Category Archives: All

Related Calendar – Pantomime …

The Groove

An exciting, fun-filled night for adults with disabilities aged 16+, their families and support workers.          Saturday 16th NovGuildhall Arts Centre Ballroom, St Peter’s Hill, GranthamNG31 6PZ.        Click icon for more information.         See also map.

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

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.

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 on (01476) 406 158  or click available seats for: 6:30pm          (2pm  seats sold out.)

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. 14 Jan near Northamption10 Julv Lincoln21 Jul Leicester.

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

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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.

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.         Click icon for poster.        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.       Click poster thumbnail for official information.        See also:  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.

Have your say

Lincolnshire Autistic Society are putting together feedback from parents and adults with Asperger’s Syndrome about autism related issues.       In particular they believe that the main areas of concern are Education Health Care Plans and Children’s diagnostic pathway.       Click PDF icon for details.        If you have something to say please contact: elizabeth.elvidge@lincolnshireautisticsociety.org.uk .       She would like to hear from you by the end of March, if possible.

Contact events

Click icon for the Spring Contact news bulletin.         To find out about Contact see about.

  • The selfish giant  – theatre show for children with additional needs and their families.        13 Mar, Lincoln.        All places are free but need to be booked.        See poster.
  • Free workshop for EHC plans in Nottingham on 26 Mar.       A few places left as of 30 Jan.        Click icon for details.
  • What’s on at the end gives a round-up of events by county.

SEND workshops

Lincolnshire Parent Carer Forum (LPCF) are putting on parents’ workshop days about Special Educational Needs and Disability.        £10 for non-members.       Click icon for details.

  • Tue 26 Feb in Boston.  for those without an EHC plan.
  • Wed 20 Mar in Lincoln. for those entering or in the EHC process.
  • LPCF has also been involved with the council’s Special Educational Needs consultation exercise.          Click icon to see when and where they will be holding their coffee mornings.

PAACT workshops

PAACT is putting on several workshops at St Peter and St Paul’s Church hall, Skellingthorpe Rd, Lincoln, LN6 7RB.        Email Gordon Forsyth at paactsupport@hotmail.co.uk to book your place.

  • Andrew Whitehouse will lead a course in behaviour management on 15 Feb.        £10 per person.        Networking from 9.15am to begin training at 10am.        Click icon for event details.
  • Hilllary Sharp will provide Puberty & wellbeing training on 1st Mar        £25 per person.         See poster for more information.
  • Jane Husscisson will provide Makaton training on 4th Mar.         £25 per person.         See poster for more information.

Childhood anxiety

Family Graffiti are putting on a Childhood anxiety workshop on 14 Feb in Magna village hall, Great Hale,  Sleaford, NG34 9LH.         Click poster to zoom in.         See map.

Sensory perception

PAACT has invited Olga Bogdashina, Lecturer at the International Autism Institute to share her expertise on sensory perception & communication on 8th Feb in Lincoln.        Click icon for details.

Signposting & workshops

  • Free signposting and information event in Horncastle on Tue 22nd Jan 2019
  • Workshop: “Talking to children with Disabilities/SEN about Puberty, Relationships & Sexual Health” in Horncastle on 22nd Jan 2019

Dick Whittington

Polka Dot Pantomimes are performing another season at the Guildhall Arts Centre theatre in Grantham.       The relexed performance is scheduled for 2nd January 2019 at 2pm.       Phone the booking office on (01476) 406 158 to confirm that you are booking the relaxed performance.       See also available seats

Lincoln Castle Explorers

On the 29th December, 9 – 10am, we have an exclusive opportunity outside of our opening hours, for children and adults on the Autism spectrum, to visit with their families.       The team at Lincoln Castle have undergone Autism Awareness training and worked alongside Lincoln’s Parent Support Group PAACT.         Click icon for more information and to book.

The Groove

We have a Christmas disco at the Guildhall which is suitable for adults with disabilities aged 16+, their families and support workers.          It is on Saturday 22nd Dec 2018, Guildhall Arts Centre Ballroom, St Peter’s Hill, Grantham. NG31 6PZ.        Click icon for more information.         See also map.

Making sense of autism

Free training session for parents and professionals on 29th Nov at Huntingtower Primary School, Grantham, NG31 7AU.         Click icon for more information / booking.

Autism Conference

PAACT is taking bookings to attend and for information stands for annual conference in Lincoln on Tuesday 13th November 2018.
The venue will be The Showroom, Tritton Road, Lincoln, LN6 7QY.         Click icon for agenda.

See:  Book to attend          Book display stand          Booking return address         map

Gateway club

Becky, the leader of The Gateway Club, would like to invite you to an open evening on Thursday 8th Nov.        The Gateway Club is an evening social club for those 18+ with learning disabilities.            They are a service run by Grantham and District Mencap.       The club is on Monday & Thursday 6.30 – 9pm, at The Cree Centre on Aire Road / Medway avenue, NG31 7QP.       We offer activities that are both centre based and out in the community.

They are trying to encourage new members and have a open evening planned for people to come along for a chat, piece of cake and see what they do …           Click PDF icon for poster.

Louth speaker event

Thursday 6th September, London Road Pavillion, Louth, LN11 9QP, 10am – 3pm.          Registration, tea & coffee from 9.15am.           Email LAAFS:  contact@laafs.org for more information and to book.

Performing Arts Workshops

Two Linkage Adult Skills days for people aged 16+ with learning disabilities, are coming to the Newark area:

  1. On 21st August with a Greatest Showman themed performance arts workshop.         Click on link to book your place.
  2. Then on 28th August, another workshop.        You can dance, you can jive, having the time of your life.         See  Mamma Mia!

Caravan breaks

Magic moments for autistic kids has a caravan in Chapel St Leonards, up the coast from Skegness, available for bookings between May and September 2018.         Click icon for details.          See also Take a break.

Money (16+)

See adult Support for carers about Carer’s Allowance for carers of adults.

Welfare benefits

Carers FIRST is the new name for Carers connect.        Click icon for their welfare benefits page.        More broadly, to find out what Carers FIRST has to offer and how it fits in with Lincolnshire Carers Service see Resources.

Official information

Lincolnshire County Council publish information on benefits and finance in their Family Services Directory.       PIP-for-ages-16—64  – see also below.         Money-Advice

Benefits news

  • Inquiry into disability benefits, led by Frank Field, ‘deluged’ by tales of despair.           Several themes emerge from the testimony heard by the work and pensions committee.           See article.
  • Exemption from re-assessment for Employment & Support Allowance (ESA) is not as expected.            People with life-long or severe disability will only be exempt if they are deemed to be unfit for ‘work-related activity’.              See article.
  • Get the latest on the benefits system.             See Disability news            e.g. Call for action

Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

This is the replacement for DLA for people aged 16-65 with a disability or long term health problem.       It has been in the process of being phased in since 2013.

  • Citizens Advice offer a large number of pages about PIP, all neatly arranged to make it easy to find your way around.
  • The National Autistic Society (NAS) has published an series of pages on the new benefit.      They also have a list of related pages.
  • If you want to see what the government has to say about it, you can choose from Overview,  Detail and News.

Universal credit

Contact has produced a page about Universal Credit.        Click icon on the left to view.       They have also launched a campaign about Universal Credit called Counting the cost.        The aim is to stop the cut in benefits for disabled children it represents.        Click icon on the right for details.

They also have a helpline.         There are four ways to get in touch with Contact:                              See Facebook, Twitter & email queries

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GAIN logo - thumbnail Please be aware that we, at GAIN, are not qualified to give advice.                     See: disclaimer.

Associated conditions

Executive Functioning

Executive functions are the brain’s self-management system.         Problems with executive function can be linked to autistic traits in later life.        Click icon for Options help sheet.        It starts with James at school.

For more examples and how to address them read about Josh in this article.

Mental health

The National Autistic Society has a page about mental health and autism.      Click page icon to view.        Also, Autistica has produced a help sheet about autism and mental health.         Click PDF icon to view.

Patients may be referred to a psychiatrist for associated mental health issues.        See NHS introduction.        Ambitious about Autism has produced a guide to making the most of an appointment.        (new)

Handwriting 

Options has produced a help sheet about developing early handwriting skills for children with autism.         Click icon to view.      (new)         See also:

  • Letter dominoes is a game that is easy to make yourself.
  • Here is a video tutorial setting out several aids – including pencil grips.        It offers insight into what does and does not work.
  • This video tutorial demonstrates the sock method of teaching proper pencil grip.
  • This video tutorial demonstrates writing 3 letters of the alphabet.        There are more related videos in the margin, too.
  • Some mums provide a sloping board/surface to write on.

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Alexithymia

A condition involving lack of empathy.         A difficulty in experiencing, expressing, and describing emotional responses.         Some with autism have this lack of empathy but many do not.        Click icon for an easy reading interview.        Professor Geoff Bird says that alexithymia and autism are independent of each other.

For detailed and definitive information see:  Alexithymia info 

Dyslexia

Dyslexia is a common learning difficulty that mainly affects the way people read and spell words.        Click icon for an easy reading introduction.         Scroll down for comments.

  • For more detail, see  British Dyslexia Association  (BDA).         Includes FAQ.        They also have resources for parents.         And much more …
  • See Dislexia outreach for support in Lincolnshire.        They support parents, teachers, and pupils.
  • See also under handwriting aids below.

Demand avoidance

Pathological demand avoidance (PDA) – part of the autism spectrum.            Click page icon on the left for PDA society website and PDF icon for a PDA Society PowerPoint presentation.

Demand avoidance sounds similar to Oppositional defiance, so what is the difference?         In the PDF file above, page 29, it says that PDA is an autism spectrum disorder rooted in anxiety, whereas ODD is not.

Echolalia

  • Here is an introduction to echolalia.        Mimicry is an efficient way to experiment with different sounds and practice emerging social language skills. 
  • This article offers a medical analysis.        People with echolalia repeat noises and phrases that they hear.      They may not be able to communicate effectively because they struggle to express their own thoughts.         If they struggle to do anything other than repeat what has been said, they may have echolalia.         Some children with autism are regularly tested for this during their speech lessons.
  • Here is a more detailed article about echolalia with autism Even echolalia is a normal way to learn language.        Most children use echolalia to learn language.         The majority of children babble in a rhythmic way, which is actually mimicking the cadence of our language. 
  • In adults Echolalia should normally disappear around two and half years of age.         It is often considered abnormal if it persists beyond age 3 years.

Dysgraphia

Dysgraphia is having difficulty learning to:     1. recognise and write letters and words       2.  link sounds, speech and writing.

  • For an easy reading introduction, see  About Health.           See links for more detailed information.
  • This dedicated Dysgraphia website has been written by a mother and university lecturer, and an undergraduate with dysgraphia.

Dyscalculia

Dyscalculia is a specific difficulty with arithmetic, or maths.

  • The Dyscalculia website looks pretty definitive.           It offers a handy introduction
  • For more information see Dyscalculia Talks.         It has articles to read as well as video clips to watch.
  • The Dyscalculia Conference website is aimed at professionals, but might be interesting to anyone teaching their own child at home.

Dyspraxia

A Developmental co-ordination disorder.

  • For an easy reading introduction, see  NHS Choices.          Scroll down for comments.
  • The Dyspraxia Foundation has a great deal to offer, including introductionchildren,   FAQ.         See also:  Home for helpline and  Local groups – including Leicstershire and Peterborough
  • You may be surprised to learn that it can affect speech, see Speech and Language.

Doc iconSpecific Learning Difficulties

SpLD is an umbrella term used to cover a range of frequently co-occurring difficulties, more commonly:

  • Dyslexia
  • Dyspraxia / DCD
  • Dyscalculia
  • D.D / A.D.H.D

Specific Learning Difficulties (or SpLDs), affect the way information is learned and processed. They are neurological (rather than psychological), usually run in families and occur independently of intelligence. They can have significant impact on education and learning and on the acquisition of literacy skills.

In general, a student may be diagnosed with a SpLD where there is a lack of achievement at age and ability level, or a large discrepancy between achievement and intellectual ability.

See also an analytical view

Tourettes

Tourette’s syndrome is a condition that causes a person to make involuntary sounds and movements called tics.        See introduction

  • Tourettes Action website seems to be the go-to place for all things Tourettes.        Click icon on the left to browse.         They have a Find support menu.
  • The Lincolnshire support group meets in Lincoln and Grantham.
  • Discussions :  Netmums         Tourettes & Aspergers
  • Facebook videos might be worth a look.

Swallowing difficulties

Click icon to view help sheet for people with Autism about Dysphagia by a speech and language therapist.

Epilepsy

Autistica has produced a help sheet about autism and epilepsy.         Click icon to view.  See also Epilepsy Action:  Website             Information           Help & support

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GAIN logo - thumbnailPlease be aware that we, at GAIN, are not qualified to give advice.              See disclaimer.

 

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Employment News

Ultranauts

Ultranauts was set up to demonstrate that neurodiversity can be a competitive advantage.       At the New York-based quality engineering start-up,  75% of workers are on the autistic spectrum.       Click icon to read about it.

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Most, but not all, employment news seems to be coming from the USA but it may be of some interest in the UK.

DVLA U-turn

The DVLA has reversed its decision on disclosure for people with autism.       Drivers with autism will only need to disclose diagnosis if their driving is affected.        Click icon for article, dated 5 Mar 2019.

Experts by experience

Have you used NHS services?        Four openings for paid employment for people with learning disabilities in Lincolnshire by the NHS were publicised in 2017.        Click icon to find out about it or have a look at this summary.         Update (2018)

28 years of service

An autistic man was told that he wouldn’t last a month in his job, but now he is to retire after 28 years of service.         Shaun Condon, 54, worked for almost three decades as a cleaner at Newport Bus in Wales.

Trail-blazing companies

Read about what these four major companies are doing for autism employment.        Click icon for article

Fixing appliances

A teenager with Asperger’s in Portland, Oregon has found a friendly supplier of old appliances to get working and sell on.       See  article.

Building careers

One tech start-up’s quest to build careers for people with autism in California.        See article

Ford is hiring

Ford has announced that it will be launching a pilot programme to hire people on the autistic spectrum.        This is in partnership with Autism Alliance of Michigan.         See article.

A teenager named Sam

It can be difficult finding employment when you are on the spectrum, but here is an example of a young man who was able to work behind the bar at Starbucks!

Supported work

The fuss over Lord Freud’s comment, in October 2014, that some disabled people are “not worth” the minimum wage may seem worrying for some.        All the main political parties were at pains to state that all disabled people should continue to be paid at least the minimum wage, though, which gives some reassurance.

There is already a wage subsidy scheme for the benefit of a particular group of disabled employees.       This forms part a a broader package of support for people with disabilities.       You may qualify for this support if you are awarded Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).         Here is a page that tells you How to claim ESA.

Mind campaign

Mind, the mental health charity, believe that mainstream Back to Work schemes are inappropriate for people with mental health issues.        If you agree it might be worth giving their Report summary a look.

But does this apply to people on the autistic spectrum?         See Mental health & autism

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GAIN logo - thumbnailPlease be aware that we, at GAIN, are not qualified to give advice.              See disclaimer.

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Cinema – Grantham – Nov

Weekly supportive screenings at the new Savoy, St Catherine’s Road, Grantham, NG31 6TT.       Playmobil: The Movie has been confirmed for Sunday 17th November.       See about the film.

Facbook small icon

The film is from 10am.       Doors open beforehand.       Entry £2.15 per person on the door.       They are autism-friendly but all are welcome.       Click icon for more information.       Also, find out about free entry for carers.

Care & Support

Toileting

Bladder & Bowel UK is Disability Living support group for promoting continence and product awareness.       Have a look at their resources for adults.        Their helpline is  a Manchester number.       Click also for email address.          (updated)

Residential & community care

Home from Home

A family firm has built a new specialist residential care home for adults in Dorrington, near Sleaford.         See:  news
It is called The Reeds and was opened in September 2016.        The de Savary family set up Home from Home  in response to their own experiences.        They have a number of other homes around Lincolnshire in:  Ruskington       Fiskerton       Bardney       Stallingborough          Day opportunities are also available for those with Individual Budgets or Direct Payments.           (new)

Autism Care

Autism Care provides residential settings for adults.        Click icon for their brochure.       Their modes of support include:

    1. Registered residential care
    2. Supported Living – as an individual or in a group
    3. Outreach and daytime support

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This page is about care and support for adults on the spectrum in the general Grantham area.        For care & support for adults in the wider area see:  Activities       Specialist services       See also Money.

Support in the community

Thera Trust provide support at home, at work and in the community for adults with a learning disability.        They charge for their services, though they also explain how a Personal Budget from the local authority might make Thera an option.         Their nearest office is in Swingbridge Road, Grantham.        For more about Thera click icon.        See also Adult social care above.

Also, the National Autistic Society has a page about Brain in Hand offers access to personalised support from an app on your phone.         It has features to help you remember activities, reduce anxiety and feel supported.         For more about the app click icon.     

Adult social care

Click icon on the left for the Adult care services pages on Lincolnshire County Council website.        It includes a page on Adult care assessment, personal budgets and more.        See also Money under Benefits & care.

Click icon on the right for a list of pages about Adult social care in Lincolnshire Family Services Directory.        You may be able to narrow down the search using fields along top and down left hand margin.

Love, sex & relationships

Brandon Trust supports people with learning disability in other parts of the country.       They have developed new policy, guidance, and training around relationships, sex, and sexuality.       Click icon to read about it.        It might be worth a look for anyone interested in the issues.

Thera Trust provides services in the Grantham area – scroll up to Support in the community to find out about Thera.        They have a page called Making friendships.       They can act as facilitators for their service users.

NHS services

Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust offers a range of services to support adults with learning disabilities in the community.         These services are specifically geared up for adults whose learning disability prevents them from accessing mainstream services.         Click icon for details.        See links to specific services at the bottom of the page.

Lincolnshire NHS website also has some handy links:  Learning disabilities servieces         Access –  for mental health & learning disability services.        Advice & liason

Life-long care

Here is a guide to securing life-long accommodations for adult children with special needs from a blogger in the USA.             If offers general guidance.

Community based support

Adults Supporting Adults (ASA) offer paid-for support, open to autistic clients.        Click icon to browse their website.

  • Day Time Provision 1 to 1 support in the community with focus on maintaining and developing independence and social skills.
    Look for Sit2Gether and Shop2Gether on website coloured side bar.
  • Extended Stay the client is carefully matched to live with a family and share their home and community life.
  • Respite Resource – a short break with a carefully matched family.

Circles of support

The service will help you plan for the future.      They can help you and your family to look at who is there to support you to achieve your plan.       They can help you to plan how you would attend an activity for example or how you could have more opportunities to see your friends.         A Lincolnshire service.         Click page icon for more information or image preview.

Autism sign language

An autism mum has created a Facebook blog about her stories and method, supporting her non-verbal son.          Click icon to browse.            See also:  How it began          Speech and language

Professional obligation

The NHS has produced a helpsheet for making decisions about healthcare treatment.        Click icon to view.

Special clothing

Adults with autism often have sensory issues.    They may be fussy about the clothes they wear, for example.     Hear is a list of some of the suppliers of specialist clothing .

Some people with autism may engage in fecal smearing.      Click on this  forum  to see whether mothers’ experience with children helps.        Hear is a list of some of the supplier sites of specialist body suits.

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GAIN logo - thumbnailPlease be aware that we, at GAIN, are not qualified to give advice.              See disclaimer.

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School age

Toileting

  • ERIC is a children’s bowel & bladder charity serving the UK.       Their website has a page about children with additional needs.        Have a look under Help & support along the top of their screen – e.g. Fact sheets      Guides         They have a helpline.       You can fill in an enquiry form requesting a call back or an email.
  • Bladder & bowel is a UK Disability Living support group for promoting continence and product awareness.       Have a look at their resources for children and young people.        Their helpline is a Manchester number.       Click also for email address.         (Both updated)

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See also Preparing for change about leaving primary and secondary school.

Sleep & Dreams

Click page icon for a comprehensive article or Options picture for helpsheet on sleep and autism – new         See also:  Nightmares          Social stories below might be adapted.

Social skills

  • The National Autistic Society has produced a guide to social skills.           Click on one of the
    following:  Children        Teenagers
  • Here is a review of an animation game that it is said could help children with autism develop social skills.              See the maker’s website for more information, including What it does and Scientific research.                At time of launch, July 2015, it was pricey.
  • Options Group has produced a help sheet about developing emotional and social skills.          For more about Options Group see  Specialist services
  • Prep for social success is a book aimed at parents of children on the autistic spectrum.            Amazon offers an eBook version.               The Amazon page says that it offers a four step programme:   PLAN, REHEARSE, ENCOURAGE, PRAISE and, Facbook small iconthe PREP program can be applied to a number of settings including school and group activities such as sports or clubs.               There are good reviews on Amazon but the NAS, Ambitious about Autism and NetMums did not seem to mention the book as of Aug 2015.             Click icon to see the authors’ Facebook site.

Medical appointments

Click icon for an autism help sheet on preparing for appointments with medical or clinical professionals, produced by a speech therapist with Options.          See also more help sheets.

Explaining to a child

  • Children with special needs: How to explain disability to a child – Huffington Post.          See  article
  • Question:    We recently got a diagnosis.      How should I explain high functioning autism to my affected son and his ‘typical’ siblings?           See:   Answer.          Also, this book is highly recommended by parents.           See  Amazon UK
  • 15 children’s books.         See  article         Amazon UK

Thula the therapy cat

Iris was a 6 year old on the autism spectrum.         Her mother was surprised to see the way her daughter bonded with a cat that the family was looking after.           She bought a cat of a recommend bread.         Here is a brief video presentation of the story and here is an illustrated article.          See also more pictures.

Here is another case of a father who took is son cat shopping at an animal shelter.

Bullying

Why might autistic pupils be at risk of being bullied?       What can parents do about it?        Click icon for National Autistic Society guide.

  • A book by Luke Jackson with the title Freaks, Geeks and Asperger Syndrome has a well written chapter on bullying.           See Library books for more about this book.
  • Childline is a free, private and confidential service where you can be yourself.        Get in touch about anything:  online, on the phone at any time.             See:  website        bullying

Mothers’ Experiences

Click icon to read about parents whose school-age children have either autism or Aspergers.

Early Support

Lincolnshire County Council provide an Early Support, Care and Co-ordination service, or ESCO for short.        The eligibility criteria have been extended from children with complex health needs or disabilities under five to include young people up to eighteen years of age.         Click icon for more information.

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Education News – Ombudsman complaints …

Ombudsman complaints

Children with special educational needs and disabilities are increasingly being failed by the system designed to support them, the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has found.        The Ombudsman is now upholding nearly 87% of Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan cases.       Click icon for full article.

Educational psychologists

Following a report showing an insufficient number of educational psychologists, £30 million extra for training has been announced.          Click icon to read about it.

SEN crisis

The mother of an autistic son, aged seven, wrote about her fight to get him assessed and placed in a school that could meet his needs.        Click icon to read the article of 26/Oct/2018.

Lincolnshire SEND plans

A £50m investment has been approved by Lincolnshire County Council for SEND provision.         Click page icon for summary or PDF icon for full details.        PDF report shows planned school changes in the table right at the bottom.

Robot coding

Click icon for a video about a computer coding project that is believed to stimulate children on the spectrum to take an interest in and develop social & communication skills.

Lincolnshire SEND strategy

Lincolnshire County Council is developing a new strategy for special education.           The give it the title:  Building Communities of Specialist Provision for Children and Young People with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities in Lincolnshire.                The Lincolnshire  Parent Carer Forum has dedicated a section of their website specifically to these developments.           Click page icon to find out about it or PDF icon for brief presentation.

Parliament inquiry

The All Party Parliamentary Group on Autism has produced a report.          The Click icon to see the Special Needs Jungle’s (SNJ) take.            The SNJ is a parent led group.            See SEN Information for more about them.

Teenage geek

Autistic teenager creates artificial intelligence but ‘can’t get school place’.              It took Kari Lawler only a week to build her own virtual assistant, which operates on the same lines as Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa.            It’s incredible when you consider what the large technology companies have spent on producing something not very different to what Kari has managed to achieve in such a short space of time.               Her parents have not yet been able to get a school place for her since she was diagnosed and finished at primary school.

SEND Reforms

  • How are the SEN & Disability reforms of 2014 going?              The picture does not seem to be all bad but there is room for improvement.
  • Updates continue to be added.
  • If you are experiencing difficulties you are not alone and it might be worth looking for helpful details.               For example, one survey revealed that only just over half of pupils with SEND (54%) believed that teachers and other school staff were preparing them well for adult life once they leave school/college or training       Could this perhaps reflect a generalised insecurity felt by pupils as they look ahead to the future? 

See: What Parents told the government               See also:  Botched job?         FromStatementtoEHCP

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  • Mum’s delight over campaign to end restraint of disabled kids in schools.                 See article.
  • A group of charities launched a new guide on 6th July 2015 to help ensure parents do not miss out on free early years education.            See also Early support for related content.
  • Here is a review of an animation game that it is said could help children with autism develop social skills, released in July 2015.              See also School age for related content.
  • The December 2014 issue of GANF Gazette has an item that might be worth a look on page 3.            Isaac Newton School, Grantham, now has new links with Ambergate & Sandon schools.         This will provide new opportunities for Isaac Newton School to further develop the standard of education they offer.

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Activities & support – Cinema card

Cinema card

A CEA card enables a disabled cinema guest to receive a complimentary ticket for someone to go with them when they visit a participating cinema.        Click icon to find out more.       CEA cards can be used at Grantham & Stamford.

Action for Children

Action for Children’s Lincolnshire Short breaks can help to make leisure and social activities more accessible.        Click icon to find out about them.         Grantham has its own schedule of activities.        The children and young people may have more complex needs or have other issues which mean universal services are difficult to attend.        Make a referral before turning up for an activity.

Skegness pic01

Click picture to find out about Lincolnshire subisdised short breaks generally.

See also Specialist services       Short breaks team       Take a break

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A little worried about your pre-school child but not sure whether you are worrying over nothing?        Belton Lane Children’s Centre welcomes new parents.         In particular their Kids Support may be able to help.         No need for a referral.

                        

Please be aware:

  • Activities at Children’s Centres cater for ages 0 – 5.
  • Early Support, Care & Co-ordination (ESCO) has been extended to cater for young people right up to to eighteen years of age.
  • Kids’ Support caters for ages 0 – 5.

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GAIN logo - thumbnailPlease be aware that we, at GAIN, are not qualified to give advice.              See disclaimer.

Professionals

Training courses

Supporting inclusion

Click icon for Lincolnshire Council pages about supporting inclusion.       It covers aspects of special educational needs & disability for professionals.        They also has a specialist school support services page in  EduLincs            (new)

Lincolnshire has four integrated locality teams.       SENCOs from all early years providers, registered childminders and out of school club managers can request Early Years inclusion support.        See Early years support         It has an inclusion support referral form at the bottom of the page and email addresses.

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This is a page for professionals who may be quite new to autism.        See also Autism awareness

Working together team

The Working Together Team offers support to schools and academies for students with a wide range of social communication and / or learning needs.        See also:  detail          SEN Support – Scroll down to Social communication outreach.

Flash Cards

Sparklebox offer free teaching aids for children with special educational needs.          Here is the Speech page.        Their terms of use are brief.

SENCo resources

The Council offers support for Early Years SENDCo in implementing the graduated approach within the SEND Code of Practice and meeting the needs of children.        Click icon to browse.

Co-ordination

Early years can extend as far as the age of 18 with ESCO.       This is short for Early years Support Care & Co-ordination,

Team Around the Child

When a professional from any agency identifies a child with an additional need and where the care needs require co-ordination due to complexity or due to the number of agencies involved, then a Team around the Child meeting should be initiated.         Click icon for Lincolnshire Council guidance.

This link gives a feel for how things work: TAC meetings         Here is a one stop resource for those in need of Teams Around a Child: TAC resource

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GAIN logo - thumbnailPlease be aware that we, at GAIN, are not qualified to give advice.              See disclaimer.