Local Authorities are seeing unprecedented demand for Education Health & Care Needs Assessment (EHCNA) and as a result are struggling to keep up. The situation is further complicated by many parents requesting EHCPs, but not receiving them due to refusals from authorities, leaving schools caught in the crossfire. As a result, there is widespread confusion among schools and parents about this area.
Amanda Sokell, Advocate and Neurodiversity Trainer, joins Dale for her first episode to discuss the ‘EHCNA’. In many cases an EHCNA is triggered as a placement has broken down. However, with the right support and accommodations, many of these children and young people could have had successful placements without the need for an EHCNA.
Amanda emphasises the importance of ensuring that only the appropriate children are referred for an EHCNA and considering alternative solutions when it may not be necessary. By improving our understanding of this area, we can work together to achieve better outcomes for all children.
Listen to hear about:
- What an EHCNA is and when it is appropriate
- The legalities
- Busting some of the myths that are encountered
- Reasons why schools might not want to support an application
- Reasons why many parents make an application – and how a school might respond to this
- The overwhelm involved for parents
About Amanda Sokell
Amanda works with caregivers of neurodiverse children and the schools that support them as they navigate the complex world of school support.
Amanda know’s first-hand how isolating it can be to discover that your child isn’t like everybody else’s.
When her son started refusing to go to school, she found myself struggling to get his needs understood and supported. Despite holding his own academically, her son was struggling with high levels of anxiety, which were having a dramatic impact on his attitude to school and behaviour at home.
It can be really challenging to navigate the available support. Amanda used online resources to equip herself with a knowledge of the law, and successfully secured the provision he needed. During this process, she felt the entire range of emotions eventually moving from despondent to empowered.
Despite there being a wealth of online information and support, sometimes what you really need is a conversation.
Amanda helps parents and educators by sharing information on how best to support neurodiverse children, and, particularly for parents, how to secure the right support and provision for their children. Amanda works individually, with groups and through an online learning platform.
She look at life through the lens of process and finds it instinctive to cut through the chaos and find step by step methodologies that are easy to follow, and which help those involved to surmount challenges and achieve.
A former software developer, and school governor for 9 years, she is blessed with two spirited neurodiverse boys and an equally process-orientated and neurodiverse husband.
Amanda’s interests include companies that make stuff, education, special educational needs, change and constant learning.
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