Advice and support for families of children with special educational needs and disabilities

Support for families with children who have SEND

What advice is available to support parents and carers of children and young people with who have, or may have, special educational needs and disabilities

If you know of any organisations that should be on this list please let us know by emailing us at or using our feedback form.

If you don’t live in Bristol, you can find local information and advice by going to the national Information, Advice and Support Services network.

Local support groups

Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Independent Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS) (provided by Supportive Parents)     

Provides free, independent advice and support for:

  • parents and carers of children with special educational needs or disabilities
  • children and young people with with special educational needs or disabilities

They are open Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 4.30pm.


Information and advice for families with disabled children, whatever their condition or disability. They also bring families together so they can support each other.

Bristol Parent Carers

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 

This is a group in Bristol for parents and carers living in Bristol and South Gloucestershire.

Supportive Parents 

Offers advice about your rights and what you can do about:

  • problems with your child’s school 
  • your child being excluded from school 
  • disability discrimination


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 SouthWest. 

Healthwatch Bristol 

Helps families have their voice heard in decisions about health and social care services.

Bristol Autism Support (BAS)

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.


A charity raising awareness and understanding of the specific difficulties females with autism can face.

First Response

A helpline for a range of issues. If you are concerned about the wellbeing of a child or young person or think they need support, you can call the First Response team on 0117 903 6444.

National support 


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)

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 Family Centre (Deaf Children) 

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. 


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.

Independent Parental Special Educational Advice

The IPSEA helpline operates as a call back service, offering 30 minute telephone advice sessions.


Offers a face to face service that connects parents of disabled children for emotional and practical support. The scheme operates across the UK and any parent of a disabled child may use their local scheme, even if their child hasn’t been diagnosed.


Information about benefits and financial help for disabled people with disabilities.

Disabled Children’s Partnership 

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 a page for accessibility information about venues in Bristol.


Advice on daily living equipment, for example using and transferring disabled children in and out of baths.

National Autistic Society

Provides support and services for autistic people (including those with Asperger syndrome), their parents and carers, and professionals.

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