- 21 Dec 2021
Go to some parent sessions for SEND run in your local area. It doesn't matter what it's on as long as the topic is broadly relevant to you.
At these sessions, there's usually chat before and after the sessions. It's often folk chatting to the people near them about their kids. This is a great opportunity to chat to other local parents about what they've learned, how they have found it and even ask "What do you wish you knew then that you know now?"
Sessions might be provided by local parent carer forums or SEND IASS although local COVID rates might affect whether face to face sessions are happening.
- 20 Dec 2021
Don't underestimate your GP. They are the starting point for everything and can unlock the diagnostic process.
Once you have an EHCP in place watch out for the local authority in the review process. Subtle changes in wording in the EHCP could result in your provision being questioned so compare the old and new EHCP line by line. Classic one for us to look out for - occupational therapy integrated on site. Every time we have a review we have to go back and ask for those three little words to be reinserted otherwise she no longer qualifies for a place at her school, and can be sent anywhere that can outsource OT and send the kids off somewhere for sessions. This is very different from her school, where OT is a feature of every lesson from maths to PE because the specialists are involved throughout the curriculum. Her school understands that learning is connected to physical activity. Apart from anything else, going off site for separate sessions will mean a revolving door of therapists who just get to know her before they go back to Australia/ get disillusioned. Not effective and not worth the money invested in it by the local authority.
- 09 Jun 2021
I have been through the EHCP process and it's in place for my son Jacob. The advice I would share as most important is to always get as many of the professionals who work with your child to be involved in the process at the early stages of the EHCP. Their contribution is valuable. For these professionals to be always present in the annual reviews meetings which are important to build on the plan and make the changes needed for targets to be met. If they cannot be present to request reports and feedback, contribution from professionals helps to include as much as possible. Also with the targets put on the plan, that achievable targets are shared with you each term so that you know what work is being done related specifically to the EHCP plan for your child to achieve each term. So much time is spent doing the plan, to be involved with the school and ask questions that all stated in the plan is being considered and put in place. I would also say to know the power of an EHCP for your child. The school has a legal obligation to put in place everything that is on the EHCP. At any time you can request a review meeting and the school have to arrange one to go through any concerns. You have rights to do this and to make sure they are doing what the plan says. Be fully involved for the best outcomes for your child.