How to Get an EHCP for ADHD

24th August 2023

When it comes to educational support, children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) may require additional resources and provisions to thrive. An Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) can play a vital role in ensuring these needs are met. In this blog post, we’re exploring the steps on how to secure an EHCP for a child with ADHD.

What Exactly is an EHCP?

An EHCP is a legal document in England that outlines the educational, health, and social care needs of children and young adults from birth to 25 years old who have Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). The plan details the extra help that will be given to meet those needs and the outcomes expected.

Understanding ADHD

ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by persistent patterns of inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity that interfere with functioning or development. Children with ADHD often struggle with staying focused, controlling their behavior, and may be overly active. It’s important to understand that with the right support, children with ADHD can achieve great success academically and socially.

Can You Get an EHCP for ADHD?

Yes, children with ADHD can qualify for an EHCP, but it’s not guaranteed. It depends on how much the ADHD affects their ability to learn and if their needs can’t be met with the resources typically available in their school. Remember, it’s not the diagnosis itself, but the impact on learning and the complexity of needs that matters.

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Navigating the EHCP Assessment Process

If your child has been diagnosed with ADHD and it is impacting their education, you can request an EHCP needs assessment from your local authority. This assessment involves gathering evidence from you, your child’s school or other educational setting, and relevant healthcare professionals to determine whether an EHCP is necessary.

The legal test that the LA must apply is found at section 36 (8) Childrens and Families Act 2014:

  1. The child or young person has or may have special educational needs
  2. if it may be necessary for special education provision to be made for the child or young person in accordance with an EHCP plan.

The key issue is whether an EHCP is required to provide the special educational provision. If it is, the EHCP is necessary.

Section 9.14 of the SEN Code of Practice identifies additional considerations and factors which bear little resemblance to the statutory test (with its focus on progress made and related matters). The LA will seek to apply these considerations as part of their LA Policy. Normally the Policy imposes a higher level of access than the legal test. Officers will seek to apply the LA policy. We and the Special Educational needs and Disability Tribunal will apply the legal test.

If the authority concludes that your child’s needs cannot be met within the resources normally available to the school, they will proceed with drafting an EHCP. If they do not think the child needs an EHCP then you will have the right to appeal to a Tribunal within 2 months of the letter from the LA telling you that they are not going to proceed further.

If you believe your child’s ADHD is affecting their education significantly, you can request an EHCP needs assessment. The local authority will then gather evidence from you, your child’s educational setting, and relevant health and social care professionals. The goal of this assessment is to understand:

  • Your child’s academic progress.
  • The nature, extent, and context of your child’s special educational needs.
  • The effectiveness of current educational provisions and supports.

If, following the assessment, the local authority decides that your child’s needs can’t be met within the resources normally available to their school or other educational settings, they will draft an EHCP.

Ensuring an Effective EHCP for ADHD

Once an EHCP has been granted, it’s essential to make sure it’s tailored to effectively support your child’s ADHD.

The plan is required to by law identify all of the child’s special education needs, identify all of the provisions to meet each of the identified needs and that provision has to be specific, detailed and quantified and it has to name the educational setting.

Here are some strategies that might be included in the plan:

  • Sensory integration therapy: Many children with ADHD may have sensory sensitivities. This therapy can help them manage and respond more appropriately to sensory stimuli.
  • Specific educational strategies to be used in the classroom including class size and additional support staffing.
  • Behavioural support: This can help children manage their behaviour, improve self-control, and reduce impulsivity.
  • Support with organisation: Children with ADHD often struggle with organizational skills. The EHCP can provide for strategies; tools and funding to improve this area.
  • Focus on social skills: Many children with ADHD have difficulty with social interactions. Social skills training can be beneficial.
  • Access to learning aids: This may include things like extra time on tests, taking breaks when needed, or using technology that can assist with learning.

Securing an EHCP for a child with ADHD can be a process, but it’s one that can make a substantial difference in their educational journey. The aim is to create a supportive learning environment that helps children with ADHD harness their potential and succeed academically and socially. After all, every child deserves the right to shine in their unique way.

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