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Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on SN.

Has anyone gone down the route of private educational psychologists?

(26 Posts)
teamtwilight Fri 09-Sep-11 09:33:24

I have been told that I could have to wait until the beginning of 2012 for our ep to assess my ds.
Has anyone gone private? Is it worth it? Any recommendations? I live in the midlands.
School think my son has separation anxiety or is attention seeking. I beg to differ as I have had issues since he was 2. But his behaviour is much more controlled at school than at home although they do say he his very demanding.
Clutching at straws here but at least an ep assessing him could give us more answers?

Becaroooo Fri 09-Sep-11 09:44:06


We have arranged for an EP to assess our son at school next week!

We went through ICPS - which is based in the midlands...if you google it you will get the info and can ring or e mail them.

We just got sick of waiting too....his school told us last term that they wouldnt get ds1 assessed by an EP until he has not progressed for another year even though it was requested by a paed!!! So, basically it could be 18 months wait angry

It is costing £600 but I have a feeling it will be worth every penny!

Good luck x

teamtwilight Fri 09-Sep-11 10:00:22

Thanks Becaroooo, I have just been on the website and will give them a call.
Fingers crossed that you get some answers soon. Let us know how it goes as I would be very interested to know if you recommend's alot of money but if it get's me on the road to a dx then yes worth every penny!
Good luck x

LIZS Fri 09-Sep-11 10:03:11

We got a recommendation and ds has seen the same one twice but we're at the opposite end of the country. Try here for a local one.

jammieoliver Fri 09-Sep-11 10:27:38

We used a private EP when the LA turned down my request for SA for DS. We were on legal aid which covered his fees, but you could instruct him privately.

I was told that it's always better to use an EP who has experience with tribunals, even if you don't expect your child to need SA/a statement at that stage. Because you don't know if they might need one in the future and it's better if you can use the same EP as they'd have insight into how your child needs have changed and it's confusing for the child if you had to switch to a tribunal-experienced EP later along the line. Plus they will word their reports in a more targeted way which makes tribunal panels take notice - not all private EPs will have experience in doing this. Not all EPs are even willing to appear as a witness at a tribunal.

EPs can't give a dx by the way (for things like ASD, ADHD, although they can dx dyslexia). If your child hasn't yet been dx'd, it might be better to seek a private paed assessment first - only medical professionals like a paed or psychiatrist can give a dx. SOS SEN can provide names of EPs and private paeds.

teamtwilight Fri 09-Sep-11 10:52:39

Sorry jamieoliver, I should have mentioned that ds has seen a senior nurse practitioner 3 times now who works under our local pediatrician. He suspects ASD and now it's just a case of waiting for EP hence me seeking a private one as I feel I could wait forever.

Becaroooo Fri 09-Sep-11 13:48:38

TT If thats the case. go for it! If the paed suspects ASD then getting the EP asap is really important and, as you know, schools only have a limited number of hours per term for EPs (I heard it was something ridiculous like 14 hours!!!??)

We feel ds1 has dyslexia - the paed thinks so too - and we just arent prepared to let this go one for another 18 months.

silverfrog Fri 09-Sep-11 13:59:16

if your ds has seen a paed/person at paed's office who suspects ASD - what is happening next? as other posters ahve said, an EP cannot dx -it is down to the paed to do that (or a multi-disciplinary team, but that is usually done togethe, rather than spearate appts, so that the same observations are made)

we have used a private EP, for statementing. we used David Urani, and he was very good. very expensive, though.

I am not sure what you want form the EP - is it to let the school know what htey should be doing? I fear that without a dx, the school woudl still carry on in their own way regardless of a private EP report (many do so even after a dx).

Private EPs also get booked up quite quickly - you may have nearly as long a wait to see a recommended private EP as the school are quoting...

smugtandemfeederispissedoff Fri 09-Sep-11 14:12:17

silverfrog, roughly how much do they cost? I have heard an assessment costs £900. Is that right? I was looking at the man you mentioned today as he is local to us.silverfrog, roughly how much do they cost? I have heard an assessment costs £900. Is that right? I was looking at the man you mentioned today as he is local to us.

StarlightMcKenzie Fri 09-Sep-11 14:14:55

Bec Did the school agree to it then? I know you were nervous of asking.

Everything you have to ask the school for always feels like you asking them for a massive favour doesn't it?

teamtwilight Fri 09-Sep-11 14:19:43

Maybe this is wrong but our paed has said he cannot dx until the EP has assessed ds?? So we are waiting for EP to either say yes I agree it's ASD or no and we then go back to square one???
Is this how it works? My paed has said 2 proff people have to assess and aggree to get a dx???
And yes I totally agree that the school will carry on as if everything is normal, which is why I want to push for the EP to get a dx so that ds can get statemented.
I have also been told by parent partnership that I can get a statement without dx but this will not happen unless the school has seen to have done everything they can possibly do to help ds. Which of course they haven't as they see no problem!
I am going round in circles really and I am not experienced in this area. Everything I know has literally been info I have gained off mumsnet.
Not sure if a private EP would be worth the money and I never gave a thought to how long a private EP might take.
I contacted the school earlier to ask them if SENCO can contact me back to give me a rough estimate on how long until the EP would visit. I am not allowed SENCO's I wait......and wait... for there call!

IndigoBell Fri 09-Sep-11 14:28:18

We needed an EP to see DS as part of the dx process.

The paed asked the school, and they organised it.

If the paed has asked the school, and they are blocking it, then you don't really have any choice besides going private - but make sure that the paed will accept the private EP you choose....

If school are blocking it I'd ring the paed and tell him, and see if he can put more pressure on school. But realistically it does take 6 month to see a LEA EP.

The dx won't change much. Even with a dx you still won't get a statement if school haven't done everything they should (or if you don't need one). And neither a dx or an EP report can make school do what they should.

If you at all can it's far better for school to get the EP done, because then they're far more likely to follow the recommendations in it......

silverfrog Fri 09-Sep-11 14:28:57

the route to dx is different in different areas, unfortunately. I can only advise based on the areas I have lived in.

we did not have EP involvement at all during dx. we had (multiple, mostly pointless) visits to the community paed - wait 6 months and come back type appts.

then we were referred to social comms clinic (finally!), where dd1 was seen by paed and SALT together (a sort of mini multi-disciplinary). they had to both be present at the appt to get the agreement, otherwise the observations were not valid as dx obs (ie we went for a 2 hour appt. at the end, the paed said to the SALT "so, do you agree with what I am seeing?" and SALT agreed. all done and dusted)

my concenr for your situaiton is that you get a private EP involved, at £££ to yourself. EP observes, and writes a report. but the paed was not present at that obs, so cannot verify it, and the EP was not present at paed's appt, so cannot verify it - iyswim?

I have not heard of EP being involved in dx before. they advise schools/parents on educational matters, ime.

smug: we paid around £1800, I think. but that was for Tribunal report, with a full day assessment of dd1 at her school. he gets booked up very quickly - we have oftenhad to book him many months in advance (he spends large amounts of time overseas, so his time in this country is very full).

silverfrog Fri 09-Sep-11 14:30:27

x-posts with Indigo - well, there you go. maybe it is to do with age of child as well as area? althoguh dd1 had to see an EP immediately after dx, to advise pre-school, so can't see that owuld make a difference.

but as I said, each area makes it up as they go along has its own rules <sigh>

IndigoBell Fri 09-Sep-11 14:34:23

I think if the child is school age you need an EP because the EP goes into school and observes him there, which is very different to observing him in the paeds office.

But, yes, I'm sure it's different everywhere.

The EP report was helpful for school - but I am absolutely sure if it was a private one they'd have ignored it.

Becaroooo Fri 09-Sep-11 15:01:34

Only took 2 weeks to sort out my sons EP assessment

LeninGrad Fri 09-Sep-11 15:27:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LIZS Fri 09-Sep-11 15:34:14

EP assesses their potential based on a series of iq tests and then looks at how they perform against it . Can identify barriers (ie a specific learning difficulty, social or communciation issue) to their achieving and strategies to help - some practical such as having breaks for water or to walk around as an aid to concentration, more academic such as use of laptop, visual aids, verbalising a task step by step and repeating instructions and behavioural.

Becaroooo Fri 09-Sep-11 15:35:12

AFAIK they can give schools plans/strategies to help children learn more effectively.

They can also be involved in dx (eg dyslexia) and their reports/recommendations can be used as evidence for applying for SA.

I am sure someone more knowledgable will be along in a minute! smile

Becaroooo Fri 09-Sep-11 15:35:56

Ah, x posts with lenin !

IndigoBell Fri 09-Sep-11 15:42:21

They give schools advice on how to educate your child.

Lenin - whether or not it's worth you getting one done depends very much on how bad your school is, and how good the EP is. If you school could and should be doing more and you can find a good EP then they can be great.

If your school is really bad they won't listen to the EP anyway.
If the school is fairly good they'll already know most of what the EP says.
But if the school is in the middle they may get some ideas from the EP.....

My DS has had 3 EP reports, and my DD has had 1, and none of them have had anything useful on it. I think mainly because they were done in either a bad school or a good school smile

And also they were all LEA ones. I'm not sure how much better a private one might be.......

teamtwilight Fri 09-Sep-11 15:55:00

Thanks for all your input/advice everyone.

I had no idea it would be different rules for different areas!

I think for now I will wait until SENCO call me back to see roughly how long I am to wait for school's EP. I have been waiting since March already.

I will have to ask paed if he will accept a private EP's assesment. But as you say IndigoBell, I don't want to waste my £££ if the school simply wont accept it.

It seems that the school are in control here. If they see nothing majorly wrong then I'm not sure what I can do?

I have already spoken to his teacher. She says ds needs time to settle in. I will give it a couple of weeks and then arrange a meeting but I must admit I feel quite annoyed that after 5 days of schooling him she can diagnose attention seeking when I have had issues since the age of 2.

LeninGrad Fri 09-Sep-11 16:19:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

vjg13 Fri 09-Sep-11 16:28:57

My daughter had a statement but we didn't feel the school was meeting her needs and had a private EP visit her at school. It was really helpful and gave a true picture of what was happening, it was also heartbreaking sad.

IME the school and LEA will accept the report. Choose an EP who has tribunal experience but who also works for a LEA. The report is from an educational professional and they will take notice of it. When we sent the EP in, the HT and class teacher were crapping themselves and I felt it really stopped them trying to push us around.

If nothing else it will really speed up your visit from the LEA EP.

teamtwilight Fri 09-Sep-11 18:41:15

After a conversation that my husband had with the school this afternoon I am not even sure my ds is on the Senco list to see the EP!!!
The school office don't recall him on the list. We are still waiting for a call back which will be next week now.
I could just cry. Our paed wrote to the school when we saw him at beg of year to request he be seen by EP.
Why oh why does nobody seem to know what's going on?

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