Special Educational Needs and Disabilities or SEND are learning difficulties or disabilities that children can have which means they may need special health and education support.

Health Visitors

If you have concerns around your child having SEND and have not yet had a diagnosis, please contact your Health Visitor or GP.
If you already have a SEND diagnosis, you will most likely be working with lots of other professionals to help with your child’s care. However, you will still be under the care of the Health Visiting team until your child is 5 years old and starts school. If you are not currently working with your Health Visiting team and have something to discuss, please contact us on 0203 049 1873 or through our Ask Hani.

Speech & Language Therapy (SLT)

Lewisham Children’s Speech and Language Therapy Services are a team who work with children and young people who have difficulties with understanding, communicating and/or eating and drinking.

They work using episodes of care, through all the people involved in the child or young person’s life, so that together everyone can support their speech, language and communication and health outcomes.

The Speech and Language Therapy Service also provides training to support early identification of difficulties and to ensure effective language learning opportunities for all children and young people, including those with speech, language and communication needs.


Children’s Community Physiotherapy Team

The Children and Young People’s Physiotherapy Service is provided by a team of paediatric physiotherapists, technical instructors of physiotherapy and administrators. The team undertakes physiotherapy assessments, treatments and various interventions for children and young people with developmental delay, neurological conditions and related diagnoses, genetic abnormalities and those with a neurological condition requiring post-operative management.


Contact Number: 0207 138 1452

Children’s Hospital Physiotherapy Team

In the Paediatric Physiotherapy department at the hospitals, children are seen from birth to 16 years of age for a wide range of conditions. These conditions include: general musculoskeletal problems, gait education, post-fracture rehabilitation, joint pain or functional limitations.


Contact Number: 0208 333 3148

Children’s Community Occupational Therapy

Lewisham Children’s Occupational Therapists (OT’s) provide a service to children and young people with physical needs, working in partnership with the individual, their family, their teachers and other relevant professionals. They provide expertise and support to help children and young people develop skills for daily life.

The Occupational Therapy Service can help if your child is having difficulties with any of the following:

• Sleeping

• Eating and drinking, or the mealtime routine

• Dressing and undressing

• Self-care and hygiene

• Using the toilet

• Using their hands to hold a pencil or other tools e.g. scissors or  cutlery

• Handwriting, drawing, pre-writing skills

• Learning new skills

• Being calm, alert and able to work


Before contacting the OT service, think about whether the behaviours you are seeing in your child are because:

• They cannot do the task

• They’re not at the right stage of development yet

• They’re affected by emotional or behavioural issues

• A sensory issue is causing the difficulty with the task

• They’re affected by social communication, understanding language and communication difficulties


Contact Details: 0207 138 1337/LH.childrensOT@nhs.net

Complex Needs Nursing Team

The Complex Needs Nursing Team cares for children and young people aged 0 to 19 with complex healthcare needs, disabilities and/or life limiting/life-threatening conditions. The service is provided at home, in special and mainstream schools, nurseries and other community settings. They also provide continuing care at home for those with complex medical conditions.


Contact Number: 0207 138 1257/1465


Portage service is an educational home visiting service for pre-school children with developmental needs. The service is run by Lewisham Council. Portage supports the development of young children’s play, communication and relationships. They also help their participation in day-to-day life and inclusion in the wider community.

Lewisham Local Offer

Lewisham Local Offer provides information, advice and guidance about what special educational needs and disabilities services are available in the London Borough of Lewisham, and who can access them.

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