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Local Offer - News and Events

In this section of the Local Offer you will be able to find out what’s new and what’s going on. This will be specific information for children, young people and families with special educational needs and disabilities. It will also include information about any consultations that you can get involved with by contributing your views. 

Children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities and their families must be able to contribute to the Local Offer by feeding back their views about the Local Offer itself and about the services that are advertised. You can use the Contact Us link at the bottom of the website page.

Special Voices Virtual Information Day - 27 November

We would like to invite all parents/carers/professionals to our virtual information day on Friday 27th November via Zoom, text us on 07990693439 for the codes beforehand to join in on the day which will run from 10 - 2pm. We have 12  guest speakers. There will be a free gift bag for parent/carers that attend.

Carers Rights Day - virtual coffee afternoon - 26 November

If you look after someone, who looks after you?

Join Kinder from Slough Carers Support on Carers Rights day for an informal chat and get answers to questions about the current support. Take a little break, put your feet up, make yourself a cuppa and spend sometime talking to people who understand what you are going through.

The theme for Carers Rights Day 2020 is 'Know your rights'.

Whether you are a new carer or have been caring for someone for a while, it's important that you understand your rights and are able to access the support that is available to you as soon as you need it.

Register on Eventbrite : www.bit.ly/3eL8DL1

Minister Ford’s letter for families with Children with SEND, 9th November 2020

Following the introduction of the new national restrictions on 5th November, the open letter from Vicky Ford, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Children and Families, provides advice and guidance on several issues, including school attendance, children who are clinically extremely vulnerable, remote education, face coverings in education settings, respite, health services for children and young people with SEND, and the new winter package to provide support for children and young people and their families. 

Special Voices coffee days with Zoom, November newsletter

Virtual coffee days 2020- every Friday, drop in between 10-12pm with Zoom.

We do hope you will join us via Zoom, you can choose at what time, & how long you wish to join us for during the two hours. We have chosen Zoom as we believe it is quite easy to set up & free should you need help to do this then please give us a call on: 07990693439 beforehand.

Read Special Voices newsletter.

Autism Berkshire newsletter - October

Autism Berkshire newsletter provides updates and information on

  • Changes to our services due to NHS contract decision
  • Information on the following courses: Early Bird Plus: For parents and carers of children aged 5 to 9, Teen Life: For parents and carers of children and young people aged 10 to 16, SocialEyes: For young autistic adults aged 18 to 25. For more information about how to register for the courses that we will be running, and to access other workshops and advice provided by S4H's service for East Berkshire, called GEMS, visit their website, email gems.4health@nhs.net or call 0800 999 1342.
  • Support from the Benefits Service
  • Understanding your benefits rights workshops
  • Social groups for adults online

Contact - news and information for families with disabled children

Contact's latest news and media pages brings you the following information:

    • how to share your views on home education

  • legal duty on schools in England to provide remote learning to pupils at home because of Covid-19
  • advice from Contact if you are applying for a secondary school place

and much more.

Helpline for carers

If you are looking after a relative, there is help for you. Call freephone: 0800 133 7851. Lines open 10am - 4pm, Monday - Friday. With 24 hours answerphone cover,

Multi-sensory stories

Multisensory stories immerse the learner by telling a story through the senses using sensory stimuli (story props) that provide new experiences to calm and alert the sensory system in a safe, therapeutic and motivating environment.

​Exposure to the stimuli enables the learner to build a bank of motivators that can calm when anxious or stressed. This record of likes, dislikes and preferences can be an invaluable tool to inform on behaviour strategies and the writing of care plans.

​The multisensory stories and poems are adapted to meet a range of abilities from curious preschoolers to adolescents with complex needs, helping individuals to understand the world and connecting them to topics, culture and literacy in a way that is meaningful to their lives.

Visit https://www.rhymingmultisensorystories.com/ for details.

Top tips for autistic and ADHD children returning to school - East Berkshire CCG

East Berkshire CCG provides top tips for autistic and ADHD children returning to school.

Free online parenting courses available to local families

Bringing up children can be enjoyable and rewarding but it also has its challenges.
If you live in the Frimley Health and Care area (East Berkshire, Surrey Heath and North East Hampshire and Farnham), you can access four free online parenting guides with top tips from childcare, education and NHS experts:

  • Understanding your pregnancy, labour, birth and your baby
  • Understanding your baby
  • Understanding your child 0 to 19 years
  • Understanding your teenager’s brain

The guides are for  parents, grandparents and carers of children of all ages including those with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).

The guides are available in different languages.

Each guide has between 5 to 11 sessions which last roughly 20 minutes each, plus activities that can be carried out between courses. Access is unlimited, so you can return to the guides as and when you need to.

Registration is quick and easy – just go to inourplace.co.uk and apply the access code PARENTING.

Family Fund support for children with SEND - Covid - 19

The government gave a press release (19th May ’20) announcing that they were giving £37.3 million of direct support in 2020 – 21 to the Family Fund for SEND children in England.  

The support is partly  in response to COVID 19 pandemic. Families can apply  to the Family Fund for a grant,  for items to support their SEND children such as:- washing machines, computers,  educational toys and specialist equipment. On the website there is a list of items that can be applied for.  

To apply for a grant you need to go to the Family Fund website and click on application. Fill in the form which asks for the child and adults details and the item requested.  

The criteria for families to apply :- 

They are

  • A permanent resident in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
  • Have current legal residency in the UK and have lived in the UK for 6 months, be eligible to work and apply for funds.
  • A parent or carer of a disabled or seriously ill child or young person aged 17 and under who lives at home.
  • Eligible for , and can send evidence of one of the following tax credits or benefits – Universal credit, Child tax credit, working tax credit, Income based jobseekers allowance, Incapacity benefit, Employment support allowance, Housing benefit, Pension credit.
  • Asking for a grant related to the needs of their  child. Children or young person.  

The link for the Family Fund is :- https://www.familyfund.org.uk/  

The link for the government article is https://bit.ly/2ygnv39

 

Mental Health resources and support during lockdown

Children and young people may be experiencing a variety of feelings in response to the COVID-19 outbreak such as anxiety, stress or low mood. It is important to understand that these are normal responses to an abnormal situation. There is a large amount of mental health support available for children and young people as detailed on the FIS website.

Parenting Special Children - Online Events/Workshops during Coronavirus lockdown

 We are running the online events, for Berkshire families, online via Zoom. They are free (£5 refundable booking deposit) or at a nominal cost. Click here for details.

COVID - 19 Guidance, support and resources for Slough residents

Click here for a list of services and information, advice for Slough residents.

COVID-19 Advice for parents when your child is unwell or injured

Whilst coronavirus is infectious to children it is rarely serious. If your child is unwell it is likely to be a non-coronavirus illness, rather than coronavirus itself. Whilst it is extremely important to follow Government advice to stay at home during this period, it can be confusing to know what to do when your child is unwell or injured. Remember that NHS 111, GPs and hospitals are still providing the same safe care that they have always done. Click here for advice.

National Autistic Society - COVID-19, Information, Tips and Resources

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new illness that thousands of people in the UK now have. It is impacting everyone’s lives, including autistic people and their families.

We wanted to provide you with some information and resources about Coronavirus to help you deal with this difficult time. Click here

Contact For familes of disabled children - COVID - 19 - Entertaining children

It is no doubt daunting for many families to have children at home from school, nursery or college around the clock. Others of you will be well versed in home education and may have some really useful tips to share - please do on our Facebook page. Thanks to those of you who have already shared! We've pulled together some fun and inspiring ideas and resources to keep children entertained at home. We will add to them over the next few days and weeks.Twinkl has lots of wonderful resources and ideas to stimulate and entertain children of primary school age. And the Twinkl SEND resources are well worth checking out for fun stuff to do at home. Singing Hands on YouTube has videos of songs signed in Makaton. And from next week they will be doing live sessions on You Tube at 10.30am. Bumble bee physio London are doing live physio for children who are wheelchair users at 10am on their Facebook page. David Walliams is releasing a free audio story everyday for 30 days. Joe Wicks, TheBodyCoach, is running live PE session on You Tube every morning at 9am. Storyline Online, streams videos featuring celebrated actors reading children's books alongside creative illustrations. If your children are into animals and the natural world, National Geographic Kids on You Tube has lots of fantastic, interactive videos. Khan Academy Kids is an educational app for children aged two to seven. Animated characters guide children through educational materials. It's an American app but lots of relevant activities. And here is an article with tips for games and activities to do with children with special educational needs, that are not screen based - many of them indoors. Visit Contact's news and blogs page for further updates.

Young People Focus Group on the SEND Strategy

As part of the new SEND strategy, youth workers from Young People’s Service, met with Arbour Vale’s Youth Council for a 90 minute workshop. The core aim of the workshop was to capture the voices of young people, a means by which their views could positively influence the SEND strategy. 10 young people of mixed ages and abilities participated and themes discussed in the workshop included ‘what makes a good day’, ‘dreams and aspirations’ and ‘barriers’’. This is the first intervention  of continued plan to ensure young peoples needs and views are at the forefront of the Slough SEND strategy. The Slough Youth Voice SEND Consultation report - 12 February 2019 can be read here.

Free digital resource for carers in Berkshire

There is an online resource for carers in Berkshire to support them in their caring role. It is free to use and includes specially tailored Apps, guides and training courses: jointly - a mobile App to help make caring a bit easier, less stressful and more organised. About Me - an e-learning course for carers that aims to help build resilience for caring. Upfront Guide to Caring - this is an online assessment tool that directs carers to specific sections of Carers UK's website for information relevant to their situation, and then produces a short action plan to help carers plan their next steps. For access, create an account on carersuk. Professionals can also access the digital service by following the same registration process for carers.

Discounts

There are various local and national schemes and charities which can help save money if your child has an additional or special need.  Max Card is a national, local authority-commissioned discount initiative for looked after children and children with additional needs aged 0-25 years. The scheme enables families to visit hundreds of attractions across the UK at a free or discounted rate. Sign up to our Children's Disability Register and receive a card for free! Merlin's Magic Wand arrange magical days out at Merlin Entertainments attractions, such as LEGOLAND Resort® theme parks, SEA LIFE Centres and Madame Tussauds. They welcome applications on behalf of children aged 2-18 with a confirmed serious illness/long term illness, disability or disadvantage, who would benefit from a day out at a Merlin attraction. CEA Card enables a disabled cinema guest to receive a complimentary ticket for someone to go with them when they visit a participating cinema.