Can you talk me through a EHCP please?

(22 Posts)
InYourDreams Tue 12-Jul-16 09:21:23

My son has ASD (diagnosed this week).Currently has an IEP at school. The school have said there's no need for a EHCP. He's in year 5. He will not cope with moving up to secondary school. He copes with primary school now but has concentration and social issues.
What will I gain from an EHCP? Should I apply now ready for secondary school or wait until next year? Can I request a special school if I get one? Do I have to notify the special school before I can request it?
I have so many questions and I'm completely confused!


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JudyCoolibar Tue 12-Jul-16 10:26:34

It's difficult to answer because this is a big and complicated subject. Basically the advantage of a properly drafted EHCP is that there is a document that brings together a full description of all your child's needs, and sets out detailed and specific support for those needs which he has to receive by law. If the cost of that support exceeds the funds normally available to mainstream schools, it will be funded by the local authority. If you want your child to go to a special school, he won't get in unless he has an EHCP.

The process of getting an EHCP is supposed to take 20 weeks. However, there are all sorts of reasons why it may take longer. If you ask now, there will be at least four weeks' delay because of the summer holiday. The LA has the right to refuse to assess, and I suspect they will do so in this case if the school doesn't support you. In that event you will need to appeal to the tribunal, which will probably take at least 12 weeks. If they agree to assess, they can still refuse to issue an EHCP, and again you would need to appeal.

If you are sure your ds won't cope in secondary school, all of that means you should probably start the process off now. There is more information on the IPSEA and SOS SEN websites, or you might like to contact them direct for more advice.

InYourDreams Tue 12-Jul-16 12:58:14

Thank you JudyCoolibar. If we go ahead with the EHCP, can we request a special secondary school now even though he has a year to go at his current school?
Think I need to do lots more research.

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vjg13 Tue 12-Jul-16 14:33:58

Have you visited the special secondary school to see if it would meet your son's needs and the mainstream provision?

The EHC plan process is lengthy, we are about week 37 (stopped counting!) and that was a statement transfer so the earlier the better to get it started.

JudyCoolibar Tue 12-Jul-16 16:13:12

You won't be consulted about schools until they have agreed to issue an EHCP and produced a draft. So I'm afraid you're going to have to think about mainstream secondary schools, because you'll need a fallback position if he doesn't get an EHCP. In any event, it's very unlikely that any EHCP will be completed by the end of October, which is the normal deadline for choosing secondary schools for children without EHCPs.

If you choose a secondary school in October but get an EHCP later, you are perfectly entitled to ask for a different school then.

2boysnamedR Wed 13-Jul-16 16:37:20

Yes it's a long process. Especially if they say no and you appeal ( Took me two years to get through all three appeal levels).
Before you even think about appealing you need to make sure you have some evidence that he needs additional support. Normally the threshold for getting a EHCP is that the school can not meet needs within budget. So what extra does he need? How much does that cost?
Saying that my sons statement is non funded but it provides health provision ( OT and SLT ) that he would get without it

2boysnamedR Wed 13-Jul-16 16:38:04

Sorry wouldnt get I mean.

JudyCoolibar Wed 13-Jul-16 16:39:11

Cost is not the only criterion. Until a child has been assessed no-one can say for sure what he needs anyway, and there have been various Upper Tribunal cases where it has been emphasised that the fact that support is theoretically available doesn't guarantee that the child will receive it.

InYourDreams Wed 13-Jul-16 18:09:44

I think ds would probably be refused a EHCP from what has been said. He had an ed psych assessment last week who agreed Autism. She did say he would need help from SALT. Who arranges this?
He has social issues when working in a group. Toileting issues. Anxiety and anger outburst but only at home.
The school have said nothing would change at school and he would get no further help apart from Autism Outreach. Do I require a EHCP to get SALT involved?
I personally don't think the school KNOW what help my son needs. They have also said they haven't even needed to apply for top up for ds so no need for EHCP.
He could carry on his final year at primary school fairly comfortably but he will never cope with 4/6 different teachers, classrooms and sets of different children at secondary school each day on top of catching a school bus.
It's sad to think 2 years down the line he still may not have anymore help. It took 6 years to diagnose him.

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SisterViktorine Wed 13-Jul-16 20:25:02

If only the Ed Psych has said he has traits of autism he is not yet diagnosed.

Diagnosis can only be made by a Health professional, either hospital Paediatrician or CAMHS depending on the route in your area.

2boysnamedR Wed 13-Jul-16 21:13:49

School said my son would never get a statement but I did so don't hold that in to much faith.
My sons SLT is delivered via the NHS in school and the LA buy that in as a package. So it's a cost to them.
So if you have that from the EP that's a good start. See if the school will agree to this now. If they won't then that's a basis for applying for a EHCP.
I don't know many people who go onto appeal level without getting some private reports so that's something to consider ( ie there's a cost implication to appealing in so much as getting reports). But it's true the assesment won't need reports but the LA might say no to assessing. That's where you need something to prove that there's a need to assess. If you applied, the LA say no to assessing and you appeal then that appeal is quite easy to win. It only cost me £150 to get a simple SLT report to win that part.
Here's the but.... They could assess and still refuse to issue. Then you have to decide if you want to carry on with the next two appeals. I won mine but I'm not going to say it was easy. Easy to win maybe but not easy to do.
You need to gather your evidence now. Get reffered to a team who can diagnose him formally. Ask the school when they asking SLT in and maybe start by the process by requesting a assesment with what you have now

InYourDreams Wed 13-Jul-16 21:16:39

It was a formal diagnosis made by our paediatrician, he required an ed psych to asses ds along with a CAMHS report and a SALT report and the schools view too. It was only a few days ago and we really are not sure what happens next if anything.

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2boysnamedR Wed 13-Jul-16 21:17:45

Also in all possibility you might not have all three appeals. I did because the LA really didn't want to give my son his statement.
Appeals are -
Refusal to assess
Refusal to issue
Then contents if you win at but the EHCP is rubbish

2boysnamedR Wed 13-Jul-16 21:21:55

If it's just happened then ask the senco when the SLT will start. Ask if they will support you in applying for a EHCP as you want to apply any way.
It's so hard knowing what to do isn't it? I felt very strongly I needed to apply and appeal from the start. Other people have been in your shoes and got specialist secondary places. But it often isn't straight forward

JudyCoolibar Wed 13-Jul-16 23:57:38

Schools regularly come up with that nonsense about children getting no more with EHCPs that they would without, and they are regularly amazed to discover that actually they do, particularly when tribunals order it.

InYourDreams Thu 14-Jul-16 13:29:33

Thank you everyone. Its good to here views from people who have been or going through the process. It's only just sinking in now that he's actually been diagnosed. That's all we've had on our minds for the last 6 years. Now we have to prepare for the next stage. I think the ed psych's report will help with what ds actually needs but I imagine that will take a while to come through. It's bad timing really with the school hols coming up.

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Notonthestairs Fri 15-Jul-16 16:51:36

InYourDreams - dont know whether you are still reading but in case you are...
It is a pain that the holidays are starting just as you get a diagnosis - however just completing the forms and getting all the information together took me most of last December to sort out. The form is pretty comprehensive. I also attended a course about EHCPs run by KIDS which is a charity to help parents organise their EHCP's - just so I knew a bit more about it, it might be worth you checking your local services (any nearby ASD parenting groups?) to see if there is anything like that nearby.

I'd suggest that you tell the SENCo that you are going to apply and then spend time in the next few weeks getting it altogether. I was advised to write everything that impacted on her day to day life (toileting, sleeping, eating, relationships) so you need to really think about what you are telling them.
It would also be worthwhile talking now to your local secondary and specialist schools to see where you think might be a good fit. There may be a secondary school with an ASD hub nearby (although we are not at that stage so I dont know a great deal about secondary school support). Again any local ASD parenting groups might have valuable knowledge that they can share.

Then you'll be ready to go in September.

And BTW I was told twice by the Ed Pysch that my DD (ASD, speech and language delay & learning difficulties, currently in the year below her age group peers and learning at the bottom of the class) didnt meet a threshold to be assessed let alone given an EHCP and we got ours last week. So be persistent.

JudyCoolibar Fri 15-Jul-16 18:27:19

You really shouldn't have to draft a great long request that takes six weeks. All that is needed is a letter plus any supporting evidence that is in place at that point.

2boysnamedR Fri 15-Jul-16 22:38:51

If you do go ahead and apply your self then make a tally of the reports you send in on your covering letter to.

Have a look at ipsea, sossen and core assets website too.

Melawati Sat 16-Jul-16 14:04:32

Some LAs ask you to fill in the long parent view form at the time of requesting the assessment. Mine did. So it did take a while to get everything together. I know I could have insisted they take the ipsea form letter as my request but I chose to jump through a few of their hoops to have a good working relationship rather than starting with an argument - I would have had to fill it in later on, anyway.

JudyCoolibar Sat 16-Jul-16 14:37:31

The point is that you can fill in the form with parent views after you've sent the request in - they've got six weeks to make the decision, after all. It's fine to fill in the form at the start of the process if you want to, but if it means that it will delay you starting the clock ticking, I would say get the request in first and send the form afterwards.

InYourDreams Fri 22-Jul-16 12:38:55

Thank you for all the info. Still reading as I appreciate all the help I can get.

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