You may come across acronyms when reading about support for families.

Acronyms can be confusing if you are not aware of their meaning. An acronym is an abbreviation of words using the first letters to form another, shorter word and they can be confusing if you are not aware of their meaning.

Here are some examples you might see:

ABSS: A Better Start Southend is a partnership of organisations who operate in six local wards - Westborough, Victoria, Milton, Kursaal, West Shoebury and Shoeburyness

ADHD: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a condition that can affect a person's behaviour, concentration and impulse

ASC: Autistic Spectrum Condition is a lifelong developmental disability which affects how a person communicates, relates to other people, and makes sense of the world around them

EHC Plan or EHCP: Education, Health and Care Plan is a statutory plan setting out child's special educational needs and the provision set out to meet them

EHE: Electively Home Educated is a term used to describe a choice by parents to provide education for their children at home - or at home and in some other way which they choose, instead of sending them to school full-time

EPUT: Essex Partnership University Trust: a local health provider

GP: General Practitioner a local health provider

ICB: Integrated Care Board is a partnership of organisations that come together to plan and deliver joined up health and care services, and to improve the lives of people who live and work in their area

LA: Local Authority is responsible for a range of vital services for people in defined areas such as social care, schools

LD: Learning Disability is a term that describes a person with a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day to day activities

LDA: Learning Difficulty Assessment

LO: Local Offer is the information a Local Authority publishes showing local services and support for SEND for children and young people and their families

MASH+: Multi agency safeguarding hub a referral point to access children's social care (this has now been replaced with C-SPOC - the Children's Single Point of Contact

MHST: Mental Health Support Teams are a national pilot offering support for children and young people from trained practitioners in evidence based mental health interventions in schools supervised by NHS staff

MSE ICB: Mid and South Essex Integrated Care Board a new partnership between the organisations that meet health and care needs across mid and south Essex

MSEFT: Mid and South Essex Partnership Foundation Trust - a group of hospitals covering mid and south Essex

NHS: National Health Service - leaders of health care in England

PD: Physical Difficulties a limitation on a person's physical functioning, mobility, dexterity, or stamina that has a substantial and long-term negative effect on an individual's ability to do normal daily activities

PMLD: Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties is term to describe severe learning disability and other disabilities (such as difficulties with hearing, speaking, and moving) that significantly affect a person's ability to communicate and be independent

RB: Resource base (sometimes called Enhanced Provision) provide targeted support in a setting attached to a mainstream school which enables children to make progress, achieve their identified outcomes and continue to access the mainstream curriculum and school

SCC: Southend-on-Sea City Council is the local government authority providing services for the area

Schools census: An electronic collection of pupil data from primary, secondary, special schools and pupil referral units, which takes place three times a year

SEMH: Social Emotional Mental Health is a term to describe someone who has a range of social and emotional difficulties which manifest themselves in many ways and behaviours

SENDIASS: Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Information Advice and Support Service is a free, impartial, and confidential service offering information, advice and support for parents and carers of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and to young people

SEND: Special Educational Needs and or Disabilities is a term referring to a learning difficulty and/or a disability that means a child needs special health and education support

SEND Capital Programme: Funding provided by the Government, through the Department for Education to help local authorities shape facilities for children with Special Educational Needs

SEN Support: Educational or training provision that is additional to or different from that made generally for others of the same age. This means provision that goes beyond the differentiated approaches and learning arrangements normally provided as part of high quality, personalised teaching

SLD: Severe Learning Difficulties is a term to describe significant and profound cognitive difficulties

SET CAMHS: The Child and Adolescence Mental Health Service provides advice and support to children, young people and families who need support with their emotional wellbeing or mental health difficulties. The service covers Southend, Essex and Thurrock

SSIF: Southend SEND Independent Forum is Southend's local Parent Carer Forum funded by the Department for Education

SCPHN - EHE: Specialist Public Health Nurse provides support for children who are Home Educated

For information about any other acronyms, please contact