Tag Archives: publication

Little man features in an NAS publication on toys for children with autism

8 Jan
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A good few months before Christmas myself and the Little man were ever so lucky to be sent a lovely invitation to join Sarah Milne, her little boy William and some of his friends for a day of Christmas toy testing for a piece Sarah was writing for the National Autistic Society’s NAS magazine.

 Sarah’s a freelance writer who also writes the blog ‘Oliver and Will’s’ which is based on Sarah’s life as a mum of 3 with the added addition of Oliver the families Golden retriever who has formed a special bond with William as Sarah trains him to assist her little boy with the more social aspects of his world. William, Like Little man has Asperger’s syndrome with other additional needs. 

 Sarah had organised for some of this years top toys to be sent her way so all four children each diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum, could try them out and voice their opinions.

 The whole idea was to create a list of recommended toys that may appeal to children with autism, Sarah would establish what toys suited the children best by observing how they played and interacted with each toy accompanied by the added feed back from both the child and their parent(s)

 There was a photographer also present who done a great job in taking the children’s pictures considering, he had a toy helicopter flown into his head on at least five occasions (would have to be my Little man wouldn’t it)

 Well, just before Christmas the article was published in the NAS magazine.  

 Sarah did an awesome job in creating the 2 page spread and the photographer took lots of shoots of Little man flying his Helicopter (I say his as Sarah was so kind to let all the children take a toy home with them & given that Little man was overly obsessed with the helicopter, this was of course his choice).

 I found it to be a wonderful experience… considering the fact I was in somebody’s house I didn’t really know (well, apart from a tweet here and there through cyber space) yet I felt really at ease and so did Little man! This is because we were joining other families similar to that of our own, no one judged one another and Sarah made it a really lovely few hours with her brilliant hosting.

 It was lovely to chat with Sarah about our boys and all them little things that make them extra special! All in all it was a really positive day that lead to a great publication in the NAS members magazine

 We, hope that little man’s involvement helped Sarah in her mission to create her fantastic article and that the article helped parents and members of the NAS find toys that their children would really want to open and play with on Christmas morning, instead of having cupboards full to the rim with unopened toys (something both myself and Sarah know all about)!

 Sarah, thanks so much for such for a truly brilliant day, I hope we can meet sometime again in the future. 

 Please check out the publication which I was lucky enough to obtain in a PDF format in-order to share with all my readers. 

 Little mans smiling face as he plays with the helicopter is clearly noticeable which just shows how relaxed and happy he was amongst a room through off people.

 The PDF is attached to this post and will open in a new window, just click the link.Pgs 14-15 CommunicationWinter11

I think my readers would also really enjoy Sarah’s blog ‘Oliver and Will’s’ So, why not pop over and check it out?

Just click HERE

Special Educational Needs-Getting Started With Statements

31 Oct


 I remember all to well what its like to come up against the system when you haven’t even got the slightest clue what the words “Statement” and “SEN” mean.

 I had to wise up fast, and I did! I learnt everything that needed to be learnt, because I knew I needed to for my child to get where he is now.

 Once I had wised up, I stated advising parents on their tribunal rights on a voluntary basis which is extremely rewarding. Yes, it was hard to learn education law as it applies to special educational needs but its given me great satisfaction.

 This is why I was keen to read the new parent to parent hand book,

 “Special Educational Needs, Getting Started with Statements” By, ‘Tania Tirraoro’ a mother to two autistic boys from Farnham Surrey.

 Tania’s aim is to help other parents navigate their way through the educational needs jungle.

 I’ve been a follower of Tania’s for the past 2-3 years, as like myself she writes her own blog and started around the same time as myself back in 2008. Some of you may all ready know of Tania’s work from her site “Special educational needs jungle” which I have always found to be a valuably resource for parents whom have children that are not only on the autism spectrum, but those of children with special educational needs (SEN) .

 Tania’s book is availably as an Ebook as well as a published paperback.

 THE MAIN STRUCTURE OF THE BOOK

What’s particularly difficult when trying to explain the statementing process to another in way of written content, is the need to keep it simple (well, as simple as it can be when advising on a complex process such as SEN). Its my opinion that Tania has done this extremely well! She has broken up the procedure into sections and remained on topic within each area. I feel that many books and sites that are explaining the statementing procedure tend to wonder off course, making the reader quite confused.

 The forward within the book is by Maria Hutching’s SEN Campaigner and former parliamentary candidate who hand bagged Tony Blair during the 2005 election over the closure of special schools.

 Maria states how she only wished she had a book like this one when fighting for her own children’s education.

 This is followed by an introduction and then a description on what “Statementing” actually is. Parents who are new to the statementing process, should read this chapter in order to fully understand the book further. Tania has done a great job explaining what a statement is and why your child may require one! Readers are then introduced to some resources such as the ‘SEN Code of practice’ and the Education act, before reading a detailed chapter headed “Getting Prepared”

 The book then explains the who procedure in detail from start to finish, supplying real example from successful applications with the injection of relevant quotes from the ‘SEN Code Of Practice’ (Cop)

 Tania really does cover every step in great detail and is sure to warn parents that they shouldn’t expect an easy ride. Regardless of this fact, Tania is always sure to follow up on a positive, the book is extremely motivating, empowering parents to go with their instincts and not give up. The fact that the writer has been through the process and came out the other-side having got what her boys need to succeed in education, is truly uplifting and inspiring for the reader. I feel the use of material from successful applications was also extremely beneficial as well as uplifting and helpful. There was some great common examples were a case seemed a little doomed, yet succeeded. This shows parents that although the LEA do have these big fancy solicitors, that sadly most cant afford, they can still do it, on their own.

 This is very true as nobody knows our child better then us, the parent! I like the very honest and direct approach Tania has provide, there is no sugar coating, she doesn’t state it’s a walk in the park, which helps the parent/reader become fully prepared for what may lay ahead!

It is my belief that this is what parents need, the whole package, of what can happen, the good but also the not so good.

 Other helpful subjects Tania covered was of course the

I liked that Tania went a little deeper by covering the issue of relationships (between parents and school/sencos [special educational needs co-ordinator]) She explains why the break down of these relationships can  make it that bit more difficult when going through the process.

 One of the most impressive sections of the book for me, had to be the statementing checklist, that has made some excellent points. Like Tania states many parents feel their child’s needs are evident! This simply isn’t the case and parent needs to know this. I feel it is very common for a parent to assume that a diagnosis will automatically entitle their child to everything else. Parents are often shocked when they discover this isn’t the way in which it works.

 Tania covers everything from the writing of the application for statutory assessment; the refusal of that application; the application to appeal; the agreement to assess, the stages of the assessment and time-scales; the proposed statement; time scales; parental response and request for the school named in part 4, plus more.

WHAT’S DIFFERENT ABOUT THIS BOOK FROM ALL THE OTHERS

 I have read many books that are written by mothers of a child on the autism spectrum, however, most are personal stories that are not told in a way that offers advice and guidelines, it’s more like a life story you can relate to.

 The book,  “Special Educational Needs, Getting Started with Statements” still has that personal feel, after all it’s written by a mother of two son’s with autism who has fought the same system! Nonetheless its also a very well written resource and guideline for parents facing the same battles.

 What’s nice is the fact that Tania is providing a much needed service for fellow parents and is doing so as a parent and not a professional. This is something most parents of children with SEN prefer, advice from a parent not a professional. Sadly it gets to the stage when you feel fellow parents are the only valid source of information when you are going through such a process and battling against your very powerful Local Education Authority.

 What I found very appealing throughout the book, was Tania’s words of motivation, and having gone through the process myself, can verify that at this stressful time encouraging words are most welcome, you cling to any positiveness with both hands right till the very end.

 Tania has done very well to draw attention to some very interesting and important points, such as, “How a child’s social & emotional needs must be taken into consideration when requesting a statutory assessment” I myself hear all to often on my facebook page, many mothers stating, “They told me I can’t apply for a statement, as my son is too bright” (Ok, so it doesn’t matter that his social communication is so poor it makes them depressed, or the child can’t  cope at break-time etc., etc….) Tania very clearly wipes out these myths making the statementing criteria easy to understand.

WAS THERE ANYTHING MISSING

 I wouldn’t say that their wasn’t anything missing, however I would state that it would have been a nice touch to have added a little jargon buster (explanation of some of the terms used) Even though Tania has been excellent at keeping Jargon to a minimum, not all can be avoided, a little list would have just been nice, through not essential.

 From a parent who has embanked on such a journey, with that added pressure to secure an independent special school, who has succeed in both, I think the book is a spectacular resource that will benefit many parents and carers who are desperately trying to secure a statement of SEN for their child.

I highly recommend this book for those who have children going through the ‘Statementing Process’

If that’s you then fly over to Amazon and get yourself a copy either in the format of an Ebook or the traditional paperback

Click HERE

DO YOU WANT TO WIN A PAPERBACK COPY OF THE FABULOUS

“SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS-GETTING STARTED WITH STATEMENTS” ? 

Then enter our super comp

ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS POP RIGHT OVER TO TANIA’S FACEBOOK PAGE, GIVE IT A LIKE AND TELL HER

“A BOY WITH ASPERGER’S SENT YOU TO SAY HELLO”

THEN LEAVE A COMMENT INFORMING ME YOU HAVE DONE!

(NOTE THE ABOVE IS A COMPLUSORY ACTION)

ADDITIONAL ENTRIES

(1) LIKE THE BOY WITH ASPERGER’S FACEBOOK PAGE. LEAVE ADDITIONAL COMMENT TO VALIDATE. 

(2) FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER (LINK IN SIDEBAR) LEAVE AN ADDITIONAL COMMENT TO VALIDATE.

(3 )TWEET THE COMPETITION USING THE TWITTER SHARE BUTTON. LEAVE AN ADDITIONAL COMMENT TO VALIDATE.

(4) SHARE ON FACEBOOK USING THE FB SHARE BUTTON. LEAVE AN ADDITIONAL COMMENT TO VALIDATE.

PLEASE LEAVE A TWITTER ID OR EMAIL ADDRESS SO PRIZE CAN BE SENT IN THE EVENT THAT YOU WIN.

Competition is for UK residents only! The competition willclose at Mid-night on the 30th November 2011

Winners will have 48hrs in which to respond, failure to do so may result in a redraw. You’re mailing address will be sent to the brands PR team who will then send our the prize for the lucky winner. All participants must have a valid email left with their comment.

Feeling a tad proud

28 Aug

Wow, can you believe it? I managed to get my article, “Big issues for Little Man” published in SEN magazine!

Back in late May I sent some press releases to the Media relating to the Mad Blog Awards. I was overjoyed when, ‘Peter’ the editor for ‘SEN magazine’ emailed me stating he really liked the blog, “Especially that of my latest article” (remember this was late May). Peter then went on to ask me  if  I would be interested in writing an article for the magazine based on my experiences parenting a child on the autism spectrum. 

Umm, Yes Please! 

SEN Magazine is a great resource for parents and professionals alike. It contains all the latest information on Special educational needs, as-well as host of other areas.

SEN contains resources and articles relating to a number of different conditions and disabilities. It provides contact details and links, pointing you in the right direction of all them need to know organisations! SEN, shares all the latest events and exhibitions and even has an online resource that shares extracts from the mag as-well as breaking news in the world of special education. 

The magazine is delivered via a subscription but is given as a free resource to all Special school. There is a free trail taking place at the moment, meaning you can have a copy of SEN delivered free of charge (try before you buy). I recommend this magazine to anyone with a child with special educational needs, (and no, it has nothing to do with my contribution what so ever) it’s just an awesome resource throughout!

I really didn’t think I would be able to upload a pdf file of my article on a,’wordpress.com’ blog (I have only been blogging here for like three years :))! 

Well, to my surprise and utter delight it turns out that I can! This means that I am able to now share my article with all my lovely online friends and anyone else for that matter! 

So, before you click the link and see the article I’m so very proud off, let me thank all my wonderful readers, new and old. Yes, its every single one of you guys that has helped me through the many battles I’ve faced as a parent to a boy with Aspergers.

 Could I see myself writing an article about the subject a year ago? No way! Life was far to messy to even contemplate such a thing! (Having your article published in a magazine, somehow feels a tad scarier then on the web!)

Writing this article actually shows just how far we’ve come as a family!

 The link will open a pdf file (Note: please feel free to download if you wish)! It would also be great if you could help me spread the news by sharing the link to my article online.

Thanks and enjoy

Claire-Louise 

SEN54 autism

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