Hi. My son transferred to huge seniors in September. He's sensory, possible ASD and with big anxiety issues. He managed 3 days and hasn't been in since. The paediatric doctors had to abandon his ados test as he refused to talk or interact with them at all. They say he now needs an ehcp. Problem is the SENCO doesn't know how to do it as she's only met him once and they have no paperwork proof apart from what the primary provided, which shows they managed to support him just enough for him to cope. Now what? He's being referred to a temporary unit while we sort this out as he's currently getting no schooling at all. He needs the ehcp to get into a specialist school or he's stuck. Waiting for a charity to get back to me that helps but they are snowed under and I've no idea how long before they can help. Any ideas ?? Tia
Have you tried SOS SEN?
I would strongly suggest you put in your own request for an EHC needs assessment. You can do it just by letter, but it might be better to see if your LA has a form for that purpose on its local offer website. If there are any questions you can't answer, e.g. about support in school, leave them blank or refer them to the primary school. If you've got reports from the paediatrician, include them - if not, ask for them and send them along later.
Have a look on the IPSEA and SOS SEN website for more information, and if possible go to one of SOS SEN's workshops on EHCPs.
Thanks. That's not a group I had heard of before. I was expecting to hear from the SENCO today but, as ever, she's not called. He's up to over 90 unauthorised absences now. I was just looking into starting it myself when she messaged to say she was asking for help. If they don't have enough supporting evidence it'll be thrown out and I'm so worried. He just about cooed in year 6 but was touch and go and, in truth, I think the previous school should have started it months ago. So stressed. Thanks. I'll take a look x
You can start an application for an EHCP yourself by filling in a form from the local education authority.
What does she (the SENCO?) mean by she is asking for help? Is she applying for the EHCP?
The local education authority do need supporting evidence but they can't throw it out for lack of evidence. They can decide he doesn't need an EHCP if the evidence isn't compelling but it's their responsibility as much as yours to gather that evidence. Everything you can do to build up solid evidence will help your case.
My LEA always appoint an educational psychologist to observe the student in whatever placement they are in, interview the student, parents and staff working with the student and do assessments with the student and it is the ed psych's report which carries a lot of the weight when the decision is made about the EHCP.
The temporary unit sounds like the answer. The ed psych can observe him there, the staff there, who will be experienced with working with students with difficulties in mainstream, can report their views.
Don't hang about with this waiting on the SENCO. Pin her down. Is she applying for the EHCP? If not, get going on it yourself.
The SENCO was contacting the authority as she has no proof from her school about his issues apart from the fact they didn't want him onsite as he was a flight risk and banging himself on the walls..but no paper trail. I saw Ed psych at home but she only chatted to me and looked at his oneplan and sensory report. Paeds can't help and they haven't even been able to talk to him yet so nothing much from them apart from a letter confirming the failure to complete test. The issue that doesn't help is the the SENCO is only acting SENCO as the other one had been off long term sick and only lasted a week before leaving for good. It's a mess. I was hoping to hear from the unit as I believe they are good at getting things going but the school have no idea how long it will take as they haven't done a medical referral in years
Hi, similar story for us too. Where to begin... we had a 'perfect' childhood, but DD began her withdrawl in Yr8 after inummerable 'friendship and perfectionist issues' and despite input from SENCO, GP & CAMHS and being accepted into a smaller mainstream school, she withdrew further to point she was referred for 24hr unit support. fortunantely a short inpt stay at NHS hospital was our turning point.
We were referred to SOCS and had TAC/ CiN instigated, EWO were involved and her absence from school was authorised due to CAMHS diagnosis of anxiety & depression and provisional dx of HF ASD. This also enabled school to provide EOTAS (education other than at school) support and with CAMHS involvment, gave us more support to instigate a EHCP.
Our problem regarding the EHCP was the new school didn't know her and did not provide information which would proceed a EHC Needs Assessment, she also refused to communicate with her CAMHS keyworker, has had an ASD assessment (did not comply and is on hold!)
We have been though a really difficult 2.5 years, but her ECHP is going through, she has started at a PRU following panel hearing from school, (without an EHCP, and undiagnosed ASD, but based on her medical/psychological issues) which is getting her some education. she wants to go to uni and panics about her education, she is likely to just about get her 5 GCSE's (rather than 14 her brothers got).
As earlier posts suggest, ask for IPSEA advice via your local education authority, and also the Local Offer Broker to make them aware. Also contact the National Autistic Sociey or local available supportfor advice. Although she doesn't had an ASD diagnosis, we were told by the CAMHS consultant we are to treat her as if she has. this will give you some mental strength that he can't help how he is feeling. and READ everything you can to support your case.
Keep records and timeframes of your meetings because it's not an easy journey, but it will get better.
Hope this helps. xx
Wow Gray you really have been through it. Thankyou so much for sharing that, what an awful system that makes it take that long to get help. I'm struggling to get any answers from the school, unanswered emails and voice mails unreturned. I'm being told to start threatening to make a complaint against them in the hopes it will get them to at least talk to me. I sadly missed a call today that was from a local support charity, frustrating. Thanks for the advice, hope things for your daughter work out xx
Do get your request for an EHCP in without waiting for responses to your letters etc. That way you can start that clock ticking whilst dealing with other things, and because they have to work to deadlines once you start that process it may put you further up everyone's priority lists.
Thanks - It has taken a while, but to be fair, our dd needed to go very slowly; rushing her led to withdrawal but I hope it shows that you can get through this, but you really do have to be on his case I'm afraid.
Go higher than the school! Have you spoken to your Local Educational Authority/Local Offer Broker to discuss what education he could access, and about initiating the EHCP? The LEA told us to submit the request ourselves, but we wanted back up and support from school as we thought it would make her case stronger. However the SENCO 'didn't have time' to complete it before the deadline and sent in minimal info which WAS the reason it was initially rejected despite our supporting evidence.
Your LEA should be able to provide a supporting link, such as SENDIASS, who can help you complete the EHCP request for assessment - this is a brilliant service and provided the governmental and educational framework we needed, and what supporting evidence to include. I'm aware every education authority has different links and services so hope you can source something like this.
If you can get through this referral process and are offered a Needs Assesssment, an Ed. Psychology assessment will strengthen your case further; so even if you don't get the EHCP, their assessment will document his specific needs which can support a referral to the specialist school.
We also had the supporting evidence from CAMHS consultant who acknowledged dd anxieties and that she needed education in a small setting 'appropriate to her needs' He said an EHCP would be necessary as her problem exists whether or not she gets a diagnosis of ASD. This was really helpful; could you get something similar in writing from your consultant?
MN was also a good source for support too although I never posted while I was going through this, one piece of advice resonated which was to be prepared, make notes, date them, try to stay calm and in control (although you may be crying/seething/frustrated/swearing etc inside). Remember you are your ds best advocate and know his needs, so see he gets them met. Good Luck!
Thanks for the advice. I have to push for the ehcp as the local specialist school will only take him if he has one and all the other local schools have 1000 pupils plus, which is one of the main reasons this happened. I've finally heard from the SENCO, she can't get hold of the services to help,her but she's going to set up a multi agency meeting. I've also finally managed to get hold of Families in Focus. They will be calling me back within the week to start specialist support for ehcp and possible dla and carers claim, he can't be alone at all and as he's 11 that's seen as "over and above normal parenting role" apparently. At least it's a start. I'm so nervous now though, brings it home talking to,all these people, this is real, he's really in need of all of this.
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