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Where do I begin - Parents and Carers

You may be noticing differences in the development of

your child or young person.

  • Collect together your own observations and thoughts together with reports from nursery/school or any other people involved.

  • Then speak with your G.P, Health visitor, school nurse Speech Therapist or other Health professional and ask them to refer your child or young person to the local Child Development Team. (In West Essex it will be the JADES Pathway Journey of Autism Diagnosis and Early Support (JADES)  . 

  • If your child is in education you do not need a diagnosis to get support for them, your school or nursery should be working with you to record their strengths and needs and to provide support. Find out more about support with this on our education page .


Our top websites to find a wide range of support, services and activities.


  • Local Offer - This is the local government run directory of Information about all services and local opportunities and activities for Children and young people up to 25 years with SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities).  To find your Local Offer, type your county name and Local Offer into your search engine.  Alternatively, click on one of the local links 

  • Essex Local Offer

  • Hertfordshire Local Offer

  • National Autistic Society - All the most up to date information from diagnosis through to all sorts of services and useful information from Child to Adult.

  • Autism Central - A hub of resources and peer to peer support 

  • Short Breaks - The Short Breaks programme is open to all children and young people who are aged between 0-25 (Please note some services post 19 will require a personal budget) and have a diagnosis of Special Educational Needs and/or a Disability. Providing support and a wide range of activities.

  • Essex Short Breaks

  • Hertfordshire Short Breaks

  • Contact - A national organisation with a wealth of information supporting families of Children and young people with SEND, from benefits through to education and clothing.


  • Essex Child and Family wellbeing -  Children’s Health and developmental health needs along with the family hubs/Children’s centres in Essex, the site has a wealth of information on therapy, services and ways to help your child/young person.

  • SNAP (Special needs and Parents) - An excellent easy to use resource to find activities, Parent and Professional courses/talks, and the services SNAP offers as well as an extensive local directory for Essex, aimed at families of children with SEND 0-25.

  • SPACE - a Hertfordshire based Charity supporting Parents/Carers of Neurodivergent Children and young people.

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