Search

Mental Health, Neurodivergence and Counsellor Training – A review into the Co-ordination of Care

Mental health

On the 12th of July 2022, the Dyslexia Commission held it’s second inquiry session. The session explored the topic of mental health services for neurodivergent people.  Notable revelations demonstrated the need for a in depth review into the current mental health services for neurodivergent patients.

Provision of appointments and EHC plans

The first topic the gathered experts discussed was the difference in mental health therapy requirements children with and without neurodivergence.  Claire Thomas, Head of Therapy at The Levels School remarked at the limited suitability of appointments for children who are neurodivergent in CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service) appointments. Additionally, Claire noted a lack of adequate training for mental health counsellors when delivering services for neurodivergent patients. Claire put forward the need for suitable mental health plans with the view that all providers of such services should receive training in neurodiversity.  

Before treating a neurodivergent child however they must first be diagnosed. The assembled panel highlighted that educational psychologists must reform the process of assessing neurodivergence in children. Claire emphasized the ineffectiveness of phone calls when compared to face to face assessments, used by educational psychologists. Some children only receive assessments through their parents discussing their child with the psychologists via the telephone. As such, it was apparent that this style of “screening” leads to children being routinely undiagnosed and receiving weak provisions. In this, Claire went further to discuss the issues of resource disruption for children. 

The routine maximum length of time for EHCP’s should involve a 20-week turnaround, however Claire Thomas remarked that at The Levels School this process has been extended to “a year and a half.” Moreover, Claire remarked at the significant role that personal finances play in attaining suitable support via EHC plans:  

“The parents who can fund extensive assessments and their case in tribunals win the specialist provision. There is a huge postcode lottery for the children who do get the right care and plans and the ones who don’t.” 

The system of such practice ultimately raises the question: What are lasting consequences of the current systems in place for neurodivergent people?  

Teacher Training – No child left behind?

Another key point forward was the lack of teachers who can deliver lessons that will be accessible to all the children in classrooms with neurodivergent children present. Claire Thomas highlighted the reported figure that nearly 50% of children in schools are presented with having an additional language disorder, yet unfortunately these conditions are not picked up in the classroom and subsequently diagnosed. As such, this presents a key issue in the classroom as teachers fail to be provided with the tools or expertise on how to deliver a creative curriculum and delivery of lesson plans that will be complete for the learning needs of neurodivergent children.  

To overcome many of the challenges for neurodivergent children in the educational and service sectors. Claire Thomas hailed the incredible work undertaken by The Levels School, namely the “Owning your Neurodiversity” strategy . The project seeks to enable children to understand the laws and policies that are available to them should they need adjustments in the workplace and educational sector.  In addition, the project teaches children how to teach wider society about their neurodiversity.  

Final Thought

This inquiry session for the Dyslexia Commission demonstrated the importance of such sessions. With experts like Claire out generating best practise it is essential for there to be a mechanism to spread such best practise to a wider audience who can then implement it centrally.  

Best practise however needs to be backed by funding in order to deliver adequate provisions for Neurodivergent children. Educational training for teachers and mental health cousellors as well as a review into the current process to obtain EHCP’s were discussed as being the central ways in which we can co-ordinate a detailed and resource rich EHCP for every child and young person living with neurodiversity.  

To find out more, visit the commission page or contact Policy and Research Analyst Ann-Marie Debrah at annmarie.debrah@chamberuk.com.

Photo Credit: Dzaky Adinata

Share

Related Topics

Latest

Plans for Diagnostics: NHS Screenings and Sunak’s Agenda

As long waiting lists for the NHS continue to persist, and people receiving diagnoses in adequate time has not reached its target, Sunak ventured on a campaign trail yesterday to trumpet new measures aimed at promoting timely diagnostics. This was to help ensure he can meet one of his top five priorities: cutting NHS waiting lists.

Hunt’s Bold Vision for the Economy

Hunt primarily proposed his bold vision for the economy and highlighted the value of investing in life sciences and the NHS especially during its time of crisis.

Video Features

Does Democracy Require Proportional Representation?

Marking LGBT+ History Month 2024

How Can We Make the UK the Greatest Place to Grow Old?

Why Should Women Stand for Office?

Subscribe to our newsletter for your free digital copy of the journal!

Receive our latest insights, future journals as soon as they are published and get invited to our exclusive events and webinars.

Newsletter Signups
?
?

We respect your privacy and will not share your email address with any third party. Your personal data will be collected and handled in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

Never miss an issue by subcribing to our newsletter!

Receive our latest insights and all future journals as soon as they are published and get invited to our exclusive events and webinars.

Newsletter Signups
?
?

We respect your privacy and will not share your email address with any third party. Your personal data will be collected and handled in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

Never miss an issue by subcribing to our newsletter!

Receive our latest insights and all future journals as soon as they are published and get invited to our exclusive events and webinars.

Newsletter Signups
?
?

We respect your privacy and will not share your email address with any third party. Your personal data will be collected and handled in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

Newsletter Signup

Receive our latest insights as soon as they are published and get invited to our exclusive events and webinars.

Newsletter Signups
?
?

We respect your privacy and will not share your email address with any third party. Your personal data will be collected and handled in accordance with our Privacy Policy.