We will be issued an EHCP!

A huge relief, super happy but tinged with a bit of sadness. I think that sums up my feelings when I found out that Bam was going to be issued an EHCP. My boy will have the support to spread his wings and fly! (hence the photo)

I had a few moments before Mops finished school, I was in my car with no little ears flapping so I called the local authority on the off chance that they might have an update on Bam’s application.

I actually didn’t expect them to give me an update. I just expected them to say that it’s still being processed. So when she said ‘Oooh, we have an update for you’ I began to mentally prepare myself for the news that we wouldn’t receive an EHCP.

So when she told me that the local authority have decided to issue an EHCP, I was actually speechless – A rare occurrence, I know!

A massive weight had just been lifted off of my shoulders – I could actually feel months of anxiety and stress start to ease. No longer did I have to worry about him entering the world of secondary education because he’ll get some help, somebody will be there to make sure he’s ok. He will have some help with the massive transition he was about to face, he will have some support managing the change from 1 teacher per day to 6 teachers a day.

This sounds selfish but it’s also a relief to know that I won’t have to constantly be in the school making sure the teachers are aware of the things he needs additional support with. The EHCP will mean that they’ll be aware of his needs and what they’ll need to put in place to help him.

At the beginning of this blog I said that I felt relief, happiness and also a little bit of sadness. I think the sadness comes from the fact that he needs an EHCP at all. I’m a little bit sad that he can’t just go to the school that everybody else goes to. It’s just another example of how special needs children and parents can feel isolated.

I’m going to put those feelings to one side and focus on the positives. This is amazing news for Bam and we’re very lucky to have been issued the EHCP. I was always be thankful for that!

Next step – reviewing the draft EHCP…what that involves I don’t really know. Another in depth research session is on the horizon. I’ll keep you posted….


Awaiting EHCP decision

I’m waiting for the Education, Health and Care plan (EHCP) decision to enter my inbox – it’s due on Monday but the local authority have warned me that there may be a delay of a few days.

It’s really putting me on edge…we’ve been told that Bam’s application is borderline so I’m aware we might not be successful. If we’re not successful, what does that mean?

Yes, we can appeal but then that takes another 2 months to do and we still may not be any further forward at the end of it! To be honest, I’m exhausted from the whole process too, will have to dig deep to find the energy to fight again if we have to go to appeal.

While this is all going on we have to make the decision about his secondary school place. We have been offered a place at the school where he would receive specialist support should we be successful with the EHCP but none of his friends will be going to this school.

So if we don’t get the EHCP, should we consider the school where his friends will be? Are his friendships more important for his wellbeing than the hope of some additional support.

Big decisions ahead…please can somebody pass the parenting manual?!

Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) – the next stage

I chose this photo to accompany this post as I think it accurately sums up how I feel about the Education, Health and Care Plan process – lots of steps to climb, with my gorgeous boy and his needs at the centre of the process.

Here’s more about entering stage 2 of the process….

Following the positive news that we had progressed through stage one of the Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) process, we were quickly contacted by an Educational Psychologist.

She called to arrange a meeting to discuss Bam’s needs. She was extremely keen that Bam was part of meeting and therefore suggested that he led the meeting. Bam was able to choose who he wanted to be present at the meeting and much to his delight was offered the opportunity to request a snack of his choice! He chose fruit chewy sweets – of course!

I explained to Bam why the meeting was taking place and he was keen to be part of the process. He asked for his two class teachers, his learning support assistant and his friend to attend the meeting.

On the day of the meeting, I felt very nervous. I think it was because I felt that I only had one hour to make my case for additional support for Bam…This was it, my opportunity to get the support he needs!

We all sat round a table at school (with the fruit chewy sweets in the centre!) and Bam was asked to introduce everybody at the meeting.

We then moved on to talk about what Bam would like to be when he’s older. He was a bit stumped by this. I think at this point he was feeling a bit overwhelmed. I guess sitting in a room with lots of adults discussing his feelings is tough…

We then moved on to talk about Bam’s needs at school. This included how he was supported in primary school and how he feels he’ll need to be supported in secondary school.¬† All of our thoughts were written up on to a flip chart.

The process was really tricky. On one hand it’s great for Bam to be involved and have his say but on the other hand his perceptions of what he needs and my perceptions¬† of his needs can be different. It was difficult to highlight these differences because Bam was sitting there the whole time and it wasn’t fair to disagree with his perceptions of himself.

The meeting lasted for about an hour. At the end of the process the Education Psychologist gave me the opportunity to ask further questions about the process (Bam wasn’t present at this point). It was at this point the Education Psychologist suggested that Bam’s application was borderline and it would be advisable to prepare for the scenario that we may not receive the ECHP.

My heart sank……they say nobody knows a child like their parents! I know he needs this support to thrive, I know him.. So the wait continues…4 more weeks for the stage 2 decision!