Children with Special Needs

A zippy class in a SEN school

All children deserve good mental health.

Children with learning difficulties are at much greater risk of developing mental health problems than other children. Unfortunately there aren’t many resources available to support the mental wellbeing of children with learning difficulties or Autism Spectrum Disorders. That’s why we’ve adapted Zippy’s Friends to work with children with Special Educational Needs (SEN).

Our programmes

Zippy’s Friends has helped over 1 million children across the world to improve their coping and social skills. We’ve developed two adaptations of the programme to help children with Special Educational Needs access the programme.

Both programmes have been developed with the support of schools and educators and all of the ideas have been tested out by children.

Ideas from the supplements have also proved useful to children in mainstream schools. Our “Zippy Tips” cards started out as a resource for children with SEN but are now given out to all children to help them remember the golden rules of the programme.

Does it work?

The Inclusion Supplement was so well received by schools that we now include it as standard in with our Zippy’s Friends materials. Our latest evaluation project on Zippy’s Friends will also look at how the supplement is used.

The Special Needs Supplement has been independently evaluated by the University of Birmingham. Eight special schools from London, Birmingham, Surrey and Northamptonshire were recruited into the study, and teachers were trained to teach the programme. 

The findings of this study suggest that the Special Needs Supplement to Zippy's Friends "can have beneficial effects for children with SEN, particularly in the areas of self-awareness, ability to regulate emotions and relationship skills".

How do I get involved?

Zippy’s Friends for children with Special Educational Needs can only be run by trained professionals. For more information about the training and the programme, please contact Partnership for Children:


Tel: 020 8974 6004

Special Needs logo


'Zippy’s Friends is often the first thing these children have succeeded in, after failing in their home, in school and with their friends.' – Pupil Referral Unit, Durham


'The sessions are going very, very well, the resources are brilliant and the pupils are dealing with their emotions more effectively' – Teacher, special school for pupils with profound and multiple learning difficulties

Partnership for Children, 26-27 Market Place, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey, KT1 1JH, England
Telephone : 00 44 (0) 20 8974 6004 - Registered Charity number: 1089810