Special Educational Needs stories of the week

This will be the last one of the year as i take a break and concentrate on my boys for Christmas. Have a great Christmas. If you do something different to accommodate the needs of your child, would love to hear about how you manage with the festive season.

Don’t forget my Christmas Giveaway – you just have to go to www.facebook.com/specialneedsjungle and ‘like’ it and you’ll be entered in the draw for a copy of my SEN book, Getting started with Statements – even if you don’t need it yourself, you may know someone who does.  If you already like the page, just leave a comment asking to be entered.

Have you ever applied for a Statementing Assessment for your child? If so, take this poll!

I’m carrying out a poll into how people fare when they initially apply for a Statutory Assessment for their child. If you’re been through it please take the poll and share the poll with as many people as possible. The results will be published in the New Year. Thank you!

Christmas Giveaway – a copy of my SEN Book

SEN-Getting Started With Statements‘Tis the season and all that, and I’m giving away one copy of my SEN book, Special Educational Needs – Getting Started With Statements.

All you have to do is hop on over to my Special Needs Jungle page on Facebook and give it a ‘like’ If you already ‘like’ it, leave a comment on the page saying you want to be entered.

I’ll get my son to emerge from his Technolair bedroom on New Year’s Eve to pick the winner at random. And if you know my son, random is his middle name.

Merry Christmas!

https://www.facebook.com/SpecialNeedsJungle

SEN & Special Needs Stories I’ve spotted this week

Here’s my usual round up of the more interesting special needs stories in the UK this week.

SEN Magaine: Better Futures group calls for ADHD assessment at second-term exclusion 

WebTV: “What’s the difference between a problem child and a child with a genuine problem such as ADHD? – Video « Special Needs Jungle

BBC News:  Slow starting pupils ‘don’t catch up’  This makes interesting reading

Dept of Education: New Studio Schools to bridge gap between school and work  I think this is a great idea- do you?

Made For Mums: Choosing the right school for your child with learning difficulties @MadeForMums

National Autistic Society: Autism journal available free for limited time FULL of interesting research look while it’s free

Not As Advertised Blog: Advice needed for teenage party for AS son with new girlfriend! See my post

The Observer: It’s our narrow view of education that holds pupils back | Yvonne Roberts | Comment is free

OnMedica: GPs to be offered help in identifying autism – About time!

National Children’s Bureau: Strong opposition to cuts to disabled children’s benefits 

If there’s an interesting site you think I should know about, please send me the link.

Tania

 

“What’s the difference between a problem child and a child with a genuine problem? – Video

I’m delighted to highlight a programme about identifying a child with ADHD. Do you recognise your child from the descriptions in the video?

“What’s the difference between a problem child and a child with a genuine problem?

Watch our webTV show where Lorrine Marer, Behavioural Specialist and ADHD Coach, shares her practical advice on the subject.

With Christmas just around the corner, children are sure to become easily distracted, excitable and impatient at the thought of all the presents they soon get to unwrap.

Along with all the added stress of present buying and manically organizing Christmas parties, this time of year can also be a nightmare for mums and dads when it comes to handling their child’s behaviour. This could not only be affecting home life but also having an impact in the classroom and proving to be a distraction for other children at school. Furthermore, figuring out whether your child is just being a typical excited kid at Christmas, or whether they might need specialist help with their behaviour, can be hard to decipher during the festive season.

So how can you really tell whether your child is suffering from a genuine problem or whether their inability to focus is just ordinary child behaviour? Do you feel at your wit’s end, or do you often think you might be reading too much into the way your child behaves?

If you answered yes to any of the above then watch our webTV show on Monday 12th December at 2.30pm with Lorrine Marer, behavioural and ADHD expert who will give her practical on the subject.

Watch our webTV show on: http://www.studiotalk.tv/show/whats-the-difference-between-a-problem-child-and-a-child-with-a-genuine-problem

SEN round up for this week

Below are stories with an SEN angle that caught my eye this week.

Have I missed your story? If so, send your RSS feed link to me via my Contact page

Book Review of Special Educations Needs: Getting Started with Statements

Special Educations Needs: Getting Started with Statements – the parent to parent guide to getting your child the help they need

Reviewed by NAS Surrey Branch member Emma Searle, mother of a 4 year old recently diagnosed with ASD

SEN-Getting Started With Statements

“This is a brilliant little book. We are just starting on the statementing process and it’s a bit depressing to find that it’s such a battle, but it is refreshing to get an honest and real account of what happens. I really liked the detail on the process – for example, I hadn’t realised that you don’t have to stick to the form to give your evidence, but can write your own account. It was really useful to have all the detail and being able to read extracts from other people’s statements is invaluable.It shows you how to use the SEN Code of Practice – I haven’t seen any other examples of this. Because it’s written by parents for parents, it can give you information you don’t get on official we sites. I found it quick and easy to read and easy to dip into when you’re waiting at school for example.”

A huge thank you to Emma for taking the time to write the review and I hope very much the book has helped you so far. If anyone else has found the book useful and would like to leave a review, I would be delighted if you would post it on the Amazon book page

IPSEA – A wonderful charity for free advice and support for SEN

In my book, Special Educational Needs, Getting Started With Statements, I make several references to a special educational needs charity called IPSEA.

IPSEA provide free advice and support for people who have children with SEN and offer an invaluable service. Today I am delighted to have a guest post from the charity’s Chief Executive, Jane McConnell

Jane McConnell, Chief Executive of  the Independent Parental Special Education Advice charity or IPSEA, became an IPSEA volunteer 10 years ago. She has been a paid IPSEA staff member for the last 7 years and has a 12 year old son with complex SEN. Jane has overcome several substantial hurdles to get the right education for him and has firsthand experience of what thousands of parents have to go through. Here, she explains what IPSEA are all about and how the charity can help you:

What is IPSEA?
IPSEA is a registered charity providing free and independent legally based advice for parents whose children have SEN / disability. We have been supporting parents since 1983. IPSEA covers England and Wales. We use highly trained volunteers to deliver all our advice and support. We offer more support to the most disadvantaged families. A small team of paid part time staff co-ordinate and train our volunteers.

What does IPSEA do?
IPSEA advises families whose children have all types of SEN / disability, including behavioural problems, communication difficulties, learning disabilities and autism. IPSEA often helps families before their child has even been diagnosed. IPSEA’s legally based advice gives parents the confidence to exercise their rights. This basic understanding of the law equips families to be more involved in the decisions that affect them and helps them to avoid future issues. IPSEA helps around 3,000 families each year – thanks to our dedicated volunteers and supporters.

How can IPSEA help me?

IPSEA offers parents the following free services:

Common problems

Many simpler and common issues with the SEN system can be resolved with the help of IPSEA’s on-line resources:

What parents say about IPSEA

Our website has quotes from parents we have helped. We survey the parents that have used our services to ask them for feedback. Their feedback helps us improve our services and secure the funding we need to keep them going.

Using parents’ experiences to influence change

IPSEA gathers evidence and uses it to lobby for changes to current legislation. We also attempt to correct the practices of local authorities whose policies are not in line with legislation.

1,039 people took part in our SEN Green Paper survey. 796 of them were parents of a child with SEN. They agree with IPSEA’s strong belief that parents’ views need to be listened to and respected by the professionals responsible for assessing and educating their children. Without this basic respect, mistrust builds up. This can have a detrimental effect throughout the child’s education. IPSEA’s full response to the SEN Green Paper proposals is here .

IPSEA works constructively with the government. We were particularly pleased that the new administration activated the right of parents to make an appeal to the SEND Tribunal if their child’s Statement did not reflect the needs of the child.

We gave evidence to the parliamentary education committee on the SEN Green Paper. We also successfully campaigned to protect legal aid for SEN appeals.

Keeping IPSEA going

It costs IPSEA around £30 to provide telephone advice to a family and around £300 to provide a tribunal caseworker. We appreciate all the donations we receive. You can donate using PayPal or debit/credit cards. You can also set up regular donations.

IPSEA is always looking for more volunteers. You need to complete our training first. This training is very thorough so we ask you to commit to actively volunteering with us for at least 2 years. “I enjoy the feeling of empowering parents – talking them through their problem and sending them off with a clear plan of action” says one of our experienced volunteers.

SEN stories that caught my eye this week (w/e2nd Dec)

Here are some stories I liked this week as well as some of my own SEN posts from the week that you may have missed (how very dare you!)

Did I miss your SEN story? If so email your RSS feed to me via my contact page

New website to increase SEN charity awareness

Today, I have a guest post from Martin Peel, who has launched a new site highlighting SEN charities.

“We have recently launched a new website, www.sencharities.org, to increase the awareness of Special Educational Needs charities within England, Scotland and Wales. There are more than 200 such charities in the UK, many of which were established by the parents of children with Special Educational Needs.

Typically these charities are small in size and often run by dedicated groups of volunteers. Finding support for your child with Special Educational Needs is not always easy, often resulting in the question “Who can I turn to for help?”.

These charities provide a first point of contact for this help and by increasing awareness we hope that this will result in additional donations to aid them in their work. For more information about the website please email sencharities@live.co.uk or phone 07833 088202.

We are very grateful to our website sponsor, SpaceKraft of Shipley, West Yorkshire (www.spacekraft.co.uk) who are part of RM plc. Over the last 19 years SpaceKraft have designed and installed more than 3,000 Multi-Sensory Environments for children with Special Educational Needs.

www.sencharities.org has been developed by Health Charit Ltd, a not for profit fundraising company for health charities. For more information about Health Charit Ltd please go to www.healthcharit.org, email martin.health@live.co.uk or phone 07833 088202.