As a parent, you know your child best. If your child is not meeting the milestones for his or her age, or if you think there could be a problem with the way your child plays, learns, speaks, acts, and moves talk to your child’s doctor and share your concerns. Don’t wait. Use the NHS Birth-to-five development timeline to see when your child may gain certain skills and learn new things. The ages given are averages and a lot of children will gain one skill earlier than another. When it’s time to talk with the doctor, write down the questions you have and show the doctor the milestones your child has reached and the ones that concern you.

Development and milestones

Children go through distinct periods of development as they move from infants to young adults. During each of these stages multiple changes in the development of the brain are taking place. The NHS Birth-to-five development timeline sets out what some of these expected milestone markers are. If you are concerned that your child is not meeting these milestones, you should consult a healthcare or education professional. The professional will consider whether there is cause for concern, or whether you child is just a late developer. If the professional agrees that there is cause for concern, they will consider whether your child needs a referral to the Community Paediatrics Service.

The Community Paediatrics Service provide medical care for children with disabilities and special needs, such as developmental difficulties, autism spectrum disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and genetic disorders. They also provide support for the assessment of children with special educational needs. They offer medical assessment and ongoing support for children with chronic constipation, soiling, enuresis (bed wetting) and growth problems. The service provides vaccination medical advice at the specialist immunisation clinic.

If you think your child would benefit from the service then you should speak to your doctor (GP), school nurse, health visitor, social worker or your child’s teacher. After a discussion, they can refer you to the service if they think that it can help you and your child.

Find out more about the Community Paediatrics service in Bromley.

If you are not happy with the care or treatment you have received from the NHS or you have been refused treatment for a condition, you have the right to complain, have your complaint investigated and be given a full and prompt reply. NHS complaints procedure.


Emotional and mental health

We all expect to get a cold or sore throat from time to time but when it comes to the way we feel emotionally, it can be hard to recognise or admit that we're not feeling 100 percent This is especially difficult for children and young people as they grow up and learn about themselves and the world around them.

If you’re worried about a child, encouraging them to talk can be very helpful - whether you're a parent, grandparent, friend or teacher. If you think a child you know has a problem, it can be hard to know how to start talking to them about it.

Bromley Community Wellbeing Service

In Bromley there is a single point of referral for asking for help and support from services for a child or young person who has emotional or mental health difficulties. This includes anger, anxiety, behaviour problems, bullying, depression, eating problems,family problems, grief, relationships, self harm, sexuality and gender identity issues and feeling suicidal.

Find out more about the Bromley Community Wellbeing Service.


Initially if you are concerned that you child or young person may have special educational needs (SEN) or disabilities you should talk to your child’s teacher, early years worker or the lead for SEN in the college. If the school, early years setting or college has identified that your child or young person has, or believes that your child or young person could have, special educational needs or disabilities they will assess them and put in place support to meet their needs.

Children and young people with special educational needs (SEN) have needs or disabilities that affect their ability to learn. Special educational needs are not always a lifelong problem. Some children only need support for a short time.

Just because your child or young person is learning more slowly than others does not mean they have special educational needs.

There are different stages for helping children with special educational needs depending on each child's needs. If your child is doing well they may not need to go to the next stage.
Similarly, if your child or young person's needs are severe or complex, they may miss out SEN support and go straight to request a formal Education, Health and Care (EHC) assessment.

Find out more

What to do if you think your child or young person has special educational needs (SEN) or disabilities

Need more help?

Contact the Information, Advice and Support Service for free, impartial information, advice and support for parents and carers of children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). Support is also offered to children and young people with SEND. They can also help provide information in a non-web format.