National Organisations

Advisory Centre for Education (ACE) – (ACE) is an independent national advice centre for parents. Although the Department for Education (DfE) appointed another organisation to provide advice on exclusions in September 2011, ACE will continue to provide free advice to parents, but at a more limited scale. Their advice line is open Monday – Thursday from 10.00 am to 1.00 pm. Please check their website for more information.

Afasic – Afasic supports parents and represents children and young people with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN). Afasic Parents’ Helpline: 08453 555 577

Aidis Trust – The Aidis Trust provides free and impartial advice and support on technology to help disabled people across the UK. It is our aim to empower disabled people and those who support them, to help them communicate and increase their independence by using technology to help reduce isolation. Please phone 0808 800 0009 or visit the website

Anti-Bullying Alliance (ABA) – a unique coalition of organisations and individuals, who work together to stop bullying and create safer environments in which children and young people can live, grow, play and learn. ABA is hosted by the National Children’s Bureau. The tool is interactive and designed to give parents and carers information about bullying. You can access this free resource for parents.

Ataxia UK – Ataxia UK aims to support everyone affected by ataxia; people with the condition, their families, carers and friends. You can call Ataxia Helpline on 0845 644 0606. Opening hours are 10.30 am -2.30 pm, Monday to Thursday. The helpline is closed on Fridays. You can also email us

Blind Children UK (formerly National Blind Children’s Society) – Provides emotional and practical support, independent expert advice and up-to-date information for the estimated 24,000 British children who are blind or have vision difficulties, and their families. Please telephone 01278 764764or visit the website

Brain & Spine Foundation – The Brain and Spine Foundation is a registered charity committed to providing reliable information and support to people living with neurological conditions across the UK. Please phone the Helpline 0808 808 1000 or email: or please visit the website

British Deaf Association – The British Deaf Association has always been recognised as the only national Deaf people’s organisation. We concentrate on two main areas of work: empowerment and campaigning. The BDA has continued to campaign for Deaf people’s rights and for the widespread acceptance of British Sign Language (BSL). Please use the following contacts – Telephone: 0207 697 4140; SMS/FaceTime: 07795 410 724; ooVoo: bda.britdeafassoc; Skype: bda.britdeafassoc or email: Alternatively, please visit the website

British Dyslexia Association – The vision of the British Dyslexia Association is a dyslexia friendly society enabling all dyslexic people to reach their potential. The BDA promotes early identification of specific learning difficulties (SpLD) and support in schools to ensure opportunity to learn for dyslexic learners. Please phone 0333 405 4567. Opening times: 10.00 am – 12.30 and 1.00 pm – 4.00 pm Mondays to Fridays. Closed Wednesday afternoons.

Cerebra is a unique charity set up to help improve the lives of children with brain related conditions through research, education and directly supporting the children and their carers. Please phone the Helpline 0800 328 1159 or email: Parent Support MSN:

Cerebral Palsy UK – Cerebral Palsy UK provides support by offering impartial information on a broad range of subjects that people affected by Cerebral Palsy should find useful. Please or visit the website

Challenging Behaviour Foundation (CBF) – The CBF is a charity specialising in severe learning disabilities and behaviour described as challenging. Please phone the Family Support Line: 0845 602 7885 or email: Alternatively, you can visit the website

Child Law Advice – is operated by Coram Children’s Legal Centre. We provide specialist advice and information on child, family and education law. If you are calling about family law the number is 0300 330 5480. If you are calling about education law, the number is  0300 330 5485. Both Lines are available Monday – Friday between 8am to 6pm.

Counselling Directory – The Counselling Directory is a searchable directory of qualified/registered counsellors and psychotherapists. Counselling Directory only lists counsellors and psychotherapists who are members of a recognised professional body or those who have sent us copies of their qualifications and insurance cover.

Coram Children’s Legal Centre – Provides free legal advice to parents on English Law and policy affecting children and families.  The advice lines are open Monday – Friday from 8.00 am to 8.00 pm. Please phone 08088 020 008

Dyslexia Action – Dyslexia Action is a national charity that takes action to change the lives of people with dyslexia and literacy difficulties. We want a world where barriers to learning, employment and fulfilment have been removed for people with dyslexia and other specific learning difficulties. Head Office: 0300 303 8357

Dyspraxia Foundation – A UK charity which exists to help people to understand and cope with dyspraxia. We are delighted to have our Helpline up and running again, offering help and advice to adults, parents, carers and families on and about Dyspraxia. The Helpline is available Monday to Friday from 9.00 am to 5.00 pm. Please call 01462 454986

Down’s Heart Group – charity offering support and information relating to heart conditions associated with Down’s Syndrome. Provides one to one support, telephone helpline and newsletters. Please phone 0300 102 1644 or email

Down’s Syndrome Association – Provides information about all aspects of living with Down’s syndrome including specialist advisers on benefits, education and health; advise new parents or anyone experiencing difficulties; promote and facilitate information exchange between members through various groups; advise on employment for people with Down’s syndrome. Please telephone0333 1212 300 or email

Disability Living Allowance (DLA)Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for children may help with the extra costs of looking after a child who is under 16 and has difficulties walking or needs more looking after than a child of the same age who doesn’t have a disability.They will need to meet all the eligibility requirements.

Epilepsy Society – Their vision is a full life for everyone affected by epilepsy. They want everyone affected by epilepsy to have the best opportunity for a full life – as free from seizures as possible. They set out to make a difference to every person affected by epilepsy whatever their background, however seriously it affects them, and whether they have the condition themselves or are close to someone with epilepsy. Helpline: 01494 601 400 (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 9.00 am – 4.00pm; Wednesday: 9.00 am – 8.00 pm)

Every Disabled Child Matters (EDCM) – EDCM is a campaign to get rights and justice for every disabled child. Please visit the website

Family Fund – We are the UK’s largest grant-giving organisation helping low-income families caring for children and young people with disabilities or serious illnesses. Please telephone 01904 621115 or Textphone 01904 658085 or email or visit the website

Family Lives – Family Lives is a charity with over three decades of experience helping parents to deal with the changes that are a constant part of family life. Our role is to support all of you to achieve the best relationship possible with the children that you care about, as well as supporting parenting professionals. Please phone 0808 800 2222

Gloucestershire Dyslexia Association – works to increase awareness and understanding of dyslexia and to provide information, education and support to dyslexic people and parents and teachers of dyslexic children in Gloucestershire. If you would like any support and advice for adults or children, please phone the Helpline 07963 932966

Hypermobility Syndrome Association (HMSA) – HMSA is a charity run by and for people diagnosed with the Hypermobility Syndrome (HMS).

I CAN – I CAN is the children’s communication charity. They are experts in helping children develop the speech, language and communication skills they need to thrive in a 21st century world. Telephone (9:00 am – 5:00 pm Monday – Friday) 0845 225 4071 or 020 7843 2510 or email

Independent Parental Special Education Advice – IPSEA is a national charity providing free legally based advice to families who have children with special educational needs. All our advice is given by trained volunteers. For advice about; problems with schools; requesting statutory assessment; proposed statements; annual reviews; possible disability discrimination; exclusion from school – please phone the General Advice Line: 0800 018 4016

Mencap – Mencap is the leading voice of learning disability. Everything we do is about valuing and supporting people with a learning disability, and their families and carers. Mencap works with people with a learning disability to change laws, challenge prejudice and support them to live their lives as they choose.The Mencap Direct telephone line is open 9.00 am – 5.00 pm Monday to Friday. Telephone 0808 808 1111 or email

National Autistic Society –  We are the leading UK charity for people with autism (including Asperger syndrome) and their families. We provide information, support and pioneering services, and campaign for a better world for people with autism. Our Autism Helpline provides impartial, confidential information and advice for people with autism spectrum disorders and their families and carers.Call0808 800 4104 Lines are open from 10.00 am – 4.00 pm Monday to Friday (free from landlines and most mobiles).

National Deaf Children’s Society – The National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS) is the leading charity dedicated to creating a world without barriers for deaf children and young people. We offer free information and support to families with a deaf child through our publications, web forums and freephone helpline. Please call NDCS Freephone Helpline (voice and text): 0808 800 8880 (Monday to Thursday 9.30 am – 9.30 pm and Friday 9.30 am – 5.00 pm). Alternatively you can

National Parent Partnership Network (NPPN) – The National Parent Partnership Network (NPPN) supports and promotes the work of Parent Partnership Services (PPS) across England and is based at the Council for Disabled Children (CDC).

National Youth Advocacy Service (NYAS) – The National Youth Advocacy Service (NYAS) is a UK charity offering information, advice, advocacy and legal representation to children and young people up to the age of 25, through a network of advocates throughout England and Wales.The Helpline is staffed by advisers who are there to support children, young people, and vulnerable adults across England and Wales, to ensure their rights are up held. They welcome enquiries from representatives of children, young people and vulnerable adults such as professionals, practitioners, family or friends too. Call our freephone 0808 808 1001 (Monday to Friday 9.00 am – 8.00 pm and Saturday 10.00 am – 4.00 pm).

Netbuddy is full of handy tips and bright ideas from parents, carers, teachers and therapists with experience of learning disability and autism.

Network 81 – Network 81 is a national network of parents working towards properly resourced inclusive education for children with special educational needs We are a national network of parents working towards properly resourced inclusive education for all children with special needs. Our concern is for children with special educational needs. Our focus is the legislation affecting the education provision for our children. Helpline: 0845 077 4055 or email

Parents for Inclusion – Parents supporting parents to ensure that all children and young people are valued and treated equally in education and throughout life. Parents for Inclusion invites you to join its growing network of parents, disabled people, professionals and allies who know that social and educational inclusion benefits all and is well worth striving for – because they live it. Telephone 020 7738 3888 or email

Rathbone – Rathbone is a UK-wide youth charity that helps young people to transform their lives through learning. They do this by providing access to training and qualifications that enable young people to achieve their goals – whether that is a job, a place at college, an apprenticeship or a work placement. They also run excellent youth engagement programmes, which offer practical support and positive experiences through activities like sport, music or art. Please telephone 0800 731 5321 or email

Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) – Whether you need advice on staying in work, using technology to help you do everyday tasks, or simply someone who can offer emotional support to help you come to terms with sight loss. The RNIB are there from the moment you’re diagnosed to help you get on with your life. From the day when you need them the most, until the day you’re living your life again. Please phone the RNIB helpline on 0303 123 9999 (Monday to Friday 8.45 am to 5.30 pm). Outside of these times, leave a message and someone will get back to you as soon as possible. Alternatively you can email

Sense – Sense is a national charity that supports and campaigns for children and adults who are deafblind. Sense offer high-quality, flexible services across the UK, using skilled staff and a dedicated network of volunteers. We work with a wide range of deafblind and multi-sensory impaired people, as well as those who have a single-sensory impairment with additional needs. We take pride in offering specialist services built around the wishes of each person we support and enabling them to be as independent as possible. For information and advice please telephone: 0300 330 9256 or 020 7520 0972 or textphone: 0300 330 9256 or 020 7520 0972 Alternatively you can email Enquiries received by email are responded to within three working days.

Speech and Language TherapyAn information page answering some of the following questions: How can speech and language therapy help? What do speech therapists do? What is involved in speech and language therapy? Speech therapy for children.

SWAN UK (Syndromes Without A Name) – SWAN UK is a project run by Genetic Alliance UK offering support and information to families of children with undiagnosed conditions. Please visit our website

Turn2us – Turn2us is a free service that helps people in financial need to access welfare benefits, charitable grants and other financial help – online, by phone and face to face through our partner organisations. The website can help you find financial support, quickly and easily, based on your circumstances. Please call: 0808 802 2000 (9.00 am – 8.00 pm Monday to Friday).

Young Sibs is an online support service for brothers and sisters of disabled children and young people.  It is for siblings who live in the UK and who are under 18.