Today was supposed to be spent clearing house, sorting out, laundering and pottering.
Instead today was spent on five long emails back and forth between myself and Son's caseworker, with at least as many long phone conversations with the lady at the NAS in between.
The County are refusing to pay up for an individual needs assistant all day. They are also refusing to name the mainstream school I selected, or to make the provision for him any less than vague until they have chosen a school and got the school itself to say how it will make this or that provision. For example 'access to a workstation' could end up meaning he might see a desk on its own, with no headphones, no keyboard, and he might 'have access to it' for five minutes every term. It wouldn't be that daft but thats as vague as they are being right now.
The thing is, I wanted mainstream. I wanted mainstream because I didn't think the kind of special school that was worth looking at actually existed. Sure, mainstream would mean that my son was condemned to do twice as much learning as other kids during the day - learning to deal with distractions, with life as an Aspie amongst NT teenagers and all that entails.
Someone very recently pointed out two schools with the national curriculum (and more) that cater just to aspies. No being thrown in with a wide variety of abilities or issues like in an mld or ebd school, just a school full of kids on roughly the same level, and more importantly a school full of staff that really understand the condition.
Without even getting to visit one yet, Son has set his heart on them. I did point out that now that we have mentioned special school, the LEA seem to be much more interested in trying to get him into the one mainstream school, especially since I pointed out that its qualities (wide corridors, no bell, staggered breaks and other things) could all be counted as provisions against his needs (trouble with cramped or confined spaces or a lot of movement or sudden noise - he doesn't freak - he just gets a bit 'on stage', clumsier and a deal less thoughtful - he gets into a state where accidents happen around him and he finds it as tiring and stressful as anybody).
Anyway the county have seemingly backtracked from saying there is no chance of getting him into that mainstream school and are now saying they will 'keep fighting' and there is a slim chance. Tut. Suddenly the closed statements that the school is full have become open ones indicating they mean to quiz the school on why being full means they can't squeeze another one in.
I told him. He is not best pleased. His only comment was:
"Oh yes sure, lets have a think - on the one hand we have this brilliant small school full of Aspies who are just like me and will understand me and I will be normal for a change, and on the other hand we have a real school where I will still be the geek and the weirdo and get kicked at breaktime. So the County are going to put me in which one? The crap one of course. Oh bloody brilliant."
Sometimes there just isn't the right moment to tell an eleven year old about his language.
After all that, the network cable at home decided to die and take my network card with it, so I am sat at Husband's machine to write this.
Not a good day. Will try again tomorrow, but I may just start a new blog to pull out all my references to this fight for SEN provision and add all the emails to it. The way things are going just now, it would seem foolish to rely on my email account as the only storage place for all the stuff I'll need for tribunal.
Tags: Aspergers, SEN