Applying for Harry’s EHCP was, without a doubt, one of the most tedious and heartbreaking things we have ever done, the only thing worse was the dreaded DLA forms. I don’t know who designs these things. Who decided that on top of the extra work special needs parents have they will throw these god awful form on top. That person is definitely on my list.
So what is an EHCP?
EHCP stands for – Educational Health and Care Plan. It is a ‘plan’ put together outlining a child’s additional needs while in education and how best to support them. Getting an EHCP for your child means that they can go to and school of your choosing and said school usually gets additional funding specifically for your child and their needs. Often that funding is used for additional resources or a 1:1, again dependent on what it is your child requires.
Who can get an EHCP?
Any young person up to the age of 25 can apply for an EHCP (if under 16 parents can apply) who has additional or SEN needs.
How do you apply for an EHCP for your child?
We were extremely lucky that Harry’s nursery did most of the work for his EHCP, however if you think that your child would need one, please speak to their childcare setting or school. If your child is not at school or in any sort of childcare you can speak to your doctor, health visitor or even your local council about applying for your child.
You will need to fill out forms about their likes, dislikes, what they can do, what they can’t. how they communicate and where they are with their milestones. I found this difficult as putting how far behind Harry is onto one big form got to me, but it needs to be done.
Be as honest as possible with this form. The council will then convene a ‘pannel’ who will decide if your child meets the requirements for an EHCP. I’m not sure what the requirements are, I don’t think we were ever told but knew that with Harry’s diagnosis we were likely to get one.
After the panel, they will invite you to a meeting, possibly with anyone else involved in your child’s care, like doctors, nursery or school staff. This meeting will determine the actual ‘plan’ and will be reviewed every so often to ensure your child is getting everything they need. Then you will have your EHCP!
It is not a quick process. Our application went in November 2019 and February 2020 we got a call confirming the panel had agreed Harry meets the requirements. His EHCP should be in place by Septemeber 2020 when he goes to school and I’m hoping we will have it by April when we find out what school he is going to as the school we want is not in our catchment area so we may have to go through an appeal, which im not looking forward to even if he does have his EHCP in place by then!
WRITTEN BY KAT HUGGINS FOR HER BLOG, RAISING HARRY.