Many young people with SEND will be involved with health services as part of their development. This may be by accessing universal healthcare or more specialist intervention to support them.
For children with complex needs identified at birth, after an injury or illness, or through their early years, you will likely have health professionals already working with you. They will let you know if they believe your child has Special Educational Needs, and can also guide you to other sources of support and information. Health professionals have a duty to notify the local authority when they identify a child under compulsory school age as having (or probably having) SEN or a disability.
However as a parent, you might also notice differences around development or behaviour. You can talk to an adult at their educational setting about your observations, discuss what support might be needed, and decide appropriate next steps together. You can also see your child’s GP and together you might talk about whether to make a referral to a specialist service or paediatrician.
The Department for Education (DFE) has produced guidance for Local Authorities.
Local Authorities (LAs) must have regard to it when carrying out their duty to arrange suitable full-time education (or part-time when appropriate for the child's needs) for children who are unable to attend a mainstream or special school because of their health.
There is also statutory guidance for schools around supporting children and young people with medical conditions
How to identify and support those pupils whose behaviour suggests they may have unmet mental health needs. Advice for schools.
This advice is for schools. It includes: how and when to refer to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), practical advice to support children with emotional and behavioural difficulties, strengthening pupil resilience, tools to identify pupils for likely to need extra support, where/how to access community support.
Information and advice is also available from Coventry and Warwickshire Rise.
If you have a learning disability, then you are eligible to join the Learning Disability Register through your Doctor's surgery. Being on the register is the first step to an individual getting reasonable adjustments and better support. Once this information is on the GP system, they will be able to access additional services, such as the Annual Health Check, and request extra support, such as easy read information, longer appointments and reminders, and help to make decisions.
Mencap have created a guide for all children and young people and their families which explains the benefits of joining the register. It also explains about the annual health check which anyone over the age of 14 with a learning disability is entitled to.
The Department for Health have produced guidance that explains how local authorities should act in relation to care and support for deafblind adults and children. View the policy.
From The NHS Constitution website you can view the video 'Everything you need to get the most out of the NHS'. You have the right when making decisions and choices about healthcare.
Funded by NHS England, The Council for Disabled Children have produced a resource 'Improving outcomes for children and young people with SEND/Disability' to explain the Children and Families Act 2014 and its implications for health services. The resource is full of tools, films and examples from practice to help areas implement the reforms.
The Council for Disabled Children have a series of documents available for parents and carers to help you get the best out of the health system. You can access Expert parent e-learning, the Expert Parent Programme, The Expert Training Course, and various other useful sources of information.
Further information about specific health difficulties can be obtained from the following organisations: