Education and Development
Education Health and Care Plan ( EHCP )
Children with SEND will have their needs met when they attend school. An EHCP is for children and young people aged up to 25 who need more support than is available through special educational needs support.
These plans identify educational, health and social needs and set out the additional support to meet those needs.
It is a very rigorous process and it is advisable that parents seek information and support in considering what should go in to their child's plan. Such advice may come from local Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Information Advice and Support Service SENDIASS)
or from advice services provided by charities, CAB or local one-stop shops.
SENDIASS is a free, confidential and impartial service for parents and carers, children and young people (up to 25 years).
If an item of support in the EHCP has been agreed between education professionals and the parent/carer, then it is obviously a) Important for the child's development, and b) necessary for the Local Authority to abide by the EHCP and see that it is delivered. Unfortunately this may not be the case. Due to the culture of funding cuts of the past several government's, Local Authorities are always looking for ways to cut down on costs.
They also may have staff that do not fully understand the import of certain items in the EHCP. This can lead to disparity between what is in the agreed plan and what is actually carried out and delivered. Parent/carers must be vigilant for omissions and scrutinise what help is agreed by Local Authority, to make sure that it tallies with what the child needs.
When applying for an EHCP in the first place it is important for you not to be put off by Local Authorities claiming different ‘criteria’ than those that are actually LAW. If a child is struggling then they deserve to have their needs met. The legislation for an assessment for EHCP only requires that children and young adults (up to 25) 'MAY' have Special Educational Needs, and that it 'MAY' be necessary for special educational provision to be made via an EHC plan. Do not be put off if an application is at first turned down. Sometimes it seems Local Authorities try to do this initially in an attempt to get out of their responsibilities.
Appeal the decision. These appeals should not be difficult to win.
You can challenge your local authority about:
their decision to not carry out an assessment
their decision to not create an EHC plan
the special educational support in the EHC plan
the school named in the EHC plan
If you cannot resolve the problem with your local authority, you can appeal to the SEND Tribunal.
Here is a Template Letter to Download
Here are links to template letters and full guides to the EHCP process:
Co-occuring conditions that can effect learning.
As autistic and neurotypical allies to autistics, we believe that autism is a neurological difference. As such, it is not an illness, impairment or imperfection, but a different version of a shared humanity, just as two operating systems are different, but inhabit the same machine.
We do not say that autism isn't a disability. It comes with many challenges, such as sensory differences and other co-occuring conditions that can effect health and development. Here are descriptions of some of them:
Dyslexia is a learning difference in the way we process information. This can effect memory,organisation and the perception of time. It mainly affects reading and writing skills. There may also be difficulties processing and remembering information, which can affect learning and gaining literacy skills.
For more information contact the British Dyslexia Association.
This is a mathematical learning difficulty. It is a explicit difficulty in understanding numbers. It is similar to Dyslexia, in that there are difficulties processing and storing numbers in memory. Simple addition may become a default setting, but as more complex mathematics becomes problematic, the anxiety created can lead to avoidance.
This is a very strong interest in letters or numbers. It may be seen in infants by an enhanced ability to read for their age. There are social and communication difficulties that may occur from this condition.
For more information contact Hyperlexia UK.
This is a developmental condition that affects fine and/or gross motor coordination.
For more information contact the Dyspraxia Foundation
Epilepsy is a condition that affects the brain. When someone has epilepsy, it means they have a tendency to have epileptic seizures. This means that a sudden electrical discharge happens in the brain and causes changes in the body. The changes depend on where in the brain the seizure takes place. This can therefore produce different types of seizure in the body. It can make a person feel disoriented, ill and induce sudden unconsciousness. Different muscle groups can be activated, causing a person’s limbs to jerk or to lock in place, which may cause falling. Seizures that last longer than five minutes are potentially very dangerous and require medical intervention. Most types of epilepsy can be controlled well with the correct drug.
Pathological Demand Avoidance
People effected by this condition feel that they cannot control the high levels of anxiety they experience. Because of this, their avoidance of the demands of daily life is not within their control. To quote PDA expert Tigger Pritchard 'Pathological means that actions that might appear insubordinate are completely out of the control of the individual; they are not being wilful or rude'.
For more information on PDA contact the PDA Society.
Beneficial Educational Therapies.
London Autism Group Charity only sanctions those therapies ethically proven to benefit the development of an autistic person in a non-invasive, non-stressful and mutually acceptable way. The whole process should be done in a respectful, positive way.
Speech and language therapy
These professionals support and care for children and adults who have
difficulties with communication, or with eating, drinking and swallowing.
Occupational therapists can look at all aspects of daily life in the home, school or workplace. They will identify and help manage sensory problems, giving advice to provide the correct levels of sensory stimulation to prevent a person becoming overwhelmed or anxious.
They will identify difficulties performing everyday tasks and attempt to find alternative methods and solutions.
Music therapy is a psychologically beneficial intervention for people effected by illness or disability. It supports their psychological, emotional, cognitive, physical, communicative and social needs. It is particularly suited to those with communication difficulties.
This therapy is used to stimulate the imagination and to help improve mental health. This may use storytelling, role play, small objects, and arts materials. It can also involve movement, music, fabrics, mask work and puppetry.
This is the therapeutic use of movement to increase good physical and mental health. It could contain varied activities ranging from stretching to unstructured dancing. This aims to encourage people to express their feelings, thoughts and ideas through body movement, in a safe environment.
Physiotherapists help people affected by injury, illness or disability through movement and exercise, manual therapy, education and advice.
This is of particular benefit to people with Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties, and Cerebral palsy (CP), who may need assistance in the form of Postural Care.
People with physical disabilities require special exercises to prevent muscle wastage and atrophy of the limbs from non-use.
Therapists can give mobility advice and supply appropriate equipment. They can also help put in place other supportive measures such as Hydrotherapy.