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accessing specialists

Discussion in 'Independent' started by RJR_38, Jan 6, 2012.

  1. RJR_38

    RJR_38 New commenter

    I have just started as a SENCO in a private school (having previously been one in a state school in a different LA). Most of the parents pay for private occupational therapists and speech and language therapists if their child needs it.
    However, I am starting to get enquiries about their 'NHS' options. Can children who attend an independent school still access free therapy in this way? Does anyone know how I could go about it as in a state school I would just refer to the service through the LA.
    All advice welcome!
     
  2. Of course such children should be able to access OT and SALT on same terms as others. In our area, SALT will not accept referrals for ANY secondary age pupils though. But it's worth a try.
    Write a letter - either directly to GP for parents to take into surgery, or write to the parents a letter which can be shown to GP.
     
  3. RJR_38

    RJR_38 New commenter

    I suppose I should have made it clearer that I was referring to a primary aged pupil so that part at least shouldn't be a problem. I hadn't really thought about involving the GP to be gonest but it is a good idea so thanks for that.
     
  4. In my school (independent junior), if we suspect dyspraxia, ADHD, ASD etc, our advice is always to go to the GP first and ask for a referral to an OT, SALT or paediatrician. Some parents do choose to pay privately rather than go on a long waiting list.
    For dyslexia, though, it's almost always a paying route, for a diagnosis/individual lessons from a specialist teacher or Ed Psych. This is the main difference with a state school, where they have (at least in theory) access to LEA psychologists to diagnose dyslexia.
     
  5. Wotton

    Wotton Established commenter

    State schoools have to buy in EP time. All cases in my area have to go to a prioritisation meeting which decides whether you get a visit, a meeting or nothing.So even in the state system many parents opt to pay for a private EP. OT's will only see children after the school has completed a programme "Fizzy" with them.
     
  6. RJR_38

    RJR_38 New commenter

    It is interesting that you say that wotton as I think it must really depend on your la. We didn't have to buy in ep time - it was provided as part of the package from la and we never had any problems getting time. Speech and language on the other hand... (especially language referrals) and they made you do lots of programmes and jump through lots of hoops before you were even allowed to refer. I have to say that this is one of the main reasons I am against academies as schools will have to buy in everything so what happens if the budget has gone for that year - you can't access anything for that child? And I can see that money meant for this will be diverted by many heads so the sen kids stand even less of a chance.

    GPs are the way forward though - thanks!
     
  7. Wotton

    Wotton Established commenter

    I think now there is an accute shortage of EP's and Speech Therapists. Even going through the GP can take some time and then you have to wait for a block of therapy. Even children we have had with quite severe problems are only seen by the therapist about twice a year and the school and home are given a programme of work to complete. As for the EP most schools used to be given some visits built into their funding and then any additional ones had to be paid for. Now if they have seen the child a few year before they will not come out and see them again but will only, if you are lucky, meet the teachers which may involve the teachers going to them. This is certainly what ou LA has gone for. The referral forms for the EP now requires more detailed information.
     

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