Category Archives: All

Employment

Job interview

Here is a good article about job interviews for people with Asperger’s, with analysis and examples.       Click icon to view.       Also:

  • This article describes and illustrates the problems on both sides of the interviewer’s desk.
  • So what can you do?       Here are some tips for people with Asperger’s attending a job interview.

Evenbreak

Evenbreak advertises jobs for disabled candidates.       The employers on Evenbreak are actively aiming to attract such candidates.       Click icon to find out about them.        To check that you qualify for their support see: FAQ.       See their home page to search for jobs.

Work from home

Working from home may sound good but finding your way into a genuine job may be difficult.      Click icon to find out more about the ins and outs.       new

Also here is a clearly presented Which guide to job scams and employment fraud.       Getting a genuine job that allows you to work from home requires extra care.

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Resources

The National Autistic Society has several pages of resources for employment related issues.        Click icon to browse.       Ambitious about Autism is running a project which aims to get more people on the spectrum into work.      Find their employment resources and look for their toolkit.

Auticon

Auticon is a company, with a presence in the UK, that seeks to nurture autistic talent.        They are an international IT consulting business working with software and data.        Click icon for their website.        Have a look at careers

Adult life

Eric from Singapore has written some handy guides to adult life as someone with Asperger’s.        He addresses aspies everywhere in a readable style with insightful tips.         Click icon and browse under the Real life menu:   Basic work rules          Staying employed         Freelance jobs         Financial literacy        Working with money         Insurance discrimination

For anyone interested in the freelance jobs page, be sure to check points 1 – 3 at the bottom of the page.       Earning a bit of pocket money while living with one’s parents may be straight forward enough but it would be wise to consider the potential risks of going freelance carefully before relying on it in a big way.        Here are is a more mainstream view of avoiding  the risks.

Employment for Disabled People
Social Obligation or Individual Responsibility? 

Some people are at the high-functioning end of the autistic spectrum have achieved remarkable things, e.g. Richard Branson and probably Isaac Newton to name but two.     A significant proportion of university lecturers are said to be in a similar category.     But whatever your level of potential the law offers some protection against discrimination in the work place.

The research paper referred to below might be said to offer useful insights to those with disabilities, indicating where they stand in relation to the world of work.      The full article is pretty heavy going though, so the link below takes you into a brief outline.      Click icon to view.

Tips

If you are preparing for the world of work you could probably do with some one-to-one advice and guidance, but here are a few pointers that might help:

  • If you are high-functioning this may be reflected, to some extent at least, in your qualifications, like GCSEs.      Technical work might be right up your street.
  • Whatever your level, it looks good if you can get some work experience – however small and straight forward.     This shows to yourself and possible employers that you are getting somewhere in the world of work.       Voluntary work can be a useful start.    Anyway, it might be wise to start small to begin with and see how you go.
  • There may be some things to avoid:  maybe too much stress or work that requires particularly good people skills.   For example, teaching might not be a good idea for you.
  • If your health affects your fitness for work your GP may be able to issue you with a Fit note, stating the limitations of what you can do.      For example you may need to limit the hours that you do.

For help and advice contact the National Careers Service.       They have:

  • useful things like a CV builder etc.
  • a free phone helpline,  0800 100 900.       They seem to have a calm and relaxed manner, with no pressure.
  • online chat.

Support for carers

Carer’s assessments

Carers FIRST have produced  an introduction to carer assessments to see what practical support a carer needs.       Click icon on the left to view.        First point of contact is the County Council’s Customer Service Centre: 01522 782224       carersservice@lincolnshire.gov.uk       updated

Carers UK has produced a more detailed carer’s assessments guide – click icon on the right to view..      There is a factsheet to download.      It has a chapter about adult carers (over 18 years old) who are caring for another adult who is disabled.        updated

  • A carer’s assessment is an opportunity to discuss with the local council what support or services you need.
  • Are your needs the result of you providing necessary care?
  • Does your caring role have an effect on you?
  •  Is there, or is there likely to be, a significant impact on your wellbeing?
  • If you, or the person you are looking after, are assessed by the local council/trust as needing support, then you or they have a right to ask for a direct payment instead of having the support arranged by the local council/trust.

Support for carers

Lincolnswhire Council offers a broader range of support for carers.      Click icon to browse.      It includes breaks for carers.      See also:  Support and benefits for carers on the NHS website.       new

The people at Lincolnshire Customer Service Centre can help you directly or point you in the right direction as appropriate.
Phone:  01522 782224

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Carers UK

For comprehensive information on a range of benefits to which carers might be entitled, click icon and select which benefit looks interesting.

Benefits for carers

The NHS publishes a clear and easy to follow guide to benefits for carers, including Carer’s Allowance.       Click icon to browse.       See also:  Government      Carers UK       National Autistic Society

Planning for the future

Parents may have concerns about financial provision for the future.      The National Autistic Society offers a wills and trusts phone service staffed by solicitors.       Click icon to find out more.

Diagnosis and school

We, at GAIN are not qualified to give advice but here are a few thoughts.

If you think that your child may have Special/Additional Educational needs (SEN), you may need to find someone who will take the time to listen and discover for themselves what your child is like and what he or she needs.

It might have taken you years of devoted attention to piece together your own insights and it may take some time for others to catch up with you.       It might help to keep things factual, describing the specifics of what is happening, and leaving the professionals to join up the dots.

Checklists

Ambitious about autism has produced a toolkit called Right from the start.      Click icon and look for Parent toolkit under the adverts.       Maybe filling in checklists might help to clarify things and help to communicate them to others.       Look for Appointment Checklist – based on questions GP should ask.        Here is Understanding your child checklist.

Mentioning autism

PAACT support, in Lincoln, made a similar point in 2017 about not mentioning autism initially.      Alarm bells may well start ringing for service providers when autism is mentioned because there is a lot of demand for SEN resources.       Click icon for their letter about diagnosis in Lincolnshire and scroll down to grey text.      It offers a description of two ways by which the process of diagnosis may be started – referral by a doctor or a school.

Teachers

  • The National autistic society recommends that a child’s teacher keeps a behaviour diary of any signs that may indicate the need for a formal diagnosis.     
  • They say that it is not unusual for GPs to request observations from schools before making a referral.
  • Your child will need a diagnosis to get funding for SEN support.

Autism assessment

The NHS website outlines what an autism assessment involves.      It mentions a SENCo referral, unlike some other websites.       Click icon to view.       It looks like one may not always be able to avoid mention of autism before diagnosis.       Maybe it might be wise not to mention it from the outset at least, though.

They also have some very handy tips for getting diagnosed.

Advocacy

Getting what your child needs often puts parents up against difficulties and obstacles.       Professionals may try to fob you off to begin with, suggesting that things might sort themselves out – perhaps partly because they do not see your child at home.

  • Ambitious about autism says that some parents of children with autism develop a talent for making a polite nuisance of themselves – formally known as advocacy.      Find How do I get a diagnosis under the adverts.
  • Also, there are waiting lists for much needed services and the solutions may not be easy to identify.

Where next?

             

If things are not working out at school Springwell Alternative Academy or Pilgrim School may be an option.       See Wider area schools.

Money

Welfare benefits

Carers FIRST is the new name for Carers connect.      Click icon for their welfare benefits page.       More broadly, to find out how Carers FIRST fits in with Lincolnshire Carers Service see Families.       updated

Contact has several pages about benefits.      The Disability Living Allowance (DLA) page may be the most interesting but there are others listed in the left margin too.

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See also Money 16+

Turn 2 us

Turn2us is a national UK charity providing practical help to people who are struggling financially.      Click icon to browse.      Look out for their benefits calculator.

Official information

Personal Budget

If a child or young person has an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan, or who has been assessed as needing an EHC plan, then a personal SEND budget can be requested.      Click icon for a factsheet from Contact.       See also NHS guide.

Housing

Housing benefits or Council tax support may be available if someone in your household is on a low income.      Click icon for specifics.

Money Matters

This is a guide for parents of disabled children who want to know what financial help may be available to them and what arrangements they may need to make to manage their children’s finances from birth and as they get older.

Family Fund

They provide grants to low-income families with disabled children.        Fill in their application form and post it to their office in York.        For more information click on the icon below.Family fund logoA representative attended a Lincolnshire Parent Carer Council coffee morning in Grantham, in 2012, to promote the scheme.

Save

Changing care

NHS reforms

The NHS Transforming care agenda has been aiming to support autistic children and adults in the community rather than inappropriate inpatient units.      Click icon to read about it.

Autism Strategy

The government started developing an autism strategy in 2009 following on from the Autism Act 2009.      The aim was to ensure that adults with autism get the help they need, such as help getting a job or help at home.       Click icon for the National Autistic Society headlines for the 2021 updated strategy.      (updated)

  1. The first Autism Strategy was published in 2010 with the title Fulfilling and Rewarding Lives.       Then the government asked for feedback in 2013.
  2. The second strategy was published in 2014 with the title Think Autism.
  3. The third covers 2021 – 26.      See: National strategy       web page

Lincolnshire County Council have published some documents outlining their plans for following the strategy locally for 2019 – 22.      See Lincolnshire strategy       web page

NHS reforms

Transforming care

In 2015, NHS England published a new national plan under the ‘Transforming Care‘ agenda, called Building the Right Support.
The plan was for autistic people not to live in inappropriate inpatient units, such as assessment and treatment units or other mental health units.
Instead they should be supported in their communities, closer to their families and friends.       Click page icon for a National Autistic Society (NAS) 2016 article or PDF icon for the 2015 NHS plan.      See also comment on the funding plans.

Parliamentary debate

Progress of the agenda was debated in parliament in 2018.      Several MPs raised the challenges faced by autistic people who are stuck in mental health hospitals, highlighting that the number of autistic people in these hospitals has increased during Transforming Care.      Click icon for article

Interview

A 2019 interview with Carole Buckley may be of particular interest.       She is a retired GP who has and autistic son and is the Royal college of general practitioners clinical representative for autism.       Click icon for interview.

Updates

  • A report by the Children’s Commissioner for England in 2019 says that too many young people are being admitted to secure mental health hospitals unnecessarily and are spending years in them.       See ITV News
  • The NHS has announced that autistic adults will be included in a new and expanded learning from life and death reviews programme (LeDeR), which aims to improve health and care services.       See  article      2021
  • Number of autistic people in mental health hospitals.       See  latest data      2021

Casework service

Due to on-going difficulties with mental health services, in 2020 the NAS launched their own Autism inpatient mental health casework service.      It offers confidential advice and support for autistic people at risk of going into inpatient units or stuck in them.      Click icon to find out about it.

SEN/EHC Information

Complex needs

The Challenging behaviour foundation sets out what families of severely affected children and young people need to know.      Click icon for the introduction.      This links to a detailed help sheet.       new

Team around the child has put together a guide in the form of letters to parents and professionals to introduce key experiences faced by many families in this situation and to highlight their needs.      Click icon to browse the guide intended to support families of children with complex needs and the professionals who care for them.        See also background.

Official guidance

Liaise is Lincolnshire’s Special Educational Needs and Disability Information, Advice and Support Service

Click the icon on the left for an introduction to Liaise – an official source SEND information.      It has some brief video introductions.

Click icon on the right to browse a single overall guide.       It touches on the Graduated Approach under the heading Working Together Team – page 27.       For more about this approach see:  Graduated Approach

The UK government sets out what the state offers for Children with SEN.       It is quite brief and easy to follow.      new

SEND local offer

Click the icon to see the Lincolnshire County Council guide to SEN & disability local offer.       It includes Where to start

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Ace Education

ACE Education provides independent information for parents on education issues in England.       Click icon for an introduction to Special Educational Needs and related issues.       See also home      parents – for more educational issues

EHC plans

An education health and care plan sets out how children and young people should receive support for their special educational needs (SEN) at school and college.       Click icon for the National Autistic Society’s guide to EHC assessment.       They also have a tab along the top for the plans.

Look it up

Contact offers a range of pages to do with education & learning with SEN.       Click icon to browse.

Parents’ View

The Special needs Jungle is a parent-led resource offering information and informed opinion about children and young people with SEN.

  • See  EHC plans  for example.
  • Their SEND Info menu, at top of screen, offers more detail about Special Educational Needs.        Hover over it to see what is there.
  • Education may be linked to health these days.         See their Health menu.
  • Also, how are the SEN & Disability reforms of 2014 going?       See Education News.

SPELL

SPELL is a framework for understanding and responding to the needs of children and adults with autism.       It stands for Structure, Positive approaches and expectations, Empathy, Low arousal, Links.      Click icon to find out more.

SEND code of practice

The SEND code of practice lays out the statutory guidance for organisations such as schools who work with children who have Special Educational Needs.        Liase talks about it as the parent’s bible for SEND meetings.       Alternatively, see publication.

  • Chapter 6 – This chapter applies mostly to mainstream schools. (Page 91)       Liase says to print this chapter and use highlighters and a pencil to note each paragraph for use at your SEN meeting at school.
  • Chapter 9 – This chapter covers all the key stages in statutory assessment and planning and preparing the Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan.

Troubleshooting

Our SEN/EHC Support page has quite a bit of information that could help with troubleshooting.        Click icon to view.

Fatigue

ME/Chronic Fatigue

Here is the NHS guide to Chronic Fatigue (CFS/ME).      Click icon to browse.

It seems to have taken a good few years for ME to become widely recognised across the medical profession as a genuine and debilitating condition but things seem to have improved a fair bit in that respect.      This has been in no small part due to the work of groups like the ME Association.      They are a UK national support group for people with ME.      Click icon for their website.

Dr Charles Shepherd talks about his experience of ME in what is ME?       See also:  symptoms & assessment       what you need to know

Autism and ME/Chronic fatigue

Autistic burnout seems to be an informal phrase used in the autistic community.      Click play button to watch a video by Amythest Schaber.      She seems to have a clear understanding of the issues and presents them well.       Also:

  • They thought I was lazy … when I was just actually autistic.      This is one of many perceptive reflections on life through one female Asperger’s lens.      See article.
  • Is it just me, or do other people with autism feel tired all the time?      See autism & tiredness to view article.

Grantham Children’s Centres

Gradual re-opening

With Covid restrictions easing, children’s centres are gradually welcoming families back.      You may have read about it in County News magazine.       Check out what is on offer, either on the links below or on Facebook.       Hopefully there will be more to choose from in due course.

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There are two children’s centres in Grantham, Belton Lane and Swingbridge.      Normally children’s & community centres provide access to services for children with additional needs.      Some centres may have more services for additional needs than others, though.  

  • Lincolnshire County Council website has:  Swingbridge     Belton Lane
  • Lincolnshire family services directory has:  Swingbridge     Belton Lane
  • This website has:  Our base – which is at the Belton Lane centre.
  • If the Belton Lane phone number is given as 01522 550901 it does put you straight through to the Grantham centre – when it is open.

Related Calendar – Time2talk

Time2talk

Lincolnshire Parent Carer Forum, will be holding their next Zoom online meeting for parents of children with additional needs on 23 Aug 2021 from 7-8pm.      John will be hosting it.      Click icon for details.

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The events on this page are chosen because they may be of interest to a child and/or adult on the autistic spectrum.         See also Local Groups for autism support groups in the South Lincolnshire and beyond.        They put on events in their area.

Green Synergy

Green Synergy are putting on events at Hillside Garden, in Lincoln, for people with mental health issues from April – June.      This is part of their Better together partnership project to offer pre-employability opportunities.      Click icon on the left to find out more.
See also their website

They are also running their popular Get Into gardening course as part of their Move employability project for people interested in becoming self-employed gardeners.      Get in touch with them before 15 April for this course.      Other options may also be available.      Click icon on the right to find out more.

They have also launched a project for 10-14 year olds who want to do more for the environment and their community.      Their Green Influencers learn new skills and gain experience and confidence.      The scheme aims to make environmental social action a regular, habitual part of young people’s lives.       Sign up with Brodi: brodi@greensynergy.org.uk       Tel: 07586 777623

Virtual workshops

Check out the online workshops from Lincolnshire Parent Carer Forum, on the left.      They are free to members.       Contact workshops, on the right. are free to all.      Some workshops seek to address issues related to autism, others to foster wellbeing.

Worsening health

The NHS is putting on free virtual training during March to help family carers Identify early signs of worsening health in a person with a learning disability.       Click icon to find out more.

Virtual workshops

Lincolnshire Parent Carer Forum are arranging two free series of workshops on Zoom.       One is aimed at friends, relatives and carers of children or adults with additional needs.       Dates range from 5 Jan 10 Feb 2021.      It is called Waving not drowning!        Click icon on the left for Waving not drowning!

They are also putting on LPCF week of SEND.  –  from 25 Jan – 29 Jan.      These are aimed at parents and carers of children with additional needs and professionals who work with them.       Click icon on the right for poster.

More workshops

Contact has quite an extensive range of  virtual workshops for families with additional needs in Jan – Feb.       See workshops for more information.

Positive behaviour

There were a few places left as of Tue afternoon for a Promoting Postivie Behaviour and Autism Workshop.      The workshop will be on Fri 4 Dec at 9:45am and it will be online.       Click icon for details.

Lincoln conference

PAACT is taking bookings for the 22nd Lincoln annual autism conference, Mon 16 – Fri 20 Nov 2020.       Click icon for details.

Lincoln Castle

Only Lincoln Castle grounds are open to the public until 2 Dec.      Click page icon to see visitor update.       Exclusive autism-friendly Explorers sessions at the castle have not yet re-started, though, as of Sept 2020.       Next one may be in the evening.       Click castle icon for background information.

The Groove

The Guildhall Arts Centre has a few virtual events and on-line resources but The Groove has not re-started as of Sept 2020.      Click page icon to set what they have to offer.

Dysart Park Fun Day

Unfortunately Dysart Park Fun Day has been cancelled for 2020.       Click icon and scroll down to find the post cancelling all their events.

Family dog workshops

How  pet dogs can help families that have a child with autism.       Dogs for Good has workshops planned for 2020.
Click icon for locations and dates e.g.  10 Jul Lincoln21 Jul Leicester.      Check again nearer the time for Coronavirus updates.

Makaton course

The Makaton course for Friday 20 Mar at Belton Lane Children’s Centre, Grantham has been cancelled

Messy

Zoo Co presents a visual story with original music, puppets and tap dancing.        Performed by a deaf and hearing cast.       This relaxed performance, created in partnership with ADHD Foundation, will be at the Guildhall Arts Centre in Grantham on 17 Feb.       Click icon for web page or poster thumbnail.

Signposting

Lincolnshire Parent Carer Forum (LPCF) will be putting on a general signposting event on Fri 31 Jan in Hubberts Bridge, near Boston.
It will be free to parents and carers.         Click icon and scroll down for details.        See map

Mental health engagement

Give Lincolnshire NHS your feedback on mental health community rehabilitation.         Click icon  for dates in January around the county.

Cinderella

Polka Dot Pantomimes are performing another season at the Guildhall Arts Centre theatre in Grantham.       Click icon for information about relaxed performances.        They are scheduled for 2nd Jan 2020 at 2pm & 6:30pm.         Phone the booking office using (01476) 406 158  for available seats at:  6:30pm       (2pm  seats sold out.)

Farm quiet hour

Rand Park Farm, near Lincoln, will be putting on a quiet hour for children with additional needs and their families.        Date: 14th Dec, 9 – 10am.        See map        farm layout

Making sense of the senses

Free conference with Dr John Biddolph on Wed 4 Dec at The Fleet, Peterborough.       Click icon for more information including booking details.

Autism Conference

PAACT is taking bookings to attend and for information stands for annual conference in Lincoln on Tuesday 19th Nov 2019.
The venue will be The Showroom, Tritton Road, Lincoln, LN6 7QY.        Click icon for poster.        See also map

Lincoln Castle Explorers

An exclusive opportunity outside of opening hours for children and adults on the autistic spectrum to visit with their families.        Lincoln Castle Explorers, 2nd Nov, 9am – 10am.        Click page icon for event details and to book or castle icon about autism-friendly opening.        See map.

Makaton course

An early years specialist will be running a Makaton course on Friday Oct 4th at Belton Lane Children’s Centre, Grantham.       It will run from 9.30 – 12.30pm and then 12.30pm until 3.30pm with a working lunch.       She will cover Level 1 in the morning and Level 2 in the afternoon.      The cost is £15 per level payable to the trainer on the day.        Morning session recommended for parents.       If you would like to attend contact: ella.mayfield@lincolnshire.gov.uk         See Speech & language about Makaton.

Signposting

Lincolnshire Parent Carer Forum (LPCF) will be putting on a general signposting event on Wed 30 Sep in Market Rasen,        Click icon for details.        See map

Harrowby football match

Harrowby vs Cottesmore football match on Saturday 14 Sep at Harrowby United’s Dickens Road Community Stadium, Grantham, NG31 9QY.       Free entry for under 16’s and carers with Carer’s Allowance letter.        See also map.

Dysart Park Fun Day

GAIN will have a stall at The Dysart Park Fun Day again this year, on Sunday 7th July 2019, 11am to after 4pm.       See::  Facebook      map.

We would be grateful for any donated tombola prizes – old toys, books, food/drink, plants, trinkets, toiletries, teddies, etc (we won’t turn anything down).        Please contact GAIN at
(01476) 855 070 to arrange to drop off or collect.        Thanks to everyone who has already donated prizes, including:  Poundland, Home Bargains, The Works and Subway.

Makaton course

An early years specialist will be running a Makaton course on July 5th at Belton Lane Children’s Centre, Grantham.        It will run from 9.30 – 12.30pm and then 12.30pm until 3.30pm with a working lunch.        She will cover Level 1 in the morning and Level 2 in the afternoon.       The cost is £15 per level payable to the trainer on the day.

Healthy Conversation

The NHS will be holding public engagement drop in sessions around Lincolnshire during May and June.       They want to take soundings about the future of local  health services.

Family dog workshops

Workshops for families with children diagnosed with autism in Lincoln on 7 Jun.       Click icon for details.        See Growing up about Dogs for Good.

Signposting

Lincolnshire Parent Carer Forum (LPCF) will be putting on a general signposting event on Wed 22 May in Lincoln,

Overcoming trauma

Hesley are putting on a free event for parents about overcoming trauma and building resilience for people with autism.        It will be on 8 May in Nottingham.        Click icon for details and to book.

Easter Quest

An exclusive opportunity outside of opening hours for children and adults on the autistic spectrum to visit with their families.        Alice in Wonderland Easter Quest at Lincoln Castle.        Follow the white rabbit and seek out the clues to solve the Mad Hatter’s riddle and claim your chocolate reward.        Sat  20th Apr, 9am – 10am.        Click icon for more information.

East Midlands events

Workshop for parents of special needs children – Coping with Challenging Behaviour.       Wed, 3rd Apr, 10am – 12pm.        25 FREE places available for parents.        At Voluntary Action Rutland, Rutland Community Hub, Oakham, Rutland, LE15 6RB.         To book your free place email westmids.office@contact.org.uk with your name, address and telephone number.        Please also state the age of your child with special needs, and the nature of his/ her disability.        Click poster preview to view.