If something is not as expected with your child

All children are individual and will develop at different rates. To get a general idea ‘milestones’ are used. These help track your child’s development and show whether they are progressing at a ‘typical’ rate.

If you are worried about your child's development, your GP, Health Visitor or child's education setting will usually be best placed to offer you advice and support.

Is my child developing at the expected rate?

View the NHS website's page about your baby's health and development. The information here will show 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 five years old

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

If your child is in an education setting you should speak to their key person or the SENDCo (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities 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.

My child is over five years old

Speak to your child or young person’s class teacher or SENDCo (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Coordinator). They may share your concerns and recommend that you speak to your GP about a referral to a specialist for further investigation.

You should ask about the additional support that the education setting can put in place to support your child’s development. Further information about the support that schools must put in place for pupils with SEND can be found on our page about education settings for children with SEND.

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

If your school is not concerned about your child but you still are, you can contact Southampton Information, Advice and Support Service. This service offers free confidential and impartial advice and support to Southampton parents and carers who have children and young people (up to the age of 25) with SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disability).

There are many local organisations and support groups that you can speak to for advice, support and guidance. View parent and carer support groups.