Special needs resources - a guide to the web

A-Z of specific conditions

Attention Deficit Disorder

Autism, Mutism and Asperger syndrome

  • Ambitious about Autism - the national charity for children and young people with autism and their families
  • Anna Kennedy Online - offers information, training and advice, and supports families with autism
  • National Autistic Society - information, support and schools
  • Peach - promotes early behavioural intervention for young children with autism
  • Puzzle Centre - promotes and delivers early intervention for young children with autism and other communication difficulties
  • Research Autism - the only UK charity dedicated to research into interventions in autism
  • SMIRA - resources and information on selective mutism 
  • Talk about Autism - Ambitious about Autism's safe and friendly online community

Cerebral palsy and hemiplegia

  • CP Sport England - promotes sport and physical recreational opportunities for people with a disability, especially cerebral palsy
  • HemiHelp - support for children and young people with hemiplegia (hemiparesis)
  • Red Boots - offering full time and part time specialist provision for children with cerebral palsy
  • Scope - helpline and factsheets for parents

Cockayne Syndrome

Cystic fibrosis

Down syndrome

Dyslexia and dyspraxia

  • Dyslexia Action - a guide for parents and carers supporting children affected by literacy difficulties and dyslexia to navigating the changes in SEN and disability provision
  • Dyslexia-SpLD Trust (The) - a collaboration of voluntary and community organisations funded by the Dept of Education to help children with dyslexia/SpLD succeed in school
  • Dyspraxia Foundation - books, suggestions, teen newsletter, and adult support group


Fragile X

  • Fragile X Society - support, information and helplines for families, plus promotion of research

Rett syndrome

  • Rett UK - information and support

Sickle cell

Spina bifida and hydrocephalus

  • Shine - information and advice, including a helpline

Tourette's syndrome

Turner syndrome


If you want to suggest a link for this page or swap reciprocal links, please email content@mumsnet.com


Brain injuries and conditions

  • Advance: The Institute for The Scotson Technique - unique restorative science for children and young people with brain injuries (also cerebral palsy and hemiplegia, and autism, mutism and asperger syndrome)
  • BIBIC (British Institute for Brain Injured Children) - offers families practical help
  • Brain injury hub - information resource from The Children's Trust
  • Brainwave - home-based programme for children with brain injuries/genetic conditions
  • Cerebra - support and information for families of children with brain-related conditions
  • Child Brain Injury Trust - provides information and support for the effects of 'traumatic' injury on a child's developing brain
  • Child Growth Foundation - information about conditions causing growth problems
  • Climb - information for families of children living with inherited metabolic conditions 
  • Snowdrop - provides neuraldevelopmental therapy for conditions including Cerebral Palsy, Autism, genetic conditions, developmental delay and brain injury

Chromosome disorders

  • SOFT - support for families affected by Patau's syndrome, Edwards syndrome, partial Trisomy, mosaicism and related disorders
  • Klinefelter's Syndrome Association UK - information and support
  • Unique - information, networking and support for anyone affected by a rare chromosome disorder, their families and the professionals who work with them
  • Genetic Alliance - alliance of charities supporting children and families affected by genetic disorders

Hearing impairments

  • Elizabeth Foundation - helping deaf preschool children learn to listen and talk
  • National Deaf Children's Society - help and support
  • Heartline - support and help for children with congenital heart conditions and their families
  • Sense – support and information for families of children and adults who are deafblind or have multi-sensory impairments

Learning difficulties / disabilities and special educational needs

  • Easyhealth - accessible health information for parents, supporters and carers of people with learning disabilities, and people with milder learning disabilities themselves
  • HE Special - for families who home educate children with special educational needs
  • IPSEA - helping children with special educational needs and/or disabilities get the right education
  • Mencap - support and information for families and carers of children with a learning disability
  • Netbuddy - tips and bright ideas from parents, carers, teachers and therapists
  • SOS!SEN - free confidential telephone helpline for people looking for information, advice and support
  • Special Educational Needs Advice Centre - (SENAC) confidential advice line for parents looking for information on statutory special educational needs provision in Northern Ireland

Limb conditions

  • REACH - support and advice for children with hand or arm deficiencies, and their parents
  • Steps - support for parents of children affected by lower limb conditions

Speech and language impairments

Visual impairments

  • Calibre Audio Library - provides audio books to those with sight impairment and dyslexia
  • Living Paintings - a free library of Touch to See books bringing to life the visual world for blind or partially sighted people
  • Load2Learn - accessible textbooks and images to support dyslexic, partially sighted or blind learners
  • LOOK UK - supporting parents and carers of children with a visual impairment
  • MISE (Mobility and Independence Specialists in Education) - holds a register of specialist practitioners who will deliver habilitation training to visually impaired children and young people
  • Blind Children UK - supporting visually impaired children, young people and their families with mobility and life skills training, grants for technology and equipment, and large print books
  • RNIB Guidance on Teaching and Learning - primarily for practitioners, concerning the support and education of children and young people with vision impairment
  • Sense – support and information for families of children and adults who are deafblind or have multi-sensory impairments
  • Talking Books for Children - a free library of audio books for children, from the RNIB
  • VICTA Visually Impaired Children Taking Action - support for blind and partially sighted children, young people and their families


Other things you might like




  • CReSTed - register of schools which provide support for children with specific learning difficulties
  • IPSEA - provides free legally based education advice
  • National Parent Partnership Network - statutory services offering support to parents and carers

Equipment and grants

  • ACE Centre - provides help with assistive technology
  • CALL Centre - helps individuals and their families get the most out of assistive technology
  • Cerebra - grants and help for children under 16 with neurological conditions
  • Department for Work and Pensions - benefits information
  • Disability Grants - guide to different grants available
  • Family fund - grants for families with severely disabled or ill children aged 17 and under
  • Fledglings - identifies and supplies practical, affordable products to help with everyday life
  • Hearts and Minds - recycles old mobiles to raise funds to help families affected by autism
  • Kidz Events - free exhibitions showcasing products and services to enhance independent living
  • Living made easy - advice from occupational therapists about equipment for children and young people with disabilities
  • Meru - designs and manafactures bespoke equipment for children and young people with disabilities
  • New Life - information and grant services for funding equipment
  • Totally Yours - a directory of useful resources for parents
  • Whizz-Kidz - provides mobility equipment, training and advice

Experiences and opportunities

If you want to suggest a link for this page or swap reciprocal links, please email content@mumsnet.com
  • Daytrippers - helps children with disabilities, life-limiting or terminal illnesses enjoy experiences that might otherwise not be available to them
  • Disability Sport Events - support and promotes opportunities for disabled people with all impairments to take part in sporting events
  • English Federation of Disability Sport - national charity for developing sport for disabled people in England
  • Euan's guide - disabled access reviews of locations and venues across the country
  • Hop, Skip and Jump - play and support centre in Bristol for children with special needs
  • Kangaroos - runs activities in mid Sussex for children and young adults with learning disabilities
  • Sense Toys- educational toys and games for children with special needs
  • Warrington Play and Sensory Centre - leisure, play and sensory activities for disabled children, young people and adults


  • Office for Disability Issues - A-Z of government departments and disability organisations
  • Ouch! - blogs, news, features, information, podcasts from the BBC
  • Potential Plus UK - information on support for families with children who are gifted, and have a disability or learning difficulties
  • Sibs - charity for people who grow up with a disabled sibling or parent
  • Special Kids in the UK - contact, information and support for families



Other useful links

  • Bliss - support and care to families of premature and sick babies across the UK
  • Changing Places - find fully accessible toilets where you are
  • Child Death Helpline- for anyone affected by the death of a child, from prebirth to adult
  • Children's Hospices UK - hospice care and services for children and young people
  • Makaton - for anyone interested in Makaton sign language
  • OT for Kids - occupational therapy for children with SEN
  • SNAP Childcare - specialist recruitment agency for special needs nannies and care workers
  • Young Minds - works to improve young people's mental health; information and helpline for parents


Last updated: 8 months ago