We have cause to celebrate this week, albeit a rather odd thing to be celebrating. After a bit of a struggle, the Specialist Early Years Service have agreed to start the process of applying for a statement. That means we don’t have to apply ourselves and risk either mucking it up or looking like we don’t have the support of the agencies who have been involved in supporting B. It also means that SEYS are doing their job, listening to what they are being told and acting in my child’s best interests. Really it should not have been delayed as there is clearly a strong case, and need, for statemented support. Three years ago, if I’d been told we’d be applying for our son’s statement it would not have felt like something worth celebrating, but such is life.
So why the change of heart from SEYS? There were a couple of developments. Firstly, B’s key worker carried out two further observations. Unlike previous times, he was not having ‘a good day’. In fact, for him, he was having a normal day. Nursery were pleased that some of his usual, and difficult, behavioural patterns had been observed. Added to what we have been saying for a while now, I think that the full picture was becoming more apparent (or more difficult to ignore).
Secondly, we emailed SEYS and said, ‘if you don’t apply, we are going to.’ That’s not exactly what we said but is very close in tone to the first draft email I wrote. Thankfully, my wife stepped in and wrote a much more articulate, considered and convincing email. The next day we received a phone call confirming that the process had begun.
This is a good opportunity to thank everyone who has offered advice and support via forums. The general consensus overall was that the authorities are pretty useless (some used more colourful terms) and that we should take matters into our own hands. I’m really moved by the willingness of people to help, and to the response to this blog in general. Thanks everyone.
For the moment, the system is working for us, with a little prompting. I’ll need to learn more about the application process but it seems to me that we have made a step in the right direction in ensuring my son has the opportunity to make a successful start to his school life.