#1
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Having a child with special needs means you're likely to start planning for the education system much earlier than you would for a child without special needs.
Every nursery and pre-school must allow children with special educational needs to attend.

They should have an SEN Policy and an Inclusion Statement in place and that you as a parent can view on request these are documents that they have put together setting out their responsibilities and procedures for children with Special Education Need's.
These are good documents to ask for as a starting point when going to view any Nursery or Pre school.

Every nursery and pre-school must also have a Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) who will co-ordinate any services your child may need.
The SENCO should take the lead in managing your child's educational needs and, ideally, should liaise between you and the nursery staff when needed.

For some children, their nursery years are when SEN issues start to emerge.
If this is the case for your child, your first point of call should be the SENCO within your nursery. Arrange a meeting with them and discuss your child's needs and how they can be met.

There are three stages of Early Years SEN help that your nursery or pre-school is obliged to follow:

Early Years Action

If your child is not meeting milestones or has SEN, staff will make an Individual Education Plan (IEP). This lists the extra support and activities that they will provide for your child and forms the basis against which your child's development is assessed.

The sort of help will depend on your child's needs. It may be:

One-on-one time
Advice from the local authority
Staff training, so they can learn new strategies to help your child meet there potential

Early Years Action Plus

If the child is still not progressing a few months after making and following their IEP, then they may be put on to Early Years Action Plus (EYA+). This is where they get additional help. The nursery may seek outside advice: for example, from a speech and language therapist or the health service.

They may also ask for visits from the Early Years Inclusion worker from your local authority.

Early Years Action Plus is also used for children who need specialist or external help due to their disabilities, such as sensory needs (hearing or sight problems).

Statutory assessment (leading to a statement of special educational needs)

The majority of children will meet their targets due to Early Years Action or Early Years Action Plus. However, if your nursery considers that your child still needs additional help or has additional needs, you may need to start thinking about getting a Statement of Special Educational Needs (also know as 'a Statement' or SEN).

The SEN is a legal document that sets out your child's special educational needs as assessed by the local authority and sets out the provision which the local authority feels is needed for your child.

You can apply for an SEN for your child once they're aged two or above.

Special needs nurseries

Some areas may have special needs nurseries, which will be set up with the equipment and staff trained to meet the needs of children with special needs. For example, they may run language groups, or groups for children with particular disabilities, and may use a lot of Makaton and sign language.

Whether your child needs a mainstream or a special needs nursery will depend on many factors – not least the availability of special needs nursery places and local authority funding often a referal from social services will help you in securing a place.
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#2
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Hi Daniel

I would like to mention Portage which really helped our son before he started nursery. In our area there is a waiting list so its best to ask about it as soon as you can. You access it through your Councils Education service. A teacher would visit us once a week and show how to help Joe learn through play and fun exercises. We found it incredibly helpful.
http://www.portage.org.uk/


Also STEPs which is part of a conductive education programme. This really helped Joe's physical development and the staff were really supportive emotionally. Would highly recommend them if you can find a similar local group.

http://www.stepscentre.org.uk/

Best wishes

Duncan
Dad to Vic 3 and Joe 5 (Dravets Syndrome and severe epilepsy, ketogenic diet)



#3
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Hi

How do you know if your child will need help. Or should i ask what do they help with?

My son doesn't go to nursery. He walks but withh difficulty. He cannot walk up and down the stairs. He wears pedro boots, falls over alot.

I'll be sending him soon. He will soon be 3. I don't know if he'll need help or not. He gets about by himself in small spaces. he is just unstable. I dont really want to send him. Everone says to send him so i can find out how he gets on, and what help he might need.

Jo x
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Have you tried maybe taking him to a play group first and just watching him to see how he copes with other little ones whizzing around? see if he can cope in a nursery type environment? or maybe take him to a nursery for settling sessions and speak to the staff about what help they may think he needs? I hated sending euan to nursery, but it did his development (especially speech development) wonders, he only went for a year though because they just could not meet all his medical needs! like i said though, it was good for him in other ways so it's deffinatly worth enquiring about.

xx
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(11-13-2009, 06:02 PM)Lucy Wrote: Have you tried maybe taking him to a play group first and just watching him to see how he copes with other little ones whizzing around? see if he can cope in a nursery type environment? or maybe take him to a nursery for settling sessions and speak to the staff about what help they may think he needs? I hated sending euan to nursery, but it did his development (especially speech development) wonders, he only went for a year though because they just could not meet all his medical needs! like i said though, it was good for him in other ways so it's deffinatly worth enquiring about.

xx

Hi Lucy,

I'm goning to take him to one next tuesday. I'll see how he gets on. I didn't think about all the other children whizzing around. Theres a play group around the corner. Thanks for the advice. I've also put his name down to go to nursery. I'm dreading it.

xx


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