Think you need help now?
The HeadStart support and guidance site is not designed to support young people in a crisis situation. Please click here for help on what to do in a crisis or emergency.
Here are the resources we found for special educational needs for parents and families:
I am a Student with a Learning Disability
A notecard confession video from a graduate student with a learning disability. People with a learning disability look ‘normal’ to their peers, which is why learning disabilities are often referred to as ‘hidden’ disabilities. This student tells us how it feels to be a young person with a learning disability, the labels and emotions, the challenges and misconceptions. She goes on to explain how with the right support and adaptations, people with a learning disability can succeed and achieve just as well as their peers.
Know Your Friends with Josh & Sue
An animation providing basic information about how to stay safe and protect yourself online. This is aimed at children and young people with mild- moderate special educational needs.
8 Things Kids with Learning Disabilities Need to Hear
Having a learning disability does not mean that you aren’t smart. It means that you learn differently. This YouTube video seeks to raise awareness of the struggle faced by young people with a learning disability or special educational need in a mainstream school. Recorded by a teenage student with a learning disability this offers a unique insight into the challenges faced in school, the emotional struggles that may be experienced and suggestions on how to overcome them.
Organisation View all organisations
Contact a Family
Contact a Family is a national charity for families with disabled children and children with additional needs. The charity provides information, advice and support to families and campaigns to improve their circumstances, and for their right to be included and equal in society.
Independent Parental Special Education Advice
Independent Parental Special Education Advice (known as IPSEA) is a registered charity. IPSEA offers free and independent legally based information, advice and support to help get the right education for children and young people with all kinds of special educational needs (SEN) and disabilities.
Dimensions have been offering support packages for people with learning disabilities and autism for nearly 40 years. Whether this is a few hours a week or support for complex and profound difficulties, they have been there. They believe at putting people at the heart of what they do and continuously strive to give people with learning difficulties and autism the best integration within their communities.
Wolverhampton Information, Advice and Support Service
The Wolverhampton Information, Advice and Support Service offers impartial information, advice and support on matters relating to a child or young person’s special educational needs or disability from birth to 25 years. Wolverhampton Information, Advice and Support Service offer help on a variety of topics including; education, health and social care matters and relevant law, support available in schools, early years and post 16 settings, funding arrangements, how needs are identified and met, and disagreements and moving forward.
Webpage View all webpages
This page from the Black Country CAMHS website explores challenging behaviour in young people, and provides helpful advice and support about the issue.
This is a free to access resource, with no download, login or subscription requirements. This is an information sheet giving the reader information about learning difficulties, it includes what is meant by the term learning difficulties, and what can be done to help those who are living with a learning difficulties.
Moving on to secondary school for young people with learning disabilities or special educational needs
The move from primary to secondary education can be stressful for any young person. It can be especially difficult for people with learning disabilities or people with special educational needs (SEN). This page contains a series of guides for pupils, parents and teachers on supporting young people with special educational needs in making a successful transition.
Advice If Your Disabled Child is Bullied
Children are more likely to be bullied if they are vulnerable in some way. Disabled children and children with additional needs are more likely to be bullied than their peers. People’s assumptions and prejudices about disability can make disabled children more vulnerable to bullying for a number of reasons. However, not all disabled children are bullied so try not to worry. This webpage gives details of how to be prepared in case it bullying does happen.
Download View all downloads
Education, Health and Care Needs Assessments
Information sheet for parents with a child who has special educational needs. An Education, Health and Care (EHC) needs assessment is the first step to getting an Education, Health and Care plan (EHC plan). It is a full investigation of a child or young person’s education, health and social care needs. It is a legal process carried out by the local authority where a child lives.
Growing up, Sex and Relationships
This guide looks at how being disabled might impact on issues around sex and relationships. The term disabled children is used to include children who are affected by any type of impairment, special educational need, health or genetic condition or developmental delay. It offers guidance on what parents can do to support their child as they grow into young adults and start to form intimate relationships.
A guide to financial matters for families with a child with additional needs. This booklet includes information on disability and sickness benefits, financial help at school and at home, transport costs, grants and other financial assistance you may be eligible for.
Support for Children and Young People in Education
Information and support for children and young people with special education needs and disability and their parents in Wolverhampton. This leaflet is designed to inform you how schools, settings and other services in Wolverhampton support children and young people with special educational needs and or a disability and how you will be involved.
Blog / personal article
Guides for pupils with learning disabilities, their parents and teachers to help smooth the transition
“Making the move from primary to secondary school can be stressful for all involved and if you are a young person with a learning disabilities or other special educational needs these stresses can be magnified”.
This post contains links to guides which aim to support young people with learning disabilities, and their parents and teachers, in making the transition as smooth as possible.
Preparing Vulnerable Children for the Holidays
In this video seminar, Dr. Pooky Knightsmith explains how to help support vulnerable young people in the run up to the summer holiday. The informative seminar is supported by downloadable handouts that help teachers and support staff make holiday plans with young people so they know what to expect, who to turn to, and what their responsibilities are during the course of the break.