Two letters have put a smile upon my face this week. The first was from the local authority’s Directorate of Children’s Services and said the following:
I am writing to let you know that the Local Authority has decided that a statutory assessment of B’s educational needs would be helpful. I will now approach B’s school, the Education Welfare Service, Education Support Service, Physical & Sensory Service and Social Services for the final advices we require.
It went on to give some timescales for the process (6 weeks to collect the evidence, then a ‘final decision’ within the next 12 weeks).
What this all means is that we are forging ahead with the statementing process and that the timescales are a little quicker than expected.Given that B will be starting school without statemented support, this is music to my ears. Of course, there are no guarantees that he’ll get a statement or that, if he gets one, it will be sufficient to meet his needs. Nonetheless, the letter has helped me feel positive about how things are developing.
The second letter was written by my wife. Having taken our older son to the paediatrician, and shown her the letter written by his teacher, we were able to send the following letter into school:
Dear Miss X,
Today we met with the consultant paediatrician, and shared with her your letter and observations. Having met and observed A, she does not feel that he demonstrates any characteristics that would lead to a diagnosis of ASD. He does not show any behavioural concerns under the three main areas of the ‘triad of impairment’ that would lead to a diagnosis of ASD; social communication, social interaction and social imagination.
In addition, she felt that given that he is making progress at school, any concerns that were raised were within a ‘normal’ spectrum of behaviour and do not require further investigation. We are inclined to agree with her. He’s a sensitive boy, he can be fretful and often needs pushing to get things done but this does not make him autistic. As parents we will continue to monitor his ‘quirks’ and work with him on issues such as concentration and flexibility. We are grateful for your support with this.
Please do not hesitate to contact us if there are any further concerns.
So my oldest son is not, it would appear, autistic. I was fairly sure he wasn’t and, upon observing him, the doctor saw nothing to suggest this either. In not so many words, and in the nicest way possible, she said, ‘let’s stop wasting our time, eh?’ I hope the school will take this on board, but you do wonder whether, behind closed doors, he will continue to be referred to in terms of being on the spectrum. I think there will always be a lingering doubt in my wife’s mind too. All we can continue to do is be vigilant, supportive and, most of all, loving parents.
So, for now, there will be no changes made to the name of this blog!