As a parent/carer, you are responsible for making sure your child gets safely to school and that they arrive on time. Some children are eligible to benefit from free transport to school. This depends on how far you live from their school and your child’s individual circumstances.
Long term sleep disturbances can have an enormous impact on family life. Many families can feel very isolated because of the sleep issues their disabled child is experiencing and often feel that no one can help or that strategies only work for a while before the original issues resurface. For the child a lack of sleep can affect concentration, learning, progress and health. This factsheet outlines some of the possible causes of sleep is-sues, suggests some strategies and provides signposts to support services.
Whilst children and young people who do not have other conditions and disabilities can experience Sensory Processing Disorders (SPD) they are more likely to occur in children and young people with learning disabilities, who have Autism, who have ADHD or other conditions like dyslexia or dyspraxia. A child or young person can experience one or more sensory processing disorders and these can be triggered by different stimuli and situa-tions. SPD can be difficult to identify as the symptoms can sometimes be masked by the symptoms of other ex-isting conditions. Some Sensory Processing Disorders are more difficult to identify than others and occasionally a child or young person who displays symptoms of a SPD will actually have another underlying condition that needs to be explored such as dyslexia, dyspraxia or Prader Willi’s. Unfortunately whilst Sensory Processing Dis-orders can be quite common the information, support and advice available on each of these can vary greatly. This factsheet offers a directory of resources for each sensory processing disorder—as well as some more general organisations and resources.
Many of us have moments in the Summer Holidays when we are stuck for something to do. On the Hampshire Gateway website you can find details of hundreds of great activities happening across the county so this factsheet has been produced to complement those and offer some alternative ideas.
Haircuts can be a very stressful experience for some young people and their families. This pack contains ideas, strategies, links and parent tips that will help you to identify the main issues and perhaps make things a little easier.
Long term sleep disturbances can have an enormous impact on family life. Many families can feel very isolated because of the sleep issues their disabled child is experiencing and often feel that no one can help or that strategies only work for a while before the original issues resurface. For the child a lack of sleep can affect concentration, learning, progress and health. This factsheet outlines some of the possible causes of sleep is-sues, suggests some strategies and provides signposts to support services. To view our Factsheet please click here.
Most Children and Young People enjoy going to the cinema but for a number of reasons it can sometimes be difficult for them to go. To make this activity a little more accessible and enjoyable for your child or young person, we have created an article with some suggestions and tips. This contains information about the CEA (Cinema Exhibitors’ Association) card & where to find participating cinemas in your area; links to the various cinema group websites for their accessibility information and how to sign up for an Autism Friendly Film newsletter. To read the article, click here.
Sex and sexuality are a part of being human and we all have the right to enjoy relationships. We should all have access to appropriate information that helps us make informed choices and decisions. Knowing how to broach the subject though can be hard for us all and it is hoped that this factsheet will give you some useful pointers on the subject. To view our Factsheet please click here.
Children and young people now spend a lot of time online using the internet to socialise, explore and have fun. Unfortunately there can be risks associated with being online – such as cyberbullying or accessing content that isn’t appropriate. There is also a risk that they will be encouraged into conversations with strangers/people using false identities and that they may share information they shouldn’t or upload pictures/files that may be harmful to them in the future. To read the full article please click here.
Children and young people with learning disabilities, Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD), ADD/ADHD or mental health issues are more likely to experience anxiety. It can sometimes be difficult to identify that a child or young person is experiencing anxiety as the signs and symptoms can also be common to their condition. This contains information about Resources, Organisations and Mental Health Teams that can offer help and support. To read the full article please click here.
Teaching your child to use the toilet can be stressful for any parent and there is no right way to do it. However, there are some strategies that you can follow which might make things a little easier. For some children with disabilities toilet training may require a little more time while other children may never achieve complete independence, although having a toileting programme will help ensure a child is treated with dignity and respect. This factsheet will talk you through the various stages of toilet training and give some hints and tips that other parents have found helpful. To view our Factsheet please click here.
Children and young people with learning disabilities, Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD), ADD/ADHD are more likely to experience mental health issues. Mental health issues in the disabled are often more likely to be overlooked or underestimated due to the signs and symptoms of their condition.
This contains information about resources, organisations and Community Mental Health Teams that can offer help and support. To view the article click here.
The Local Offer will contain information about the services that Portsmouth Council expects to be available in their area for children and young people from birth to 25 who have special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). The ‘Local Offer’ should also include information of services outside of Portsmouth that they expect children and young people from this area will use. You can view our factsheet on the Local Offer by click here.
The Children’s Services department in Hampshire are responsible for a range of social care services for children, young people and their parents/carers including caring for a child with special needs. It’s recommended that you speak to an appropriate member of staff as soon as possible if you have any concerns about the service or services being provided. If you do not feel comfortable reporting your complaint in this way or if you have already done this and feel that it hasn't helped to resolve the issue then you could discuss this with the service manager. Many concerns can be quickly and successfully resolved in this way but occasionally it isn't possible to reach a resolution and a formal complaint needs to be made. To view our Factsheet please
Unfortunately children and young people who have a disability or special educational needs (SEN) are statistically more likely to experience bullying at school or in their daily lives. Bullying remains the single biggest concern raised by children and young people with a disability or SEN. To read the full article please click here
If you’re the parent/carer of a child or young person with a disability or additional needs there might be times when you need advice, support, or just someone to talk to. However there can be so much information and advice out there it can be difficult to find the right help at the right time —especially if you find that you’re in need of support “out of hours”. You may also feel anxious or worried about unexpected emergencies that prevent you from caring for your child. This guide is designed to help you find the support you need—when you need it—especially in an emergency. To view our Factsheet please click here.
Hospitals can be strange and frightening places for children and young people – especially as they naturally become associated with being ill or in pain, operations and surgery, injections and blood tests or hours of appointments in different waiting rooms. These feelings can be worse for children and young people who have a disability or additional needs as they may not understand what is happening and they’re also more likely to spend more time in the hospital environment than other children and young people. To read the full article please click here
The relationship we have with our siblings can be one the most important we have during our childhood and having a disabled brother or sister can exaggerate our feelings for them. Children can have an array of emotions, both positive and negative for their disabled sibling and may sometimes need a little support to understand what they are feeling. This factsheet is intended to highlight some of the issues siblings might face and to point you in the direction of organisations, both locally and nationally, that may be able to offer support. To View our Factsheet please click here.
Applying for DLA – Disability Living Allowance – can be a very daunting process especially if it’s the first time you have completed the form, if your child is newly diagnosed or if you haven’t been given a diagnosis yet. However there is support available – both nationally and locally - if you need it. We have put together this factsheet to signpost you to that support and also to give you some tips and advice on completing the form. To view our Factsheet please click here.
It’s important to take children to see the dentist from an early age. If your child/young person has a learning disability or other medical condition and they find visiting the dentist difficult then this article offers lots of links to useful resources and organisations with information and advice about visiting the dentist. To read the article please click here.
Accessibility doesn’t just mean looking at things like accessible toilets or entrances it can also include resources such as hearing loops, social stories and large print text/ information. The key is being able to quickly access the information you need in a way that suits you and your family. To view our factsheet click here.
School Uniform can be very expensive if you have a child or young person with a disability or additional needs as you often need to have multiple sets – which can include jumpers, blazers, PE Kit or polo shirts etc. that display the school logo. To read the full article please click here.
Going away on holiday should be something that we look forward to and enjoy. Having a child with a disability can sometimes mean that a little more planning is required to ensure that things run smoothly. The tourist industry is finally waking up to the fact that we all want to go on holiday and accessibility information is more readily available. However, finding out whether staff will be understanding or what facilities will be like can take a lot of work and this factsheet aims to give you some pointers on where to start. To view our Factsheet please click here.
Some behaviours that a child or young person uses can be challenging to the people around them e.g. parents, carers, teachers and other professionals. By using these behaviours the child or young person isn’t trying to upset or distress others : they are giving a sign that something is wrong, that their needs aren't being fulfilled or that there is a problem with communicating these needs. Support shouldn’t be focused upon stopping this behaviour—as it is showing that something is wrong—but trying to resolve the issue or issues that are causing the person to feel distressed. To see our factsheet click here
Selective Mutism is an anxiety disorder that prevents children and young people from speaking in certain social situations for example in school or in public. Children and young people who experience selective mutism may be able to speak freely to close family and friends when they feel comfortable or relaxed e.g. at home. To read the full article please click here.
Getting in touch with Children's Services might seem like a big step, especially if you have not done so before. Children's Services (Social Care) is there to try and help you live your life as effectively as possible, whatever you are having to cope with. Help might include providing information or arranging support, whether it be help within the home, a short break or support from a social worker. View our useful guide here
Adults (18 years of age or over)
Care and support needs assessments are for adults who may need help because of a disability, ill health or old age. If you have care and support needs and find it difficult to look after yourself, your local authority may be able to advise you and provide you with some help. View our useful guide here
Families with disabled children often find it difficult to access the free childcare that is available to all three and four year olds, and some eligible two year olds. There are a series of guides and resources available to help you understand your rights from Coram Family and Childcare, you can view them here
Disability Rights UK have produced a new factsheet on Pooling Personal Budgets. Pooling Personal Budgets is another way to empower disabled people and promote choice in how they wish to lead their life. To view the factsheet click here
Carer’s assessments are for adult carers of adults (over 18 years) who are disabled, ill or elderly. The assessment gives you a chance to discuss what support or services you need with the local council. To view our helpful guide click here
Find out about how to support your child through Early Years, including what services Portsmouth Council can offer. This guide covers the support you should receive from early years settings, what happens before starting school and where to go for further advice. To view the guide click here.
This guide looks at how services should work together and support you to help your child prepare for adulthood, such as going into higher education, independent living, being involved in their community and being as healthy as possible in adult life. To view the guide click here
This guide looks at the support you can expect from your child’s school. If your child has a disability, whether or not they have SEN, their school must make reasonable adjustments. To view the guide click here
This guide looks at what to do if you disagree with decisions made by professionals. That includes your local authority, your child’s school or other setting, local health and other services. It tells you what your rights are and when and how you can challenge decisions. To view the guide click here
This section looks at what you can expect if your child is in further education.
Many young people with Special Educational Needs (SEN) or disabilities, once they are over compulsory school age, move into further education (FE), such as FE and sixth form colleges and 16-19 academies. To view the guide click here
Choosing a school is an important decision which will impact on your child and your whole family, so it is worth spending time looking at the options available. Understandably, concerns are even greater if a child has special educational needs (SEN); the aim of this guide is to provide advice to parents looking at schools for children with SEN. To view the guide click here