EHCP beckons 

By | November 12, 2017

D received her Statement of Special Educational Needs (SEN) at age 5.5, it was very much welcomed as she wasn’t coping in mainstream education at all and we knew that for her to go down the SN school route, she needed a Statement.

Her SEN Statement was refused at the first attempt and I remember feeling so absolutely powerless, very emotional and really quite baffled that someone who had never met our daughter and was unlikely to meet her, decides her fate based on budgetary assumptions, she was a number on a sheet.  

It was an extremely emotional time, on the occasions that D would enter the classroom willingly (not that often), she’d soon become overwhelmed by the sensory issues associated with a 30+ class and, as I understand it, spent most of her school day either outside in the hallway with her TA or – on the assumption she could be in class – on the lowest grade table because staff didn’t understand her needs.

One of her teachers described her to me as “flighty”. Nice eh? Mind you, this was at the same school who’d strap a Down’s syndrome boy into his buggy and leave him outside the classroom, unsupervised.  

So, a statement of SEN was very much needed, both to meet D’s future needs and to reassure us, as D’s parents, that she was in the most appropriate setting for her.

Luckily D’s Statement was granted after an appeal and within six weeks she was offered a place at SN school, somewhere where she has felt safe and with the smaller class size/higher staff ratio, she has flourished.  

She entered SN school too traumatised to read, could just about trace her name and totally unable to enter a busy classroom/dinner hall/assembly without being overcome and melting down.

She’s now 13.5 and the school are still working to her original Statement.  Every annual review the box that says “amendment needed” (or something) is ticked and then we’ll get a letter from the LEA saying they’ve checked it and it doesn’t!

Tomorrow though we take the first steps to transferring D to an EHCP, one that should see her through to age 25.   Finally!

Having a SN child (or children) can make for a large number of meetings and I thought I’d share our tips for preparing for them, it’s also a blog prompt for Family Fund for this month.

Write down what you want to mention:
It’s easy to imagine you’ll remember something you want to say, but write it down! Any meetings regarding your child can get emotional as you are concerned for their wellbeing and want the best for them, it’s natural to cry, we invest so much time and energy into trying to do our best.  Write it down and have a tissue in your bag/pocket.  Put a water bottle in too. 

Invite others:
If you have been consulting a professional (eg speech and language, educational psychologist) and you feel their input would benefit the meeting but they haven’t been invited, ask them to attend.  It would be reassurance for you, if they can’t attend, ask that they submit a report.
If you feel you’d get reassurance from a friend/relative being with you, bring them.

Take a picture:
I don’t mean of the meeting attendees, but a picture of your child, show the people there your child, a reminder that you’re talking about someone rather than “x” on a budget sheet. 

If a video of your child would help demonstrate needs, ask if it can be played.  Make sure they are clothed though, just in case it’s refused a play due to a lack of clothes. 

Are we set? Hopefully, as long as my #scarfeet behave and I’ve had a coffee, I hope so.  

Because our D is depending on us and we want the very best we can for her.

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2 Comments

Jasmin N on November 14, 2017 at 9:10 pm.

I hope things are starting to go well in the future! It’s insanely easy to forget it’s about a child & not a statistic.

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Kelly-Anne | Mimi Rose and Me on November 15, 2017 at 9:18 am.

Oh good luck. Fantastic tips lovely.
Kelly-Anne | Mimi Rose and Me recently posted…Explore the Fun with GeoSafari® My First MicroscopeMy Profile

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