There are many services you can contact to talk about concerns you may have about your child, including GPs, health, visitors, schools, nurses, speech and language therapy and educational psychology.
If your child does not attend a nursery or a school
If your child is still at home, speak to your health visitor or GP (doctor), or visit your local children's centre for advice.
The following organisations can also can also give you advice about special educational needs:
If your child is attending nursery or preschool
If your child is nursery age and you are concerned you should speak to the 'SENCo' (Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator) in your child's school or nursery.
Most, if not all, children with SEND (special educational needs and disabilities) in the early years will be effectively supported without the need for statutory Education Health and Care (EHC) Plans. If, however, it becomes apparent that a child will need the support of a statutory EHC Plan at pre-school / nursery or to help them to move to school, an EHC Needs Assessment can be requested. Parents and carers have the right to make such a request at any time, but are advised to discuss any concerns with setting staff or a professional such as a GP or health visitor first.
If you have any concerns about your child’s health or development, your first point of contact should be your GP (doctor) or health visitor. Berkshire Healthcare Foundation Trust have also developed SHaRON, a new dedicated social support network, with a section called ‘Jupiter’ for parents and carers of young people who are either waiting for their child to have an assessment for autism or who have a child who has already been given a diagnosis of an Autism Spectrum Condition.
Health Visitors mostly work with families with children under the age of five. They assess your child's development and work with a range of professionals to provide support and if necessary, make referrals.
Find out more about what health visitors do and some top tips for parents to help you support your child here.
Read more about how children learn and develop during the first five years here:
What to expect, when? A parent’s guide (opens a new web site)
Foundation Years (opens a new web site)
Health and Early Years working together to support your child
From September 2015 it has become statutory for all two year old children to have an integrated review - this is called the 2yr old Integrated Review.