Case studies

Peter's story

Enquiry
• Peter’s mother contacted the Salvesen Mindroom Centre as she was concerned about an upcoming school residential trip.
• Peter has autism and his mother did not feel that he would be able to attend the trip without additional support.
• The school had denied Peter’s mother’s request for a pupil support assistant to accompany Peter on the trip.

What we did
• The Salvesen Mindroom Centre provided Peter’s mother with information relating to legislation that she could use to support her request for additional support.
• We contacted the Education Officer from the local authority to request further guidance.
• A letter was created by the Direct Help and Support team for Peter’s mother to send to the school. The letter detailed the reasons Peter needed additional support and highlighted the legislation that supported this request.
• A meeting was arranged with the school, and one of the Direct Help and Support team attended as the mother’s supporter.

Outcome
• The school recognised that it was their responsibility to make sure Peter was adequately supported on the trip.
• A pupil support assistant was provided by the school to accompany Peter on the trip.
• Peter’s mother felt her concerns had been listened to and acknowledged. She felt more confident about the trip, and felt that Peter would have a much more inclusive experience.

Why this case study matters
• Peter had a legal right for a reasonable adjustment to be made for him to attend the trip.
• Peter’s mother was anxious that Peter would be placed at risk if he attended the trip with no support.
• The confidence and self-esteem that Peter developed on the trip have supported him in other aspects of his life.
• Communication between the family and the school improved through this piece of work.

Sam's story

Enquiry
• Sam’s mum contacted the Salvesen Mindroom Centre for support communicating with school staff in relation to understanding and supporting Sam’s individual needs within the school environment.
• Sam has a diagnosis of autism.
• Over the previous year, the school environment was becoming more of a challenge for Sam. This was having a detrimental impact on his wellbeing and attendance.

What we did
• We supported Sam’s mum to prepare for school meetings, and attended meetings as her supporter.
• We ensured she was aware of her parental rights, particularly in relation to requesting assessments/onwards referrals to professionals within the wider multi-disciplinary team.
• We encouraged seeking advocacy support for Sam to ensure his views were included, and that he was involved in the decision-making and planning process.
• We sought advice and guidance from the Education Officer in relation to Sam’s school attendance structure and supports in place.

Outcome
• School staff sought further advice from a range of professionals (educational psychologist, occupational therapist and specialist outreach teacher) in relation to specific strategies to support Sam.
• There is a consistent team of professionals working together to ensure appropriate supports are in place to promote Sam’s academic progress and wellbeing.
• Occupational therapy input is supporting Sam from a sensory perspective within both the home and school environment.
• Communication with school staff has improved.
• Sam’s mum is exploring respite options.

Why this case is important
• We were able to help the parent prepare for meetings and attend meetings, so she felt properly supported within the multi-disciplinary team. This led to a more collaborative approach in line with the GIRFEC framework.
• We were able to chat through concerns with the parent to help identify approaches/strategies that may reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. Allowing time to have these discussions led to a more objective, solution-focused response. These discussions helped the parent to feel empowered and more confident.
• Our involvement supported the child’s views to be heard, and ultimately the child’s involvement in planning and decision-making about their support.
• Effective communication between parent and school staff were established, which had a positive impact on the parent and child’s wellbeing.