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Heather’s story

Heather had dropped out of education because he needs were not being met. With help from Kids SENDIASS she got an EHC plan and the support she needed to start attending college.

Heather, 16, has ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder). The last time she attended school regularly was in year 6 after the transition to secondary school triggered an anxiety disorder associated with her ASD and caused her to be signed off school.

Trying to access education

There after she received many years of intervention from the local Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) and repeatedly attempted to access education, which broke down. This had a profound effect on her anxiety. She continued to have a desire to access education and asked to return to formal education. She was put on a ‘preparation for post-16’ course for those who had been permanently excluded from school. She was surrounded by a large group of unpredictable and intimidating students, some two or three years older, who did not want to access any education.

Transferring to an EHC plan

When the Education Health and Care Plans were introduced Heather and her family saw an opportunity to update her SEN Statement, which had remained fairly unchanged since her diagnosis and did not include information on her anxiety disorder. However after contacting the Local Authority they received a call to say there was insufficient evidence to continue Heather’s application for an EHC Needs assessment.

The family contacted their local SENDIASS and after a meeting with their SENDIASS Worker he was quickly able to provide information about the process of transferring to an EHC plan, with no need to complete request paperwork and provide local information. This reassured the family that an EHC plan may still be an option for Heather.

Gaining access to education

Heather’s previous inability to attend education and her refusal of the placement on the ‘preparation for post-16’ course had been considered a desire to no longer access education. The SENDIASS Worker was able to work with the Local Authority to help the family understand what had happened and ensure that progress was made with the appointment of a Plan Coordinator to manage Heather’s transfer to an EHC plan (Education Health and Care Plans).

Heather has now received her final EHC and is entering into an appropriately supported College Course. She is excited about her future.

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