Parenting is not always easy and lockdown has added to the challenges. We look at some SEN support available.

Bright Heart

Bright Heart

Community support is available for parents. It helps to share challenges and to support each other.

Supporting Parents of Children with SEN

Parenting is not always easy and lockdown has certainly added to the challenges. Many parents are finding it a struggle to balance work, their children’s homeschooling and the need to make some time for themselves. This can be especially difficult when you have a child with special needs. Parents of children with SEN are therefore sometimes in need of additional support.

Help is at hand. We’ve done a short round up on some options available.

For Parents

  • Get in touch with SENDIASS in London. This service aims to help parents, children and young people and professionals work together to provide the best possible support to children and young people with SEN.
  • Connect with SEN Talk Parent Support Facebook group which supports the whole family. This group champions neurodiversity for children and young people, families and the wider community. They are based in Battersea, London
  • Get in touch with Merton and Southwest London Dyslexia Association through Wandsworth THRIVE. This organisation provides advice and information for individuals with dyslexia and their families and carers. For a £10 membership fee, the group also offers advice to parents about their child's dyslexia and an advisor who can attend school/council meetings to discuss their child's special educational needs.
  • Ealing parents of children with ADHD in need of a support group can contact Wendy to find out more about the drop in surgery/ coffee morning twice a month at the Grange Children's Centre in Ealing. For more details contact Wendy on 07970 698 739
Support is available in the community for parents of a child with special needs.

For Dads

We recognise that dads are not always the first person in the family to reach out for help. With this in mind, we have included some options aimed specifically at dads.

  • Take 5 and Chat is a parenting additional needs support group on Facebook (it also has a website). It specifically helps dads of children with SEN. Dads are able to talk through any of their difficulties here.
  • Alternatively you could get help from a non-profit or church-based organisation such as Who Let The Dads Out.
  • Connect with Autism Dads Support Facebook group which has around 3,000 members specifically for dads and male carers of children and young adults with autism.
  • Dads who are in need of support with a child or children with ASD in Hounslow, reach out to this Autism Dads Support group in your area.
There are many dads in similar situations. Connecting and sharing helps.

Giving back to the community

Being able to lean on the expertise, experience and resources of others who work with children with special needs and their families can make a real difference.  You may find you need a combination of different types of support, from therapy or counselling, to familial support for practical care-giving, to educational support from occupational therapists or tutors.

As you progress and gain a sense of feeling supported from within your community, don’t lose sight of how you initially felt before you received the help you needed.  Try to find ways to give back where you can. To help manage the pressures of special needs parenting, we should be willing to reach out and accept help. We should also be prepared to offer it.  It is in community that we can make progress, knowing that we don’t journey alone.

You may find your community within a Facebook Group you belong to, a book club, a church or sports club, your family circle or a non-profit organisation you’ve dealt with.

Don't hesitate to get help for yourself or child should you feel it's needed

What has been your experience as a parent of a child with SEN? We would love to hear about it on our Facebook page, or feel free to get in touch directly to chat.

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