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What are dads chances of getting an ehcp? Asd

(16 Posts)
Pootrouble Fri 09-Sep-16 19:42:58

Dd has just started year 3 and we have a recent Asd diagnosis HFA? Receives no support in school other than visual timetable etc. School aren't great about offering support and you have to push them for every little thing. We really want an ehcp before high school so we can get her into the school of our choice. We have a report that lists her issues from her Asd assesment
What are our chances of getting an ehcp if she doesn't require support in school? She masks at school and we see the outrageous outbursts at home. She's average educationally but suffers with anxiety and we have days where we struggle to get her to school.
Thank you

beautifulgirls Fri 09-Sep-16 20:37:36

It sounds like she does need support in school to help with her anxiety - a calm place to go, adults to talk to about her worries. She needs staff to understand how she feels and how she reacts to situations etc. Whether this is enough to warrant an EHCP however isn't something that can be decided without assessment.

I think you need to apply to the local authority for an assessment and take it from there. You may find you need to push to get them to do this, appealing their decision if they are not keen to do it. Give as much information as you can about how her anxiety impacts her education, her social interactions etc. Keep the pressure up on the local authority and school until you get the support she needs, whatever that may be.

zzzzz Fri 09-Sep-16 20:40:27

I think the question to ask yourself is does she need an ehcp? Surely there is tons the school could be doing before ehcp is shown to be needed and if she doesn't have that level of need she really shouldn't get one.

coffeemaker5 Sat 10-Sep-16 08:49:45

EHCP are not there to get your child into a secondary of your choice.

The thresholds for getting an EHCP are very high and school is expected to put a certain level of support in place.

Have you liaised with school to discuss her current level of support and discussed what extra support is needed at that stage and what school can do?

If you think her current primary is not supportive enough itay be worth looking at alternative schools.

Pootrouble Sat 10-Sep-16 18:26:38

Sorry had a very mad few days with Dd and ds so couldn't come back to reply. Her Asd assessment report lists in the actions to speak to school and apply for an ehcp. I just don't know whether school will be helpful in the process and whether I have the energy to apply for it with no assistance. I'm fairly sure we will end up homeschooling Dd before high school anyway as school causes her a great deal of anxiety which greatly impacts on homelife

coffeemaker5 Sat 10-Sep-16 19:55:56

applying in itself is pretty easy. just a letter. Ipsea have model letters on their website.

may still be worth to give it a go and take things from there.

zzzzz Sat 10-Sep-16 21:46:08

I don't think you will get one (yet!) as school have not exhausted the support they could be offering. However applying for one will make the LA insist they put in that support to "prove" they don't need to give her an ehcp. SO I think it might be worth it smile

It's actually bloody easy. Send an email asking to be assessed for ehcp to the LA (here it goes to the 0 to 25 team but it might be called something elsewhere you are. Phone the LA and ask them and ask for the correct email address,) They then send you a form to fill out and you can attatch any reports you have. School get a form to fill out too. 6 weeks later you should get a decision as to IF they will assess. It's highly likely you will be turned down as a huge number of us seem to be. If you get no joy from school after the process has run it's course apply again.

I did EXACTLY this (though NOT to get more support but because I wanted SS for dc).

lamya190 Sat 10-Sep-16 22:29:31

zzzzz with this point:

However applying for one will make the LA insist they put in that support to "prove" they don't need to give her an ehcp. SO I think it might be worth it smile.

Do you mean it will kick the school into action and to actually exhaust all extra support they can give? Who can guarantee this? So if they basically refuse assessment and they say school needs to support the child more, who's to say school will actually do so?

zzzzz Sat 10-Sep-16 22:47:32

It appears to work that way for lots of families. The act of applying highlights your concern is "real", it makes staff read professional reports and pay attention to what they are doing. They must justify why they haven't implemented or provide what is recommended.

EHCP is an expensive outcome. It is also really for the more complex and needy of our children who CANNOT be supported with the normal funding in school and require significantly more. It is really not for funding 1:1 TAs or nurture groups, as these can be done with lower level set ups (eg ds had full time 1:1 and several thousand pounds of additional funding without ehcp).

tartanterror Sat 10-Sep-16 22:48:52

Blimey I could have written your post OP!

DS is just starting Y3 and having exactly the same trouble. Our DS doesn't tantrum or hit people, instead he sort of implodes and refuses to cooperate. This irritates the teachers and they think he is wilful and disobedient. He doesn't disrupt the class or other kids and his grades are average or above. His issues are hidden because it's diffcult to see where someone is having a problem if they refuse to do the thing they are struggling with! I see his refusal to leave the house/breaking equipment and putting holes in clothes etc as anxiety and stress - the school seem to blame my lax parenting. (I'm the opposite of lax!)

Like you I am terrified about the transition to secondary when kids like ours tend to struggle - the advantage we have is that we have diagnoses and are forewarned unlike many parents before us sad My theory is that our kids historically have problems at secondary school and so with early diagnosis, the primary schools don't understand their roles is preventative action as they've not seem many of the problems they are trying to avoid?
I've no interest in naming a school at this point, I just want to know he'll have support wherever he goes.

I have spoken to SENDIASS in our area and also an autism support worker from a local school (not ours unfortunately). I also popped in to the free drop in sessions with an EP run by our LA. All said to get him assessed - although none have met DS which makes me hesitate a little. I've read lots of websites and they all say autism = apply for an EHCP but I've not been able to find decent advice on the best way to present DS' rather subtle and complex series of difficulties to the people who can help. Our school have said that they will not apply for us as he is too able - I need to speak to them about whether they will support us if we apply on our own.

Autism is considered a learning disability in itself and it's a fiendishly complex and difficult thing to assess. Most schools must be unqualified to deal with it if the diagnostic teams are multidisciplinary and require lots of experience to be effective. As such, I don't understand why an autism diagnosis (ie acknowledgement of difficulty) in itself doesn't automatically justify an EHC assessment....

Anyway the first thing is to find out if your DD is on the SEN register and to ask for copies of her school file to see what support has been considered. DS was put on the register in 2014 and we have 3 meetings a year about the progress on his SEN plan (as required by law) so you should be getting something similar - even if actual help on the ground is a bit thin. If not ask why not.

Did the school contribute paperwork to the diagnosis process? Get copies. Although our SENCO maintains that all is fine, DS' class teacher last year wrote a report which was heavily quoted by the paediatrician and outlined a lot of stress/anxiety/signs of distress that supported the diagnosis. You need records of these same signs to support the EHCP. Start keeping notes of all meetings and telephone calls. Keep files in date order with the newest stuff at the front so you can find everything easily.

In your case I imagine you should keep a diary of your struggles to get your DD into school and maybe film a typical morning as evidence that she is trying to avoid school/is anxious about going there. (By the way have you asked whether a member of staff that she likes can meet her at the gate and help ease the transition? I've heard that that can help avoid getting to the point of school refusal and doesn't cost the school a great deal. Remember to ask in writing tho and keep notes on any responses).

Look up the SEN Code of Practice on the DfE website. Read it thoroughly. You will need to demonstrate that your DD has evidence of SEN or a disability. There are definitions in the document so check that your DD meets those definitions and that your evidence clearly supports this.

Look up your Local Authority website and get their SEN pathway policies and procedures. Make sure that you note any particular information or extra forms/questionnaires that they require. They will have a series of requirements eg that you can show that the school has spent more than £6k per year on support and that no academic progress/improvements have been seen over 3 terms of monitoring. Like us you probably will have difficulty meeting this criteria for academic subjects so you need to work out the best way to illustrate the problems in the key areas of need (see below) which are not academic but which "limit XX ability to access the curriculum".

The theory goes that any indication of SEN should be justification for the LEA to do an EHC assessment but in practice it seems that you will need a lot more than that. The SEN COP talks about 4 areas of need:
1) Communication and interaction
2) Cognition and learning
3) Social, emotional and mental health
4) Sensory and/or physical

Think carefully about where your DD's needs fit under these headings and list them out. In our case (in my uneducated opinion) it will be 1) ASD 2) Handwriting/Specific Learning Difficulty with written expression 3) Eating disorder 4) Fine & Gross motor issues, but you will have different items and maybe not cover all the headings; or maybe have several items under a single heading etc.

The school have recognised DS' eating disorder but all the rest are invisible to them. They were surprised when we got the autism diagnosis as DS doesn't fit the pattern they are used to. As a result they have done little/no assessment of him, so I've done the evidence gathering.

I've got various reports to support items 1, 3 and 4 from the NHS assessments and don't have cash to burn on an Educational Psychologist, so I opted for a basic/cheap online screening test from dysgraphiahelp.co.uk to demonstrate that further testing would be beneficial. It's supposed to be the LA's legal responsibility to arrange the EP assessment so I would rather not do this unless I have to.

I'm just about the begin drafting a letter. It's important to use one of the templates which uses the correct wording to ensure the LA actually start the process off. I've heard of people with one vital word missing who end up in a bit of a mess. Contact A Family have a good template on their website. I thought it gave me a better idea of how to pad out the request than the one from IPSEA. I get the impression that the best thing to do is pack this first letter with information and set out evidence in appendices like a formal report. A short 2 line letter asking to assess with no background is unlikely to cut it. I'm trying to get help compiling my letter from SENDIASS, AFASIC, NAS and IPSEA then I will see if the school can help finish off the draft with local information.

Based on other families locally, I imagine that the LA will refuse to assess in the first instance and that we will then have to find the cash for an EP report before going to a 1st Tribunal (or possibly try negotiation with the help of an advocate). So another job for me is to work out all of the different statutory timescales and make sure I know what to do and when.

crumbs that was longer than I expected! sorry but hope that helps and please do let me know how you decide to tackle things. I'd really like someone to bounce ideas off as that lot took my about 3 months to figure out on my own!

tartanterror Sat 10-Sep-16 23:07:02

I was typing for so long I cross posted with a few people above. ZZZZZ I think for us requesting an EHC assessment is to help the school access the expertise which will help them develop a proper plan of support. It might not be covered by an EHCP as you say, but without an EP assessment I can't see how most schools could know the best way to help autists all with very different needs.

The other issue is tailoring things to suit what different children need. Social skills groups are difficult to target - we were told our DS wouldn't be offered a place in the group the school run as he is too able, so we were offered nothing pre-diagnosis. I'm not sure what I'll do if they try to cram him in there anyway now he's been diagnosed :/

Our issues might be difficult for people to identify and assess, but they are complex enough to need specialist evaluation rather than rely on pot luck with the SENCO

lamya190 Sun 11-Sep-16 13:13:38

Thanks zzzzz, very insightful! Can't they just get an EP in themselves or would this be out of their budget plus it would be on a needs basis based on ohow many children with SEN in the school?
Coz as tartan said its actually ridiculous how many children in schools with ASD diagnoses haven't been fully assessed by EP's.

lamya190 Sun 11-Sep-16 13:18:43

It all seems confusing because then also schools aren't legally bound to anything if an ehc isn't in place and can get away with putting minimum support in place and its up to the school how to use it resources...

zzzzz Sun 11-Sep-16 14:30:41

an ehc is NOT the same as a statement and frankly if you are in a school which you think is trying to "get away" with not educating your child you need to address that and not rely on an ehcp plan. Because a school that is that obstructive will just carry on regardless.

While you are int he assessment process the spotlight is on you all and it's a great boost to everyone to think about and implement new strategies.

Most schools pay for the EP to come and assess and they will have a list of who they want him/her to see.

Pootrouble Sun 11-Sep-16 19:30:51

Thank you all that's extremely beneficial. I have a meeting to discuss Dd with the secco tomorrow. School did contribute to her Asd assessment and they have quoted the school in the assessment report in which it says that at school she is anxious and dislikes change, change of teacher etc and has failed to form proper relationships with peers blah blah blah. I will definitely ask about support at our meeting

Oblomov16 Sun 11-Sep-16 20:03:10

Maybe requesting school bring in an EP is a good start.
And applying for an EHCP.

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