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!