BBC film used to assess autistic man for college place


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Media captionThe Inside Out film from earlier within the 12 months confirmed Zak Mohamed studying to store independently

The mom of a severely autistic man is taking authorized motion after a BBC film displaying him studying to store was used to assess him for a college placement.

Zak Mohamed was given a place at City of Bristol College, which his mom mentioned could be unsafe for him and others as lessons have been too large and too noisy.

In a doc seen by the BBC, the town council mentioned the film confirmed he “can achieve good progress in independence”.

His mom Nura Aabe mentioned she was “sad they would use the film against me”.

In May, the council despatched Ms Aabe an e-mail that mentioned the college had “confirmed it could not fully meet Zak’s needs”. Two months later he was allotted a place there – although he has not but attended the college.

‘This is disgusting’

Bristol City Council mentioned: “We do not comment on the cases of individual clients.”

Ms Aabe mentioned the household took half in a BBC Inside Out documentary in February as a result of she needed to elevate consciousness of how individuals reminiscent of her son might be taught to be extra unbiased and needed Zak to be accepted in communities the place there was a stigma round autism.

Image copyright Nura Aabe
Image caption Nura Aabe mentioned the college could be unsafe for her son Zak

Zak, who turned 20 in October, had to depart particular wants faculty The Shieling, in Thornbury, about 12 miles from Bristol, this summer time as a result of it solely takes college students aged up to 19 in the beginning of a tutorial 12 months.

Ms Aabe mentioned she was nervous being “in a group size of eight students with two adults” at City of Bristol College would “automatically exclude him” as a result of his wants have been too complicated.

She mentioned: “The video was 20 minutes of Zac’s life and it is edited. They have dismissed skilled proof of his wants – speech and language therapists, medical help staff and his household – and used the video as proof.

“They have additionally used ‘anecdotal proof from college students with related wants’ – that’s not proof, that is disgusting.

“How can they offer a placement for a severely autistic boy when they have not met him? What about his safety and the safety of others? It is not safe.”

‘Enough on their plate’

She had hoped Zak might go to Ruskin Mill faculty in Stroud – 32 miles (51km) from Bristol.

Mrs Aabe mentioned: “I want to know why on 8 May, I was told by Bristol City Council that City of Bristol College cannot meet his needs and in July they said they could meet his needs. I’m not going to trust them.”

The council advised her within the e-mail in May that Zak’s case dialogue discussion board “did not decline the request” [for Ruskin Mill] however that it had to “consult with local provision”.

The native authority additionally failed to meet its statutory obligation to problem an Education and Health Care Plan (EHCP) by 31 March. The EHCP would set out the wants, provision and faculty or college a younger person with particular wants ought to attend.

Mrs Aabe mentioned because the council had not met its necessities to problem Zak’s EHCP by the deadline, she was pressured to pay for a solicitor to “threaten” them with a judicial evaluate. A particular wants tribunal is now scheduled for 10 December.

“Why does a family have to go through this struggle? When they’ve already got enough on their plate raising a young man with a severe disability?,” she requested.

A council spokeswoman mentioned: “In supporting younger individuals with SEND to put together for maturity we at all times search to work intently with the younger person and their household, in addition to with training, well being and social care professionals, to assist them obtain the very best outcomes.

“Where it’s applicable we’ll look to present this help throughout the younger person’s area people.”