Welcome and thank you for your interest in SEN charities
You may want to support a SEN charity with a donation or to help them by giving them some of your time.
Alternatively you may need the help a SEN charity can offer.
The following information about special educational needs can be found on the NHS Choices website,
Special educational needs
Finding out that your child has special educational needs (SEN) can be overwhelming and you may experience a range of emotions.
However, there's no "right" way to feel.
You might feel:
- relief, particularly if you’ve been waiting a long time for your child to be diagnosed.
- denial, the feeling that this can't be happening to you
- grief that your child might miss out on opportunities in life because of their SEN
- fear as you're not sure what the future holds for you and your child
- guilt, as you may feel responsible for your child’s learning disability
- anger that your family is affected
It’s important to get support, through close friends or family, your local authority, a charity or health services such as your GP surgery.
Always contact the school if you have any concerns or questions about your child’s education.
Share all the information you have about your child with their pre-school, school and other professionals involved in their education.
Offer to help in the school if you can.
Let your child know that you're interested in what they're doing at school. Attend parents’ evenings, concerts and class assemblies.
Encourage your child to take part in activities outside the normal curriculum.
Ask for support and advice from a parents’ group or voluntary organisation.
Ask the school for copies of any targets set for your child and reviews held.
You may find it helpful to talk to other parents who have a child with special educational needs.
You can do this by contacting a local carers' group or an organisation that provides specific support to parents of children with SEN or specific learning difficulties.
Caring for your child
All parents expect to care for their children, so it may take you a long time to recognise yourself as a carer.
Alongside the usual parental duties, you may have to do many other things, such as nursing and medical care, supervising your child more closely for safety reasons, taking your child to hospital appointments and obtaining necessary equipment and services.
You may worry more than other parents about your child’s education.
Deciding which school your child should go to can be difficult.
How you can help
All children need their parents or carers to talk to them, listen to them, involve them in family activities and encourage them to take part in family life.
For example, you could give them certain jobs to do around the home.
Involving your child in everyday activities will help them learn.
Playing games with your child will encourage them to develop good social relationships and self-confidence.
Be realistic with your expectations of your child.
Encourage your child and praise their achievements.
How can I help with my child’s education?
Keep in regular contact with the school and discuss how you can support your child’s learning.
Your rights and duties
You have a legal right to:
- information about the provision being made for your child
- be involved in decisions about your child
- advice about your child’s education (this may be from the school or specialist support services where appropriate)
- request a statutory assessment of your child
- consult whoever you wish, including the school, its governing body, the local authority, SEN services provided by the local authority, or the parent partnership service
These rights are set out in the Special Education Needs Code of Practice, which was created under the Education Act 1996.
Children learn at different rates and in different ways.
Teachers will vary the curriculum to meet the range of learning needs in their class.
This means that they may use different teaching methods and teach children at different levels.
Speak to the school if you're concerned about your child’s progress.
Your child has a right to:-
- an appropriate education
- a broad and balanced curriculum
- equal opportunities in education
- opportunities for further education
Many organisations and services can help you with aspects of your care needs:-
Advice and information
- The National Parent Partnership Network offers statutory services, such as the parental partnership services (PPS), which gives information, advice and support to parents and carers of children and young people with special educational needs. PPS can also put parents in touch with other local and national organisations.
- Mencap, the national learning disability charity, has a support line on 0808 808 1111.
- Contact a Family provides information and a range of free factsheets for families caring for a child with a disability. Call 0808 808 3555.
- If you have a problem, call Independent Panel Special Education Advice on 0800 018 4016.
- For advice from other parents in a similar situation, call the Network 81 helpline on 0845 077 4055.
- The Office for Advice, Assistance, Support and Information on Special Needs (OAASIS) can provide free booklets for parents of children with autistic spectrum disorders and other learning disabilities. Call the OAASIS helpline on 0800 197 3907.
- Parents for Inclusion supports parents of children with special educational needs who have concerns about their child’s inclusion in school. You can call the helpline on 0800 652 3145.
Clubs and activities
Many cinemas show current films that are subtitled and audio described (for the visually impaired).
Visit Your Local Cinema to find one in your area.
There is a lot more information about SEN on the NHS Choices website at,
We are grateful to SpaceKraft, www.spacekraft.co.uk, our website sponsor.