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What to expect from SEN referral process?

Discussion in 'Special educational needs' started by ***pink***, Nov 18, 2011.

  1. I was wondering if anyone on here could help me...
    I'm an ex-teacher - I used to come on here years ago whilst doing my PGCE and NQT year but I've left the profession now to start my own family. I hope it's ok for me to ask this on here.
    My son is 3.5 and attends preschool - I've had concerns about his behaviour for a while - in a nutshell, he has an excessive need to be in control; has meltdowns over very small inconsequential things; very short attention span & never sits still. Stuff that all 3 year olds do to an extent but it is the intensity and frequency of his behaviour that has been concerning me. I spoke to preschool and they have had exactly the same worries about him - they initially put it down to his age but he isn't growing out of it and they feel there are possibly issues with him.
    They have referred him on to be seen by the area SENCO who if concerned will in turn refer him on to be seen by the Ed Psych.
    I guess what I'm asking is what to expect from the referral process. The preschool teachers obviously can't tell me whether they are suspecting a specific disorder although I do get the impression that possibly they are. What happens if the ed psych has concerns?
    I realise that I should know all this given my background but my memory is very fuzzy and I'm obviously too involved to be able to think clearly!
    Thanks in advance for any replies.
  2. FollyFairy

    FollyFairy Occasional commenter

    I can't tell you what the process might be - but I can tell you my own experiences with my daughter as when I was reading your post you could have been describing what she was like at that age; very controlling, meltdowns, couldn't cope with any sort of change, everything needed to follow strict routine otherwise she couldn't cope, didn't sit still etc... her nursery had massive concerns and said that they felt she would not suit or fit into mainstream education and wanted to refer her. I said that I wanted to seek advice first from my doctor who diagnosed her with mild development delay and said she would be fine in the long term. And he was right. She has settled beautifully into mainstream education, though we did decide to invest money into sending her private so the class sizes were much smaller. Her reading is above average, interested in nearly all subjects, many friends etc. Still has her moments, but is a much happier little girl. This is just my story - what I am trying to say is, seek advice from your GP who can also refer your son to an educational psychologist - no harm having two opinions! If your son is diagnosed with Special Needs, then the support is there from the outset of his academic career. Good luck and keep us posted! xx
  3. Neither the SENCO nor an EP can diagnose any kind of a medical problem

    So you would be best at this stage to see the GP and ask for a referral to a child development paedetrician, who can diagnose all sorts of things.
  4. I would guess that the Area SENCO will come and visit him in the setting do some observation and information gahering and may do some simple assessment stuff (unlikely to be formal or standardised assessments). Depending on the local arrangements they will then discuss with you possible 'next steps' which might be; to request EP assessment, make other referrals e.g. SLT, Portage, additional support for him in the setting. All of the next steps/actions will depend on local procedures and arrangements.
    I would expect they would feedback to you with practitioners in the setting to say how the session went and what 'next steps' they would suggest but ultimately it depends on what you are happy for them to do.

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