Disabled children and their families

Early years support

You should make sure you're comfortable with the educational setting for your child.

Specialist education can take place in a number of mainstream schools or there are special schools or units available for children with greater needs.

Pre-school support services

Trying to find and access the best services for your child's needs can feel like climbing a mountain. We already have lots of information and advice, however, ready for you to use.

Child Development Centre

Thurrock has a Child Development Centre where assessments can take place. It is able to provide early intervention and offer diagnosis, as well as giving advice on the next steps to take, and which services to access.

You would normally access this service through a doctor, health visitor or paediatrician. There are many professionals available at the centre, catering for all disabilities. They can explain the needs of your child and offer a clear pathway for your child to take, as well as putting you in touch with professionals who will continue to work with you.

All details are kept on record and they will talk with you about ideas before any decisions are made.

Early Years Home Visiting Service

Our Early Years Home Visiting Service is a team of professionals who can visit the homes of children with additional needs. They can give practical help and advice to parent and carers, and will visit any home, whatever the child’s disability.

Lead professionals

Having so many people involved in your child’s care can be confusing and sometimes you may feel like you’re repeating yourself. Depending on your circumstances, you may choose to have a lead professional who can manage all the different types of support for you and your child.

They can perform many different roles and act as a single point of contact for your family and child. They can also help with decision-making and coordinate things that need doing.

Next steps

If there has been a diagnosis since birth, your midwife or health visitor will be able to refer you either to the Child Development Centre or to a specialised nurse who will be able to discuss the next steps.

If there wasn’t any diagnosis at birth but you notice your child may be showing signs of additional needs, make sure you see your doctor or health visitor. They will be able test whether your child has specific needs. You may be referred to the Child Development Centre or a specialised nurse.

You want what’s best for your child – help is available locally, whatever the disability.