Impossible to get EHC Plan for social / anxiety issues?(9 Posts)
How hard would it be to get a Education, Health and Care Plan for a child who seems to be suffering from anxiety / worry?
I wrote on another thread about my son's behaviour. He is 3, he doesn't have any problems with learning, his speaking, counting etc is fine but he has some social difficulty, mixing and developing relationships. The main issue is that he is very easily scared; although he goes to nursery he hates being away from us and still has crying fits despite going to Nursery since Sept; he hates strange / new noises and becomes easily scared, during Bonfire Night when there were fireworks going off he started to sob and had to be held by my wife until he was calm; he won't play on the slides or swings because he is scared. He seems to have developed an irrational fear of things most children enjoy, he won't get on buses or trains etc, he is scared of the hoover. Sometimes he will cry for no particular reason. His teachers have said that he is very risk averse and won't play / interact like other children but overall he is meeting his development milestones.
I was thinking of trying to get a EHC Plan to make sure whatever school he goes to, that there is help / a plan to help him overcome these problems. But from the reading I've done it seems it would be almost impossible for the council to agree to a EHC Plan for someone with his condition.
Any help or guidance would be welcome.
At home he can be very boisterous running around doing what he wants but at nursery is he a total different person, just sitting on the floor, being uninvolved with things. He
I agree that it seems highly unlikely you'd get an EHCP for this. But don't despair - pretty much every child I know has difficulties/quirks/needs special help at some point. Schools are used to this.
You seem to be describing my DD who has auditory and sensory processing disorders related to ASD
In the long term it's not impossible, but it took 8 years before we had exhausted the systems of in school support which has to be tried and failed before an ehcp can be granted
Sadly the system is that you have to let the schools fail in supporting the child before any higher support is put in place
As you describe features of the above disorders try taking a look at the special needs board for support and perhaps try getting a professional assessment which can unlock access to some types of support
The way you have described them, your child's needs don't sound near the thresholds for an EHCP at this stage.
I agree with flyingkangaroos - schools support children with a wide range of needs so I think you will have to wait and see how it goes. However, I would arrange to speak to his teacher towards the end of this academic year to outline his difficulties, and then again during the 2nd week of term in September to see how he is settling in.
He sounds like my ds at that age.
My ds was even worse, he was totall selective mute for 2 years. Only spoke with adults. Had all the social, sensory issues etc. Hated loud noise(hoover, washing machine, ambulance,etc), scared of things mostly appeal to children(swings, climbing frame).
Nursery introduced us to lots of different classes for social development. But he never been diagnosed with anything.
Fast forward till yr4 (9), he is still quirky, has unreasonable phobia, and has traits of asd/adhd, but having fairly normal 9 year old's life at school now.
We're just in the process of applying for one for my nearly 7 year old who is high academic achieving but struggles socially and emotionally. He was recently diagnosed with asd and school,wouldn't apply for ehcp without diagnosis as said he wouldn't get. Still not know if he will get but he has already been excluded from school once so hoping this will be taken into account. I doubt very much you'd get one
The thing is, schools don't only adjust things, or offer help or make a plan, for a child if the child has an EHC Plan.
Hundreds and hundreds of adjustments - some tiny, some major - are made for individual children in a class without there being any documentation at all. Lots more will be made through plans recorded in internal school documents - for example, each half term I complete / update a document running to multiple pages (for a single class) that details e.g. academic interventions, children to be aware of, social / emotional difficulties, vulnerable children, children currently having counselling children with play therapy etc etc etc. None of them has an EHC Plan.
Yes, it would be good to ensure a detailed handover between nursery and prospective school, perhaps even for the school to visit the nursery and observe him if they are close by. It would be helpful for you to have input into the transition documents between nursery and school, or have your own discussion with the reception class teacher, and if they suggest it, the SENCo. However, transition documentation, parents' meeting etc are pretty much standard practice, so it isn't critical to get an EHC Plan in place just to ensure this type of thing happens.
DS has had his quirky moments - acute anxiety causing ASD-like traits, selective mutism, unusual sensitivities, difficulties with social interaction - but like irvineone's DS, he was never diagnosed with anything and has never had any specific SEN documentation.
An EHCP is there for those children who can not be helped in school within the "normal" range of help the school is expected to provide. So if he needs full time 1:1 support this would probably need an EHCP plan in place. If he could cope with good association with the TA in the class in a small group he could be sat at a table with that TA and selected children and supported that way without an EHCP.
The nursery is a good place to start here, ask them for an honest and if needs be written documented opinion on what his needs are likely to be when he starts school. Have you started the process of getting him assessed to rule in or out possible underlying causes such as autism, sensory processing disorder etc? I think you should explore this possiblity with the health visitor and/or GP and try to get a referral. They may not be keen unless the nursery provide some evidence of their concerns too though so do push.
As a parent who has had to fight the system all the way to get an EHCP and specialist placement for my daughter I will say this - don't let people tell you all is ok when you know in your heart there is a problem, don't let professionals fob you off with no answers and tell you to come back later if things dont improve and make sure that every difficulty in nursery and later in school is written down and documented as proof of the issues because without this you have no ammunition to fight your corner for him if you can not get the support he needs. Some local authorities are better than others at helping children with needs but if you have a difficult one there are channels you can follow if he genuinely needs further support and you can not get it. IPSEA and SOSSEN are both good organisations to contact for help and advice about support in school and nursery.
I haven't seen your other thread but my son is the same age as yours and has some similarities in that he isn't intellectually impaired and only has problems with his social/behavioural development, some of which are similar to your son's. Mine has just been diagnosed with autistic spectrum disorder.
I was told he "wasn't bad enough" to get an ehcp at this stage but things might change in the future depending on how he does when he is at school.
You don't need a diagnosis for an ehcp but don't you want to find out first exactly what the problem could be? As I said I haven't seen your other thread so maybe you have done this already and seen a developmental paediatrician but your son hasn't got a definite diagnosis? In that case, has your nursery put you in touch with the area SENCO?
PS I am still quite new to all this as my son only just got his diagnosis. I have found the SN Chat board helpful if you haven't already posted over there.
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