What advice is available to support parents and carers of children and young people who have, or may have, special educational needs and disabilities.
- If you're concerned about a child's safety or wellbeing, you can make a referral to First Response or phone them on 0117 903 6444.
- If you're concerned about your child's learning and progress at their education setting, talk to your child's teacher or the school's SENDCO. The Ordinarily Available Provision has more information about support schools should be able to offer.
- If you need information or advice about early support for your child's additional needs, phone FLORA on 0117 352 6020, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- If you have a question about how to ask for an EHC plan, phone us on 0117 922 3700.
- If you need independent information and advice, phone SEND And You (SAY) on 0117 989 7725.
Support in Bristol
Families, Local Offer, Resources and Advice (FLORA)
The FLORA team provide information and advice for children and young people with additional needs and their parents and carers.
For more information, email email@example.com with your name and phone number. The team will contact you within 5 working days.
You can also call FLORA on 0117 352 6020. They're open:
- Monday, 8:30am to 5pm
- Tuesday, 8:30am to 5pm
- Wednesday, 10:30am to 8pm
- Thursday, 8:30am to 5pm
- Friday, 8:30am to 4:30pm
Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Independent Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS) Go to http://www.supportiveparents.org.uk (opens new window)
SEND And You (SAY) provides independent advice and support on things that relate to a child or young person's special educational needs or disabilities. It's free, confidential and impartial, and is for:
- parents and carers of children with special educational needs or disabilities
- children and young people with with special educational needs or disabilities
They're open Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 4.30pm.
The Council for Disabled Children's introduction to the information advice and support service Go to https://youtu.be/54R4cDbX6L8 (opens new window) has more detail about the different types of support on offer.
Children and young people with SEND can use the service independently to ensure their views are shared, they understand educational processes and can contribute to decisions about their future.
Parents and carers with parental responsibility can use the service to understand the rights, processes and policies in place for children and young people with SEND and for support in voicing their views.
Information, advice and support may include:
- statutory work, which may lead to an education, health and care (EHC) plan
- concerns and getting help early
- SEND support in schools
- accessing services to support education
- signposting to other services
- disagreement resolution
We offer family learning courses about autism.
We also offer parenting courses for all parents about:
- young children
- challenging behaviour
- involvement in the criminal justice system
A participation group for families with children and young people with disabilities and special needs to help influence how services are run.
Carers Support Centre Go to https://www.carerssupportcentre.org.uk/our-services/parent-carers/ (opens new window)
Carers Support Centre offers a range of services for parent carers with a child age 18 or younger. These include practical and emotional support, advice and information.
HappyMaps is for parents to find useful resources on behaviour and mental health for their children, from babies to young adults. There is general national information and also local information on counselling, charities, local CAMHS (Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services) and parenting groups for the South West.
Helps families have their voice heard in decisions about health and social care services.
A not-for-profit social enterprise providing information, support and training for parents and carers of autistic children in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire. You do not need a diagnosis of autism to access the support.
Off The Record for parents Go to https://www.otrbristol.org.uk/parents-and-professionals/ (opens new window)
Mental health support. Find a downloadable parents' pack, local parent carer support group and helpline.
A collection of resources created by a local mother of an autistic child.
Supports families with a deaf child or a deaf parent. They run a range of activities, including family sessions, a kids club, a youth club, family sign language tuition.
Local charity that deals with the health and education of children and young people who have Down Syndrome. They offer support to children and young people, their parents/carers and all linked professionals.
Murmuration Community Therapy Go to https://murmurationcommunitytherapy.weebly.com (opens new window)
Murmuration sets up nurture groups, which are small groups for 6 to 8 SEND parents nurturing connection and belonging, starting with an 8 week mental wellness course. Murmuration supports each group to continue as they wish, being there for each other as friends, connecting as families or continuing to meet as a group.
Your child could be at pre-diagnosis stage or you could be years into the journey. All are welcome, whatever the disability or neurodivergence.
New groups start regularly throughout the year, sometimes with specific parent groups. Get in touch to learn more and join the waiting list for the next start dates:
- email firstname.lastname@example.org
- text 07792 189 909
Advice, information and support for parents of disabled children, whatever their health condition. They also bring families together so they can support each other.
Guide Dogs provide services for children, young people and families. Find support:
- for your family
- to guide your child through school
- with assistive technology and sensory toys
- to help your child read
- for help with early diagnosis
- to develop life skills
- to get out and about safely
You can visit their website or call them on 0800 781 1444 or email on email@example.com
Supports families with children affected by a neurological condition aged under 17 years. For example: neuro-genetic conditions, Cerebral Palsy, Epilepsy, Developmental Delay, Autism, ADHD, Learning Difficulties.
Children's Education Advisory Service (CEAS) Go to https://www.gov.uk/government/groups/the-childrens-education-advisory-service-ceas (opens new window)
Provides advice to service and MOD families about the education of service children, including issues relating to SEND.
Supports children, young people and adults with sensory impairment, and their families. The people we support are deafblind, or sometimes have single sensory impairment with additional needs and/or multi sensory impairment.
The only charity dedicated to the bowel and bladder health of all children and teenagers in the UK. They provide expert support, information and understanding to children, teenagers, parents, carers and professionals.
The IPSEA helpline operates as a call back service, offering 30 minute telephone advice sessions.
Offers a phone service called Navigate Go to https://www.scope.org.uk/family-services/navigate/ (opens new window) that provides support at the start of your journey as a parent of a disabled child. It's a 6 week programme that aims to put you in touch with a personal advisor, helping you to talk about your feelings and concerns.
Phone them on 0808 801 0510. They're open:
- Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm
- Saturday, 9am to 12pm
Scope Disability Energy Support
Scope's Disability Energy Support service provides free energy advice to any household where a disabled person lives across England and Wales.
Book an appointment at Scope Disability Energy Support Go to http://www.scope.org.uk/disability-energy-support (opens new window).
Freephone: 0808 801 0828, Monday to Friday 11am to 4pm, excluding bank holidays.
Information about benefits and financial help for disabled people with disabilities.
Disabled Children's Partnership Go to https://www.mencap.org.uk/get-involved/campaign-mencap/disabled-childrens-partnership (opens new window)
A group of 60 disability and children's organisations campaigning for improved health and social care.
AccessAble publish accessibility information for places of interest in the UK and the Republic of Ireland. They have accessibility information about venues in Bristol Go to https://www.accessable.co.uk/organisations/bristol-city-council/access_guides (opens new window).
Provides support and services for autistic people (including those with Asperger's syndrome), their parents and carers, and professionals.
A national support service for deaf and hard of hearing children.
Provides emotional and practical support to families who have a child with life-threatening or terminal illness. They support seriously ill children, up to the age of 18 with a life threatening or terminal condition, and their families in the family home and local community.
Referrals can come from any source. They enable families to manage everyday life whilst caring for a sick child and to make the most of time together.
Call 01249 705881 to find out about the services in the South West.
A leading support and research charity for people with Tourette Syndrome and their families.
Provides support to people who grow up with, or have grown up with, a disabled brother or sister.
Offers a childhood stroke support service, providing information, advice and networking events to families affected by stroke in childhood. Contact them online or call 0303 3033 100.
provides a number of free to download resources, which contain practical information and advice for parents and carers who have a child with nystagmus.
The Listening Ear is from the charity Contact (for families with disabled children). They offer one to one telephone appointments with a family support adviser for parent carers looking for a listening ear, reassurance and practical and emotional support.
The educational psychology team have created 3 videos with psychologist Ross McIntosh to support parents and carers with their wellbeing.
View the videos on our YouTube playlist: