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SEND Pre-Diagnosis - Are you Concerned about your child?

As a parent you know your child best and will be aware of how he or she is growing and developing.

Sometimes as a parent, you may become concerned about your child’s development and, when this is the case, it is helpful to know who you can go to for support.

Certain disabilities cannot be seen so it may be worth writing down your observations, that way you can remember exactly what you saw or felt, and you'll be able to tell whether what you saw improves or worsens.

Updated October 2020

What do I do Next?

If your child is aged 0 – 5 years go and see your GP, you can ask for a referral to a child specialist. You may want to talk to your health visitor first or if your child is at nursery or pre-school it may be worth speaking to their Practitioner to see if they have any concerns about your child.

To find information about Baby Clinics and Health Visitors in your area and how to access them, click on the link:Baby Clinics

If you are still not happy and don’t feel that you are moving forward there is an alternative route.

Parenting Special Children offer Pre and Post Diagnosis Support from their Diagnosis Support Service (DSS). They are a local charity and also run various workshops & parenting programmes.

Email or telephone for a chat and /or information. DSS will also help you in deciding ‘what to do next’. Tel: 0118 9863532 email: or


What if my child is at Primary School

You should visit your GP either to eliminate anything underlying or to get a referrral for specialist support. Speak to your child’s class teacher to find out if there are any concerns in school. Depending on the outcome the teacher may recommend that you meet with the school SENCo.                                                                               

If need be your school can request a statutory assessment .

If your school is not concerned about your child but you still are, you have the right to request a statutory assessment yourself through the Special Educational Needs team at your local authority. If you are still not satisfied contact Reading Information, Advice & Support Service for SEND (formerly Parent Partnership).

Reading Information, Advice & Support Service for SEND offers free confidential and impartial advice and support to Reading parents and carers who have children (up to the age of 19) with special educational needs. The service also offers all parents (whether the child has special educational needs or not) advice and support with secondary transfer. This service operates term time only and can be contacted as follows: Tel: 0118 937 3421 Email:                            

For advice about secondary transfer call 0118 937 3421 or email


What if my child is at Secondary School

You should speak to your child’s Head of Year and your Schools’ Senco. Again, if you feel you are getting nowhere contact Reading Information, Advice & Support Service for SEND on 0118 937 3421 or email   



What is a SENCo?

All schools have a Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo).

A SENCo is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the school's SEN policy. All mainstream schools and early years settings must appoint a teacher to be their SENCo.


What is the role of a SENCo

The SENCo will co-ordinate additional support for pupils with SEN and liaise with their parents, teachers and other professionals who are involved with them.

A SENCo is responsible, in schools and early education settings, for the operation of the SEN policy and coordination of provision for children with learning difficulties. In conjunction with the headteacher at the school, and the governing body, a SENCo will be seeking to develop effective ways of overcoming barriers to learning and sustaining effective teaching to meet pupils’ needs.

The SENCo has responsibility for requesting the involvement of an Educational Psychologist and other external services. A Senco may also refer you to a paediatrician who specializes in developmental issues.

If you think your child has a language or communication delay, you can also go directly to a Speech & Language Therapist for more information and advice. This can be found by contacting your local Children’s Centre. To find your local Childrens Centre click here Children's Centre's


Where can I find information on Local Offer

 The Local Offer is part of the Reading Services Guide which offers you a good, easy to use searchable website where you will find information on short breaks, leisure activities, support services, schools, Ofsted registered childcare and much more…Sign up to our SEND Local Offer Newsletter which is published three times a year.

To be included in the SEND Local Offer mailing list Email:  or Tel: 0118 9373777 (Option 2)