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Here some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on SN.

Private Ed Pysch recommendation for HFA

(26 Posts)
RoaringFirePlease Sat 13-Feb-16 23:47:22

Hello, DS (6) has autism (probably high functioning).

He's struggling at school (a state school) but the school aren't helping much and before we apply for an EHCP, we would like to get a private EP assessment.

He is a bit behind at school, but not miles behind, but he says that he finds the work really hard and he is getting very negative about school. I can see that he finds the work very hard going at times. He has a lot of sensory issues around too much noise and movement and his motor skills aren't great.

Can anyone recommend someone they have used please? Its a lot of money to spend and we just want to try and get the right person.

Any recommendations most gratefully received.

Fourarmsv2 Sun 14-Feb-16 08:58:50

Whereabouts are you?

RoaringFirePlease Sun 14-Feb-16 13:13:06

Sorry, that would be useful for me to tell you! We're in Kent, but willing to travel. I understand most good EPs tend to be very booked up, so happy to travel if need be.

Fourarmsv2 Sun 14-Feb-16 14:33:30

Ours comes to your school or home and covers S-W and Midlands so not much good to you sad

zzzzz Sun 14-Feb-16 16:23:18

Has he seen one through school? If not, why not?

GruntledOne Sun 14-Feb-16 17:31:30

Try Ann Baumber, she's in Kent. However, she's really busy so may be booked up.

RoaringFirePlease Sun 14-Feb-16 21:55:34

Fourarms - thanks for replying, its much appreciated.

Gruntled - will look up Ann Baumber - thanks so much.

zzzzz - DS has seen an EP through the school who was supportive initially, but then the school and LA pressured her to change her opinion. We have now moved house and school, so will try to see another EP via the school in this area. We think its now time to see someone privately, as we have got nowhere over the last 2 years, and DS is getting more and more anxious and negative about school.

zzzzz Sun 14-Feb-16 22:07:50

My experience is that school take little notice of EP unless it is their own, however you can phone the EP direct (though it hacked our old HT off when I did). I felt the private EP we had was a TOTAL waste of money. I can see the value if you are in a tribunal process but otherwise all that happens is they say, "well our EP didn't see anything to warrant concern." angry

I would apply for the EHCP and let THEM assess. This is what is supposed to happen. (nb my ds is CLEARLY severely disabled needs 24/7 1:1 and still was refused assessment the first time we applied), so don't be surprised if you have to apply more than once, and do start as early as possible.

Who diagnosed? Could you not go back for a review and ask them to write to school on your behalf?

RoaringFirePlease Mon 15-Feb-16 09:13:11

Thanks zzzzz. We have been holding off getting a private EP report as we were worried the school might just ignore it!

The consultant who diagnosed DS (when we were still living in the UK) has written to the school with recommendations, but we aren't getting very far. We want to get all our evidence together so at least we have it and so we ourselves know what DS educational needs are and what we can do to try and help him.

We have no EHCP yet as we have been living abroad for a period. Before that, DS got a lot of help at nursery (when in the UK previously) including full time 1:1. We are working towards applying for an EHCP, although that will be another battle I'm sure.

zzzzz Mon 15-Feb-16 09:55:03

I'm just coming to the end of the EHCP process. I think you should apply now. How long has he been in his present school?

It's a rather tedious process but if you have evidence from his paediatrician and evidence from nursery that his previous level of need was of a significant level (which full time 1:1 at nursery level sound like) then you shouldn't need anything more. Would school support your application?

The thing is that the LA are really responsible for identifying SEN not you. In effect this means you have to give them enough cause to agree to assess him. The sooner you start this process the sooner you will get to the end IYSWIM.

to apply to be assessed you simply write requesting an assessment (her SWUK that's an email) and attach any reports letters to the request. Then they have 6 weeks to say "yes we will look at his case" or "no we won't".

zzzzz Mon 15-Feb-16 10:07:31

What are the main difficulties?

The difficulty is that much of the funding id now already in school, so unless he needs quite significantly more he may not get one. That doesn't really matter though because applying for the EHCP (or even saying you are going to) will focus everyones minds on what he does need.

To give you an idea ds1 receives top up funding from the LA without a ehcp that pays for 1:1 full time for him, in school he also has access to EP, SALT, OT, CIT, as visiting experts and various physical aids like slopes for writing, wobble cushion, chill out area, pencil grips, etc etc. His school are I think particularly good and have really bent over backwards to have him there, BUT most of the help truly isn't a ££££ thing, it's about changing the way he is treated and adjusting expectations.

Which bits of the curriculum does he find hardest? I would seriously consider pre-teaching him so he can succeed in school (with the teachers knowledge) if you can.

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Mon 15-Feb-16 10:48:13

zzzzz - you have to bear in mind that some LA's are better than others and have different working arrangements with NHS SALT and OT and specialist teachers including autism outreach.

DS2 used to attend a m/s primary in the neighbouring borough and without a statement or a firm diagnosis of ASD he was visited termly in school by SALT, OT, SLCN team and outreach team.

We moved house, only about 20 miles, DS2 went to an in county primary and he received a statement just after we moved. The statement was supposed to ensure continuity of provision in the face of geographic differences in the local policies of health and education.

But once the statement was issued, despite the same need, he had 'lost' SALT, OT and SLCN and outreach refused to accept referral without firm diagnosis.

The LA just hid behind their own and the NHS local idiosyncratic policies right up to Tribunal. Then they gave the provision back. The difference is that the LA are now responsible for delivery despite the local NHS policies.

I recently went to a workshop run by NHS psychological services for newly diagnosed DC of school age where much was made of the 'new' understanding of the significance of sensory issues.

Trouble is, none of the parent's had a child that was a current patient of OT. Either they were too old - no referrals are accepted over the age of 8 - or DC had been seen and discharged despite ongoing and changing severe problems.

RoaringFirePlease Mon 15-Feb-16 11:29:44

We are trying pre-teaching but he's too far behind at the moment for it to be on the same level as the school are teaching. Writing and reading are hardest. He is very stubborn too and inflexible in how things are done!

We have been advised by a number of people to wait until he has been at least a term in an English school (its only been a few weeks so far), otherwise they will use that to say they have no comparison.

I completely agree its not about the money, its about their attitudes and approach to teaching him. Some of the things they could do to help would cost nothing, but getting them to understand him and his ways is tricky.

mumsuzz Mon 15-Feb-16 11:45:41

We used David Urani who assisted us when we had to appeal against a refusal to assess. My dd has ASD. I can probably dig out his details if you PM me. I think he is based in somewhere like Brighton or Cambridge but travels around a lot.

zzzzz Mon 15-Feb-16 12:52:53

Keep I do understand that things work differently in different areas. I think that's what I like about this board, you get to a whole range of attitudes and approaches and then can pick and choose what suits you and your situation.

I personally can not see ANY point in employing a EP to assess unless you have the schools assurance that they will be happy to at least try to accommodate recommendations. If you are in the tribunal process it is different because you are basically using that EP as your expert witness.

nb ds has been discharged from SALT multiple times, I re-refer him.

I should also say that ds couldn't even attend school without 1:1 so that may also colour my ideas.

As far as reading goes, where is he? I found ipad extremely useful as reading support at home (and we home schooled for a period), maths too. I think particularly good for children with ASD or who are reluctant/stress.

RoaringFirePlease Mon 15-Feb-16 13:05:13

Thanks for the replies.

Mumsuzz - I have seen David Urani recommended on here a few times, so thanks for that. Does your dd have high functioning autism? I guess I am worried that they will say like the school 'oh but your ds is lovely, so well behaved at school and only a little behind so give it time and he'll catch up'. He is finding school quite challenging in that he is always behind and always having to 'catch up'.

We have been thinking about a tablet/ipad to help with reading, so may well give that a go.

mumsuzz Mon 15-Feb-16 13:38:34

I guess she would be regarded as HFA but her combined IQ only came out around 80 (though David Urani said that she was assessment weary and assessment wary by the time he saw her)! She is about a year behind the NC levels.

I agree with others that said that the school might not look at a private EP report - and we did use him in our battle to get DD assessed by the LEA.

However, he helped focus our minds on what would best suit DD and certainly helped with getting the EHCP. My dd is now a school for children with additional needs and very small class sizes.

Have the school contacted the LA ASD outreach team? They might be able to come in and make recommendations - they might have a more useful perspective on a child with ASD.

RoaringFirePlease Mon 15-Feb-16 14:17:00

Thanks mumsuzz. I will try all these suggestions and hopefully something will work for DS. smile

zzzzz Mon 15-Feb-16 14:19:23

mine has add and normal (to normal +) IQ but years behind academically. We have severe language disorder in the mix though which for us is a much larger challenge.

PolterGoose Mon 15-Feb-16 14:53:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

zzzzz Mon 15-Feb-16 15:06:36

Add = ASD hmm

zzzzz Mon 15-Feb-16 15:11:01

Autism advisory service are called CIT here Communication and Interaction Team if that helps.

Notgivingin789 Mon 15-Feb-16 15:43:27

Forget about getting your DS being privately assessed by an Educational Psychologist. It is better to get private reports when you are challenging the contents of your DS ECHP plan through Tribunal.

I would apply for an ECHP plan and then your DS will get assess by an OT, SALT and EP, covered by the LA. I wouldn't just rely on an EP report. It's best for most children to be assessed multidisciplinary.

Your DS may be underachieving as he may have sensory issues, eg. Cannot concentrate in a nosy school environment, too much sensory stimulation etc.

But please apply for an ECHP plan ASAP! I applied for one when DS was 4 and he didn't receive his one till he was 5 and a half!

Notgivingin789 Mon 15-Feb-16 15:52:09

We are trying pre-teaching but he's too far behind at the moment for it to be on the same level as the school are teaching. Writing and reading are hardest. He is very stubborn too and inflexible in how things are done!

He could find writing difficult as he may have fine motor delays......he may not get that sensory feedback when writing...the list goes on. I don't think getting an EP report is your most priority from what you have written about your DS. I think you should focus on getting your DS assessed by an Occupational therapist, speech therapist and then an EP.....from the LA..and vice versa.

My DS has an above average IQ, but he is underachieving as he has social communication/language difficulties...sensory difficulties, delays etc.

I don't mean to sound patronising, but I would highly recommend in applying for an ECHP plan.

RoaringFirePlease Mon 15-Feb-16 17:49:37

Thanks Notgiving - Ds has been signed off by his last SALT and OT, despite his sensory issues and problems with gross and fine motor skills. They all keep saying how lovely he is and that he will develop in his own time! I will try to get him re-referred via the new school or GP.

Applying for an EHCP is definitely on the agenda.

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