The Service can support any child between birth and entry into full time school where learning development is delayed, or where a diagnosis indicates that there will be special educational needs.
The support provided depends on the child’s age, level of additional need, and on the kind of help and support that the parents want. This could include home visiting, a place in a specialist nursery, an enhanced nursery or outreach support or monitoring. (These provisions are described in other leaflets, which you can get by contacting the Service on 01384-814364).
There is a Head of Service, a deputy, ten teachers and a team of specialist teaching assistants. All staff are specially trained and experienced in working with children with special needs.
The specialist staff will contact and work with other professionals who are also involved with children with special needs (e.g. health visitors, speech & language therapists, physiotherapists, etc)
Support staff may change over time, depending on the support your child needs.
Usually children are referred by a paediatrician, or by speech and language therapists, health visitors or any other professional who work with children.
They will always make sure that parents are happy for the referral to be made and obtain their signature on the referral form, where there is also space for parental comments.
You can, however, ask your doctor or health visitor to refer your child, or you may wish to contact the Head of Service to make this referral yourself.
One of the specialist team will visit the child at home or nursery, to determine what kind of help we can offer. Once this has been agreed, the child will continue to receive help for as long as he/she needs to, until full time school age. When necessary, the teacher will then liaise with school staff to ensure a smooth transfer.
We believe that in the early years, parents know their children best; we will therefore always work in co-operation with parents, and in accordance with their wishes wherever possible.