Writing about your child – a checklist to help for EHC needs assessments

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This advice applies in England only. Read information for families in Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales.

As a parent you are an expert on your child. If you are requesting an Education, Health and Care (EHC) needs assessment, or providing further information as part of the assessment itself, it is important to give clear information about your child’s needs.

In this article

Your child’s early years

  • When did you first notice any problems – big or small?
  • Did you tell anyone? What help or advice did you get?

Your child now

  • Health: eating, sleeping, illnesses, tiredness, depression, panic attacks.
  • Physical skills: walking, climbing, handwriting, using scissors.
  • Communication: hearing, gestures, eye contact, speech: describing things, talking to people, using the telephone, taking messages.
  • Personal skills: dressing, washing, dealing with pocket money, time-keeping, remembering to pack sports kit/or pencil case.
  • Behaviour: showing anxiety or frustration, problems with concentration.
  • Your child at home.
  • Watching TV, reading, hobbies.
  • Outside activities: clubs, sports.
  • Relationships: parents, brothers and sisters, other adults, friendships.
  • Behaviour at home: sharing, listening, fighting with siblings, moods, meltdowns.
  • Homework: difficulty remembering what to do, or finishing in the set time.
  • Your child at school or college.
  • What lessons or activities does your child enjoy?
  • Friendships, relationships with teachers.
  • Problem areas: lessons, playtime, new teacher, change in routine.
  • Extra help which has worked or not worked for your child.
  • Are your child’s difficulties getting worse? Does any particular incident or piece of work illustrate your child’s difficulties?
  • What help do you think your child needs?

Your child’s views

  • Does your child enjoy going to school? What do they like best?
  • What would they like to achieve? What makes it hard for them to do this?
  • What help does your child think they need?

Information for Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales

Read our information about education in Wales.

Find out about the system of support for children with special educational needs in Northern Ireland on the NI Education Authority website or Senac (special educational needs advice centre).

In Scotland, the system of support for children with additional support needs is called additional support for learning. You can read more about it on the Enquire website.