Educational psychologist report(21 Posts)
Well I finally have a copy of the educational psychologist's report for my 3 year old ds(asd). There are two things in it that are not true, that he points to request/show interest, and that he can count to 20. He does not point, to request or otherwise, and can count - but up to 10.
Is it worth my while to bring this up and disagree with the ep report?
The rest is quite accurate.
She has mentioned support from staff trained in asd, for 1:1 and group work, ot and salt, assessment for i.t equipment, structured environment. Also she has written out a list of details for an IEP.
I would not take that ep report, it is an untruth, which could go AGAINST your son.
You should dispute it, but LA reports are never going to be very helpful tbh because the LA's main agenda is always money saving even though they would not admit this. You also need to look out for wooly wording in part 3 which could present a problem - provision should always be quantified and qualified.
Hi- just thought I'd give the point of view of someone who works for LA in SEN. Firstly, if you are concerned about EP report, contact the EP who saw your child and tell them your views. Ask what evidence they have for stating what they did. If needs be ask them to write and adendum to provide this evidence and clearly state your views - as the parent you do know your child best. If you are not happy with the EP, contact the Principal Educational Psychologist to get some resolve. While EPs work for the LA, I think it is unfair to say that they partake in any 'money saving' agenda - that would be grossly unethical. But it is true that in a Statutory Assessment the EP report does carry a lot of weight and it is therefore very important that the parent view is clearly and correctly stated in the report.
Hope this helps.
KT12 - of course it is unethical, but in many LAs it is how it is, and it's easier to get what your child needs if you realise that.
I have evidence for my view - when we went to tribunal I used the DPA to get the LA to cough up dd's file - and in that I found comments (that they never knew I would read one day) about the provision we were seeking which stated unequivocally that it was too expensive and would set a precedent.
I also know a family who were told at their child's statutory assessment by the LA appointed EP: "This isn't about what I really think".
Electra, I'm really sorry that you have had a difficult experience in getting what you believe is best for your child. You are right that LA's have to meet needs on very tight budgets and that sometimes means carefully assessing whether needs can be met using alternatives to what parents want. Perhaps we should lobby for higher taxes and that the government don't spend so much money fighting senseless wars and give it to a far more worthy cause.
But let's not detract too much from deeeja's quesions. If you don't agree with what is stated in the EP report, yes do contact the EP and discuss it and request it be changed if there is no evidence for what is written.
<splutter> what "alternatives" do you mean? We weren't offered one - just an empty statement. I didn't get what was best for my dd, I got what she required to make any progress at all...
Clearly you and I are never going to agree on this but my opinions are based on observations that I have made first hand.
Don't try to suggest that my opinions have no relevance here. Actually, I do believe that if you feel you can get what you want without a fight then that is a better road to travel. But it is important for parents to understand the system and to understand what the nature of their opposition is if they have to go to tribunal.
Also, KT12, there are many incidences of LAs breaking the law, which is partly why IPSEA do the work they do and you can see these incidences there for yourself. Many of them do not adhere to the framework set out in the COP and have blanket policies which are unlawful.
oh dont talk to me about EP,s
the Principal Ed psych has just been in to dd,s nursery, done a "mini" asessment for the tribunal hearing on tuesday (it actually states that on the form) not contacted us to give us her reasons for her findings, and has sent it straight to the LEA to be used as late evidence, she also has not signed the report.
this is the 2nd time she has done this.
we are writing a very strong letter to the chief exec asking her to be removed from our daughters education and an explanation as to why this has been allowed to happen.
she has been grossly unethical.
our independent psych has told us to complain to the BPS about her.
Deeja, I would just contact the EP and point out what you feel are the inaccuracies. She won't mind you contacting her at all. She may have put these details in because nursery staff indicated that they were true, or she may have seen something during an observation which suggested that they were true. However, if she has made a mistake, she will probably be grateful that you have pointed it out to her at this point and more than happy to correct the report.
Incidentally, I agree with KT12, I would be surprised if most EPs have an agenda to help the LEA save money. Usually, they do very little power indeed (although I appreciate that from the outside this may not seem the case).
I work in ASD Education, and it is important to have absolutely accurate reports from an EP as programmes and support are likely to be based upon their recommendations and assessment. In your position i'd write to the EP[or ring, followed by a brief written note of the main points] to request that you discuss this further as you have never seen the two things which appear in the report. Go for the positive to start with, that the assessment on the whole is very accurate, but you wondered about x and y. It is well worth getting it clarified at this stage, imo.
Well I phoned the ep, who told me she was not going to discuss the report with me. Then I wrote to her and to the PEP, after which she said it was too late to change anything on the report, but has passed my comments on to the panel. So when I object to the draft statement, it will be no surprise then. I just know that now they will probably delay the draft statement. No worries, I have a couple of years before legal school age. (Breath out, b r e a t h!)
I have been seriously stressed about this. The report also says my son has a diagnosis of hypotonia, which he definately does not. There is no medical diagnosis from any paediatrician of hypotonia. I would laugh at her incompetence if it wasn't so grrrrrrrrrrrrrr...can't find the words.....
I just think she is desperately trying to avoid the word autism. She has not mentioned it in her report, how underhand is that?
I used to be shocked at the actions of EPs, well I now know a prize bitch of one!
I can't wait to drag my LEA through tribunal.
The only experience I have KT12 is that all local authority officials toe the LEA line, and they do not care what they do in the process. EVIDENCE?!****
They make it up as they go along!!
Hmm. That doesn't sound good.
Make sure in your submission that you make your views very clear. In particular, say what you think is inaccurate. Try to state it in as factual a way as possible. Say what he can do but also make clear where the limit of what he can't do is e.g. He can count to 10 but no further.
An EP cannot diagnose autism and would not normally say a child has autism in their report unless there was an official medical diagnosis. If there is an official diagnosis, then the LEA panel should be considering the EP report alongside a medical report so they should be aware of it.
I'm sorry this is turning out to be so stressful for you.
From the Special Educational Needs Code of Practice:
"Partnership with parents plays a key role in promoting a culture of co-operation between parents, schools, LEAs and others. This is important in enabling children and young people with SEN to achieve their potentail.
Parents hold key information and havbe a critical role to play in their children's education. They have unique strengths, knowledge and experience to contribute ti the shared view of a child's needs and the best way of supporting them. It is therefore essentail that all professionals (schools, LEAs and otehr agencies) actively seek to work with parents and value the contriution they make."
Do you think, from your experience, that the practice is not abding by the Department for Eduation and Skills Code of Practice???
Most of the professionals involved in the assessment of my ds, apart from the paediatrician, has spent time trying to persuade me that I am paranoid and to hard in assessing my ds. I have seen them do this with other parents, and other parents will accept this, and then not object to the draft statement when it arrives.
They do not like me, because I have argued with them all the way through all assessments of my son. I focus on my son's difficulties unti lthey sit up and listen.
The way they apply the "code of practice", is "make the parents agree with us, then that is co-operation."
They try to make you lose sight of the true picture of your child's difficulties, until you are persuaded that your child does not need a statement, and is managing fine without any intervention.
So no, my LEA is not abiding by the COP.
I was even told that the Education Act, had been replaced by new legislation, and statements were not being issued anymore. I wish I had got that in writing!
Dear Deejea - I echo what neolara has said and agree that it is very important you make your views known clearly and factually. I am sorry you feel that all the local authority staff have treated you in an unacceptable way - this does not happen in all authorities though. May I ask what was the EP's reason for not discussing the report with you? Reports can have adendums at any stage and if your ds is under 5 he will need to have biannual reviews of his Statement which should then be updated. But as you say, you plan to object to the draft Statement, however I would suggest you write to the SEN Assessment Team and state that you want your views looked at when the Draft Statement is discussed at the panel. BBBeee is absolutely right about how important the views of the parent are and that they do need to be seriously considered, however that does not mean that professionals assessing the child will always agree with the parent and that can be immensely frustrating.
Can I also ask, other than the Paediatrician, have any other health professionals assessed your ds, ie Speech and Language Therapist, Clinical Pyschologist or Child Psychialtrist?? ASD is a medical diagnosis and certainly in the authorities where I have worked an EP would never make this diagnosis, especially not based on 1 observation. The EP might say something on the lines of delayed impaginitive play skills or difficulties with social communication and interaction. ASD should be diagnosed through a multi-disciplinary process and in my view over a period of time, as it is in fact one of the hardest diagnoses to make. Has any professional completed a developmental profile using a standardised tool rather than just observation?? And has any professional said that your ds does or does not meet the criteria for the Triad of Impairment which leads to a diagnosis of ASD. I say all this, because if you do go to tribunal, then these very factual things will be important rather than qualitative observations.
Also, do you have a Parent Partnership in your area - they usually operate independently of the LA and can provide you with a lot of support.
As someone who works for a LA, I just want to assure folk out there that there are many of us to do support parents and who do work with parents to ensure their childrens' needs are met according to the COP, I am just very sorry Deeeja that you have not been able to have a positive relationship with a LA professional and that your experience has been so negative and frustrating. I really hope that you will reach a resolve soon. Have you though about asking for a meeting with the LA Director responsible for SEN or Early Years?
I am sure you are an exception to the rule and would not mind talking to someone like you and indeed some of the LEA staff I have met have been quite reasonable (if somewhat dogmatic). I realise LEA's are up against financial constraints but many of them will knowingly still try and buck their statutory responsbilities. They know the law besides which ignorance is no excuse. I have myself had to call upon IPSEA's assistance in the past re obtaining my son a statement and was very grateful for their help. (I would not personally touch my branch of PP with a long pole primarily because they are not independent of my LEA but that's just my opinion).
The Code of Practice is all very well and good but at 200 pages plus long not many LEA staff to my mind have the time to thoroughly read through such a document. They use the SEN toolkit instead which at 24 pages is a much shorter read. However, the toolkit to my mind is not used for its intended purpose i.e as an addendum to the COP but rather as a short cut to issue statements that are vague and without quantified provision (which is unlawful).
Perhaps the LEA's should get on to the Department of Health as they're the ones who really control the purse strings. If this mad hat scheme to devolve powers to the schools goes nationwide I feel that this will be disasterous for both schools and children.
However, with regards to my own self I am fed up to the back teeth with the likes of SENAPS who seemingly don't know their arse from their elbow!!.
Deeeja - you keep on at them. You are your child's best and only advocate. No-one else can fight his corner better than you can.
Would also talk to organisations like IPSEA, the NAS and SOS:SEN on your side if you have not done so already.
My son's EP report states things that he most obviousle cannot do. @He can take off his shoes and put them back on by himself'. How is this possible? He has Hypotonia and Hypermobility Syndrome, his thumb and wrist regularly (daily) sublux to the point that he cannot hold a pencil without them strapped up, and he wears bleedin PEDRO'S! how many 4 1/2 yr olds can do laces??!! It also states that he can ride a bike...Well he's been trying at home, and gets frustrated cos he CAN'T!, @He can pull his trousers down and up to use the toilet'...He can, if you want him walking like a penguin, and falling over cos they're twisted! He can manipulate small construction bricks' NO! he can't, he has trouble with duplo, never mind lego! So I CAN do something about it? I'm sure it's only cos I told the LEA before this that I thought he needed a statement!
Oh yes the devolved SEN budgets, my area does that already (Essex). Worst idea EVER! and we've had it for ages. The school my kids are at spend the money on all sorts, I'm requesting the info on where the SEN budget has gone for the last 4 years under the froodom of information act, and they have 20 working days from the day of the letter(2nd Sept when they go back) to provide it, apparently it can make SCARY reading to see just what they've spent the money on!
I've made a FOI request too - about funding for autisic support in nurseries. It was turned down citing the Data Protection Act even although we did not ask for any personal information and would not want it. We have sent an appeal to the Information Commissioner.
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