How to fly the nest with confidence: practical steps to prepare for university life

JUNE 2021

BY RACHEL RICKAYZEN

Going to university is one of the most exciting times in young people’s lives. The prospect of living independently for the first time; meeting a new and diverse range of friends; spending time without parental boundaries; and becoming immersed in the subject of their choice: there is much to look forward to.

Leaving the comfort of the family nest can, however, also present challenges as young people transition into this new phase of their lives.

These challenges may be particularly great for those youngsters who have needs which required additional layers of educational, social and emotional support during their time at school.

The good news is that universities are experienced at introducing students to their new surroundings and support will be on hand.

However, one of the biggest shifts is the understanding that rather than support being proactively on tap, as in a school setting, students will be responsible for asking for help and support, whether this is with academic, social or health issues.

So, how can parents best support their children to prepare for independent living and their new adventures which lie ahead?

Seeking support is a strength

Encourage your child to know that reaching out for support is a sign of strength and maturity. And if your child has an existing profile of needs such as a learning difficulty or a diagnosed condition, ensure that they make contact with their university about this, in advance of starting their course.

Explore what can be provided

Universities will be able to advise on how students can be supported with their learning and what adjustments, such as extra time, may be provided. Additional assistance, for example, through the Disabled Students’ Allowance can also be applied for with appropriate supporting medical evidence.

Seek guidance from current school

Seek advice from your child’s current setting to find out what type of support they anticipate may be required on transition. Your child’s current school should also be able to provide documentary evidence of existing support, access arrangements and a summary of key documentation.

Get practically orientated 

Applying to university in a pandemic may have meant that in-person visits were not possible before making the application. Suggest visiting the area online, and in person, so that the nearest shops and facilities will feel familiar.  Find out what the best routes are for getting into town. Where are the bus, tram or train stops and how do I pay for tickets? How can I plan a trip home from university? How long will the journey take and what connections will I need to make?

On arrival

A room in student accommodation will look extremely soulless on entry, so encourage your child to unpack immediately to make their room look homely; they shouldn’t live out of a suitcase.  Getting used to new surroundings is tiring, so being able to flop on to a ready-made bed will feel fantastic!

Encourage them to step out of their comfort zone to meet people and take the opportunities available during Freshers’ Week.  Freshers’ events are often publicised before the start of term and so encourage your child to consider what interests them (eg religious groups, neurodiverse groups, and hobbies).  Don’t worry if Freshers’ Week doesn’t feel amazing.  It can take a while to settle and even though other students may look super confident, they aren’t necessarily feeling it.

Self-Care Steps

Encouraging your child to carve out regular time for self-care sounds obvious, but it can all too easily be forgotten and it is an important part of maintaining their wellbeing.  Support them in putting a toiletries kit together, where they include their favourite shower gels and deodorants etc.  Don’t forget the less obvious things like nail scissors and remind them that when the bristles on their toothbrush are getting splayed, it’s time to get a new one!

Prepare them in advance, for independent living.  Ensure that they can do their laundry, clean their room and cook some basic meals.  (Even catered halls may not provide every meal.)

Keeping well in body…

Create a first aid kit and include instructions where necessary.  Discuss with them what to do if they feel unwell; if they have generally sailed through life without much illness, do they recognise the signs of a high fever?  Ensure they know where the medical centre is and who to call if they really feel unwell.

What regular exercise are they hoping to do and are there any sports that they want to get involved with?  Remind them that even a daily walk is important.

Sleep patterns can often get disrupted with late night social events; this is part of the rite of being a student.  However, good quality sleep is important for health and will also enable them to study well.  Partying all night and sleeping all day is not a healthy objective!  If they don’t already use a good alarm, it might be worth discussing how they are going to get up in the mornings.

…and in mind

It might be helpful for the young adult to consider what helps them feel relaxed and supported: what strategies do they already employ, for example, talking to family or friends, exercise, a relaxing bath, watching comedy, playing music to look after their mental health?  What would they like to prepare, as a well-being toolkit, to take with them?  Perhaps they could include their favourite Spotify list, a photo album to look through, an adult mindful colouring book or a special notebook in which to journal their thoughts and feelings or a gratitude diary.  Perhaps also include something tactile, such as an old soft toy or bed throw.

 

Rachel Rickayzen, Occupational Therapist and Life Coach who specialises in supporting transitions between life phases. She can be contacted via her profile on LinkedIn.

 

Image Credit: Artwork by Ria Mishaal

Connecting the dots

JUNE 2021

BY SUSANNA PINKUS

Looking back over the nine weeks, it has been such a privilege to highlight just a few of the issues which are relevant to the inclusion of youngsters in school. Alongside, showcasing the wise words of some of my wonderful colleagues who I continue to learn so much from, has been a joy.

Authentic joined-up thinking between colleagues, and parents and all those who work with their children, is so vital. Taking a holistic approach to working with young people and their families is also key. I hope that in a small way, this summer series has brought light to these essential ways of working.

This brings me to my last contributor, Rachel Rickayzen. I am so grateful that she contributed to this summer series. As one of my oldest (as in known her the longest!) and dearest friends, we have spoken more or less every day for the past thirty years, and I have watched on with interest, as she has forged a new career combining occupational therapy and wellbeing coaching.

Rachel is one of those rare people who has a genuine passion for bringing out the very best in other people and her piece on how to support transition to university life is timely.

Click here to read her piece.

 

Image Credit: Artwork by Ria Mishaal

Embrace Your Daily D.O.S.E.

JUNE 2021

BY GIULIANA WHEATER

As we all begin to finally emerge, from what feels like the dark ages of lockdown, and into a changed and changing world, we may have many conflicting emotions, thoughts and anxieties.

We needed to transition very suddenly into a different version of normal, and now we are trying to do the same but in reverse! It can feel baffling and confusing; there might be aspects you will miss whilst there may be others that you feel anxious about facing again.

For those of us who are neurodiverse in a mainstream world anyway, this is an even greater transition.

For the families, teachers, carers and other professionals supporting those with neurodiversities, you might feel particularly trepidatious or fearful.

So, here is the first massive sunbeam of light to help us all find our way through.

Whatever lies ahead as we move forwards, YOU GROW YOUR OWN BRAINS!

Yes, it’s absolutely true!

Brains stop growing physically at around the age of 18….but what we do with the grey matter inside them is under our control throughout our whole lives!

In other words, WE can define US!

We can grow or shrink grey matter around our amygdala/ emotional brain (sometimes called ‘the fear centre’) and we can grow or shrink it around the hippocampus (memory and learning) and our frontal lobe which contains all those higher executive shiny brain functions.

If we are stressed for prolonged periods, or in flight or fight, the grey area around the emotional brain grows and it shrinks around the other areas causing learning and judgment to be compromised.

But we can turn this around? Yes!

“How?”, I hear you cry!

Well, it’s all about getting your daily D.O.S.E – your “happy and coping chemicals”.

Let me explain…

D – Dopamine is the neurotransmitter of reward, focus, attention, concentration and motivation.

O – Oxytocin is the neurotransmitter of love, nurture which stimulates emotional intelligence. We start flooding with it within 20 seconds of touch.

S – Serotonin the neurotransmitter of happiness, confidence and self-esteem. And never has this been so needed!

AND if you make enough serotonin you then have enough to make Melatonin the neurotransmitter of sleep, mood and aggression!

E – Endorphins the neurotransmitter of pain relief and that euphoric feeling of well-being.

And that’s not all….

Did you know that memory isn’t just carried inside your brains? We carry the day-to-day memory of how and who we are in our water (young children are made of 90% water and this drops to about 75% during adolescence) and it’s carried in every single one of our 37.2 TRILLION CELLS!

Touch, mindfulness, massage, acupressure, reflexology, yoga, mindfulness and meditation all HUGELY boost the positive memories we carry, that positive way of “being”.

Play therapy and any Positive Growth Mindset games/activities do the same.

The key is to meet the child where THEY are at and not where you want them to be.

By feeling invited, by knowing they can change the insides of their brains (and yes, I share it with them all, however young), guess what happens next ?…

THE BRAIN MAKES A NEW NEUROLOGICAL PATHWAY!

As Rick Hanson PhD proved, “What fires the brain wires the brain. Every day our MINDS are building our brains”.

In other words, what we tell our children is what they become.

And what we tell ourselves, is what WE become.

In a relaxed and playful state, a child only needs to receive the same positive message 4-6x for a new neurological pathway to be formed!

Touch is key to this.

How can I utter this as we transition out of a pandemic? Because touch boosts immunity! And we can self-massage too which can lead to self-awareness, self- management and better self-regulation which leads to more empowerment.

Since the controversial experiments on monkeys by Harry Harlow in the 1950/60’s to the present-day leaders in the field such as Darlene Francis, Michael Meaden and Tiffany Field, touch has been proven to ease stress, boost resilience, build bigger brains, better physical health, significantly higher levels of emotional and social intelligence as well as better trust and bonding.

Tiffany Field also carried this research into yoga and proved how breathing and the poses push up the dopamine and serotonin from the gut (90% of our serotonin is made in the gut).

Our gut or second/enteric brain carries so much dopamine and serotonin it could actually run as an independent nervous system. It is also the seat of meltdown, so it is a win-win!

Yoga can also improve breathing, perspective, sleep, self-awareness, focus, attention, positivity and calm.

Meditation and mindfulness MASSIVELY stimulate our 37.2 trillion cells on a subconscious level, dropping our busy heart rates down to the ideal theta level, promoting clear thinking, deep sleep, wellness, perspective, attention, resilience and productivity.

Everything we need is inside us already. We are deliciously complete, perfect and exquisite jigsaws!

Our MINDS build our brains, not the other way around. It’s called Neuro (brain) Plasticity (being bendy).

AND IT’S YOUR SUPERPOWER!

Written by Giuliana Wheater

Author of ‘Indian Head Massage for Special Needs’, multi-award-winning therapist, Wellbeing Charity Ambassador for AnnaKennedyOnline and autism Mum

https://www.therapiesforspecialneeds.co.uk/

Image Credit: Artwork by Ria Mishaal

Winning hearts and minds

JUNE 2021

BY SUSANNA PINKUS

The focus of this summer article series has been on spreading joy and building relationships in the inclusion world.

That is why I was so delighted that the Giuliana Wheater, multi-award-winning therapist, Wellbeing Charity Ambassador for AnnaKennedyOnline and autism Mum, agreed to write this week’s piece.

I have long been a huge admirer of Giuliana and her work. She radiates such compassion, joy and the drive to make the world a better, fairer place where all can shine.

In her piece, Giuliana highlights the importance of meeting a child where they are at, and not where they are ‘expected’ to be. Alongside, she discusses the power of touch, mindfulness and meditation which can be so impactful.

To read this month’s piece, click here.

Image Credit: Artwork by Ria Mishaal, using components by herself and MarcinK3333 and Business stock/Shutterstock.com

Therapy dog in training: our journey so far

JUNE 2021

BY SUSANNA PINKUS

Over the years, I have seen first-hand, how children often have such a special and natural affinity with animals.

For example, for children who are anxious about coming into school, knowing that a furry friend is there to greet them, can make all the difference to attendance. For others, finding solace or companionship in a four-legged friend who accepts and loves them as they are, is such a beautiful thing.

I had thought for a long time that having a therapy dog companion could be a huge asset when working with young people and their families.

Finally, after much research and planning, two years ago, we brought our cavapoo pup, Woody, home; and since then, I have slowly integrated him into my work life too.

It has been wonderful to witness how young people, nervous about meeting me, are clearly reassured and calmed by Woody’s presence – it certainly helps that he looks rather like a little teddy bear. His friendly greeting takes the focus away from the child and brings an element of unexpected joy into the room. And because he trusts me, the child instinctively seems to trust me too.

His wardrobe of bow ties and jumpers, alongside his repertoire of tricks are also certainly a good conversation starter!

Even during lockdown, asides from barking at neighbours (I have learnt to shut all blinds before we start) and having a phase of squeaking his noisiest toys on video calls, Woody has been a tremendous asset.

So many times, at the start of a call, when I saw a nervous face appear and the child seemed reluctant to engage, I asked, ‘do you like dogs?’

I often then scooped up Woody, and he happily sat centre screen. This often then led to the child asking questions about him and then bringing their pets to show me. This warm initial interaction helped establish the beginning of a trusting relationship between us.

For anyone beginning to embark on the journey of getting a dog, and especially one that works with you, there is however, much to consider.

Whilst I am not in any way an expert, and we are still in the process of working towards Pets as Therapy (PAT) standards owing to the pandemic, I have learnt a lot along the way:

  1. Really spend time doing your research in terms of potential breed and breeder if you are going to get a puppy. Be very careful to get a puppy from an established, ethical breeder who has undertaken all the necessary steps and health tests.

I specifically chose a very experienced breeder who had bred therapy dogs previously, and who raised the puppies in a busy household with other animals and children. This was a good starting point in terms of socialisation.

  1. A dog who does not shed is much easier to manage in terms of any possible allergies, and also in terms of keeping your own work clothes fur-free.

I am also always grateful that Woody loves a lively walk but is equally very happy to snooze. A dog with constantly high energy levels would be very difficult to manage when working.

  1. Using every opportunity to bond with and socialise a puppy in tiny manageable steps in those early weeks and months is vital. Even before the pup has had all its vaccinations and can walk outside, visiting places to experience different sights and sounds was very important in enabling a confident unfazed pup.

I used to tuck Woody into my coat on our travels in those early days. Initially curious but nervous, I sensed he felt safe observing the outside world from being close to me.

  1. Attending puppy training classes was so beneficial in  socialising  with other dogs, and it helped me learn how to teach basic commands such as ‘sit’, ‘stay’, ‘lie-down’ and recall.

Teaching cute tricks such as rolling-over and ‘high-fives’ can be brilliant ice-breakers too.

  1. Whilst I was aware of the PAT standards and have been working towards them, it has felt right not rushing into the formal qualification. Many of the standards are not difficult but they can take time to work towards.

For example, one of the standards is that the dog needs to be happy and relaxed having their coat brushed. Initially, this wasn’t something Woody enjoyed at all. Whereas now after many months of encouragement, he will happily lie flat with his ears spread out waiting for his groom.

  1. Establishing a routine at work can be very beneficial so that the dog knows what to expect and when.

For example, Woody always knows that his workdays start with breakfast and a few minutes of ball time, before having a snooze (it isn’t a bad life!).

  1. Of course, always discuss any hopes with your employer, in advance, to discuss necessary risk assessments and insurance if you are considering bringing  a pet into work.

Image Credit: Artwork by Ria Mishaal

For the Love of Dogs

JUNE 2021

BY SUSANNA PINKUS

Truth be told, I have always been a huge dog lover.

Asides from working with young people, and spending time with my own family, at the top of my list of great loves are animals, and most specifically, dogs.

This passion started long ago. My first ever friend was called Sunday, a rehomed, heavy-set Basset Hound with a penchant for yoghurt and stealing sausages from strangers’ picnics in the park.

With their pure hearts and energy, there is so much to learn from dogs and love about them. Weaving those elements into how I work with young people felt such a natural step.

Children often have a special affinity with animals. And for some children especially, that bond can become transformative.

This week’s piece is therefore about my experience of incorporating my dog Woody into my work with young people, and our journey thus far, towards achieving the therapy dog standards. I hope that this piece will therefore be of interest to anyone considering bringing a dog on board to work with them and young people.

Click here to read.

Image Credit: Artwork by Ria Mishaal

Touch Typing is Key

MAY 2021

BY WENDY PETERSEN

Has your child recently been granted ‘word-processing’ as a reasonable adjustment at school and in examinations?

Although young people are using computers more than ever before, many still tirelessly struggle with ineffective methods of typing when transferring their thoughts onto paper.

Whilst touch typing is a universally important skill, for those youngsters with additional needs such as dyslexia, dysgraphia and dyspraxia who are expected to type as their usual way of working, learning to touch type is vital.

As a teacher of touch-typing, I see how this one easily learnt skill can transform how a young person feels about, and experiences, school, learning and also importantly, examinations.

I launched Type IT! Touch Typing Courses in 2011 when I realised that my own children were struggling to type up their schoolwork. The ‘hunting and pecking’ for keys was just frustrating and slow for them to experience, and for me to observe!

Since then, I have worked with many children, young people and adults to learn this valuable life skill.

What is touch typing?

Touch typing is a handy technique where your hands instinctively know how to type without needing to glance down or even feel for the letters on the keyboard.

On the basis of legibility, or speed of writing, typing or ‘word-processing’ is often granted as an access arrangement as a usual way of working and in examinations.

There are three stages to learning touch typing. These are:

(1) Learning the home row for the keyboard, followed by the lower and upper rows (then including capital letter and numbers mastery).

(2) Mastering commonly used syllables by attempting words containing them.

(3) Typing actual text, applying this intuitive method.

Why is touch typing important?

Touch typing really is a ‘key’ to ensuring that our children have the necessary resource to meet their digital world with agility and skill.

Often by the time they come to me, youngsters are lacking in confidence in transferring their thoughts onto paper.

But imagine how a child’s academic reality and joy in learning can be enhanced if they were able to type at a rate of 65wpm rather than hen-pecking the keyboard at 20wpm! In my experience, typing speeds can accelerate from two to five times their routine pace with this skill.

A simple yet powerful life skill to master, touch typing can enable young people to look forward to transferring their thoughts onto paper because it can become so effortless. Typing at the speed of thought, opens up a whole new world of possibility, and it can be an invaluable tool to help structure thinking in a more coherent manner.

By Wendy Petersen

Type IT! offers distance-learning, touch-typing courses geared toward children and teens. Unlike other online touch-typing courses, this course is uniquely tutor supported, meaning that actual individuals review your child’s work for accuracy and speed and encourage them to stay on track while offering suggestions for improvement.

Find out first-hand how touch typing can benefit your child in their classwork, exams and beyond with a complimentary Type IT! consultation about their specific needs and abilities today! www.touchtypeit.co.uk. 020 8434 7111.

 

Image Credit: Artwork by Ria Mishaal

Building Understanding

MAY 2021

BY SUSANNA PINKUS

There are so many simple adjustments which can make the world of difference to how a child experiences learning and school life.

Of course, much will depend on the individual and their personal circumstances but for example, for a child who finds breaktimes socially overwhelming, the following may be helpful:

–          Identifying a peaceful place to be able to read or draw or play a board game or do a puzzle with a friend.

–          Providing social opportunities which also provide some structure such as mini lego kits, colouring and i-spy books.

–          Or offering roles such as being a library or eco-monitor with another peer.

Or for a child is anxious about going into school, this could include:

–          A short friendly video message sent the evening before letting them know who will meet them and what their time in school will include.

–          Enabling a handover to someone with whom the child has an existing positive relationship.

–          A reduced timetable starting with those subjects they like best first.

–          Establishing a visual timetable so that they know what is coming up and when.

–          Encouraging the child to come into school before the other children to reduce the social overwhelm of the morning playground.

In many cases, making such small tweaks and adjustments can have such a big impact.

And for many young people, shifting over from handwriting to typing is one such adjustment which can be transformative.

Quite often I see young people who amongst other challenges, are often running out of time when completing their work. And as a result, they cannot show what they know.

Whilst there may be other reasons too which are adding to the difficulty, quite often it can also be because their handwriting speed (unbeknownst to them) is very slow.

That is why I am so pleased to introduce Wendy Petersen, the author of this week’s piece about touch-typing. Wendy is one of those people who absolutely loves what she does, and it shows. She shines with energy and positivity and she has helped countless young people master this important life skill.

Click here to read.

 

Image Credit: Artwork by Ria Mishaal

Explaining Education Health Care Plans (EHCPs)

MAY 2021

DR MICHAEL HYMANS  AFBPsS., C.Psychol.

Does your child have a learning difficulty and/or disability, and their school is unable to provide the help and support that they need?

If yes, then you may be considering making a request to your Local Authority for an Education Health Care Needs Assessment (EHCNA).

What is an Education Health Care Plan (EHCP)?

An EHCP is the provision made for children and young people aged up to 25 who need more support than is available through special educational needs support.

EHCPs identify educational, health and social needs and set out the additional support to meet those needs.

EHCPs are for children and young people whose special educational needs require more help than would normally be provided in a mainstream education setting (a college, school, nursery). Although the plan can include health or social care needs, your child will not get a plan if they only have health or social care needs that do not affect their education.

Be aware that

Lots of parents have children who have SEND needs, but they do not all require EHCPs.

An ECHP is a higher level of support than SEND Support for children with special educational needs, and not all children will require or be entitled to one.

In collaboration with your child’s school, you should consider whether your child’s special educational needs can be met under SEND Support or whether they need an EHCP.

What does an EHCP include?

There is no national standard format for the EHC plan. However, it must have certain sections that are clearly labelled.

The different sections may, at first seem confusing, but the sections are:

(A) The views, interests and aspirations of you and your child;

(B) Special educational needs (SEN);

(C) Health needs related to SEN;

(D) Social care needs related to SEN;

(E) Outcomes – how the extra help will benefit your child;

(F) Special educational provision (support);

(G) Health provision;

(H) Social care provision;

(I) Placement – type and name of school or other institution (blank in the draft plan (link to info about draft plan);

(J) Personal budget arrangements;

(K) Advice and information – a list of the information gathered during the EHC needs assessment.

How long do EHCPs stay in place?

The plan will remain in place until your child leaves education, or the local authority decides that your child no longer needs the plan to help them in their education. If you move to another local authority the plan will be transferred.

When should a local authority consider carrying out an Education Health Care Needs Assessment (ENCNA)?

If a local authority (LA) is requested to carry out an EHCNA by a parent or carer, the LA must consider whether the child has or may have special educational needs (SEND) and whether they may need special educational provision to be made through an EHC plan (EHCP).

If the answer to both of these questions is yes, the LA must carry out an EHCNA. This test is set out in law {section 36(8)} of the Children and Families Act 2014. This means that these are the only questions the LA should be asking when considering whether or not to carry out an EHCNA.

The SEN and Disability Code of Practice at paragraph 9.14 the Code states that “the local authority should consider whether there is evidence that despite the early years provider, school or post-16 institution having taken relevant and purposeful action to identify, assess and the special educational needs of the child or young person, the child or young person has not made expected progress.”

The LA should pay particular attention to:

evidence of the child’s academic progress or developmental milestones and rate of progress;

information about the nature, extent and context of the child’s SEND;

evidence of action already taken by school; evidence that where progress has been made, it has only been as a result of much additional intervention and support over and above that which is usually provided;

evidence of the child’s physical, social, emotional and mental health needs, drawing on relevant evidence from clinicians and other health professionals and what has been done to meet these needs by other agencies/professionals.

Top Tips

  • Working in partnership with your child’s teachers, and the other professionals to support your child is going to be vital when considering making the application
  • Ask to meet with the SENDCo along with other relevant staff to discuss your worries and hopes before writing to the LA. You will need to work together to ensure that the school and other professionals too, have strong supporting evidence to help make a strong case for the assessment.
  • The school will, for example, need to provide evidence of action that they have already taken to support your child, and demonstrate that where progress has been made, it has been the result of additional support which is beyond that which is usually provided.
  • Should you decide to proceed with the application, once you have liaised with the professionals supporting your child, you should make a written request to the LA and keep a copy of your letter and any other correspondence. Your letter should set out why you believe your child has or may have special educational needs, and why you believe they may need special educational provision to be made through an EHC Plan.
  • Note that for children under 16, you as the parent may make the request. This includes children from age 0 to 5, where parents should make a request if they believe that the child will need extra help at nursery or when they start school. In the case of a young person (over 16 and up to 25), they can make the request themselves. If the young person is not able to understand, remember or communicate decisions about the educational support they need, it is important to be aware that you can make the request on a young person’s behalf.
  • Remember that the LA must reply within six weeks (this is required by regulation 4(1) of the Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations 2014). They should always reply to you as a parent even where the request was made by the school or college.
  • Be aware that if the LA agrees to carry out an assessment, various people will need to be approached for advice and this may include, school representatives, your child’s paediatrician and associated therapists such as occupational and speech and language therapists, the LA Educational Psychologist and of course you as the parent/carer.
  • You can also include any advice/reports you have commissioned from your psychologist, paediatrician, therapist, etc. So do make sure that you have all of your child’s reports ready to access
  • If the LA refuses to carry out an assessment, you have the right to appeal against this decision.
  • For more information parents can go to their local SENDIASServices (formally known as Parent Partnership Services) offer information, advice and support for parents/carers of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). There is a SENDIAS Service in every local authority. Otherwise, they can also seek help and support from IPSEA, the  Independent Provider of Special Education Advice (www.ipsea.org.uk) or Coram Children’s Legal Centre (www.childrenslegalcentre.com).

Dr Michael Hymans. AFBPsS., C.Psychol.,
HCPC Registered; Associate Fellow of British Psychological Society; Chartered Psychologist; Honorary Research Associate, UCL Department of Clinical, Educational & Health Psychology.

Image Credit: Artwork by Ria Mishaal

Enabling Provision

MAY 2021

BY SUSANNA PINKUS

For most young people, establishing a holistic understanding of their needs and a putting in place a tailored support plan, is enough to allow them to begin to thrive at school again.

However, for a small number of young people, their needs are more complex and they require more support than can ordinarily be provided in an educational setting.

In these cases, parents and schools often ask about the possibility of applying for an Education Health Care Plan (EHCP).

But knowing what an EHCP is, working out whether one’s child might need or be eligible for one, and how parents and educators can work together in the process, can often feel very daunting.

I am therefore so delighted that Michael Hymans, chartered educational psychologist, agreed to write this week’s piece, ‘Explaining Education Health Care Plans’.  It will surely be helpful in demystifying the process.

Click here to read this piece.

Image Credit: Artwork by Ria Mishaal

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