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EHCp - supporting information - mental health with a strong environmental factor

(4 Posts)
HarHer Mon 09-May-16 17:22:19

Hi,

I have been invited to send more information with respect to my request for Statutory assessment for an EHCp for my 15 year old son. My son has a diagnosis of Generalised Anxiety Disorder, but this seems to be predominantly a health anxiety which causes him to lock himself away if anyone coughs; avoid public places; sterilise cutlery and plates and so on. He has 5 hours of Local Authority funded home tuition but he only accesses about 60% of this due to his avoidant behaviour. He also has attachment issues concerning his Dad and brother, both of whom have additional needs and mental health difficulties. There was intervention from CSC for seven months until January this year and this was a very negative experience for my son.

I want to give as much detail as possible in the information, but I am concerned that if I give too much information, a conclusion will be reached that my son is reacting to environmental factors (father and brothers' mental ill health, history of emotional abuse and so on). This may be the case to some extent, but he also needs much more support than I can give him to help him access some sort of adequate education and, most importantly, to get out of the house to meet other people, especially people his own age.

Can someone advise me how I can present the case for support without making it seem like he is just (another) product of his environment. With determined, and consistent support we may be able to start planning things and encouraging him back into a learning environment with a view to supporting him within it. Without it, he will just become more and more ritualistic and reclusive

I apologise for rambling. I have been tying myself in knots trying to put things down

AugustaFinkNottle Tue 10-May-16 11:30:00

I think all you can do is to keep emphasising that all of this means that he is not accessing education and isn't making progress. I think progress is one of the key things; if you can show how little progress he has made (I assume) over the last years that will go a long way to making your case.

As he's getting local authority tuition, that presumably means they accept he can't be in school due to mental health difficulties and they should therefore be having more than 5 hours a week home tuition. Children have a right to full time education under section 19 of the Education Act 1996. It's recognised that that may not translate into the equivalent to the time spent in school when they get home tuition, because home tuition is much more intensive than time spent in a classroom, but at 15 when the child should be thinking about GCSEs I would have said your son should be getting a minimum of 12 hours a week, probably more. They should also be getting advice about strategies to deal with his avoidance.

HarHer Tue 10-May-16 11:52:30

Thank you Augusta,

This is what I thought. My son has made NO progress at all. I have no idea of his targets or levels and sometimes, neither does his tutor. I really want to make a strong case for support, but that must mean support to get out of the house. My other son's education broke down completely and he is a bright boy of 17 who has no qualifications and has had no real education for over two years due the the complexities of his mental health. However, sitting at home in his bedroom certainly does not help.

HarHer Thu 12-May-16 08:13:00

Hello again,

I apologise for bumping my own thread, however, the situation is getting complex. To help determine just how far my son was 'behind' his peers and thus justify my assertion that he is at 'significant disadvantage to his peers', I contacted the PRU who facilitate the home tuition. The PRU do not send their own teachers, rather they use agency teachers who report back to the centre after tuition. Agency teachers often leave if more substantial work is available and my son has had four changes of tutor this year. I contacted the PRU to ask for the results of any assessment of levels (English and Maths), any comments from ILP/IEPs and any targets (soft or academic) that had been set for my son and which his tutors should be working on. The Deputy head of the PRU messaged me back saying that the original arrangement (over a year ago) was that my son would access sessions at the PRU and she would be willing to transfer sessions there immediately if I wanted this to take place.

My son is terrified of the PRU. He visited there about a year ago and saw pupils who were known bullies at his old school, heard alarms going off and the whole place was surrounded by high fences. I know there are smaller and gentler 'medical' groups, but my son would need so much transition and he would need to build up a rapport with someone who would work with him before he could even consider accessing the groups.

So, i thought we were playing a game of ping-pong. If I ask them for targets (which they do not have); they ask my son (through me) for commitment (which he cannot give). I do not think this is helpful and I think the fact that I have had little or no response from the PRU; that no targets or assessments are available and that, even if the goal for my son to access the establishment was still current, there had been no review of his goals for over a year, shows that the PRU has no real interest in my son's welfare nor any real insight into his issues.

Would I be within my rights to ask for a change of provider?

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