Category Archives: All

Coffee – 21st Jan

Come and join us for coffee a chat.       We have an autism mum hosting our coffee mornings, usually accompanied by another autism mum or dad.       They would be delighted to meet you.      We offer both information and emotional support.

This coffee morning will be on Monday 21st January at the Belton Lane Children’s Centre,  Grantham.       Drop by any time from 10am – 12pm.       If you are using satnav, NG31 9QB should get you to the correct entrance.

Click icon for more about this event and to log your interest.

Tennis – 19th Feb

Next autism friendly tennis session at Grantham Tennis Club, Arnold Field, Gonerby Road, GranthamNG32 3ATTuesday 19th February, 6pm – 7pm.
Facbook small icon
Fun rather than serious training.        Places for 20 children age 3+.      The session will be indoors.        Tuition & suitable equipment provided.       Sturdy shoes required.         £3 per child.        For more about the session & to book your place click icon.

Cinema – Stamford – 21 Feb

GAIN are proud to announce the screening of Mary Poppins Returns, on Thursday 21st February, at the Stamford Arts Centre, 27 St Mary’s Street, PE9 2DL.Doors open at 1:30pm.         Facbook small iconThe film is from 2pm to about 5pm.         All tickets £5.       All screenings are autism-friendly.          All are welcome.          Click icon for more information & to log your interest.         To receive emails for GAIN events see Become a member.

Local Groups – PDA, Newark …

PDA support group

This is a Pathological Demand Avoidance support group.        It is a friendly group of parents who meet on the first Tuesday of every month at 11am at South Muskham Village Hall, Newark.        Click icon for more information.        See also map.

Sharing Minds

New:  Playtowers special needs evening every Thursday from 28th June.      Venue is at Rochford Tower lane, Boston., PE21 9RH.        £6.95 per person, including meal and drink.          Click thumbnail for poster.

Sharing Minds BostonSharing Minds is a support group for  parents and carers of children with special/additional needs.      They run drop-in meetings on the last Wednesday of the month in term time at Sunset House, Boston, PE22 8QS.        The people that run it have experience of coping with children on the autistic spectrum.       Click icon then scroll down for more information.


Louth Area Autism Support Group was formed by parents.        They offer help, information, care and support to parents and carers of children and young people who have been diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Disorder.          Meetings are held all year round on the 4th Saturday of every month from 2 – 4pm at Trinity Centre, Eastfield Road, Louth, LN11 8DJ.           Click icon on the left for their website.


There are a number of support groups specifically for the autistic spectrum in the towns around Grantham.


  • Asperger Autism Support Group runs drop in sessions at Whittlesey Youth Centre, near Peterborough.            Click icon for details.           See also map.
  • Autism Peterborough run one off support group meetings and conferences in Peterborough.           See website         map.             Click icon for their Facebook page, where you might find more events.


  • Sharing Minds also have family disabled Swimming sessions every Sunday,
    at a new time and venue:   2- 3pm, at the South Park centre, Skegness,     The pool is dedicated to the group for these sessions, so it is not crowded and families are among friends.     Parents are expected to accompany their children in the pool.          Click picture for poster.         See also map.
  • There is also an outdoor Exercise group for parents & carers of disabled children every Tuesday 10:00 – 11:30am at Wainfleet Road Pavilion, Skegness PE25 2EL.

Rainbow StarsRainbow Stars

A Sleaford based group:  for Parents/Guardians and Siblings with Children who have Autism and additional Needs in Lincolnshire.        They have a closed Facebook page, which means you have to make a friend request to view it.         A good forum for autism mums to make new contacts.          Email Jane Peck  or  use Facebook page > Add member.          Please be aware that you need to be logged in to Facebook to see any content.

  • They hold monthly Play Meet mornings on a Sunday, 9am till 11am at Darmons’s Fun House.              It is £3 per child and the whole family is welcome.              See also location.
  • See their Events page for up-coming dates and click link for event page.

Rainbow Flyers Youth Club

Rainbow Flyers Youth Club

Key information

This is a special needs club at Ruskington Youth Centre, NG34 9DY, on Sundays 3-5pm.             Ruskington is a village near Sleaford.              To see the ideas behind the club, click See More under Long Description on their About page.              You may well need to login to Facebook to view the club’s web pages, but there no need to join Rainbow Stars.Arrow

Parents can simply turn up with their children.                There are both electronic and physical games for the young people and coffee and conversation for parents – who are asked to stay with their children.                The initial
session was on 13th September 2015.            See timeline or mobile view for their news.           They would love to see some new faces.


A Lincoln based support group for parents or carers of children and young people on the autistic spectrum.

  • Evening meetings on the first Thursday of every month at 7.30pm
  • Daytime meetings at 10am on the third Thursday of the month during term time.
  • A monthly games club for members over the age of 8.
  • See details for more information.Facbook small icon
  • They have a closed Facebook page, which means you have to make a friend request to view it.
    Look for Join group button on right side of page header.

Newark & SherwoodNewark group

Click icon to see Newark & Sherwood autism support group’s Facebook page.  Facbook small icon
For up coming events click the picture on the right.
If there are not many events it might be worth having a look at past events.

Gainsborough group

Gainsborough Autism Parent Support Group – GAPS.           See:  map

Market Harborough groupLittle explorers

This group is about 30 miles from Grantham, in Leicestershire, based in a family home.              It is an
activity club that started out as an Autism friendly home based club but broadened out to serve a wider range of children.                 They have a fine website with a handy what’s on page and a Facebook presence.
See also:  Mumsnet        map.

Hull & East Riding group

The National Autistic Society has a branch based in Hull.        It offers support to families.       Click icon for their website.        See also meetings.

Alternatively, Matthew’s Hub is for people aged 16+ with Asperger syndrome or high-functioning autism.            It is also based in Hull.        Click icon for his website.

This entry was posted in Parents on by .

School age

Sleep & Dreams

Click page icon for a comprehensive article or Options picture for helpsheet on sleep and autism – new         See also:  Nightmares       Hearing voices             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
  • Click picture on the right for Options Group help sheet about developing emotional and social skills.          For more about Options Group see  Specialist services
  • 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.
  • 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.


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

First step to independence

Ellen Notbohm’s son, Bryce, says, “I always wanted to learn to do things for myself.     Without that, I how would I ever have freedom?”             See also about Ellen.

See also The loving push              Best-selling author, autism advocate, and animal science professor Dr. Temple Grandin joins psychologist and autism specialist Dr. Debra Moore in spelling out what steps you can take to restore your child’s hope and motivation, and what you must avoid.

Social stories

Social stories for kids with Asperger’s can help to teach basic social skills in a simple and direct way that they can understand.

  • For an example, click icon for a video clip explaining having blood drawn.
  • Here is a guide to social stories.
  • This is a book of containing many social stories – The New Social Stories book (2015).           See:  Amazon       Good Reads.          Have a look at four examples by clicking Look Inside on the Amazon page and then clicking First pages in the left margin.

Autism assistance dogs

Specially trained dogs can be a great help to people with autism but they are very hard to come by in the UK.             Here are some links:

  • Autism service dogs:   A description the idea from a charity based in the USA.
  • Dogs for good has centres around the UK.           They hold workshops to help families get the most out of their pet dog for a child with autism.          The booking link at the bottom of the page takes you to locations of workshops, e.g. Leicester.        See also FAQ about the barriers and options.
  • Here is a heart-warming story about a boy and his dog working together particularly well.

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

Amazing things happen

Click play button for a video for children explaining autism.             It comes from the Facebook page on the right.

Pokemon Go

The “Pokemon Go” craze has been linked to car crashes, grim discoveries and even reports of people falling off a cliff.       But the wildly popular mobile game has also led to a beautiful awakening in a 6-year-old boy named Ralphie.                 See article.

Computer Games

Computer games are said to be beneficial for children on the spectrum.             Here are two web sites, the first offering help in choosing games and the second offering a self-contained experience with the games on the site.

  1. Learning Works for Kids is a site based in the USA.
    • It identifies computer games that they say help with particular learning or life skills.               The Find Games or Apps menu option takes you to their search page.                This is free to use.
    • They also offer more, see compare, but  UK residents might want to keep it simple.
    • The approach is said to draw on original research and decades of experience in education and psychology – see their About page.
  2. Autism Games is a website created by a university and an eTherapy centre in Australia.                   It is free to use and it aims to assist children with moderate to severe autism to develop independent living skills.                   Click on website and hover over the Games menu to see what is available.

Can a child catch up later?

One mother asks, Has anyone had any positive outcomes of their children catching up when they are older?               Click icon to see discussion.

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.

Aukids magazine

A magazine offering information, encouragement and support for parents of children with autism spectrum conditions.           For four issues a year, AuKids costs £15 per year and includes access to a downloadable archive, too.           They offer an Ask the Experts section, among other things.           Click icon for information.             Visitors can get a rough idea what each issue contains in the Archive section.
See Welcome page to download a sample copy of the magazine.             The website and publishers have a UK address.


  • Do you fidget at your desk?             Here is an article about a fidget cube.              See Amazon.
  • Bouncy Bands look like an interesting idea for children with fidgety feet.             It gets the thumbs up from a teacher in the UK in principle.            Seems tricky to get in the UK, though.           Amazon UK stocks them.           Make sure you get a pipe for the desk or chair leg to stop the band sliding down.

Water safety

This guide is aimed at parents and carers of children with autism.             See also Related Activities for Grantham Lynx Swim.


  • ERIC website has a page about children with additional needs.              See also:  website      about – it includes an outline of their services.         Help & support menu along the top of their screen, e.g. helpline includes email address.
  • Bladder & bowel is a UK Disability Living support group for promoting continence and product awareness.           Their helpline is  0161 607 8219, a Manchester number.         Click also for email address.
  • Ambitious About Autism have published a Guide for parents.
  • Here is an on-line Discussion that might be worth a look.

Netmums logoMothers’ Experiences

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

Older children’s experiences

The Ambitious About Autism website publishes experiences of education.       For example  Jack .       How a visit to his GP turned things round.        Looking back he says, ‘I have always thought of autism as a different language to English.”

Ambitious logoInternet Safety 

Click icon for a parent’s guide to internet safety for their child with a learning disability.

Special clothing

Children 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 children with autism may engage in fecal smearing.        Click on this  forum  to find out how mothers tackle the problem.       Hear is a list of some of the discussion  and supplier sites of specialist body suits.

Early Support Co-ordination

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.


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






Upload Files

This entry was posted in Parents on by .

SEN/EHC Support

Educational psychology service

Phone iconThe Educational Psychology Service now has a telephone helpline for parents.        It is advertised by Lincolnshire County Council and is available on a Tuesday from 1.30pm to 4.00pm.            Phone  01522 554673 and ask for the helpline.
See:  How they work          FAQ         Examplenew         To help children prepare for a consultation, see pupil’s guide:

See also Resources for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).


The first port of call for parents with concerns about their child’s Special Educational Needs (SEN) may be the school Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator or SENCo for short.

Worried about your child? 

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.


To find out what you are entitled to click Contact icon.            It takes you to their education page.          Then choose what you want to know about and see what you should be able to expect and what to do if you do not seem to be getting it:  e.g. for extra support in mainstream school.            Contact was founded by families of disabled children – see Our story.

Their SENDirect website offers a national service for parents and professionals to help:

  • tell if an activity or service might be worth trying for their child
  • speak directly to activity providers about adapting services or help create suitable new services (as budgets allow)
  • shape and buy activities, support and equipment easily online.           See:  introduction  to SENDirect or click icon for more information

SENDirect was founded by a group of disability charities assisted by government grants – see About us.


Independent Parental Special Education Advice (IPSEA).            They offer legally based information and advice to help get the right education for your child or young person.           Click icon for their website.          Have a look at:  Support        Services         Sarah’s story          IPSEA was founded by SEN professionals – see history.

SEND support

Click icon to see the official Lincolnshire SEN support index.

Liaise provide free and confidential information, advice and support to parents of children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disability.         This might be a good place to look next for parents with concerns about SEN.

  • See LIASE – with downloads in right margin,  e.g.  Support in mainstream school  (click picture).
  • They have Confidentiality and Impartiality policies.      The information, advice and support should be impartial and provided at arm’s length from the local authority and Clinical Commissioning Groups.   

Phone icon
Acall back’ can be requested on 0800 195 1635.                   Email:

Won’t go to school

Here is a discussion about a boy who has struggled with school and refused to go to go.        After home tutoring and therapy he started at a specialist school for ASD pupils – but that is not the end of the story.

Ace Education

ACE Education Advice & Training provides independent advice and information for parents on education issues in England.        See Advice for parents.         Notice the large picture icons at the bottom of the page.         It also outlines their confidential telephone advice line.        See also call charges.

Social communication outreach

This is provided by the Working Together Team in Lincolnshire.             See:  Introduction           Detail.              It encompasses Autism Outreach.

Gosberton House School, near Spalding, provides the service, which is accredited  by the National Autistic Society (NAS).             The school specialises in autism             It is a primary school and offers the service across Lincolnshire.             It is for pupils in mainstream school.          It is the school rather than the parent that needs to refer the pupil, though parents can seek advice about getting a referral.

Introduction:                   Outreach policy:                          Their approach to sensory integration: 

Education Rights

Click the National Autistic Society icon on the left to find out about extra help in school.           If you cannot find what you are looking for try the phone icon on the right to find out about their Education rights service.              Look for the How we can help link.              You can phone or use email.

EHC support


Young People



Core Assets Children’s Services offer free independent support with the new Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans – for children and young people with SEN.      Parents and young people can apply directly for assistance, or simply make enquiries, via Referrals.                  Chose the large parent/carer button.                  See  FAQ  and  website  for more more information,  e.g.  this support is available in Lincolnshire and Northamtonshire.

We work in partnership with Liaise, but focus specifically on the EHC assessments and the transfers from statements to EHC’s, whereas Liaise support all SENd concerns.


  • Coram legal centre        Legai Aid may be available if and EHC assessment is refused.     Officially legal aid comes through Coram.     (Liase)            See:  how we do it             website
  • Independent Parental Special Education Advice (IPSEA)           When Local Authorities make certain decisions about the education and/or training of a child or young person with SEN, there is a right of appeal  to an independent Tribunal             See: SEND tribunal           website

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














This entry was posted in Parents on by .

Specialist Services – NE Lincs support ….

Family Action Support

North East Lincs Family Action Support Team (FAST) is a specialist service for families with children with attention and behavioural difficulties, including Autism Spectrum Conditions (ASC), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and other complex needs, aged 3-17 years. 


Linkage supports children, parents and carers where the children are aged between the age of 5-18 and have special educational needs, learning disabilities /difficulties across the whole of Lincolnshire.         The service is free.        They can:

  • Provide guidance and reassurance in completing referral, benefit forms and support in following appeal processes and attending tribunals.
  • Provide support on strategies that can be used in the home or in school.
  • Support young people and their parents getting the right support in school, preparing to leave school or college, training courses, colleges, supported internships and supported employment  and day activity opportunities.
  • Planning for the future – work, supported accommodation, available leisure activities.
  • Meet children and families at home, liaise with the school.

Click icon for more information,


Options Group

Options Group accepts referrals for specialist autistic services in North Lincolnshire.          Click icon to see their map.         They offer an outreach service, community-based living services and longer term adult residential care:  Options Watermill       Thorpe House.

Autism East Midlands

Autism East Midlands aims to to ensure people with autism can live their lives with dignity, choice and independence.              The nearest services to Grantham are in the Nottingham area.             They offer outreach servicesday services and residential services.               Here are their   Admission criteria   and   Application form.              Click icon below for their Home page.            Once you are in the Adult Services section, navigate via the left hand column.Autism E Mid

Join our events group

UPDATE:  Just to make you all aware that our posts on Facebook are now only reaching on average around five percent of our total fans in their newsfeeds.       To counteract this:

  • Make sure you regularly interact with our posts (once or twice a week), bookmark our page in your preferred browser or enable the See First option in your Facebook setting.
  • Join our events group.

This Facebook group is a place to find out about the latest events from Grantham Autistic Information Network (GAIN).        Click icon to view and join.        It is possible to be pretty private on Facebook – see Using Facebook

This entry was posted in All, Events on by .

ASDA green tokens – Grantham

Would you like to nominate GAIN for the ASDA green token scheme?        They ask why you think GAIN needs ASDA’s help on the form.         To make your nomination click the ASDA button and look for the Green Token information box on the web page.          It has a blue Nominate button.

Tombola prizes please

We are now pretty much ready for our Xmas Family/Darts Party on 15th December but if you have any tombola prizes to donate we would be grateful.    Maybe old toys, books, food/drink, plants, trinkets, toiletries, teddies, etc (we won’t turn anything down.

Please leave them at the Swingbridge Children’s Centre with the receptionist OR contact GAIN at to arrange to drop off or collect.