School have suggested EHC plan, are there any downsides?(15 Posts)
Our dd is 9 and has always struggled in all areas at school. She has been diagnosed with APD (auditory processing disorder) which is probably the cause of her speech and language problems. She has a significant speech and language disorder with particular problems around conceptual language and this has impacted all aspects of her learning. She also has very poor working memory and slow processing skills. Having said all that she is incredibly enthusiastic, loves school, always tries her very best and is a very happy sweet natured little girl.
We work really hard with our dd to help her achieve her potential. We read with her every day, we do maths games and word games every day, she does 20 mins literacy work before school and has 2 specialist tutors per week over- learning and reinforcing everything she is doing at school. We have audio versions of the texts she’s doing at school so she is familiar with them and she loves it. I think we have always hoped that with maturity she would overcome her problems and catch up. We have constantly been chasing a cure! For her APD she is currently being assessed for a specialist ear piece that will pair with a microphone worn by her teacher and we are secretly hoping that this will turn everything around!
She has made progress every school year but her progress is much slower than her peers and the gap is widening all the time. She is much more babyish and seems younger than her class mates. As she is nearing the end of year 4 we are starting to feel a bit worried about secondary school. At a recent meeting with the school SENCO it was suggested to us that we should apply for an EHC plan so that she won’t be thrown in at the deep end. She currently has almost constant TA support which is unlikely to be provided at secondary level without an EHC in place. My dp is very worried about the potential negative implications of having an EHC. For example if dd achieves the grades required and wants to go to uni will it be mentioned on her application? What stigma is attached to an EHC? What are the downsides? I think my dp feels that going down this route is accepting that she has serious learning difficulties and not just barriers that can be overcome with the right strategies/support. I completely understand how dp feels as I feel the same in some ways. However I want to ensure that our dd has all the support she needs to achieve her potential (whatever that might be) and that she continues to be the happy enthusiastic person she is. I can’t bear the thought of her feeling anxious and confused in class and eventually falling through the cracks. I have also been told that applications made in year 5 and 6 are less likely to succeed for several reasons including suspicion that it’s about securing a preferred school place. This isn’t the case with us as our ds is currently year 8 at a great school and she will follow on a sibling place.
Im so sorry this is so long! What should we do?
There are little negatives that I could see, they can be very difficult to get (from a teachers perspective) but will help ensure she gets the support she needs. Tbh your primary school seems very supportive (nearly full time 1:1 ta is basically unheard of these days) as do yourselves and she sounds to be doing fantastically. But secondary school could be different and having the health plan in place will help. No I wouldn't imagine it would be on university applications and if it needs to be when she gets there it can be seen as a positive she has worked to overcome (ime uni's are better at meeting SEND needs than some schools).
So I'd recommend going with your great primaries recommendations and try not to worry - your doing a great job!
Please go ahead. They can be very difficult to get but should help her in the long run. It can really help to get these things in place before secondary school. Having the support of the school should help but please read up all you can to make sure the application goes in well. You often have to appeal, so keep calm and go for that too.
I have a child with additional needs and he was diagnosed over year 4 and 5. It has made all the different to his early years at secondary. He doesn't qualify for EHCP but I would have fought for one had it been the right thing for him.
There will also be the advantage that you will get priority when it comes to secondary school choice as children with statements/EHCP are usually in the category below LAC (looked after children) so as long as the school can meet needs it won't matter whether you are in catchment or not so can choose the school best suited to dd's needs.
There are no downsides parents fight tooth and nail to have sencos's on board and to have EHCP in place.
I have been asking our school for 3 years to apply for an ECHP! Grab it with both hands!
Have you looked into technology? If you have a laptop you can set it up to read to your DD - she can also dictate stories or writing - she may be able to speak better than write I'm guessing here! It has made a huge difference to children's levels - and because the computer reads the children can hear the mistakes and correct them.
Also look at Oxford owl for books read to the child - they love it!
Yes get the statement - if she needs support in high school she will get it and maybe excused from French and do more literacy instead
Thank you all so much for taking the time to respond. I appreciate we might not even get it but will discuss with dp tonight and hopefully crack on with starting the application.
She sounds very, very similar to my daughter.
Our EHCP got her into a Speech & Language specialist support centre within a mainstream school which we didn't know existed and wouldn't have done without the EHCP application process.
Her EHCP also protects her access to direct speech & language therapy, that's something else she wouldn't have guaranteed without it. I had to really fight for that though, as SaLT staff are like gold dust.
We've recently had a brain MRI which has indicated the cause of my DD's learning difficulties and once we have seen the neurologist I will be making sure the EHCP reflects any additional health needs that arise.
Please feel free to PM me - there's very few of us with children who have the same combination of APD / SLCN / social skills
Yes OP you need to get an EHCP in place if that's what the school is suggesting. Your daughter has similar difficulties to my youngest son and the gap widens the further they go up the school.
Depending on your LA it can take ages to get an EHCP (it's supposed to be 20 weeks) but it frequently takes longer and you need to have it in place before she goes to secondary school.
And there would be nothing to stop her going to university later on if that's what she wanted. The new SEN legislation is all about being aspirational and achieving the best possible outcomes. Good luck.
Yes get it.
We have one for DS. He has had a TA assigned just for him pretty much his whole school life.
He is starting secondary in Sept and we have got him into the ofstead graded outstanding school that is very difficult to get into
which also means his two younger sisters have got a better chance now too as they only accept 90 a year. The other school in the catchment area was a good school, but is much much much bigger.
She would benefit now. It would ease transition to Secondary and may mean support in Yr 7. Sometimes equipment can be purchased too. I only see benefits but I might be biased as I work in Education.
EHCPs are confidential - only the staff who put them into effect need to know about them, and they definitely will not be mentioned on a university application.
Agree, unless support is still needed. Lots of students with disabilities are supported through Uni now. I went on several courses at Uni and they were bending over backwards to help students. It was more than one Uni too.
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