This week in London: Ed Psychs Unite!

St Pancreas

St Pancreas

SEND (Special Educational Needs & Disability) is the ‘buzz acronym’ heard at the DCEP (Division of Child and Education Psychology) conference with local authorities giving more instruction to how ed psychs, social workers and mental health providers must act collaboratively as stakeholders in UK special needs work.

This is done through use of Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plans. In this way, the UK moves closer to US model of special needs delivery system in serving the those with both learning disability and mental health requirements.

In moving forward from years of ‘bullying’ as being of primary focus, profiles of youth with anxiety and attention & concentration deficits are getting much more attention with important differences from the US models.

Sami TimimiStrong professional advocacy exists in ‘un-labeling’ the UK student, in promoting less biased terms, and calling for a far less stigmatized approach to special needs population. Sami Timimi, Psychiatrist (shown in the side photo) in particular called for caution in manner of diagnosing autism and other ‘lifelong’ labeling.

In addition, prescription medications have come under attack by members of the DECEP as the ‘wrong’ approach, and in fact, calling for the dismissal of drugs as the ‘go to’ remedy by identifying lack of research, yet high returns for pharmaceutical companies. What I experienced was a clear, mature dialogue between practitioners who clearly ‘care’ about the student and family populations that they serve.