If you think your child may have additional needs, it is normal to feel unsure about what to do or even to feel overwhelmed. As a parent, you will hear lots of advice and sometimes this can be confusing or even conflicting. You might disagree with your partner about what to do, or feel worried about your child being labelled with a diagnosis.
Taking the step towards seeking diagnosis can often be a relief to both parent and to a child who might be feeling different, but not understanding why. However, it is your personal choice and the following questions may be helpful:
- What does my child say, do they notice they are different and how is this affecting them?
- What are the alternatives, i.e.. can we support my child without a diagnosis? (Talk to school, GP and any other professionals involved).
- What will be the impact of going ahead with a referral, e.g. will a diagnosis mean we can access support?
Some parents decide to request a referral and then wait and see – using the waiting time (which can be lengthy) as additional time to decide.
In education settings, support for SEN is not dependent on a medical diagnosis.