Sunday, 14 February 2010

Is it just a dream...

that I thought Violet would be eligible for some kind of funding for primary school next year?

I had a phone call on Friday from a lady from the DET (New South Wales Department of Education and Training) who will be meeting with me, the Early Educator from The Spastic Centre and Disability Support Service person at Violet's Preschool to discuss what school Violet would be best suited to and what modifications might need to be made for her entry into that primary school.

She said she didn't feel going to the same school Emily goes to would be suitable as it is an older school and the main building has many many stairs! She feels somewhere more local to where we live and more suitable for Violet's physical needs would be better.

I asked about what kind of funding Violet might be eligible for and she said she didn't think any other than funding for the school to make modifications for Violet. I asked if the Psych Report she will be having in the coming months would help her for funding and she said that Violet would have to have a major Intellectual Disability to be eligible. I asked about funding for vision support in the class room as Violet is not only blind in her left eye but visually impaired in her good eye too but she said she most likely wouldn't as you need to be legally blind to access that support. Which I find unusual, as I have friend's at Emily's school whose children have lost vision in 1 eye and still have vision in their other eye and receive vision support in the classroom.

I am really lost to know where to find out more information about this and who and what I should be asking. I know the appointment we have with them on 9th March will hopefully tell us a little more, but I think we really need to wait and see how Violet does go with her Psych evaluation. I also really think she will need these things at the very least: education support in the class at various times, vision support and be supervised at break times for safety reasons. But hey that's just my opinion based on the fact that I know my daughter and what her needs are, as I have been with her everyday 24/7 for 4.5 years!

Any advice from other parents would be greatly appreciated!


Big brother, Little sister. said...

Sarah, first of all you can send Violet to any school YOU choose! I really hope this lady does not know what she is talking about and that the rest of your team at the meeting can put a good worse case scenario report together. I would have thought with all of Violets issued combined it would warrant some school support but I am unclear on NSW's rules!
perhaps try and find the application form called the ENQ form that might give you more of an idea of what the criteria is. ( if you have this for NSW)
If you have the energy afterwards you can always fight til the end and go to MP's, community etc etc.
Best of luck.

Teoni said...

That's ridiculous!

I am unaware of rules over there, but in England kids getting funding for anything as small as dyslexia or a learning difficulty.

I hope you find some loop-holes!

Alison said...

Sarah - I find it totally unbelievable that Violet wouldn't qualify for funding. I hope someone can point you in the right direction and give you some assistance with choosing a school - what a big decision!! Would you consider a school with a physical disability unit or do you want Violet to be completely mainstream (I am assuming she has no intellectual impairment and will be mainstream...). Our local school has a support unit so I am hoping Ashlea can go there.

Good luck - sounds like it will be a big job for you!!

Sarah said...

Thanks for all your replies so far.

Bron, would love to know more about the ENQ form, can you please maybe email me a link? thanks!

Alison, I do think Violet will have learning difficulties. I really think the psych report will give us more of a clearer picture on her (well I am hoping) She has some huge behavourial issues which are almost autistic in some of her ways. They haven't even mentioned her going to a special unit within a school, they are only talking mainstream so far. So I assume I have to do what they suggest?? Really feel it will also be a wait and see if she copes and can manage in mainstream.

Laura said...

Wow, I am in shock! It must be totally different over there in terms of getting services for special needs children. We just had Cara's IEP (Individualized Education Plan) review and were talking about grade school options for Kindergarten in 2011. Here in the states, they HAVE to accommodate her according to whatever is listed on the IEP. Right now, Cara would be receiving speech, OT, PT and special education assistance (a teacher or parapro to work with her) in the classroom at no cost to us since she would be going to a public school. Maybe that's the difference? Do you pay for schooling?
Also, if we don't agree with what the IEP says or how the school is implementing it, we have the right to ask for a meeting or even appeal. Surely, you have some of the same rights?

Sarah said...

Laura, Yeah we only pay $28 per year for public school unless you want to put your kids in a private school. Violet will be going to a public school.
I am really lost as no one seems to tell you what we should be doing to get what she deserves.
Looks like home schooling might be the only option if they won't help her.

Rosalie said...

Ah totally get you here. I wonder if we spoke to the woman. I spoke to Vicki. If her ID is moderate she would be elegible for special school.

Or the next best option would be an IO class in a mainstream school.

Here is a list of some around in N.S.W :

I have to say i am so sick of the bullshit with school and SN. You have to figure it all on your own and it sucks! Hope you get some answers soon.

Sarah said...

Thanks Rosalie, yes it sure was Vicki, she was well how can I put it very blunt and uncaring.

Thanks so much for the link!

Rosalie said...

My pleasure, big hugs for you :)

Rosalie said...

I just thought of something else. Vicky really won't have any idea until she gets the psych. report, so i wouldn't go off what she's saying now.

I would say if Violet gets into one of those IO classes then she would get more support then she would in any regular mainstream class.

However you need to go through Vicki no matter which way you go.

When you do have your meeting with the educator i would mention all of this so she can be a support for you.

I probably would push for the Psych eval. A.S.A.P.

Sorry to go on, but would hate for you to be stressed out because she is spouting crap.

Sarah said...

Rosalie, I have my first meeting with psych 2nd March and then she will be observing Violet in her preschool and then do an assessment at the spastic centre with Violet.

My meeting is 9th March with Vicki etc.

Rosalie said...

I hope you get some constructive answers. I didn't need to meet with Vicki because i emailed her the psych report when i got it and from that she got the paperwork sorted out.

But since it will be a couple of months before you'll get the report, that makes sense to see her first.

The psych may also give you ideas that may help.

n0thingbuteverything said...

Sarah, I can't believe that Violet would not be eligible for funding. I really hope that this woman doesn't know what she's talking about. I also hope she's considering a career change - it really doesn't sound like she's the sort of person who should be in the job she is in. She totally lacks empathy by the sound of it.

I am sorry that I can't offer any advice re funding. I am only just starting to realise (With quite a bit of shock actually) just how different things are from state to state. Have you contacted the Association for Children with a diSability? They might be of some help or at least can put you in the direction where more advice/info is available? I find it appalling that you need to HUNT out information like this. It should be clear and transparent and available to all families.

Sending big hugs your way.


April said...

I"m so sorry it's such a challenge to get what she needs-- You are a wonderful advocate for her!

Lesly said...

Forgive me for asking this, Sarah ... but being a Brit now domiciled in New Zealand I really have no idea what services are available in Oz. What part does your family doctor or practice nurse have in this? ...... in both UK and NZ the family practitioner is a vital 'conduit' to assistance. Also the practice nurse or the public health nurse can often help out with forging links with available services and assistance. Is it different in Oz? It seems so totally unfair that you don't seem to have any sort of advocate to assist you.

Have you thought of writing to your local MP or to the Ministries concerned with child health, education and development?

Sorry to ask as I expect you have already beaten a well-worn path to their doors ... but I do hate to see you seemingly unsupported in this. xx

Sarah said...

Lesly, Not sure about GP helping here. It all goes thru Dept of Education and as far as I know they apply for any funding if needed.

I will definately be writing to our local MP if she doesn't get anything.

Will see what they have to say at our appt with them in the next couple of weeks.