Getting an Education and Health Care Plan (or EHCP) in place for children can be a tricky and lengthy process. Showing that a child’s speech, language and communication skills are part of this, and being clear about what support is needed, can often be one of the more difficult challenges for parents and schools.
The EHCP is intended to set out the child’s additional health and learning needs, and to describe where, how often and by whom this support should be provided. In order for an EHCP to be put in place there needs to be clear evidence that a child will not make satisfactory progress without specific support on top of what is usually provided in school. This might be specific Teaching Assistant (TA) time, or support from visiting professionals such as Speech and Language Therapists or Occupational Therapists. It may involve staff training and support too.
Some reasons why a child may need an EHCP are:
- Mobility issues (for example if a child has cerebral palsy)
- Significant medical needs
- Learning difficulties
- Communication issues (for example if a child has severe comprehension or speech difficulties)
- Autism Spectrum Disorder
- Hearing or sight problems
A child may only have difficulties in one of these areas (or in other areas not included above) but if they are stopping them from learning and making progress in school then an EHCP may be required.
Speech Therapy Specialists have extensive experience of providing information for this process in a range of ways:
- Assessing needs and providing reports (this could be for new enquiries or for existing clients)
- Attending meetings and helping parents and schools to clarify what is really needed for a child to make progress in school
- Providing ongoing input for a child’s communication needs if required