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SEN and Home Support

Dear Parents and Carers,

You have been thrust into schooling your children at home due to the Coronavirus COVID-19, this is difficult for any parent and when your child has additional needs it is even more of a challenge.

I want to share some words of encouragement with you. You are NOT homeschooling. You are CRISIS schooling. There is a BIG difference! Homeschooling is a choice. Being at home all day is not a normal situation, children are used to be being out, at school, being children, playing, learning, socialising. Everything that we know as "normal" has changed for now and our children now feel disconnected and a sense of loss, just as we do. It is likely that they will not want to do learning at home. 

The approach I would suggest is less is more, choose what works for YOUR situation and YOUR family - do learning in a block, dip in and out, do it at a convenient time, there is no right or wrong. Short quality bursts of learning is better than anything. Do what you can!

In the coming days and weeks I will individually email parents and carers of children on the SEN register with additional activities that may be suitable to do alongside the learning set by the classes. There is no obligation to do this, but any thing you are able to do will be beneficial.

There are a few items on the links below, which you may find useful in the coming weeks. I will be adding to them so please keep checking back.

Finally, just to reassure you, its okay NOT to be the Home School Parent of the Year.

This is HUGE challenge - Be kind to yourselves and your little ones.

"Its all about finding the calm in the chaos." 

If you would like to contact me I can be emailed on ihart@allsouls.kent.sch.uk. I will endeavour to reply as soon as is possible.

Mrs Hart

              

Links to Social Stories

 

 
 
  
Links to eBooks

 

 
 

 

In the menus below you will find information, websites, tips and resources to help you support your children with their additional needs, learning and self-esteem. Children have varying needs and there is no one size approach fits all. It is quite common for children to have additional needs that span all these areas, so select the resources that meet the needs of your child, without worrying too much about the label or category they fall under. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses and these SEND strategies will be beneficial to many children, whether or not they have a diagnosis.

ASD

Information Websites

https://www.autism.org.uk/

https://www.autism.org.uk/about/family-life/parents-carers.aspx

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.
  • You might want to set a specific place for them to do any work or tasks. At school they may have 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 or that they are already used to.
  • 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.
  • Use social stories and comic strip cartoons to help children understand different situations and perspectives and address inappropriate behaviour.
  • Have a visual aid to support wanted and unwanted behaviours.
  • Be aware of your child’s sensory needs and support them in managing that need to help them learn e.g. sound reducing earphones if noise is a problem, comfortable clothes, keep the area surrounding the work space clear to avoid over-stimulation etc.
  • Play lots of games with your child to encourage social skills, such as taking turns and winning and losing.

Resources

Visual timetable (under Home Learning/Support Resources drop down menu)

5 point scale (under Home Learning/Support Resources drop down menu)

Social stories and comic strip cartoons - https://www.autism.org.uk/about/strategies/social-stories-comic-strips.aspx

 

ADHD

Information Websites

https://www.adhdfoundation.org.uk/information/parents/

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.

Resources

https://www.thebodycoach.com/blog/pe-with-joe-1254.html

Play games on consoles such as just dance, Wii Sports etc. to get your kids moving

Dyslexia

Information Websites

https://www.bdadyslexia.org.uk/advice/children/how-can-i-support-my-child

https://www.understood.org/en/school-learning/learning-at-home/homework-study-skills/8-working-memory-boosters

Tips

  • It is important to encourage children to recognise and pursue the areas in which they excel (do more of what they enjoy) and support them with the areas they find difficult.
  • Allow children to use a word processer 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 Processer with more speed and fluency.
  • Play games to support memory and retention e.g. pairs, Go Fish etc.
  • Enable children to access age related audiobooks 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.
  • Don’t make reading a fight. 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 pleasurable as you can.

Resources

Dancemat Typing – free beginners typing course for children. https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/topics/zf2f9j6/articles/z3c6tfr

Free audio stories - https://stories.audible.com/start-listen

Motor Coordination Disorder/Dyspraxia

Information Websites

https://dyspraxiafoundation.org.uk/

http://www.movementmattersuk.org/

Tips

  • Allow children to use a word processor 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.
  • 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.
  • Play lots of games with your child to encourage social skills, such as taking turns and winning and losing.
  • Help your children develop their fine and gross motor skills and core stability.

Resources

Dancemat Typing – free beginners typing course for children. https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/topics/zf2f9j6/articles/z3c6tfr

Fizzy/Clever Hands - https://www.ekhuft.nhs.uk/patients-and-visitors/information-for-patients/patient-information-leaflets/fizzy-leaflets/

Visual timetable (under Home Learning/Support Resources drop down menu)

Social stories and comic strip cartoons

5 point scale (under Home Learning/Support Resources drop down menu)

Social skills games

 

Dyscalculia

Information Websites

https://www.bdadyslexia.org.uk/dyslexia/neurodiversity-and-co-occurring-differences/dyscalculia-and-maths-difficulties

Tips

  • Concentrate on one problem at a time.
  • Use lots of visuals and physical resources that the children can move around.
  • Include children in supporting you with everyday maths problems e.g. cooking, measuring, money etc.

Resources

https://whiterosemaths.com/homelearning/

https://www.10ticks.co.uk/

Speech and Language

Information Website

https://www.thecommunicationtrust.org.uk/

Tips

Speech sounds

  • Model speech to the children 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, teaching 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.
  • Use a visual timetable and visual aids to provide structure and routines.

Resources

https://www.thecommunicationtrust.org.uk/

Continue to work on Speech and Language targets set by the Speech and Language Therapist (if already seen).

https://www.speechandlanguagekids.com/free-speech-language-resources/

In the menus below you will find information and guidance from the NHS, the Government and local services to support you and your family during this time. 

Advice From Kent Educational Psychology

 

The Contented Child

At All Souls' we work closely with The Contented Child, and during this time they are offering online workshops. Niki Green, the Founder, has supported many children and families within our community and we are pleased that she is able to continue to do so. The workshops can be accessed virtually. Click here and take a look.