Category Archives: Parents

For parents of children with autism

Tips & issues – Mindful mix …

Mindful mix

Click icon for soundtrack:  Mindful Soundscapes – An escape to the sea with 2 hours of lapping waves.


See also Coronavirus resources


Contact – for families with disabled children – was founded by parents.      They seem to know what is what.       Click icon to get to the point.

The podcast university

What to do if you are at a loose end?       This is basically a plug for a number of BBC podcasts that might pique your interest.       Click icon to view.

Thinking styles

  • Temple Grandin says that there are three autistic thinking styles:  visual thinkers, verbal specialists and pattern thinkers.       See post.       It links to a detailed article by another writer.
  • Autism Toolbox, a resource for Scottish schools, offers a more science based analysis.         See article.

Facbook small iconAutism Discussion

Autism Discussion Page is the title of this Facebook page.       It contains brief articles with comments.       Anyone registered with Facebook can add their own comments.

Making your child happier

This article offers Eleven ways you can make your autistic child’s life easier.

Temple Grandin’s FAQ’s

Temple Grandin is a lady with high-functioning Asperger’s who has made an academic career for herself.       Click icon to browse her Frequently Asked Questions page.       The Ask Temple link, in the top left corner, gives you a form for asking your own question.

Ellen Notbohm

This Facebook page offers a handy starting point for several topics from the author Ellen Notbohm.        The award-winning author is known for her popular books and columns on autism, published worldwide in more than twenty languages.        See the Notes option on the Facebook page for key topics.         She also has a website.       The Blog and Articles menu options might be worth a look.

Facbook small iconAutism on The Mighty

We have a number of links from The Mighty on our website and Facebook page.        This page picks out autism related material from their website.       Click icon to browse.

NetmumsDoc icon

  • The Netmums site has quite a few pages  under the Autism/Asperger’s heading.      Clicking the icon to browse.
  • A number of mothers post a description of their situation on this  site – see:  Preschool        School age         Older children / teenagers.
  • To simply browse Netmums use their search box at the top right corner of the page, but for information about the members’ only areas see their registration page,

Evidence-based optimism

The thinking person’s guide to autism is a forum intended to encourage visitors, To think, ask questions, question the media, and learn from each other.        The people behind it say, Autism misinformation clouds and is perpetuated by the Internet.     We want to make accurate information about autism causation and therapies visible, accessible, and centralized.


Ambitious About Autism is publishing a few tips for Christmas under the heading: Include autism this Christmas.       Click icon to view.

Coping skills

Six types of coping skills.        An array of graphics.

The best activities

Ideas about activities for special needs.        After-school and weekend activities for children with disabilities can build self-esteem, skills, friendships and a sense of belonging.

What autism mums do not want to hear

This will ring a few bells for parents of a child on the autistic spectrum.      Things not to say to an autism mum .

Re-charging the batteries

‘Society has programmed us to think, “What kind of mother is she, taking care of herself before her child?”  but that’s completely wrong.’       Here are 10 must dos for parents of children with special needs.


For all those new school starters or those like my son, who is obsessed with his shoes being on the wrong feet, try this.       Cut a sticker of their choice in half and secure it into there shoes to help them identify which shoe goes on which foot.
FB/Rainbow Stars.


Netbuddy has merged with Scope now.

  • It has  Autism blogs  with real life stories from people with experience of issues around autism.        Scroll down to get an idea what is there.
    You can post your own stories.
  • They offer  Support and Information  divided into quite a few categories.
  • They have  Community champions  make sure the community is a safe, supportive place to be.
  • It also has an  On-line community on which you can post questions and comments.

Surviving Asperger’s Syndrome

This on-line publication takes the form of brief bullet points divided up into chapters.        See:  Survival guide

Tips for married couples

This is for the partner of someone with Asperger’s:  Chat website

Fear busting

Here are some tips on  tackling fear .

Soap Operas

These can provide a handy way to improve emotional literacy and people skills.      Soaps focus on emotional issues and lay it on with a trowel.      For example, see  Roy Cropper  from Coronation Street.

Moving House

Children on the autistic spectrum can find the idea of moving house unsettling, but there are things could do that might help.

  • Tell him obvious things, repeatedly, e.g. that he is moving too.
  • Tell him what familiar things you are taking, e.g. items of furniture.
  • Try to re-create his old bedroom from day one.      This is not a good time for a revamp.
  • Use the same bedding & PJs for continuity.       If necessary leaving them unwashed would be even better.
  • Get PC running in new home from day one.       Buy that computer game he has always wanted and give him free access to the PC around the time of the move.


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



Coronavirus resources

Return to school


The National Autistic Society has set out guidance for parents of children on the autistic spectrum about the return to school in September.       Click icon to view.       See also directive to schools about support of SEND pupils.        new


The NAS has also set out answers to questions about the way the return to school in September affects children with an Education, Health and Care Plan.        Click icon to view. 

Lincolnshire Parent Carer Forum seem to do quite a bit of what you might call heavy lifting.        Click icon to see their Coronavirus articles on the right hand side.        Notably, a ministerial SEND letter, of Jun 2020, about plans for the return to school.

Ambitious about autism

On the Ambitious about Autism website, find:  Home > About autism > Coronavirus
– The Coronavirus resources page has some easy reading downloads.
– They have a couple of pages about the return to school.       Look for it in Corona > Education.       new

They have also published a children’s story, The world has turned upside down.        Click icon and scroll down to find it.       There is also a link to their website at the top of the Twitter feed.


Face coverings

Professor Ellen Townsend makes a plea for compassion for those who cannot wear face coverings.       She outlines the many reasons why some people may not be using a face covering.       Professor Townsend leads research at the School of Psychology, University of Nottingham.
Click icon for article.       See also:  Mask anxiety

LPCF events

The Lincolnshire Parent Carer Forum  has three virtual events planned for Sept/Oct – so they will be Covid safe.

  • Signposting and information
  • Wellbeing workshops
  • Time2talk – coffee mornings

Click icon for their publicity.        See also their events web page.

Emotional wellbeing

There seem to be some new  resources and services developed to support for emotional wellbeing and mental health in Lincolnshire.        Click icon for GAIN guide.

Resources and updates

National Autistic Society has collected together resources and news about Coronavirus.        Click icon to browse.        Also:

  • Here is an NHS fact sheet about Coronavirus for kids.
  • The Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health has produced a podcast featuring two clinical psychologists about getting children with autism through this time of upheaval.
  • The Challenging Behaviour Foundation has its own Covid-19 information and resources page.       It includes information about legal rights.        They have some ideas to help to make hand washing fun.

Government FAQ

Click icon for the Cabinet Office updated do’s and don’ts.      You are now able to: exercise outdoors as often as you wish – following social distancing guidelines.        See also complete Guidance and support

SKDC has launched its Covid community information hub:

  • Phone: 01476 406177 / 406358 : 8am – 7pm
  • Email:

The friendly garden

The Friendly Garden is the location for a range of garden related events organised by the Sage Gardener.       They have made changes to the way they do things to make events COVID safe so that members can make the most of the outdoors and the natural world and feel better.      They are geared up for older people rather than children.        See Mainstream activities to find out more.


With current Coronavirus restrictions it seems wise to be aware that criminals have been seeking to exploit increased dependence on the internet.      This BBC article highlights efforts in the UK to combat on-line scams.       Click icon to view.       Here are a few pointers for safeguarding yourself.

Social story

Here is a social story about seeing people with face masks.        Click icon to take a look.       If it is not just what you want, does it give you any ideas?       See also: how to write your own         free images .


The NHS continues to update its Coronavirus page.        It is straight forward to browse.        Click icon to view.

Lincolnshire heritage & culture

Lincolnshire County Council have a number of short stories from long ago, produced by Lincoln Castle, on Youtube.       Click play button to see the list.

Lincoln Castle have also published a free audio guide download to the castle.       Click download to scan QR code with your Android or iPhone.

Virtual coffee mornings

Shine, the mental health support network in Lincolnshire, are putting on virtual coffee mornings for carers in Lincolnshire.      They are regularly on Mon, Wed & Fri on Zoom.       They offer support for learning disability as well as mental health.        Click icon for details about the latest events.        See also:  How they work        Shine basics

Key terms

Here is a table of school years and ages:


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

Library books

Jodi Picoult, House rules .           ‘A page turner’      J K, GAIN
Fictional story about a teenage boy with Asperger’s who is arrested for murder.       See:  Good Reads        Amazon        Library record

Mark Haddon, The curious incident of the dog in the night-time .
Christopher Boone is a 15-year-old who with Asperger’s syndrome.     When he finds a neighbour’s dog murdered, he sets out on a journey which will turn his whole world upside down.       See:  Good Reads        Amazon        Library record


In Lincolnshire libraries

The following books can be requested from Grantham Library or on-line.       They charge 25p per book to notify you by email or text that your book is ready to collect or 50p to notify you by post.           (At time of writing)

– Claire Sainsbury, Martian in the Playground.              ‘Enlightening and encouraging’   J K, GAIN
The author draws on her own experience and that of others to show what life is like for school children with Asperger’s Syndrome.     Find out more at   Good Reads  and   Amazon .      There are two copies of this book in Lincolnshire libraries:    Library record

Quotes from the book   

– Luke Jackson, Freaks, Geeks and Asperger Syndrome:  A User Guide to Adolescence.          ‘The best book on Autism I have read so far’,   J K
The author has Asperger’s Syndrome.    He draws on his own experiences and observations with a witty style of writing.        He wrote this book when he was 13.        Find out more at   Good Reads         Amazon          Library record

Quotes from the book   

– Oliver Sacks, An Anthropologist on Mars – seven paradoxical tales.  Case histories of neurological disorders of many kinds.    The final case history is of a lady with autism whose name is Temple Grandin.      Find out more at   Good Reads      Wikipedia      Library record
Quotes from the book   

– Mark Williams & Danny Penman,  Mindfulness.    A programme of cognitive therapy developed by Oxford University psychologist
Professor Mark Williams with colleagues around the world.     There should be an accompanying CD.     It aims to help you to reduce
anxiety and stress and to give you greater control over the way your mind works.       Find out more at:   Good Reads        Amazon         Library record         See also: Similar library books – several have accompanying CD’s.           Click for  More books  on Mindfulness.

– Tony Attwood, Complete Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome         See Library record

– Simon Baron-Cohen, Autism & Asperger syndrome:  the facts        See:  The author       Library record

– Clara Claiborne Park, The Siege.     A mother’s story about bringing up her autistic daughter, Jessy, in 1960s America.         See Library record

– Lorna Wing, The Autistic Spectrum.      A handbook for parents and professionals.         See Library record

There are many books in Lincolnshire Libraries on the 17th century physicist and mathematician Isaac Newton, several of which can be found in the Grantham branch.        Some historians believe he had Asperger’s Syndrome.           See:  Library search  and also Famous People.

If a book is not currently in the public library you can request a book for purchase.       Click icon to see how.  

More books

There are many more books in Lincolnshire libraries on autism and Asperger’s.
To browse see:  autism         asperger         Lincolnshire Libraries .         Once you have logged in you can reserve books on-line to pick up at your local library.

A Good Read

The following are not about autism but might offer a good read.        As they say, all work and no play …

 – John Grisham.     If you like legal dramas you might enjoy many a happy hour with this author’s books.      His stories are set in the USA.         For a handy guide to his work see  Books .          Click Library list for the library catalogue list.           To find out about the author, see  Biography .

Among his books is a series about a 13 year old boy, called Theodore Boone, who fancies himself as a lawyer – like his parents.           It illustrates life skills,  describing the thinking processes of an adolescent in an adult world.           For a handy guide to this series, click on  Reviews .           See also Library list.

– Oliver Sacks, Awakenings    This is an account of a group of patients who were woken from
sleeping sickness in 1969 by Dr Sacks using a drug that was new at the time.       See:  Author’s site        Amazon        Library record

– P D James, Death comes to Pemberley     Have you seen the 3 part TV dramatisation of this book?       The book lays out the plot in more detail.        It makes it much clearer what really happened, and why.       If you watch the TV series after having read the book, you will see passing references to all the key elements of the background story that might have passed you by on a first viewing.        See  Library records.

– Joanna Trollope, The Choir     Another book that was dramatised on TV.        This one was set in the present day, though.           See:  Good Reads        Library record.

– Joanna Trollope, The Best of Friends.       This book is about two families that are linked by a longstanding friendship between two of the members.        It charts relationships within and between the families.

Interestingly, the thoughts of the characters are described, providing insight into the psychological and social dynamics involved.       For example, conversations between two of them are said to have had several unwritten rules,        “… neither of them ever said anything really savagely unpleasant about husband  or children and … it was a requirement to be as hilariously funny about the day’s disasters as possible”.
See:  Good Reads            Library records.

Look up online

Lincolnshire libraries on-line catalog is at  Better libraries .


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

Related Calendar

Lincoln Castle

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

The Groove

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


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

Dysart Park Fun Day

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

Family dog workshops

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

Makaton course

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


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


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

Mental health engagement

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


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

Farm quiet hour

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

Making sense of the senses

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

Autism Conference

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

Lincoln Castle Explorers

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

Makaton course

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


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

Harrowby football match

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

Dysart Park Fun Day

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

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

Makaton course

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

Healthy Conversation

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

Family dog workshops

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


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

Overcoming trauma

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

Easter Quest

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

East Midlands events

Workshop for parents of special needs children – Coping with Challenging Behaviour.       Wed, 3rd Apr, 10am – 12pm.        25 FREE places available for parents.        At Voluntary Action Rutland, Rutland Community Hub, Oakham, Rutland, LE15 6RB.         To book your free place email 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.

TV/Radio blog

The life scientific

Research psychologist Francesca Happé talks to Jim al-Khalili about the abilities of people with autism.       Click icon for the podcast.


Children on-line

BBC Radio 4 had a phone-in about protecting children on-line in Jan 2019.        Click icon for the podcast.       Drag along timeline to 12:43 mins to skip car theft and find the phone-in.

Autism & communication

Michael Rosen finds out about communication with people on the autistic spectrum.       Click icon to listen on iPlayer.  


Click icon to find the trailer for ‘Atypical’, Netflix’s new comedy series about autism.       It premiered in August 2017.       The eight-episode comedic series follows Sam Gardner, a high school senior on the autism spectrum, and his family as he navigates dating, school and being a teenager.       The link features an article followed by comments.

The first episode was dissapointing for one viewer.       In this article actor Mickey Rowe explains why he thinks Netflix’s series Atypical misrepresents its autistic audience — and why that begins with its failure to include the autistic community in its creative process.

Lucy Mangan on Responsibility

Click icon to listen to this intelligent and engaging interview.        Lucy Mangan talks to Bea Harvie, a post-graduate student, whose father got ill when she was thirteen.       Bea chose to take on a lot of caring duties towards her younger siblings while her Mother was busy caring for her Father.      She just got on with it until one day, when she was sixteen, it all caught up with her.      She says it is like shaking up a bottle of fizzy pop: ‘it’s got to come out some way’.

More or Less

The Radio 4 series that goes behind the numbers in the news.       For example,  in the Brexit referendum of 2016 the UK has voted to leave the European Union.      Click Brexit economics to listen to Tim Harford and the team explore what that might mean for the UK economy.       Click icon for more episodes.

Lack of empathy

How far can empathy, or the lack of it, can explain cruelty?        Simon Baron-Cohen proposes turning the focus away from evil or specific personality disorders, and to understand human behaviour by studying the ’empathy circuit’ in the brain.       Also speaking:   forensic psychotherapist Gwen Adshead, crime writer Val McDermid and  philosopher Julian Baggini.        Click icon to listen again to this discussion.

Men & Asperger’s

Asperger’s syndrome or not?  may still be available to hear on-line.     Why do so many women think their men have Asperger’s syndrome? 

Dr Digby

In Holby CityTue 3rd Nov 2015, matters have come to a head for Dr Digby and he is experiencing a crisis of confidence.       His lack of people skills is getting in the way of his work as a doctor.       Dr Hanson has plans for him, though.       We will have to wait to find out what they are, and it could be several episodes before we do.        Still, it might be worth keeping an eye out to see what next Tuesday will bring.

Codes that changed the world

If you are a computer buff you might be interested in a Radio series about the history of computer programming.       One episode, about BASIC for example, was aired on Wed 8th Apr 2015.       You might be able to download the Podcasts of these programmes – still available Apr 2016.

Interviews about Autism

Radio 4 has been broadcasting a series of interviews about Autism.

  • A conversation with Professor Simon Baron-Cohen was aired on Tue 17th Feb 2015.            He is a highly respected authority on autism.
  • On Tue 24th Feb, an interview with a university research assistant with high-functioning autism was aired.      She explained her experience of life with very clearly.

You might be able to listen to Podcasts of these 15 minute programmes.       They should be available for at least 30 days after broadcast.      This one has stayed there for months.

The Village

August 2014.     The plan is to cover the 20th century from the First World War to beyond the Second World War, over several series.        The mood is perking up now.


The episode on 9th August 2014 featured a very convincing and  well crafted depiction of a teenage boy with autism.       He took a liking to someone playing Eric Clapton on the street.       It could be interesting to know that autistic people are represented on mainstream TV.


Services & support

Autism Support Network

Click icon for community help and support for children and adults with autism spectrum disorder and their families.        See also Contact us for GAIN’s new phone number.         new

Family services directory

The Lincolnshire County Council on-line Family Services Directory is the go-to place to find out about services.        Click icon on the left for the SEN and Disability section.        It covers services for children with disability as well as education – e.g.  Short breaks

The directory is likely to be the place with the most up-to-date information.         Service providers can update their own entries.        There are more menu options on their home page.        Click icon on the right to see.

Council website

The Lincolnshire County Council website has many pages of information for parents of children with Special Educational Needs and Disability.        Click icon to browse.        It includes Short breaks and ESCO.       Their website also has a Things to do page.

Council information about assessment and specialist services for children with a learning disability in Lincolnshire  comes under the heading Children with disabilities social care.       Click icon on the right to browse.       Short breaks and either social care or direct payments may be available.        To find out how to arrange an assessment contact the Customer Service Centre on 01522 782 111.

Phone iconClick  phone icon for a guide to all the services offered by the Council Customer Services Centre.        See also definitive Council contact information.

The GAIN website also has:  Take a break       Activities & support       ESCO support


Look under FAQ for Associated conditions and Information sub-menus.


The National Health Service website offers a guide to established medical opinion in the UK.        Click icon for their autism page.         In What is autism? they say that autism is not an illness or disease.         It means your brain works in a different way from other people.       The NHS carries out diagnosis of autism and treatment of related conditions.

Children’s therapy

Click icon to find out about NHS children’s therapy services in Lincolnshire.       See also:  information (scroll down)        FAQ

Community Paediatrics

A service for children in Lincolnshire who are referred when there are concerns about development, behaviour or educational needs.       Click icon to view.       new


Phone iconDoc iconThe National Autistic Society have an on-line form as well as a phone number.       But before you call or email check to see how they can help.        They are much in demand, so it might be worth a look.        See also  Specialist advice & information services.         See icons to the left for the next step.          The Specialist Advice and information services page presents parents, carers and people with autism with a list of their specialist services to choose from.        If the helpline is busy you could try their Find answer on-line page.

Phone iconChild Autism UK is an autism charity.         See website.         It used to be called Peach.         Click the phone icon to see how they might be able to help.

Phone iconThe Challenging Behaviour Foundation offers telephone and email support to family carers and professionals caring for children and adults with severe learning disabilities and challenging behaviour.


Lincolnshire Family Information Services Looking for childcare?       Want to know if you can get help paying for childcare?        Want activities to do with your children?       Looking for children and family services?         We have lots of information for families, child carers and professionals …   

For specialist SEN helplines see SEN Support.       Also, do blogs and on-line communities sound interesting?       If so, see Tips and What is it like?.


Your Child’s GP might make a referral to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).        They are behind the Cinema on St Catherine’s Road in Grantham.

For official information see:      booklet         webpage         Grantham         referral guide
See also what the forums say:  referral         shambles        The replies are worth a look.       Those with good experiences may be less motivated to speak out on these forums, but if you look carefully you should find some.        Here is an insider’s view         (new)

One of our autism mums said,  I’ve had multiple dealings with CAMHS.   They can diagnose and prescribe medication so they offer a variety of help as well as behaviour management.    I find them excellent to deal with and they’ve been a fabulous support to us.

See also SEN support about the Lincolnshire Educational psychology service.

Lincolnshire Carers Service

The Lincolnshire Carers Service is a partnership between Lincolnshire County Council and Carers FIRST.        This service includes parents of children.          The first point of contact is the County Council’s Customer Service Centre:   01522 782 224  or         Click icon for the range of support for carers.

Carers FIRST is the new name for Carers connect.        They provide emotional and practical support, advice, information, guidance and offer statutory carer assessments, social groups, short break respite, activities trips and more.        Click icon for their website.         To find what web pages might help you, try my navigator

For more information see:  introduction         out of hours        history


Home-Start Lincolnshire are here to help – for free.       If you are a family with young children in need of a helping hand – we’ve got a trained volunteer who will offer friendship, emotional and practical support through weekly home visits for as long as is needed
Click icon to view their website.         See also: support      Grantham       other local contacts             01507 308 030   


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

SEN/EHC Support

Social communication outreach

Pupils on the autistic spectrum may find it hard to fit in at mainstream school or college.      Settings may not have the expertise to adapt to the needs of such pupils.       The  Working Together Team may be able to help.        Click icon for the basics.       See also How it works for more detail.         updated


If you think that your child may have Special/Additional Educational needs (SEN), you may need to find someone who will take the time to listen and discover for themselves what your child is like and what he or she needs.        It might have taken you years of devoted attention to piece together your own insights and it may take some time for others to catch up with you.       See also:  Making it work

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.

Ombudsman complaints

Click icon to find out how to complain to the Local Government & Social Care Ombudsman.        See Education news for article about trends.

SEND support

Click icon to see the official Lincolnshire SEN support index.


LIASE provides 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.       Click icon for an introduction.       It has downloads in right margin,  e.g.  Support in mainstream school.

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

Contact helpline

Contact (for families with disabled children) was founded by parents.       Have a look at Who are we?        Click page icon to find out about their helpline.       There are four ways to get in touch with Contact:                              See Facebook, Twitter & email queries        They seem to be good on nation-wide issues but not Grantham specifics.

Phone iconEducational psychology service

The Educational Psychology Service 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      Example         To help children prepare for a consultation, see pupil’s guide.

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

Ace Education

ACE Education provides independent advice for parents on education issues in England.       It outlines their confidential telephone advice line.        See also call charges.    0115

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.

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.


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:  Get support       Our services        Sarah’s story        IPSEA was founded by SEN professionals – see history.


  • 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
  • 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


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

Speech and language

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.        With determination, her unusual mind enabled her to improve animal welfare on farms around the world.        Click icon for a video clip introducing the book.       new       See also Amazon.        The book contains an illustrated rhyming tale for children followed by reading matter for parents.


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.

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.

NHS speech therapy

Lincolnshire NHS has an open referral system for children’s speech therapy.        Parents can phone children’s therapy services to ask about it.       Click icon and look for:


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.

Mr Tumble

  • CBeebies’ series Something Special was designed for children with communication difficulties and uses Makaton.       Click play icon to browse the the themed episodes:  e.g. The looking game.
  • A more selective array of extended singing videos can be found on iPlayer.

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.


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.

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 resources for parents of children with special educational needs.          Here is the Speech page.        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.


Ambitious about Autism has a lot of on-line discussions about speech development.       See
Their Twitter display has a link to the website at the top.       Look for the magnifying glass icon on the site to search.       See also:  GAIN tips.


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

Have you seen

Hannah Gadsby

Hannah Gadsby is an Australian comedian who talks about her autism in her act.       Click play button for a video clip about a classroom experience.        See also: Wikipedia


See also TV/Radio blog.


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.


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 from Lincolnshire.      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.”       Click icon to browse:

Temple Grandin

Here is a film dramatising 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.        Click icon for preview.

For the complete film, see Amazon Video and click the More Purchase Options link.      Then, unless you have a high-definition display chose the Buy Movie SD option.

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.      Click play button to watch.

The Girl Who Thought in Pictures

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 a video clip from the TV series.

Opinions differ, though, as in discussion 1 and more so in discussion 2.        According to the series author, 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.

Home Education

Doc iconFormal guidance

Elective home education is the official name.        Click the icon on the left for the information and resources Lincolnshire County Council publishes.       It provides a step by step guide as follows:             updated

The UK government also produces guidance about home education.       These set out a parents rights and responsibilities. 


What does home education mean?        Who is responsible for what?       See:  FAQ on Home Education Special website for quick and clear answers for the UK.

Doc iconTaking over the responsibility can be an attractive option for some parents, but is it for you?

  • To read about parent’s experiences  click icon.       A net mums search on home schooling should get a good list of results.
  • The Family Education website offers guidance and some basic resources:   Pros       Cons        Guidance & resources        It is part of the  Family Education Network based in Boston, USA and linked to Pearson Education, Inc.


This outnumbered mamma is a homeschooling mum’s web site from the USA.      Her inspiration page offers tips in a pleasant style with the human touch.

Links to browse

  • Tips – A fairly common sense checklist if you are an autism parent.         See also: ideas.
  • ELL – Addressing special educational needs where English is a second language for pupils


  • Home Education Network points visitors to resources in their part of the UK.
    For the East Midlands see:   Home         Local Groups                    Notice the tabs along the top:  Home, Advice, Local Groups, Useful Links.
    For the UK see Index and choose your region of the country.
  • Education Otherwise is another source of information in the UK.
    For the Lincolnshire login to Facebook to see:  Homeschool Lincolnshire search results.
    For other counties and regions see sidebar to navigate site.


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