I’ve complained about paperwork before – the reams and reams of forms and admin that take up so much of the day as a special needs mother. But it does often serve a very useful purpose. The latest being one which will have a big impact on Pudding’s future over the next few years; the Education, Health and Care plan.
I mentioned in a previous post that I wasn’t much looking forward to the meeting just before Easter. Actually, though, it was fine. Hubby had a day off work anyway so came along too; also there was our Portage worker, Speech therapist, key worker from playgroup and our local pediatric consultant. This was the first time that all these people had been in the same room, all focussed on Pudding and his needs. There was some discussion of the positives – achievements that Pudding has made lately and things that we can carry on working on. But yes, of course, we had to talk about the negatives too.
Yet again, we had to face that question, ‘What do you want for your child in the next 3-5 years?’ (Simple answer: what any other parent would! Long answer: we hope upon hope that the clinical trial works well for him then we might see him continuing to gain skills and language). But this time, with some of my post-diagnosis turmoil fading, it wasn’t so bad.
The meeting covered a huge range of issues, from the need for support at mealtimes to stop him stuffing too much food in his mouth at once, to how to evacuate him from school if he refuses to move when the fire alarm sounds. Strangely reassuring that these things are taken into account!
Less than two weeks later we got the news that the panel had agreed his EHCP. Hoorah! Up until now I’ve found it very hard reading sentences like ‘P is significantly behind his peers in every area’. But this time I welcomed it. Sentences like this mean that hopefully he will be able to start at school with a clear understanding of his needs, and won’t just be labelled as a difficult child.
The next stage is for the EHCP to be sent to school and for us to start talking about his transition. Of course they have final decision on how his special educational needs funding is actually spent, but we all know that if he doesn’t get one to one support, they would soon regret it. Ah, the chaos that he could cause….
And the best thing from this process? One simple line from one of the reports feeding into the EHCP – “P is a delightful little boy, who is a joy to know”. This filled me with sunshine when I read it. My gorgeous son will probably hit other children sometimes, pull all the books off the shelf and eat the play-dough, but I know he will be liked, and when it comes down to it, that is what is truly important.