SEND resources for parents

Welcome to the SEND information for parents page. We have added resources, tips and information you might find useful, and will continue to grow the resource bank as time goes on. As every child is an individual, there is no "one size fits all" approach. Children can have additional needs across many areas, so use the resources which best meet your child's individual needs, without worrying too much about which category they fall under. Everyone has their own unique strengths and weaknesses, and these SEND strategies and resources will be beneficial to many learners, whether or not they have a diagnosis.
 
ASD
 
The Toby Henderson Trust is an independently funded charity supporting children and young people with autism, their families, and carers in the North East.
 
Autism Northumberland is a charity (based in Cramlington) offering support and services to families affected by autism.
 
Autism.org.uk is the website of the National Autistic Society. They have a range of support and advice - click here for their parent and carer advice page.
 
Some tips:
 
- Children with Autism need structure and routine. You can help them by using visual timetables to help them see what is happening at each step of the day, so they know in advance what they will be doing next. This will relieve some of their anxiety. School staff have examples of visual timetables we can share with you, or there is lots of information about them online.
 
- You might want to try using a specific place for them to do any work or tasks. At school we may trial this in the form of a workstation to support their learning. Each child’s workstation may differ slightly, so you could ask your child to help you set one up that will suit them. Do they prefer a certain spot or area to sit? Do they like to set their equipment out in a particular way? There are lots of images, examples and descriptions of workstations online.
 
- Prepare them for changes in routine. - Help your children to recognise and name different emotions and feelings. You can do this by discussing their own emotions, how characters in books and on TV programmes might be feeling, and how you yourselves might be feeling. Alongside naming the emotion, describe it and explain why you, they or fictional characters might be feeling like that. You can also play role play guessing games and ask them to name the emotion and say why.
 
- Use a 5 point scale to support children in managing their emotions. You can find more information and the 5 point scale here.
 
- Use social stories and comic strip cartoons to help children understand different situations and perspectives and address inappropriate behaviour. You can learn more about writing and using your own social stories here.
 
- Be aware of your child’s sensory needs and support them in managing that need to help them learn e.g. sound reducing earphones/ear defenders if noise is a problem, comfortable clothes, keep the area surrounding the work space clear to avoid over-stimulation.
 
- Play lots of games with your child to encourage social skills, such as taking turns and winning and losing.
 
ADHD
 
Great Ormond Street Hospital has a very useful page on ADHD. Here are some more websites you may find helpful:
 Information on self-esteem.
 Managing ADHD.
 
Some tips:
 
-Offer routines and structure.
- Create a quiet space for them to learn with no distractions.
- Give them something to fiddle with whilst you are talking to them or you want them to focus. It can also be helpful to let them move around whilst they listen.
- Ask them to do one task at a time
- Provide checklists or visual timetables to support organisation.
- Use timers to help with time management and build in frequent movement breaks.
- Suggest rather than criticise (children with ADHD often have low self-esteem)
- Provide lots of opportunities for exercise and movement.
- Set up a reward scheme to encourage them and support them with their behaviour.
- Build on success and help children to pursue more of what they enjoy.
- Put clear boundaries in place.
 
Literacy difficulties
 
The British Dyslexia Association has information and advice - click here to access their website.
Working memory strategies can be helpful for children who have literacy difficulties. You can find out more about them here.
Phonics Play is a subscription site which we use at school, but it has a free sister site, Phonics Play Comics, featuring short, simple comic strips which appeal to many readers.
Audible from Amazon has a huge range of free audio stories.
The Helen Arkell Dyslexia Charity website has a useful range of courses and other resources for parents.
You can find lots of programs to help children with different areas of literacy at the Nessy website.
 
Scroll to the bottom of the page for a fantastic visual showing a huge selection of apps for children with reading and writing difficulties!
 
Some tips:
 
-If you have access, allow children to use a word processor (e.g. Microsoft Word) to complete some written tasks. This highlights spelling errors and offers alternatives. If they can’t type, encourage them to learn, so that they are able to use a word processor with more speed and fluency. Dancemat Typing from BBC Bitesize is a fun beginners typing course in the form of a game.
 
-Play games to support memory and retention, such as Pairs, or Go Fish.
 
-Enable children to access age related audio books and stories to develop a love of reading. Encourage (don’t force or push) them to share what’s happening in the story and share their excitement, wondering aloud what will happen next. This will also develop their vocabulary and comprehension, without them even realising that they are learning.
 
-Make reading fun. Encourage children to read one page and you read the next page. Read some books to them for pleasure and invite them to read a section if they want to (don’t push if they don’t want to). By developing a love of books and stories children will naturally want to learn how to read, so make the experience as enjoyable as you can. 
 
Motor skills difficulties
 
The Dyspraxia Foundation website may be useful, and they run a telephone helpline from 9am-1pm, Monday-Friday. Movement Matters also offers specific advice for parents of children with coordination/motor skills difficulties.
Dyspraxia Foundation classroom guidelines is aimed at schools, but many of the strategies could be used at home too.
Games to develop social skills such as turn taking can be helpful. You can find lots of free games and resources on the Twinkl website.
 
Some tips:
 
- Allow children to use word processing software (e.g. Microsoft Word) to complete some written tasks. If they can’t type, encourage them to learn, so that they are able to use a word processor with more speed and fluency. Have a look at Dancemat Typing from BBC Bitesize.
 
- Offer routines and structure
 
- Create a quiet space for them to learn with no distractions.
 
- Give them something to fiddle with whilst you are talking to them or you want them to focus. It can also be helpful to let them move around whilst they listen.
 
- Ask them to do one task at a time
 
- Provide checklists or visual timetables to support organisation.
 
- Use timers to help with time management and have lots of frequent movement breaks.
 
- Play lots of games with your child to encourage social skills, such as taking turns and winning and losing. The Twinkl website above has lots of free resources.
 
- Help your children develop their fine and gross motor skills and core stability - the classroom guidelines page from Dyspraxia Foundation (see the link above) has lots of ideas.
 
Dyscalculia
 
You can find more information on dyscalculia here.
There are 5 specific strategies for helping children with dyscalculia here, plus more information and ideas.
 
Some tips
 
-Concentrate on one problem at a time.
 
- Use lots of pictures and physical objects that children can move around.
 
- Include children in supporting you with everyday maths problems, e.g. counting, cooking,      measuring, using money.
 
Speech, language and communication difficulties
 
We are supported by NHS Children's Speech and Language Therapy. Click here for more information on what they do.
 
We also work closely with Northumberland County Council's Speech, Language and Communication Service. You can find out more about them here.
 
The Communication Trust has information from more than 50 organisations who support children and young people with speech, language and communication difficulties.
 
Some tips:
 
Speech Sounds
-Model speech to your child by repeating words back to them correctly.
 
Understanding
- Give children time to process what you have asked and respond.
- Use simple language and break instructions down into smaller steps.
- Encourage children to answer questions, such as who, what, where, when and why? when reading their books. Encourage them to tell you the story in their own words.
 
Expression
- Talk about all your experiences in detail, so your child will learn new vocabulary all the time.
- Discuss vocabulary in books, making sure the children understand the meaning of tricky words.
 
Social Communication
- Play lots of games with your child to encourage social skills, such as taking turns and winning and losing.