Your Child - Education: 0 - 3

Some children with craniofacial conditions may need or benefit from extra educational support to encourage their development and learning. Here we provide some general and practical information about how to access the care your child should be entitled to. This is not an exhaustive list so please do use the links given throughout to find out more.

Ages 0-3

Many County Councils and Local Authorities offer early years support to pre-school children with special needs. This can be given in a variety of ways, either by home visits from specially trained teachers and professionals or by attending specialist groups where a range of skills are available to you and your child. Each Authority is different so you will need to make your own enquiries to establish what is available.

Areas of concern may be about general learning, speech development, vision and hearing impairments, physical development (e.g. delays in sitting, crawling, walking and problems with co-ordination), concentration, behavioural and social difficulties.

You can speak to your health visitor or doctor if you have concerns about your child's development and they should be able to refer you to the appropriate bodies. Your child will probably need to be assessed first to establish his or her needs before the relevant services are made available to them. Depending on his or her specific needs, children may need to be 6-12 months old before being referred, as it is often difficult to judge development progress until then. There may also be issues with waiting list delays so it is wise to start the process as soon as you think your child may be experiencing difficulties.

Ask about the availability of 'Portage' or specialist early years teachers, which some Local Authorities supply to children with special needs.

Contact your local Sure Start Centre (in England) to find out what services they offer there for children with special needs. There are similar early years schemes in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

To find out more information about how to access your local services, follow the links below:

» Other support services for special educational needs in under fives
» Getting help for special educational needs in under fives

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