Most parents and carers have aspirations for those in their care. Your child is born or is brought into your care and like most, you draw out a map, ticking off milestone after milestone, rolling over, crawling, standing, talking etc. Differences are seen, perhaps to other children you have, or other children at the play center, and then the process of finding out what is wrong begins. We trust professionals, most of us not being a neuroscientist, a child psychologist, an occupational therapist or an SCLN therapist, are left with no other option than to trust the word of the GP, the Paediatrician, the rest. Primum non nocere, first do no harm, is the ethical pledge, and the law measures this by action or omission where a child is in your care as a professional, it is a wonder then why, in some cases Local Authorities are late to identify, and many times, even later in intervening to assist within the law.
The need for reliance on professionals, Local Authorities, Healthcare Trusts and others is understandable, but often parents and carers do not question, or when they do, not know how or whom to question to get the right answers. An EHCP process is supposed to last 20 weeks, “Of the new EHC plans made during 2015 (excluding cases where exceptions apply), 59.2% were issued within the 20 week time limit. This has reduced from last year when 64.3% were issued within the time limit. Of the new EHC plans made during 2015 (excluding cases where exceptions apply), 59.2% were issued within the 20 weeks time limit. This has reduced from last year when 64.3% were issued within the time limit. The percentage of EHC plans completed within the time limit is lower than the percentage of
statements issued within the time limit in previous years. We would expect local authorities to take time to
adjust to the new system, in particular, the addition of health and care elements. There is a large variation between local authorities which is also reflected at a regional level. For example, in the outer London region, 71.1% of EHC plans were issued within 20 weeks whereas only 47.5% were issued within 20 weeks in the East of England. It should be noted however that there is no management at regional level.”
“Children aged 11 to 15-years-old made up the largest proportion of children and young people with
statements (49.7%) and combined statements and EHC plans (43.4%), however, 5 to 10-year-olds made up
the largest proportion of EHC plans (31.8%). Children under 5 years of age made up just 1.1% of children
and young people with statements but 11.5% of children and young people with EHC plans. This could be
because children in this age group are more likely to have entered the system after September 2014, so
would have been assessed under the new system for an EHC plan instead of a statement.” (source is https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/525774/SFR17-2016_Main_Text.pdf”
When you couple that the PACT (Pre-School Autism Communication Trial) concluded “PACT therapy can be recommended for the purposes of improving parent-child two-way play and communication in ways that are likely to be positive for parents themselves and that may have longer term benefits for the child.”, with the statistical fact that pre-school children are not picked up very well (1.1% of total plans). Merely getting a Statement or an EHCP does not guarantee quality therein and even then, with a good EHCP/Statement you need a good school and a Local Authority able to fund the right support. It is a broken system from start to finish.
So if we accept that the system is broken, what could be the potential outcomes?
The study below shows that for many where diagnosis doesn’t occur, intervention is not provided, the incidence of dire consequence is significant. Many young persons in the correctional system are affected in this way, the cost financially is massive, the cost societally is massive, the costs of lost time and potential to the individuals is immeasurable and certainly impossible to be compensated for. That’s why we must change this system together!
Please read and then share if you’d like others to see what happens, when we, parents, carers, Local Authorities, Education Authorities, Health Authorities and Government do nothing.