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Who should I speak to?

(10 Posts)
SNN2017 Wed 08-Feb-17 22:50:10

Hi. Unusual post here! I deal with special needs at my primary school. I'm not an expert on ASD, but I have taught for many years so I'm fairly familiar. I appreciate how vast the spectrum is: "Show me a child with autism and I'll show you a child with autism" . I have autism in my family so I know about it on a personal level.
We have a very high number of children assessed by one particular doctor as ASD. He ALWAYS diagnoses borderline ASD and if the parent persists, he gives a full diagnosis. If I look back on 5 years worth of parent referrals, he has never not diagnosed. Many of these children exhibit no traits at school and I know that can happen, but really- these are chatty, engaging, quick and sociable children. One parent had applied for Disability Living Allowance before she had the diagnosis and is convinced her child will have an EHCP - I've told her that's unlikely even with a diagnosis, but she says she will get one however it comes about. I believe you can't apply for DLA without an EHCP.
I'm not here to upset parents with experience of ASD, I know autism is challenging- I've been/am there. But I believe these children are being labelled for no genuine reason. There's also the more practical consideration of SEN funding and children in genuine need of support who are missing out. Who can I voice my concerns to?

MrsMoastyToasty Wed 08-Feb-17 22:54:23

My DS has autism. He received DLA about 3 years before he got a conclusive diagnosis or an EHCP.

HopeClearwater Wed 08-Feb-17 22:54:40

Is this guy working for NHS or is he private?
Watching with interest.

SNN2017 Wed 08-Feb-17 23:28:33

He's NHS. I'm honestly thinking of moving schools to go and work in a different county. From my experience (personal and professional) it is rare that a child is ASD at home and exhibits NOT ONE SIGN at school. 3 children have come through as this since September. In other boroughs I've worked in, early help plans were advised initially to ascertain whether the home environment was contributing towards ASD type behaviours. Mrs MoastyToasty, how did that work?

MrsMoastyToasty Thu 09-Feb-17 00:09:48

DLA is granted on the basis of needs not necessarily on diagnosis. You have to evidence that the children has care and/or mobility needs over and above those of a non disabled child. I work for an organisation that provides help with benefits applications, appeals and tribunals so that stood me in good steady when we applied.
I also know children on the spectrum that "hold it all in" while athe school and then have meltdowns at home about things that happened hours earlier. Unfortunately my DS doesn't have this ability (lol )

diamondsforapril Thu 09-Feb-17 07:24:01

My brother masked brilliantly at school and at home too, to be honest, because of our parents' strictness. The only recurring comment we used to get was 'daydreams' for school.

lougle Thu 09-Feb-17 07:35:37

"I believe you can't apply for DLA without an EHCP."

You need to educate yourself on the facts before you challenge this situation, because you'll just look silly if you say things that are untrue.

The criteria for DLA in children is that the child needs '^more care or supervision than a typically developing child of their age^'.

There is *no requirement for a diagnosis (many of the children who attend my DD's special school have no diagnosis and will never have a diagnosis, because medicine can't give us all the answers in life, sadly).
There is *no requirement for an EHCP, which is simply a legal document which sets out educational health and cafe provision that must be made for a child. Many children have high needs that can still be met by the resources of schools, so there is no need for an EHCP.

ASD diagnosis should be made as part of a multidisciplinary assessment. It's unusual, these days, for just one person to diagnose (although there are some very well respected professionals who can).

SNN2017 Thu 09-Feb-17 08:42:48

Thank you Mrs Moastytoasty and diamondsforapril.

lougle, you have completely misinterpreted the tone of my post. Please don't make your reply so personal, there's no need.

lougle Thu 09-Feb-17 16:37:26

There is nothing personal about my reply. You've said you believe that you can't apply for DLA without holding an EHCP. Even a brief Google of the DLA application notes would show you that this isn't the case, so it makes me wonder why you would hold a belief when it's easy to instead investigate and know something for a fact?

SNN2017 Thu 09-Feb-17 19:32:56

It was part of my wider question and as for "I believe" - simply semantics . I don't deal with DLA applications, I deal with SEN. The call I had last week is the first one I've had.

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