Finding out that your child has a special educational need or disability (SEND) can be a confusing and emotional time for parents. While some may receive a specific diagnosis, others may be told their child has an additional need or global developmental delay. In some cases you may never receive a specific diagnosis at all.
As well as dealing with your own emotions and concerns for the future, you may also need to offer support and advice to other family members such as partners, children and grandparents. You will come into contact with a number of different professionals during this time. At some stage you will want to find out more about your child's condition and learning disability itself.
One of the biggest challenges is coming to terms with the fact your child's future will be different to the way you imagined it. Getting in touch with national and local organisations, support groups and other families can help you to deal with a diagnosis. It can also be a valuable source of support and advice.
It's also important to remember that, with time, your emotions will become easier to manage. Many parents report that after a diagnosis they discovered qualities of strength, determination and positivity that they didn't even know they had.
If it has been identified that your child or young person requires additional support on a long-term basis, view this criteria and guidance which explains the process that your child or young persons school setting will follow and guidance around how this will be assessed and the support provided, if applicable.