The pioneering STARS putting patients at the heart of healthcare

Photo of my boys aged 2 & 3

Long ago, when my both my boys were under three and I was still perfecting the art of smiling while drowning (lest anyone should think I couldn’t cope with motherhood), Son2 momentarily died. For more than a moment, but less … Keep Reading…

How Sir Stelios is offering entrepreneurs with disabilities a chance for a £50k business boost

Stelios logo

It’s always been tougher for young people with disabilities to get ahead, whether it’s through college, into a job or even starting their own business. If you are such a person or you know of a young disabled person who … Keep Reading…

SEND reforms: Transformation or Missed Opportunity?

blackboard image with story title: SEND reform, A transformation or an opportunity lost?

A research paper discussing the 2014 special educational needs reforms in England, has raised serious questions about the legislation’s ability to improve inclusion and equality for those it was designed to help. In his paper, Nick Peacey, Visiting Research Associate, at UCL Institute of … Keep Reading…

When families ask for RESPECT, what do they mean?

IMAGE WITH WORD RESPECT ON IT

Parent carers often emphasise what they’d like to have more ‘respect’ from practitioners and service providers. But what does that actually mean? For some, that may mean referring to us in a more formal way, for example calling me Mrs … Keep Reading…

Direction of SEND travel: @AspieDeLaZouch wonders if we’re en route to more special schools

go open the door as an image

As a young boy, on my way to a hospital appointment at The Brompton or Great Ormond Street (I can’t remember which, I visited both quite a lot), I became separated from my mother. Only by a couple of feet, … Keep Reading…

Dropping SEN figures and the ‘waiting room’ category: the DfE replies

sen figures

A couple of weeks ago, we reported on the latest SEN figures for England that were released by the Department for Education. We noticed that there had been a rather steep drop in the number of children with SEN – 2.5%. … Keep Reading…

£35 million cuts to children’s Mental Health services: Speak up to stop CAMHS cuts!

young minds infographic

In January 2015, the government pledged £1.25 billion funding for improving children’s mental health services. A  Children’s Mental Health Taskforce was set up and produced some findings in a “Future in Mind” report that we highlighted with our own views in … Keep Reading…

Ever thought about setting up your own Free School?

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I am sure many of you, at one time or another, have considered setting up your own school.  Maybe you have had problems finding a school that could meet the needs of your child or maybe you found one but … Keep Reading…

SEN figures show 2.5% drop in children with special educational needs in England

SEN figures infographic

Just as we agreed to go down to two posts a week over summer (with a week off in August), the Department for Education dropped the 2015 SEN figures. Sigh. So, we’ve made an infographic to make it easier to … Keep Reading…

10 tips for geneticists from parents of children with undiagnosed and rare diseases

Travis, american journal of genetics

One of the biggest problems experienced by parents of children with long-term medical conditions is communicating and maintaining relationships with medical professionals. When the child has a rare disease or a condition so rare it remains undiagnosed, it can be … Keep Reading…

Unfair, flawed and not joined up: Why fixing SEN funding matters. #CountMeIn

image of report front cover

SNJ Note: Today we welcome back the SENCo, known by his Twitter handle, @AspieDeLaZouch. He wrote for us a few months ago about SEN Funding. Last week some research on SEN funding was released and ADLZ has written for us … Keep Reading…

SEN Assessments and Outcomes: What and when

Tania Tirraoro, Alastair Kent

I had a very busy day on Tuesday at the 25th Anniversary conference of national and international charity, Genetic Alliance UK. There is some really exciting work being done in genetic and rare disease research and patients are increasingly involved in … Keep Reading…

Why SEND department targets mean ‘culture change’ reform may never happen

The Keer boys

Today’s guest post, from father of two deaf sons, Matt Keer, may shock you. It may, as it did to me, bring you to the edge of angry tears. It’s like the plot of a Kafka novel, surreal and senseless. But … Keep Reading…

A labour of love to create an accessible Algarve holiday centre

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One of the many challenges that parents and carers of children with disabilities and/or special educational needs face is finding suitable places to take a break and go on holiday. It can be very difficult to even plan a full … Keep Reading…

Banned from Prom, but my school refuser son’s new future beckons

Image: let go of the past

What happens now… A while back I wrote a piece about school refusal and gave some ideas that were hopefully helpful for other people experiencing a similar situation. Our story has moved on and as of this June 2015, my … Keep Reading…