Local Offer – Sensory Support Service – MSI – Birth to 5 years of age
Our service supports children and young people with sensory impairment (hearing impairment/deafness, vision impairment, multi-sensory impairment) from birth or as soon as a sensory impairment has been identified.
Below are a number of questions parents/carers may ask once their child has been identified as having a multi-sensory impairment. Scroll down to find answers – do contact us if you would like further information.
- My child has multi-sensory (vision and hearing) impairment, what happens now? How can my child be referred?
- How will my family be supported? What do you provide?
- I would like my child to attend an early years’ (EY) setting. What support is there for my child?
- Does my child need an Education Health and Care plan (EHCP)?
My child has multi-sensory (vision and hearing) impairment, what happens now? How can my child be referred?
Anyone can refer to our service but we medical information with confirming a vision, hearing or multi-sensory impairment. Some children may be diagnosed with vision impairment and then later on diagnosed with a hearing impairment and vice-versa. Some children may be diagnosed as multi-sensory impaired right from the beginning. Once we receive a referral and the medical information, we will make contact and arrange to meet you at a suitable time.
When we meet you we will gather some information, listen to any concerns/questions you may have, support you to understanding the potential implications of your child’s visual / hearing impairment. We will work together with you to monitor your child’s progress, provide ongoing support if your child is fitted with hearing aids and work together with audiologists at children’s hearing centres. Establishing good use of hearing aids is important for early brain development and listening skills.
We will also inform you of our early years’ group ACORNS / Explorers and other services and voluntary organisations that can support you alongside ourselves, like NDCS (National Deaf Children’s Society). See reply to the next question to find out more about what we do.
How will my family be supported? What do you provide?
Your child may be supported by a QTVI (Qualified Teacher for children with Vision Impairment), ToD (teacher of Deaf) and / or MSI (Multi-Sensory Impairment) teacher.
The amount and type of input depends on level of need, whether there are other professionals involved. One of our specialist teachers is likely to take the lead. The specialist teacher take a lead role may change overtime depending on needs of your child at different stages.
There would be an initial assessment of need and on-going assessment to identify strategies / skills / hearing technology needed to minimise any potential negative impact of the child’s condition
We may support you at home and or early years’ setting. Find out more about what we provide here
I would like my child to attend an early years’ (EY) setting. What support is there for my child?
All settings have a duty to make reasonable adjustments in line with the equality act duty. Local Authorities have systems in place to provide funding for children who require additional support.
The specialist teachers (QTVI, ToD, MSI) will help you find information about EY settings, help you think of factors/issues that may help you make a choice of setting, and in some cases a joint visit may be arranged to meet staff, look at the environment etc. We do not advise on which EY setting your child should attend.
The specialist teachers involved will advise EY settings about improvements to their environment, provide training to staff and on-going advice to implement strategies / use adaptations/modifications required and for some children direct support to develop specialist skills.
Does my child need an Education Health and Care plan (EHCP)?
Under the equality act, every setting has the duty to make reasonable adjustments to meet the needs of children with SEN. The majority of children with vision impairment do not require an EHCP to ensure their needs are met. If the level of need of your child is very significant they may meet the criteria for an EHCP. Some local authorities also provide funding to meet these needs without the need to have an EHCP.
Some children with multi-sensory impairment may not meet the criteria because of their vision impairment but because other needs are taken into consideration, e.g. physical, cognitive etc.
Follow the links below to find out more about the statutory assessment process in your local authority:
Find out more information about how we support your child at school in the local offer – MSI – 5 to 15 years of age