Special Educational Needs & Disability (SEND)

Health Visitors are often the first professionals to be involved in the identification and support of early years Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND).

Hillingdon’s local offer provides information for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and their parents/carers. It allows families to see what they can expect from a range of local agencies and how to access them.

If your child has a suspected developmental need, your health visiting team can:

  • Make initial observations of a child’s needs. This may include an ASQ-3 or ASQ-SE-2 questionnaire to better understand how your child is developing.
  • Make a health referral to the community paediatrician (a specialist doctor for children) or other specialist health services like ophthalmology or audiology.
  • Make a referral to Children’s Integrated Therapy Service
  • Make a referral to your local children’s centre for support
  • Advise parents and carers on non-health services that might be helpful
  • Support the network of professionals helping a child when their needs are severe
  • Advise and support parents and explain how different health services work
  • Support you until your child is 5
  • Support with wider health needs

Ages and Stages Questionnaires (ASQs) help both you and your health visiting team understand how your child is developing, they are just one of the tools we may use but of course most important of all is what you tell us about your child.

ASQs are not a measure of how well your child is or isn't doing, as we know all children develop differently. They are something that we use together to talk about the things your child does easily, to think about any concerns you might have and how we can support you and your child with those. 

The ASQ that is used is based on the age of your child, but we may decide together that this is not right for your child and decide to use a different age or an alternative assessment tool - this is nothing to worry about - we are just making sure we use the right tool for your child.

The ASQ-3 is split into 5 different areas;

  • Communication: Your child’s language skills, both what your child understands and what he or she can say - this can be sounds, babbling or talking.
  • Gross Motor: How your child uses their arms and legs for sitting, crawling, walking, running, and other activities.
  • Fine Motor: How your child uses their hands and fingers - for example scribbling or picking up food.
  • Problem Solving: How your child plays with toys and solves problems.
  • Personal-Social: Your child’s self-help skills and how they play and interact with others.

The ASQ:SE-2 screens children in seven areas of social-emotional development. The scores for these are not split up as they overlap in many areas.