Every child or young person with Special Educational Needs should have SEN support. This means help that is additional or different from the support generally given to other children or young people of the same age.
Most children and young people with SEND have their needs met through mainstream education. Those with more complex needs may need specialist provision. Every nursery, school or college should have a member of staff called a SENCo/InCo. Their role is to ensure children with additional needs get the appropriate support to access education. If your child is in nursery or school (or about to start), one of the first things you can do when you have concerns about your child's learning is to talk to the SENCo.
There is help and support available to you and your child even if they're not currently in school, or if you're in the process of choosing the right school for them. You can find out everything you need to know about educating a child or young person with SEND on our Education Support pages.
The Specialist Advisory Service teams work in mainstream schools to support children with different special educational needs and disabilities. You can contact a member of the specialist advisory services to discuss concerns you may have about your child by phoning the Advice Lines which operate in term time. The SENCo can refer to these teams with the parent or carer's consent if they feel that more targeted specialist support is needed. Health professionals can also make a referral to these teams, and families can self-refer if the child is not in a setting.
If your child has received extra SEN support at school but is still not making progress, it may be that your child will need an Education Health Care Plan. An EHCP is for children with more complex needs, and will set out the extra help and support they will need to overcome barriers to learning.
It's easy to forget that you need looking after, too. In fact, looking after your own physical and mental health is important for both you and your family. Many parents and carers find that the best source of support comes from other parents of children with SEND. There are many organisations who can support you and your child.
If you are concerned about your child's development, or their mental or physical health, talk to your GP. If needed, they will put you in touch with a paediatrician for assessment.
Our services for children and young people area has information about health services you might come across for your child.
Family Centres and Health Visitors (for children under 5) offer advice and support to parents and carers. Find your local Family Centre. Or, you can phone 0300 123 7572, choose your local area and then option 2, to speak to an advisor. You can ask them to put you in touch with your Family Centre SEND Champion who will be able to tell you about support in your area.
The Children and Young People's Therapy Service provides Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy and Speech and Language Therapy for children and young people in Hertfordshire. If you have questions, you can phone them on 01923 470680 (option 3).