Special Needs Jungle Drums!

Some great stories, news and blogs from the last week, curated from us, just for you.

  1. This is next week – so still time to mark the week!
  2. Congrats to Debs at Aspie in the Family…
  3. An interesting first hand account.
  4. Congrats to Renata and Swan UK on their first birthday
  5. A lovely post from Susan
  6. Get ready to expunge the word Asperger’s from your vocab! I’m off to a workshop on Monday with Tony Attwood & Carole Gray and I’ll be asking him about DSM V categorisation – will he need to change his book title?
  7. A very interesting article, not to be missed.

Parents on the Warpath…and other stories

It’s been a difficult week for many parents at our school, who have discovered that our LA doesn’t want to pay our statemented sons’ school fees, because there has been a lower-than-inflation fee rise after several years of a freeze.

I do wonder what the council would think if we all declined to pay our council tax because of an increase. Nope, county council, I think you’ve asked for too much this year, so please re-invoice me for a lower amount and I’ll consider it.

This is despite them paying the full (increased) fee for new statemented boys. Bonkers, eh?

Methinks someone a) hasn’t quite understood the existing legislation and/or b) is such an difficult character (this is polite speak)  that no one else in the department has had the courage to whisper that it’s sshh *actually illegal* and s/he’s bringing the authority into disrepute in the eyes of more right-thinking colleagues, parents, headteachers and.. oo, probably the Department for Education. Especially if they read it here. Who knows?

To say we’re all angry and distressed is a very large understatement. I did write to the LA earlier in the week, and am still awaiting a response. I’m not a very patient person, but more patient than some parents who’ve already written to their MPs to voice their complaints. Quite right too.

I’ll be doing the same next week (and maybe even speaking to my excellent contacts in the local press and regional TV), unless our esteemed headmaster finishes half-term on Thursday afternoon holding a nice cheque for the right amount and not a penny less. The press love stories like this, though – I should know, having been a journalist for quite a long time.

Really, don’t mess with special needs parents and most certainly DON’T mess with their children’s education that they’ve fought hard to secure. They’ve been through statementing and come out the other side still standing (just about). Do you think they’re going to let this slide? I think not. You only have to read our Facebook Group to know that.

If you’ve been in a similar situation, do let me know.

On to some great stories from the week:

The Special Needs Jungle Story Selection

The Special Needs Jungle weekly news review is back! It was supposed to be away for just a week while I was in Sweden but last Friday I was just too tired to even think about it. The conference was fantastic – so good to connect so many people from across Europe who are all affected by limb deficiency and who are all trying to improve the lives of other people with similar conditions.
This past week, I’ve been working hard on our Family Voice Surrey response to the Education Select Committee’s call for responses to the draft SEN bill. Having seen a number of other responses, there is a wide range of opinion for the committee to consider and I hope it takes note of everything.
This week’s stories that I’ve found include an array of great blog articles – if I’ve missed yours, just leave it in the comments.

One of the comments we hear a lot at Netbuddy is ‘Why does everything for people with special needs cost so much?’ Everything from toys to adaptations – it all seems to come with a hefty price tag. In these strap-cashed days, it’s even more galling for parents to have to fork out more.

Today is the deadline for the Education Select Committee’s call  for responses to the draft SEN bill.

Following the evidence of home educators in September, the Committee will hear the views of local authorities and from the newly-appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary at the Department of Education, Elizabeth Truss MP, who has taken over the home education brief.

Today I’m feeling a little sad. Son2 is off school again with joint pains in his legs. We’ve just been for a blood test and he is awaiting an appointment later this month with a specialist in London

Emma’s story of Fetal anti-convulsant Syndrome

“Why do you bother speaking out/attending meetings/creating surveys (delete as appropriate), nothing ever changes”. I hear this all the time, not from practitioners but from other parents.  Some parents know me well enough to know I am not the type of person who can just accept things and some know that I am in my element when facing a challenge.

I am grateful for ..I was very excited to see this prompt because I like being able to sit and think about the good points on life.  It is very easy to see the negatives in things, especially when you have incidents occur like we did this week.  It is easy to let frustration drain you.  To make you question your faith in fairness.

Today I attended the “Managing Difficult situations” training workshop provided free for Parent Forums via Contact a Family.

A few days ago I fell asleep on the landing. I was waiting for my son to go to sleep.  He is not 1, he is 11, but he tells me that he is too afraid to go to sleep on his own.  That’s Asperger’s for you.

In the largest study yet examining proposed changes to the autism diagnosis, researchers say far fewer people would be cut from the spectrum than previous studies have suggested.

 

Thoughtful special needs blogs, top tips and news you can use

It’s been a busy week for lots of special needs mum bloggers – as you’ll see there are some fabulous, thought-provoking posts from Claire at A Boy With Aspergers and Deb and Aspie in the family, as well as a couple from Lynsey at MummaDuck. I love reading their posts, they’re always interesting, sometimes moving and are a reminder that resilience and strength can be found even at the darkest and most difficult times.

I’ve changed the format this week to give a little taster of what you can find if you click the link and I hope you do, because these articles and blogs are all well worth taking the time to read.

There will be no round up next week as I will be in Sweden talking social media at a meeting of Europe-wide limb difference organisations. It’ll be a chance to meet lots of new people who will all have their own perspective of what it’s like to live with physical disability in different parts of the world.

So make these stories last, if you can! You can also subscribe to this blog via email or on your kindle. Even better now they have new types of Kindle just out or if you have the Kindle app for smart phone or tablet. Enjoy!

Lots of our children have difficulty with laces, especially if they are dyspraxic, and Son2, for one, has developed his own, somewhat unique, style of doing his shoes up. These days it’s easier with velcro straps, but sometimes, such as with trainers or football boots, it’s just not possible. Plus, as they get older, velcro isn’t very cool…

Children who suffer emotional neglect may have a higher risk of chronic cerebral infarction as adults, an observational study found…

I have indicated in previous posts that things have been getting tough with J1 in ways other than his physical disabilities.  I do not mean for J1, but for me…

Epilepsy occurs at a much higher rate in children with the diagnosis of autism. I have a 7-year-old son with the diagnosis of PDD-NOS. After hearing Michael Chez, MD, speak about the high rate (about 66%) of abnormal EEGs in children on the spectrum, I got my son tested…

I don’t think anyone would argue with the fact that our present understanding of autism, with all its heterogeneity, elevated risk of comorbidity and slightly more fluidic expression than perhaps originally thought [1], still remains quite limited…

Despite the success of the London Paralympics, new research has revealed that 86 percent of disabled people who responded to a recent survey think the UK travel industry is still not providing sufficient information about disabled access and facilities…

A few months ago, Special Needs jungle ran an article about Pathological Demand Avoidance by Deborah Rourke There was an incredible amount of interest in this article, written from Deborah’s experience. In November, the National Autistic Society is to hold another conference on PDA…

So the draft legislation has been out a few weeks now and one of the biggest changes that has stood out most to me is that of Compulsory Mediation. As things stand at the moment, A parent can lodge an appeal to the first tier tribunal as soon as the local education authority (LEA) has written to the parent setting out a child’s proposed provision in the form of a draft statement…

My son is continuing to receive home tuition provided by the local authority.  For 4 days a week he receives about an hour of tuition a day covered by two tutors.  It doesn’t sound a lot but this is all he can cope with at the moment…

I begin with my own high point of the month over at Downs Side Up which sent me dashing to my Mac with tears in my eyes, the kind of blog post that is written in 20 minutes because the emotion is so crystal clear…

Rather than David Laws, who took over Sarah Teather’s ministerial job, and much to the relief of many I expect, the SEN portfolio will be managed by Edward Timpson MP who is Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (children and families). Mr Timpson has sat on the Children, Schools and Families Select Committee and the Joint Committee on Human Rights. Until his ministerial appointment he was also chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Groups on Adoption & Fostering and Looked After Children & Care Leavers, vice chairman for the Runaway & Missing Children group…

The Department for Transport (DfT) has launched a consultation on who is eligible for the Blue Badge Scheme when Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is replaced by the Personal Independence Payment (PIP). This is due to happen for people aged between 16 and 64 from April 2013. They are seeking views on three different options…

All Change: Back to school news with the new draft SEN bill

Back to school for most children this week, except for my boys, whose school finally returns next Tuesday. I’d better check over their uniforms this weekend and get the shoe polish out!

Big news in the SEN world this week with the draft SEN bill being published, swiftly followed by the exit from the DfE of Sarah Teather. The bill will be scrutinised by the Education Select Committee and the DfE says, will be updated as results from the pathfinders come through, whenever that may be. Over the coming weeks, views will be sought on the draft bill.

Pathfinder trials are getting underway and it’s clear there is a lot of work to be done, not only in the trials but in the eventual writing of a new Code of Practice and for all local authorities in updating their SEN publications. If you’re a pathfinder family, I’d be interested in hearing from you about your experiences, wherever you are.

Read SEN & Disability News (Quick before they ban disability)

The spotlight is firmly on disability in the media at the moment, with the Paralympics underway, not to mention the ATOS games as disability rights protestors demonstrate against the government’s new assessments aimed at getting people off disability benefits and into work.

It is quite a contrast, as on the one hand the country, quite rightly, celebrates its finest athletes who happen to have some form of impairment, against those, rather more everyday disabled people, who are currently living in fear that vital financial support will be removed from them in a government-ordered assessment that appears to be more akin to blunt force trauma. For a really thoughtful post about this, see my top story selection below by Polly Toynbee in The Guardian.

The government would do well to remember that our society is judged by how we treat our most vulnerable. As they sit and watch as the Paralympic athletes do us proud, I hope Mr Cameron et al, feel at least a little prick of conscience.

Take a look at the week’s stories – don’t forget to leave your own favourite too in the comments

August’s top bank holiday SEND stories

After a two week break, the Special Needs Jungle weekly curation of the best of special needs posts is BACK! I’ve tried to include stories I tweeted while I was away in Italy being subjected to torture by invisible mosquitos. My top holiday tip if you have teenagers like mine is to make sure your holiday home comes equipped with free wifi for those inevitable downtimes, so you are never plagues with cried of, “I’m bored!”

My boys still have another two weeks and a bit weeks off, and I intend to spend some of it taking them to our new gym, as I’m fed up of us all being locked in our little corners of the house on our respective computers (though at least I’m doing actual work). The gym is brilliant with a huge pool and great facilities, including a spa (for me, obviously) and, of course, free-wifi so that Son2 can sit pedalling the cycle machine while playing on his iPad. Well, it’s a start and a compromise, but at least part of him is moving.

Have a fab August bank holiday weekend and fingers crossed for good weather if you’re planning a barbecue or a last dash away! Next week – the paralympics!

Autism updates, SEN stories and happy holidays!

My top story this week is just out – a 90,000 drop in the number of children identified as having SEN. Do I think that SEN is on the decline? Of course not. The report in the TES says, “Brian Lamb, who led a review of parental confidence in the SEN system for the last Labour government, also identified training and funding as key reasons for the drop. But he said that the most important question to ask was whether children’s needs were being met.

“It’s positive to see a fall as long as we can be sure this is because of better assessment and the removal of perverse incentives,” said Mr Lamb, who is now chair of the SEN charity Achievement for All. “I hope the fall is not because schools are not addressing special educational needs.”

This is a point that I agree completely with and was my very first thought. Read the rest of the article for yourself and draw your own conclusions.

Also in this week’s top stories include using pets to help kids with autism (something we all already knew as well) and Barnardo’s report about tackling the causes of bad behaviour and not just the symptoms – this is an issue I have written about myself before.

I also want to highlight this week’s SNJ Guest post, from Rob Pleticha at EURORDIS, the European rare diseases organisation, who regularly volunteers at camps for children with serious illnesses. The one he’s written about is Barretstown in Ireland. If you have an 18+ year old lounging about at home or on a gap year, they could do a lot worse than be a volunteer at a camp like this – and it would look great on their CV too!

So, I’m away for a couple of weeks so no round-ups until I get back, but I’ve scheduled in some great posts while I’m away to keep you company and I’ll be armed in Italy with wifi and an iPad…Happy holidays!

SEN and disability stories you mustn’t miss

The summer holidays may be underway but the silly season for news certainly doesn’t seem to have arrived as far as news and great blogs go. Although, as this is Olympics year, we may miss it altogether. I’m especially pleased as the Olympics brings some old and sorely-missed friends into town to cover it for various news organisations.

In special needs this week, there have been a number of notable stories, including the school exclusions figures. the BBC ran on the angle that there was an 11% drop in exclusions across the boar and, while this is of course welcome news, it’s much more worrying that pupils with statements are nine times more likely to be excluded than a pupil without SEN, a fact that news organisations seem to think is just par for the course. Now remember, this is statemented, not just SEN kids, so these are children who are supposed to have statutory help in place to enable them to achieve. Does this indicate that many are simply n the wrong school environment or that their statements are either inadequate or not being properly implemented? I really hope someone with the right resources (yes, I know, what are resources?) looks into this more closely.

There are also a few great blog posts from Chaos in Kent, Lynsey Mumma Duck and Place2Be, so do check them out. Also, if you’ve read or written something fab this week about special needs, leave the link in the comments for me!

Finally: summer, special needs stories and a teenage birthday

Special Needs JungleAh, so school’s out for pretty much everyone from today..just in time for the summer sunshine to finally show itself.  Although my boys are enjoying the end of their second week of alternately slumping in front of screens or eating everything in the house, interspersed with a bit of warhammer painting or deafening me with electric guitar-playing (this is Son1 and he’s very good, thank goodness)

But today is a special day in our house – it’s the long-awaited dawn of Son2’s teenage years. Summer birthdays always seem the longest to come around and last night, having decided to no longer resist being 13, Son2 decided as it was inevitable, he might as well get really excited about it.

He’s now exploring his iPad (see image for his personal engraving on the back) and newly-boosted collection of Orks as he awaits the arrival of a few school pals for a party.. of some type.. to be decided when they get here. I just have to provide pizza, drinks and be scarce, which I  am more than happy to do.

One thing he won’t be doing is perusing my list of must-read stories from the week and this is a shame, because, if he was twenty years older, he’d enjoy them very much, I’m sure. So, happy holidays to you and Happy Birthday to my brand new teenager!

SEN reform views and other news

Yesterday I spoke on behalf of Family Voice Surrey at the Surrey County Council SEN pathfinder launch in Cobham. In attendance was Stephen Kingdom, a senior DfE official. I took the opportunity to include in my talk the widely-held opinion (outside of government circles, that is) that October is FAR too soon to try to start evaluating any pathfinder activity – most of which isn’t even scheduled to start until September. What, exactly, will they be evaluating, I asked him, when I spoke to him afterwards. He said some government stuff about informing, gradual process etc etc, but I’m not sure he was listening, really. Let’s face it, why should I be any different?

They hold the view that putting it off may mean it doesn’t happen. I disagree. The genie’s out of the bottle now but far, far better to have the ‘unstoppable train’ of reform pause a while to let reality catch up, than rush into something that’ll end up running off the rails because it wasn’t given enough time to lay secure tracks to a sustainable SEN future for the kids who need it.

So, enough train metaphors and on to the week’s stories. My blogging pals have come up trumps this week with some great posts from A Boy with Aspergers, Chaos In Kent, An Aspie in the Family and Emma4Oacs. Lots of other great stuff too, take a look!

Keep out of the rain this weekend and review the week’s special needs stories instead

Schools Out - copyright Tania TirraoroToday is the last day of school for my boys, apart from Founder’s Day, tomorrow and we’re all praying for the weather to be kind as teachers, staff, 400 boys aged 8-18 and their families cram under a vast marquee. I wrote in an early SNJ post about their very first Founder’s day at the school. Since then the school has expanded so I would recommend a cushion to first timers and your do hands sting a little at the end after all the clapping.

Every boy gets an award for something they’ve worked hard at and they all get to troop up to the front – many have never had the chance to succeed at anything before they arrived at the school and their faces beam with pride; it’s very moving. Our patience is rewarded with strawberries and sparkling wine at the end and a chance to mingle with everyone. Son1’s playing in the Jazz Band on the bass so we’ll have to hang around for a bit anyway! In September he starts his GCSE courses. That’ll be a whole other story.

Do enjoy the stories this week, some great posts and interesting news and don’t forget, if you’ve got any old mobiles hanging around, check out my post below on how you can convert them to a meal for a hungry inner-city child.

Fantastic week for awards – and some special needs news you can use too!

So, er, I’ll just mention it one more time – Special Needs Jungle WON the CHANGE award in the BritMums Brilliance in Blogging awards last Friday evening. Wowser! I’ve never won anything before – certainly nothing big cheese like this. I spent the first few mornings waking up saying.. I won!.. in an incredulous sort of way. Thanks to BritMums and to everyone who passed on their congratulations.

I’ve been smiling all week – even more so because the day after,  Son1 won the Chairman’s Player of Year award at his football clubs. This is even more fantastic than anything I’ve won because five years ago, he would have spent most the a match sulking on the sidelines and now he’s the most valuable player – all thanks to the fact he’s worked hard at his social skills at his specialist school. Well done Luca!

Anyway, on to the week’s stories. Special Needs Jungle’s had some important posts this week – the first from Charlie Mead, child psychologist about Children in Care. Thanks to all who shared it. And my post on Wednesday  – an open letter to Sarah Teather has had a lot of positive reaction, though nothing, predictably from the recipient herself. But there’s still time, Miss T, to address those issues raised.

Great posts too from Claire Louise at A Boy With Asperger’s and from Kat’s Cafe and Looking for Blue Sky, lovely ladies all. Tomorrow we’ll have Claire’s write up of the free schools event she went to for SNJ. She’s a cracker, our Claire and it was fab to finally meet her at BritMums. We did a lot of cackling. Great also to meet Lyndsay and Gemma who both have fab blogs too.

Catch up on some fab Special Needs news and blogs from this week

So, later today I am heading out for the BritMums bloggers conference and awards. As you know, Special Needs Jungle is a finalist in the ‘Change’ category. As something of a niche subject, I’m really not expecting to win – reaching the finals, thanks to all your votes, was such a brilliant feeling to know that you like the blog enough to make the effort to vote and I’m very grateful to everyone who did. If you’re going to the conference, please say hello to me!

Last week’s SEN conference has given me lots of material for posts – and I’m not finished yet. Next week I’ll be bringing you a large chunk of Charlie Mead’s talk about the state of care for Looked after Children. It’s something we should all care about. Also, if you haven’t already seen it, check out my post (below) about when we went to see Temple Grandin speak and my view on the SEN pathfinder so far and why I think the timetable is still too rushed.

Have a great weekend – may the sun peek out on us at some point!

 

The week’s scoop on special needs and disability stories

Today (Friday) is a day full of SEN green paper meetings for the Surrey pathfinder for me and tomorrow it’s the long-awaited Towards a Positive Future SEN conference for which there are still a few bursary places available for parents.

All that’s left is to choose what to wear – and as I’m not very good at this sort of thing, it’ll probably be the most challenging part of the whole thing. Next week I’ll be at the finals for the BritMums Brilliance in Blogging Awards for which Special Needs Jungle is a finalist, so I expect you’ll find me searching the rails at the Posh Dress designer exchange shop in Farnham where they always seem to have the right thing that actually fits me.

Family wise we’ve had a week of CAMHS & cardiology visits for Son2. The consultant paediatrician spent the CAMHS session yawning and answering his phone, but at least the psychologist was sensitive and attentive and we had a satisfactory outcome, although the six month wait left a lot to be desired.

So, on to the week’s stories. Check out, if you haven’t seen it, the Pathological Demand Avoidance article by Deborah Rourke – it’s had hundreds of views this week and is well worth a read. Also have a look at my post about Son2’s raspberry Pi computer. The Padawan has become a Jedi…

Have a great weekend and don’t let the weather spoil it!

Food for thought: some great special needs posts and news this week

It feels a bit surreal, being Friday already. Long weekends do that, don’t they? And yet a whole week must have passed because there have been all these great stories. It’s been a great week for thoughtful special needs posts too.

Finally, don’t forget there are still some parent bursary places left for the SEN conference in Newbury next weekend. See the link in the list below. If you come, make sure you say hello!

Jubilee round up of special needs stories!

Me with Sons1 & 2 

Ah, the Jubilee weekend is upon us. We’re having a barbecue with our lovely neighbours, so I hope it doesn’t rain. They’re moving soon – I just hope the new people love walking our dog as much as the Smiths do! I’m going to try to have the weekend off and do no ‘computering’. This may be unpleasant torture though… we shall see. I still have my iPad. Plus it’s my birthday on Wednesday. I’m hoping my kids on half-term will wait on me hand and foot. Well, you can dream!

Have a fab bank holiday weekend, all, and thanks for your continued support for Special Needs Jungle.

Research, articles & opinion – special needs news from this week

Tania TirraoroAn incredibly busy week, so I missed my Wednesday post as I was in Brussels to speak at a EURORDIS workshop on social media for rare disease organisations. I was describing how we set up the social media for DysNet, the new Limb Difference Network for which I am PR & Community Manager.

It was a really interesting and exhilarating day, hearing from other organisations such as Bee For Battens, a charity set up by a family who are dealing with the loss of one child and the illness of another with Batten’s Disease. As is so often the case, such terrible adversity and tragedy prompts some people not to hide away but to reach out and help others in a similar position.

We hear so often today about greedy bankers, self-interested politicians and welfare cuts to the most vulnerable.  We hear nowhere near enough about people who, despite their own difficulties, put their energies into offering care and support to those in need. These are the inspirational people that newspapers should highlight on a daily basis – it would, I believe, have a positive effect on the nation as a whole.

And so… I’ve been busy, but not too busy for the ever-popular Friday round-up. Please do read my post about launching DysNet and another inspirational person, Geoff Adams-Spink, if you missed it earlier in the week. Enjoy the sun!

SEN Green Paper response round up and other special needs stories

It’s been something of an eventful week for both Special Needs and Special Needs Jungle. Last week, I was called up by a reporter from the Daily Telegraph to ask my views on whether I thought one in five schoolchildren really had special needs. We had a good chat and the article appeared on Saturday. It was followed by a barrage of comments online on the DT, often displaying the most moronic and ignorant views– not aimed at me, but at vulnerable children.  As the paper didn’t really reflect the crux of what I had said, I wrote a blog post the same day that attracted much more thoughtful comments (thank goodness) from people who actually have opinions worth reading.

Then, the detailed response to the SEN Green Paper came. I was called up by Christine Alsford from Meridian TV, my ITV region and they came over and spoke to me about it, even filming Son2 in his bright blue BodySox.  (See post below with the footage).

On Wednesday, I went to an EHCP meeting for the Surrey pathfinder where, after the government announcement the previous day, there was understandably something of a sense of urgency and alarm at the accelerated deadline. The new lead, Susie Campbell, however, appears more than up to the task. Actually, I think she’s fab.

And so, understandably, this week’s stories are mostly about the Next Steps document and the response to it – all worth reading to see different perspectives.

And if you missed my guest post about Floortime for autism – there’s a free parent ticket and a cut price professional ticket for a June workshop on offer – check out the post below.

Great special needs stories, blogs and a cute dog too

For the first time this week, I’m alone in the house, apart from Leo the Labradoodle, currently sulking because he had to have a bath after rolling in something revolting. I haven’t told him yet it’s his anti-flea treatment day too, which he’s also not keen on. Everyone but me has had the flu (man flu of course). As a registered carer, my GP gives me a free flu jab so I have managed to avoid it. This is just as well as I’m flat out preparing for the main launch of  DysNet, the new network for people affected by limb differences for which I’m PR & Community Manager.

And so, exhausted, I bring you my weekly round up of recommended special needs stories and blogs that I’ve seen this week. It just remains to say a huge thanks to all who voted for me in the BritMums awards, because I’m now going to have to find a nice frock as SNJ has been chosen as a finalist!

My pick of the posts about special needs this week

I’ve come across lots of interesting stories this week so here’s my list of the cream of the crop of news, blogs and, of course the week’s stories from Special Needs Jungle. Have a great weekend – let’s hope the rain holds off.
 As usual, if I’ve missed yours, add it to the blog comments to share with others.

Special needs news you can use from the last week

Aah, the boys finally returned to school mid-week. They’ve been off so long I’d almost forgotten the way there. I’m not sure which I prefer – the peace and quiet of working undisturbed by regular requests for food against the lack of need to do the stressful school run…

There have been three SNJ posts this week, including Son2 in his fetching lycra Body Sox (see link below), as well as lots of interesting special needs news stories. Check them out below. And, if you haven’t voted for Special Needs Jungle in the BritMums awards yet (see link badge upper left), there’s still time. You know it makes sense.

TGIF: And a chance to see the week’s special needs news & views

Tania TirraoroThis week we’ve had sunshine, showers, hail as big as marbles and thunder and lightning… it must be April. I’ve whipped up some special needs stories and blogs that might have slipped your notice as you get over all that Easter chocolate.

As you read this over the weekend, I’ll be at a spa hotel with my husband, enjoying our carer’s break, leaving the boys and the dog in the capable hands of my mother-in-law. Have been instructed to leave my iPad behind and relax… if you spot me online before Monday, please tell me to log off immediately.

Cracking special needs stories for the Easter weekend

Happy Easter! Why not spend a few minutes this long weekend to catch up on some of the past week’s special needs and disability stories?

Here’s my pick:

Got one of your own not listed? Why not add it in the comments…

Catch up time: Read the special needs stories you may have missed

Tania Tirraoro, Special Needs JungleA diverse list of stories and posts this week, but all interesting reads. As ever, leave your own story link in the comments if you’ve written or spotted something interesting that’s not mentioned here.

On a purely personal note, thank you so much to anyone who nominated me for the BritMums awards. I may have mentioned (just) a few times that the Special Needs Jungle blog has been shortlisted!  It’s one of 20 blogs in the ‘CHANGE’ category and now needs votes to go through to the final stages. If you have time, I’d be really grateful if you could help it along. It’s in section 3, number 15 at this link.

And after that quick promo, here’s the special needs story round up:

What’s been said about special needs on the web this week

Friday’s come around again – this one marks the day my boys break up for Easter and don’t go back until April 18th. Son1 is on a WWI trip to Ypres, Son2 off sick with painful legs caused by Vitamin D deficiency, so their holidays have already started. My task – get Son2 out of the Technolair and into the sunshine, which is easier said than done.

While I’m doing that, have a look at these stories and blogs I found (or wrote myself) in the past week. Lots of good stuff. If I missed your great blog post or news story, leave it in the comments and I can add you to my RSS feeds.

Catch up with special needs news you may have missed this week

Another Friday is here – just one week to go before my boys break up for an almost-month-long Easter break. Here’s my weekly round up of the best special needs and disability stories and blogs I’ve spotted this week. As ever, if you have one to share, list it in the comments of this blog so others can enjoy it!

If you enjoy the Special Needs Jungle site, or have been helped by it, I’d be delighted if you would please nominate specialneedsjungle.com in the BritMums Blogging Awards in the CHANGE! section

Catch up with the best special needs blogs and news from this week

So many autism, Asperger’s, dyslexia, ADHD and other special needs stories this week. This is my pick of the best of the blogs, news and research.

If you enjoy reading Special Needs Jungle, I would be really happy if you would please nominate SpecialNeedsJungle.com blog in BritMums Blogging Awards in the CHANGE! section

Enjoy this week’s story selection. Don’t forget, if you have your own post or story, add it in the blog comments section.

Blogs, News & View in Special Needs this week

Wandering the special needs web this week, I found the following blogs and news stories you might be interested in. Also, if you think Special Needs Jungle is a “brilliant blog”, I’d be super-grateful if you would please vote for http://www.specialneedsjungle.com in the  BritMums blog awards in the CHANGE category. Thanks!

Roaming the Special Needs web this week…

Another busy week in the news and blogs – here’s some of my favourites as well as a round up of posts on Special Needs Jungle in the past seven days. Add yours in the blog comments below

Special needs stories you’ll want to read this week

Some great stories and blog posts about special needs that I spotted this week. If you have one of your own, add it in the blog comments below!

What did you miss? Special Needs stories from the last week

It’s a bumper round-up of special needs stories and blogs this week – check out what you might have missed:

Got one of your own? Add it in the blog comments.

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SEN stories in the past week

Interesting special needs stories from the last week. If you have one I missed, leave it in the comments!

Special needs stories this week

Some interesting stories this week…

SEN Stories in the news this past week

Recap of SNJ posts and other news about SEN this week: