Too often kids with FASD struggle in schools that lack the understanding, resources, or sometimes willingness to address their disability.  

FASD is complex, and most people do not understand it is caused by underlying brain injury and related physical problems.  If children and young people are not properly supported, their anxiety levels and behaviors become overwhelming.  Discuss your concerns with your child’s teacher and the school’s Special Educational Needs Coordinator.  Do your homework, be prepared.

Special educational needs and disability code of practice: 0 to 25 years – Know your rights.

This is the national guidance on the special educational needs and disability (SEND) system for children and young people aged 0 to 25, from 1 September 2014.  This statutory code contains: details of legal requirements that must be followed without exception and statutory guidance that must be followed by law unless there’s a good reason not to. It explains the duties of local authorities, health bodies, schools and colleges to provide for those with special educational needs under part 3 of the Children and Families Act 2014.  Other  SEND Guides  prepared by the national government are also of interest, including:

Hertfordshire’s Local Offer

Hertfordshire’s Local Offer is the door to finding information and support available for children and young people aged 0-25 with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND) and their families. Too many find it difficult to access services, this outlines what is available.

SEN Support in Education

“You don’t need a diagnosis for SEN support”.

Delivering Special Provision Locally groups (DSPLs)

One way in which Hertfordshire provides support to children and young people with SEND across the county is through the 9 DSPLs. They include:

  • Parents and carers
  • Staff from early years settings, schools and colleges
  • People from other SEND organisation

Special Educational Needs and Disability Information Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS)

The Information, Advice and Support Service (formerly Parent Partnership Service) provides impartial and confidential information, advice and support to parents and carers of children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), and young people and children with SEND.

Education and Health Care Plans

“An EHC needs assessment is available for children and young people aged 0-25 years. The following people have a specific right to request an EHC needs assessment: The child’s parent; a young person aged over 16; a person acting on behalf of school/educational setting (with the agreement of the parent or young person).”  Some parents/carers have found schools discouraging about starting this process. If your child has FASD and is far behind peers, you have a right to pursue an EHCP.  These are important as they now cover the early adult years as well.


A fantastic resource, Independent Provider of Special Education Advice (known as IPSEA) offers free and independent legally based  information, advice and support  to help get the right education for children and young people with all kinds of special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). We also provide  training  on the SEND legal framework to parents and carers, professionals and other organisations.  See their  EHCP page,

If You Need Help With The EHCP Process:

Please note, if there is a refusal to assess for an EHCP, appeal. Nationally, more than 90% of cases are granted on appeal because the intention of the legislation is to ensure that all who may have SEN are assessed for an EHCP:

If a local authority (“LA”) is requested to carry out an EHC needs assessment by a parent, young person, school, or college, they must consider:

  • whether the child or young person has or may have special educational needs (“SEN”); and
  • whether they may need special educational provisions to be made through an EHC plan.

If the answer to both of these questions is yes, they must carry out an EHC needs assessment.

This test is set out in the law (section 36(8) of the Children and Families Act 2014). This means these are the only questions the LA should be asking when considering whether or not to carry out an EHC needs assessment. -IPSEA

Post-16 special education

An EHCP provides support for education,  supported internships  and other opportunities up to the age of 25. Know your rights!

Speech and Language Therapy

Kids with FASD often benefit from Speech and Language Therapy.  There are regular drop-in clinics for pre-school kids.  If you are having trouble accessing Speech and Language Therapy, check out these  referral guidelines  (it includes a list of milestones).  This service “operates an open referral policy. This means that anybody can refer to us except that an ENT referral is needed for all voice problems and a referral from a GP, Consultant, Health Visitor or other relevant health professional within the multidisciplinary team, e.g. Dietician, is needed for all feeding difficulties.”

The Physical and Neurological Impairment team

The physical and neurological impairment (PNI) specialist advisory teachers work with parents and professionals to support children and young people from 5 – 25 with physical and/or neurological impairment. The PNI team offers:

  • advice and signposting for professionals and families
  • advice on how physical and neurological impairment can affect education and providing strategies to help with pupil’s learning
  • observation of pupils and written advice to support them
  • advice on IT equipment that might help
  • work with the occupational therapist regarding access and adaptations to schools and transitions between schools.

Outreach from Special Schools in Hertfordshire

If your child is in a mainstream setting, they can request support from specialist schools. Several Hertfordshire special schools are funded to provide outreach sessions to local mainstream primary schools to help those schools increase their expertise, confidence and resilience to provide for pupils with SEN.  (A pilot program for secondary schools in some areas was recommended and in some cases this has happened.)  Funding is provided through Hertfordshire’s High Needs Block. 

Education of Children Looked After

“Under section 22 (3A) of the Children Act 1989, local authorities have a duty to promote the educational achievement of Looked After children.” Every school and college must have a ‘designated teacher’ who is there to promote the educational achievement of children who are Looked After. They should be your advocates in pushing  for support for your child’s needs. School and college governing bodies must “ensure that this person has appropriate training.”  National FASD offers training and/or we at Herts FASD can help provide training.