Families of children with special educational needs are facing a postcode lottery to get extra help at schools, BBC 5 live Investigates suggests.
Figures from 125 councils in England and Wales obtained by a Freedom of Information request found a huge range in responses to assessment requests.
On average half of all requests by parents to get help are turned down.
The Local Government Association says standards are clearly set to try to meet the needs of each child.
Around one in five children in England and Wales has special educational needs (SEN) and is eligible for extra help at school.
The first step to getting help, over and above what can normally be provided in mainstream schools, is to request an assessment from the local education authority.