Special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) can affect a child or young person’s ability to learn. They can affect their:
- behaviour or ability to socialise, for example they may struggle to make friends
- reading and writing, for example because they have dyslexia
- ability to understand things
- concentration levels, for example because they have ADHD
- physical ability
If you're concerned your child may have a special educational need, you can speak to particular people depending on your child's age.
Talk to your family doctor (GP), health visitor or nurse. If they share your concerns they might suggest your child sees a paediatrician or they may make a referral to a specialist for further investigation.
If your child is in a childcare provision you should speak to their key person or the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO). They may share your concerns and suggest that you request a referral from your GP to a paediatrician or specialist, or they may decide to monitor your child’s progress more closely before you speak to your GP about making a referral.
Your local Flying Start Children’s Centre can provide advice and can help your child's development through play and learning experiences.
Talk to your family doctor (GP). If they share your concerns they might suggest your child sees a paediatrician or they may make a referral to a specialist for further investigation.
Speak to your child’s class teacher or SENCO. If the concerns are about educational needs, you should ask the school or college about the additional support that the education setting can put in place to support your child’s development including:
- help and advice from advisory services and the Educational Psychology Service or
- individual support from a Learning Support Assistant
Contact your local council if your child isn’t in a school or nursery.
The SEND Information, Advice and Support (SENDIAS) Service can also give you advice about SEND.