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.
For children of school age (5 and above), there are various government and Local Authority initiatives in place to help children with special needs to access the full curriculum within a mainstream school setting.
If what is offered by way of support seems insufficient to your child then you or your child's school may decide to apply for a Statement of Special Educational Needs. The school often initiates this but parents and carers are also able to apply if they feel it is necessary and the school is not willing to for any reason.
A Statement of Special Educational Needs when awarded provides the school with additional funds with which to employ extra staff to help children access the areas of the curriculum, which are, for whatever reason, difficult for them. Normally it would set out the specific areas of need and allocate resources to suit each child. Some may have additional support for a few hours each week, with others qualifying for more and perhaps even full-time support.
The process involves providing lots of information about your child's needs, to be accompanied by various professional assessments of his or her learning needs and/or medical conditions (Local Authorities will not generally issue a Statement on medical grounds alone unless the impact on accessing the curriculum is seriously impaired).
If you believe that your child needs more support than a mainstream setting can offer, you can apply to access a 'Special' school. In order to do this a Statement may already have to be in place. Although Local Authorities tend to have an 'inclusion' policy into mainstream, some children may need to access a more specialised environment.
Most professionals do not meet more than one or two children with a craniofacial condition during their professional life. Craniofacial children present differing needs and, as parents, we become the experts!
» Click here for more information on Statements of Special Educational Needs
Please also see the booklet on Special Educational Needs - A Guide for Parents and Carers (by Department for Children, School and Families 2009)
Parent Partnership is a charity, which is set up to help parents and carers go through the process of applying for a Statement of Special Educational Needs. If you are interested in finding out more please click here. They offer excellent support and information to parents, including assistance in filling out the necessary forms and have offices throughout various regions.
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