Challenging Behaviour Foundation - A UK charity focussed on the needs of people with severe learning disabilities whose behaviour challenges, and their families.

The Maze Group - A unique approach to SEND which offers insights into how children with additional needs experience the world.

Brighter Opportunities for Special People (BOSP) - Improving the lives of children and young adults with complex disabilities or life-limiting conditions, and their families, by providing high-quality, fun, educational activities, support and respite care.

Learning Disability Team

About the service: 

Learning difficulties are problems relating to processing certain forms of information. They are usually a specific difficulty, mostly not affecting the child’s intelligence significantly.  Examples include dyslexia, ADHD, dyspraxia, and dyscalculia and are seen mostly in school or work environments. 

A learning disability is an overall reduced intellectual ability including being able to manage everyday activities including self-care, managing money, and socialising. Most children with a learning disability will be in a special school environment, some may start their education within a mainstream primary setting, but usually by the time they are transitioning to a secondary setting then there will have been discussions about their child moving to a special school environment where their additional needs can be focused on, and be supported.  

The learning disability team are based at Stapleford House in Chelmsford, and do offer face-to-face sessions there. However they also offer Face to face appointments in a number of other different locations. The team also offer home visits, and contact at some schools.

What support do they offer?:

The team accept referrals for children and their families who have a severe/profound learning disability and an additional mental health need. 

The children and young people the team work with are aged between 4-18 years.  This includes children in foster care, adoptive families and residential settings. 

The team work with families and the system around the child/young person to offer assessment and treatment/intervention to help address mental health problems such as anxiety, depression and psychosis.  Alongside this, they will also help address and or manage issues such as aggressive behaviour, sleep problems, self-injury and eating problems, when they are related to the mental health issue referred.   

As part of the offer to support and address mental health difficulties for children with a disability, we will offer regular consultations to Special Education Needs Schools in the Essex locality, mainstream CAMHS teams and regularly work with the local community services.

The team work in different ways with each family dependent upon individual need but always following a careful assessment. The approaches can take the form of: 

  • Enhancing communication so that the child understands what others are communicating and to develop their own ways of communicating with others. 

  • Behavioural Strategies – that target specific behavioural difficulties. 

  • Family work – engaging with the family to think through important issues. 

  • Social Stories – to explain specific parts of what can be a complicated world. 

  • Teaching replacement skills, behaviours, and ways of coping to take the place of the “problem behaviour.” 

  • Medication – to lift mood, reduce anxiety or help with impulse control. 

How to refer: 

Referrals are made via the Single Point of Access, via the link on the SET CAMHS homepage.