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Do we really need to wait until things go wrong to get an EHCP?!

(15 Posts)
DodgySpot Sat 10-Sep-16 14:57:00

I need some advice on this.

Dd is 3 and was finally officially diagnosed with ASD at the end of August. She is very bright but also VERY sensory.

She is coping 'OK' in nursery but for a number of reasons I do not believe she will at school.

She is in a lovely nursery who are so positive about her but almost to a fault. I say this because sometimes they have sent home misleading reports (I.e dd is eating a wide variety of food and playing with other children when she obviously isn't and which conflicted with reports from other staff members) that I have had to contact the manager to have corrected.

The nursery doors are always open and dd will always go outside as she says it is too noisy. On the two occasions where dd couldn't go outside due to maintenance or a rearrangement of rooms we have had to take her home because she was just having constant meltdowns.

Dd can't concentrate or even seem to hear a person speak in a relatively quiet room if there are more that a few people present.

This is as well as all the social communication problems that go hand in hand with ASD.

I've been in contact with my local authority and they've given me information that seems to say that we need evidence of her struggling in nursery before we can have an ehcp assessment.

Is this right? Of course she won't struggle in nursery. It's open plan so she can get away from all the other children (she really only likes a particular member of staff and will tolerate them doing activities with her).

She can't do that in a classroom.

The reason I'm pushing for an Ehcp is that there is a specialist school not far from us that follows the national curriculum but is specifically for children like dd who have sensory and communication difficulties but no behavioural problems. We need an ehcp before we can apply.

In contrast the one primary in our catchment area admitted to having very poor sn provision (a particularly candid staff member pointed out that dd would just be sat at the back of the class).

I'm willing to fight for it Ibjust don't really know where to start proving she need it when nursery aren't having to put anything extra in place (because dd is just sat by herself outside come rain or shine sad)

JudyCoolibar Sat 10-Sep-16 15:31:46

The criteria for assessment is whether your child may have SEN and whether she may need the support of an EHC Plan. From the sound of it, you could meet both criteria easily, but getting an assessment doesn't necessarily mean that an EHCP will be issued.

Essentially you need to be able to show that her needs can't be met within the resources normally available in mainstream schools, and one of the best ways of showing that is that she isn't making progress - which I'm afraid does tend to mean allowing things to go wrong, at least to some extent. It would be really helpful if the nursery would support you: if they are prepared to say they can't see any way she would cope in the mainstream, that would carry a lot of weight.

Sausagepickle123 Sat 10-Sep-16 15:58:10

No - but you might have more of a fight on your hands. Our LA has agreed to issue an EHCP for my son despite the fact he was making progress (initially this was one of their reasons not to assess him). This is because we were able to argue that he was only making progress due to a high level of support that we had put in place and he would require even more support in a mainstream primary school (we started the application at nursery).

tartanterror Mon 12-Sep-16 22:17:25

Last year our DS' teacher filled in a standard questionnaire on his behaviours in school. I had been told that "all was fine" by the SENCO so I assumed the report wouldn't be much help. As it turned out the teacher report was quoted heavily by the paediatrician who diagnosed ASD and so was very useful. I foolishly didn't ask for a copy so I'm trying to get one now (keep better records than me from the start!) - could you get copies of all of the reports prepared for the diagnosis and scour them for supporting evidence?

Rather than let everything go wrong, could you go back to your paed and explain the problems? They might be able to help with some nursery observations where they test our your claims - ie hearing issues in a noisy environment and meltdowns if made to stay indoors? That would be a short controlled test of things going wrong, rather than letting things go all the way to primary? You will need to get a move on though as from memory the school applications are in January?

Have you also spoken to your preferred school about places and what to do while waiting for an EHCP? in year transfers etc?

zzzzz Tue 13-Sep-16 18:38:28

No of course it doesn't have to go wrong. You already have tons of examples in your OP.

It sounds like MS don't want her (sorry but I find blunt hurts less in the long run) don't send her to that one, but DO look at others. Ds had a fabulous time at his last primary and I will always treasure his time there,

Sausagepickle123 Tue 13-Sep-16 22:13:49

Rereading you post OP i agree with zzzz that you have loads of examples, just because no problem to nursery does not mean they shouldn't be thinking about putting in extra help. by way of example, my son was no bother at all to nursery - just sat there quietly not engaging, complied with all their routines. They flagged this as actually being an issue (for my son) so we got some plans in motion and applied for EHCP for same reasons as you (school).

zzzzz Tue 13-Sep-16 23:10:24

The other thing is that reception is not the big step up you imagine. There should be outside space and I think it is supposed to be accessible whenever the children like???

Applying for and achieving an EHCP is really just a really tedious admin exercise. So try quite hard to treat it that way or it can become very upsetting which doesn't help anyone.

Filing and keeping records are important and there is lots of help on here.

Start be writing to you LA (or emailing) and asking them to assess her. They will send you a form and you can fill it our and stick all the docs you DO have on the back. Remember even severely disabled children are often knocked back the first time (we were) so just reapply if that happens (it's worth noting that I didn't change my application the second time round and ds got his ehcp and a place at the SS of my choice).

Try not to stress about it too much. The important thing is that she is happy and with people you trust.

Ineedmorepatience Wed 14-Sep-16 08:53:39

Just apply yourself and jump through all the crazy hoops!

The IPSEA website is helpful.

Good luck flowers

reader108 Wed 14-Sep-16 14:36:14

Sorry to ask questions and disrupt your thread Dodgyspot love the name

Sausagepickle 123 How did you get an ECHP we have just been refused to assess levels to good. Yes because he has been at a private specialist school paid for by myself for a year! Would have pm you if I know how too

Sausagepickle123 Wed 14-Sep-16 15:02:55

Hi reader108
We were told, among other reasons, making good progress so no assessment and should observe and consider applying again later if necessary. also we hadn't got diagnostic reports (although had diagnosis at that point). So appealed because only making progress due to high levels of support. IPSEA has a great refusal to assess pack which gives you the lines of argument. We basically followed that and were able to submit additional reports (diagnostic) that added extra weight to our arguments.

zzzzz Wed 14-Sep-16 15:12:45

What was the line of argument sausage?

Sausagepickle123 Wed 14-Sep-16 16:01:37

IPSEA pack has detail but I think we argued that my son very clearly had SEN which may need special ed provision so they needed to assess him and also that he had only made progress as a result of a very high level of intervention and support (we were funding ABA support for him and could show (eg through nursery tracking) that without his 1:1 at nursery he was making no progress). This was a factor that the LA needs to take into account in accordance with code of practice.

Sirzy Wed 14-Sep-16 16:06:25

Ds has never struggled in school, but that is because they have been great at identifying and meeting his needs. He has just been awarded an EHCP though - we have had to provide a lot of evidence from every professional involved in his care (and there are a fair few) and school detailed what they have to do for him which is above and beyond what is normally needed.

However. Do go and visit other mainstream schools, even if you do get an EHCP that won't guarantee a place at the special school, as others have said you would need to be able to show that her needs can't be met in any possible mainstream schools. You may well find another school which is able to meet her needs at this point.

DodgySpot Wed 14-Sep-16 18:23:24

Hello all 😊

Sorry I've been away from me for a few days I'll read the replies and catchup.

Thank you for all the advice!

tartanterror Wed 14-Sep-16 21:36:44

You could try speaking to the AFASIC helpline. They said expect to be refused an assessment first time and just to appeal, maybe to Tribunal level if required. Most appeals result in an assessment and then most assessments result in an EHCP. Don't just send in the standard letter asking for assessment - AFASIC suggest bulking out the standard letters with reasons why you think an assessment is needed and attach copies of all current and relevant reports. Good Luck!

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