Helping your child to learn

Find out what additional support may be available to help your child if you are concerned about their development.

Is something not as expected?

All children are individual and will develop at different rates. However, to get a general idea, ‘milestones’ are used to help track your child’s development and to give an indication as to whether they are progressing at a ‘typical’ rate.

As a general rule, if you are worried about your child's development, your GP, Health Visitor or child's education setting will be best placed to offer you advice and support. 

Is my child developing at the expected rate? 

As a starting point, you may find the What to Expect When guide helpful.

The information here will give you an indication as to whether your child is developing at the expected rate.

Who can I talk to if I am concerned about my child’s development? 

My child is under 5 years old

If your child is in an education setting you should speak to their key person or the SENCO (Special Educational Needs Coordinator). They may share your concerns and suggest that you request a referral from your GP to a specialist or decide to monitor progress more closely.

Speak to your Health Visitor or GP (Doctor). They may share your concerns and make a referral to a child specialist i.e. a community paediatrician for further investigation.

You should ask about the additional support the setting can put in place for your child.

My child is over 5 years old and in school

You should speak to your child’s class teacher or the school SENCo (Special Educational Needs Coordinator).

What should my child's Early Years setting do?

All early years providers are required to have arrangements in place to identify and support children with SEND and to promote equality of opportunity for children in their care.

These requirements are set out in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework.  The framework also requires practitioners to review children’s progress and share a summary with parents.

How are parents involved?

Parents need to be involved in all aspects of the decision making process, and to achieve this, Early Years providers need to work closely with families to ensure co-production.

If you have concerns about your child’s development you should in the first instance talk to their child’s key person in the setting, who should involve the setting SENCo in planning the best course of action. This could include:

  • Making more focused observations of the child
  • Checking developmental milestones against developmental expectations
  • Putting into place some targeted opportunities or activities

Information around special educational needs provision must be shared with all parents as well as regular updates on progress of children.  Any decision to involve specialists needs to be taken with parents.

If your child is identified by the setting as having SEND you should be contacted as soon as possible. This early conversation is probably going to be with your child's key worker rather than the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo).

The SENCo in the setting is responsible for ensuring that appropriate systems are in place to meet your child's needs, whilst being on hand to offer advice and support to parents when required.

What sort of help might my child get?

The help your child may receive could include:

  • a special learning programme or additional activities
  • extra help from an adult
  • working in a small group
  • help to take part in large group activities
  • extra encouragement in their learning – for example, to ask questions or to try something new
  • help to communicate and interact with other children

A referral to the Inclusion Team or the Educational Psychology Service may support the development of a more global view of your child.

What to do if I feel my concerns are not being listened to?

If your setting is not concerned about your child but you still are, you might want to contact SENDIASS Rutland  – this service offers free, confidential and impartial advice and support to parents and carers who have children and young people (up to the age of 25) with SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities). 

Other useful websites include:

  • Independent Adviser of Special Education Advice
  • Special Needs Jungle
  • Council for Disabled Children
  • The Communication Trust - Early Years
  • National Autistic Society

Please always speak to your child's school or setting in the first instance, however if you need further information, please contact the SEND service at Rutland County Council via:

send@rutland.gov.uk or 01572 758280.