Category Archives: Parents

For parents of children with autism

Related Calendar

The Groove

An exciting, fun-filled night for adults with disabilities aged 16+, their families and support workers.         Next one is Saturday 20th OctGuildhall Arts Centre Ballroom, Grantham.           Click icon for more information.

Autism Conference

PAACT is taking bookings for information stands for annual conference in Lincoln on Tuesday 13th November 2018.         The venue will be The Showroom, Tritton Road, Lincoln, LN6 7QY.          See:  map          Booking return address


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.

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, Grantham.           Click icon for more information.


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.






















School age

Social skills

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


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

First step to independence

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

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

Social stories

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

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

Autism assistance dogs

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

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

Medical appointments

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

Explaining to a child

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


Coping with nightmares          8 year old hearing voices          Sleep difficulties  – scroll down to Sleep difficulties heading.        See also Social stories above.

Amazing things happen

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

Pokemon Go

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

Computer Games

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

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

Can a child catch up later?

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

Thula the therapy cat

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

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

Aukids magazine

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


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

Water safety

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


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

Netmums logoMothers’ Experiences

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

Older children’s experiences

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

Ambitious logoInternet Safety 

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

Special clothing

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

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

Early Support Co-ordination

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


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





GAIN Calendar

Facbook small iconCinema screenings are 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       Terms 2017/18         These apply to schools in Lincolnshire.

2018 – coming up

GAIN Darts/Family evenings are on in the winter season.        The team plays every Thursday from October 4th 2018 through to 23rd March 2019.        They just have one Thursday off, that is December 27th for Xmas.         Parents can turn up on any Thursday for a chat with Paul, our autism dad.         We post adverts for particular dates to give GAIN parents more of a focus.        For more information see Events.

Facbook small icon
17 Sep 
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)

2019 – coming up

21 Jan 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 and demand is not strong at present)

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 and demand is not strong at present)

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)


Guide to viewing updates

This web site’s View updates menu offers lists of recently updated pages or recently created posts.
The idea is to make it easier to keep up to date with this site.          If you have not tried it already, select one of the options to below.

  • With Mozilla Firefox they give you a page with a list of the most recently updated pages on this site for your chosen category.         See extract on the right.         It has a link to each post or page.         Underneath each link is a condensed display of the first couple of lines or so of content to give you some idea which ones might be worth selecting.         The latest update is at the top of each page on this website.
  • With Google Chrome you need to add an extension to the browser in order to get the preview display described above.         Without the extension you just get a list of page links.           Click icon to find out about this extension.

Actually the correct name for this list of updates is RSS feed, but it is not obvious what that means.          There are a number of ways to access feeds, several of which come at a price.


Formatted page vs bookmark display

  1. The recent updates page option above gives you a preview of each page or post, which gives you a much more specific idea what it is about than the Bookmark option outlined below.
  2. The bookmark option is quicker to use.         On the other hand, it does not show the content preview that you see on the page link above.          Click icon to get an idea how to set one up in Firefox and see how worth while it looks.


Lottery SK

Lottery SK was created by South Kesteven District Council.           GAIN has registered with them, so now lottery players can support GAIN.          Click icon for our Lottery SK page.

We would like to thank all those who have donated to GAIN.           It helps us to provide the support that we can to our members and visitors.            GAIN is Tax Registered as a Charity with HMRC.          There are two ways to donate:

  1. Send a cheque made out to Grantham Autistic Information Network to
    GAIN,  c/o Belton Lane Children’s & Community Centre, Off Princess Drive,  Grantham,  Lincolnshire,  NG31 9PP.
  2. via PayPal:
    a. log into your account and click on “Send Money”.
    b. Then fill in the “To” field with “” and the amount of money you wish to send.
    c. The transaction will show up as “GRANTHAMAUT” on your bank statement.
  3. Send a text message to Just Giving at 70070, e.g. GAIN06 £3            The Just Giving text phone number is 70070.           The message needs to start with our code: GAIN06.           Amounts can be: £1, £2, £3, £4, £5 or £10.

ASDA green tokens – Grantham

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

Local Groups

Sharing Minds

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

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


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


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


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


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

Rainbow StarsRainbow Stars

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

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

Rainbow Flyers Youth Club

Rainbow Flyers Youth Club

Key information

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

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


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

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

Newark & SherwoodNewark group

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

Gainsborough group

Gainsborough Autism Parents Support Group (GAPS).            See:  about       index        map           Contact:  07504 543074

Market Harborough groupLittle explorers

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

Education and learning

Early Years

At ages 3-4 ALL children qualify for 15 hours a week free education.         Some may also qualify for free places aged 2.
See: in brief        definitive         more detail



With mainstream schools, smaller ones may provide a more calm and adaptable environment for pupils with additional needs.

Ambitious logoFor in-depth information, guidance and support with many educational issues and procedures including those involved in choosing a school, mainstream or specialist, click the icon.

Additional needs

For children with a Statement of Special Educational Needs a more specialised environment is offered by schools for additional needs.          Here is a guide to choosing a special school.           Parents in the Grantham area might find a place for their child at:

Residential schools

For those referred by their local authority there are residential schools.          Click icon for more information.

National Autistic SocietyNAS small icon

  • The National Autistic Society has published guides under the heading In Education about choices, extra help, bullying, exclusion, jargon, further & higher education and transition.               Click icon to browse.
  • In particular one of these guides sets out how to get extra help in mainstream school / college.                See Extra help.

Won’t go to school

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

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.

Getting things sorted

Getting what your child needs often puts parents up against difficulties and obstacles.               Professionals may try to fob you off to begin with suggesting that things might sort themselves out – perhaps partly because they do not see your child at home.                 There are waiting lists for much needed services and the solutions may not be easy to identify.               Here is a small selection of cases on the internet.
See also:  More tips.

  • Discussion about a 2½ year old with delayed speech.         “When you go to the GP, they may ask you questions about social interaction, e.g. does he bring you things to look at, does he point, will he engage in play together etc.      It’s worth having a think about these questions before you go.”                 “In my opinion 12 months is far too long to wait for assessment, and sadly not unusual.”
  • Discussion about a son about to start primary school.          “If your gut instinct still says he’s wrongly allocated then raise the issue, ask to visit other schools, inc those with an ASD unit attached + those who are autism specific.      If you find 1 which is suitable, then pursue it.       It can be a battle but ultimately it’ll be for the best for all of you.”
  • Discussion about getting help at school without EHCP.          “SEN Support can be an interim measure while you’re waiting for an EHCP.”
  • Discussion about incident at school. One reply recommends making an official complaint with supporting documentation.              “I would document everything you said about regarding what you asked for, what you were told by who, when, and keep a record of it all that you can copy to everyone involved.”                Another reply recommends using social stories.

School Transport

Cereba, the UK based charity, has produced a booklet about School Transport.            It lays out the basis for the local authority to decide whether a child cannot reasonably walk to school.             See also Cereba website.

And then he fell off the cliff

Experience     And Elliot… he is in school for the first time in too long even though he still doesn’t have a useable EHCP.      He is finally getting the support he needs despite the special education needs system rather than because of it …

Schooling problems

High-functioning children can be very resourceful, but it may take some time for them to get on top of things.

School refuser:  Read about the experience of a  Teenage girl  and a  Teenage boy .        They show very different approaches on the part of the parents.       Both are taken from the same on-line  Discussion .

Learning to read:   In this case things suddenly clicked at the age of 7.

Statements of special educational need (SEN):   Here is an on-line discussion about a Refusal to assess for a statement.

Exclusions:   Grantham has a pupil referral unit called Hill View Education Centre.        The Ofsted report for the year 2000 is a handy source of information.         It states, “The Grantham Pupil Referral Unit caters for boys and girls aged 11 to 16 who are currently having difficulties in their own schools or are excluded from them.         It serves a large area of South Lincolnshire with some pupils traveling distances of over 20 miles to the unit”.

Secondary school:   One of our committee members says,  I found my first year at Kings’ School a bit intimidating.    There were quite a few in my class who were clearly much more clever than me.       I was much more comfortable in the second year, having been put in a class based on my grades at the end of the first year.

SEN Code of practice:  If you are facing problems with education, this document might help.             It sets out the rules that people such as teachers and education officials are supposed to follow.             It is a long, but it can tell you what your son or daughter is entitled to, by law.


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 help with the costs.           (new)

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.

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.    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


Here is a handy Guide for autism parents.            For more information, plus help and support see School age under Toileting.


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

Join the team

To become a GAN member see:  Membership


We are looking for a volunteer in the Grantham area to help us with our committee minutes mainly.        Click icon for details.


Help with events

We are also looking for a volunteer in the Grantham, Lincoln, or Stamford areas to help out  running some of our family and/or fund raising events.         Click icon for details.