Receiving a diagnosis – so what’s next?
The process of receiving an official diagnosis and EHC plan can be stressful and time-consuming. Receiving a diagnosis is by no means the end of the road, however you should be reassured that there is much support available to guide you through the next steps.
Your child’s current school should be able to provide clear guidance and support which will significantly assist you in securing the right diagnosis for your child. It is important to engage with the school to ascertain what can be provided for your child versus the support your child actually requires. This should happen automatically as part of the EHC plan process, but to do this you will need to prove that your child’s current school cannot meet their needs, or they have provided all possible support and your child is not making progress. Remember that support in school is based on need as well as diagnosis, and that if your child’s school is no longer able to provide the support that your child requires post-diagnosis, there are other options available.
As a part of the Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) consultation you have the right to specify which school you would like your child to attend. Although this is by no means guaranteed, the Local Authorities must take your choice into account and will accommodate your wishes wherever possible. It is therefore important that you visit schools that your LA support so that you can make an informed choice.
It is likely that the SENCO at your child’s current school, or the 0-25 team will be able to make recommendations for a suitable setting, subject to available spaces, of course.
When visiting a potential school for the first time, you may find it useful to compile a list of questions, as it can be an overwhelming experience. The latest government guidelines for example, on maximum travel times to and from school are: 45 minutes for primary school children and 75 minutes for secondary school children
It is worth noting that once you’ve received a diagnosis, your family may also qualify for financial assistance in the form of Disability Living Allowance or Carers Allowance. The National Autistic Society has some really useful information about the benefits available here.
Of course, it’s not just the child in question and you, as parents, who are affected by a diagnosis – it’s worth thinking about how the news may affect other family members too. There is plenty of information online and in bookstores which will help explain what is happening and what it means to family life.
The National Autistic Society has some really useful information about receiving a diagnosis, and how to get the right support in school for your child. Click here to read more.
At Highgate Hill House School we pride ourselves in offering clear information and the reassurances that you need in making the right choice for your child. We are here to help you through this process in every way we can, so please do not hesitate to contact us on 01288 341998 or, email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.