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EHC Needs Assessment(28 Posts)
I've just put the application in for DD (dx ASD, hypermobility and poor upper body strength) and am fairly certain the assessment will be agreed as she meets the legal test.
School are not being terribly supportive but that's no surprise.
We already have evidence that there is a disparity between her capability and attainment. She is year 5 and is on the 98 centile for literacy cognition but is not going to pass year 6 sats in literacy or the SPAG.
We know that hypermobility causes some problems with pain for handwriting which effects speed but this does not answer fully the disparity. She struggles with spelling recall (and can't recall very basic spellings) and has some working memory/ concentration issues. I have been asking for school to investigate dyslexia for years , they did basic screening (not full testing) and said they don't think she is dyslexic.
To get to my point can we ask the LA, as part of the assessment to investigate whether she has a specific learning difficulty and to assess whether she is dyslexic?
Also NHS have not offered physio. NHS OT are suggesting she may touchtype, but my son's private OT (funded through his EHCP) has stated that she thinks this is an inadequate response and she should also be seen by a physio, can I ask the LEA for an assessment of this issue?
Any help would be gratefully received. School aren't really interested because she is not 2 year's behind.
Have school offered the jump ahead programme ? Its more for dyspraxia but does fine motor and gross motor strengthening exercises . My dd has dyspraxia with poor core strength and coordination and they are offering it to my hypermobile ASD Ds (who sounds very like your dd !). We can't access nhs OT or physio for either of them as they bright and are not 'failing' even though they are not achieving anything like their capability. We had to fund private assessments in the end.
They haven't offered jump ahead but they have offered something called Get Moving which I think is similar. She refused it though as it is predominately aimed at reception/ year 1 children and she is year 5. She felt very uncomfortable doing it.
Daughter does have OT and NHS Salt in school weekly to help with needs. She has also learned to touch type.
I just wondered if the LA are compelled to make reasonable investigations when an issue is raised? Obviously we will pay private if needs be but hoping to avoid that if they have an obligation at this point.
If the LA agrees to assess, then under Regulation 6 of the SEND Regulations 2014 they must get advice and information from an educational psychologist, and anyone else they think appropriate or that the parents reasonably request. It's clearly appropriate to get a dyslexia assessment and a report from a physio/OT, and the EP may be able to deal with the dyslexia issue. However, whilst you can always ask for appropriate assessments, in practice if they won't arrange them - and many LAs don't - you'd probably have to get your own and/or go to the tribunal.
thanks Deepan , is there any comeback if they refuse a reasonable request, do you know?
When requested asssessments, LA’s will stick to minimum legal requirements ie EP, medical advice and social care.
If you want other expert assessments, such as SALT, OT etc YOU have to request this to the LA with your request for assessment. If you do not, they will not assess those areas of need. A request is considered ‘reasonable’ if a need already exists or there is evidence of that need.
Here you can “self refer” to OT and SALT for assessment but the waiting list is long. School usually block book services so may be able to help if they think it’s sensible.
Realistically the only comeback if they refuse is to complain and/or appeal. If they refuse to issue an EHCP, appeal against that, or if they issue a useless one (which they will, if they haven't got the right evidence), appeal against that. If at all possible, get your own reports from experts with a good track record in tribunal work. If you can't do that, ask the tribunal at the earliest possible opportunity to order the LA to organise assessments and to require their experts to advise on support in detailed and specific terms.
The Local Government Ombudsman seems to be willing to order LAs to reimburse parents for the cost of private reports where they've failed to do their job properly, so it would definitely be worth going down that route as well as appealing.
Ds was refused a statement, refused assessment for ehcp the first time we applied. I just reapplied.
There is a model letter, for complaining and relevant Law in the link I posted, if when you request expert assessment, they refuse. My LA were ‘good’ in this respect. They did instruct experts I requested.
In my experience, LA instructed expert reports are always vague when it comes to provision. Again you can quote relevant Law and request experts amend their reports.
If they refuse, appeal. Once an appeal is lodge, you can request for change and Judge can order that reports specify and quantify.
However, a better course of action, as Deep says, is to get your own independent reports. Then you can argue that the LA had plenty of time to instruct their own experts, as you requested they do. Failed to do so. Therefore, the Tribunal should rely on your evidence, which will be very detailed.
I think one step at a time. Most LA’s refuse to assess by default, in the hope you won’t appeal. You may need to appeal this refusal. This refusal is the ‘easy’ part, as the legal threshold is low.
Make sure you request appropriate assessments now. After assessment, they can refuse to issue, particular if appropriate assessments have not been made.
If you are thinking of instructing your own experts, consider the timing. Experts are often fully booked well in advance.
Ok thanks for that advice. Yes she is having some support from NHS Salt and OT in school but not for the sensory issues (as there is no pathway in our area) which are a large cause of the anxiety.
I have written a detailed letter requesting the assessment, I wonder if I should write another one specifying exactly what I feel needs to be assessed?
There is also an issue of the fact that there was an Ed Pscyh report but it is factually incorrect and the recommendations are based on the incorrect information, can I request that they either disregard this report entirely because it is incorrect or that the Ed Pscyh updates the report so it is accurate, I assume I can and it will be cheaper for them to do the latter?
By ask for specific assessments now, I mean once they agree to assess. Once they agree they should ask you fill out a form etc. Request them then.
There is a template letter for requesting assessment
When was EP report written?
thanks, I've already sent in an amended version of this letter to the LA, Ok once I've been told whether they will assesss I will ask for the reports.
The Ed Psch report is July so it is in date but it is inaccurate so needs to be either amended or disregarded.
“The LA does not have to seek new advice where that type of advice has previously been provided for any purpose – for example, if there already was a recent educational psychologist’s report. This exception will only apply if the person providing that advice, the LA and the child’s parent or the young person are all satisfied that the existing advice is sufficient. Previous advice can only be sufficient for an EHC needs assessment if it is relatively up to date and accurately reflects the child or young person’s current needs. As a rough guide, an educational psychologist’s report which is over two years old will not usually be recent enough to be useful”
Previous EP advice was not written for the purpose of informing EHCP. It’s not accurate etc. Cross that bridge, once they agree.
@Claw001 thank you, you have been amazing on this thread. I really appreciate it!
This is the beauty of MN SEN, there is always someone who has experienced similar or been in the same position!
Sharing info, mum power!
I am thinking next year we may apply, so reading this with interest. For those who have done this - was it worth it? Was it as stressful as imagined (tribunal etc)?
Our son in Y4 has extra help (small group in and out of class) and some extra money from local authority granted for school, but not everything - es. not specialist teachers to help with the gap of 3 years in literacy/2 in maths. School have to wait until April to re-apply, though MN SEN people have said this 2 years behind thing is nonsense/not based on SEN law. He does get good motor based support for dyspraxia and some small group phonics. I feel like we are just watching him fail though. Feeling quite down today. Worn down and weary of education system hoops and appointments for this, that and the other in NHS (I know we are lucky to have so much help here). I know you'll know how I feel!
Ed Psych came to school last week and we talked to her for an hour and gave her some notes - I said we want to get to bottom of why his reading so delayed so could EP assess for dyslexia. Asked school on Friday what she will assess for (after she'd done Obs and talked to teacher) 'they don't know' - very helpful...
Claw you give consistently good advice - thank you for taking the time to share your knowledge, it is appreciated xxx
Hi kiss I think the more evidence you have, the less stressful! Unfortunately it usually means instructing your own independent reports, to get a meaningful EHCP.
EP’s don’t ‘test’ for dyslexia as such. They identify needs, which may or may not be connected.
EHCP’s do usually take some time, if you have to appeal at every step. Don’t let this put you off! In fact, it’s more reason to apply sooner, rather than later!
Yes have spoken to them today - she said they look at needs in relation to reading as well as other cognitive stuff. No test to diagnose route as definition of dyslexia too contested, so no LA ed psychologist will do this.
Is it worth us saving up for a private diagnosis though?
He has dyspraxia diagnosis from paed team/OT evidence.
I don't know what best to spend our (limited) resources on -
practical stuff for home like a hand writing tutor or reading tutor/dyslexia knowledgable
reports for EHCP?
Hi Kiss, it's a slog isn't it. I find it all really stressful.
Does anyone know if the LA are allowed to ask for school / child and parental views before they decide to agree to assess? Apparently they are sending forms home through school in DD bag I though the only relevant questions were as stated above that the child has SEN and MAY need additional support.
Absolutely the LA can and indeed should ask for school views before deciding whether to assess: they can't make the decision based solely on parental request and need evidence. Likewise it makes sense to ask for parental views, though you may well have given them already in the original request.
Kiss I would say any diagnosis is only as good as the support it brings. An EHCP is needs based, as oppose to diagnosis.
Apply for assessment, part of that process will be assessments from EP, OT, SALT etc they should identify needs/difficulties. Once identified you can then decide if the provision is adequate and where support should be aimed.
If you cannot afford private reports, a tribunal judge can order that existing reports be specified and quantified.
I would also mention if you are on a low income, you can apply for legal aid. This will provide a solicitor and funding for private reports.
Just tried to go through the Q's for legal aid eligibility, bloody form not working. Will check with CAB. Both on low wage but have a flat we rent out (that's our pension pot basically)
Guess if not we can go SOSSEN or IPSEA representation, and if we get DLA we could save up for reports that way.
Having read articles where people re-mortaged houses and spent 50k I must say I was feeling a tad wobbly about the potential financial impact. On the other hand this is this is the next 7 years of DS' life at school...
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