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School have suggested an EHC plan. What should we do?

(3 Posts)
Matlow Mon 13-Jun-16 11:44:30

I have posted this on Education section to as wasn't sure where I should post so sorry for any duplication.

Our dd is 9 and has always struggled in all areas at school. She has been diagnosed with APD (auditory processing disorder) which is probably the cause of her speech and language problems. She has a significant speech and language disorder with particular problems around conceptual language and this has impacted all aspects of her learning. She also has very poor working memory and slow processing skills. Having said all that she is incredibly enthusiastic, loves school, always tries her very best and is a very happy sweet natured little girl.

We work really hard with our dd to help her achieve her potential. We read with her every day, we do maths games and word games every day, she does 20 mins literacy work before school and has 2 specialist tutors per week over- learning and reinforcing everything she is doing at school. We have audio versions of the texts she’s doing at school so she is familiar with them and she loves it. I think we have always hoped that with maturity she would overcome her problems and catch up. We have constantly been chasing a cure! For her APD she is currently being assessed for a specialist ear piece that will pair with a microphone worn by her teacher and we are secretly hoping that this will turn everything around!

She has made progress every school year but her progress is much slower than her peers and the gap is widening all the time. She is much more babyish and seems younger than her class mates. As she is nearing the end of year 4 we are starting to feel a bit worried about secondary school. At a recent meeting with the school SENCO it was suggested to us that we should apply for an EHC plan so that she won’t be thrown in at the deep end. She currently has almost constant TA support which is unlikely to be provided at secondary level without an EHC in place. My dp is very worried about the potential negative implications of having an EHC. For example if dd achieves the grades required and wants to go to uni will it be mentioned on her application? What stigma is attached to an EHC? What are the downsides? I think my dp feels that going down this route is accepting that she has serious learning difficulties and not just barriers that can be overcome with the right strategies/support. I completely understand how dp feels as I feel the same in some ways. However I want to ensure that our dd has all the support she needs to achieve her potential (whatever that might be) and that she continues to be the happy enthusiastic person she is. I can’t bear the thought of her feeling anxious and confused in class and eventually falling through the cracks. I have also been told that applications made in year 5 and 6 are less likely to succeed for several reasons including suspicion that it’s about securing a preferred school place. This isn’t the case with us as our ds is currently year 8 at a great school and she will follow on a sibling place.

Im so sorry this is so long! What should we do?

Runningtokeepstill Mon 13-Jun-16 14:16:48

I don't think there is stigma regarding an EHCP. If your dd need extra support she should have it and as far as I can tell from your post your dh is agrees but it's this "labelling" issue that's in his mind.

I don't know what the future holds for your dd's development but please tell your dh that you don't need serious learning difficulties to get an EHCP. I'm applying for one for my 16 year old ds because he is falling through the cracks and not achieving his potential due to a health condition. He's taking A levels next year. Some people with EHCPs have learning difficulties, some don't. It's geared to making sure children get the opportunity to learn and develop at the rate they need to and not be held back due to lack of support.

Many people who post here are fighting unsupportive schools who deny their dc need additional help. In your position I'd work with your school to get all the help your dd may need

Matlow Mon 13-Jun-16 16:27:18

Thanks for your response. You are right and I will have a talk with dp this evening and hopefully start the ball rolling tomorrow.

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