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Receiving a medical diagnosis

Camden local offer

All children are individual and will develop at different rates. However, to get a general idea ‘milestones’ are used to help track your child’s development and to give an indication as to whether they are progressing at a ‘typical’ rate.

This page contains responses to the most commonly asked questions in relation to child development as well as useful links to information and services. 

As a general rule, if you are worried about your child's development, your GP, Health Visitor or child's education setting will be best placed to offer you advice and support.


Is my child developing at the expected rate?

As a starting point, you may find the parent's guide to what to expect and when helpful.

You can also view the NHS interactive guide to child development from birth to five years old, including videos and advice to help parents along the way.

The information here will give you an indication as to whether your child is developing at the expected rate.

Who can I talk to if I am concerned about my child's development?

My child is under 5yrs old

Speak to your Health Visitor or GP (Doctor). They may share your concerns and make a referral to a child specialist i.e. a community paediatrician for further investigation.

If your child is in an education setting you should speak to their key person or the SENCO (Special Educational Needs Coordinator). They may share your concerns and suggest that you request a referral from your GP to a specialist or decide to monitor progress more closely.

My child is over 5yrs old

Speak to your child or young person’s class teacher or SENCO (Special Educational Needs Coordinator). They may share your concerns and recommend that you speak to your GP about a referral to a specialist for further investigation. 

You should ask about the additional support that the education setting can put in place to support your child’s development. Further information about the support that schools must put in place for pupils with SEND can be found on our Education Offer.

Who can I talk to if I feel my concerns are not being listened to?

If your school is not concerned about your child but you still are, you might want to contact the Camden Special Educational Needs Information, Advice and Support Service SENDIASS – this service offers free confidential and impartial advice and support to Camden parents and carers who have children and young people (up to the age of 25) with SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disability).

You can call SENDIASS on 020 7974 6264.

Support after receiving a diagnosis

During this time, parents will need time to talk about their feelings and any decisions they are going to make. Close family and friends can be a good emotional support, although talking to a GP, health worker or counsellor may be easier for some people at this stage.

During and after a diagnosis you may come into contact with a number of different health care workers, including GPs, obstetricians, paediatricians, occupational therapists, health visitors and portage workers.

Services within the Child Development Team, Clinical Psychologists and Child Psychotherapists are specifically designed or trained to provide support to parents after receiving a diagnosis. 

You’re likely to feel overwhelmed with information, whilst trying to manage your emotions. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, for professionals to repeat themselves or to explain things more clearly.

If you’d like to talk to someone who has first-hand experience of a child/young person with SEND you can contact Camden Special Parents Forum who can offer both emotional and practical support for parent carers.

For information, Advice and Support on any element of your child/young person’s SEND you can contact Camden SENDIASS (Special Educational Needs and Disability Information, Advice and Support Service) by calling 020 7974 6264.

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