The assessment process

Local authorities look at requests and tell you (normally within six weeks) whether they will carry out an assessment. They also explain the assessment process.

The authority also gives you an opportunity to explain in writing to the authority the problems that your child has and why you consider that more support is needed. Take your time in putting this together as it is very important and you will find it helpful to take advice from the organisations in the section Get more advice.

If the assessment goes ahead, the local authority asks people to give their views on your child. They ask for advice from:

  • your child's school
  • an educational psychologist
  • a doctor
  • other professionals working with your child, such as a speech and language therapist
  • social services (who will only give advice if they know your child)
  • anyone else who the local authority thinks it should get advice from to get a clear picture of your child's needs

You can attend any interview, medical or other test during the assessment and be accompanied if you wish by your chosen adult. You know your child best so your views are important. What your child thinks also plays a big part in the assessment and a child of primary school age is very likely to have helpful ideas to contribute.

You are free to suggest any other groups you know whose views may be helpful. The local authority should take them into account as part of the assessment. You may want to think about asking organisations in the section Get more advice.

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