That's what it stands for EHCP! The Education Health Care plan.
When you finally get your tongue around it and the letters in the right order which has taken me some time I can tell you.......it is the document that replaces the old Statement of Special Needs.
I held a support group this week and this subject cropped up so I thought I would write about it. It is still a new document and for parents whose children are newly diagnosed it can be a very confusing piece of paperwork, one of many. I think I'm right in saying that it can put the fear in some parents and carers as it can make a difference to the amount of extra support needed, especially in a mainstream education placement.
The EHC Plan came into circulation on 1st September 2014 and there has been a massive wait for a lot of statement of special needs to be transferred over to the EHCP resulting in a lot of frustrated families and no doubt staff at the local authorities tearing their hair out. This has also led to many young people having to wait to be issued with a plan for the first time, if at all. So it has been a ca'fuffle shall we say (think that's putting it mildly) but I do want to say, there is hope and people out there to help you with this process if you need it so please don't despair yet.
I will put up some links at the end of this post that will provide you with fact sheets, information in greater detail as to what an EHCP looks like and who it is actually for. Basically it is a legal document, issued by your local authority which provides information on :
- a child or young persons special education, health and social care needs.
- the help that will be given to meet those needs. and
- what the young person will be able to achieve as a result of the support.
(EHCP factsheet - Contact a Family)
The process for a EHC Plan is usually started by your child's educational placement (nursery, school, college) and can be available up to 25 years old if the young person still needs more time to finish education or training.
It is a valuable document which involves you as parents/carers and everyone involved in your child's education to have an input into the content which will be included in the plan. It is reviewed on an annual basis to make changes and generally keep it updated. If you are not happy with a decision which has been made about the plan you can appeal to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal within two months of receiving your decision so I do advise, as a fellow parent to pursue it until you are completely happy with the outcome.
The organisation 'Contact a Family' - for families with disabled children have many really useful fact sheets in all areas and they have one for the EHCP. These can be found at: www.cafamily.org.uk and they do have a freephone helpline on 08088083555 open Mon-Fri 9.30am - 5pm.
The National Autistic Society have a factsheet on EHCP's at
www.autism.org.uk If in the Derby area you contact the Derby & District Branch of the NAS by email on firstname.lastname@example.org telephone 07500089571 or send a message through their Facebook page.
Derby City Council also has information at www.derby.gov.uk and search for Special Education Needs and Disabilities - Local Offer.
The Derby City SEND (Special Education Needs and Disabilities) team are available to email at email@example.com Telephone: 01332641414 Text: 07800 005190.
Umbrella are a great charity in Derby who have a team able to help you with your EHCP and they can be contacted For all general enquiries at the
Ronnie MacKeith Centre
Royal Derby Hospital,
Uttoxeter Road, Derby,
Telephone 01332785658. Open Monday – Friday. 9.00am to 3.00pm.
I hope that gives to some helpful advice, the fact sheets are available to print so you can keep them handy for reference.
If you have any experiences regarding EHCP's please leave a comment below.
Thanks for reading and I will catch you tomorrow for 'Pass the Remote' a round up of the tv for the week.
Anyone in the world of Autism knows that, teeth can be a major issue, whether it's brushing them or going to the dentist, it can be a massive sensory overload for some.
Getting my son to brush for two minutes, the recommended time was virtually impossible and for a long time he used a baby toothpaste as he didn't seem to like the strong mint flavour of the adult ones. It still poses a battle now but this week I took him along for an assessment with a dentist to discuss different methods of anaesthesia. He has to have two baby teeth that have remained stuck, afraid to drop out for the tooth fairy.....I know, my son has worked out that there's money lying right there in his gums so he is quite keen for them to come out.
The dentist was good with my son, asked him many many questions which he got fed up with answering but I could see the dentist was wanting to see how much he understood and getting to know what his limits were. A quick check of the teeth, which he does tolerate quite well, as long as it's quick, and the dentist had come to a conclusion. We had all ruled out a general anaesthetic a while back as it is literally a two minute job but they need to make sure he feels relaxed so it was recommended that he would have some 'happy gas'. This made me chuckle because if you mention the word happy, my son automatically launches into a rendition of the song 'Happy' by Pharrell Williams, yep a dance and everything. We took that as if the happy gas may well get the green light, as long as your 'happy you can clap along if you feel like a room with without a roof' ya see that song is just infectious......
We have yet to try a little happy gas as he needs a clear nose and having just had a cold he was to congested to try some. That will be our next adventure in a few weeks so I'll keep you posted.
As for tips on brushing, we did eventually manage to move my Happy Chappy to an adult toothpaste and he seems to have settled with the Colgate Triple Action, it is just a matter of going through different varieties and seeing which suits.
We also found an app by Aquafresh called 'Brush Time' which is brilliant to encourage brushing. It gives tips on how to brush and you can set a character to sing and dance for the two minutes you need to be brushing. There are opportunities to unlock more music, dances and characters if you continue to brush every day. We were dancing around brushing teeth for quite a while, it made it fun and achievable. Its visual and stimulating for all children and they forget what they are having to do because the chore of brushing teeth has just turned into a groovy game. I found that brushing teeth together made a difference as my son could see that it wasn't just an order he had to adhere to but he could see that it was important that I brushed my teeth as well. There are probably more apps available but we found this one to be a good one.
If you have any top tips please leave your suggestions in the comments as it's always good to pass these ideas onto others who may be struggling. For now though, hope your week has been good. Catch you tomorrow for 'Pass the Remote......my round up of the tv for the week.
Autism entered our lives in 2004 when my eldest son, then aged 4 was diagnosed as being on the spectrum. Although I had concerns about certain aspects of his development and how he didn’t seem to be following the same pattern as other children his age the diagnosis still came as a surprise and something we had to all adjust to as a family.
I felt isolated as a parent and wanted to know more about my sons condition but there didn’t seem to be a place to go locally so my friend and I, who was in a similar situation to myself started a small parent support group at our children's school. It was successful and I found great comfort in the company of others who could share the same experiences.
I continue to help run support groups as part of the National Autistic Society Derby & District Branch and find for me it still provides the therapy I need for support but more than anything it gives me great pleasure in helping and supporting other families too. I love it! I love just being there. I don’t always know the answers as everyone’s situation is different but I find the basic foundation for our support groups is the access to a friendly face, empathy, a few other parents/carers with a mutual understanding and of course the all important cuppa and a biscuit….ok a few biscuits…..ok sometimes we have cake!!!
I can see the relief in some people as they realise they are not alone with their issues and it may have taken them a lot of courage to get to this stage but all worth it as we can then put them on the pathway to (hopefully) some vital support they need. If I don’t have an answer I always endeavour go and find it even if I have to knock on doors I have never knocked on before or read information to pass on.
Autism is a continuous education, we are always learning about the condition, especially as it can branch out to other conditions too including some within mental health. This is why it is referred to as a spectrum as it is a very diverse and complex area.
I am fascinated about Autism, I mean don’t get me wrong, we too have had our ups and downs as a family and every day is a school day, it’s unpredictable but an intruding world too but what’s important is that we help each other, I truly believe in the phrase ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’ and I knowI can’t wave a magic wand and make all problems go away but I can try very hard to to help make going through those problems a little easier……I’ve even got a shoulder to cry on if needed.
If you are in the Derby area and you would like more information about Autism or getting some support you can contact The National Autistic Society Derby & District Branch through our Facebook page or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Come back for more tomorrow with 'Pass the Remote'
Every Saturday will be about Autism, family and life.