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HFA and EHCP

(10 Posts)
Verbena37 Wed 27-Jan-16 17:02:03

I know there are other threads about this but it's slightly different than what I can find.

DS (10yrs 11mths) has been diagnosed before Christmas with HFA with features of demand avoidance and SPD.

He is currently in Yr6 and moves to secondary (sponsored academy) in September.....a fairly large secondary.

I have two questions....
He is waiting to be assessed by school for dysgraphia as it constantly hurts him to write and his writing is really scrawly and hard to read. Other than that, we already have the diagnosis. Do I now start applying for an EHCP as a matter of course or do I wait until he has moved to the new secondary?

2. What is the difference for supporting a child who doesn't have an EHCP to lone that does?

His main issues are social....not asking teachers if he is stuck, not sticking up for himself, not putting up his hand in class, taking things others say literally, selective eating and sensory issues. He masks these at school but it makes life at home difficult with lots of demand avoidance behaviours....which often result in violent behaviour towards mainly me, meltdowns, talk of self harm and depressive moods.

Above anything else, I want for him to be understood by teachers and pupils in a way that doesn't single him out.

Things he could find hard are:
-Being in large, noisy, crowded areas

-being in the sports halls with Fluoro lighting (he has epilepsy as well although no seizures for over two years)

-finds it hard to cope with homework

-won't say if he feels poorly or if something bad has happened

-won't say if he doesn't understand work

-won't wears a mouth guard in PE

-won't sit near children eating certain foods or drinks

And lots of other quirks.

PolterGoose Wed 27-Jan-16 18:13:38

Theoretically a child's needs should be met whether they have a diagnosis or not, and whether they have an EHCP or not! Unfortunately, reality isn't always up to scratch.

My ds has very similar needs, he is well supported at secondary without an EHCP. I started talking to the secondary in autumn of Y6 and sent lots of information about what I thought the main issues would be and what might help. The biggest problem remains ds not being able to ask for help or express his worries, but I can't fault the SEN team and his tutor for trying bloody hard! Most of the time I email what ds says and they respond quickly. He has background LSA support in about 75% lessons, mentor and lots of flexibility.

PolterGoose Wed 27-Jan-16 18:14:49

If you're applying for an EHCP don't waste time, do it ASAP.

Ineedmorepatience Wed 27-Jan-16 18:24:34

We had a completely different experience to polter different authority and an allegedly "outstanding" academy!

Dd3 was not well supported without a statement/ehcp and she didnt cope!

Do a parental request asap if you are worried! Look at the IPSEA website!

I really hope that your experience is more like polters!

Good

PolterGoose Wed 27-Jan-16 18:55:10

It's interesting comparing our experiences because ds's school was in special measures when we applied and has a terrible local reputation! We are also in one of the lowest funded areas for school funding.

Verbena37 Wed 27-Jan-16 20:06:47

Thank you both. That's very interesting.
Yes Polter....it's the flexibility thing I think will be really important but it's how to communicate that to the school. Until recently, now they've changed the homework structure, it was taking him 3 hrs of melt down to get one 15 minute piece of work done at home. He just doesn't get that homework is to be done at home. He would rather be up a tree or playing Minecraft.

Since writing my post above, I chatted to an OT friend who popped round. She said that the EHCP were basically needed for any funding needed. So if the child needs a TA in class with them or therapy etc. She said the school should still be giving all necessary support with or without one.....but I don't get that really. Surely if they are supposed to give support no matter what, then why would anybody need one??

PolterGoose Wed 27-Jan-16 20:39:16

Again, theoretically, the EHCP should be for the most complex cases where a full assessment is required to determine what's needed... for a child like mine, yes, he has fairly high needs for mainstream but I we know what they are and school just need to do it! The problem is often that schools try to do the cheapest minimum they can get away with so parents have no choice but to get that support in a legally binding form. Most of us parents know what our kids need at school, if they just listened to us (and our children themselves if they're able to self-advocate) it would save an awful lot of time, money and hassle!

Regarding what your OT friend said, schools have a delegated SEN budget (that's how my ds's support is funded plus some 'high needs' top up funding) but it's only with a decent EHCP that funding will be ring-fenced for a child.

GruntledOne Thu 28-Jan-16 09:38:25

I would say you should apply now for an EHC assessment so that the support can if possible be in place when your child starts secondary.

Schools have a duty to support children with special needs, and get delegated funding for the purpose. However, there is no way to enforce the child's right to support. EHC plans are needed where the child's needs cannot be met within the resources normally available to mainstream schools, and one advantage is that a full assessment should be done before the EHCP is drawn up so that there is a full up to date description of the child's needs and detailed and specific support for those needs, all drawn together in one document. Also once support is set out in section F of the EHCP, your child has a statutory right to all of it and it could be enforced through the courts if necessary. If the support needs funding over and above the delegated funds already available, the LA must supply the necessary extra funds.

However, if you ask for an EHC assessment, make sure that you say that a speech and language and occupational therapy assessment are needed. To be honest, I'd be surprised if your son's writing difficulties are down to dysgraphia if it is hurting him to write - it sounds more like a motor skills problem, or possibly a problem with his joints, and that is more within the occupational therapy field.

Verbena37 Thu 28-Jan-16 11:54:08

People with dysgraphia do feel physical pain though.
That's for the EHC info. Think I will speak to secondary SENCO then. See what she says.

zzzzz Thu 28-Jan-16 13:24:24

Here I think chasing an EHCP might not be the best use of your time. My ds got top up funding and significant support without dx or ehcp. He will need one going forward as he will (I hope) be going into SS, but the funding allocation on top of what is already in the school coffers is quite significant.

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