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Who’s who in SEND in Leeds

Find out information about the people you may meet, the services they provide and what they may help you with.

Our Family Services team are here to provide specific advice and guidance, including help with filling in forms. For further help, ring us on 0113 235 1331.

Click on a category below to explore people and services.

Key terms

Local Offer

All support available to disabled children and their families in the area. Including health and social care and education services. Explore the Leeds local offer.

Local Authority

Our Local Authority is Leeds City Council. The Local Authority is responsible for providing local services and facilities – including producing the Local Offer.

Healthcare services

Children and Young People’s Mental Health Services (CYPMHS)

CYPMHS is a specialist mental health service for children and young people under 18 and their families.

It’s part of the NHS and provides services tailored to the needs of the children and young people such as mental health assessments and therapy.  You may also see the term children and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) used.

Eye Service

The Eye Service (part of ICAN) runs Clinics throughout the city to provide eye care for children between the ages of 6 months and 8 years.

The Clinics provide diagnosis and treatment for vision defects, eye misalignment (squints) and eye movement disorders.

Health passport

A document about you and your health needs. To be completed before going into hospital to help staff know how best to help you. Download our health passport template.

Integrated Children’s Additional Needs Service (ICAN)

The ICAN service provides a single point of access to a range of community health services that support children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and their families.

People in healthcare


Audiologists support children with a hearing impediment.


Dieticians provide information and advice on diet and healthy eating. The community health and nutrition team (part of ICAN) also work with children who are being considered for tube-feeding or tube fed or who have aversive eating or neophobia (fear of something new).

Health Visitors

Within Leeds Health Visitors are now referred to as 0 to 19 Specialist Public Health Nurses and they work under the 0 to 19 Public Health Integrated Nursing Service.

They support children from 0 to 25 years and their families. Providing antenatal and postnatal support, assessing growth and development needs, teaching parents about the nutritional needs of infants and young children, encouraging the development of healthy lifestyles, reducing risks, and safeguarding and protecting children.

Neurodisability Paediatricians

Neurodisability Paediatricians are doctors who specialise in the management of children and young people with neurodevelopmental conditions and neurodisabilities.

Occupational Therapists

Occupational Therapists can support your child to perform daily tasks more easily by helping to make changes to home and school environments and providing advice on specialist equipment like wheelchairs, beds and car seats.


Paediatricians are doctors who assess, diagnose and manage medical conditions affecting infants, children and adolescents.


Physiotherapists support children with their movement and mobility by using a variety of exercises, stretches, massage or other physical activities.

Speech and language therapists (SALT/SLT)

Speech and language therapists assess and treat speech, language and communication problems. They also work with people suffering from eating and swallowing problems.

Education Services

Leeds Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Information Advice and Support Services (SENDIASS)

SENDIASS offers information and support for parents and carers of children with special educational needs and disabilities.

Portage Service

A home-visiting educational service for pre-school children with SEND and their families. Portage workers visit families at home to provide support and information on play-based activities to support their child’s learning and development.

SEN Statutory Assessment Provision (SENSAP)

SENSAP is a statutory local authority service responsible for implementing the legislative framework of the Children and Families Act 2014, including EHC needs assessments within 20 weeks and maintaining EHCP (education, health and care plan) in schools and settings for children and young people from 0-25. The team also monitors the quality of SEND provision.

Special educational needs and inclusion team (SENIT)

A team of teachers and inclusion workers employed by Leeds City Council who work collaboratively with schools and early years settings to support children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities.

People in Education

Educational Psychologists

Educational Psychologists assess and support children and young people at school. They also support school staff and provide specialist advice.

Special educational needs coordinators (SENCO)

Special educational needs coordinators are qualified teachers responsible for supporting the coordination of provision for children with special educational needs and disabilities in nurseries and schools.

Teaching assistants (TA), learning support assistants (LSA) and higher-level teaching assistants (HLTA)

Teaching assistants, learning support assistants and higher-level teaching assistants work in schools alongside teaching staff to support children.


Direct Payments

Money given to parents or carers of disabled children by the local authority. A young person over the age of 16 can apply for direct payments in their own right. The most common use of direct payments is to employ a personal assistant (PA). Read more about Direct Payments.

Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for children

Benefits provided by the Government to help with the extra costs of looking after a child who is under 16 and needs looking after more than a child of the same age who does not have a disability. Read more DLA for children.

Family Fund

The UK’s largest charity providing grants for families raising disabled or seriously ill children and young people. Find our mote on the Family Fund website.

Funding for Inclusion (FFI) funding

Additional funding for children with special educational needs and disabilities. Your child does not need to have an EHC (Education health and care) plan in order to receive FFI funding.

RADAR (Resource Allocation Decision and Review) panel

RADAR make final decisions about whether direct payments are appropriate for you.

Leeds based charities/groups

These charities are not affiliated with Leeds Mencap. Each provides its own set of services, groups and facilities that can be explored on their individual websites.

Carers Leeds

An independent charity that provides specialist advice, support and information to unpaid carers over the age of 16. Find out more on the Carers Leeds website.

Little Hiccups

A support group that has been set up by parents who have children with additional needs and disabilities. Little Hiccups offer family support, family activities, play sessions and more. View the Little Hiccups website.

SNAPS (Special Needs and Parents Support)

A local charity that provides leisure support services for children with special needs and their families. Look at the SNAPS website.

Sunshine and Smiles

A charity that organizes groups & events to improve the lives and opportunities of children with Down Syndrome & their families in Leeds. Find out more on the Sunshine and Smile website.

Zig Zag

A parent-led support group that offers parents and carers advice and guidance on caring for a child or young person with an Autistic Spectrum, or similar, condition (with or without a diagnosis). View the Zig Zag Facebook group.

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