Win Big in Our New Year Bonanza Draw!

Start 2015 with a bang by winning £10,000 in our very special New Year Bonanza draw!

Our ‘Count Me In’ lottery is a great way to support Cerebra. For just £1.20 a week you could have the chance of winning £1,000 every Thursday.

In our New Year Bonanza Draw, instead of claiming the usual £1500, one very lucky winner will be bagging themselves a very nice £10,000 which is sure to put a smile on your face!

Both existing and new lottery supporters will be eligible to win this exciting prize and there is no limit to the number of tickets you can have- you can increase your chances of winning even more by having more than one ticket a week!

Of course, as well as standing the chance of winning yourself, you also help Cerebra to continue with its work and provide on-going, practical support to children and their families.

Without our loyal, regular supporters, we simply wouldn’t be able to reach out to the many thousands of children and families that need our help each year so do something great this year and join Cerebra’s “Count Me In” Lottery!

Joining our “Count Me In” Lottery couldn’t be easier! You can join on our website or call our Lottery Manager Sharon Bowen on 01267 244218.

Can we count you in?

New books in the library published in 2014

This month’s booklist is the new books we have that were published this year.

General

  • L6522 – Mindful Therapeutic Care for Children by Joanna North  ISBN 9781849054461
  • L6595 – Navigating the Medical Maze with a Child with ASD: a practical guide for parents by Sue Ming  ISBN 9781849059718
  • L6529 – A Practical Guide to Mental Health Problems in Children with Autism by Khalid Karim  ISBN 9781849053235
  • L6537 – Identifying Special Needs: checklists for profiling individual differences by Glynis Hannell  ISBN 9780415820233
  • L6588 – Understanding Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder: a guide to FASD for parents carers and professionals by Maria Catterick  ISBN 9781849053945
  •  L6605 & L6606 – Sleep Better: a guide to improving sleep for children with special needs by Mark Durand ISBN 9781598572940

Sensory processing

  • L6526 – The Anger Box: sensory turmoil and pain in autism by Phoebe Caldwell  ISBN 9781909810440
  • L6534 – Sensory Processing Challenges: effective clinical work with kids and teens by Lindsey Biel  ISBN 9780393708349
  • L6600 – Sensory Stories for Children and Teens with Special Educational Needs by Joanne Grace  ISBN 9781849054843

Communication

  • L6533 – Augmentative and Alternative Communication: models and applications for educators speech language pathologists psychologists caregivers and users by Filip Loncke  ISBN 9781597564984
  • L6579 – A Different Kettle Of Fish: a day in the life of a physics students with autism by Michael Barton  ISBN 9781849055321
  • L6583 – Colour Coding for Learners with Autism: a resource book for creating meaning through colour at home and school by Adele Devine  ISBN 9781849054416
  • L6586 – Talk To Me: conversation strategies for parents of children on the autism spectrum or with speech and language impairments by Heather Jones  ISBN 9781849054287
  • L6587 – Targeting Language Delays: IEP goals and activities for students with developmental delay by Caroline Lee  ISBN 9781606131985
  • L6594 – The Green Zone Conversation Book: finding common ground in conversation for children on the autism spectrum by Joel Shaul  ISBN 9781849057592

Personal Skills

  • L6536 – Personalisation in Practice: supporting young people with disabilities through transition to adulthood by Suzie Franklin  ISBN 9781849054430
  • L6601 – Tom Needs to Go: a book about how to use public toilets for boys and men with autism related conditions by Kate Reynolds  ISBN 9781849055215
  • L6602 – Exploring Friendship Puberty and Relationships: a programme to help children and young people on the autism spectrum to cope with the challenges of adolescence by Kate Ripley  ISBN 9781849054393

Children’s books

  • C0207 – Babies are Noisy: a book for big brothers and sisters including those on the autism spectrum by Anne Marie Harrison  ISBN 9781849054591
  • C0210 – My Autism Book: a childs guide to ASD by Gloria Dura-Vila  ISBN 9781849054386
  • C0211 – The Disappointment Dragon: learning to cope with disappointment for all children and dragon tamers, including those with Aspergers by K I Al-Ghani  ISBN 9781849054324
  • L6598 – Can I Tell You About Cerebral Palsy? by Marion Stanton  ISBN 9781849054645
  • C0214 – Can I Tell You About Tourette Syndrome? by Mal Leicester  ISBN 9781849054072
  • C0215 – Can I Tell You About Dyspraxia? By Maureen Boon  ISBN 9781849054478
  • C0229 – I’ll Tell You Why I Can’t Wear Those Clothes by Noreen O’Sullivan  ISBN 9781849055109

Motorsport Mum Returns to Racing

Maria Brown and her mini

Maria Brown and her mini

Maria Brown raised £1,570 for Cerebra by racing her Mighty Mini after taking a break to look after her son who has cerebral palsy.

Many parents who have a child with a disability will have experienced having to give something up in order to look after their child and cater for their additional needs.

Maria Brown was forced to give up her motorsport career eight years ago when she became pregnant with her son Piran. This sabbatical was only meant to be for a few years, however Piran was born prematurely and was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. This changed everything and she put her career on hold to dedicate her time to care for Piran. Despite the everyday challenges that Piran’s condition brings, Maria always intended to return to motorsport and is now in a position to do just that.

Before she was forced to put her career on hiatus, Maria very successfully competed in the Mighty Minis national race championship, becoming the first lady to ever win a Mighty Minis race. She later progressed to the more powerful Super Mighty Minis.

Since returning to the sport, Maria has become a qualified ARDS instructor and has worked with Formula Woman assisting female drivers to develop their racing skills. She also writes for Mini World magazine and now that she is once again a prominent voice in the world of motorsport, Maria is very keen to use her skills in order to raise awareness of Cerebral Palsy and the charities that support those affected by it, including Cerebra.

Maria Brown and her son with Community Fundraiser Sarah Hattersley

Maria Brown and her son with Community Fundraiser Sarah Hattersley

As well as helping to raise awareness of Cerebra and the work we do, Maria has recently raised a fantastic £1,570 through a racing event that she held, something that she is incredibly proud of and is hoping to build upon in the coming years.

In 2015 Maria will be competing with her own Mighty Mini with a view of contesting the championship, and will at the same time be hoping to raise as much awareness of Cerebral Palsy as possible.

The Mighty Minis championship enjoys an abundance of media interest through radio, national TV, local and national newspapers, Youtube, and other web based channels. Mighty Minis has its own program on Freeview television which will air every race in 2015. The championship organisers have also offered to have the press spot light on Maria and her project during the season.

More information about Mighty Minis Racing can be found at www.mightyminis.co.uk.

Minimising the effects of additional learning needs: Part 3

education3
The third in a four part series discussing parents’ common worries about education with special or additional needs.

Much is written about systems for identifying and meeting the educational needs of children with the most severe disabilities and learning difficulties, particularly at the moment information about the new system in England.  However, many more children have additional / special educational needs without being at the greatest / most complex level calling for a Statement, Education Health and Care Plan (new, in England) or Co-ordinated Support plan (in Scotland).  This is the third part in a series of four articles about the support for this larger group of children. Each article deals with a common worry parents have about their child’s education when they have special or additional needs.

You can read the other parts here: Part 1 and Part 2.

“My child has special / additional needs but the school does not say whether or how they are being addressed.”

In all parts of the UK, statutory codes and guidelines expect the education system to work with parents and keep them informed when a child is involved in assessment for or inclusion in SEN / AN provision.  Notwithstanding this, there are parents whose children do have these needs, yet are unaware of what is happening about them at school.
In some cases this could relate to a concern, brought out in particular by the new SEND Code in England, about disadvantage brought on by the “labelling” of children as needing SEN / AN provision.

If a teacher and school are putting in techniques and measures to give a child extra support, they may describe what they are doing without mentioning SEN / AN.  On the other hand, the official approach in all parts of the UK is not only of overt identification of needs, collaboration and sharing of ideas between education providers and families, but also there is an emphasis, particularly in the newer systems, on collaboration and sharing with the children themselves.

An analytical approach to the needs can be split into broad areas, e.g. cognition and learning; behaviour, social and emotional development; communication and interaction; and sensory and/or physical needs (Oxfordshire County Council, 2010).  Or, a starting point might be observing what tasks the child finds difficult, and what works to tackle these.  For example, it should be possible to identify a problem with working memory and to put strategies in place for this, as inhttp://www.learning-works.org.uk/susan-gathercole-workshop-1-pdf.  Exactly when to bring in specialist analysis of any of these areas (“triggers”) would often depend on judgement.

It may be useful to know about two methods that teachers and trainers use:  the lesson plan and personalised learning.  The lesson plan analyses what the teacher would like pupils to have learned by the end of a lesson or series of lessons, what points they will put over to the pupils, varied ways of putting over the material taking account of pupils’ individual differences, and how the teacher will ensure that the pupils have learned the material.

If a pupil has additional needs / a disability, the teacher may prepare a handout or something in a different format for that pupil, in addition to any materials that are prepared for other pupils.  Other elements of preparation may include where to position various children in the room, how they will organise any group work, how they will assist all the pupils to participate, and what the dynamics might be between different pupils.  Teachers should get to know your child, how they can best learn, how to approach them and what extra help they might need.

The approach is obviously different at different levels of education – nursery, primary, secondary etc.  One question to think about when preparing for transitions between different levels is, how will the child be able to deal with the different approaches and expectations of the new level of education they are moving into – for example, the more varied, demanding and academic secondary setting can be hard for children with additional needs to adapt to, which can bring out difficulties that were not apparent, or not important at primary level.

In other ways they may find the new environment exciting and challenging, and begin to enjoy making more of their own choices about things.  Parents might be able to predict some of these elements in their child, and help them and their school to prepare for them.

Without a Statement / EHC / CSP there is no annual review to discuss these things, but there are still other opportunities to discuss and plan with schools and to respond to reports.  A teacher who is aware of ways in which learning can be assisted for a pupil can incorporate those into lesson plans, remembering that there are likely to be several children with disparate additional needs in a class, as well as different characteristics and learning styles among all the other pupils; and of course subject-based teachers will deal with a number of groups of children in a day / week.

Personalised learning is a way of assessing the needs of a student with SEND, forming a relationship with them, finding out how they learn, planning ways of teaching them personally, and assessing progress as the teaching progresses (University of Exeter, 2010).

References

Luke S.D. and Schwartz A., Assessment and Accommodations (Evidence for Education, Volume 2, Issue 1, 2007, Resources updated October 2010, currently http://nichcy.org/wp-content/uploads/docs/eeaccommodations.pdf, moving at the end of September to http://www.parentcenterhub.org).

See also; Ideas that work: toolkit on teaching and assessing students with disabilities,  (US Office of Special Education Programs).  Some of the recommendations on teaching techniques for children with dyslexia, in Rose, J. 2009, Identifying and teaching children and young people with dyslexia and literacy difficulties, (DCSF Publications) could be useful for other SEN / AN issues as well.  One more out of the many resources containing practical ideas iswww.teachingideas.co.uk/more/specialneeds/contents.htm.

Oxfordshire County Council 2010, Guidance for identifying and supporting young children with special educational needs for early years settings, schools and support services.

SEND code of practice: 0 to 25 years (2014), (Dept for Education and Dept of Health, England).

University of Exeter (2010), Framework for personalised learning.

Daniel Shows off Weighted Cap

???????????????????????????????Daniel O’Connor has received a weighted cap specially made by Cerebra’s own Innovation Centre.

Weighted items can be very useful for children with sensory issues and conditions such as Autism as they can help them to feel grounded. This can help to increase a child’s concentration span which has clear benefits in a school setting.

The problem that many parents encounter is that weighted items are not always readily available or are unsuitable for their child’s specific needs.

That’s where the Cerebra Innovation Centre (CIC) comes in! The team recently created a weighted hat for nine year-old Daniel O’Connor who was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome in February 2014.

Daniel found it difficult to concentrate in class often becoming quite fidgety. He started using a weighted blanket which was given to him by one of his teaching assistants and would often put it on his head, saying that it “helped him concentrate”.

His mum Julie contacted Dr Ross Head at the CIC and explained the situation. It seemed that creating a weighted cap for Daniel was the best solution!

The team took one of Daniel’s own caps and stitched in a specially developed a rubber-like sheet material that is tough and flexible, yet dense enough for even the thinnest of layers to offer enough weight for the cap.

The cap has had a huge positive impact on Daniel’s life and he says that when he is wearing it, the hat helps him to concentrate, and he can think for longer.

Julie said: “I can’t thank Cerebra and Dr Ross Head enough, and as for Daniel, the cap looks a lot better on him than wearing a blanket on his head!”

Cattle Country Adventure Park Trip

slide mainFamilies enjoy a great day out at Cattle Country Adventure Park.

Cerebra’s network of Regional Officers organise many events throughout the year from our Parent/ Carer Forums where practical support and advice is given, to fun days out for all the family.

Our most recent event was arranged by one of our Regional Officers, Kate Hedger and involved a trip to Cattle Country Adventure Park in Gloucester.

Twenty eight lucky families were given tickets to get into the park for free and enjoy all of the facilities including the indoor play barns, trampolines and ice skating.

Of course, no trip to a farm park would be complete without encountering some of the animals and the day certainly didn’t disappoint with the children getting to meet guinea pigs, ducks and even reindeer!

You can keep up to date with Cerebra’s upcoming events on our What’s On pages.

Here are some lovely pictures from the day:

Daniel Shows off Weighted Cap

Daniel and his weighted cap

Daniel and his weighted cap

Daniel O’Connor has received a weighted cap specially made by Cerebra’s own Innovation Centre.

Weighted items can be very useful for children with sensory issues and conditions such as Autism as they can help them to feel grounded. This can help to increase a child’s concentration span which has clear benefits in a school setting.

The problem that many parents encounter is that weighted items are not always readily available or are unsuitable for their child’s specific needs.

That’s where the Cerebra Innovation Centre (CIC) comes in! The team recently created a weighted hat for nine year-old Daniel O’Connor who was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome in February 2014.

Daniel found it difficult to concentrate in class often becoming quite fidgety. He started using a weighted blanket which was given to him by one of his teaching assistants and would often put it on his head, saying that it “helped him concentrate”.

His mum Julie contacted Dr Ross Head at the CIC and explained the situation. It seemed that creating a weighted cap for Daniel was the best solution!

The team took one of Daniel’s own caps and stitched in a specially developed a rubber-like sheet material that is tough and flexible, yet dense enough for even the thinnest of layers to offer enough weight for the cap.

The cap has had a huge positive impact on Daniel’s life and he says that when he is wearing it, the hat helps him to concentrate, and he can think for longer.

Julie said: “I can’t thank Cerebra and Dr Ross Head enough, and as for Daniel, the cap looks a lot better on him than wearing a blanket on his head!”

Research Conference Review

conferenceOn 7th October 2014 Cerebra held its Annual Conference at the Royal Society of Medicine in London. The conference looked at different ways to solve the problems faced by families in accessing services and support for children with complex needs.

The key message for the Conference was to look at practicable ways forward for service users to access services, as continual evidence and research shows that people face constant difficulties with this. Cerebra’s aim is not to make changes to the law but to look at ways of ensuring that service providers implement the law as it stands. Hopefully delegates feel that they enhanced their knowledge and understanding by attending our Conference.

With the exceptionally high calibre of speakers and the variety of topics covered the content proved to be informative to both professionals and parents/carers alike. All of the speeches were videoed on the day and will be available on our website soon.

The first section of the programme was entitled ‘Common problems faced by families of disabled children’. This part looked at the research that is being conducted by Cerebra’s Academic Chairs relating to studies into the experiences encountered by families in challenging services, the impact of socio-economic influences on disabled families and looking at the responses and strategies in meeting the needs of children with severe intellectual disabilities. The speakers included:

Professor Chris Oliver (Cerebra Centre for Neurodevelopmental Disorders, School of Psychology, University of Birmingham)

Professor Richard Hastings (Centre for Educational Development, Appraisal and Research, University of Warwick)

Dr Janet Read and Dr Clare Blackburn (Warwick Medical School)

Alison Thompson, a parent, who gave a powerful and very moving speech relating to her experiences of dealing with different service providers as a mother of child diagnosed with ADHD. You can read her presentation here.

After an amazing lunch, the second section of the programme related to ‘Moving Forward’. Here Cerebra was extremely lucky to secure as speakers:

Dr Maggie Atkinson, the Children’s Commissioner for England whose speech was aptly titled ‘We want to help people see things our way’. After having spoken to numerous disabled children, she urged the audience of the need to look past their disabilities and see them as wanting to be treated as every other teenager.

Nigel Ellis, Executive Director, Local Government Ombudsmen. He gave the audience examples of complaints that had been made to him that related to the failure of local authorities to provide children with the necessary services, of which education made up the largest area of complaints.

The final section of the day ‘Problem Solving’ comprised of talks given by:

Polly Sweeney who is an Associate Solicitor at Irwin Mitchell. She gave an in depth look at Part 3 of the Children and Families Act 2014

Professor Luke Clements who is the key force in Cerebra’s Legal Entitlements Research Project. He discussed at length the focus of this project and relayed to the audience some of the legal opinions that had been produced in a Digest of Opinions that related to CAMHS, school transport and NHS services

At the end of each of the three sections conference chair, and Head of Cerebra Trustees, Professor David Rose fielded questions from the delegates which gave them the opportunity to clarify matters arising from the speeches. These questions were answered in detail and made some very complex issues clearly understandable and produced some thought provoking answers.

In addition to the talks, there were a number of exhibitors at the event who included Irwin Mitchell Solicitors, Autistica, Firefly and Wizzybugs.

Along with these there were information stands from our Academic Chairs at: University of Barcelona, University of Birmingham, University of Cardiff, University of Leeds, University of Exeter, Cerebra Innovation Centre.

Cerebra would like to thank all of the speakers and exhibitors for giving up their time to join us on the day.  We are particularly grateful to have received sponsorship from the Big Lottery Fund and Irwin Mitchell Solicitors – their support made the conference possible.

Next year’s conference has been booked for Thursday 3rd December 2015 and will be at the Royal Society of Medicine again. Further details about this event will be forthcoming shortly.

Product Review: Safe and Sound Travel Pod

Safe and Sound Travel Pod

Safe and Sound Travel Pod

CIC bring you a review of the Creative Care Limited Safe and Sound Travel Pod, a portable safe sleeping area.

Over the years CIC have been asked many times for a solution to safe sleeping whilst travelling. Secure sleeping areas are readily available for permanent fixtures, and we have tried a few times to make something that would allow easy travel, perhaps sleeping over at Grandma’s house, going on holiday etc. But we have never succeeded in anything structurally sound enough that we would be happy to release. So when we came across the fantastic Creative Care Limited and their Safe and Sound Travel Pod we were over the moon that we can now direct people to the perfect solution to this problem!

Not only are Creative Care Limited a great, friendly and ethical company, they have an amazing product, beautifully made from quality materials and it is the best priced unit on the market. By designing and manufacturing in-house, and cutting out the middle men, Creative Care Limited are able to bring you this product for the best price possible.

travel-pod-car

It gets better: The Safe and Sound Travel Pod has also been designed by former aircraft engineer Tom, to be the smallest and most portable unit available! The unit weights 25kg in total and has been cleverly engineered to fold into 2 bags, both of which will fit width ways between the wheel arches of an average car – this was a vital criteria for Tom, as the unit is portable. Using an innovative camp bed arrangement they have also removed the bulky mattress which increases portability.

Some of the results of using the Creative Care Limited bed ranges are outstanding. Some children have been clinically proven to be able to reduce their sleep medication, and others have stopped using it completely and are getting their best night’s sleep in their lives – and so are their parents!!

The enclosures are shown to be so comfortable and comforting that kids are making the choice themselves to sleep inside to get some rest and get away from the bustle of family life for a bit of “me- time”.

A sale or return scheme is also available for those who would like a demonstration of the pods before purchase, with the only cost being for the postage.

Please feel free to visit: http://www.creativecareltd.co.uk/support/useful-contacts/ or call the Creative Care Limited team on 07585667248 or 07731793687 for more information and current pricing.

Books on Behaviour in our library

library-booksThis month we bring you a list of the books in our library covering behaviour.

For kids:

  • C0151 – Dont Behave Like You Live in a Cave

Advice for parents:

  • L6377 – Power Parenting for Children with ADD/ADHD: a practical guide for managing difficult behaviours
  • L6350 and L6286 – The Explosive Child: a new approach for understanding and parenting easily frustrated chronically inflexible children
  • L6420 and L6450 – Calm Your Hyperactive Child: coping with ADHD and other behavioural problems
  • L6416 and L6530 – Help Your Child or Teen Get Back on Track: what parents and professionals can do for childhood emotional and behaviour problems
  • L6364 and L6296 – No Fighting No Biting No Screaming: how to make behaving positively possible for people with autism and other developmental disabilities
  • L6031 – Achieving Best Behaviour for Children with Developmental Disabilities
  • L1611 – Bringing Up a Challenging Child at Home
  • L6460 – Children with Social Emotional and Behaviour Difficulties and Communication Problems: there is always a reason
  • L6180 – Encouraging Appropriate Behaviour for Children on the Autism Spectrum
  • L1610 – Communication-Based Intervention for Problem Behaviour
  • L1664 – The Good The Bad and The Irritating: a practical approach for parents of children who are attention seeking

Especially in class:

  • L6551 – Including Children With Attention and Behaviour Difficulties in the Foundation Stage
  • L1532 and L1608 – A Practical Guide to Solving Pre-school Behaviour Problems
  • L6188 – Getting the Buggars to Behave: advice on behaviour management in the classroom

Anger for children:

  • C0157 – A Volcano in my Tummy: helping children to handle anger
  • C0131 – Exploring Anger with Your Child
  • C0176 – The Red Beast: controlling anger in children with Aspergers Syndrome

Anger for parents:

  • L6421 – Exploring Anger: cognitive behaviour therapy to manage anger
  • L6526 – The Anger Box: sensory turmoil and pain in autism
  • L6437 – Anger Management: session plans using strength based solutions

Anxiety:

  • C0212 – The Panicosaurus: managing anxiety in children including those with Asperger Syndrome
  • L6241 – Helping Your Anxious Child
  • L6422 – Exploring Feelings: cognitive behaviour to manage anxiety