Noah is a non-binary 14 year old who lives at home with their mum, dad and sister. They love musicals and playing Minecraft. Noah also has autism spectrum disorder and experiences anxiety and depression.
They attend a local special school 3 days a week and a mainstream school 2 days a week. They receive support from lots of services including both schools, a speech and language therapist and the child and adolescent mental health team (CAMHS).
Noah has a Co-ordinated Support Plan (CSP) which needs to be reviewed at a meeting. The mainstream school would like to talk to Noah about the possibility of them increasing the number of days they attend from 2 to 3 days.
Making a referral
There are lots of people involved in Noah’s plan. The head teacher of the special school thinks it would be good if Noah had space to talk to someone who is completely separate from the support they currently have. In particular to talk about how they feel about their Coordinated Support Plan.
Noah and their parents agree to a referral to the My Rights, My Say Children’s Views service. The referral form asks the Children’s Views service to find out Noah’s views on the support they currently get. This includes a copy of their Co-ordinated Support Plan that Noah and their mum agreed to being shared.
Emma from the Children’s Views service calls and speaks to Noah’s mum to arrange the first visit. Emma has read on the referral form about how Noah uses symbol cards at school to support their learning and talk about their feelings. Noah and their mum agree that Emma can speak to Noah’s speech and language therapist. This will help to make sure that Emma works in a way that is best for Noah.
Before coming to visit, Emma sends Noah a video introducing herself and explaining what will happen at the first visit. At the visit, Emma spends time with Noah and their mum at home. Using the symbols that Noah is familiar with, Emma and Noah complete “All About Me” activities to get to know each other better.
Emma sends Noah a letter after their first visit with copies of the work they did and a plan for the next visit.
Finding out Noah’s views
At the next visit, Noah talks about how they feel about their two schools and the support they get. Noah asks their mum to stay in the room while they talk to Emma.
Noah explains that they like the mainstream school as they get to do lots of different work. They tell Emma about the classes they like and the ones they struggle with. Noah would like to try and do an extra day at the mainstream school. However, they want to be able to the go to support base if they get overwhelmed.
Sharing Noah’s views
Noah and Emma work together to write down all of the things Noah wants the adults who are reviewing their Co-ordinated Support Plan to know. Emma writes everything Noah has told her in a report, which includes the symbols they used to talk about things. She sends it to Noah so that they can check they are happy with it. Once they have agreed that they are happy, Emma sends it to the school and gives Noah and their mum a copy.
What happens next?
Noah had told Emma that they would like to go to the review meeting. Emma goes to the meeting with Noah to help them take part. Noah is happy to be in the room but not to join in the conversation. They decide to sit slightly away from the conversation and use their communication cards to share how they are feeling or if they would like something to be explained in more detail. Noah knows they can leave the room at any time if they would like to. Because Noah told Emma about how they wanted to take part in the meeting, Emma was able to arrange all of this in advance.
After the meeting, Noah attends the mainstream school for 3 days a week on a trial basis. Both schools agree to review how things are going after 3 months. Emma explains to Noah that she can help them share their views at this meeting if they want her to.