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Adult Life (18-25 years)


Advice and information about opportunities at age 18 and over

Chefs smallA Connexions personal advisor is a good point of contact at this stage - they offer confidential advice and support to young people with SEN aged 13-25 on a range of lifestyle issues such as careers, education, training, employment, health and personal development opportunities across Tyne and Wear. They can signpost to relevant organisations offering work experience, employment, training or apprenticeships or contact them on a young person's behalf. Specific information about what Gateshead Connexions offer to young people with SEND can be found here:

Connexions Local Offer

More information about Connexions

Alternatively telephone Connexions on 0191 433 2385.

If you are studying at a 6th form or college, the school or college should be able to provide you with information about opportunities available to you when you leave and provide you with support to access this provision. More information about where you can get support to look for employment, training courses, work experience, higher education and apprenticeships in Gateshead can be found by searching 'Preparing for Adulthood' in the Local Offer section of Gateshead’s Family Information Directory

Young people with an Education Health and Care Plan (EHC Plan) or a Learning Difficulty Assessment (LDA)

Young people aged 18-25 with an EHC Plan will continue to have their needs reviewed on at least an annual basis to ensure the right level of support is being provided across the areas of education, health and social care. This will be written into the EHC Plan (sometimes referred to as a Single Plan in Gateshead). Learning Difficulty Assessments (LDA) are being replaced by EHC Plans. No new LDA's will be issued from September 2014 and if you currently have an LDA this will be converted to an EHC Plan (where relevant) around the date of your next annual review. An Independent Supporter from Core Assets Children's Services can help you with the conversion process. They can:

  • Help the parent or young person understand the local referral process and local offer
  • Act as a named contact person for the parent or young person during the EHC assessment and planning process
  • Support parents and young people through the transfer of a Statement of SEN or Learning Difficulty Assessment (LDA) to an EHC plan (transfer reviews)
  • Support parents and young people to complete paperwork including Parental Views and My Story requests
  • Support schools, colleges and community organisations to raise awareness of the EHC process
  • Work with parents of children who are new EHC referrals, and/or young people (and their parents) who are coming up to school leaving age and would have had a LDA under the old system
  • Help parents or young people to understand the range of local services who should contribute the information required for an EHC needs assessment plan

For further information or to request an Independent Support please contact 0800 028 8455 or email

Around this time, the support received from social services or health may change from a children’s to an adult’s social or health worker. Gateshead Council offers a range of services to young people with learning difficulties or disabilities aged 18-25 to assist with their care needs, although these are subject to a different assessment called an adult social care assessment. This could include help with the following:

  • Everyday tasks in the home
  • Support to access day services including day centres
  • Help finding employment and volunteering opportunities
  • Assistance with concessionary travel
  • Assistance and support with personal budgets and direct payments
  • Applying for and providing short breaks (this used to be called respite)
  • Help finding suitable housing and accommodation
  • Arranging adaptations in the home
  • Help supplying relevant equipment and aids
  • Arranging fun and social activities to get involved in

More information about the support available for adults living in Gateshead with a disability can be found by clicking below:


Phone: 0191 433 7033     

Health needs and the transition to adult health services will continue to be assessed and planned as part of the EHC Planning process. Some young people may be eligible to receive Continuing Healthcare if they have a ‘primary health need’ and have a complex medical condition and substantial ongoing care needs. This means they could receive NHS funding to cover accommodation, personal care and healthcare costs, which would be written into their EHC Plan.  

More information

The Local Offer section of Gateshead Council's Family Information Directory includes information about the advice, support and services available for young people with SEN or a disability and their parents or carers.

Local and national organisations that provide help and support can be found in the following booklet. You can also search

Information booklet for young people aged 16-25 (479Kb)

Voluntary & community organisations (1.4Mb)

Financial Advice and Support

Contact a Family have produced a useful booklet about financial advice and support that may be available to you if your child has a disability:

Money Matters Booklet (479Kb)

Contact us

Special Educational Needs and Disability Team
Gateshead Council
0191 433 3626

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