What can I do if I think my child has special educational needs or a disability?

  • If your child is of pre-school age talk to your health visitor or doctor.
  • If your child is already attending or about to start a pre-school, such as a nursery or play group, discuss your concerns with the SENCO (Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator).  If your child is under 5 and has been identified as needing specialist provision, the health service will inform us as well as giving you information about support services.
  • If your child is attending school talk to their teacher, the SENCO (Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator), or the headteacher.
  • If you need advice, Wiltshire Council SEND service offer a Single Point of Contact (SPOC) for any queries or further information.

Whatever the age of your child you can also contact the Parent Partnership Service.

What can I do to help?

You are central to the experiences your child has. You can help your child by involving them in everyday things. It may seem obvious but this could really help them to learn. For example you could

  • share books with each other.
  • talk and listen to each other.
  • involve them in family activities and encourage them to take on responsibility for doing certain jobs around the house.
  • play games to help develop good social relationships and self confidence.

Remember to be realistic with your expectations on your child. It is very important that you encourage and praise your child for what they achieve.

You can also help your child by working as a partner in their education. For example you should

  • keep in regular contact with the early years setting or school and discus how you can supportyour child’s learning.
  • always contact the early years setting or school if you have any concerns or questions about your child’s education.
  • ask for an explanation if you are unsure about what people are saying -the Jargon Buster  page an help with this.
  • attend parents’ evenings, concerts, class assemblies, etc. whenever possible – let your child know you are interested in what they are doing at school.

Share all the relevant information with your child’s pre-school or school and other professionals involved, after all, you know your child better than anyone.

You could also

  • find out as much as you can about special educational needs.
  • offer to help in the school, if you can.
  • encourage your child to take part in activities/clubs outside of the normal curriculum.
  • ask to see the early years setting or school’s policy on SEN.
  • ask for support and advice from a parents’ group or voluntary organisation. Contact Wiltshire’s Parent Partnership Service for more information.
  • ask the school for copies of any targets your child has been set and of any reviews held.
What happens if my child has Special Educational Needs?

Our aim is to ensure that children and young people with SEND in Wiltshire have their needs met, effectively and quickly, and as close to their homes as possible.   The Local Offer website aims to help people find a range of services and information available to them locally.

All special arrangements made by pre-school settings, schools or the local authority for meeting special educational needs, are guided by SEND Code of Practice 2014. This is a document produced by central government, the Department for Children, Schools and Families. It provides information about what you can expect from schools as well as from your local authority. Where the Code of Practice refers to the local authority, this means the Department for Children and Education (DCE) of Wiltshire Council.

Additional guidance on identifying and providing for children/ young people with SEN in Wiltshire, can be found in the

We want to work in partnership with parents and carers. If we become directly involved with your child, we will need your assistance. Your views about your child’s needs are particularly important

Cartoon representation of Wiltshire
Wiltshire Council