I am the Family Support Worker at Addington School and I aim to provide extra support for those parents who feel they have concerns. I often work with our specialist teams within school to help support our young people and their families. Examples of particular areas I have provided support in are issues surrounding toilet training, behaviour and feeding. I am also available to help support parents and carers with accessing information and services, and will update this page on a regular basis with links to useful, (& fun!), events and courses.
If you feel you need additional support, please contact me by phone on 01189 669073 or email
QUIET SHOPPING EXPERIENCES
Shopping can be a bit of a chore, but when you are also having to take into account the sensory needs of your young person, it can be even more stressful. Below is a list of local stores that operate a quiet shopping hour, as well as a useful online tools to find Autism/ Sensory friendly shopping events in your local area, (this could also be useful when on holiday, or visiting relatives!)
ALL DETAILS ARE CORRECT AT TIME OF PUBLISHING - WE RECOMMEND CONTACTING STORES BEFORE YOUR FIRST VISIT TO CONFIRM!
The Oracle, Reading run a quiet time session every Tuesday from 9.30am to 10.30am.
Morrisons, Woosehill run quiet shopping time on Saturdays from 9am - 10am
Asda, Lower Earley run quiet shopping time on Tuesdays from 10am - 11am
Use this on line tool from the National Autistic Society to find Autism/ Sensory friendly shopping events in your area.
HAVE YOU HEARD ABOUT...........SUNFLOWER LANYARDS
The Sunflower Lanyard scheme was first introduced by Gatwick Airport in 2016; staff are trained to recognise that a service user wearing the lanyard has a hidden disability, and may benefit from additional support and understanding to improve their experience. The scheme is support by charities such as the RNIB, The National Autistic Society and Action on Hearing Loss.
The scheme has been so successful in helping service users and their families that it has been rolled out in 9 airports, (including Heathrow, Birmingham and Manchester), on some rail networks, and in a number of shops, including Sainsburys, Morrisons, Marks and Spencer and some Tesco stores.
UPDATE! Argos and Tesco have now rolled out the Sunflower lanyard scheme nationally!
You can buy lanyards, badges or wristbands online, but many stores offer these free of charge to parents and carers.
If you are planning to travel with your young person soon, or would like more information, check on your airport/ train line/ store website to see if they support the scheme, or ask Lucy and Ellie for details!
The following workshops are being delivered by the Speech and Language Therapy Team:
“An introduction to PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System)” on Mondays 14th and 21st
June (by invitation only)
“Signing to Support Speech” on Monday 28th June (open to all).
PARENT SUPPORT PUBLICATIONS
Below is a list of the publications from Parent Support at Addington; these can be downloaded and printed off at home. Please note, the file will appear with pages out of order, as this is what is needed for them to print off correctly!
Making a Self Referral to Social Services click here
We hope to resume these soon, depending on COVID restrictions.
SPOTLIGHT ON.......TOILET TRAINING
Toilet training any child can be a long and often frustrating process; when you add special needs, the process can become more drawn out. Whether it's occasional accidents, night time wetting or a young person who still needs to wear pads, families often need a little, extra support.
Please click here to access information on the stepping stones to toileting training.
For products that may be useful while you are taking the first steps with toilet training, that can support bed time wetting and that can move young people from pads to pants;
(PLEASE NOTE - These links are provided for information only and are in no way an endorsement of specific products or suppliers. Other suppliers and products are available).
We may also be able to support with toilet training by providing symbols to use at home for pupils who respond well to PECS or visual prompts. Please contact Ellie or Lewis directly if you would like support with this.
LOCAL OFFER AND ADDITIONAL SERVICES
For more information about the Reading Family Information Service, including information about the Local Offer, click here. For information on Reading's new service guide, please click here.For similar information regarding the Local Offer in the Wokingham area, click here.
There is a new service available to families in Berkshire. CYPIT is the Children’s and Young People’s Integrated Therapies.
This does not replace the clinicians within the school who are already working with children but does have useful advice and strategies that families can try with any child regardless of whether they have a statement/referral to the service or not. Please click here to access the CYPIT website
PLEASE NOTE - SOME COURSES ARE CURRENTLY ON HOLD DUE TO COVID RESTRICTIONS.
PLEASE SEE OUR COMMUNITY LINKS PAGE WHICH OFTEN CONTAINS DETAILS OF ONLINE COURSES FOR PARENTS AND OTHER USEFUL INFORMATION.
Wokingham are offering a 5 week course supporting parents and families of young people with additional needs and challenging behaviours called 1-2-3 Magic. The course helps with effective behaviour support and techniques. Please contact Ellie if you would like a referral made.
Wokinghams's Incredible Years Project is funding day and evening courses for parents of 4 to 8 year olds who are experiencing challenging behaviour from their youngsters.
Every month, the CAN network publishes a newsletter with details of activities, clubs, events and services which are available to young people with Additional Needs and their families. Please see our community links page for the latest newsletter.
Families Online also have a comprehensive guide of activities and events on in the Thames Valley. Please click here to access.The Ark run a weekly social club from the St. Crispins Leisure Centre, Wokingham. The Friday Night project is for those aged 18 and above, click here for full details.
CLOTHING AND EQUIPMENT
BundleBean provide wheelchair and buggy covers and cosies which are easy to store, easy to fit and come in a range of attractive designs. Please click here for more details.
Following a request from a special needs mum, Marks and Spencer have started to provide a range of all in ones and body suits for older children. These go up to aged 16. They have also started an 'easy dressing' school uniform range, using velcro to help with buttons and having no labels and soft seams to help with sensory issues. Click here to view the range, available to order online.
LINKS TO SERVICES, ACTIVITIES AND CHARITIES
Firefly Community is an on line community for special needs families. There is lots of information, blogs and product reviews from real families as well as information regarding campaigns that the community is backing, (Changing Spaces and Go TO Chairs in supermarket trollies). Click here to access their website.
Contact a Family is an organisation which provides information and support to families needing extra help because of their child's disability or medical conditions. Click here to find out more about the support they offer to children, parents and carers.
The Challenging Behaviour Foundation have many useful links on the web page, including information about support groups and training. To access their site, click here.
Yvonne Newbold is a writer, speaker, campaigner and parent who shares her knowledge and skills around violent and challenging behaviour (VCB). Click here to access her website, with lots of information, tips and strategies.
Domestic violence can affect anyone at any time. Please click here for more information on advice and local support.
Samaritans can offer support when you need it most; they can be reached 24 hours a day, 365 days a year on 116 123. The call is free, and doesn't have to be a last resort; they can be there to listen when you feel you need someone there.
Relationships can become difficult for many reasons. Life can feel hard for many reasons. It sometimes helps to talk.
Click here for information regarding Relate Counselling Services. Click here for information on ARC Counselling Services.
Citizens Advice Bureau can help with free, confidential information and advice to assist people with money, legal, consumer and other problems. Click here for information regarding local offices, contact information and their opening times.
Homelessness is a real issue, especially in the South and South East. If you are worried about your situation, or about someone else, click here for information on supporting the homeless.
For a list of useful telephone numbers to access a wide variety of services click here
SUPPORT WITH FUNDING
When statutory services can not provide treatment or supplies for families, there can sometimes be an option to approach charities for additional funding and support. Below are details of three separate charities, who may be able to help families fund one off expenses or additional treatments/ equipment.
Family Fund can give grants for essential items such as washing machines, cookers, computers and family breaks. Please click here to access their website for more details.
Cauldwell Children can also provide funding for medical treatment under certain circumstances. Their website provides a full explanation of what they cover, and under which circumstances, click here.
The Boparan Charitable Trust aims to help young people with disabilities and life-limiting conditions. More detail of their work, and who they aim to support, is available on their website, click here.
Wokingham SENDIASS are an independent advocacy and advice service for children and young people with additional needs, and their families. Please click here for contact details.
Wokingham REACH are now known as as SEND Voices Wokingham and are also another excellent source of information and support, click here for details on how to contact them.
SENDirect is a new, online service which allows families of children with SEN to find, compare and buy activities, support and services for their young people. Click here for a link to their website.Local charity INSAAN have launched their full website, please click here for information on the work that the charity is involved with, and ways they may be able to support you and your family. DUE TO COVID, MANY CINEMAS HAVE SUSPENDED THEIR AUTISM/ FRIENDLY SCREENINGS. LINKS BELOW ARE STILL VALID.
The cinema can be a great opportunity for youngsters with additional needs and their siblings to enjoy a fun experience together. Many cinemas in the area now have Autism Friendly screening, which are also great for children with additional needs other than ASD, (reduced noise, soft lighting, the ability to get up and make a noise). Click here for details on the latest showings at Showcase cinema, click here for the latest showings at Vue and click here for the latest showings at Odeon.
Please click here to view information about ASD Family Help.
Please click here to view information for families from Wokingham Borough CouncilPlease click here for information about services, clubs etc. in the Reading Area
Please click here for information regarding New service for Parents and Carers around Employment / Training delivered through Berkshire Adviza (Connexions).
Please click here to view information about Scarlet Fever.