If you wish to apply for a Hampshire Gateway card you can do so online by clicking here
If you already have a Gateway Card, or have just received one, and you wish to know where your card can be used? Then the local FISH (Family and Information Service Hub) has a list of all providers that accept Gateway Cards. You can access the list by clicking here
If you are over 19 and no longer eligible for a Gateway card, you can find information on what a a Yellow Card is and how to apply by clicking here
The local offer has a lot of information on Gateway and Yellow cards, as well as an abundance of information on short break providers, education and childcare, respite, and much more.
Angus has a fantastic roar. It is so loud, it gives his Dad a headache! But his roar doesn't always work, leaving Angus feeling sad, angry and alone. This book describes what it can be feel like to have Selective Mutism and how even though you cannot express things in words, you can still do amazing things
"This guide is for parents and carers who think the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) have made the wrong decision about their child’s claim for Disability Living Allowance (DLA). We want to help you get what you are entitled to. This guide will help you work out if you should challenge the decision, as well as show you how to do it and win"
In July, the government released new exclusions guidance.
Unfortunately the amended guidance doesn’t prevent organisations from systematically acting outside of the law.
Hundreds of people contributed to Ambitious about Autism’s response to the government’s consultation on the exclusions guidance this spring. As a result, they were able to provide compelling evidence about the number of children missing out on school due to being unlawfully excluded.
The resources in AAA's pack are intended to be used to support people responsible for children’s education to understand their responsibilities and the scale of this issue in order to ensure that less children are unlawfully deprived of their right to a full education.
A variety of guides and templates with regards to exclusion can be found on Ambitious About Autism's website by clicking here
Ambitious about Autism has created a guide titled:
Your Guide to Getting Justice for all Unlawfully Excluded Children
'Ambitious about Autism have been working closely with the government since 2011 to influence the new Children and Families Act and make sure it considered the rights of children and young people with autism. In 2014, we released our ‘Ruled Out’ report, which showed that four out of ten children and young people with autism had been illegally excluded at least once'
Bringing Us Together have produced Family Survival Guides, written for parents by parents, to help families to find the right information about Care and Treatment Reviews (CTRs)
Often, there is a lot of information out there but we either can’t find it or we find it too late. Sometimes when we find it, it is written by someone who is a practitioner and although they have a lot of knowledge, it is difficult for them to truly understand what it feels like to be a family member going through this experience, or they use terminology that we haven’t heard yet.
Finding the right information about Care and Treatment Reviews (CTRs) is something many families have told us they struggled with. As part of our Stronger Together work, we have worked with families who have tonnes of personal experience of CTRs and we are so grateful that a team of them have spent hours for us putting this Guide together.
School admissions, children and young people with disabilities or special educational needs by the Council for Disabled Children.
The admissions system is designed to make sure that all children can exercise their right to
education and that they all have the same opportunity to attend a good school that makes
appropriate provision for them.
This briefing provides information about school admissions arrangements. It is written for
parents of disabled children and young people; parents of children and young people with special educational needs (SEN) and professionals advising parents including those in IASS.
The Law Society has published a practical guide on the law on deprivation of liberty for Under 18's. The deprivation of liberty safeguards are there to protect some of the most vulnerable people in our health and care systems. It is essential that any restrictions on their day-to-day lives are demonstrably proportionate and in their best interests. To view the guide, click here.
Sex and sexuality are a part of being human and we all have the right to enjoy relationships. We should all have access to appropriate information that helps us make informed choices and decisions. Knowing how to broach the subject though can be hard for us all and it is hoped that this factsheet will give you some useful pointers on the subject.
Selective Mutism is an anxiety disorder that prevents children and young people from speaking in certain social situations for example in school or in public. Children and young people who experience selective mutism may be able to speak freely to close family and friends when they feel comfortable or relaxed e.g. at home. To read the full article please click here
School Uniform can be very expensive if you have a child or young person with a disability or additional needs as you often need to have multiple sets – which can include jumpers, blazers, PE Kit or polo shirts etc. that display the school logo. To read the full article please click here.
If you decide to educate your child at home rather than sending them to a school, this is known as elective home education.
There is no legal obligation to send your child to school however if you choose not to do this then you must provide a suitable education at home. A suitable education is one that is appropriate to your child’s age, ability and any special educational needs they may have.
If you’re the parent/carer of a child or young person with a disability or additional needs there might be times when you need advice, support, or just someone to talk to. However there can be so much information and advice out there it can be difficult to find the right help at the right time —especially if you find that you’re in need of support “out of hours”. You may also feel anxious or worried about unexpected emergencies that prevent you from caring for your child. This guide is designed to help you find the support you need—when you need it—especially in an emergency.
When you have a child or young person with a disability you can feel very isolated and your experiences and feelings can seem very different to your friends or family members who have children of a similar age.
Parent support groups can be a great way to meet other parents and carers whose experiences may be similar to yours and for you to share practical and emotional support.
Applying for DLA – Disability Living Allowance – can be a very daunting process especially if it’s the first time you have completed the form, if your child is newly diagnosed or if you haven’t been given a diagnosis yet. However there is support available – both nationally and locally - if you need it. We have put together this factsheet to signpost you to that support and also to give you some tips and advice on completing the form.
Portage is an educational service for pre-school children with a disability/additional support needs and their families. In Hampshire the portage service is provided to children from birth up to school age primarily in the child’s home although they do also make visits to a child’s early years/preschool setting.
The Hampshire portage service is divided in to districts e.g. Hart & Rushmoor and many of these districts also offer additional support to parents/carers for example through coffee mornings, themed groups or sessions such as music, stay and play and Makaton or parent mailing services.
When you have a child or young person with a disability you can feel very isolated and your experiences and feelings can seem very different to your friends or family members who have children of a similar age. Parent support groups can be a great way to meet other parents and carers whose experiences may be similar to yours and for you to share practical and emotional support. Click here for more information.
Most Children and Young People enjoy going to the cinema but for a number of reasons it can sometimes be difficult for them to go. To make this activity a little more accessible and enjoyable for your child or young person, we have created an article with some suggestions and tips. This contains information about the CEA (Cinema Exhibitors’ Association) card & where to find participating cinemas in your area; links to the various cinema group websites for their accessibility information and how to sign up for an Autism Friendly Film newsletter.
Hospitals can be strange and frightening places for children and young people – especially as they naturally become associated with being ill or in pain, operations and surgery, injections and blood tests or hours of appointments in different waiting rooms. These feelings can be worse for children and young people who have a disability or additional needs as they may not understand what is happening and they’re also more likely to spend more time in the hospital environment than other children and young people.
Going away on holiday should be something that we look forward to and enjoy. Having a child with a disability can sometimes mean that a little more planning is required to ensure that things run smoothly. The tourist industry is finally waking up to the fact that we all want to go on holiday and accessibility information is more readily available. However, finding out whether staff will be understanding or what facilities will be like can take a lot of work and this factsheet aims to give you some pointers on where to start.
The Fragile X Society have produced an easy read guide which looks at various aspects of Fragile X, providing an overview of its characteristics. It also includes some practical strategies for managing anxiety, making friends, and learning. To download the document, click here or call 01371 875100
Dysgraphia is a neurological condition that causes problems with written expression. The term dysgraphia means: dys: impaired and graphia: making letters form by hand.
For many children with dysgraphia, tasks like holding a pencil and organising letters on a line are difficult. They may also struggle with spelling and with processing their thoughts and writing them down.
Many young people attend a school that has a sixth form and then choose to stay on at school and attend the school’s sixth form, whereas some may decide that they want to go to a Further Education (FE) College. Others attend a school that does not offer post 16 courses, and they therefore have to look around to find suitable post 16 education.
It’s important to take children to see the dentist from an early age. If your child/young person has a learning disability or other medical condition and they find visiting the dentist difficult then this article offers lots of links to useful resources and organisations with information and advice about visiting the dentist. To read the article please click here.
Children and young people with learning disabilities, Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD), ADD/ADHD or mental health issues are more likely to experience anxiety. It can sometimes be difficult to identify that a child or young person is experiencing anxiety as the signs and symptoms can also be common to their condition. This contains information about Resources, Organisations and Mental Health Teams that can offer help and support. To read the full article please click here
The Local Autism Directory (LAD) is a one stop shop for local autism information. The LAD has been commissioned by Adult and Health Services and developed by Autism Hampshire. It is a combined approach to deliver information and support to people connected to autism.
Some behaviours that a child or young person uses can be challenging to the people around them e.g. parents, carers, teachers and other professionals. By using these behaviours the child or young person isn’t trying to upset or distress others : they are giving a sign that something is wrong, that their needs aren't being fulfilled or that there is a problem with communicating these needs. Support shouldn’t be focused upon stopping this behaviour—as it is showing that something is wrong—but trying to resolve the issue or issues that are causing the person to feel distressed. For information and guidance please click here to view our guide and click here for the Challenging Behaviour check list to help identify the issues and what is causing them.
Deciding what to do after the age of 16 can be a very daunting experience for both young people and their parents/carers. This fact-sheet looks at some of the Post 16 options available to young people in the Hampshire area.
Unfortunately children and young people who have a disability or special educational needs (SEN) are statistically more likely to experience bullying at school or in their daily lives. Bullying remains the single biggest concern raised by children and young people with a disability or SEN.
If your child has a statement of special educational needs or EHCP, they will usually go to an ordinary school, play group or nursery. However, if their needs are quite complex then you can also ask for them to go to a special school.
From September 2014 statements will be being replaced with individual Education and Health Care Plans (EHCP). If you do not currently have a statement in place – or will be applying for the new EHCP once they come in to affect – please see our Educational Terms Explained here and Independent Advice: here
In the Statement – and eventually the EHCP – there will be a blank section for you to say what school you want your child to go to (either mainstream or special), or how you want them to be educated out of school. Your local council must agree to send your child to the school you want as long as:
the school you choose is suitable for your child’s age, ability, skills and needs
your child meets any academic selection criteria the school has (although most state schools do not select pupils by academic ability)
your child’s presence will not have a negative impact on the education of other children already at the school
putting your child in the school will be an efficient use of the local authority’s resources
If there’s a suitable state school, the local council doesn’t have to send your child to a private school.
When choosing a school for your child we would recommend visiting any potential schools and asking any questions that you think may be important. Visiting a number of schools will help you to get a good view of the provisions that may be available for your child – and which school may suit their needs best.
If you are not sure where to start or what questions to ask the schools you would like to visit then this booklet will help you get started, click here.
This page details all the maintained provision in Hampshire; including mainstream, resourced units in mainstream schools and special schools: click here
The current Special Educational Needs Code of practice can be found at: click here
It can be helpful to learn more about the free resources that are available to your family when considering accessibility arrangements. Accessibility doesn’t just mean looking at things like accessible toilets or entrances it can also include resources such as hearing loops, social stories and large print text/ information. The key is being able to quickly access the information you need in a way that suits you and your family. To view this factsheet click here.
A few pupils may be eligible for Access Arrangements for national tests or examinations. Any access arrangement is to enable the pupil to access the test and must be part of their normal way of working in class.
There are specific health issues that some people with Downs Syndrome should have monitored and reviewed by their GP. To assist, The Downs Syndrome Association have released a new resource ‘Health Book’ for those with Downs Syndrome to take to their health check and GPs have also been alerted to the resource and so they should be aware too! Click here to download your Health Book
This Factsheet provides details of the legal framework (ie. the law) relating to free school transport as well as explaining local policy, so that you can understand how it applies to you and your family.
It provides information about who is eligible for free school transport, what transport and support might be available, how to apply and what to do if you need to appeal a decision about school transport eligibility. It also provides information about your options for getting your child to school if you are not eligible for free school transport, as well as useful tips and resources.
Hearing that your child has been excluded from school can come as a huge shock. This guide offers infor-mation on legal responsibilities, necessary actions and how you can look to the future.
It is recognised that children and young people with SEND are more likely to be excluded from school than their peers but there is still some confusion around the way that these exclusions are used and the legalities of a child or young person not being able to attend school. Exclusion is the most extreme sanction available to a head teacher.
Whilst children and young people who do not have other conditions and disabilities can experience Sensory Processing Disorders (SPD) they are more likely to occur in children and young people with learning disabilities, who have Autism, who have ADHD or other conditions like dyslexia or dyspraxia. A child or young person can experience one or more sensory processing disorders and these can be triggered by different stimuli and situa-tions. SPD can be difficult to identify as the symptoms can sometimes be masked by the symptoms of other ex-isting conditions. Some Sensory Processing Disorders are more difficult to identify than others and occasionally a child or young person who displays symptoms of a SPD will actually have another underlying condition that needs to be explored such as dyslexia, dyspraxia or Prader Willi’s. Unfortunately whilst Sensory Processing Dis-orders can be quite common the information, support and advice available on each of these can vary greatly.
A child who does not sleep well can affect the whole family. Parents can be left exhausted, unable to think clearly and struggling to cope with their daily activities. The child can be left feeling either tired or over-active, both signs of lack of sleep. To download the guide, click here.
The guide offers employers, senior managers, line managers, HR personnel, employees, employee/trade union representatives and job applicants a grounding into how disability discrimination can occur in the workplace, how it can be dealt with and how to reduce the chance of future discrimination. You can view it here
School holidays can be tricky for some young people – especially if they like each day to follow a set pattern and benefit from a structured timetable. Having plans in place can help you and your children to feel more relaxed. To read the full article please click here.
Children and young people now spend a lot of time online using the internet to socialise, explore and have fun. Unfortunately there can be risks associated with being online – such as cyberbullying or accessing content that isn’t appropriate. There is also a risk that they will be encouraged into conversations with strangers/people using false identities and that they may share information they shouldn’t or upload pictures/files that may be harmful to them in the future.
This is a guide for disabled people thinking about studying in higher education starting September 2016. It deals with common questions such as whether the college or university will be accessible, how to choose a course and what support will be available. It also covers the student finance system and has up-to date information on tuition fees, repayment methods and the support that will be in place for 2016 entry.
The relationship we have with our siblings can be one the most important we have during our childhood and having a disabled brother or sister can exaggerate our feelings for them. Children can have an array of emotions, both positive and negative for their disabled sibling and may sometimes need a little support to understand what they are feeling. This factsheet is intended to highlight some of the issues siblings might face and to point you in the direction of organisations, both locally and nationally, that may be able to offer support.
This guide has been prepared for parents of disabled children in England who want to know how to get help for their child’s social care needs. It principally deals with the responsibilities of the local authorities to provide social care for disabled children, as well as support for the parents/carers of those children. You can view the guide here
Children and young people with learning disabilities, Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD), ADD/ADHD are more likely to experience mental health issues. Mental health issues in the disabled are often more likely to be overlooked or underestimated due to the signs and symptoms of their condition.
This contains information about resourses, organisations and Community Mental Health Teams that can offer help and support. To view the article click here.
Therapeutic positioning systems for all ages. A family run organisation dedicated to making night time positioning equipment as accessible and flexible for people as possible. Night time positioning is one of the most effective therapies available for people with movement difficulties - if used correctly it can help to protect and restore an individual's body shape and quality of life.
Families with disabled children often find it difficult to access the free childcare that is available to all three and four year olds, and some eligible two year olds. There are many reasons for this: you may not be able to find a childcare provider to suit your child’s specific needs, many childcare settings are not inclusive, and many don’t offer free childcare at times that are suitable.
This guide is designed to help you understand your rights to free childcare for disabled children, and help you challenge decisions by local authorities and childcare settings if your access to free childcare has been denied.
The guide has been compiled by Irwin Mitchell Solicitors with Steve Broach (barrister at Monckton Chambers) for charities Contact a Family, Every Disabled Child Matters (EDCM) and The Family and Childcare Trust as part of ‘Levelling the Playing Field: the Childcare Campaign for Disabled Children’.
To view this guide please click here
Care Act Advocacy is available to people who have substantial difficulty in being fully involved in Local Authority processes AND Where there is no-one appropriate available to support and represent their wishes. To view leaflet,click here
Arranged into local authority areas, the Guide provides contact details for Inclusive Fitness Initiative (IFI) Facilities, sports clubs and local sports development and governing body officers. You can view the guide here.
It is important to talk about poo openly and honestly so that children and families feel comfortable discussing the issue, don’t feel ashamed of admitting they have a problem, and seek help when they need it.
The Let’s Talk About Poo campaign aims to raise awareness of children’s poo problems among parents, health professionals and education professionals so that we all know how to spot when a child might be having problems with their pooing and so that we feel OK talking about it. This will ensure that the people close to the child can intervene at an early stage with simple measures to help them poo. Early intervention should prevent poo problems from becoming serious. However, if a child’s poo problem does become serious, it is important to know what treatment is available to help them manage their pooing.
The National Children’s Bureau (NCB) have published two books on Dignity & Inclusion as follows: Dignity & Inclusion – Making it work for children with behaviour that challenges. This aims to ensure that children whose behaviour is challenging as a result of either a severe learning disability or autism can access education and childcare. Dignity & Inclusion – Making it work for children with complex health care needs. This practical resource closely examines the business of managing complex health needs. Both are priced at £24.99 (offer may apply if purchased together – check with retailer). All sales and distribution of NCB titles are now handled by Jessica Kingsley Publishers (JKP) and its UK distributor Macmillan Distribution Ltd. To purchase, click here to view their website and type Dignity & Inclusion in the search box or call 020 7833 2307. NCB and its member group discounts will still be available on NCB titles in the JKP web shop. Customers who would like to use their member discount should contact JKP when placing their order.
Disability Rights UK have produced a new factsheet on Pooling Personal Budgets. Pooling Personal Budgets is another way to empower disabled people and promote choice in how they wish to lead their life. Recipients of personal budgets decide to bring together/pool their resources i.e. their budgets, skills, efforts and other ‘assets’ to achieve defined outcomes and do things that they wish to do as a group. ‘Pooling’ is the grouping together and combination of the disabled people’s assets to carry out their objectives and goals to meet their needs effectively. This maximises their independence and control over how they make changes in their lives. The factsheet tells you what you need to know to pool your own budgets. To view the factsheet click here or call 02072 508181.
The Children and Families Act 2014 introduces a new SEND system. At the heart of these changes is a commitment to ensuring that children, young people and their families are at the centre of decision-making so that they achieve better outcomes.
This guide focuses on young people who are preparing for adulthood – those aged 14-25 who will be transferring from a statement of special educational needs (SEN) or are receiving support at college following a Learning Difficulty Assessment (LDA).
A reminder that Making it Personal:2 (MIP2) resources are online and free for all to download! There’s lots of new information for: Parents/carers of children/young people with SEND • Providers who want to include children/young people with SEND into their service • Families Information Services so they can better help people asking them for information • Commissioners of services across health, education and social care. The tools are full of exemplars and case studies to give real life examples of how personal budgets can work in practice and how to get the best out of the new system. The MIP2 materials can be found on the KIDS website by clicking here. They have also created a new set of e-learning modules to support the tools. They are completely FREE to use just sign up by clicking here.
Sophia’s House is a private clinic, based at 7 Manor Crescent, Bursledon, Southampton, SO31 8DQ, offering high quality therapies for special needs children of any age. They inspire and support children and their parents and can provide a wide range of treatments for children with cerebral palsy, global developmental delay, down syndrome and many more. Some of the treatments they can offer include speech and language therapy, Shantala Massage, Sensory Integration and more. For more details about the clinic, please visit their website by clicking here or call Aleksandra on 02380 405823 or email email@example.com.
Preparing Family Members for Your Aspergers Child’s Behaviour: Tips for Holiday Gatherings
My Aspergers Child have created a letter (or email) that you can send to relatives and hosts of holiday gatherings who might need a crash course in what to expect from your Aspergers (or high functioning autism) child. To copy or print the letter, please click here.
The Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities have produced a one-stop booklet for families of children and young people with complex health needs. The aim of the booklet is to offer information and routes to support of a practical nature, which they hope can improve the lives of children and young people with complex health needs. It suggests ways in which your child can be supported to have fun, and gives details of what is available to make the home more comfortable and adapted to your child’s needs as they grow up. You’ll also find information on your rights and advice on how to start planning for changes and transitions in your child’s life. For a free download, please click here or call 020 7803 1100.
Being Me is a free anti-bullying classroom resource that seeks to celebrate difference and promote inclusion by giving young people in years 5-8 an invaluable insight into the potential challenges being faced by their peers. It offers young people five powerful diary entries and short stories that aim to raise awareness of bullying and give readers a greater understanding of what life is like for other children: life with autism; life as a young carer; life at the end of homophobic taunts, or life when you’re the most able or gifted and ostracised as a result. For more information and to download the free series click here.
The Local Offer will contain information about the services that Hampshire expect to be available in their area for children and young people from birth to 25 who have special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). It should include information on education, health and care services, leisure activities and support groups–both in the local area and in areas outside of Hampshire if they are services that children and young people in their area might need, want to or like to use.
The information provided by the local offer should be clear, easy to understand and parents and carers should be able to access this without difficulty. The local offer may also include information which children and young people can access individually.
Most children with special educational needs (SEN) go to a mainstream school. The law says that schools must do everything they can to make sure children with SEN get the extra support they need to achieve as well as they can, Mainstream schools do this through a system called SEN support. Contact a Family have produced a guide on SEN Support.
Teaching your child to use the toilet can be stressful for any parent and there is no right way to do it. However, there are some strategies that you can follow which might make things a little easier. For some children with disabilities toilet training may require a little more time while other children may never achieve complete independence, although having a toileting programme will help ensure a child is treated with dignity and respect.
This factsheet will talk you through the various stages of toilet training and give some hints and tips that other parents have found helpful.
A Short Break enables children and young people with disabilities and/or additional needs to join in with safe, fun and interesting activities while at the same time giving parents/carers an opportunity to have a short break from caring. There are a range of leisure and recreation opportunities taking place around Hampshire including specialist and mainstream scheme.
Haircuts can be a very stressful experience for some young people and their families. This pack contains ideas, strategies, links and parent tips that will help you to identify the main issues and perhaps make things a little easier.
Hampshire County Council has led the way in increasing opportunities for children and young people with disabilities to participate in a wider range of leisure and recreational activities. Where possible, disabled children want to take part in the same activities as any non-disabled child, while at the same time parents get a short break from caring. These are known as short breaks and can be from a few hours to a day or evening activity.
The Children’s Services department in Hampshire are responsible for a range of social care services for children, young people and their parents/carers including caring for a child with special needs. It’s recommended that you speak to an appropriate member of staff as soon as possible if you have any concerns about the service or services being provided. If you do not feel comfortable reporting your complaint in this way or if you have already done this and feel that it hasn't helped to resolve the issue then you could discuss this with the service manager. Many concerns can be quickly and successfully resolved in this way but occasionally it isn't possible to reach a resolution and a formal complaint needs to be made.
Long term sleep disturbances can have an enormous impact on family life. Many families can feel very isolated because of the sleep issues their disabled child is experiencing and often feel that no one can help or that strategies only work for a while before the original issues resurface. For the child a lack of sleep can affect concentration, learning, progress and health. This factsheet outlines some of the possible causes of sleep is-sues, suggests some strategies and provides signposts to support services.
Many of us have moments in the Summer holidays when we are stuck for something to do. On the Hampshire Gateway website you can find details of hundreds of great activities happening across the county so this guide has been produced to complement those and offer some alternative ideas.
Parents and children can together plan a book about them which can actually be published/printed for only £12.99 – they choose an avatar to represent them and follow the prompts on screen to create the content.
Tell your child's unique story through words & pictures! Your child will love it too!
Customise your very own 24-page large-sized (297mm x 210mm), children's book to explain how your child communicates; create a look-alike of your child - personalise it with hearing aids or cochlear implants. Explain to friends, family, carers and school staff about their issues / hearing loss, show how others can help, add their interests and favourite things.
Contact a Family's Money matters guide a a check list of entitlements to benefits and other financial help you may be able to get if you are the parent of a disabled child in England, Scotland and Wales.
Sense has produced a new information pack for hospital staff supporting multi-sensory impaired children in hospital. Going into hospital can be a daunting experience for children who are deafblind/multi-sensory impaired. Because of their limited sight and hearing - often combined with other disabilities - they can easily become frightened and disorientated. The new information pack explains what is meant by multi-sensory impairment - and how it affects children and their families. It offers practical tips and ideas to help make the hospital stay less stressful and includes resources for staff who want to know more. The booklet is available for download and would be of interest to all hospital and community medical and support staff and to parents. To download a copy of the booklet, please click here. On this page, other resources are available for parents to use to help hospital staff understand the needs of their child. If you do not have access to the internet, call 0300 330 9256.
The Children's Sleep Charity is the only charity in England and Wales who offer sleep support to families using a cognitive and behavioural approach. They work in close partnership with the medics at Sheffield Children's Hospitals sleep unit to ensure that the work that they carry out is clinically safe. Their success rate is over 90% and the majority of children with additional needs respond positively to their gentle methods. Many of their practitioners are also parents of children with disabilities who have previously suffered from sleep deprivation so have true empathy for the families that they work with. They have produced a booklet which can be downloaded free of charge, please contact them on 07912 667676 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for the link. For more information on the charity, please click here to view their website.
A new version of the NSPCC’s successful campaign the 'Underwear Rule' has been launched to help parents teach children with a learning disability about sexual abuse. In collaboration with Mencap, they have produced guides which are accessible for both parents and children with a learning disability. To find out more
click here to visit the NSPCC website.
Wizzybug is a fun and innovative powered wheelchair designed specifically for children under five. Even those as young as 14 months can operate its simple controls, allowing them to zip around with their peers, developing spatial awareness, social interaction and independence. It can be used indoors and out of doors in accessible areas such as level gardens, playgrounds and parks, enabling children to enjoy the experience of mobility with their “first wheels”. The Wizzybug addresses the needs of children with conditions such as cerebral palsy, spinal muscular atrophy, spina bifida and muscular dystrophy. They are now available on loan, free of charge, to disabled children in mainland UK for as long as the child can benefit. Parents are asked to pay a security deposit of £200, which is refunded when their Wizzybug is returned in an acceptable condition at the end of the loan period. To start the application process, please contact Designability's Occupational Therapist, Rae Baines on 01225 824103 who will work with you and your referring therapist to determine if Wizzybug would be suitable for your child.
Dosh supports people with a learning disability to be more independent with their money. They can support people in a number of ways: Person-centred appointeeship: Managing your benefit payments ▪ Financial advocacy: supporting you to manage your budget and make payments ▪ Individual budgets: supporting you with your Individual Budget, Direct Payments or Individual Service Fund ▪ Money Check: a money health check once a year for people they do not otherwise support. This will include a check on your benefits to see you are getting all you are entitled to, income and spending. For more details go to www.dosh.org or call 0300 303 1288.
Do you know your rights to requesting flexible working? Parents, and other people who combine work with caring for dependants, have some specific rights protected by law. These include various types of leave and the right to be considered for flexible working. ACAS have produce a very useful guide entitled ‘The right to apply for flexible working: A short guide for employers, parents and carers’. To view the guide click on the link below or call their helpline 0300 123 1100.
Contact a Family have updated their guide to holidays, play and leisure for families of disabled children with a smart new listings format. Parents can get a free copy by calling the helpline on 0808 808 3555. Packed full of useful information to help you plan to keep the children occupied this summer holiday, the guide includes: where to find suitable play and leisure facilities ▪ ideas for days out ▪ your child’s rights to play and leisure ▪ financial help with leisure, and with holidays in the UK or abroad ▪ finding holiday and travel insurance ▪ short breaks for carers. To download your copy of the guide click here.
Other printed guides available from their helpline and website are: Money Matters checklist – when your child has additional needs ▪ Relationships and caring for a disabled child ▪ Siblings ▪ Grandparents ▪ Aids, equipment and adaptions ▪ Fathers
R-E-M has been supplying educational services to schools, colleges, LEAs, parents and students for over 48 years. Visit the website to order a catalogue and find out which resources are available by clicking here
EduBase is the Department for Education's register of educational establishments in England and Wales. You can use the search box on the website to select school type and location to quickly find establishments in your local area or use the advanced search page for further search criteria including establishments that are closed or planned to open in the future. To access the resource, click here
This guide aims to bring together some of the main issues that parents and young people need to think about, with some useful contacts for more detailed advice on each. It’s written for parents with children of 13 years of age and over, as 13 to
14 is the age when the transition process should begin. To view the guide click here
'Special Needs Schools' aims to provide as much information as possible about special needs schools and colleges that are available in the UK (private and state provided). To view the online resource, click here
Do2learn provides thousands of free pages with social skills and behavioural regulation activities and guidance, learning songs and games, communication cards, academic material, and transition guides for employment and life skills. To access the resources, click here
Incentive Plus offers an inspiring range of practical and professional educational resources encouraging all to learn. The current range offers a wealth of choice for special needs plus personal, social and emotional development. Resources have been chosen by teachers, support workers and students. To access these resources click here
Disability Rights are delighted to announce the publication of Into Apprenticeships which is a new guide for disabled people, parents and key advisers about applying for apprenticeships in England. You can view the guide on the Disability Rights website by clicking here.
Dosh has recently published its banking guide: ‘Making Banking Easier’ which follows on from their report last month on access to banking.
The guide aims to give people the information they need to understand banking, know what they should be getting and know how to ask for it.
Opening, changing and closing an account
What should banks be doing?
How can I get support with banking?
How can I deal with problems?
What do banking laws say?
What do equality laws say? In particular, the Equality Act and Mental Capacity Act
Links to further resources and helpful contacts
Dosh’s recent report found that people with a learning disability were not always given different options to help them, for example an extended list of acceptable identity documents, a different type of account, or a signature stamp. This guide will help everyone to get past these problems by knowing what to say and what they should be getting, so that they can work together to find solutions.
Along with the full guide, there is a short help sheet for you to take with you on trips to the bank as a quick reminder.
For full details, please visit the website here. You can find the guide here and helpsheet here.
A new guide for families of young deaf children in England on learning British Sign Language has been created.
The guide explains some of the reasons why parents learn BSL and outlines the support that might be available to them from their local authority. It also describes the barriers some parents have faced in learning BSL and how access could be improved through the forthcoming Special Educational Needs reforms. To view the guide click here
Cyberbullying is becoming a concern for lots of parents and carers. Contact a Family have some really useful resources online such as a bullying log to help you keep track of any incidents and a sample letter for contacting the school. To view the documents click here
When people and their families get the chance to write their own individual plan and have control over the money available for their support, it can help provide innovative support for individuals who may otherwise end up in high cost, poor quality residential services.
A new report commissioned by Think Local Act Personal (TLAP) focuses on personal health budgets for people with learning disabilities and autism. The report contains examples from around England of NHS Continuing Health Care teams and people from specialist learning disability services working together to better integrate health and care support for individuals.
For more information and to read the report, please click here to visit the TLAP website.
The Local Autism Directory (LAD), which is found on Autism Hampshire’s website, is the response to people’s request for a one-stop-shop of information. The LAD will help to connect the autism community, professionals, employers and service providers and help them access autism information all in one place.
The LAD will provide information about many local issues including support groups, activities, schools, employment, housing, developments taking place across SHIP and neighbouring counties. It also has clear and simply written autism research articles to help people stay up to date with new approaches and helpful information.
The Local Autism Directory has been commissioned by SHIP Adult Services and Health and developed by Autism Hampshire. It is very much a combined and joint approach to give information and support to people with, and connected to, autism.
Jewish Blind and Vision Impaired Community. A Facebook group for Jewish people who are blind, vision impaired and their families. A group for networking, sharing information, discussion and advocacy in the Jewish community.
ActionAgainstCruelty provides practitioners and service users with guidance on tackling cruelty towards people with learning disabilities and towards building supportive and informed communities in which people can live safe, independent and fulfilling lives
Study programmes are publicly-funded programmes of learning for 16 to 19 year olds, or 16 to 25 year olds where the student has a learning difficulty assessment (LDA) or Education, Health and Care plan (EHCP), which are based on a young person’s prior attainment and designed to meet clear educational and career aspirations. This guide explains Study Programmes in detail, to view it click here
Talking to a doctor about your own mental health can be difficult, so the Mental Health Foundation has produced a practical guide with details on what to expect from your appointment and what your GP can do for you. By using the tips and advice in the booklet you’ll be able to speak to your GP about your mental health with greater confidence.
Learning Disability Today have produced a special supplement on autism and challenging behaviour.
The publication (sponsored by Tough Furniture) explores the impact that challenging behaviour can have on a person with autism or learning disabilities and offers a variety of ways that it can be mitigated and reduced.
Contact a Family's latest guide, Developmental Delay, is aimed at parents worried about their child's development or who have been told that their child has developmental delay. You can either download the guide online (link below) or call the Contact a Family helpline for a free copy.
Hampshire County Council is committed to supporting families who choose to electively home educate, and have written a useful guide answering some of the questions you may have. Elective Home Education (EHE) is sometimes called home education or home schooling and is supported through the Education Inclusion Service (EIS).
NHS CHC is funding for a complete package of health and social care that is paid for by the NHS. This is for people who have been assessed to have a ‘primary health need’. There is a system of assessments that will be arranged by the NHS to decide if someone is eligible for NHS CHC. If they are, the NHS will decide how much money to allocate for their support and will agree a plan. It is really important that this is done in a person centred way and involves you as family members. There is a factsheet you can read about Continuing Healthcare here
Asperger United is a quarterly magazine for ages 16+ (although some parents subscribe on behalf of their under-16s). It is edited by a person with High-Functioning Autism and written by people with Asperger syndrome, High-Functioning Autism and other high-functioning conditions on the spectrum, or by professionals with this group specifically in mind
SeeAbility have produced a series of easy read factsheets "Getting the best eye care” and “If Things Go Wrong" to improve eye care for people with learning disabilities. These documents help people with learning disabilities to have successful eye tests
Preparing for Adulthood have produced a brochure which tells positive stories of people with learning disabilities in work and gives you resources and ideas to help you celebrate your child's potential. The brochure also aims to ensure support professionals working with your child think in the same positive way as you do
The Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities (FPLD) has recently launched an A-Z of Learning Disabilities to provide information on key topics which are relevant to people with learning disabilities, their families, carers and friends. Topics range from employment and circles of support, to dementia and Rett Syndrome
Dobson’s Choice have created the world’s first search engine for people with learning disabilities. It enables people who cannot read or write to find websites that are interesting, accessible and relevant. The search engine is free & easy to use, covers the whole of the UK
The BBC have produced an online guide on how to make the internet more accessible for a number of disabilities. This site provides accessibility help, enabling computer users to make the most of the internet whatever their ability or disability
Inspired Services have recently uploaded Make Your Move - a video guide to independent living onto Youtube. It shows real people who are in control of their own lives, and living in their own homes. Whilst made a few years ago, this video is as relevant now as it ever was, although some of the jargon may have changed
The Autism Directory aims to pull together all that is out there and signpost autism families to the help they need. It does not intend to duplicate anything but just to pull it all together in one easy to use website that can be returned to again and again to get information, support and help
Information on products and services for special needs kids, events and campaigns, disability issues, support groups, respite care, clothing, equipment, toys, leisure activities and days out, holidays, where to go for help and advice, and much more
The RNIB Library Catalogue gives access to over 170,000 items available for loan and/or sale in audio, large and giant print, braille and moon. The catalogue includes books from RNIB, Calibre Audio Library, Torch Trust and the National Blind Children's Society
This site has been set up to make it easy for everyone to find out what services there are for people with Learning Disabilities/Difficulties (LD) in their local area, or any area, just by clicking the map or typing in a postcode
area4parents.co.uk is packed full of information for parents and carers in the local and wider Gosport community. We regularly update the News, Events Calendar, Drop-ins and Support Group pages so keep checking us out!
If you are involved with special needs or disability in whatever capacity (family member, carer, teacher, support worker, volunteer, charity organiser, etc.) – then our aim is that you might find some useful stuff here, or indeed contribute some useful stuff, to help make your life, or somebody else’s, a little easier
A range of Sex Education DVD resources suitable for children and young people including those with special needs. Our award winning titles are accessible and user-friendly, with easy to use menu choices and optional subtitles
A topical and current book, written by Kieron Smith, who is father to Tanzie who is 6 years old and has Down syndrome, this book looks at ‘hot topics’ that are regularly discussed in the media but rarely in any depth including how society views people with Down syndrome and how this has changed over the last century, antenatal testing and the implications of the developments in non-invasive testing procedures, education of children with Down syndrome, inclusion and Down syndrome: a cultural perspective
A useful guide produced by Unique, a charity supporting families of children with a rare chromsome disorder. They have produced a guide for families who have a pre-school child who has been diagnosed with either a chromosome disorder or developmental delay. It contains lots of helpful info and signposts for parents of all children with additional needs
My Rights, Your Responsibility is a set of information written primarily for parents of disabled children. It provides information to parents on their child’s rights to access activities, community facilities and other services
This unique book written by Tania Tirraoro, is aimed at helping parents understand what they need to do in a step-by-step approach that includes extracts from successful applications for SEN statutory assessments and school placements
TomTag from Orkid Ideas is a customisable visual checklist system that helps kids get organised for school. With colourful tags and fun pictures kids can really enjoy learning to pack their own bags. TomTag clips easily to any school bag so it’s always on hand when it’s needed. Remembering what to take to school and bring home again has never been so easy!
As a higher education student living in England, you can apply for a Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) if you have a disability, long-term health condition, mental health condition or specific learning difficulty such as dyslexia. The money you get depends on your individual needs and not on income
Carers UK have produced a guide setting out what rights carers have and how they can get financial help, practical help and help with combining work and caring. The guide is concise and all in one booklet which gives an overview of a range of help and support for carers. You can see the guide here
Contact a Family have produced a guide for fathers who have a disabled child. No matter if you’re a new parent or an experienced one – everyone can react in different ways to the news that their child has a disability or medical condition. It includes tips for dads from other dads, and personal stories from fathers, as well as sources of support and useful resources
HfT Family Carer Support Service have written a ‘Guide to Benefit Changes for Family Carers and People with Learning Disabilities from 2013’. The guide gives detailed information about the changes to; Universal Credit, Personal Independence Payment, Carers Benefits, Council Tax Benefits, Social Fund, changes to the appeals processes, and work related benefit support.
The Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities (FPLD) has published new guidelines on supporting pupils to move from primary to secondary school in England. The organisation has produced 3 guides: one for parents, one for teachers and an easy-read guide for year 6 pupils
Sibs, the charity supporting siblings of disabled people, has launched the first ever UK wide online support service. YoungSibs offers siblings information and support whilst growing up with a disabled brother or sister. It includes information about disability, dealing with feelings and family life, and tips for coping day to day
A guide for anyone who thinks the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) have made the wrong decision about their claim for Disability Living Allowance (DLA), Attendance Allowance (AA) or Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
National Talking Newspapers & Magazines is a service available in all Hampshire libraries for anyone who has difficulty reading print due to sight loss or other conditions. It includes audio versions of over 150 top magazines; national newspapers; TV & radio listings
Netbuddy has teamed up with The Judith Trust to launch a Mental Health Information Pack highlighting some of the issues people with learning disabilities and mental ill-health face, and the resources that are available to support them
Cerebra, a national charity for children with neurological conditions, has produced a guide for parents of disabled children who are under 16 who want to find out more about the support that is available to them in their role as parent carers
Show and Go are personalised books which are created easily and quickly online by parents and carers of people with autism spectrum disorders and related communication problems.
People with ASD are visual thinkers and learners and “Show and Go” books capitalise on this positive strength for everyday communication. The books are used for visual support to create a calmer environment and help manage daily routines and activities which can often result in difficult situations
This Is My Child is a myth-busting and awareness-raising campaign, launched by Mumsnet, in response to requests from their members and supported by input from some of the leading charities in the field. Its aim is to support parents of children with additional needs, inform everyone else, and open up a conversation about how we can all act to make life easier for everyone caring for children with additional needs
Hampshire Safeguarding Children Board have a website which offers support and guidance to children and young people, parents and carers, and practitioners. Therefore the information available on the website is not just for organisations or groups that work with children, it is for everyone
The Guide to the Healthcare System in England covers providing care, commissioning care, safeguarding patients, empowering patients and local communities, education and training, supporting providers of care and the role of the Secretary of State for Health
Disabled children: A Legal Handbook is an authoritative yet accessible guide to the legal rights of disabled children and their families in England and Wales. The authors expertly navigate the many, often overlapping, sources of law, explaining the difference between what public bodies must do to support disabled children and that which they may do
You will find this guide helpful if you are thinking of claiming DLA for your child for the first time, or if you are already getting DLA for your child and want to check if they’re entitled to a higher rate.
This resource is a guide for parent carers with children and young people who have Down's syndrome and provides information on: Down's syndrome; how Down's syndrome may affect parent carers and their child; and where to go for further support and information
United Response has published an easy read guide to the forthcoming benefit changes. The guide was written for people supported by United Response, to help them understand how the changes may affect them and is tailored to their needs, but they are keen to share it with other organisations, support workers and individuals.
You can find a downloadable copy of the guide near the bottom the page here
Contact a Family's SEN National Advice Service offers comprehensive advice and information to parents in England who have a child with additional needs or disabilities, on any aspect of their child’s education. Parents can get in-depth and personalised advice from our fully trained and experienced SEN advisers about any concerns they may have regarding their child’s education
Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities have produced a planning guide, designed with the help of people with learning disabilities and family carers, which provides a step-by-step approach to supporting people to plan effectively for the future
The Council for disabled children have issued a briefing on school funding changes and children with SEN in mainstream schools. This briefing provides information about the funding changes and explains what you should do if a school or local authority proposes to change the special educational provision for your child
Disabled Holidays is a specialist travel agency diligently committed to providing holidays that exceed the needs and wishes of their disabled customers. Their directory has the largest choice of accessible holidays in the UK and abroad
If you or someone you know is the parent of a disabled child and getting into debt, help may be at hand. Contact a Family have a new web section on debt where they have asked parent advisers on their freephone national helpline to answer some commonly asked questions around the subject of debt
Disability Rights UK have produced several free fact sheets on benefits, tax credits, social care and other disability related issues to help navigate recent changes and find out what you might be entitled to
CHANGE has been working to develop easy read information to support people with learning disabilities through various aspects of the criminal justice system. A number of free resources are available including: Notes of Rights and Entitlements (Police); Licence Conditions (Probation) and The Court and your Child
If your local authority agrees that your child needs care services, you can choose to get money to buy these services yourself. This is called direct payments. Direct payments should give you more control over how your child’s needs are met but it also involves more responsibility for you.
This guide explains how to go about getting direct payments and how they work in practice.