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Is it usual for an ed psych report to have a 'disclaimer'? Is it time to apply for a Statement?

(23 Posts)
pannetone Wed 22-May-13 17:11:35

Because after giving a number of 'strategies/actions/agreements' it says at the end of the section:
'The EP has provided a wide range of strategies in this report to enable those involved to choose strategies that may be practical to implement given the resources and time available. It is not realistically expected that all of the strategies provided can or should be implemented.' (EP's underlining)
This is from the LA EP who has just assessed my 8 year old DD with on-going selective mutism and recently diagnosed HFA. (Who has been offered psychotherapy by CAMHS which I asked about in a previous thread.)

It says DD has a 'clear need' for a structured programme devised by a SALT and 'an appropriate level of additional adult support within school' to enable the programme to be carried out. Most of the other recommendations are 'qualified': DD 'if possible' to remain under CAMHS and Social Communication Team, we as parents ,through GP, or School 'could' refer to OT because EP picked up some issues with gross motor coordination skills.

Report describes DD as 'vulnerable and complex.' It recognises if her SM persists will impact on secondary placement and level of support and interventions needed.

No mention of whether to apply for statement. (Is it the EP who would recommend?) EP seems to think her needs could be meet in school, but only if they have the time and resources (and inclination?). My gut feeling is to apply for a statement ourselves - I don't want to leave it to the School just to do what time and resources allow. If I've read that bit of billybobster's new blog correctly DD is entitled to an 'appropriate' education isn't she? Or though apparently not necessarily one that enables her to reach her maximum potential...

StarlightMcKenzie Wed 22-May-13 17:45:27

I would be applying for a statement with an EP report like that.

armani Wed 22-May-13 17:47:28

I second what starlight says. Apply for a statement, you have nouthing to lose.

lougle Wed 22-May-13 17:50:29

He's saying that she's a complex and vulnerable individual who needs a high level of input to survive her current/a mainstream setting and that he is recognising that they may not have the skill or inclination to provide for her needs, IMO.

Apply for a statement and don't be surprised if you have to go to tribunal. It may be that you need a specialist environment for her.

pannetone Wed 22-May-13 19:36:02

Yes it comes across to me like that Lougle too. I am just surprised (still naive!) that the EP could note so much complex need which it appears may increase as DD gets older, and then be so vague about the things School and other agencies could do to help, and how they were going to have the resources to do it...(And the presumption that I'd settle for whatever support 'time and resources' would allow...) I'd had initial feedback from the EP, via the HT, on the day of the assessment that 'DD wouldn't get a statement' - I just didn't expect his report to seem to indicate the complete opposite!

nostoppingme Wed 22-May-13 19:46:24

If I were you I'd be emailing Gloria Vessey ( and Fiona Slomovic (google her name) tonight. Both these women are phenomenal and helped me.

Your DD is so entitled to a Statement and specialist school (if that is what you wish for her).

pannetone Wed 22-May-13 20:19:26

Really I'm just getting used to the fact that finally it's being recognised that DD's issues are more complex and she needs more support than she's been getting. I'm not settling for the wishy-washy sort of support limited to what 'time and resources allow'...

CyrstalStar Wed 22-May-13 20:54:17

Hello Pannetone, can I ask how you set about getting the LA EP to assess? Did you pay for it or did the school organise it or it other? Thanks for your help. Sorry not to have any valuable response as per the other posters to your question , I'm completely out of my league with statements at moment but learning fast. :-)

Summerloading Wed 22-May-13 21:05:08

If I were you I'd be emailing Gloria Vessey ( and Fiona Slomovic (google her name) tonight. Both these women are phenomenal and helped me.

I agree Fiona is amazing, judgement reserved on the other, in my experience and a number of others.

ilikemysleep Wed 22-May-13 21:08:56

Well, leaving the disclaimer aside, this is my take. EPs would be treading on serious toes if we told health professionals what they HAD to do, so by saying 'if possible' she should remain under CAMHS what he means is that he thinks she should stay under CAMHS and is flagging that up to any CAMHS person copied into the report. However he cannot say 'MUST' remain under CAMHS / SALT or whoever because EPs don't have the power to insist on the involvement professionally of a health service, it is ultimately up to CAMHs or whoever to decide what involvement they have, they won't keep her on forever just because an EP said they should, they will have their own discharge criteria. You also as an EP cannot say that parents MUST contact OT, or any other service, you can only advise them that it would be a good idea to do so. So that part is entirely standard.

The disclaimer would depend upon what has been provided. Sometimes an EP might provide a 'menu' of lots of things that might work for school to have a go at, but the idea would be try these things, see which ones are helpful, not expecting the whole lot to be done at one time. Sometimes it wouldn't be practical in terms of timetable for all ideas to be done at once or the child would miss a disproprtionate amount of class time (if she is benefitting from that learning of course).

Also LA EPs are usually not meant to report that a child 'should' get/ be assessed for a statement. This is because it is not the EP's job to say whether a statutory assessment should be carried out, it is the local authority panel who decides if an assessment should be carried out based on the info provided (which usually includes an EP report). This is often discussed orally with the school and parent at feedback as to whether the school (or parent) should apply in the EP's opinion. Also the threshold has just changed with schools having to provide the first £6000 of any support from their budgets, so it may be that the desensitisation programme that he is recommending would be done in school but will come in under the £6000. My son is having a desensitisation programme at present (he is also SM and HFA) and he has a school TA working with him on the programme, devised by CAMHS and SALT, 3x weekly. This is at school action plus.

pannetone Wed 22-May-13 22:10:35

CrystalStar the School got the EP in as it was a recommendation at the assessment feedback meeting when DD was given her diagnosis. Full credit to the school that they got on with it and as the EP had a cancellation it was arranged with 2 days notice!

ilikemysleep thanks for your clarification on some of the specific points I raised about the lack of firm 'guidance' in the EP report. I take your point that the EP can't dictate services to be provided by other agencies such as CAMHS. I suppose I had rather hoped that the EP would be providing a 'master-plan' to suggest how best to co-ordinate all the different agencies involved with DD. For example, I've had CAMHS offering DD psychotherapy - and suggesting that maybe the SALT should stop as DD has not progressed.

Your DS's programme sounds well organised - how is it working out for him? In my case CAMHS haven't really given input to school, they have left that to SALT. And I don't understand how NHS SALT works - would the School have to 'buy in' provision for DD? In fact, the School buys in SALT from an independent practice. NHS SALT diagnosed SM and saw DD once a year to review and DD only got therapy from Year 1 when the school got the independent SALT to work with her. This year DD has been discharged from NHS SALT because they know she has the independent SALT. And without a statement for DD presumably the School doesn't have to provide any SALT and I have been concerned they will withdraw it as they don't think it is effective.

Now I'm getting confused as to the 'point' of a Statement - is it because the child needs more provision than the £6000 the School has to pay? Can you get a Statement to give the child legal entitlement to defined support - even if that is what the School is expected to provide from their budget?

ilikemysleep Wed 22-May-13 22:27:46

Pannetone - in my area, the school has to demonstrate that they are already spending over £6000 to support a child (in most cases) to request a statement. Bit different with parental requests. However let's say the outcome of the asssessment was a TA package that cost £15000, the school would be given £9000 to pay for that package as the other £6000 would be expected to be funded internally (from the delegated SEN funding all schools get). I guess you can get a statement that specifies provision from within the £6000, though by definition it would be for the LA to ensure that provision takes place and that the school carries it out.

In my area we have an autism intervention team and they have a specialist SALT as part of the team, it is that team (psychologist and SALT) that have made the programme, partly for expediency as the school SALT is on maternity leave and DS would therefore have got nothing otherwise. In other SM cases locally we have ed psych and SALT collaborating on programme planning though in my son's case it's clinical psych. There can be a bit of a problem as SALTS often say that it is now a psychological issue not a speech issue as its related to the anxiety, and psychs say it needs the regular input - and-monitoring role that a SALT does but an ed psych doesn't usually (they recommend programmes rather than deliver them, usually, because of time constraints). That said there are very good resources for SM and its not rocket science so I say anyone can do it, just do it please! How is it working for DS? Well, glimmers of progress...he will now sometimes respond to a greeting from an adult in school....and talks quite well to the TA during the sessions - and managed to read out a questionnaire to various teachers and support staff for them to answer (simple questions, like 'what is your favourite colour?' so he knew there wouldn't be lengthy answers and lots of discussion).

lougle Wed 22-May-13 22:34:48

pannetone, you shouldn't be able to get a Statement that has provision which can be met from the school's own resources. The whole point of Statements are that they are a document securing provision for a child which is above and beyond the school's own resources.

However, it may be that a child has day to day needs which can be met from budgets within the school, but need specific equipment which can't be met from school budgets, which would then qualify for a statement.

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 23-May-13 07:33:18


I would certainly be applying for a statement in your circumstances.

I also think that this will eventually invoke a tribunal situation.

pannetone Thu 23-May-13 10:34:24

I'm still confused! Surely there is no point me applying for a statement if DD's needs are capable of being met within the £6000 the School has to provide? What happens if it is more the case that the School aren't willing to fund/say they can't fund that level of SEN provision for DD. The speech therapy for DD has already been cut from each week to each fortnight and apparently there was 'no funding' for DD to continue with art therapy in school. Maybe my calculations aren't accurate but I wouldn't have thought the school are spending that £6000 on DD at the moment. To me the point of having a Statement would be that she would have a legal entitlement to support to either be met entirely by the School if it came to less than £6000 or 'topped up' by the LA.

Earlier this year we won a disability discrimination case at tribunal for HFA DS2 whose school (secondary sixth form) failed to make reasonable adjustments for him. It's not a route I'd want to take for DD in an attempt to get her needs met.

CyrstalStar Thu 23-May-13 11:22:05

Thanks for answering Pannetone

wasuup3000 Thu 23-May-13 12:10:46

Art Therapy for SM? There should be a sliding in programme in place at school for SM taking about 15 - 20 minutes a session 3/4 sessions a week with you involved at first.........

pannetone Thu 23-May-13 12:32:42

No the School haven't got me involved in a 'sliding in' programme. I think DD hasn't properly been 'slid in' with her 'keyworker' (a class TA) which may be why there hasn't been much success in getting other children and adults 'slid in'. I am also lost as to why the SALT sees DD on a 1 to 1 basis every other week. I would have thought her role was to make sure there was a structured programme and to advise the keyworker. And it is a new SALT this term so DD doesn't speak to her at all yet and isn't likely to only seeing her every fortnight.And I'm not sure why she needs to.

I shall make an appointment to see the Head who is also SENCO since the teacher who did the role went on maternity leave. DD hasn't got the programme she needs.

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 23-May-13 12:37:21

Don't get hung up on funding; that's really not your main concern here.

Devolved funding for children with additional needs is very bad news for both those children and their families.

The main issue here is to ensure as far as possible that your child's needs at school are fully met. I know of too many children who have been failed. The statement is legally binding, anything else offered short of that is not even if there is funding attached. It can be curtailed or used for other purposes.

StarlightMcKenzie Thu 23-May-13 12:57:54

From what you have written, I would expect your child to need provision in excess of £6k tbh. At the very least, a statutory assessment will give you an indication of whether this is likely to be the case.

Tribunal is the only route to a statement for probably about 85% of children now. Sorry.

ilikemysleep Thu 23-May-13 13:03:03

Well, if I were you I would personally avoid the battle and year of your life that a tribunal would take fighting for a statement if you can get a proper programme that is working well without one. That's just me. My son's programme is working well at SA+ (he didn't need sliding in as his SM isn't fully pervasive, it is specific to the sort of thing people are asking him - he will answer work and fact based questions but not social ones and won't initiate at all) and is certainly costing a good deal less than 6000. If no-one will make a proper programme then you might have to fight that battle to get a legally binding programme, but I'd be asking for multiagency meeting and some coordination of a proper plan at SA+ first. I would agree that direct involvement of SALT fortnightly is strange. In our case the school TA is running it precisely because the SALT and clin psych said there was no point in getting him confident in talking to them when they are not part of the school, it needed to be a school person as the key partner. So they wrote the programme and the class TA is delivering it, bringing in other school staff and peers as talk partners.

Definitely sounds like it needs some coordination and in your shoes that is the battle I would start with, then go for stat assesst if you make no progress.

pannetone Thu 23-May-13 19:32:39

That could be the problem though ilikemysleep - after just over 4 years of involvement of school, minimal NHS SALT,independent SALT employed by school and a brief course of Art therapy DD hasn't got a well structured and monitored programme. DD is currently discharged from the NHS - can the School get them on board again - I think that they have SALT who work with children with social and communication issues?

If I ask for statutory assessment will this be the way to actually get support co ordinated?

StarlightMcKenzie Thu 23-May-13 20:22:13

If you ask for a SA, the school will have to demonstrate that they are trying hard to meet his needs. This will mean that they have to do something and document it. It gives you a good starting place.

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