#1
Posts: 6 | Threads: 1
Joined: Jan 2011
Reputation: 0

  • Registered
Hi - My 16yr old son (17 this Sept but is mentally approx 6/7) has been statemented for Learning Dissabilites since the age of 4. From the start of High School (SEN section in a mainstream school) he had has a taxi take him/collect him from school.

He has now left school and will be attending college (again mainstream with an SEN part within) but I have received a letter stating he will no longer qualify for a taxi, but will be "taught how to travel alone on public transport" at college!! This would mean getting to the train station ( just under a mile) boarding the correct train (crowded with school children as well as workers/shoppers etc) travelling 2 stops (approx 20/25 mins) and getting himself to college.
Then doing the reverse home. He wouldn't manage that. Also, what if the train is cancelled? He wouldn't have a clue what to do. My son is EXTREMELY vulnerable, has no sense of direction, time, road safety, stranger danger etc.He has never been left alone as he does not recognise dangerous situations.
I have great concerns over what is going to happen, as there is absolutely NO WAY he can be left alone inside the house let alone outside and finding his way about. If some one were to suggest to him that he go with them, he wouldn't hesitate going with a stranger.
He would get lost, panic and goodness knows what would happen to him. There isn't an ounce of me that would agree to him travelling anywhere on his own, it just isn't an option.

Why all of a sudden because he will be 17, does the LEA think he will be magically cured of his dissability and be able to manage travelling on his own? Taking him myself will be the only other option, I will therefore not be able to hold down a job, nor take care of my grandchild overnight when my daughter works (can't get son to college & g/son to school in different towns for the same time of day) which will mean my daughter will also have to give up her job.
Any ideas of what the appeal process on this involves?
#2
Posts: 1,802 | Threads: 21
Joined: Nov 2009
Reputation: 0

  • Moderators
hi
does he have a social worker? (should have a transitional social worker at this age working with him as well as a childrens social worker) are there any other special needs 17yr olds nearby going to the same college? i would contact the sen dept of the college. i know someone who had this issue when their son left special needs f/e to go to a mainstream college and even though it is nowhere as complex a journey as your son he still wouldnt have managed to get there without help and their social worker managed along with some other parents to get funding for a taxi to take 4 of them to college as they are classed as adults they dont require an escort any more. some areas to save money are stopping transport for over 16's if they get high rate mobility (something we were warned about even though matt is in a special needs f/e and gets no more money than a 5yr old on high rate mobility but it didnt get passed) unfortunately they wont take it into account that you take your grandson to school as that is not considered to be your responsibility they will only go on how it affects your son
corinne
There comes a point in your life when you realize:Who matters,Who never did,Who won't anymore...And who always will..
So, don't worry about people from your past,there's a reason why they didn't make it to your future.
#3
Posts: 6 | Threads: 1
Joined: Jan 2011
Reputation: 0

  • Registered
Hi Corinne No, he doesn't have an SS. I don't know of any other SN 17yr old nearby going to the same place. I was told by the Connections lady at school, that my son would definately qualify. I wanted him to go to a nearer college just in case he was refused a taxi, so I would be able to take him myself, but was told the one he has been enrolled in is far better for him, and that he would get a taxi supplied. If I had known the taxi would be refused, I would have gone & looked at the more local college. In fact, I told the head of SEN at college & the Connections lady that if he didn't get a taxi, then he wouldn't be going to college, I would have him at home and they assured me he WOULD get a taxi.
The thing that has got to me the most, is that they think just because he will be 17, that his needs will have changed and that all of a sudden he will be able to cope on his own. They haven't, and he can't he is just the same as he was when he started at high school 5yrs ago. I have degeneration disc disease, which means I'm often in pain when walking/standing ( I can't stand for longer than 10mins) and suffer slipped disc/trapped nerve every so often. What will happen then as I won't be able to get my son to/from college at those times as I will not be able to travel myself.
Guess I will have to wait and see what is said on Monday. I just needed a rant really,as no-one else to talk to - thank you for listening & replying Smile
#4
Posts: 383 | Threads: 44
Joined: Aug 2010
Reputation: 0

  • VIP
That is terrible, is there anyway that you can appeal against it

#5
Posts: 6 | Threads: 1
Joined: Jan 2011
Reputation: 0

  • Registered
Hi wweangelica _ I really don't know. I will have to ring Connections & college on Monday to ask them what I should do. I have been advised by friends & family to contact my local MP, will see what the above say 1st. I'm wondering if the same letter has been sent to everyone as I remember a few weeks ago, someone telling me they had a letter saying the same thing (they don't live near me but will have the same County Council). They are half-heartedly accepting the decision, but I can't even consider it at all. My sons safety would be in danger twice a day, 5 days a week and I am not prepared to put him at risk for 1 second. I'm finding it hard to believe the suggestion was even made by them! Shocking!
My son also has physical disabilities, very low muscle tone & intermittant dystonia, he needs "a helping hand" getting on/off public transport (and in/out of a bath etc), especially the particular station he needs to get off at the college end, where there is a large gap and quite a step down.
I have brought my son up for almost 17yrs with no help from anyone apart from the taxi service and now they want to take that away
As I said, I'm wondering if the same letter has been sent to all, to see who fights it and who doesn't? Well, I'm a fighter and I intend to fight all the way.


Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)