To ask for help r.e EHCP - no idea what the fuck i'm doing(9 Posts)
Have you posted this on the special educational needs board too as there may be more people who have gone through it themselves.
SN board is very helpful. Ask MN to move it
We are currently going through the EHCP assessment process and the process so far has been:
1.) I made a formal request (in writing) to LA SENco. In this request I included my son's letter of diagnosis, the latest reports I had from OTs and SLTs, and a summary from my son's ABA program supervisor - basically, include enough to show that an assessment is needed.
2.) The LA SENCO then presented my request to the EHCP panel (in our LA they meet 1x/week but other LAs could be different). The panel agreed to do an assessment.
3.) Assessment appointments were then arranged - the speech and language, OT, educational psychology and paediatric neurology departments all contacted me by post to set up appointments. As my son is currently in a home program, the SLT and Ed Psych assessments took place at home. OT and neurologist at children's centre.
4.) I now have copies of the reports and we have set a meeting with SENCO and Ed Psych to discuss and go through what the SENCO will submit to the EHCP panel as a draft plan (i.e. her recommendations based on reports). This meeting was not offered to me - I had to push for it but my understanding is that parents are entitled to have input into the draft plan if they request it.
5.) Depending on how this goes we will have a pretty good idea as to what will be offered - of course, the panel can make changes to the draft plan when they meet but we will know from the draft how things are heading.
6.) Obviously if what is offered is insufficient/not in DS's best interests we will need to look at appeals/tribunal but we are hopeful that a decent plan will be offered. I am, however, keeping meticulous records of all meetings and phone calls so that we have an accurate timeline etc about how things develop.
We are very clear that DS needs a special school for complex needs and severe learning difficulties, with a dedicated 1-to-1, plus OT and SLT. The Ed Psych who assessed him for our LA was FANTASTIC - really focused on his needs and -super importantly - his emotional well-being and security, which helped. It had helped hugely that we have been running a home program for the last 3.5 years (at our own expense from our after-income - no tax breaks for parents who self-fund even though early intervention is PANTS in this country, despite the huge volume of evidence-based research showing that this is not only the best chance for autistic children but also a long-term cost saving for the state) so it has nearly bankrupted us BUT it means that we have access to advisors who are looking at our son's needs, not the LA's financial targets. If you can afford it, I would recommend getting independent Ed Psych and SLT reports so that you have an idea going in what to push for. Depending on where you live, I might be able to recommend someone.
I hope this helps and good luck!
It's a time thing, if you get private reports now, they will probably be out of date, by the time you appeal any refusal from the LA and you will have to pay for them to be done again
1. You request assessment. LA have 6 weeks to decide whether to agree or refuse.
2. If they refuse, you have to appeal. Takes several months.
3. If they agree, they assess. However, after assessment, they can refuse to issue an EHCP. You have to appeal, takes several months.
4. After assessment if they agree to issue a draft ECHP, it might not contain what you want. You finalise and have to appeal, takes several months.
5. If all goes well and they agree at every stage and include what needs to be included, whole process takes 20 weeks.
6. If they don't agree at every stage it can take forever appealing.
You have the right to request any assessment that you think may be necessary to be included as part of an EHC needs assessment.
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