Some children with more complex 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.
If you are not already accessing additional support by the time your child is 3, then many of the initiatives mentioned under the heading 'Ages 0-3' should still be available to you.
Once your child has reached nursery age (3-4 years old), s/he may attend a state or privately funded nursery. You may feel that your child will need additional support at the nursery to access the full range of activities. Speak to the Special Needs Co-Ordinator (SENCO) at the nurseries you visit to establish how they can best help to look after your child. Some are better than others at looking after children with special needs and at accessing the funding which might be available to employ additional staff to help. Your child may qualify, for example, for one on one support for some or all of the time and the nursery can play a role in handling the relevant paperwork and accessing this for you.
Depending on the needs of your child, you may be interested in a place at a dedicated special needs nursery or in a special needs group rather than in the full mainstream system. Most areas offer this but your child will need to have been assessed first.
If your child has had input from many 'professionals' up to this stage then it could be worth asking the question about having a Statutory Assessment undertaken at pre-school stage (this can be applied for by the parent, GP, paediatrician or any of the pre-school advisory team). If appropriate, a Statement of Special Educational Needs could be in place prior to starting infant school. Starting the process once a child is already in school can be more difficult, especially if the school are seemingly 'coping'.
However, not all children with special needs will require the support of a Statement of Special Educational Needs, as it really depends on how successfully they can access the curriculum and the activities of the school as to whether they would be eligible for or even want the extra support.
If you are interested in knowing more, please go to the section in Education for School-Aged Children for more information and links to support/advisory groups.
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