It's a sad fact that those I meet, and many who are then subject to an intervention have often gone through school undiagnosed until mid teens - when exams loom and results are poor.
I am sure the Government would argue this pointing to the general increase is pastoral care and SEN specialists within education.
But the fact remains many children get "missed" from the various checks in place - or are excluded from them.
The fact is Special needs is expensive and time consuming.
The difference is a child recognised as having an issue can often get help that makes live changing changes.
Lets be clear getting help can be difficult, and thats a core foundation of this project - making help available.
How this is done will be covered in detail with an individual concerned, and obviously the parents.
As a key part of The Halfling project I tend to meet teenagers at a time of their early mock exams - where the parents feel the results are lower than they should be or young actors starting out with drama or photography at the station.
At this time an informal preliminary report may be produced of what I believe the issues may be and if they are under the definition of special needs. This then is usually passed to the school for comment and often results in extra back up for the pupil from the school and exam boards.
At this point a formal application via the GP may be made by parents for a full NHS assessment for say autism - but sadly some Doctors are not supportive and the waiting time is long.
This report is required by some Government Departments, Social Services etc. Others are happy with more informal reports.
Those I work with after the preliminary report have the option of using it to gain support or to work with the project towards a better understanding and support during the often crucial years 15-18.
The aim of The Halfling project is to keep this help informal and as far as possible enjoyable.
The brief can be wide and often one to one covering personal issues, but parents and participants are encouraged to talk each aspect through so to gain full understanding.
This work can cover a wide time frame.
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Halfling Promotional image 2014