Children with special educational needs and disabilities will need support from different health services at different stages of their lives. Descriptions of health professionals who may be involved in healthcare for children and young people with disabilities are shown below.

Getting a diagnosis

When you identify that you have a concern about your child's health or development you should visit or speak to your GP, midwife, health visitor or school nurse.

They may refer you to a health professional or team who may specialise in assessing and diagnosing child health problems. These specialists will complete a more in-depth assessment.

Some of the health professionals involved in your child's assessment may include:

  • a paediatrician - a doctor who specialises in treating children
  • a speech and language therapist - a specialist in recognising and treating communication and/or eating and swallowing problems
  • an occupational therapist - a specialist in sensory, functional and everyday life skills
  • a physiotherapist - a specialist in motor development and physical problems
  • CAMHS - specialist NHS mental health services that focus on the emotional or behavioural needs of children and young people. They are multidisciplinary teams
  • a psychologist - a health professional with a psychology degree, plus further training and qualifications in psychology
  • a psychiatrist - a medically qualified doctor with further training in psychiatry

Once the specialist has completed their assessment they may be able to diagnose the problem themselves, refer to another specialist for their assessment or send your child for tests or investigations. The specialist will explain fully to you their decision and the next steps. Some health problems are easily identified, others are more complex and need more in-depth assessments and investigations.

For many children with special educational needs there is not a specific diagnosis to be made, rather a list of strengths and difficulties, and help should be targeted at the difficulties. An accurate assessment of these difficulties is therefore important and may involve several professionals from health as well as other services such as education and social care.

The priority is to meet the needs of your child, rather than rush to a diagnosis (unless the diagnosis is obvious). Your child can access interventions and services without a confirmed diagnosis. Some of these services are included in the Local Offer. The health professional involved in your child's care will provide you with information to help you to understand fully.

Further information

A-Z search for conditions, symptoms and more
Mental Health Services
Children and families mental health services Kirklees
Website Who do they help
The initial contact point for those who have concerns about a child or young person's emotional or mental health in Kirklees.
A service working with children and young people up to the age of 18 experiencing difficulties with their emotional wellbeing, their families, carers and other professionals involved in their care.
Emotional Wellbeing Service, supporting young people aged 5-18 who's emotional and mental health difficulties are impacting on their day to day lives, to help them back to health.
Help families with young children deal with the challenges they face. We support parents as they learn to cope, improve their confidence and build better lives for their children.
Supporting the mental and emotional health of children and young people.
A children's mental health charity.
Emotional support, counselling and therapeutic play for children and young people aged 3-21 years.
The UK's leading charity committed to improving the emotional wellbeing and mental health of children and young people.
Young people can attend the Wrenthorpe Centre from 11 to 16 years of age if they have a medical condition which prevents them from attending their usual school/academy. Referrals are made by a medical consultant.
An innovative recovery college designed to support local people aged 18 years and over in their recovery from mental and physical ill-health.
A directory of local mental health services for all ages.
Mental health support for adults.
Physiotherapists, occupational therapists and speech and language therapists
Alternative therapies

Complementary and alternative medicines are treatments that fall outside of mainstream healthcare.

These medicines and treatments range from acupuncture and homeopathy to aromatherapy, meditation and colonic irrigation.

Health services in Kirklees

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