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Alternative Therapies

In this section you can find out more about what other alternative therapies or services are available to children and young people with special educational needs or disabilities and their families which may not be available through the NHS.

Example of therapies that some children and young people might find beneficial could be music therapy, art therapy or dramatherapy.

Music Therapy:

Music therapy is an established psychological clinical intervention, which is delivered by qualified music therapists and it can help children and young people whose lives have been affected by injury, illness or disability through supporting their psychological, emotional, cognitive, physical, communicative and social needs. Music Therapy can be used successfully for children (and adults) with a variety of problems such as special educational needs and/or disabilities, sensory impairments and physical, psychological or emotional disorders.

For further information about music therapy, please follow this link.

Art Therapy:

Art therapy mainly involves drawing and painting and it should be tailored to suit each person needs. It aims  to work towards understanding and expressing thoughts and emotions, as well as achieving healthy growth, healing and interaction. This kind of therapy is not just for children and young people with learning disabilities; it can also work for people with mental health issues, in schools and for elderly people.

For further details about art therapy, please click here.


Dramatherapy is a type of psychotherapy which can be non-verbal (as well as verbal) and offers a creative form of expression using drama and theatre techniques to facilitate a change of perspective/behaviour, to adapt to disability, to deal with difficult issues and to promote personal growth and mental health. This can be helpful to children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities and the expected outcomes include:

  • Enhanced confidence, self-esteem and emotional resilience

  • Greater security & self-awareness of safety.

  • Improved communication and socialisation skills

  • Improved concentration, memory, and attention

  • Increased body and sensory awareness

  • Greater awareness of boundaries – space, people

  • Abilities to overcome difficulties with relationships

To access further information and details about dramatherapy, please follow this link.


In addition to the therapies listed above, the following links from the UK charities 'Sky Budger', 'Mind' and 'Scope' provide  detailed information with regards to alternative therapies and/or about therapists in the UK (some available through the NHS) which you might find of interest:

The following link from the National Autistic Society (NAS) also provides useful information about different educational approaches that can be adopted to support children and young people with an autism spectrum condition: