There is no magic switch to switch off the stress that the EHCP process causes.
I think what is important to note is that can and does severely affect the whole family.
5 main reasons the EHCP process causes so much stress
1) Inaccessible information/misinformation
The only document provided by the government is the Code of Practice. The Code of Practice is a 270 page document.
There are many charities that now offer more accessible information on EHCPs, but I am yet to discover a LA providing appropriate and accurate information on the EHCP process.
If an LA is training schools on EHCPs incorrectly, the information is going to filter down to you in an incorrect manner e.g. ‘artificial thresholds’ for applying for an EHC.
2) Lack of professional input
In all 300 of Bright Future cases, no LA has requested all the necessary advice to supplement an EHCP. In most cases and Educational Psychologist is now consulted, but this is about as far as it goes….if your EHCP has been transferred from an SEN statement, chances are the reports were not updated!
With a lack of specialist input, you are left with someone in the LA deciding on the provision your child needs, based on very little evidence, which can not be easy for anyone. It could mean that some needs are simply not identified. The lack of identification of clear provision to meet your child’s needs could result in years upon years of distress.
3) The thought of having to Appeal
If you are anything like the Bright Futures family cases, you will also have been provided (or in some case refused!) an EHCP which does not follow correct legal protocol.
Because there are constantly issues with EHCPs, it is likely that you will have to challenge it. You are then up against potentially having to appeal, which is another paper-heavy and inaccessible process in itself!
4) The financial burden of unmet needs
You may feel that you need to bridge the gap between what your child is currently getting and what you feel your child needs. This is obviously expensive and can be stressful to manage and maintain
With the process for setting up your child in education appropriately with support, you can feel like you are focusing all of your attention on one child. This is really hard to manage. The process can squeeze every second of your time out of you (you may find yourself having to take time off work, read emails in the bathroom, read up on legal duties, etc, in every waking hour).
To put it frankly, it is a fragmented and inaccessible process. It is not you!