Category Archives: Parents

For parents of children with autism

Sensory Sensitivity – Opticians

Quiet opticians

Lunettes in George Shopping Centre, GranthamNG31 6LH, offers SEND friendly eye care.       Click icon for more information.       (new)

Specsavers in Lincoln High Street, LN5 7DW, held its first quiet clinic on Sunday 6th August 2017, 10am until 4pm with the next one being on Sunday 3rd September and then the first Sunday of every month,         These clinics have been planned in consultation with local support groups such as Canadda and PAACT.       Click icon for more information.

Food challenges

Options Group have produced a helpsheet – Facing food challenges for those with autism & sensory processing differences.       The author is one of their specialist occupational therapists.        Click icon to view.


Sensory differences

Click icon to see an article from the National Autistic Society.        They say that many people on the autism spectrum have difficulty processing everyday sensory information.

  • It covers many possibilities.
  • Senses may be over or under sensitive.
  • Look out for Too much information.


There is no shortage of advice for coping with sensory sensitivity when getting a child’s hair cut.

A haircut technique

One barber has developed a unique technique where he will cut a child’s hair during long periods while sitting on the floor, on window sills or even in the car.            See article with video clip.

Going to the dentist

  • This article was written by an autism parent after a trip to the dentist.                 The first half of this is the How Did We Get Here part.          The second is How Can You Maybe Get Here part. 
  • Many of us dread the thought of visiting the dentist but for people with autism and/or learning difficulties it can be an especially challenging experience.                  See:  helpsheet

Sensory library

Linkage has a sensory toy library.           The Linkage Sensory Library is a new venture that will bring fun, learning and the therapeutic benefits of using sensory equipment to people with disabilities, including those with learning difficulties, across Greater Lincolnshire.             Click icon on the left for more information.           They have sites in Toynton, Grimsby and from September 2017, Lincoln.            They also have a touring bus.            See also website.

Ear plugs

Vibes are earplugs that are designed not to block outside noise, but to lower the volume.          Like many people with autism, Noah, From Ohio, hears noises much, much louder than the rest of us.          His father says Noah first tried them at a play, when he felt agitated by the noise.          See:  Vibes          FAQ         Amazon.            There are also alternatives.          Please be aware that GAIN is unable to vouch for any of the ear plugs.


Sensory Processing Disorder is the newest term for the condition that you may see  referred to using similar names like Sensory Integration Difficulties.            Click icon to find out about it.            See also:  What is SI?         ConferencesUK        Star Institute          What is SPD?          SPD and other disorders           Q & A – e.g.  UK mum

Stimming can be a useful coping mechanism for people with sensory sensitivies.        For coping with sensory overload see Why does that happen?.

Sensory issues

This booklet givers an occupational therapist’s view.     It addresses how to read the signs and coping strategies.


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




Early support


Lincolnshire Family Services Directory offers an official guide for a child’s early years.         It covers many things, including:

  • Two year old progress check
  • Assessment of need
  • Early education.

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.


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

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.

Home teaching

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.

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.


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

Speech and language


Even if a child does not develop speech all is not lost.        Click icon to read article.        Its themes are developed in Diversitypress.        There are also one or two similar articles in Whatisitlike?.

Lincolnshire Family services directory has a few entries with a search for non-verbal.      (new)       Linchfield is in the Market Deeping area.


Where to start?

Talking Point offers a comprehensive guide to children’s communication issues.         Click icon for guidance and choose from the menu list down the left hand side.         It may be a good place to start.         You might want to look for the following:

  • Ages and stages of development – what is normal?
  • Some children struggle– what to look out for.
  • What can I do?      Finding the right school.

Talking Point provides services in Lincolnshire.


Makaton uses signs (gestures) and symbols (pictures) to help people communicate.         Click icon for Signing Hands, the UK Makaton website and have a look under About.

  • There are also many Makaton videos on Youtube.        Click play button for a list.        Here are a couple of examples:  Ten in the bed         Chriustmas 123        This video of Tom’s story illustrates how it might work.
  • Here are some free resources to download and maybe print.

What to try?

  • The National Autistic Society (NAS) has a guide to visual supports.
  • This retail site has an introduction to using PECS and British Sign Language (BSL)          See also PECS boards below.
  • Here are some parent’s opinions about which to use and this discussion goes into a bit more detail.

Total communication

Options group have produced a helpsheet about the development of communication skills in people on the autism spectrum.         The author is a specialist speech and language therapist.          Click icon to view.

PECS boards

PECS boards provide students with a way to visually associate ideas about their everyday life, and to communicate with their instructors and family.         Click icon for illustrations of their use and How to for a guide to making your own.         The website is USA based.

The girl who thought in pictures

Dr Temple Grandin did not speak until the age of 4.         Doctors did not think she would ever speak but her parents refused to accept it.         Yet, with determination, her unusual mind enabled her to improve animal welfare on farms around the world.          Click icon for an article about the book.           See also Amazon.          The book contains an illustrated rhyming tale for children followed by reading matter for parents.

E G Training

E G Training provide speech and language therapy in the East Midlands.         See   website         speech & language          locations – their therapists travel to clients in Lincolnshire.

Flash Cards

Sparklebox offer free teaching aids for children with special educational needs.          Here is the Speech page.        They also have general resources for parents.           Their terms of use are brief.


Children’s centre staff encourage parents to think beyond the disability:    e.g. Come and play aims to promote independence, confidence and social skills.         It may be good for toddlers with delayed speech.         Little explorers could be another one to consider.          See about
children’s centres in Grantham or Wider area.

Dillan’s Voice

Apple has released a video clip called Dillan’s Voice about a Sixteen year old with autism.        This webpage also has an accompanying video clip called Dylan’s Path.

We have an app for that

TippyTalk’ App for Nonverbal People Turns Pictures Into Text Messages.       See this article about TippyTalk, an alternative to a picture exchange communication system (PECS) board.       As of March 2016 it still seems to be at an early stage of development, though, so will not be available to the public for a while yet.        See also TippyTalk blog.

Social scripts

Your child may be repeating words or phrases constantly – why might that be?        Here is a 10 minute video about the difference between echolalial scripting and social scripting and how they can help.


The website Ambitious about Autism has a lot of on-line discussions about speech development.       Look for the magnifying glass icon on the site to search.       Click Twitter icon here to find a link to their website – it is in the left margin.        See also:  More tips.


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




GAIN Calendar

Facbook small iconEvents are often publicised on Facebook first.        Click Facebook icon to view list of GAIN events.         See Home page for event posts – click red icon to view.        See also Events page for background information about events.

For reference, see:  School terms        These apply to schools in Lincolnshire.

2019 – coming up

  • 16 Sep GAIN Coffee Morning / Belton Lane Children’s and Community Centre,  Off Princess Drive, Grantham.
  • 14 Oct GAIN Coffee Morning / Belton Lane Children’s and Community Centre,  Off Princess Drive, Grantham.        (Half term 19-28 Oct)
  • 18 Nov GAIN Coffee Morning / Belton Lane Children’s and Community Centre,  Off Princess Drive, Grantham.
    (The December coffee date is so near to the end of term and Christmas that we plan to skip it)

Click this calendar icon for autism-related events put on by other groups/organisations

Past events

GAIN Family/Darts evenings are on weekly the winter season.       The team plays every Thursday from October 4th 2018 through to 28th March 2019.
Parents can turn up on any Thursday for a chat with Paul, our autism dad.        We post for particular dates to give GAIN parents more of a focus – click red icon above to find them.

  • 17 Sep 2018 GAIN Coffee Morning / Belton Lane Children’s and Community Centre,  Off Princess Drive, Grantham.
  • 15 Oct GAIN Coffee Morning / Belton Lane Children’s and Community Centre,  Off Princess Drive, Grantham.
  • 19 Nov GAIN Coffee Morning / Belton Lane Children’s and Community Centre,  Off Princess Drive, Grantham.
    (The December coffee date is so near to the end of term and Christmas that we plan to skip it)
  • 21 Jan 2019 GAIN Coffee Morning / Belton Lane Children’s and Community Centre,  Off Princess Drive, Grantham.
    (We plan to skip February for coffee since the 3rd Thursday clashes with half term)
  • 18 Mar GAIN Coffee Morning / Belton Lane Children’s and Community Centre,  Off Princess Drive, Grantham.
    (We plan to skip April for coffee since the 3rd Thursday clashes with Easter school holidays).
  • 20 May GAIN Coffee Morning / Belton Lane Children’s and Community Centre,  Off Princess Drive, Grantham..
  • 17 Jun GAIN Coffee Morning / Belton Lane Children’s and Community Centre,  Off Princess Drive, Grantham.
    (The July coffee date is near to the end of the school year and we plan to skip it)



Children’s services

Lincolnshire Children’s Services, including those for disabled children, have been rated outstanding but several parents have posted their disagreement on Facebook.       Parents may see a connection with the following articles:

  • Charities say that children’s services in England are in financial crisis.        See article
  • Parents are sometimes blamed for their children’s problems.        See article
  • Children on the spectrum can find themselves without a school place for quite some time.       See article


I am Cadence

Ten year old Cadence is writing short pieces describing her experiences of being an Autistic child.       For example  Does autism make me bad?         Autism doesn’t make me special         Click icon for more of her thoughts.

Trying too hard?

This blogger thinks autistic children are put under too much pressure to learn.        In particular to learn how to fit in.         He she believes in letting children play and learn in their own way.

Comment,  Play is very valuable, but often kids with autism play in a repetitive way and sometimes need help to build on what they may do innately.    As your child grows you worry more because what society finds acceptable for a four year old they do not find acceptable for a fourteen year old.    Whilst we build towards acceptance, our children and adults have to live in the world as it is and in a school system that really does not know what to do with them. For me it is best to strike a balance between learning in and through play and learning more academic and life skills.        (Published with permission, Facebook)

Different at home

What happens when my autistic child acts differently at Home than he does at School.         When the common denominator for the challenging behavior and meltdowns is home, it is all too easy for professionals and schools to jump to the conclusion that “bad parenting” is at work.        Instead of blaming parents, schools and professionals should be more understanding of the difference between home and school and more willing to listen when a child is behaving differently outside the school gates.         A referral put in from a school may be readily accepted, yet a parent’s request for the same service is often refused.       There is still the assumption that if a child truly had challenges, these would manifest in all settings in the same way.

What my son’s autism has taught me

An engaging tale and wide ranging critique of the state of play in the story of autism by the novelist David Mitchell.        The third item on my wishlist is, too predictably, better funding for education and adult care.     The status quo obliges sleep-deprived autism parents and sympathetic school principals to be frontline activists, just to obtain statutory minimums.     This is inhumane and illogical.

See TV/Radio updates for a reading of Fall Down Seven Times, Get Up Eight mentioned in the article above.             See also Interview of the young Japanese author of the book.

Ignorant people

Click icon and watch video.         The title of the post is, Rubbish ignorant people say to autistics.         Entertaining.

Lack of empathy

This article is about the effects of caring for someone with autism.        This stress reaction has been named Ongoing Traumatic Relationship Syndrome (OTRS), AKA Cassandra Phenomenon (CP).      It is a metaphor for the emotional and physical suffering of spouses and children of adult individuals with AS and high functioning autism, because they are typically disbelieved as they attempt to share the cause of their sufferings with others ….        Click icon on the left for article.         Please be aware that it reflects strongly held opinions.

For parents of a child towards the lower functioning end of the spectrum see also Challenging behaviour under the heading A mother’s story.          It is about a book written with intelligence and insight.

A family doctor’s failings

This is a story of a mother’s struggle to get appropriate treatment for her daughter.         Click PDF icon for full text.

I had to practically beg the receptionist to ask the GP to come out to the car as we could not get my daughter out of the car.  …       I then spent 5 minutes explaining why we would never give medication to her in this way and that in order to give it under a GA we would have to call a best interests meeting.




Have you seen – Sesame Street?



Triumph of the nerds

This is the story of how Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and their mates changed the world of computers during the 1970’s and 80’s.       Also, how did the IBM PC come to be cloned?        Click play icons to watch the video of the TV series.        Click the page icon to read about what really happened when Steve Jobs visited Xerox PARC.

Part 1             Part 2  

Surprisingly complicated

This is a comedy series shot on Staten Island, USA.         It is based on a mum’s experience of bringing up twin boys who have autism.        Click icon for the back story and a video preview.          Watch:  Episode 1       Episode 2.         See also their Facebook page.

If you spend time on Facebook regularly you might be able to save quite a bit of broadband usage – see our Using Facebook page.                 If you are not sure about the PAL DVD format see viewing options.

Autism Rocks

Meet the boys from UK’s premier autistic rock group The AutistiX.

See:  video           website

Chasing Shadows

How does someone with Asperger’s fare in the workplace?       This drama was shown on ITV in September 2014.          It might give you some idea.

It is a gritty drama about a maverick who starts work at a missing person’s unit.        You can view a trailer and a free rough and ready Youtube version of episode one.            See Youtube right margin for other episodes.              There is also a DVD version.

Holby City

Have you noticed the character Jason Haynes in the TV hospital drama series Holby City?         The National Autistic Society has been actively working with researchers, producers and writers.        Jason was introduced into the story line via his aunt Serena.  

The actor who plays Jason has a unique insight into what makes Jason Haynes such a special character, as he himself is a young man with Asperger’s.          See article.          In an interview he also highlights employment issues for people on the spectrum.

An oral history

Here is a brief animated video of a talk about her own development as a person with Asperger’s Syndrome that Temple Grandin gave at Colorado State University in 2008.                See article.


Netflix has given a straight-to-series order to “Atypical,” a dark comedy about a family with an autistic son, set to star Jennifer Jason LeighVariety has confirmed.              “Atypical” landed an eight-episode order for the first season of the coming-of-age story that follows an 18-year-old with autism and his search for love and independence.                      See  Intoduction about Atypical.                     See also  viewing options  about Netflix.

Me and my Asperger’sFacbook small icon

A personal blog.         Life in a strange world.    Me!    They call me odd, huh.    Anyway welcome to my page.    Feel free to post comments, share your thoughts and/or page.”           Lincolnshire            Click icon to browse:

Temple Grandin

This film dramatises the life story of a lady with high-functioning Asperger’s syndrome who made an academic career for herself.            She has an unusual name, Temple Grandin.               See film Preview.               There are two options:

  1. See Amazon for the DVD of the film.
  2. Alternatively see Amazon Video and click the More Purchase Options link.               Then, unless you have a high-definition display chose the Buy Movie SD option.

The DVD may not be in stock at present so please be aware that on websites without UK in the address you may need to take care to get a version that plays in your machine.              See viewing options for information about DVD formats.

See also Speech & language for The Girl Who Thought in Pictures, an illustrated story book about Temple Grandin.

Doc Martin

This has proved a popular TV drama, with repeats showing on ITV1 or ITV3.      The signs of Asperger’s in the character of Dr Martin Ellingham are hard to miss.       They are outlined and analysed on this blogspot and you can see them illustrated with video clips from the TV series, explained with text.

Opinions differ, though, as in discussion 1 and more so in discussion 2.      Things are explained by the author.      It turns out that he was supposed to have the condition but to work on changing himself for the sake of his relationship with his wife and young son.      Also, the scripts are written for entertainment, so things will not be entirely realistic.

Roy Cropper

Have you seen Roy Cropper on Coronation Street?

He feels at home with trains, particularly steam engines from times past.   After Hayley’s passing, Stephen found him at a museum, where he showed an encyclopaedic knowledge of the early steam
engines on display.

Since his return to his flat, his friends have found him shut away with his model railway.        It obviously means a great deal to him.

The Wikia page for the Coronation Street character describes him as, remarkably intelligent, but socially naive.    The page also suggests that Roy has Asperger’s syndrome.      This has not stopped him from making a go of his life, though.

The actor who plays Roy is married to an additional needs teacher and she suggested giving Roy Asperger’s.     Doing so transformed him into a character with long term potential.

His life with Hayley has been an enduring and popular feature of the street.      Click on  slide show  for a quick review of their story.      On the slide show page, click on the row of miniature pictures of the couple under the large picture.      Left and right arrows will appear to scroll to more pictures.

Roy’s people skills are actually quite good in some respects.      He and Hayley earned Fiz Brown’s appreciation having  fostered  her.     He acted as a  mentor  to Fiz’s brother Chesney.     Anna Windass, who works in his cafe, also gets on well with him.      Recently she confided in him that she was carrying a secret that she felt unable to share with anyone and he advised her that it would eat her up if she did not tell her boyfriend, Owen.

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.

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)


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.




Take a break


Options Group has produced a helpsheet about planning an autism-friendly holiday.

Wildside Venture

The Wildside Venture offers outdoor short breaks to adults with learning disabilities and autism.             The nearest to us is two nights of camping in The Great Yorkshire Forest.            Click thumbnail for details.           See also:  about         map           home                 (new)

Sand le mere

Sand le mere seaside holiday park has a sensory playroom.            The seaside holiday park near Withernsea has also provided a second room as a place of rest and comfort for parents … has a soft setting where parents can calm their children down.              See:  holiday village         find us         area map               Sand le mere holiday village, Tunstall, Yorkshire, HU120JN.

Disability LincolnshireSkegness pic01

Disability Lincolnshire offer subsidised short breaks.            This is for families living in Lincolnshire who have a child with a disability between 0 – 18 years of age.         Children can enjoy a holiday with or without their parents,           Click thumbnail to the right for more information about this specially adapted accommodation at Skegness.            There is a variety of activities on offer.

Magic Moments

Magic Moments have a caravan seven miles from Skegness.                PAACT support group says it has had good feedback about them.               It is available to any family affected by disability or illness.               Prices are discounted.              See also  website          Terms & conditions                (new)

Hesley HouseHesley House

Hesley House Cottages – self-catering for children with special needs, near Skegness.              For more information click here.

Thomas Centre

The Thomas Centre offers much sought after specialist holidays at their site near Louth, Lincolnshire.             It is located near to the coast.             Suitable for supported living or residential care providers.               For more information click on Thomas Centre ©.

Respite Association

The Respite Association is a charity that can help with the cost of respite care.           It is based near Spalding.               See their website.              To apply for help see  Contact Us          (01775) 820176                 They have published outlines of cases of families they have helped.

See also information sheet about autism-friendly holidays.





Growing up


  • Here are some tips for keeping your child with special needs safe at home.
  • The National Autistic Society has a page about road safety and awareness of danger.
  • Here are pages about autism and wandering from the Boy Scouts and National Autism Association (USA).
  • This guide to safety around water is aimed at parents and carers of children with autism.           See also Related Activities for Grantham Lynx Swim.

Dogs for Good

Specially trained dogs can be a great help to people with autism but they are very hard to come by in the UK.        Family dog workshops are much more accessible, though.

  • 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. Lincoln.        See also FAQ about the barriers and options.
  • Here is a heart-warming story about a boy and his dog working together particularly well.


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.


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.

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

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.

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.


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.

School age


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


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.


  • 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.

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.


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