested May 2012 and just wondered when it would be appropriate to repeat the test? Many thanks!
  • Apologies all, I'm working in Dubai this week and I'm struggling to fit your questions in :( once I return you have my attention!! CELF-4 can be retested following a 6 month gap :)
  • Dear Louc, apologies for my very brief repsonse but the biggest challenge in SLT is there isn't always enough evidence behind a particular approach (especially when it is new-ish) and there is a 'one fits all' approach. In my opinion you need an independent and objective SLT to review his needs and recommend what he needs and not what service your local service can provide.

    Chris
  • LoucLouc Posts: 12Member
    Hi Chris, many thanks for responding, appreciate it particularly as you are away from our shores! I did actually have an independent assessment done last June (as part of a tribunal due to unspecified/non quantified provision in part 3 of my son's statement) but even the independent assessor didn't specify exactly which programme of training would be best, they just said Elklan or something similar. So that is what has been written into the statement and all we seem to have had is simply the SaLT delivering some training which I think she has just put together herself. She's quite cagey about it when I ask her and just tells me now that the Elklan isn't that good. I'm at a loss as to what I can say to her as it has not specified Elklan in the statement. Many thanks for the info on the CELF4. Safe trip back from Dubai!
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