Every day, parents in our Facebook group post about how their child’s school is not helping them get an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) for their child. In many cases, this is because the child appears ‘fine’ at school, is academically achieving, and/or their behaviour at school is not a problem. This is also the child who comes home and explodes after holding it together all day, trying to appear ‘normal’.
I thought it might be useful to put together in one place a post with all of the ‘DIY EHCP’ resources I could find. This will help you find the starting place for your journey.
Can I do it myself?
Yes, you definitely can. Here are some top links to get you started:
- The EHCP Assessment Get Started Checklist from Special Needs Jungle
- Statements and Education and Health Care Plans from Ambitious about Autism. Includes an excellent template letter you can use to write to your local authority.
- Here is the Government overview of EHCPs which features a useful timeline.
- IPSEA is an excellent resource for everything to do with SEND. Here is their page on asking for an EHC needs assessment and a note about a common misconception about what’s needed.
But I shouldn’t have to do it myself!
Well, of course you shouldn’t. Local authorities should be looking after our children. They should be funding schools to provide training for teachers on how to help our kids in school. However, this is a very hit-and-miss situation. Some schools and some teachers are fantastic, and some are not.
But I’m really angry! My son’s/daughter’s school is rubbish!
While we all need a moan once in a while, it does not help our children get better care in school. We can get angry and rant about how this is wrong or that is wrong. Or we can channel that energy into helping our children. I know it’s not right and it’s not fair but it is where we are right now.
But I really don’t understand how to do this and it’s really stressful
I get this. And I’m not trying to add to your stress – heaven knows we all have enough of that. If you struggle with understanding this system, or struggle with reading and writing, ask a friend or family member for help. Likewise, if you are a friend or family member of someone who needs help with their EHCP application, please help them.
Please also see our post Tips for Working with SEND Professionals for help.
Who can help me?
There are quite a few options for getting help. Here are a few:
KIDS Independent Supporters are trained to help families and young people through the EHCP assessment, planning and development process.
Telephone: 0117 9476111
Click to visit website
An independent organisation offering a free confidential and impartial service to any parent who has a concern about their child’s education.
Telephone: 01179 897725
Click to visit website
Bristol (and surrounding areas) EHCP experiences group
A very useful Facebook group for parents and carers going through the process.
Please also see our page on School Support for Children with Autism.
Slowly wins the race
It is very important to remember that this is not a race. You will work yourself into a panic if you think you have to do everything in the next 10 minutes. The important thing is that you begin working towards this. Put one foot in front of the other and you will get there in the end. Start slowly. Read through all of the links in this post. Print things out, talk to friends and family. Take a deep breath. You can do this!