What Support Can I Get if My Child has Special Education Needs?

Did you know that if your child has Special Education Needs, you may be able to get extra support?


A child is seen as having Special Education Needs (SEN) if he or she “has a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special education provision to be made to him or her”.

A child is considered to have a learning disability if he or she has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than most others of the same age or if he or she has a disability which prevents or limits them from using facilities which are generally provided for others of the same age.

Some examples of SEN are:
  • emotional and behavioral difficulties; EBD
  • Autism, including Asperger Syndrome; ASD
  • Attention Deficit (Hyperactivity) Disorder; ADHD
  • specific learning difficulties such as Dyslexia;
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder; OCD
  • communication difficulties;
  • medical needs such as Epilepsy and Cerebral Palsy;
  • mobility difficulties.
If your child has SEN, they may need extra help in a range of areas, for example:
  • reading, writing, number work or understanding information;
  • expressing themselves or understanding what others are saying;
  • making friends or relating to adults;
  • behaving well in school;
  • organizing themselves;
  • Sensory or physical needs which may affect them in school.
If you think your child may have special educational needs and would like to have more support, you can:

To see the types of SEN support your child could receive, visit the GOV.UK section on SEN support.

If you think your child needs more support than their school provides, you can apply for an education, health and care plan (EHCP) which identifies educational, health and social needs and sets out the additional support to meet those needs.

To request an EHCP assessment:
  • ask your local authority to carry out an assessment if you think your child needs an EHCP.
  • if you are aged between16 to 25, you can request an assessment yourself.
  • a request can also be made by anyone else who thinks an assessment is necessary, including doctors, health visitors, teachers, parents and family friends.
If they decide to carry out an assessment you may be asked for:
  • any reports from your child’s school, nursery or childminder;
  • doctor’s assessments of your child; and
  • a letter from you about your child’s needs.

The school will then need to have an education physiologist report done for clear diagnoses of SEN and the child adolescents’ mental services CAMHS may be involved for further diagnosis.

If your child is eligible for an EHCP you may be able to receive a personal budget for your child this can be spent in one or more of the following ways:
  • direct payments made into your account to buy and manage services yourself;
  • an arrangement with your local authority or school where they hold the money but you decide how to spend it; or
  • a third party arrangement where you choose someone else to manage the money for you.
  • you can apply for your child to claim DLA disability living allowance or PIP Personal Independence Payment
If you want more advice on Special Education Needs and Education, Health and Care Plans, contact:
Child Law Advice

Provides specialist advice and information on child, family and education law to parents, carers and young people.

Visit website

Council for Disabled Children

Provides list of resources and support for disabled people, young people and those with special education needs.

Visit website


Provides specialist advice and information on child, family and education law to parents, carers and young people.

Visit website

Right to Choose

Should you decide the waiting time for your ADHD assessment is too long, then you can choose alternative providers to acquire a faster diagnosis. Evolve Psychology have two clinics based in Harrogate, North Yorkshire and Huddersfield, West Yorkshire and offer Right To Choose assessments for ADHD and Autism (or both as a combined neurodevelopmental assessment) for children/ young people up to the age of 19 who are in education.


Right to choose

Evolve Psychology 


Friends, Families and Travellers

We provide advocacy casework, advice and information to Gypsies and Travellers on our national helpline.

Call 01273 234 777. Our helpline is open Monday to Friday from 10am to 4.30pm, with the exception of bank holidays.

This is for information only. FFT does not endorse any organisation shared on the FFT website.

Correct as of January 2024.

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