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What does an E.P does? Can they dx? help a bit lost.

(15 Posts)
mysonben Wed 01-Jul-09 20:03:02

Hi, it's me again back with more questions blush

The area SENCO was at ds 'nursery this afternoon to take some observations. She has noted that "most of ds play is in parallel or alongside others rather than cooperative and interactive." She also mention some behaviours such as screaming when things don't go as ds expected. She also noted about ds'speech delay and difficulties to understand questions and follow instructions.

Her conclusion is as follow:" It is difficult to tell whether ds'behaviours are caused by sheer frustration due to his lack of clear communication or whether there is anything else underlying them"

So she wants to make a referal for an E.P to assess ds.
What does that involve usually?
We are not sure whether this would be a good idea at this stage since there is still a possibility that a lot of his problems could be due to his speech delay!???
Well that may explain his screams at nursery but not his obssessions or routines would it?

Can an E.P make a dx ?

mysonben Wed 01-Jul-09 21:00:24

I think the SENCO may have jumped the gun a little if the E.P is supposed to be doing an assessement leading to a dx , because we do not want a formal written dx just yet.

I mean we already have a verbal dx of asd and a report from the paed , and are now waiting for the next app. in october.
So if the E.P 's job is primarly to assess and dx , then she will be wasting her time because we want to give ds a bit longer to see if he can progress socially when his speech does improves, iyswim?

Gosh this is so confusing , too many professional involved and me and dh not knowing where this is heading!!! hmm

PeachyTheRiverParrettHarlot Wed 01-Jul-09 21:09:07

here an ed psych cannot dx, that takes a Paed

they'tre there to id concernsand sggest strategies

however a key part of their job is also in statementing: if your child may need a statement then an EP report now might sped that up

Be aware though that an EP is employed by the LEA. And their targets are set by the LEA. And sometimes just a few seem to err on the side of budgetary ,measures when checking children- eg the EP who told me that DS1 wasn't aggressive when he was stood outside the window beating another child and refused to turn and look, and the EP assistant who apaprently gave DS3 orders to follow 2 yeras ago when non verbl to get him to make a complez aret project- not witnessed by any nursery staff, stating clearly not ASD (has a formal DX now and in an SNU PMSL) and suhggesting delaying staement until April 9with a coincidental retirement of EPA in march grin)

So in conclusion worth getting them in, another report new ideas etc but be aware by whom they are funded

amberflower Wed 01-Jul-09 21:24:24


Personally I would go with an ed psych assessment. I really want DS to have one. Even if you are not going for formal DX he/she should be able to offer some guidance and strategies for behaviour management and social interaction which should hopefully all help your DS. But no they will not DX, they will simply provide feedback which a paed could use in making a DX should you decide to go down that route.

We're asking for an ed psych assessment as part of our second opinion for ASD as DS hasn't had that so far, and we feel he would actually benefit hugely from such input (we have real self esteem issues etc) as would we, as his parents, in terms of advice on parenting him in the light of school's concerns.

BUT as PeachyTheRiverParrett says they are LEA funded...and therefore not necessarily without bias. You may also have the situation we are faced with at the moment and find that whatever the SENCO wants to do there are no ed psych resources available! (Apparently the support offered by the ed psych team in our area has been, to quote our SENCO, 'useless' as they have been understaffed therefore no assessments have been done this year!)

We have opted to source a private psychologist to get round these issues, and I am just in the process of contacting people now. The website I am using is (Association of Child Psychologists in Private Practice, google them if my link doesn't work, I'm pants at doing links blush). You can specify areas of specialism, and do a specific search for clinical or educational psychologists in your area.

I have to confess I have no idea what costs are involved at this stage and obviously this may or may not be something you wanted to consider but just thought I'd mention it as an option...

PeachyTheRiverParrettHarlot Wed 01-Jul-09 21:29:03

Amber have you considered the BIBIC route? non diagnostic they just work with your childs needs rather than DX (but the 3 day assessment is amssively helpful for flagging real concerns and the therapists have over 30 years experience) but you can opt to see an Ed Psych whilst you are there for an extra £. I knew them through work pre- asd and used them with both the ASD duo (they cover all areas of need from dyslexia onwards and no DX is needed or give at any satge).

The specialists they use are in normal practice (the SALT we saw was also emplioyed by a Hereford hospital) sop worth a google eprhaps? (and dont be scared of the name BIBIC- they may have a name inclusing brain injury but that's what they were 30+ years ago when they were founded, far wider outreach now)

amberflower Wed 01-Jul-09 21:30:56

no I hadn't heard of BIBIC at all but thanks for that, I will definitely have a look smile

PeachyTheRiverParrettHarlot Wed 01-Jul-09 21:33:03

Charity in Somerset, very holistic - with- proper- therapists IYKWIM

And if they seem expernsive, ask: they do financial support

mysonben Wed 01-Jul-09 21:51:38

hmm still not sure whether getting an E.P involved will benefit ds at this point since we really want to have that review with the paed next october before we decide on the next step. ie: whether he needs a formal dx or not, and as for the statement we want to wait until after xmas.

I suppose if the waiting list is long for the E.P then it might be worth just waiting, appointment with paed. might come before ds even get to seee the E.P anyway!

PeachyTheRiverParrettHarlot Wed 01-Jul-09 21:54:19

You know, here there is no EP, twice a year the LEA picks 2 kids in eacha rea for assessment (EP resigned and no replacement found)

So worth being on list.....

mysonben Wed 01-Jul-09 22:09:01

Peachy- my! That's bad and if you do wish for your child to see an E.P then i can understand your frustration.
I don't know about E.P 's waiting list here where we are , so i suppose it might be worth just waiting in the meantime.
Here we seem to have a shortage of SALT it took 10 months between the first lot of block sessions my ds had and the next lot. And ds really desperately needs these salt sessions.

mysonben Wed 01-Jul-09 23:10:06

Another question ! Does an E.P only works from the school setting or do they come out to the home for observations too?

WetAugust Wed 01-Jul-09 23:46:50

An EP is normally a qualified psychologist who also has a teaching qualification. They are employed by the LEA to assess the educational needs of children dislaying difficulties.
They have whole battery of tests they can run to estbalish strengths and weaknesses, the results of which they use to suggest strateies for school to employ to help the child in teh learning environment. They can observe the child at home or at school. They will produce a report so it's worth requesting a copy.
They are not qualified to make a formal dx of ASD, only a Paed, Clinical Psychologist or Psychiatrist can formally dx the condition.

But as Peachy and others have pointed out supporting SENs costs the LEA money so, as EPs are employed by that same LEA they are unlikley to start suggesting remedies that may be very expensive for their employers.

Welcome to the crazy world of SENs where the LEA is the undisputed gate-keeper (bar SENDIST) for the educational support your child may require.

Best wishes

cjones2979 Wed 01-Jul-09 23:51:17

Hi mysonben. Not sure about E.P coming out to the home. We have only ever seen ours at school but I have been able to speak with her on the phone regarding my ds. He is 5 and got an ASD DX when he was 3. This came about because his nursery picked up when he was 2 that his speech was severly delayed and he didn't seem to use imaginitive play. It took a year and 3 paed appts to get the DX. We were told at the time that he had mild autism and should be able to attend a mainstream school but may need some extra support once there. He had some speech therapy (which took 10 months to get an appt) and an annual paed appt until he started at school last sept.
By this point, other ASD traits were showing which have become more and more as he gets older.
Anyway, to cut a long story short, I wish I had known I could get the ed psyc in earlier so that his statement could've been in place before he started school as he wasn't allowed to attend full time until the funding was in place which was 6 months into the school year. It has now become apparent that the school are finding him difficult to cope with and we are having to look at special needs schools.
In my opinion, take any help that is offered to you as early as you can so that you are aware of the full extent of your ds's needs before he starts school.
Hope this helps.

skydelay Thu 02-Jul-09 00:04:24

I requested an E.P assessment via the CAF form. The first visit was to observe, the second to interact on a one to one basis, the final one was a home visit which was just to chat to me, let me know of her findings and gather further information from me.
She also got a snap shot of how different my DS is at home. She offered to refer us to CAHMS if that was what we wanted adding that we may not get a diagnosis. I declined at this stage as my son is on school action plus and stratergies are being put in place by the new school, I want to wait and see how he gets on in reception. We are very lucky as in our area we do not need a dx to access support. If we did, or do need dx to secure further support in the future that is when we will go for a formal dx.

mysonben Thu 02-Jul-09 00:12:50

Thank you all for your help , it has clarified a few things for me. smile

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