Diagnosis of a learning disability

If you are worried about your child and feel that their development is not progressing as it should or that they may have special needs you should consult your GP. However, it is helpful for the GP to decide whether there is any cause for concern if you can gather as much information as possible to support your concerns before making the appointment. So make a short list of the main things that worry you and talk to other people who have a lot of contact with your child like:

Family members try to get them particularly to comment on the items on your list of worries and to be specific about any other concerns they have. Write down the extra concerns if you agree with them.

A Health Visitor if you have access to one: a Health Visitor can refer you to a specialist via your GP if she agrees with your concerns.

A child minder who has had prolonged experience of your child: add their concerns to your list and reference them on your list.

A class or nursery teacher who knows the child well. Class or nursery teachers are the first line in schools or nurseries to notice any difficulties the child may be having, even before the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) gets to know. Add their concerns to your list and reference who raised the concern.

The SENCO this is only useful if concerns about the child have already been raised with them. Every educational setting, school or nursery, will have a SENCO. Again write down their concerns and reference them. If a SENCO thinks your child has Special Educational Needs for which special educational provision needs to be made they should have contacted you directly anyway.

Parenting Special Children - If you think it would help to talk to other parents who have experienced waiting for a diagnosis then this charity can help you.  They have a whole range of services for parents of children waiting for a diagnosis or who have just received a diagnosis. This is their website http://www.parentingspecialchildren.co.uk

Reading Mencap, Family Advisers, You can even talk to us and get the experienced view of a Family Adviser to advise you or help you to put your worries into writing, by telephoning for an appointment on 0118 966 2518 or just dropping in at 21 Alexandra Road, Reading, RG1 5PE during office hours 9.30 to 1.30, Monday to Friday. But remember, that you know your child best of all, and if you are still worried it is best to talk to your GP.