My name is Philip Whitaker and for the final 18 years of my Local Authority career I worked as a Specialist Senior Educational Psychologist specializing in autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). Since leaving Local Authority employment I’ve worked independently in the same field. Throughout my career, I’ve worked directly with children, families and school staff, providing advice and support to meet the needs of youngsters with ASD. I’ve delivered training throughout the United Kingdom and written a range of books and articles—all geared to helping school staff and parents to develop the insights and practical skills needed to work effectively with children and young people who are on the spectrum.
I’m fortunate to have worked in 2 Local Authorities that have, in their different ways, each been pioneers in terms of provision for children and families. I’ve seen what can be achieved for children and families with good planning, the right resources and staff who have the necessary training, understanding and skills. I’ve also seen the difficulties and damage which can occur when needs are not recognized, or provision is inadequate.
The About page provides more background information about my training, experience and publications. On the Diagnosis page you’ll find a description of what’s involved in the process of diagnosis (including links to some useful websites and podcasts). It also describes the service I can offer in terms of diagnostic assessment.
Though vital in its own right, diagnosis is just the first step in the process of understanding a youngster’s needs and describing the provision required to meet these needs. On the Assessment page you’ll find more information about the process and what I can offer you, your child and his or her school. A comprehensive and detailed assessment of a child’s individual needs, combined with detailed recommendations about the necessary provision, is an essential foundation for successful educational provision. In some instances, for a whole variety of reasons, Local Authorities may be reluctant to provide the right type or level of provision. The majority of children with ASD are eventually assessed for a statement of special educational need. The EHC assessment and SEN Tribunal page provides more information, particularly about what is involved when it proves necessary to go to an SEN Tribunal to secure the right provision for your child. This page also gives information about the support I can offer.
Even with the right level of support, putting recommendations into place requires staff with the necessary understanding and skills. On the Training page you can find out more about my experience in this area and the training available from me.
If you have any queries about the services I can offer or my experience, please contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org