Local support groups

There are local support groups within Oxfordshire that you can access whilst you are waiting for an assessment:

Bicester Autism/ ADHD


Is a local support group which consists of parents of special needs children. They meet a few times a month and meetings are very informal. Everyone is welcome whether there is a diagnosis or not. Their aim is to raise awareness and increase understanding in the community.

SHIFT Abingdon


Are an informal group of parents and carers of children with special needs. They meet in the corner suite at Christchurch, Northcourt road, Abingdon. They get together fortnightly in term time to chat about the joys and difficulties of parenting a child with special needs. Sometimes they have professionals and organisations visit for an informal chat and provide more information about their service. There is always coffee, chat and cake with a friendly welcome.

Oxfordshire Family Support Network

Oxfordshire Family Support Network – www.oxfsn.org.uk

OxFSN provides information, advice and support to families of children, young people and adults with learning disabilities

Support at school

If the SENSS team are not already involved, the school could contact them for this to happen. The SENSS team can work with all children with social communication difficulties, including those without a diagnosis; contact details and a wealth of information can be found at http://schools.oxfordshire.gov.uk/cms/content/contact-senss

If the school believe further funding is required to meet your child’s needs, they can start the EHCP assessment process without a diagnosis as the behavioural and educational needs are already existent and current legislation highlights how the process should not be delayed whilst waiting further assessments; part of the process also requires an educational psychologist assessment which can occur whilst you are waiting for the wider neuro-developmental assessment.

  • SENSS Central – 01865 323070
  • SENSS South – 01865 323070
  • SENSS North – 01865 816970

Oxfordshire ADHD protocol

Oxfordshire has developed the ADHD protocol which highlights behavioural management as the first line of treatment for ADHD symptoms; school can follow the framework, if not already doing so: https://schools.oxfordshire.gov.uk/cms/sites/schools/files/folders/documents/SEN/adhd/ADHDprotocol.pdf

Social care

Sometimes additional help is needed for you, your child and family to help cope with the demands that are being faced by having a child with additional needs, this additional help may require the support of other services.

Community Professionals can make a referral into social care by using an EHA (Early Help Assessment) or as a parent you can contact the MASH (Multi Agency safeguarding hub) – 0345 050 7666, where a MASH worker will support you to identify a trusted professional who could lead on an EHA. The MASH worker will ask you, as the parent, for consent to pass this information to your area LCSS (Locality and Community Support Service) to support the professional with the EHA process.

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Page last reviewed: 7 September, 2021