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Urgent advice needs re EHCP for 3yo

(48 Posts)
FletchersMum Tue 15-Dec-15 15:08:04

Just coming to terms with the idea that my 3.5yo DD1 might be on the spectrum. It has all escalated quite quickly. Long story but I need advice on the best way forward to getting her an EHCP so that its in place for when she starts reception in September. I am hoping all of you in here who have been through the process can advise me please.

Brief overview: DD is 3.5 years old. Has hyper sensitive hearing (recently diagnosed with Hyperacusis) terrified of hand dryers, motorbikes, clapping etc. Hates sun in her eyes, water on her skin, wind on her face, trousers feel "too tight", fussy eater who takes 1 hr to pick at dinner. Still not toilet trained, doesn't indicate when she needs to go and often doesn't say when she has wet herself. Bites nails and toenails, licks hands. Basically I think SPD but no formal diagnosis yet.

Referred to Paed re hearing and excessive water drinking / toilet training delay. Initial report suspects Social Communication Disorder as she doesn't have te narrow interests of an Aspie and has no language delay. Paed confirmed significant sensory issues around noise. She also mentioned aspergers /ASD but isn't sure. Have been referred to OT, SALT and a panel assessment for final diagnosis. None of these appointments have come through yet.

DD has speech and language of a 5 year old, can already read and count and has a phenomenal memory. She is at school nursery 5 mornings, their recent observation at request of paed said she cries excessively every day over minor things, wanders around looking "lost", has outbursts of anger and throws herself on floor. When pushed about the issue of an EHCP, the school SENCO has said in her opinion, "yes she will need an EHCP for reception." And has put her on SEN register.

But then SENCO talks of an extremely lengthy process of first of all asking their EP to do an assessment before deciding whether the school will apply for an EHCP assessment.

I want to know whether I should apply now myswlf although the only 2 pieces of evidence I have are Paed initial report with unconfirmed dx and nursery observation report? Should I get in a private EP/OT/SALT to do assessments? I could get my GP to write a report, also the HV who has known her since birth.

If truth be told I want her to attend a different school nearby that has a sensory room and a very caring head. No way I will get her in there on distance, would need an EHCP but no way this will be ready by the schools application deadline of 15th Jan.

Any advice about best way to proceed most gratefully received. Have dw-badged for this one, I am in SW London area.

Dipankrispaneven Tue 15-Dec-15 15:49:26

There isn't any requirement in law that you get an EP report before requesting an EHC needs assessment. In fact, that should be part of the assessment process. Some LAs are saying that this is essential but that is unlawful. If they refuse an assessment on that basis you would have excellent grounds for appeal.

Can you get any more evidence, e.g. nursery records? Something from your GP and HV would probably be helpful. Basically you need to prove that your dd is not making progress and that her needs can't be met within the resources normally available to a mainstream school.

The trouble with getting private reports is that anyone good is likely to be very booked up. Ideally you need someone who has experience of tribunal work in case you need to appeal.

I would agree that you should go ahead and put your own request in. You do however need to be aware that there is no guarantee that this will all go through in time for the new school year. The process is supposed to take 20 weeks, but it sounds as if the LA may well refuse assessment so you would have to appeal.

If you're in SW London you're probably quite near to SOS SEN, you might like to go to one of their workshops or advice clinics - www.sossen.org.uk/advice_centres.php

FletchersMum Tue 15-Dec-15 16:05:18

Thanks for that Dipan. I could get a report from her prev childminder who had her for 2 years. The nursery have not been communicative at all. In fact at parents eve they said she was fine but just got upset easily. Yet a few weeks later they write an observation that clearly shows she is not coping well there at all.
The bit that worries me is that as she is bright it will be hard to show she is failing educationally.

FletchersMum Tue 15-Dec-15 16:24:59

Sorry to clarify above I meant it will be harder to show she is not making progress as she is very bright. I think she will make progress but without 1:1 she will be very disruptive to the class with constant outbursts, throwing everything on the floor and shouting when she can't do something first time, not hearing instructions, can't sit still on her chair for more than 5 mins etc. Basically she will struggle emotionally and behaviourally.

2boysnamedR Tue 15-Dec-15 20:24:03

It's very tight to get a ehcp in place for Sept start. My son is at a SN nursery he they are just starting the process. I have to apply without a ehcp too.

Go the ipsea website and apply now. Just use what have as evidence. I wouldn't spend out on private reports for this stage.

Highly likely you will be refused. If nursery apply your more likely to get it but they need to crack on ASAP.

If you apply and they say no, you just appeal. Most of these are dropped by the LA ( done this for my older son).

In a ideal world you do whatever it takes to get the nursery to apply. It will take much longer to apply and appeal.

Could you get anything on paper that could sway a desision? Grasping at straws? I had a slt do a report on my son and I found out he scored in the 1% range. There was no way my La could win the appeal to assess him. It was only £150 but I see it wouldn't be relavent for you

MabelBee Tue 15-Dec-15 20:30:29

We have just started our EHCP application for reception next September. You still have time. For the January deadline you need to apply for your four mainstream schools but the named school on your EHCP happens separately and later in the process, so overrides any school you have been assigned to.

Dipankrispaneven Tue 15-Dec-15 21:50:24

I'm afraid if the nursery doesn't support you it's likely that the LA will refuse to assess - not that that should stop you, but it means you'll probably have to appeal. Is there any chance of discussing their observation report with them and seeing if they'll change their minds?

FletchersMum Wed 16-Dec-15 05:04:43

Sorry everyone for gap in replying. Had been up since 4am so fell asleep by 8pm. Dipan Nursery have said they will let me know by end of this week if they are going to apply for an EHCP assessment or not, which will at least give me a clear decision to move forward from. I am hopeful they will say yes. If not will do as suggested and apply myself. The LA has 6 weeks to respond - I wonder if they will count the Xmas break in that or not? 2boys thanks and actually a S&L assessment would be relevant for my DD as Social Communication Disorder is about the way you interact with others, even though my DD has excellent vocab, the problems can be with eye contact, reading body language, semantics etc. Paed has said SALT needs to assess her for this.
Mabel that's really good to know about choice of school. I just hope now she can be kept in mainstream. She did not cry constantly at childminders, my feeling is being in a larger group in nursery is overwhelming for her particularly with her sensory issues. Who names the school on an EHCP? Parents or LA or both?
My head is spinning and I am going thru loads of diff emotions but mainly worry for DD as it's gone from her being about more sensitive than offers to me imagining her being bullied for having SN, no friends, etc etc. I have an 8 month old and not sleeping which compounds things. Thanks for all your advice.

FletchersMum Wed 16-Dec-15 05:06:09

*about her being more sensitive than others.. Sorry typing on iPhone in dark.

FletchersMum Wed 16-Dec-15 05:06:56

*a bit more sensitive
Autocorrect grrrrr

2boysnamedR Wed 16-Dec-15 11:07:17

With the EHCP it's supposed to be heavily focuses on parental choice. I'm sorry to say I have not experienced this but maybe I'm just bitter. However once you have a EHCP changing a mainstream school in theroy is easy. It getting the EHCP and it being half decent or naming a SN schools that people have most trouble with. About 3% of children have one. I went down the appeal route and it took three calendar years ( hence try to get nursery on board ;0)

FletchersMum Wed 16-Dec-15 11:27:21

3 years???!!! I admire your persistence. That must have been extremely stressful for you. I wonder what the likelihood is they will name a SN school as would prefer to try her in mainstream and see how she gets on first. I wouldnt even know what SN schools are in my area. Will Google. Thanks 2boys.

2boysnamedR Wed 16-Dec-15 13:44:24

It was stressful, not something I ever want to repeat. If they name a SN school you can just turn it down. You have every right to mainstream so don't worry about that.

To give you a example the SN schools I am looking at are £18,000 and just below a year. Mainstream is is £4000 ( although both normally have costs to be added on for the EHCP provision) but as you see it saves the LA going to mainstream unless there are major needs ( my toddler son would cost more in mainstream as he needs twice weekly SLT, OT and full time 1:1 which is mostly onsite in SN school).

FletchersMum Wed 16-Dec-15 15:57:14

I didn't realise there was such a massive difference in cost to the LA 2boys. I will try her in mainstream then. Having a tough day today with DDs behaviour. At this rate I am not sure I can cope without my fanily and seriously considering moving back to my hometown so they can help me day to day. But that's another story. Thanks for your advice x

Ineedapiginblanket Wed 16-Dec-15 16:16:12

Hi Fletchers and welcome to the board.

I just wondered if you had considered deferring her entry into reception?
If she is 3.5 now she must be a spring/summer born baby, this with the addition of SEND gives you the possible option of delaying entry into school!

This would give the nursery more time to get their act together and stop you having to panic about her going into school without the correct support in place!

Even if she gets an ehcp it is highly unlikely that the LA would try to name a specialist setting as 2boys says. LA's try to fit as many children as possible into mainstream because of the cost implications.

I would worry about you doing a parental request because it would almost certainly be refused whereas it does seem that nursery already have evidence to suggest she needs an ehc needs assessment.

What have the nursery put into place so far to support her? That will be taken into account when they apply for an assessment!

FletchersMum Wed 16-Dec-15 19:31:45

Hello Blanket
You know its funny as I was chatting to another mum at playground today who has a summer born child with Downs and she suggested the same thing. TBH though the thought of having to deal with her at home every afternoon for a whole extra year really stresses me out. Her behaviour is getting worse and worse and her screaming/crying "/aggressive outbursts are really starting to affect my 8 month old DD2. Today the baby has cried in a really intense, distressed way three times because DD1 frightened her. If I'm honest it will be a huge relief to have DD1 start school in September. That is, of course, if doing a full day at school doesn't make her even worse which I realise is a distinct possibility. I cried and shouted myself too today as had hardly any sleep and I just couldn't take any more. Have contacted my HV for a home visit. My OH finishes work in Friday for Xmas so that will take the pressure off me a bit. I just felt really on the edge today.

FletchersMum Wed 16-Dec-15 19:44:48

PS you asked what the nursery have put in place to support her - they only added her to the SEN register last week. Am Prob going to out myself by saying details but they have suggested providing a sensory box of toys for her to play with if she feels angry or upset and creating a quiet place for her. I asked for a home/school diary to record incidents as evidence. And they have said will tell teachers to use touch and make eye contact when giving instructions to make sure she has heard them. They are also creating an IEP.

Ineedapiginblanket Wed 16-Dec-15 21:18:53

Have they applied for additional early yrs funding to allow them to give her some extra support?

The home/school diary would be helpful to evidence her difficulties for an EHCP!

2boysnamedR Wed 16-Dec-15 21:42:45

Do you know who your early years improvement officer / advisor for the nursery is? They might be able to help out as they sometimes get the extra funding mentioned by Ineed above

FletchersMum Wed 16-Dec-15 21:47:27

Blanket to my knowledge they haven't applied for anything yet. They didn't seem to think DD had a genuine problem until Theg did the Obs and I met with SENCo.
2Boys would that officer be at the LA or employed by school?

Ineedapiginblanket Wed 16-Dec-15 21:54:22

The LA!

2boysnamedR Wed 16-Dec-15 22:02:05

Yes it's the LA. But really it's another team then the Sen team lot. This person makes sure that things like early years curriculum is being delivered in return for the 15 free hours. So when extra funding goes in, they check how that's being spent too. Hence they will know about such things.
Ask who it is or for their contact details. My toddlers one was very good. I can't remember off the top off my head who went into nursery from the LA to assess my older boy. Might have been the same person.

FletchersMum Wed 16-Dec-15 22:15:34

Will nursery take offence if I send someone in from LA? Should Ia so Senco at nursery first?

FletchersMum Wed 16-Dec-15 22:16:18

Should I ask rather! (autocorrect fail)

FletchersMum Wed 16-Dec-15 22:18:16

PS I am falling asleep with phone in hand so apologies if I suddenly stop replying. Totally exhausted.

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