When you think that your child needs more support in school
Make another appointment to visit the school
If you are still worried, or develop another concern, after talking to your child's teacher then you should ask for another appointment within a week or so for a longer period of time. You should specifically request that the member of staff responsible for Special Educational Needs (SENCO) is present, together with the class teacher.
Before this meeting ask for a copy of the school's special educational needs policy and of the records on your child's progress. You are entitled to receive your child's records within 40 days, so do not delay the appointment if you have not received them.
If you have already contacted a speech and language therapist as the BSA advises, explain at the meeting what is happening there and give her contact details if she is unable to come along.
At the meeting with the SENCO and the teacher, what points can you make?
Remember that school staff can only use strategies to support your child's speech and help him access the curriculum. Only a speech and language therapist can work with the child to improve fluency and may offer staff guidance on achieving fluency goals.
At this meeting you need to explain why you think that your child needs more support than he has been receiving until now and discuss what options are available under the SEN Code.
Parent Partnerships can give you support
These are statutory services that offer impartial information, advice and support for parents of children and young people with special educational needs (SEN) If you think that you need to discuss your child's needs before the meeting with a professional, you may contact this service in your area by telephone or at Parent Partnership. They will also be able to put parents in touch with other local organisations. If you are worried about going along on your own to meet school staff you can ask that one of their trained parent volunteers accompanies you to the meeting. If you choose to do this, then the volunteer will probably want to meet with you beforehand and will help you to prepare your point of view. If you prefer, you could ask a friend or relative to accompany you.
It is helpful to prepare for the meeting by observing your child's speech and behaviour closely without appearing to be doing so and make short notes to take with you. You may wish to complete the fluency record from the end of this page.
Note the occasions when your child stammers and how he appears to feel about his speech, particularly whether he is frustrated and angry. Collect dates and times if you can of any recent episodes of severe stammering so that you can ask the teacher and the SENCO what had been taking place in school on those days.
Give examples of how your child behaves at home and any changes you may have noticed in his speech during the time he has been in that class.
Pass on any relevant comments that your child has made about the school and what is happening to him there. Explain what he has said about his stammer, how it makes him feel, and how staff and other children treat him. If you can provide them, exact examples of his experiences at school that cause you concern would be helpful.
Give your views on whether his stammer is now affecting his learning or behaviour in any way and enquire as to whether the staff are using the strategies to support him that you or the therapist have provided.
Mention any health or other problems in the family that you think may have affected your child, and if any one else in the family has similar problems with their speech.
Listen to the response from the school staff and work out with them how your child can be helped. If they admit that they have not been using supportive strategies give details of BSA:Education and pass on Information about stammering for staff from this resource.
After this discussion you and the Senco should be able to come to an agreement that your child needs the extra support. See What happens when the Special Educational Needs Code of Practice supports your child? in this resource.
This is a simple record of your childs fluency, that gives a score of 1 to 10 where 10 is the highest rate of stammering and 1 the lowest. Give a score as the average for that day based on the episodes of stammering that you have heard. Place a cross in the box of your score for each day. If you think that the average on one day is 7, then place a cross in the box for that day at the score of 7.
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Click on the following links to open a PDF, use the back button on your browser to return to this resource. To save the handout to your computer, right click and choose 'Save as'.
Text for this page: Getting support for your child through the SEN Code
Text for this whole section: How to get support for learning for your primary school child who stammers