Children with special educational needs and/or disability (SEND)
The information on these pages has been put together to enable parents who have a child with special needs and/or disabilities (SEND) to find the information they are looking for in one place.
There is information on a wide range of subjects and organisations. Information on this page relates to the latest news in the field of SEND both locally and nationally. There is an A-Z list of useful organisations and categories on the second page.
During the current pandemic information relating to Covid-19 and how it relates to families of children with SEND can be found here.
Support for Young People's Mental Health During the Pandemic
Mental Health has very much become a live issue during the lockdown. There are services available to support young people with issues such as loneliness and anxiety. Two of them are:
- Kooth - Kooth.com is a service, fully commissioned by The Children's Society. It is a free, safe, anonymous and non-stigmatised way for young people to receive counselling, youth support, advice and support online. Visit Kooth.com or click here to read the flyer
- Sandwell Youth Services - Sandwell Youth Services offer a support service for young people's mental health. Young people aged 11-19 (up to 25 with SEND) can email questions (anonymously, if you wish) which will be answered on a Facebook Live feed every Thursday. Click here for more information.
West Midlands Police Advice on the Safer Use of Tik Tok
Tik Tok is a social media app that is very popular with young people. As with all apps of this kind there are things you can do to support its safe use. This flyer from West Midlands Police gives some tips on how to support your child to use Tik Tok safely. Click here to see the information
Newsletter from The Complex Communication and Autism Team (CCAT)
The Complex Communication and Autism Team has produced a newsletter to support children with autism when they return to school. Click here to access the newsletter.
Survey of Parental Experiences During the Coronavirus Lockdown
Sandwell Autism Group (SAG) has put together a survey to gather some wider parental experiences of lockdown. Click here to access the survey
Open Letter from Minister Ford to Young People with SEND and their Families
Vicky Ford MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children and Families has written to young people with SEND and their families to give more details about how the wider reopening of schools will affect them. You can read the letter and other coronavirus information by clicking here.
What to Expect when Schools Reopen
Sandwell MBC has produced a short video to show what can be expected in schools when they start to reopen. Click here to view it.
Maintaining Hearing Aids and Other Assistive Technology during the Pandemic
Maintaining a hygiene regime during the pandemic is important. But how should hearing impaired young people do this at the same time as ensuring that hearing aids and other technology work effectively. Here is some advice from the Sandwell Sensory Support Team.
New Guidance from the Government on the Phased Reopening of Schools for Children and Young People with SEND
The Government has published new guidance to support the phased reopening of schools for children and young people with SEND beginning on Monday 1 June 2020. You can read the guidance by clicking here
Temporary Changes to the Law on Education Health and Care Plans (EHCP) and Assessments
The Government has announced temporary changes to the law regarding EHCPs during the Coronavirus pandemic. You can read the joint ministerial letter to families and the accompanying guidance on the Council for Disabled Children website. You can download the Sandwell response to these amendments as well as other Coronavirus information.
Latest Information and Advice for Parents Regarding Covid-19
Here is the latest selection of advice and information to support the parents of children and young people with SEND during the current lockdown.
- Stress and mindfulness advice from the Sandwell Social, Emotional and Mental Health Team
- Latest Covid-19 advice from the Sandwell Sensory Support Team
- Information from Autism West Midlands Sandwell about support it is offering families (including live Facebook chats every second Friday, telephone advice appointments and live webinars)
- Medical advice from The Royal College of Paediatrics about what to do if your child is unwell or is injured during the current lockdown
- Advice from Sandwell Paediatricians on managing concerns about your child's health
- Latest parent newsletter from the Sandwell Educational and Child Psychology Team
Finding Information While Staying or Self-Isolating at Home
It can be difficult to find useful information while staying at home during the coronavirus lockdown. Here is a selection of organisations, both local and national, which provide useful advice:
- Autism West Midlands (the link is to their YouTube channel)
- Sandwell Parent Voice
- Sandwell Parents for Disabled Children
- Sandwell Sensory Support Team
- Special Needs Jungle
- Council for Disabled Children
- National Autistic Society
- BBC Bitesize
- BBC Education
- Government advice on how to support children with SEND at home
This is not an exhaustive list and we will continue to add details of more organisations in the coming days and weeks.
Government Resources to Support Children aged 0-5 while at Home
The Government has gathered together a number of resources for simple, fun activities to support parents who are staying home with children aged 0-5. Access the 'Hungry Little Minds' resources.
Information from The Inclusive Learning Team for Parents of Children with SEND During the Coronavirus Outbreak
The Inclusive Learning Team has put together some useful tips to support parents of children with SEND during the current period of the coronavirus outbreak when schools are closed and families are required to stay indoors.
You can download the information here. Save the link to your favourites as further information will be added in the coming days and weeks.
Letter from the Government re Arrangements for Children with SEND During the Coronavirus Outbreak
The Government has written an open letter to children and young people with SEND and their families to set out the changes that have been made to arrangements for supporting children and young people with SEND during the Coronavirus outbreak. You can read the letter here via the NASEN website.
Support for Parents from Sandwell Parents for Disabled Children During the Coronavirus Outbreak
Sandwell Parents for Disabled Children (SPDC) would like you to know that they are still available to provide support for parents/carers at what is a difficult and challenging time. Although face-to-face meetings have ceased they would very much like to engage with and support parents in other ways. For details of how to contact SPDC to discuss how you can be supported please email firstname.lastname@example.org and let them know how you would like to be contacted. They will arrange for a member of staff to contact you by email or phone.
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