Support for children with additional needs
It can be a worrying time, if you suspect your child has additional needs, related to their health or development, or if you are in the process of getting a diagnosis.
If you are worried, please don’t hesitate to contact our Parentline 0-4 TEXT 07312293081 or speak directly to your health visiting team, for example at our child health clinic or by team email. All HV team contact details can be found here: HV contact list – Health Visiting ServiceHealth Visiting Service (oxfordhealth.nhs.uk)
Health Visitors support all children and families to thrive throughout their lives, providing early help and support. We provide additional contacts for families who have a child under the age of 5 with special educational needs and/or disability, or with complex or chronic health concerns. We work closely with specialist services, such as the Community Children’s Nursing Service, Children’s Integrated Therapies, EYSENIT team, SENSS, Community Paediatrics, for example.
Health visitors are supported by a team of community staff nurses and community nursery nurses who are skilled in identifying health or development problems early and in delivering support, advice, or signposting to specialist services, to improve your child’s health and well-being
If your child’s needs are more complex your Health Visitor can play a key role in bringing together local services that can support you and the family. We will always make sure that the service we offer to you and your child is accessible.
We support parents and carers through the process of diagnosis, and also in discussing health or developmental concerns. For many parents with a child with additional needs, the support they need can vary, but commonly can be around toilet training, language development, sleep and behaviour. Our community nursery nurses provide “Episodes of care” in all these areas, and other, to support you and your family with your child’s health or development. To access nursery nurse support please contact our Parentline 0-4 TEXT 07312293081
We work according to our SEND pathway which provides additional contacts and support to families with children who have special educational needs and/or diagnosis, or where a referral has been made because of parental or professional concerns.
For children where a diagnosis of special educational need and/or disability has been made these local and national support websites can provide advice and support
Oxfordshire County Council “Local offer” is the package of support available to your child if they have a special educational need and/or disability. The local offer webpage can guide you through the services that are available to you and how you can access them. There is also updated information on activities for your child, on support groups, among other things.
Short breaks and activities for disabled children: Short breaks for disabled children | Oxfordshire County Council
SENDIASS Oxfordshire provides impartial information, advice and support to parents and carers of children with SEND, and to children and young people themselves through the CHYPSS (Children and Young People’s Partnership Service) element of SENDIASS. It promotes partnership between parent and carers, Children, Education and Families Services, schools and other agencies. Further information can be found on their website:
Oxfordshire support group for parents with a child of any age with SEND: The SEND Room | Facebook
Oxfordshire Local Offer – Support for children 0-5 with special educational needs | Oxfordshire County Council
The Family Information Directory, searches can be tailored further for needs/ location etc Family Information Service | Listings in Activities for disabled children & young people (oxfordshire.gov.uk)
Oxfordshire Parent Carers Forum Home | New OxPCF
National Autistic Society
Bild work to provide better support in the community for people with disabilities. They work to develop the skills and culture necessary to understand people’s needs and improve their quality of life.
Contact: for families with disabled children
Support, advice and information for parents with disabled children.
- helpline: 0808 808 3555
- website: Contact – for families with disabled children | Contact
- Confidential 1:1 phone support resource from Contact: for families with disabled children Listening Ear | Contact.
Cerebra: the charity supporting parents with children living with a brain condition
Cerebra have a range of parent advice leaflets here:
An organisation providing immediate help from volunteer parent support workers.
- helpline: 0808 800 2222
- website: www.familylives.org.uk
Family Rights Group
Support for parents and other family members whose children are involved with or need social care services.
- helpline: 0808 801 0366
- website: www.frg.org.uk
and general advice from the NHS for autistic children: How to help your autistic child with day-to-day life – NHS (www.nhs.uk)
Foetal Alcohol Syndrome and Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder
Adoption UK – FASD HUB
National Organisation for FASD
A helpful book for parents/carers with a child with FAS/FASD
“Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder: Parenting a child with an invisible disability” Authors: Julia BROWN and Dr Mary MATHER
Learning Disability England
Scope: the disability equality charity
Scope, is the disability equality charity in England and Wales. They provide practical information and emotional support. Information and support for parents with a child with a disability can be found here:
For families with children and young people who have an additional need ot disability
Advice for specific situations
Bladder and bowel difficulties
Diet and eating
All about Health
Easy read healthcare information for people with a learning disability, their families, carers, professionals and anyone who supports them – All About Health | (oxfsn.org.uk)
Page last reviewed: 1 December, 2023