Category Archives: Practical Help

New books in the library

Check out the new books we have in our library.

If you are not already a member you can borrow books from us to help you support your child. It is all free of charge. To join, fill in the application form on the library page.

Autism

Why Does Chris Do That? By Tony Attwood 2003 edition (L6768)

book cover - ten things every child with autism wishes you knew

Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew 2012 edition (L6813)

Aspergers’

book cover - The girl with the curly hair puberty

The Girl with the Curly Hair Asperger’s Syndrome and Puberty by Alis Rowe (L6791)

book cover - The girl with the curly hair siblings

The Girl with the Curly Hair Asperger’s Syndrome: Helping Siblings by Alis Rowe (L6792)

Communication

book cover - eye can write

Eye Can Write: a memoir of a child’s silent soul emerging by Jonathan Bryan (L6772)

book cover - Integrated intensive interaction

Integrating Intensive Interaction: developing communication practice in services for children and adults with severe learning difficulties, PMLD and autism by Amandine Mouriere (L6794)

Education for Special Needs

book cover - very special maths

Very Special Maths: developing thinking and maths skills for pupils with severe or complex learning difficulties by Les Stoves (L6795)

book cover - don't send him in tomorrow

Don’t Send Him in Tomorrow: shining a light on the marginalised disenfranchised and forgotten children of today’s schools by Jarlath O’Brien (L6800)

Mental Health

book cover CBT toolbox

CBT Toolbox for Children & Adolescents by Lisa Weed Phifer (L6802)

book cover - Child and Adolescent Mental health

Child and Adolescent Mental Health for Front-line Professionals by Nisha Dogra 2018 edition (6801)

Children’s Books

book cover - dude I'm an aspie

Dude, I’m an Aspie Kid’s Edition by Matt Friedman – the kids edition explaining Aspergers in cartoons from the blogger Matt Friedman

book cover - Siblings AS through our eyes

Siblings: the autism spectrum through our eyes by Jane Johnson – children and adults talk about what its like to grow up with a brother or sister with autism

book cover - Songames sensory processing

Songames for Sensory Processing by Aubrey Lande – games to play along with music, CDs included

For a full list of our library books please take a look at our library catalogues.

Jan Pugh
Librarian
[email protected]

Accessing Public Services in Scotland Toolkit Workshop

mother and disabled daughter at an appointment

Scots law provides powerful rights to education and support from other services, but this alone isn’t enough. The law can be complicated and difficult to understand. Even when you know what your rights are, it can be daunting, exhausting and sometimes intimidating to challenge public officials.

To help parent/carers in Scotland we produced the Accessing Public Services in Scotland Toolkit which is packed full of useful information and resources to give parents, carers and professionals the skills and knowledge they need to advocate for themselves.

We are very grateful to the RS Macdonald Charitable Trust who have awarded us a grant to fund our Accessing Public Services in Scotland Toolkit Workshops. Their generous support means that we can provide our workshops free of charge and therefore help more parents and carers to access health, social care and education support services for their child, helping them to discover a better life together.

These free workshops are run by our trained facilitators who will help families get to grips with our toolkit by showing them how to adapt the solutions and templates to their own individual circumstances and so improve parent/carer’s knowledge and confidence to challenge the decisions made by public bodies about their child’s care. The workshops have also been accredited by the CPD Certification Service.

To date there have been 68 workshops delivered on the English/Welsh version of the toolkit and feedback includes:

‘The training was very useful and highlighted to me how much I roll over when asked. I now feel empowered to be able to get those things which my son needs.’

‘Having had a bad experience my confidence had been knocked but knowing my son’s rights and how to productively move forward has inspired me. Thank you.’  

If you are a Scottish parent/carer forum or work for an organisation who support families in Scotland and are interested in hosting a free workshop then please get in touch with [email protected]

New Switch toys in our Library

We have some exciting new switch toys in the library.  Switches are accessible for all abilities, making them perfect for your child to explore cause and effect.  Whether your child responds to lights, music or movement they are going to love the new switch toys.

We have been able to introduce these additions to our switch toy collection thanks to the kind generosity of donations from trusts such as The Rothley Trust and the Green Hall Foundation.

We have also been able to replace some of the older toys and the all new Picture Wheel Projectors can also be operated with a switch.

Switch Adapted Spinning Gem Sphere

Gen sphere

A switch operated toy with coloured lights that rotates.  Press the switch to spin the sphere and watch the lights.  Also great in the dark.
Mains electric
Quantity: 2

Switch Adapted Dancing BeatBo

Beat bo

Dance and Move BeatBo is a great playtime pal for singing, dancing, moving and grooving!  Use up to 3 switches to activate his three modes ‘Dance and Move’ ‘Learning and Games’ and ‘SingAlong’.  BeatBo features a ‘light up’ tummy panel of changing colours.  Three detachable switches included.
Battery operated
Quantity: 2

Picture Wheel Projector

Picture Projector

This LED projector is energy efficient and cool running.  It comes with 3 picture wheels.  The rotator can be stopped and reversed for different effects.  Can also be used with the picture wheel for shadow work. It can also be operated with a switch.  A switch is included.
Mains electric
Quantity: 2

You can find more information about our library including how you can join and start borrowing books and sensory toys here.

Have you been told that your child is too young to have a continence assessment?

Has your local continence team told you that your child isn’t old enough to have a continence assessment? Our new template letter could help you to make a complaint.

Our Legal Entitlements and Problem-Solving (LEaP) Project helps families who are struggling to get the support they need from health or social care services. We recently heard from a parent who had been told that her 4 year old son, who has autism and complex epilepsy, wouldn’t be able to get a continence assessment until he turned 5.  

We wrote a template letter to help the family make a complaint to the local health authority. We quoted some of the relevant guidance, which makes it clear that health authorities shouldn’t make children wait until they reach a certain age before they get a continence assessment.

We’ve uploaded the template letter so that other families who might find themselves in a similar situation can use it to make a complaint. We have separate versions of the letter for England and Wales.

Amelie gets transport to school, with help from our LEaP Project

Karen, who lives in Surrey, contacted our LEaP Project in January for help with a school transport problem. Her daughter, Amelie, is 11 years old and has Phelan McDermid syndrome. The local council had been providing transport for Amelie to go to a special school for children with severe and profound learning difficulties. When Karen told the council that they were moving to a new address, within 3 miles of the school, the council said that she needed to re-apply for transport.

Karen explained in her application that Amelie wasn’t able to walk to school because of her complex needs. But the council decided not to provide transport, because Karen had help from carers and access to a car, so she was expected to drive Amelie to school or accompany her on public transport.

We wrote a letter to help Karen appeal the council’s decision. The letter explained that the council had a legal duty to make transport arrangements for Amelie, who couldn’t be expected to walk to school or travel by public transport, even if Karen accompanied her, because of her disability. The letter also pointed out that parents can only be expected to accompany their child along a walking route, not by car.

At first, the council refused Karen’s appeal and insisted that she had ‘means and resources available’ to get Amelie to school. With our support, Karen contacted a manager at the council to demand a fuller response, which specifically addressed all the health and safety issues she had raised. A few days later, the council phoned Karen and agreed that Amelie was entitled to transport because of her special educational needs and disability.

Karen was very pleased with the council’s decision: “It was extremely stressful having to deal with the loss of transport at the same time as moving and to receive the default responses from the council, which really felt like we hadn’t been listened to. I was very lucky to be supported by our school, social worker and GP and the LEaP Project and I think with the combined effort we got the right result. I am so happy that Amelie will be able to get to school in a way that is best for her.”

Karen had to challenge the council twice before getting transport for Amelie, because the council didn’t consider her appeal information properly. We know from our experience on the LEaP Project that some councils have refused transport twice or three times before putting things right.

If you’re in a similar situation, you can read our Parent Guide on School Transport in England and use our updated school transport template letter to challenge a decision. We also have a parent guide and template letter for parents in Wales.

If you’re still unhappy after using the council’s appeals process, you also have the right to complain to the Local Government & Social Care Ombudsman or the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales.

Has your child been refused a continence assessment at home?

Has your local continence team told you that they can only assess your child at a school/hospital, rather than at home? Our new template letter could help you to make a complaint.

Our Legal Entitlements and Problem-Solving (LEaP) Project helps families who are struggling to get the support they need from health or social care services. A parent recently contacted the Project for advice about her son’s continence assessment. She had been told that the assessment had to take place at her son’s school and that home assessments weren’t possible. She was also told that the supply of nappies would stop if they weren’t able to attend the assessment at the school. The family wanted the continence team to be more flexible and consider giving them the option of an assessment at home, because of their son’s complex medical needs.

We wrote a template letter to help the family make a complaint to the local health authority. Our letter explains that public bodies must act reasonably and where they have the power to do something, they must be prepared to act flexibly, instead of adopting rigid policies.

We wanted to share this template letter with other families who might find themselves in a similar situation. We have separate versions for England and Wales.