Wow. It's 2023 and that means it's almost been 2 years since I last posted. I think to date it's 22 months looking at the dates of the posts. And, to start a line with and... , there has been a lot going on, at least in the last 12 months at least.
Life is full of twists and turns and life has had them, but in relation to this site, things have changed in our lives. Firstly, we have ASD diagnoses for both of our kids. Little Mr is now also diagnosed with ADHD and his school setting decided that they can no longer offer him all his needs.
This last one has been the result of lots of going back and forwards in 2022 and probably 2023. But lest back up a little.
A year ago little Mr's school setting asked us to do an emergency EHCP (education health and care plan). Generally, this happens early, like his was, when they are going to push on the fact that the student needs to find a new setting. Generally, it's usually when they can no longer fit his needs.
This became the truth for us. We sat with the school going through the details with them saying they could no longer meet all his sensory needs and that it was time to look for a new setting.
Where we live there are a few SEN schools but not so many that can help manage his sensory needs. But so started the search along with our local authority.
Now, those that have been through this process, will know it's not easy. For a start, your child's introduction is their EHCP. So, a number of schools said no just by reading that. However, these were not schools we felt were right anyhow.
We had our minds set on 3 schools. These were schools that seemed to have the facilities we wanted. To cut a long story short, getting into these schools is difficult. Difficult to the point that for 2 of these schools, it has taken a year to get to look around (the 3rd one we did mid-last year). It's also taken a year just to start to get them to come out to evaluate little Mr in his current setting.
To say the least, if you are to go through this process, it is slow.
If they feel they can meet his needs, it will still be the end of 2023 or 2024 before he can even go to that school.
At least here in the UK, it does rely on you having an EHCP (generally naming the school on it) and for most a diagnosis. One of the 3 schools will only take children with an ASD diagnosis. The process simply is, to get your EHCP and use your local authority SEN team to approach and look for schools.
You still have to put in a lot of effort getting your SEN team to manage and chat with schools, at least in our case.
Get out visiting schools. Getting in front of the head teacher for example. Getting your face known. Push push push really.
So, this last year has proven to be a lot of work. If you are starting this process then the best advice I can give is to make sure your EHCP has everything details that they require (section F apparently needs to be detailed). Then get out there, visit, and chat to teachers and the head teacher. Push push push.
Of course, this is just a brief bit on our search and may be different for you. And any other updates I will try and share any, though hopefully not sharing too many boring details.
If you are going through the same pain, why not share as all info is great to help each other. You may have some key info that helps us all.