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Urgent advice needed re. EP assessement

(12 Posts)
supermum98 Tue 14-May-13 06:32:47

Have posted lower down. challenging school as to whether my child should go on SEN register. School have now asked LEA EP to do further assessment on my child, they did one just over a year ago and as I wasn't happy that they had got everything, I got an independent one done, which picked up two further SPLD's.

Bothered about wasted resource here and subjecting my child to another battery of tests. Why can't she just take the findings of the Independent EP, who used to work for them anyway and make a decision based on that? I've heard that by law they have to take into account independent EP reports.

rosielou678 Tue 14-May-13 08:58:07

The LA will always want to do their own tests. My child has had more than 10 assessments in the last year and most tend to have a 6 month time limit on being used in evidence at a Tribunal. However some EP tests are time barred which means certain tests can't be repeated within a set timescale. If you don't let your child have the LA assessments then the LA will say you are being obstructive.

I personally would let the tests go ahead but make sure you physically give the LA EP the previous report(s). LAs are notorious for not telling their own EPs/OTs/Speech & language people about previous tests and 'forget' to share any previous reports with them. For each of my DS endless tests, I have always had to make it very clear that previous assessments had been done and then either hand them the reports or I tell them what tests have been done and that the LA have copies of everything. In some cases, I have had to point out certain paragraphs in indie reports to make sure the LA EP has picked up my concerns.

supermum98 Tue 14-May-13 09:13:14

Thanks Rosie. but what I am concerned about is that, he has had a 2 hour EP assessment, the school did Neale analysis and a LACAT assessment, all in the last three months. I can't understand what else there is to test.
The LA did their own EP assessment a year ago just over. I think they have enough info to get him on the SEN register now. I suppose I shouldn't worry if the school are happy to spend the money. But call me nuts but what about the under-priviledged kids who aren't going to get their test done, when mine is being overtested? I feel that the key point for getting him on Action is that ' he is showing signs of difficulty in developing mathematical skills' . The last school had him coming out of class in year 5 for extra maths. although no transparency given, yet he was still only a 3b in November. Is that enough to put him on Action?

crazeelaydee Tue 14-May-13 09:42:18

Hello, a year back we contacted a private EP because we wanted our son to be re-assessed. He had originally been assessed by the LA EP and we were given somewhat sketchy verbal feedback and still to this day have no idea in what way we can help at school....anyways to cut a long story short we mentioned about the previous EP and assessments done at school and we were told by the private EP that by law all Educational psychologist who work with one Dc have to contact each other for all information that has previously been gathered eg. tests carried out, outcome, back ground etc etc which is basically what you have already pointed out. Could you not find any legislation to show this has to be done? Please don't shoot the messenger if there are Educational psychologists who will obviously know better than me. But this was what we were told (I have just re-read the original email to be sure.)

rosielou678 Tue 14-May-13 10:20:43

Tbh I'd just let them go ahead. There's an old saying 'pick your battles' smile and personally I don't think this is one I'd fight (please don't shoot the messenger grin). My son has had 4 assessments in under one month. My solicitor told me we could refuse the LA one but they would just get an order from the Tribunal to overule me. So I decided not to fight it.

In any case, it'll give you more of a chronology of your child's problems which you may have to use in years to come. You may even find that the LA EP agrees with you (mine did - not that that's stopped the pen-pushing bureaucrats at County Hall totally ignoring her report and recommendations)

StarlightMcKenzie Tue 14-May-13 14:30:11

I would let them with conditions.

1) You are given a clear rationale for why they want the EP to go in. In particular the OUTCOME they are expecting for YOUR DS.

2) The EP tells you in advance what tests they are hoping to perform.

3) You are given a week notice in order to attend (you may choose not to on the day, but it is worth ensuring you know you have a right to).

4) Half an hour is built into the appointment afterward for the EP to give you verbal feedback about the tests and her recommendations, and for you to add to her picture if appropriate

5) You are given a copy of her report to check for accuracies and to approve, before it is circulated or given to anyone else.

This is YOUR child they are talking about. The above are your rights.

rosielou678 Tue 14-May-13 14:35:56

Very good points Starlight.

The LA EP tried to tell me that I would have to sit in a waiting room whilst DS was being assessed in another room. I asserted my legal parental rights and insisted that I was in the same room as DS during the test. They weren't happy - oh dear what a shame!

StarlightMcKenzie Tue 14-May-13 14:40:01

It's always better to say yes with conditions than to say no.

But I would specifically ask in writing, just how they expect this appointment to benefit DS. What SPECIFICALLY!

Because if the benefits of the assessment is for THEM, rather than your ds then that would be unethical.

That will save you all going through death by assessment with no further movement forward for your ds.

ilikemysleep Tue 14-May-13 18:50:18

Not all EP 'assessments' involve test-bashing. Myabe the EP wants to observe your child, talk to them, or simply collate info from the assessments that have been carried out by various parties to make a plan of action. For any of those situations the school might refer to an EP 'assessment' meaning an assessment of the situation rather than test bashing your DS. I would have thought this was a pretty positive step actually, in terms of them taking seriously your concerns that DS' needs are not being met and them consulting on what they should be doing.

MareeyaDolores Tue 14-May-13 19:24:18

It might be a brief 'tie-it-all-together' visit, or that the poor woman is genuinely concerned she missed the SpLD first time, so wants another look for herself. An ex-employee won't necessarily be up to date on all local policies, services etc, so it can be useful to have LA EP input.

Or the LA may be trying to shaft you, it happens fairly often, but, if so, I doubt obstructing the EP would stop them. Being seen to respect the EP's professionalism, and making sure she has full, up-to-date info is probably your best insurance against any LA dirty tricks.

MareeyaDolores Tue 14-May-13 19:27:44

What star says is right, ask exactly why the visit is happening and remember you don't have to agree to absolutely everything. Hopefully it will be the sort of input that ilike is familiar with, and if not, you'll be forewarned.

supermum98 Mon 20-May-13 10:26:42

Thanks for advice everyone and starlight, which I had known my rights
before first LA EP assessment. If she had taken a proper history from me, I would have insisted she check his processing, I had the full chronology of comments from his teachers that pointed in that direction, she would not have missed that SPLD. She may have checked his writing speed too as that was the clinical presentation, low productivity and not missed his writing speed SPLD. I asked her to check WM so she got that SPLD. She wasted a lot of time though trying to extrapolate from weak evidence from class-room observation that his bulling issues on the playground, was down to his behaviour, despite no playground observation. She is very cap in hand with school and I think the Head will have swayed her in that direction, they still have ongoing issues with the same boy in school, meanwhile I moved my ds as Head in denial and ds has had no issues at all since. Do u think that I should have challenged her report and is it too late to now, because if you read it you would think my child has behavioural issues and infact the referral form had ticked the social/emotional/psychological box and not cognitive and learning, which was my concern. I did challenge her. My independent EP said that they do this because it is cheaper to do that than do a proper cognitive assessment.

Anyway LA EP has decided not to go further, no more tests to do, which I am relieved about, but it is not clear to me that she is going to take into account Independent EP's report. Is it true that by law they have too?

Despite 3 x SPLD's (worst processing speed at 4th percentile) I have failed to get him on the SEN register at Primary and Secondary just confirmed they won't either, he is not failing enough.

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