Specialist Children’s Services

Specialist Children's Services are for children and young people, 0-19 years of age, with physical, communication, learning and developmental difficulties or disabilities which affect health and wellbeing.

We offer a range of services, including physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, clinical psychology, paediatrician services, specialist nursing and autism assessment.

The Specialist Children’s Services Team has two Child Development Centres, and provides services from a range of locations:

Child Development Centre
Harrogate District Hospital
Lancaster Park Road

Child Development Centre
24 Brompton Road
North Yorkshire
DL6 1 EA


Online and telephone resources offering support for families, children and young people during Covid-19:

Sleep Support

  1. The sleep charity– tips and advice for children and families in managing sleep issues
  2. The sleep council
  3. CEREBRA – a charity for families of children with a brain condition: A Sleep Guide for Parents, aimed primarily at families of children with additional needs (from ‘cerebra’ charity) and Sleep Cards(short one side cards with specific sleep tips) – free downloads. Cerebra also run a Sleep Advice Service by telephone/email and will send a free sleep tips booklet on request

Home and Family Life/Behaviour Support

  1. Family Links– website includes helpful parentzone with brief but helpful tip sheets to manage emotional health including behavioural difficulties in children
  2. Family Lives– wide range of short videos full of advice and tips to help manage challenging behaviour. There is also a confidential helpline offering emotional support, advice and guidance and advice on parent and family life: 0808 800 2222
  3. Raising Children network
  4. Happy child app
  5. Place2Be– Guide to helping parents answer questions from their children and to support family wellbeing
  6. Carers UK– Guidance for carers
  7. NSPCC– website has specific advice section to support parents, also to advise on children’s mental health issues, plus a guide to positive parenting which can be downloaded
  8. NHS dealing with childhood behaviour problems

 Emotional and mental Health

  1. MIND – Information on mental health matters and support for wellbeing of children, young people and their families
  2. Young Minds– Talking to your child about Coronavirus and 10 tips from their Parents Helpline to support family wellbeing
  3. Kooth– free, safe and anonymous online emotional support for young people
  4. Compass Reach – emotional wellbeing
  5. Compass Buzz– online support for CYP mental wellbeing /confidential text messaging service
  6. Recovery College Online : Provides information, online courses and mental health support
  7. Well read– using stories to help build children’s resilience


  1. Kooth– free, safe and anonymous online emotional support for young people
  2. The GoTo– NHS mental health resources for young people

Autism/Special Needs

  1. National Autistic Society– guidance and helpline for parents, young people and staff
  2. Special Needs jungle– a parent led website for those with children who have additional needs
  3. Challenging behaviour foundation

Useful links

The Specialist Children’s Services Team often works with, or refers children to, a range of external organisations and charities. Many of these provide useful support networks and information to help children with difficulties or disabilities and their families. The following websites provide reliable information on a range of conditions:

  • Afasic– a charity which helps young people with speech and language difficulties and their families. The website has a message board where you can chat to other families, and provides free download sheets on a range of diagnoses.
  • Contact a Family – this UK charity is for families with disabled children. It offers information on specific conditions and rare disorders. There is information for adults, teenagers, school children, children under five years old, parents, friends and employers.
  • Down Syndrome Education International– this leading charity raises levels of educational achievement among children with Down’s Syndrome.
  • I CAN– a children’s communication charity working to support children with communication difficulties.
  • Makaton– information on Makaton signing, resources and training, as well as a forum for Makaton users to share their experiences.
  • National Autistic Society– the leading charity for people with autism.
  • Speech Teach UK– providing speech therapy resources for parents and professionals supporting children with speech, language and learning difficulties.
  • Talk To Your Baby– this Literacy Trust initiative contains free, downloadable parent information leaflets about early interaction.
  • Talking Point–for parents of children with communication difficulties and professionals working with them.
  • Targets and Activities Project (TAP)– TAP was designed to support educational staff working with children with communication difficulties. The site provides activity sheets for working with children at a variety of different levels and across a variety of curriculum and skill area
  • The Communication Trust– this coalition of 50 voluntary and community organisations with expertise in speech, language and communication provides films to help parents encourage their children’s communicative development.
  • The Dyspraxia Foundation– supports individuals and families affected by developmental dyspraxia. Offers a teen newsletter and an adult support group.
  • Unique– information and support for people and families with a rare chromosome disorder.