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Athetoid CP Maths GCSE advice required please

KittyTinkerKittyTinker Posts: 10Member Listener
edited December 2018 in Education and learning
Hello I'm very new but looking for advice. My son has Athetoid CP speech and gross and fine motor skills effected but worse on his right. If anyone knows the tv show Emmerdale he's similar to Charity's son Ryan. 
He is currently working toward 10 GCSEs and is expected to do very well in all. His school has been a failing school which has very recently been taken over by an academy but despite all the inner wrangling teachers and students and TAs leaving etc, I have no doubt that everyone is behind my boy and wants him to fulfill his ambitions. He has 2 full time TAs who have known him since year 7 and cover the majority of his lessons and a few new ones who cover the rest but it takes time for them to understand his speech. He will get 100% extra time in his exams and school are pushing for 150% extra in maths and further maths however his maths teacher isn't convinced that this will be enough. His problem is that he has to write the maths problems himself to do the calculations (very messily) then explain his writing to a TA in dysarthric maths jargon who then writes it in neat, he then has to look at the TAs work to make sure it's correct. When you factor in tiredness hand pain, rest breaks etc this is going to make it a very long process and when it's slap bang in the middle of 8 other exams and has to be done twice as he's doing further maths as well it's going to be a bit of a struggle to say the least. 
Has anyone had any experience, are there any exam compatible software he can use to simplify his process or do the exam boards ever take these things into consideration when marking if given evidence? He really wants to do PPE at university so maths is pretty important and he wants to do it at A level too so it's really important we get this right as soon as possible. 
Many thanks

Replies

  • Pippa_ScopePippa_Scope Posts: 5,239Administrator Scope community team
    Hi @KittyTinker, thanks for sharing this with us.

    This is a tricky one and I'm afraid I don't know the answer to this myself, but I'm tagging in @Andy_Assistive and @melaniethorley in the hope that they'll be able to advise further!
  • KittyTinkerKittyTinker Posts: 10Member Listener
    Thank you Pippa, it's much appreciated. 
  • Richard_ScopeRichard_Scope Posts: 1,086Member, Administrator Scope community team
    Hello again @KittyTinker ;
    It is a very frustrating situation. I would, in the first instance make contact with the exam board. As this situation is limited to maths and the mechanics of your son being able to complete the examination, the board should look at it favourably. I would be happy to help if needed.
    Scope
    Specialist Information Officer - Cerebral Palsy
  • KittyTinkerKittyTinker Posts: 10Member Listener
    Thanks Richard I'll have a word with the exam coordinator at school and see which exam board it is as I know they deal with 3, and see if she has a contact for them however I once tried to contact AQA myself with regards to how they marked French Oral exams pre my boys options year and they would only reply to school based enquiries. I'll let you know how I get on. 
  • Richard_ScopeRichard_Scope Posts: 1,086Member, Administrator Scope community team
    Please let me know how you get on @KittyTinker
    Scope
    Specialist Information Officer - Cerebral Palsy
  • forgoodnesssakeforgoodnesssake Posts: 157Member Chatterbox
    Hi, my son has athetoid CP and no speech (uses AAC) He did 5 gcses and a couple of A levels and is now at Uni studying maths.  His school (m/s) were very good at getting enough and suitable exam access arrangements for him but it was essential to start doing it well in advance (years) and to have lots of evidence of "normal ways of working".  He had more than 400% extra time and did all his work on computer but yes some was quite laborious but there are some short cuts, ie Splash maths.  I could write lots more here but in the first instance you could contact Candle www.candleaac.org as it was they who supported my son.  Also I am aware  that there is an Assistive Technology All Party Parliamentary Group which has some people working with exam boards/ofqal on the needs of pupils who use a range of Assisitive technology.  Scope AT people should know about this but I wouldn't be surprised if they don't.  Good luck.


  • KittyTinkerKittyTinker Posts: 10Member Listener
    Many thanks forgoodnesssake it's wonderful to hear some success stories. Our circumstances just seem to be a bit of a perfect storm, failing school new academy administration lots of new teachers and TA's local opposition and we are just trying to make the best of a sorry situation. However I must say the school seem to want the best for my boy I'm hoping it's not just all talk and no substance. The timings problems have only come to light now that they are testing more and more often. The exam administrator is applying for 150% which she says is the most she thinks we are likely to get but I will certainly tell her about your sons case. Hopefully next week a TA with more maths experience is taking over as his other TA admits she struggles a bit with maths. I'll look into the parliamentary group. I'm already half dreading the idea of university but also terribly excited for him too. It would be interesting to know how your sons transition to university went. Did he move far away? We do have a very good university only 12 miles away from our home however my son has dreams of a uni which couldn't be much further from us. Maybe trying to tell me something!!! How did the exam period go for your son I can imagine we are all going to be in lockdown at our house get up, school, home, tea and bed for a while. I remember when they changed the exams so that course work was no longer part of the marking it felt like another blow to children with additional needs. But we'll get there, we've got this far after all. ๐Ÿ˜‰
  • forgoodnesssakeforgoodnesssake Posts: 157Member Chatterbox
    Hi, sorry so long to reply!  Transition to Uni was extremely hard work, with many rather negative responses from Uni's!  However in the end he did get an unconditional from Bristol, and offers from Leeds, Sheffield Hallam & Newcastle.  To cut a very long story short Newcastle was head and shoulders above any others in terms of their positive attitude and realisation of the amount of adjustment that would be needed.  We had ongoing contact with the department, a nominated disability adviser and the accommodation people from about a year before he actually started (had done the the maths A level and then stayed on at 6th form to do EPQ and AS physics and so he had to wait for those results before he knew he had got in, but we made contact right after the A level result)  3 relevant staff came over in the January of the year he started to have a meeting with us and the school.  We are about 130 miles away so he is residential in adapted Uni room in flat.  Has a package of support jointly health and social services funded.  This eventually worked out but a huge amount of work and evidence gathering and of course extremely last minute final decision and much stress for me sorting out support agency (who are good in the end, but pricey)
    Exam period at school was tiring and intense and many exams spanned a few days and so we had to sign on the dotted line that we woudl supervise him at all times so that he couldn't cheat!

  • KittyTinkerKittyTinker Posts: 10Member Listener
    Thank you forgoodnesssake for your reply it's much appreciated. I'll brace myself for all that stress but I'm delighted it's working out for your boy. Is he happy with uni and being away? I really just can't imagine it for my boy he's always been such a home boy but he's also really ambitious but how it will all pan out is anybody's guess! 
    Just a little update on our progress. I've been in touch with local authority to see if the inclusion officer can help either with extra extra time for maths or any technology advice. I tried emailing candle but as of yet haven't had a response. 
    The maths teacher sent home 3 papers over the holidays to do timed practice and they all came in on time with husband who is good at sums. School have changed the TA for a more maths knowledgeable lady so fingers crossed ๐Ÿคž we are moving in the right direction. 
    Many thanks everyone๐Ÿ˜‰
  • forgoodnesssakeforgoodnesssake Posts: 157Member Chatterbox
    Just a word of caution about TAs...in some ways the less they know the less likely they are to be, probably inadvertantly, giving some prompts or otherwise hints.  I have been an exam invigilator/reader (not for my son obviously) and it is actually very hard to remain completely impassive and not to give any, even subtle, hints when you know they have got something wrong are are going off in the wrong direction!
    yes my son loves being away from home and in a lively city! We live in a pretty small market town.
    Keep on at Candle!!  Good luck
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