Moderate vs severe learning difficulty(6 Posts)
Our DS has global delay and is around 12-18 months behind in most areas. We’re trying to determine where he will go to school in September and are pulling our hair out trying to navigate the EHCP process. DS is not noticeably disabled at first glance and considered by many to be immature. I think this means many health professionals don’t really prioritise us. I’m desperately worried that he’ll fall through the cracks as our paperwork is delayed or lost and our reviews and ed psych consultation seem to be postponed repeatedly.
For those of you who’ve survived this system how did you decide where to send your children. I wish I could understand what defines a moderate or severe learning difficulty and whether a special school would be better than mainstream with support
Unless you're funding yourself and choose a private special school then you will to have the EHCP in place first. Every child in a maintained special school is placed there via the EHCP so that probably curtails your choice for now. Having said that go and view!! Go get a feeling for what's out there, what they have to offer etc. Do think about where your DC will be best suited to socially and emotionally as well as academically.
All schools are different. There are HUGE differences between one mainstream school and another, and HUGE differences between one special school and another.
My advice is to apply for a mainstream REception place now, in the usual round or applications, so you definitely have a place somewhere, come what may. IME special school places are like gold dust, so if you decide prefer one of the special school, it still doesn't mean you will get a place there. If you do choose a special school, and do get a place, then you can let the mainstream school know at that point that you will no longer need the place. If you don't have a place though, you won't get one after the places are allocated if you don't get the special school you want.
Alongside that, you need to press the EPS. If your EP assessment has been 'repeatedly' postponed, then I would make a record of that and contact the management team. If that doesn't get you anywhere then google SENDIASS + your local authority and contact them. They are there to support parents navigating through the system, or, more honestly, having trouble with the system. The whole 'applying for an EHC Plan' takes many months, and, whilst that is going on, the special school places are filling up.
Thirdly - alongside both of the above, go and visit several schools - different specialist provision, different mainstream, and maybe resource bases if you have any in your authority. Then you can express your preference based on actual knowledge of a particular school, not a generalised idea.
Thank you, we're pretty much following your advice just frustrated by the glacial pace of the process!
We finally got a special school place, 17 months after we started the application process and a further 10 months on from when we started collecting evidence!
Great news.... well, the end result, not the length of journey
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