Here some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on SN.
Do we really need an EP report?(5 Posts)
So, it looks like we're going to be going to tribunal re DD's amended statement. She is 14, with ASD and associated anxiety and depression. CAMHS have said she needs to be educated at home for now so hr statement is being revised to reflect this. Home tuition is included in the revised version and this is fine. The issue is that SALT and OT are hugely reduced or non existent and the LA won't budge on this. So we're finalising the statement and appealing.
I've just had quotes for private OT, SALT and EP reports. They are a LOT more expensive than we were expecting. We obviously need the SALT and EP reports as these are the main areas we're unhappy with. My idea was that an EP report would give an overview of her educational needs but it was jaw droppingly expensive! DH is now asking whether we really do need this?
So I'm hoping that you wise people might have some advice for us. Would the report be a wise investment at this stage or could we do without it? DH'so other big idea at the moment is to forget the appeal and spend the money we'll potentially save on our own private therapists. Tempting. .....
Yes - if you want to "win". Tribunals judge on evidence, so you need a coherent case: EP sets out all the baselines and puts the other two reports into context: OT looks at sensory, physical, dyspraxia etc; SALT looks at language and understanding. For the ASD, we had a psychiatrist, too.
Was it worth it? Probably - because DS2 has a statement that should see him through secondary. Although it is incredibly hard, the reports lay out all the difficulties and that is very useful long-term.
Do you need to do it now? Pragmatically, it depends on how you see the future. If you are not going to actually gain anything - then, no, save yourselves the stress and use your energy to apply for DLA - that would help with costs. Family fund is also amazing if you qualify. Only go to Tribunal as a last resort. Good luck.
If you are happy with the educational provision then given the crapness of the LA's SALT etc provision I am not sure it is worth spending money to get. A better investment might be to spend the money instead on private SALT or OT if you can find a good one. A different matter if you want to fight for a specialist school which have these service integrated into the school day. ds1 goes to "equine therapy" arranged via his specialist school for SALT and they are infinitely better than any LA provision we have had. It has not only been good for his speech and language needs but has reduced his anxiety a lot.
Just so undecided about best course of action for DD and whole family. I'm struggling and unable to see how I'll get through a tribunal. Perhaps we should use the money for private therapy. Complicated by the fact that her statement will have to be transferred to an EHCP in the near future, and who knows, we might have to bring in the big guns then. We can't afford to do it twice! She already gets DLA but this is accounted for 10 times over already. And I get carers allowance as I can't work when she's not in school but so difficult.
Have decided to have family meeting later on, to see how DD feels about it all, and take things from there.
Thanks for the advice, lots of food for thought. I was ready to go to war but really need to look more carefully at what we stand to gain and what we might lose (mental health, quality of family life etc.)
Have you got a range of quotes? Some EPs charge a hell of a lot more than others and aren't necessarily any better. You also need to make sure it's an EP with experience of tribunal work.
But if you're happy with home tuition and just need more SALT and OT I'd be tempted to go ahead with just those. There's a reasonable chance you may not have to go ahead with a hearing since, once you've got reports, the LA may well be prepared to make some concessions. As an absolute minimum, you could get the statement improved because I'm prepared to bet that it's currently very vague and waffly. You could also save money by doing the tribunal yourself - SOS SEN run some good workshops on how to do it.
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