It is important to identify children who do have special educational needs (SEN) as early as possible. This ensures they get the help they need to learn and develop to the best of their ability.
If your child has SEN, they may need extra help in a range of areas, such as:
- reading, writing, number work or understanding information
- expressing themselves or understanding what others are saying
- making friends or relating to adults
- organising themselves
- behaving properly in school
- a sensory or physical need which affects them in school
If your child is under five and you are concerned that they are not developing or learning as well as they should it is a good idea to talk to your GP, health visitor or local Children’s Centre.
If your child is already in an early years setting, talk to one of the staff there. If the setting thinks your child needs extra support they will discuss this with you.
All nursery schools have a Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO), who will work with you, and other staff, to make sure that your child gets the help they need.
Other early years providers will have arrangements in place for meeting children’s SEN and childminders are encouraged to identify a person to act as SENCO.
If your child attends school and you are worried that they might have SEN you should talk to their class teacher. They will be able to help you find out if your child’s difficulties are those that might be expected, or whether your child may have SEN. If teachers at your child’s school or early years’ settings (or any other professional who knows you and your child) are worried they will discuss this with you.