We’re looking for people to take a look at a brand new booklet on improving the well-being of young children with learning disabilities, and to give their feedback.
Researchers at the University of Warwick are working with a group of parents of children with learning disabilities, Mencap, the Challenging Behaviour Foundation, and Cerebra to write a guide for parents to support the well-being of young children with learning disabilities.
The booklet combines what we know from research with parents’ personal experiences. The family activities within the booklet have been shown to be important for supporting the well-being of children with learning disabilities.
There are four chapters in the booklet, and parents are able to use the booklet flexibly depending on what information they want to know at the time. The chapters are about:
How to look after yourself
Organising family life
Spending time together
Activities to do with my child with a learning disability at home and outside
In England, the special educational needs (SEN) reforms introduced in September 2014 continue to be rolled out.
Although all SEN statements should be converted into Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans by April 2018 recent government figures show that 45% of the statements are still in place with only 19 out of the 152 English local authorities currently on track to meet the deadline.
Meanwhile in Wales, the Welsh Government’s proposed SEN reforms, which it hopes will pass into law at the end of the year, continue with the Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal (Wales) Bill being scrutinised by the Welsh Assembly.
At the same time a consultation is being carried out on how the reforms should be introduced. For now, however, nothing has changed and the current system remains in place meaning that parents can continue to request an assessment for a SEN statement. Information on the Welsh system can be found in Education in Wales: A Guide for Parents.
This guide has been prepared for parents of children with special educational needs (SEN) and/or disabled children living in Wales. It only applies to Wales and we have written separate guidance for England.
Our new three part Cerebra Anxiety Guide: A Guide for Parents has been developed to give up to date information on how to spot the signs of anxiety and anxiety disorders in children with an intellectual disability and looks at what can be done to help.
Anxiety and fear are our body’s built-in response to danger – our alarm system. When we are anxious or fearful our hearts beat faster and blood is directed to our muscles so that we are ready to protect ourselves from the danger by either ‘fighting’ or ‘fleeing’. We experience ‘fear’ when we have to tackle an immediate threat (e.g. getting out of a burning house); however, anxiety is experienced when we anticipate that something threatening might happen in the future (i.e, moving to a new home).
Signs of anxiety
There are many different signs that someone may be feeling anxious. These can be changes in the person’s body; changes to thoughts/thinking patterns; changes to emotions; changes to behaviour:
Changes to the body:
fast and irregular heartbeat
Changes to thoughts/ thinking patterns:
inability to concentrate
repetitive thoughts about perceived threat
concerns about losing control
inability to relax
Changes to emotions:
Changes to behaviour:
fidgeting/ moving more than usual
Children and individuals with mild communication impairments often have difficulty describing their emotions despite having some speech, so may describe physical symptoms such as stomach aches or feeling sick. As many of the signs of anxiety overlap with signs of physical health difficulties, it is very important to always ensure that a health problem is not underpinning your child’s behaviour and emotions and if you are in any doubt, contact your GP or paediatrician.
Further information about assessing whether your child may be experiencing pain can be found in Cerebra’s Pain guide.
This Accessing Public Services Toolkit aims to support disabled people and carers, as well as their families and advisers, who are encountering difficulties with the statutory agencies in relation to the provision of health, social care and education support services. This toolkit aims to unpick these problems and to develop effective strategies for resolving them.
This three part guide has been developed to give up to date information on how to spot the signs of anxiety and anxiety disorders and what can be done. Part one describes the common signs of anxiety and specific anxiety disorders. Part two describes the ways professionals assess anxiety in children with intellectual disability, and Part three gives guidance on helping your child reduce feelings of anxiety and gives some examples of specific disorders associated with anxiety.
This guide has been prepared for parents of disabled children in England who want to know how to get help for their child’s social care needs. It principally deals with the responsibilities of the local authorities to provide social care for disabled children, as well as support for the parents/carers of those children.
A number of changes have been made to the Special Educational Needs (SEN) and social care frameworks in England and Wales since 1st September 2014 and significant parts of this guide are no longer up-to-date.
We’re currently reviewing our information and we’ll update this page as soon as we can.
These Guides are provided free of charge but if you would like to make a donation to help cover the costs of research and updating, it would make a huge difference. You can donate online, or by text, sending CERE12 and then the amount to 70070 or telephone our Fundraising Department on 01267 224221.
Cerebra’s aim is to provide high quality health and social care information for the parents and carers of children aged 0-16 years with neurological conditions. Cerebra has been a certified member of the Information Standard since August 2013. The Information Standard is an independent scheme, supported by NHS England, to ensure only the highest quality health and social care information is produced. This means that our relevant products have been through the schemes rigorous quality control procedure. For more details on what it means to have achieved the Information Standard certification, visit:
Use only current, relevant, balanced and trustworthy sources of information and ensure they are clearly referenced.
Inform parents and carers about different conditions and the issues surrounding these so that they have a better understanding.
Empower parents and carers to make their own decisions and resolve problems and issues.
Cerebra is responsible for the accuracy of the information produced. The Information Standard shall not be responsible for any inaccuracies or omissions in the information published on Cerebra’s website. Weblogs, forums and personal experience pages/videos are excluded from the scope of certification.