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FAQ- Are there any local forums or support groups for parents of children with SEND?


Caring for a child or young person with special educational needs or disabilities can bring additional challenges at different times.  Support for parents and carers is available from a range of services and organisations in the local area.

Some schools arrange regular opportunities for parents to meet together on an informal basis through activities such as coffee mornings. You could ask the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) or Family Support Adviser at your child’s school about this.

A number of local voluntary sector groups and charities such as the Autism Berkshire (formerly Berkshire Autistic Society) and East Berkshire Down Syndrome Support Group provide  support groups to enable parents and carers to meet others in similiar situations to their own and share experiences and knowledge.  You can find information about parent support groups in the Advice and Support section of RBWM's Local Offer along with details of national charities and organisations.

The Parents' Share Group is designed to offer local support to parents of children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities and hold two meetings each month. One is attended by a guest speaker that covers a range of topics on additional needs.  The other is more informal and is an opportunity for parents' to meet and discuss their experiences with other parents.  For more information about the Parent Share Group, please contact the Information, Advice and Support (IAS) Service on 01628 683182 or email

There are also opportunities to get involved in Parent Forums and have a say in local services.  PACIP is a forum run by parents, for parents.  The PCCWM aims to bring parents together, to share experiences and give mutual support. It also has a key role in enabling parents to have their views heard, ensuring that parents are involved the development of local services for children, young people and families with additional needs. 

RBWM's Children and Young People Disability Service (CYPDS) also provide consultation forums to get involved in shaping local services including the CYPDS Parent and Carer Consultation Group.