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Pre-Diagnosis-Identifying and Assessing

SEND - Diagnosis Pathway for babies, children and young people birth to 25yrs and their parent/carers

What should I do if I think my baby, child or young person has Special Educational Needs and or Disabilities (SEND)?


What If a health worker, school/nursery/college has concerns about my baby, child or young person’s SEND?

If you think your baby, child or young person may have special educational needs and or a disability, on the first instance contact the SEN co-ordinator, or ‘SENCO’ in your child’s school or nursery, Gp or Health Visitor., They can discuss your concerns and make a referral


A nursery/school /college SENCO, health visitor, a doctor or midwife may speak to you about a referral to a child development team who have a range of specialist’s health professionals including paediatricians, physiotherapists and speech and language therapists etc. and or a health care specialist service who can do a full assessment of your baby, child or young person to try and identify the cause.

If you feel your health care worker or nursery/school SENCO disagrees with you, you can contact your local SEND Support Service and complete an Education Health Care Plan Assessment or a NHS Continuing Care referral form

 A young person can request an assessment themselves if they’re aged 16 to 25.

A request can also be made by anyone else who thinks an assessment may be necessary, including doctors, health visitors, teachers, parents and family friends.

If your baby, child isn’t in a school or nursery.

Contact your Midwife, Health visitor or doctor and you can Contact your local council SEND Support Service

Independent support for babies, children and young people of all ages and their parent/carers

Supportive Independent useful organisations to use, is your local Information, Special Educational Needs & Disabilities Independent Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS)  who can give you support and advice about SEND Independent supporters can help you and your child through the new SEN assessment process, including:

  • Replacing a statement of special educational needs with a new EHC plan

  • Moving a child from a learning difficulty  (LDA) to an EHC plan

Parents Forum for Bradford & Airedale, Council for Disabled Children, Contact a Family (CAF), Early Help & Family CAF and Independent Parental Special Education Advice (IPSEA) can give you a voice, independent information, support and advice about SEND.

All SEND Information, advice and support is available on your local authority Bradford Local Offer SEND services website, if you struggle to find a particular services on the Local Offer please contact Bradford Local Offer Officer Tel: 01274 439261 or email LocalOffer@bradford.gov.uk.

In some cases it can take a long time to get a diagnosis, especially if your child has a rare condition which is harder to identify. There is support available at this difficult time through the national charity, called Contact a Family  and Early Help & Family CAF

Contact a Family can provide information and support both over the phone and through their website, which has a large range of useful guides, including:
• When your child has additional needs
• Living without a diagnosis
• Living with a rare condition
• Understanding your child’s behaviour

For further information ring the Contact a Family helpline on 0808 808 3555 or visit website here 

Early support offers a range of information booklets and materials to support parents and carers of children with additional needs. The information is to help families plan for the future. 

For further information contact the portage co-ordinator on 01274 385833 and you can read more about Early Support at the Council for Disabled Children's website here
Siblings There is a national charity for siblings who may be finding it hard to cope with a brother or sister who has a disability. The UK charity Sibs can give information and advice both over the phone and online. Call 01535 645453 or visit the Siblings website here

So what happens now?

There are four areas of SEND:  Communication and Interaction, Cognition and Learning, Social, emotional and mental health, Sensory and physical

Special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) can affect a child or young person’s ability to learn. They can affect their:

  • Behaviour or ability to socialise, e.g. they struggle to make friends

  • Reading and writing e.g. because they have dyslexia

  • Ability to understand things

  • Concentration levels, e.g. because they have ADHD

  • Physical ability

Support your child could receive

Your child may be eligible for:

SEND support - support given in school, e.g. speech therapy, specialist teaching services

An Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan - a plan of care for children and young people aged up to 25 who have more complex needs

If you or your child got support before September 2014 this will continue until your local council changes it to an EHC plan.

Special educational needs support

Your child will get SEN support at their school or college.

Your child may need an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan if they need more support than their school provides.

SEND Support Children under 5

SEN support for children under 5 includes:

  • a written progress check when your child is 2 years old

  • a child health visitor carrying out a health check for your child if they’re aged 2 to 3

  • a written assessment in the summer term of your child’s first year of primary school

  • making reasonable adjustments for disabled children, e.g. providing aids like tactile signs

Nurseries, playgroups and child-minders registered with Ofsted follow the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework. The framework makes sure that there’s support in place for children with SEND.

SEND Support Children between 5 and 15

Talk to the teacher or the SEN co-ordinator (SENCO) if you think your child needs:

  • a special learning programme

  • extra help from a teacher or assistant

  • to work in a smaller group

  • observation in class or at break    

  • help taking part in class activities

  • extra encouragement in their learning, e.g. to ask questions or to try something they find difficult

  • help communicating with other children

  • support with physical or personal care difficulties, e.g. eating, getting around school safely or using the toilet

SEND Support Young people aged 16 or over in further education

It is your young person’s schools responsibility to support you and your child with transition from school to 6th form, colleges/FE for starting in year 9 annual reviews.  Further information about post 16 support click here and for information about support finding the right provision for you or your young person click here

Extra help

An education, health and care (EHC) plan is for children and young people aged up to 25 who need more support than is available through special educational needs support. EHC plans identify educational, health and social needs and set out the additional support to meet those needs.

You can ask your school SENCO on the first instance or local authority to carry out an assessment if you think your child needs an EHC plan.

NHS continuing healthcare is for adults. Children and young people may receive a 'continuing care package' if they have needs arising from disability, accident or illness that can't be met by existing universal or specialist services alone. Click here for further information

If the local authority decides to carry out an EHC plan assessment you may be asked for:

  • any reports from your babies/ child’s/young person’s nursery, child-minder, school, or college

  • doctors’ assessments of your child

  • a letter from you about your child’s needs

The local authority will tell you within 16 weeks whether an EHC plan is going to be made for your child.

If your child got support before September 2014

Your child will move to an education, health and care (EHC) plan by:

September 2016 if they have a learning difficulty assessment (LDA) and spring 2018 if they have a statement

This will normally happen at a planned review, or when your child moves school. Your council will tell you which.

Your child will already be getting SEN support if they used to get help through:

School Action or School Action Plus

Early Years Action or Early Years Action Plus

Support after your child leaves school

If your child has a statement of special educational needs, they’ll have a ‘transition plan’ drawn up in Year 9. This helps to plan for their future after they leave school.

They’ll continue to get support during further education. Your child can also ask for an EHC assessment if they need more help than the school or college can provide.

Related useful pages within the Local Offer

Education Health Care Plans (EHCP)

Personal Budgets


SEND Services

Support for families

File attached below shows the EHC planning structure 

This page was last updated on 07/02/2019. This page has been viewed 2457 times.