Category Archives: Parents

For parents of children with autism

Related Calendar – Lincoln Castle …

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.

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.          (new)

Family dog workshops

Workshops for families with children diagnosed with autism in Lincoln on 10 May and 7 Jun.       Click icon for details.


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

The Groove

An exciting, fun-filled night for adults with disabilities aged 16+, their families and support workers.          Saturday 27th JulyGuildhall Arts Centre Ballroom, St Peter’s Hill, GranthamNG31 6PZ.        Click icon for more information.         See also map.


These events, on our Related Calendar, are NOT put on by GAIN but may be of interest.              See also Local Groups for autism support groups in the South Lincolnshire and beyond.             They put on events in their area.

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 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: .       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 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: 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.

Summer Fun

Contact East Midlands has put together a bulletin of summer activities.         Click icon to browse.          Venues include Nottingham and Leicester.          The sailing session is the other side of Nottingham.

Dysart Park Fun Day

GAIN will have a stall at The Dysart Park Fun Day again this year, on Sunday 1st July 2018, 11am to after 4pm.         Click poster thumbnail for official information.          See also 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 leave them at the Belton Lane Children’s Centre, with the receptionist OR contact GAIN at
(01476) 855 070 to arrange to drop off or collect.


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.

Little Steps support

An opportunity to chat/laugh/cry/celebrate the ‘little steps’ etc. 13th June at the Jubilee Church Life Centre, Grantham.

Challenging decisions

Free workshops about Education, Health and Care, EHC, plans:

  • Tribunals, 18 May, Northampton.          See poster
  • Challenging decisions, 18 June, Northampton.          See poster
  • Challenging decisions, 20 June, Nottingham.          See poster

SEND Workshops

  1.  Workshop about SEND legislation on 18th May in Navenby, near Lincoln.         For parents without an EHC plan.
  2.  Workshop about the EHC process on 15th June in Spalding.          For parents entering or in the EHC process.

Click icon on the right for details.          See also:  booking form  – download        SEN/EHC information        SEN/EHC support

Carers’ event

Carers FIRST are hosting a carer’s event promoting carer’s week on Monday 11th June at Carers First office, 28 Market Place, Grantham. NG31 6LR.        Phone:  0300 303 1555

The event is to highlight services that are available to carer’s who may help them in their caring role.

Fun on the farm

Free event on Saturday 16th June at Tattershall Farm Park, Lincolnshire, LN4 4JR.           Click icon for details and to book.         See also map.

Curly Hair Project

The Curly Hair Project is putting on talks on aspects of autism around  the country.          Tickets from about £20.           Click icon for their full list of  events.

  • Wed May 23: ASD and Females – Workshop, Peterborough

Sounds of the 60s

Linkage are putting on a disco on Friday 11th May from 8pm ‘til late at The County Assembly Rooms, 76 Bailgate, Lincoln, LN1 3AR.        This is a fundraising event for a learning centre at Boultham Park.         Click thumbnail to book.

Peterborough Meet-up

Autism Peterborough are organising a meet-up for Thursday 19th April at the Nene Valley Community Centre, Candy Street, Peterborough, PE2 9RE.        Friendly chat over cup tea and coffee.    With a Tombola stand and special guest stands …          Click icon to for more information.         See also local groups.

Autism Conference

Lincolnshire Autism Conference, Thursday 22nd March 2018 at The Petwood Hotel, Woodhall Spa, LN10 6QG.          Click icon to book your place.           Please return this form to or her postal address on the form.

SEND consultation

Lincolnshire County Council is developing a new strategy for special education.                   The Lincolnshire  Parent Carer Forum (LPCF) is keen for parents to have their say.        Click icon for survey form.           Open until 14th March 2018.          See also:  LPCF information

The Groove

An exciting, fun-filled night for adults with disabilities aged 16+, their families and support workers.          Saturday 10th March, Guildhall Arts Centre Ballroom, St Peter’s Hill, GranthamNG31 6PZ.        Click icon for more information.         See also map.


Lincolnshire Parent Carer  Forum will be putting on a free signposting and information event on Wednesday 24th January at The Stanhope Hall, Boston Road, Horncastle, Lincolnshire, LN9 6NF – see Map.            Click icon for poster.          See also LPCF Events.

Bourne talks

The Curly Hair Project is putting on talks on aspects of autism around  the country.          Several are planned for Bourne at Rippingdale Village Hall, Station Street, PE10 0TA.            See map.            Tickets from £19.70.

See also full list of Curly Hair Project events.


Autism Peterborough are putting on a conference on Sunday 17th December at Omiston Bushfield Academy, Peterborough, .         The guest speaker will be Geoff Evans and the title will be The sensory world and challenging behaviour.          £1 donation on the day.          See also:  map         local groups – about Autism Peterborough.

Aladdin Panto

Relaxed performance on Mon 18 Dec 2017, 1:30pm at Embassy Theatre, Grand Parade, Skegness, .           See details          map.

PAACT calendar

Parents and Autistic Children Together hold monthly morning and evening meetings in Lincoln.            They also put on a monthly afternoon games club.           See also about PAACT.


PAACT swimming starts back this SATURDAY 28th January 2017, 5:30 – 6:30 pm.         You can start getting access to the changing rooms by 5:10 pm if you need the time to change.              The swimming is at, North Kesteven sports centre, North Hykeham, Lincoln, .           Below are the dates for the years session we have booked. the cost is £3 per child and £2 per adult.

January 28th         February-25th         March-25th          April-22nd          May-20th           June-24th           July-22nd           August-12th          September-23rd          October-21st            November-25th            December-09th.

Autism Conference

PAACT invites you to their annual conference in Lincoln.               It will be on Tuesday 21st November 2017 at the Lincolnshire Showground, the same as last year.               Click icon for poster.

Here is a summary of the Talks at the conference and biographies of speakers.           Please return the booking form to simply attend the event – click icon above for prices.          GAIN will be represented there.

To book space for a display stand use this form as well as the attendance form..          The £50 covers the stand and one person.           Additional people are £30 each.

For more information contact:               See also directions for venue with Map .

Quiet clinics

Specsavers in Lincoln High Street, LN5 7DW, hold quiet clinics on the first Sunday of every month, 10am until 4pm.            These clinics have been planned in consultation with local support groups such as Canadda and PAACT.            Click icon for more information.

Have your say

The closing date to have your say about delays in getting GP appointments is 10 Nov 2017.            See survey.             It only takes about 5 minutes.

Magic Moments

  • They have availability from Wednesday 6th to Thursday 28th September and Wednesday 4th to Saturday 21st October, all at the rate of £170 for up to 4 nights and £300 for a week.
  • Contact on 07742 565382 most times and days to discuss further details.              See Take a break for more about Magic Moments and other specialist providers.

Autistics Together

CANadda event:  Tuesday 31st October 2017, Autistics Together which will be held from 9am – 3.30pm at The Engine Shed, University of Lincoln, Brayford Pool, Lincoln, LN6 7TS.          This event is for adults only (no under 16’s).          Cick icon on the left for poster.           See also booking.


Subtitled screening, Wednesday 23rd August, Dunkirk at 7.30pm.            See:  Dunkirk      South Holland Centre.

Coffee morning

Lincolnshire Autistic Society coffee morning at Castle Cafe and Bar, Albion Street, Spalding, PE11 2AJ on Sunday 20th August 2017, 10am onwards.          Their first Sunday event.           Click thumbnail for poster.

Book with Patrick Downing:  01775 248 470.

Holiday club

Supported by BBC Children in Need, Linkage are able to offer free places at a Holiday Club at Weelsby Campus, Grimsby, DN32 9RU, between the 24th and 28th July 2017 from 10am – 3pm each day.         This is an exciting opportunity for 13-18 year olds with disabilities or additional needs to make new friends and have fun whilst trying new activities.            Updated details taken from an email from

Suicide intervention

We have just run a very successful ASIST course in Lincoln and have another one planned for July 25/ 26th. We hope these dates will be particularly suitable for those working in education, or anyone that wants to enjoy a few summer days in beautiful Lincoln.
See also booking terms.

Relaxed Prom

Prom 19 is to be a concert suitable for children and adults with autism .         12 mid-day, Saturday 29 Jul 2017 Royal Albert Hall, London.           Programme to include music by Rimsky-Korsakov, Rossini and Johann Strauss II, as well as Pharrell Williams’s ‘Happy’ and the ‘Doctor Who’ theme.          See details.          The Proms on TV page does not seem to feature this concert, though.

Dysart Park Fun Day

GAIN is to have a stall at The Dysart Park Fun Day again this year, on Sunday 2nd July 2017, 11am to after 4pm.            Click poster thumbnail for official information.             See also 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 leave them at the Belton Lane Children’s Centre, with the receptionist OR contact GAIN at (01476) 855 070 to arrange to drop off or collect.

Autistic Pride Day

On June 18 every year, organisations around the world celebrate Autistic Pride Day, with events around the world.              See awareness days

CAMHS surveys

If you have experience of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAHMS) in Lincolnshire, you can give them your feedback.           These are for parents and young people.              See:  parents          young people              Both versions close on 31st May 2017.

Robyn Steward

Please book your place on this amazing evening where our warm up act will be Andrew Whitehouse who is responsible for putting PAACT and Robyn together.              The evening starts at 7:00pm through to 9:30pm on June 6th at Lincoln College.          The cost is £20.00.            There is a limit of 60 places for this evening talk.            To book your place on this talk please email

Family Funfest

Sleaford additional needs group, Rainbow stars, and Grantham disabled children’s society are joining forces for a family day at Sleaford rugby club on the 27th of May 2017.            Click icon on the right to log your interest.             See their organisation page for more detail.

For Autism Parents

This is a free expert-led event about the challenges of and provision for autism and complex needs.            It will be in Leicester on 16th May.          See details to book your place.

Rand Farm Park visit

Family Activity: exclusive event for families with children on the Autistic spectrum, ADHD or Learning difficulties.           Tuesday 11th April 2017, 5 – 8pm.           £6.50 per adult and per child.            PAACT needs at least 30 to take part in this activity.
See also:  website            map

Spilsby day out

A holiday club with a free day out for 13-18 year olds with disabilities or additional needs.           3rd-7th April 2017, 10am – 3pm.             Toynton Campus, Toynton All Saints, Spilsby, PE23 5AE.            Book before 17th March.                 See also map.

Next Steps

This transitions event is on 28th March at Social Care Exchange, Low Manor Road, Lincoln.               Click thumbnail to see poster.             See also:  event             website             map.

Autism Conference

Lincolnshire Autism Conference, Thursday 23rd March 2017 at The Petwood Hotel, Woodhall Spa, LN10 6QG.             Click icon to book your place simply to attend.             Please return this form to or her postal address – on the form.              GAIN will be represented there.

Here is the Invitation to set up a display/stall at the conference, complete with application form.             For more information contact Gordon Forsyth at  or  07847 5073.                See also Map with directions.               Please be aware that Gordon is currently using the Lincolnshire Autistic Society email address for returning display booking forms and enquiries.

Self-harm workshops

Following on from requests from parents and professionals Lincolnshire Parent Carer Forum (LPCF) will be holding self-harm talks and workshops on Wednesday 15th March 2017 in South Holland Centre, Market Place, Spalding, PE11 1SS.                 Click icon for more information.             See also LPCF Newsletter.

CAMHS survey

If you have experience of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAHMS) in Lincolnshire, there may just be time to voice any concerns you have to your GP, or who ever made the referral, so that they can take them into account when filling in the survey for professionals.              The idea, as you might imagine, is to help to improve their services.                  See Home for more information.               The post is currently at the top.            The survey closes on 28th Feb.

Lincoln research

My name is Sahibur Rahman, I study at the University of Lincoln.         I am currently undergoing research for my dissertation which focuses on the way media affects autistic individuals, and as a marketing student, how in particular adverts can be/are catered to autistic people.       As its a topic regarding autistic people I was wondering if I was able to get in contact with individuals who are parents to autistic children or are autistic themselves.      

I would conclude a one to one meeting with them and it would be completely confidential.       I understand this is quite forward and giving such information out is a problem, however this would help my study massively.                 Email:     (Sent:  20 Jan 2017)               She could travel as far as Grantham if need be.

Transition planning

A free two day program of information and workshops highlighting the many issues around the transition from childhood to adulthood.           23rd & 24th February 2017, at Bishop Grosseteste University College, Lincoln, LN1 3DY.            Book either or both using form.

Managing money

A free course in Boston on Monday 6th February .        See:   poster         website.























NICE flowchart

The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) has produced a simple flowchart for addressing behaviours that challenge in under 19s with autism.        Click icon to view.        Their guidance is much more detailed.


Options group have produced a help sheet about Obsessive Compulsive Dissorder and Autism.        Click icon to view.        See also stimming.

Top tips

Click PDF icon, on the left, and select Top tips for dealing with challenging behaviour for some quick bullet points from Contact.       For a more detailed set of tips click page icon on the right.         (new)


“If it feels like challenging behaviour it is challenging behaviour”.              “You do what you have to do to get through the day.        It’s not giving in, it’s coping.”      Geoff Evans.

Doc iconThe Challenging Behaviour Foundation offers information and guidance to families & carers who have a relative with severe learning disabilities who display challenging behaviour.           They provide information sheets about understanding and finding the causes of challenging behaviour and a third about what they call Positive behaviour support plans.         Click page icon for menu of information sheets and DVDs.        Click phone icon to find out about their phone and email service.         To find more of their resources click on:   Home      FAQs       Families       Information packs       All their resources.

Doc iconClick on the icon for information from the National Autistic Society (NAS) for a range of pages covering issues linked to behaviour.        They talk about causes and practical information.

Doc iconMy Aspergers Child has a page with the title, Aspergers Panic Attacks Disguised As Meltdowns”.         It says, “The physical symptoms they experience with an attack are just extreme versions of normal bodily responses to danger”.        It then points to possible treatments.        Click icon to view.


What a meltdown feels like

Fifteen people on the Autism Spectrum describe what a meltdown feels like.               For example,  It literally feels like my head is imploding.       Building up to it gets overwhelming, but an actual meltdown is just like … like your brain is ceasing to exist.

Doc iconThanks ‘cool guy’

Here is a story by a father about a plane journey one which a fellow passenger realized his son has autism.        Click icon to view.

Doc iconTips for calming things down

Here is a well presented guide to handling meltdowns.        It offers 7 tips that seem to provide useful insights and may be worth a look.        Click icon to view.

The voice of experience

Two autism mums have written in detail about how they experience their children’s meltdowns and what they think may be worth considering in order to help.        See:  The truth about my child’s meltdowns       What a meltdown feels like.

Positive Behaviour support

This help sheet from Options Group introduces an approach that aims to work with the grain of the individual’s nature.          Instead of focusing on reactive consequences and sanctions to try and force change, perhaps a bit like the Wind, we try and ‘proactively’ create the conditions that allow individuals to change in a way that is meaningful for them, a bit like the Sun.

Doc iconfb-meltdownAsperger’s & the law

Young people with Asperger’s may sometimes get into scrapes with the law.       Here is a detailed but readable article aiming to help the reader to understand better the relationship between Asperger’s syndrome & criminal behaviour.        Click icon to vieew.       They touch on a few recommendations to improve things towards the end of the article:

  • Identify the needs of the young person
  • Identify triggers for behaviour that might get them into trouble
  • Social stories may help young people to understand the issues
  • Actions and reactions can be misunderstood by police etc.

An ID card could help to reduce misunderstanding.         Canadda, based in Lincoln, can provide ID cards to young people in the Grantham area.        See Neuro-diversity ID cards.         See also More information under the Awareness cards heading.


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









Lincs activities & events

Click icon to see the kind of thing you can find here.       It publishes activities, events and facilities in Lincolnshire that may be hard to find elsewhere.

Act Now

Act now is a drama group for adults with disabilities.        Mondays, 6:30 – 8:30pm at the Trinity Art’s Centre in Gainsborough.


See Related Calendar for events with specific dates and Related Activites & Events for the Grantham area.       Local groups also features events.

Coastal country park

The Lincolnshire coastal country park offers quite a few activities and attractions and quite a bit of countryside.           See:  visit      map

Bourne swimming

Nemo’s Swim Ability Group for additional needs families with under 25’s at Bourne Leisure centre.            See map.
01778 421435              Click icon on the left for more information.

JCB Diggerland

Permission has been granted for JCB Diggerland play centre near Spalding.           See article            map.

Coffee Mornings across Lincolnshire

Lincolnshire Parent Carer Forum (LPCF) hold coffee mornings around the county.        They used to call themselves Lincolnshire Parent Carer Council (LPCC).           “No need to book.   Meet other parents of children with disabilities and additional needs.”         They hold their coffee mornings in quite a few locations around Lincolnshire, including Grantham:

  • The New England Hotel, Wide Bargate, Boston, PE21 6SH,  map.
  • Nags Head, 2 Abbey Road, Bourne, PE10 9EF,    map.
  • The Homestead, St Johns Park, Canwick Road, Lincoln, LN4 2RS,   map.
  • The Vine Hotel, Vine Road, Seacroft, Skegness, PE25 3DB,   map.
  • Jolly Scotsman, 18 Lincoln Road, Holdingham, Sleaford NG34 8NP,     map.L
  • Castle Sports Complex, Albion Street, Spalding  PE11 2AJ,   map.

Click icon for more information, including dates and other venues.

Lincolnshire Parent Carer Forum

For up-coming events around Lincolnshire have a look at their monthly news letter.              Find it on their home page.              To get their emails see Sign-up.

Facbook small iconLincolnshire ADHD Support

Click page icon to see what is coming up on their website           They are based at Ermine Library, Ravendale Drive, Lincoln, LN2 2BT.             See About for more about the group.

skegness-weekly-play-from-3-11-2016Special needs evenings

Eat &Play, Thursdays 5-7pm at Lucky Strike, Grand Parade, Skegness, PE25 2UN.
£4.95              They run during school term time.            See map.


Dance + Disabilities in Spalding on Mondays, and in North Hykeham on Thusdays.                  6pm – 7:30, £2 per session.                   Open to all with learning and physical disabilites.                 Click icon for poster.

Summer activities

Digeridoo sound therapy

Australian born, Gregg Chapman – The Didgeridoo Man, uses the sounds, vibrations and spirituality of the ancient Australian didgeridoo to bring deep relaxation and healing to the mind, body and soul.        Click page icon for website or Facebook icon.        He puts on Events in Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire.


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







Associated conditions

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.


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.



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 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.


  • 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 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 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.


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


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.


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


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




Preparing for change

Grades are not everything

A Masters degree graduate feels that her difficulties with social skills was overlooked at school because her grades were good.       Click icon to see what she has to say.


See also  Education & Learning  under Schooling problems at the bottom of the page.        For a few life skills college courses see College and University.

Prepare for big changes

The National Autistic Society website has many pages to help prepare for the big changes in a pupil’s life.          Click icon to browse.

Circles of support

Circles of support offers support during a transitional time in the focus person’s life such as a change of school or moving on; by using the support of friends, family, support networks, paid professionals and staff.         A Lincolnshire service.        Click page icon for more information or leaflet preview.

Education beyond 16

Click icon for a brief introduction to the support and options for education beyond 16 .

Support beyond 16

There were changes in 2014.         Click icon for an easy reading leaflet about the changes.

Preparing for adulthood

Here is the Moving on and preparing for adulthood booklet co-produced by Lincolnshire County Council and the Pelican Trust.
It is part of the Promoting Independence Project in response to requests for information from young people with SEND and Parent / Carers.           Click icon on the left to browse.

The Preparing for Adulthood programme (PfA) provides expertise and support to local authorities and their partners to embed preparing for adulthood from the earliest years.          It is part of the delivery support for the SEN and disability reforms.           See:  website         What we do          Resources            See their Youtube page for videos.


For an more about developing independence click icon.



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

Early support


Click the icon to see the official Lincolnshire guide to childcare.         It includes providers of childcare and help with costs.        (updated)

Here is a legal guide to help ensure parents do not miss out on free early years child care and education.        Click the PDF icon to see the guide.

  • Chapter 4 on finding free childcare might be of particular interest.
  • Chapter 9 goes through a number of possible problems and outlines what the law says about them.

For reference, here is Lincolnshire Council’s service plan for childcare providers.        (new)

See also KIDS’ Support to find out about Lincolnshire Children’s Centres’ support group for pre-school children with additional needs.           Parents are asked to stay with their child for the first hour, then they are free to go wherever they wish for the last two hours.

Help at home

Portage is a scheme for teaching pre-school children with special educational needs, new and useful skills in their own homes.          Click icon for more information.


See also  School age  about special clothing.

Life Skills

This booklet offers a practical approach to help parents and carers develop life skills in their young children.        It is produced by Falkirk Council’s Children with Disabilities team.        To read this booklet click on the icon below.

Early Support

Lincolnshire County Council provide an Early support, care and co-ordination service, or ESCO for short.    It is for children under eighteen with complex health needs or disabilities.    Lincolnshire council has an ESCO web page.       They also produce an ESCO leaflet.       To view it click on the icon below.

To book an ESCO Drop in clinic appointment, phone the Customer Service Centre number: 01522 782111.        Clinics are held monthly at Children’s Centres.

Speech and Language

Click on  Speech and Language  to find out about speech and language development.


Read about parents whose preschool-age children have either autism or Aspergers.Netmums logo


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

Education News

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 – new.

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


  • 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.







Lincoln activities

Lincoln Castle

Lincoln Castle’s early morning explorers sessions are an exclusive hour for children with autism and their families.        Enjoy selected mainstream events every other month in calmer circumstances.       Click icon for more information.

See Related calendar for specific exclusive session dates.       Look for Castle.


Farm park

Rand Farm Park offers family days out on a working farm.        It is located near Rand, LN8 5NJ, a small village between Lincoln and Horncastle.        They say that they are autism-friendly and often host private events for PAACT and the Lincolnshire Downs Syndrome Support Group over the summer.        See map          farm layout

Trampoline park

Jump Inc trampoline & inflatable park is on Dixon Close off Tritton Road, Lincoln, LN6 7UB.        Click icon for more information.

Activity days

KIDS Lincoln activity days during school holidays for young people aged 8-19.        Click icon for more information.

Making Noise

Lincoln Making Noise is at St Francis School, Lincoln, LN1 3TJ.        1st and 3rd Saturdays of the month: 11.00 – 12:00 and 12:00 – 13:00.           Click icon for an introduction.       See also Website

Tiptoe Theatre Company

Tiptoe Theatre Company:  for ages 8 – 14.        Monday 5:30 – 7pm, term time at Drill Hall, Lincoln,        This is an inclusive drama group which aims to use the benefits of drama and theatre to enrich the lives of those with disabilities.         Run by Leanne Twidale.        See map.

Fun Farm

North Hykeham play centre, Fun Farm, an indoor Lincoln play park, installed a £35k ‘underwater’ fun station.        See: 2016 upgrade         map


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

Technical guide

Site safety

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  • Visitor numbers to this site were increasing during 2016
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  • As a matter of interest, while Windows is the most popular operating system Linux is quite popular amongst our visitors too.      Please be aware that trying out a version of Linux is technically ambitious, though.      This how to guide might give a rough idea of what is involved, however.
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PDF files

When you click the icon show on the left, the text may sometimes appear uneven, as shown on the right.          Simply click the  +  icon at the top of the display once or twice and it should become much more readable.

Attribution:   Icon by Ethandcltd – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Growing up

Lindum counselling

Lindum Counselling and Lindum Listening Ears, based in Lincoln, offer a free counselling service for children from the age of 7 and adults.        Click icon for more information.

Healthy Identity

One of the clinical psychologists at Options Group has produced a helpsheet called, Supporting your child in developing a healthy identity.       It sets out the challenges that a diagnosis of autism may pose and the kinds of support that may help.      Click icon to view the helpsheet.


Children on the autistic spectrum develop their own ways of thinking and coping with life.         Chose an age range for some resources that might help parents in supporting their children’s development.


Kooth on-line support

Kooth is an online counselling and support service for young people aged 11-18  (up to 25 for Care Leavers or young people with SEND).          It is staffed by  qualified counsellors and is free across the Lincolnshire area.         See:  Family Services         XenZone – parent company          Research evidence

Life Support DVD’s

This UK based site offers sex education DVD’s.            This one aimed at children with SEN may be of particular interest.              Others are aimed at primary or seconday aged children in mainstream or SEN education.              See also Be safe on-line.


  • The National Autism Association (USA) website has some pages on safety.             Those on wandering and bullying might be of particular interest.
  • Here are some tips for keeping your child with special needs safe at home.
  • Also, 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.


Siblings, that is brothers and sisters, can be affected by their sibling on the autistic spectrum.

  1. Options Group have produced a handy new guide to supporting siblings.
  2. The National Autistic Society has a range of pages with information about siblings.
  3. It is not all bad news.         See: What my autistic brother has taught me.
  4. NetMums has a discussion about Copy-cat siblings.            Mums talk about a neuro-typical child copying one who is on the autistic spectrum.              They also have a discussion about Explaining autism to a sibling.
  5. Here is a complete article about Explaining Aspergers to a child.

Letting go

One of the hardest parts of being a parent of someone who is very vulnerable is learning how to trust other people to share in the taking care of them.             In my experience, the difference is nearly always entirely down to whether or not the staff member concerned and I, as the family member, have a good relationship, built on mutual trust, respect, acceptance and understanding.


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