Facing the EHCP Assessment Process

autism education health and care plan assessment

With less than 4 weeks before the LA make their decision on whether or not to carry out an assessment, I have been trying to get a sense of what will be involved and what we can do to ensure get a yes.

With the decision looming, I seem to be permanently on edge and my main focus is on trying to find any piece of information which we can use to help us get ready.

What is an EHCP

The EHCP was introduced in September 2014 and there are next to no stories from parents who have been through it - so we are unable able to get any insights beyond the general guidelines explaining the process.

This means we don't really know what to expect, what rookie mistakes to avoid, or how much evidence the LA needs in order to think that we can't be supported by the resources already available within the school.

I don't really know what I should be doing, and this is so frustrating.

Based on our current situation, I can't help but think that this is our key chance to get help and that the decision made will have a HUGE impact on our lives and our Son's chances of success within school.

I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.
--- Mark Twain

I am sure that there will be other options, but for now we are fully focused on doing what we can to have the best possible chance now.

So, what is the Process

The EHC needs assessment will take up to 16 weeks, will require numerous assessments from different professionals and if a plan is granted this will be completed within 20 weeks. 

After this, the plan will be into place within 2 months. A decision not to carry out the assessment, or create a plan can be appealed.  

Useful resources

Both the IPSEA EHC Needs Assessment Overview and the NAS EHC Needs Assessment Overview provide an overview of the process, from making a request to appealing a decision if necessary.

I found the NAS overview has some useful resources, including a template letter which can be used to make the initial request to the LA and a toolkit which can be used to gather the views of your child

We also got a booklet from the LA in the response acknowledging our request for a needs assessment. This  explained the process, names of people who will be in contact to explain the process (still waiting to hear from them) and the details of a local organisation (FACT Bucks) who work with the council to represent views and help share future provision and policies.

A little more information to add to our fact files!

Rounding up the troops

I don't think there is a professional body or charity that I have not tried to get hold of over the past few weeks, in the hope of trying to find some help.

I have tried to get the ball rolling by reaching out to an Educational Psychologist, Occupational therapist and Speech and Language therapist, who all accept self-referrals, and have asked them to assess our Son and hopefully provide treatment. 

I am not sure if this will help or hinder us, but at least I feel like I am doing something, rather than waiting for things to happen whilst my Son continues to struggle.

We also have appointments over the next week with someone from the SEND IAS team, and someone from the Leonard Cheshire Disability team which we found through the Bank Workers Charity (supports current/ former banking workers) who are able to offer advice and support through next few months.

Fingers crossed, some of them can provide us with some of the insights we are looking for!

Have you been through the EHC assessment process? Was there any organisation or resources that helped you through the process? Would be great from others what support they were able to get ...

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