Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on special needs.
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SEN lawyer / advocate/ independent support(6 Posts)
We recently submitted a request for an EHC needs assessment for my nearly four year old DS who has ASD and is due to start school in Sept 2018. Somebody at the local authority has responded and said they will be in touch to organise his joint needs assessment meeting in due course. Am feeling quite fresh to this whole process and slightly overwhelmed and particularly concerned about getting the right support in place for him. Is it worth considering getting an SEN lawyer on board (I have no idea if this is affordable even) or some other independent advocate to help us with this kind of meeting? Just feeling we need somebody to fight our corner as the local authority are under such bad financial pressure and, in my view at least, likely to be trying to provide as little support for him as possible. I have met before with our local SENDIASS people (independent support for SEN) but quite honestly wasn’t blown away by them or left feeling confident they would add a lot. So keen to hear anybody else’s experience/ view. Thank you
You are entitled to free support - in our area it is Barnardos who are the provider- and they can come with you to meetings. If this is before the Agree to Assess stage it might be better to opt for this now, then get a paid advocate if you need one. There are a few around but they are £££
Yep just checked it's called Independent Support so see who supplies in your area and self refer. We did the DIY route and I remember feeling like you .... we got an EHCP and only needed a few pointers from our supporter in the end. Good luck!
Hi Hurricane, just wanted to say it sounds like we are almost in the same boat, I also have 4yr old DS ASD starting school Sep 2018! We are currently in the assessment of needs stage of EHCP at the moment, all reports due by half term. It is a daunting process especially when I know the LA wont want to provide what we feels he needs. I have just had a great and extremely informative conversation with someone on the IPSEA helpline. She gave me so much in depth information about all the areas of law the LA need to comply with and all the ways they have already gone against this I was quite blown away. I feel my brain might explode. They have said they can help at every stage of the process even checking draft etc. I know i will be ringing them again
Message withdrawn at poster's request.