Afzal is 4, is autistic and struggles with his communication, taking part in things and found mainstream settings too noisy, busy and upsetting. He lives with his mum, dad and 3 year old brother. His mum has been really impressed with the EHC process.

Mina and her husband went to a Parents event organized in her area where they were told all about the EHC process, what to expect and what would be involved. They were invited by Afzal’s school and the school staff were all there. They met the SEN team, the LA Officer and there were talks by the IAS service who also offer Independent Support. They didn’t end up using any of these services but they thought it was really good to know that they existed and how to get in touch with them if they needed more help.

“We were able to ask any questions we had. I didn’t ask any though as it all went a bit over my head. It was all very new to me, but Im getting my head around it now. We had it explained to us really well what would happen. They explained the timescale and gave us handouts explaining what it would all involve. They gave us so much information, probably more than we could take in! And all the people involved in all the assessments and reports were new to us. was good to hear other parents questions and we felt really supported by everyone there – I felt I could talk to the teacher or LA about any problems I had and they gave out their email details so we could get in touch at any time. We struggled a bit with the fact that we had to apply for Mainstream at the same time as going through the process. That was explained to us though and they said that theyd help us all the way.

We felt that we were included in everything at every step. We were invited to lots of meetings and were very informed at all times. The SALT and EdPsych called me to tell me what they thought from their assessments and get our thoughts. Our opinions were definitely taken into account. We felt we had so much information and that if we didn’t undertsnad anything there were lots of people we could turn to.

He’s now in a special needs nursery and will move into a special needs primary school this year.