Worried about your child?
Do you have concerns about your child’s development? Are you worried that their speech, mobility or behaviour differs from other children of a similar age?Are you worried about your child?
All children develop at their own, individual rate, and in their own ways. However, as a parent, you know your child best and should share any concerns you have.
Where to go for help & advice (children aged 0-5)
If your child is aged between 0-5 you can talk through your concerns with your child’s:
Alternatively, you can contact the Child Development Centre (Margaret Wells-Furby) who can advise you as to who is best placed to help.
If you’re worried about your child’s speech and language development, you can contact your local Children’s Centres who host regular NHS CYPL Speech & Language Therapy drop-in clinics.
For concerns about a child's physical or sensory development, or if you want to see a dietician, you can self-refer to CYPIT (Children, Young People & Families Integrated Therapies) by phone or via their website.
If your referral is urgent, please call our NHS HealthHub on 0300 365 1234
Children of school reception aged +
If your child is already in school, you should discuss any concerns you have with your child’s class teacher, Head of Year or school SENCO. Schools are provided with funding to meet the needs of most children with special educational needs. However, if needed, and if your child meets the threshold, the school can put in a request for a statutory assessment to determine what extra support your child might need.
Generally about one or two children in every hundred will have educational needs that are more severe or complex and the Education Act 1996 and the Children and Families Act 2014 has provided a statutory framework for assessing their needs.
You may also speak directly with the local authority’s Special Educational Needs (SEN) team:
Special Educational Needs Team: 01344 354039
If your child’s school does not share your concerns and you feel you want to seek further support and advice, contact the Information, Advice and Support Service (IASS), who provide impartial advice to parents whose children have, or may have, special educational needs.
How do parents/carers of children age 5+, that are not in school, access advice and support services if they have concerns about their child?
Home educators assume financial responsibility for their child, and the local authority may not continue providing services that your child previously received through school, such as occupational therapy, physiotherapy or speech and language therapy (SaLT).
If parents have not electively de-registered (e.g. child is excluded, ill, or unable to attend school for other reasons), the LA does have a duty to arrange provision, which can be ‘otherwise than at school’, but, under current legislation (s19).
If a parent has concerns there are a number of ways to begin self-help. For example, the NHS offer a number of on-line 'toolkits'
The CYPF online resource also has a large number of leaflets to advise parents on a very wide range of concerns including anger, anxiety, sensory difficulties and much more https://cypf.berkshirehealthcare.nhs.uk/
There are also lots of charities and organisations supporting families of children with SEN, and they may be able to help with learning ideas that fit your child’s needs. The British Dyslexia Association, for example, offers resources to help with handwriting. The Local Authority Elective Home Education Officer may be able to help to signpost to appropriate organisations.
There may be other ways of accessing support. Your GP may be able to arrange the therapies your child needs on the NHS. Some charities also offer support or financial assistance to help you meet your child’s needs.
It is a good idea to get Bracknell Forest IASS involved. They provide free, impartial information, advice and support for children/young people with special educational needs. The contact details for them are on this page:
Often families find their child’s needs for therapy change when home educating; each child is different. If your child has a medical need then these therapies should continue but they are not arranged by the LA. If they stop because you’re home educating talk to the NHS service involved or, if you need a referral, approach your GP or child’s paediatrician.
A parent can request a statutory assessment or reassessment of their child’s needs in the same way as a child attending a school. Making a request for an EHC needs assessment: Model letter 1 | (IPSEA) Independent Provider of Special Education Advice
If you have concerns that a child or young person may be at risk of harm or neglect please seek advice from the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH). If you believe that urgent action is needed please contact :01344 352005 (Mon-Fri 9am-5om) or 01344 786543 (5pm-9am and weekends)