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Supporting Your SEN Child At Home

04/27/2020

Though every child with SEN has their own individual needs, I am sure that a lot of parents/carers will find themselves on common ground as we navigate our way through this lockdown. Below are some suggestions that might help make life at home a little easier, but this is by no means an exhaustive list, so I have also included just some of the fantastic organisations and resources out there.

  1. BE CURIOUS: As the parent/carer, you will know your child better than anyone and will know what their needs are in ‘normal’ circumstances. Pay attention to how your child has/is responding to this change of events and ask them how they are feeling about everything. Anxiety is very common and will no doubt be amplified at this time, so encourage your child to talk about their worries or concerns.
  • KEEP A ROUTINE: As I have previously said, routine is really important at the moment and can help manage anxious children (and parents). For children with SEN, it can be helpful to mimic the school day and have a visual timetable of events – your child will know what to expect of each day and what comes after each activity or task. Involve your child in the timetabling so they can consider what would be helpful to them.
  • CREATE A CALM SPACE: As your child is adapting to learning at home, it is helpful to create a ‘school space’ that is quiet and calm. This is especially important for those with any sensory processing difficulties or anxiety. Involve them in the process of creating this space.
  • PLAY: As said previously, play is a highly effective way to connect with your child and alleviate anxiety. It can be as simple as playing a board game. There are lots of ideas on the Sensory Projects website, particularly for younger children.

The following websites provide a huge range of resources and support for parents with SEN children and how to manage during the Covid 19 outbreak:

www.contact.org.uk

https://www.specialneedsjungle.com/

www.sense.org.uk

www.dingley.org.uk

https://disabledchildrenspartnership.org.uk/

http://www.thesensoryprojects.co.uk/home

www.autism.org.uk/

For more information or questions about this topic or any others mentioned, please get in touch.

APCAM (Assisting Parents of Children Affected By Mental Health) is a charity based in Oxfordshire, who do amazing work to support families who are struggling with mental health and emotional difficulties. More information can be found at https://apcamgroup.org.uk

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