SNJ is the new SEN site expert on NetBuddy!

NetBuddy logo strap_V1[1]I’m delighted to tell you that I’ve been asked to be the new SEN site expert for Netbuddy.

Netbuddy offers practical tips from people with first-hand experience of learning disability, autism and special needs. It’s a great resource and I’m really pleased that they’ve asked me to join their team of advisers. (more…)

Special Needs top tip: Elastic laces

So, here is Special Needs Jungle’s top tip of the day that I think many of you will find very handy.

Elastic laces on his Crocs school shoes, mittens at the ready!

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.

Side view

However, there is a very nifty solution we’ve found – elastic laces with a toggle tightener. As you can see in these pictures taken of Son2’s school shoes as we sat in the ever-long queue trying to get down Farnham’s Castle Street, he can manage them with ease.

You can get them from We tried the spiral ones but they’re very difficult to get through the lace holes on the shoes.

You might wonder why Son2 is wearing quilted mittens on a warm September day in the pic on the left. Well, that’s another story…

I’m having the rest of the  day off – it’s my 15th wedding anniversary. It’s been a long, interesting journey that has changed me in so many ways. Little did I imagine that on that day, already expecting Son1, how many challenges were to come. But we’ve made it – we promised patience and understanding and no two words could be more true!

Real tips from real carers – a new tool from NetBuddy and NHS Carers Direct

Netbuddy has been working with NHS Carers Direct to pass on practical advice, tips and ideas from carers of people with learning disabilities to other carers.

‘Real tips from real carers is a new tool created by NHS Carers Direct and Netbuddy. It offers a selection of tips submitted by carers under four separate headings – Communication, Healthcare, Personal Hygiene, Behaviour and Routine.

The tool is live on the Carers Direct website and a version of the tool is also available for people to put on their own websites.

Netbuddy director, Deborah Gundle said: “We are so pleased to be working with Carers Direct to share these great practical ideas from people with everyday experience of caring for people with learning disabilities. Working in partnership with other organisations like Carers Direct allows us to reach more carers who can benefit from Netbuddy. We really hope more people will come forward and ask for the ‘Real tips from real carers’ widget on their website.”

Carers Direct website editor, Rob Finch, said: “The best advice comes from experience. Netbuddy is an amazing way for carers to get the benefit of the experience of others in similar situations.
“The tool that Netbuddy and Carers Direct has created is a really simple interactive gizmo that could help share dozens of these great tips with a wider audience of carers. We hope that these tips will make real changes the lives of carers – and the lives of those they support.”
You can find top tips for helping children with SEN and disabilities at the NetBuddy website. You can also offer your own tips as well!