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My child has a learning difficulty. What can I do?

My child has a learning difficulty. What can I do?

As education lawyers who specialise in Schools and SEN, we have dealt with hundreds of parents who have been concerned about their children because they suffer from a learning difficulty or they suspect that their child may be suffering, but they haven’t been officially diagnosed yet. Whatever the scenario, as a parent you obviously want the best for your child and if you feel that you’re not being heard or getting satisfaction from the school or local authority regarding your child’s situation, we can give you advice on the best course of action to take. But more on that a bit later.

Speak to your GP/Independent Experts

The first thing to say is that the term ‘learning disability’ is a pretty broad term and it can range from being quite mild to very severe. Every child’s learning disability will be different and unique to them so if you suspect your child may have a problem, it’s important that you seek advice and support.

The starting point should be your GP. Your GP will be able to assess if your child has a problem and then put you in touch with the right specialist(s) who can help. At times, it may also be necessary to instruct independent experts who, whilst it must be paid for by you, will provide you with a detailed diagnosis and report which will assist with the process moving forward. Once you have been given a diagnosis, you can seek out professionals and organisations that can give you advice, counselling and practical support. There are many professionals who can help you depending on the nature of your child’s issue. These include learning disability nurses, paediatricians, clinical psychologists and many more. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about the type of support your child will need.

Speak to your school

When it comes to your child’s education and how they will cope in the school environment, it’s crucial that you speak to the school about the worries you have and the support your child is going to need. The chances are that your child’s teacher or SENCO ( Special Educational Needs Coordinator) may have already picked up that there is an issue but occasionally, things can slip through the net so don’t be afraid to approach the school and discuss your worries with them. 

With the school’s support, the next stage would be to approach the local authority for an Education, Health and Care (EHC) assessment of your child to see if they qualify for an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP). This is key to getting the support your child needs and if an EHCP is issued, the local authority will be responsible for the funding of support that your child needs, to include a specialist placement should this be necessary.

Speak to us

If you do not get issued with an EHCP and you feel like the system is letting your child down, do not despair as we can help. Just because the local authority may have turned down an EHCP, it doesn’t mean that that’s the end of the story. Generally, local authorities will not issue EHCPs or indeed will refuse to carry out an EHC assessment if there is not enough evidence to prove that your child has a learning difficulty and needs extra help. 

We have successfully helped numerous parents in such situations by gathering the necessary evidence and then presenting it to the local authority so that it addresses all their concerns. Our experience as leading practitioners in this area enables us to liaise with schools and other professionals in order to challenge local authorities on their original decision and help you get the right support for your child.

If you have a situation that you would like to discuss with us in confidence, please do not hesitate to contact us at anita.chopra@matchsolicitors.com or on 020 7353 6881.

All testimonials


Exemplary, professional, supportive, and empathetic. Polite and responsive. A pleasure to work with.

Mr Reekie, Croydon

I highly recommend everyone to use match solicitor if needed. They provide excellent and fast service during very short period of time.


The service was first class and I was encouraged by the Solicitors sound knowledge of education law. Having a child with special needs is a challenge to any parent and the whole process of going to an educational tribunal can be quite daunting. Match Solicitors was able to get the job done professionally and to the highest standard and yet still retaining a very caring and human side which was very reassuring.

Mrs O Akagbosu, London