Produced by LivPac & Chris Cavanagh (LCC Parenting Co-ordinator)
As Parenting Co-ordinator for Liverpool City Council, I am proud that we can offer parents across the city a platform to share their stories whilst offering resources from across a wide spectrum of organisations to support parents on their journey.
It has been a privilege to pull these SEND blogs and information together and I would like to thank the parents, LivPac and our partners for their support and assistance in piecing this jigsaw of information together.
Liverpool Parent and Carers Forum (LivPaC) is a group of parents and carers of children and young people with special education needs and/or disabilities (SEND) who work with education, health and care services to ensure the services they plan and deliver are fit for purpose and meet the needs of children, young people and their families across Liverpool. We have a Steering Group of parent and carer volunteers who lead this work and who actively seek out the experiences and views of parents and carers across Liverpool to make sure we know what is important to them.
We aim to give parents and carers a collective voice and use our experience, knowledge, and feedback from families to help commissioners and providers plan and develop the quality, range and accessibility of services families use.
What we do: Through our participation and co-production, we are working to create a culture across all services which places need of families at the centre of the decision making.
We aim to: Empower parents/carers to have a voice give information to be a collective voice for as many families as possible across Liverpool by providing a forum for views to help develop services work in partnership with a service provider, be supportive and accessible to all families across Liverpool provides examples of good practice, provide informal support, encourage and promote inclusive attitudes and practice.
“Alone, we can do so little. BUT together we CAN do so MUCH”
It is hard to go through COVID-19 with our children/young people in lockdown when they are full of anxiety and worry from not seeing their friends. As a forum, we have been doing three coffee sessions and 3-4 webinars a week with our partners The Isabella Trust, so that parents and carers, have access to tutors and knowing that they are not on their own. Since the beginning of lockdown, we with our partners The Isabella Trust have supported approximately 1600 families and professionals, from all areas of the UK, and we have gone worldwide to such places as Dubai, Bermuda, Cape Town, Nova Scotia and Barcelona.
Here, we get the lowdown on lockdown life according to single mother of two neurodiverse children, Natalia Figueroa Castilla. She speaks of the challenges the coronavirus pandemic has presented with regards to her new relationship, setting a routine and spreading her parental care to two children with different needs…
In this blog, Sue Kelly shares her experience in balancing the initial worry between her and her husband having to work from home while teaching three children – each with their own unique needs. She tells us how priorities shifted to maintaining collective mental health and wellbeing during the lockdown.
SEND Resources & Support
COVID-19 Guided Self-help Booklet Series
The University of Glasgow, with assistance from colleagues at Lancaster University and the University of Warwick, has published a series of guided self-help booklets developed to support people with mild to moderate learning/intellectual disabilities during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Printed versions are available to reach and include people with learning/intellectual disabilities who do not have internet access.
STARS: Coronavirus Resources for Children with Autism
Social Stories present information about coronavirus visually and so are easier to process for autistic children and young people. Choose the Social Story best suited to the child or young person you are working with, you may need to edit it so it is personalised to them.
The symbols provided can be used to create a home Visual Timetable to provide some structure to your child or young person’s day.
It may be valuable to use a Talking Mat; a visual scaffold designed to enable children and young people to express their views and concerns.
Try using Worry Plans to address specific worries the child or young person might have. Work together to list personalised strategies to address the worry, record them on the plan and keep it to refer to again.
You can discover the resources at www.starsteam.org.uk/coronavirus-resources.
LD Coronavirus Resources
Information for people with learning disabilities as well as useful things for staff teams and families: sites.google.com/view/learningdisabilitycoronavirus/home.
Emergency planning during the Coronavirus outbreak
Together Matters has written a guide with essential information to help family carers plan to get the support they need during the current crisis.
The guide has information and ideas for:
- coping with staying at home
- family carer/paid carer becoming ill
- their relative becoming ill
- their relative going to hospital
It’s designed for family carers to use with others, such as wider family, neighbours, friends, support organisations, carers’ centres or social workers who can give support with finding solutions and putting practical things in place. Visit www.togethermatters.org.uk/resources-and-information.
Tips on home schooling for families: www.afasic.org.uk/2020/04/tips-on-home-schooling-from-other-parents/.
FOCUS: Bereavement resources
Coronavirus and bereavement – Support for Schools / Settings and Parents / Carers
In the coming months, more children and young people are likely to have experienced bereavement through the effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19). This document aims to offer support to schools or settings and parents or carers on how best to support children and young people who have experienced loss during this uncertain time. The document outlines some key practical advice as well as signposting further expertise and resource.
This document has been written by Bracknell Forest EPS in collaboration with Innovate Services and is a valuable support resource in helping to tackle issues surrounding coronavirus and bereavement.
Cruse: Bereavement care including coronavirus dealing with bereavement and grief –
Child Bereavement UK: Help children and young people (up to age 25), parents and families, to rebuild their lives when a child grieves or when a child dies: www.childbereavementuk.org.
Grief Encounter: Child bereavement support – www.griefencounter.org.uk/about-us.
Winstons Wish: Child bereavement support: www.winstonswish.org/coronavirus.
Selfcare for Caregivers: The International School Counselor Association is a professional organization, which provides leadership and advocacy for the profession of school counselling in International Schools.
They have come up with a self-care for carers guide, which you can visit here: iscainfo.com/Self-Care-for-Caregivers.
FOCUS: Early Years / SEND resources: The EYSEND Partnership has developed a number of useful resources for settings, which you can view here.
FOCUS: Liverpool SEND Support Groups
Caring for SEND children is equally rewarding and challenging. Quite simply, doing it alone is a difficult task, which is why the LivPac team have created this handy SEND Resources and Support Information document to help find support which will hopefully make life easier for you and the children in your care.
FOCUS: Mental Health support
Calming down worries, for children: Children and parents alike can access Psychology 4 Learning’s helpful guide here.
Calming down worries, for adults: Parents and guardians alike can access Psychology 4 Learning’s helpful guide here.
Childline: Calm Zone – There are lots of ways to feel calmer. It’s about finding what works for our children. They can try some of Childline’s breathing exercises, activities, games and videos to help let go of stress by visiting www.childline.org.uk/toolbox/calm-zone.
A menu of activities to structure routine and time: Look after your wellbeing by finding purposeful balance. Most people will find the additional time that they now have difficult to manage because life is ordinarily organised and we are usually so busy. In the current situation, we now have more unstructured time than we may be used to. This activity menu may help you structure your time.
Taking CARE To Promote Mental Health in Schools and Colleges: The CARE animation is a short animation for all school and college staff that recognises the importance of supporting children and young people’s mental health in schools and colleges, and offers a simple principle for staff to remember: CARE (Curious, Approachable, Refer, Empathy).
Mindful and relaxation exercises that parents can do with younger children to help with managing anxiety
As well as the above video, Headspace also have some handy tips for helping kids to meditate: www.headspace.com/meditation/kids.
Managing anxiety about the virus as adults
Below is a list of useful resources which can help adults allay Coronavirus-related anxiety:
For Parents and Carers supporting a young person with mental health problems: This website aims to help parents and carers to help their young person by directing them to sources of support, advice and information: www.helpforparents.org.uk
Anxiety and world news: How to strengthen children & teens against anxiety after news of a world trauma: www.heysigmund.com/anxiety-in-children-after-world-trauma.
Managing anxiety age by age: A guide about what to expect age by age around anxiety, strategies and tips on when to get help: www.heysigmund.com/age-by-age-guide-to-fears.
How to talk to kids and teens about world trauma: This useful guide can be accessed here: www.heysigmund.com/how-to-talk-to-kids-and-teens-about-world-trauma.
Coronavirus Anxiety: 4 Ways to cope with Fear: Here’s a useful guide on how to cope with the anxiety and fear surrounding the coronavirus outbreak: psychcentral.com/blog/coronavirus-anxiety-4-ways-to-cope-with-fear.
Supporting Students Experiencing Childhood Trauma: Tips for Parents and Educators from the National Association of School Psychologists
This useful guide can be accessed here: www.nasponline.org/resources-and-publications/resources-and-podcasts/school-climate-safety-and-crisis/mental-health-resources/trauma/supporting-students-experiencing-childhood-trauma-tips-for-parents-and-educators.
FOCUS: Preparing for Adult Life
The key topics to consider as your child moves into adulthood:
- Making a plan
- Making decisions
- Benefits & money
- Wills & trusts
- Education, health & social care
- Getting a job
- Independent living & housing
- Growing up, sex & relationships
More information can be found at contact.org.uk/advice-and-support/preparing-for-adult-life.
FOCUS: Supporting families during Covid-19
Covid-19: Direct response service: www.wellchild.org.uk/coronavirus/direct-response
Covid-19: An ACT approach to parental burnout:
FOCUS: Supporting children through Covid-19
Information for parents of how to support children through COVID-19:
Place2Be: Guide for helping parents answer questions from their children and to support family wellbeing: www.place2be.org.uk/about-us/news-and-blogs/2020/march/coronavirus-information-for-children.
Young Minds: Talking to your child/young person about Coronavirus and 10 tips from the Parents Helpline to support family wellbeing: youngminds.org.uk/blog/talking-to-your-child-about-coronavirus.
Social Stories: Supporting children and young people with ASD during the Covid-19 pandemic – ncse.ie/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Supporting-children-and-young-people-with-ASD-during-the-Covid-19-pandemic-Social-Stories.pdf.
Child Mind Institute: Support for kids with ADHD during the coronavirus crisis – childmind.org/article/giving-kids-with-adhd-support-and-structure-during-the-coronavirus-crisis.
FOCUS: Transition back to school
Liverpool Learning Partnership: padlet.com/jholder_llp/goingbacktoschool.
The Scott Centre for Autism Treatment – Video sharing tips for the Back to School Transition for Children with Autism:
Reachout ASC: Coronavirus, home & School and Transition resources – www.reachoutasc.com/resources/transition-to-new-class.
Babcock LDP Educational Psychology Service: www.babcockldp.co.uk/disadvantaged-vulnerable-learners/educational-psychology/resources/transition-guidance.
Supporting SEND transitions through the Early Years: www.earlyyearscareers.com/eyc/latest-news/supporting-send-transitions-through-the-early-years.
- Pete Wells has some hilarious free sensory stories available on his website – and the podcast is well worth a listen too: sensorystoriespodcast.com/free-special-stories.
- Pete’s home learning kit: Download it here via Dropbox.
- The Sensory Projects contain project packs for inclusive learning
and also some simple sensory games to play
- The Sensory Dispensary have activities available to download here: www.tes.com/member/Sensory_Dispensary
- Home learning packs from Ashfield School: www.ashfield.leicester.sch.uk/blue-pathway
- Riverside home school resources:
- Inclusive sensory discovery pack for Shakespeare’s The Tempest – download it here
- 31 pages of activity ideas for special school learners – download available at the bottom of the page
- Greenside sensory stories – discover them here
- Sensory and messy play activities for children with additional needs – discover them here
- WATCH – The Brain Charity Art and Craft workshops:
- WATCH – The Brain Charity Physiotherapy and Dance:
- The Brain Charity are also working on bringing live sessions to children and young people that need these workshops and if you would like to find out more then please email Joanne, the Project Coordinator: [email protected].
“SEND Toolkit” (an introduction to supporting children with additional needs in the classroom):
- There is so much information about the SEND Code of practice, but teachers who are unfamiliar with it can start with something simple and easy to read: MENCAP SEND publication
- The full document can be viewed here: SEND Code of Practice Full Document
- A useful Youtube video which is good to help young people learn about EHCPs and what it means to them
- Websites for classroom resources that are well set out and ‘chunked’ for SEND support: Twinkl & SENteacher
- P scales information on the TES website
- A useful document looking at each subject separately for Secondary / KS3&4
- All about different types of SEND: www.humansnotrobots.co.uk/p/resources-hub.html
- Visual timetables – a variety of symbol based resources for Primary students
Special Education Needs and/or Disabilities
- National Autistic Society: guidance and helpline for parents’, young people and staff – www.autism.org.uk/services/nas-schools/vanguard/news/2020/march/coronavirus-(covid-19)-advice.aspx
- Mencap – Easy Read guide to Coronavirus: www.mencap.org.uk/sites/default/files/2020-03/Information%20about%20Coronavirus%20ER%20SS2.pdf
- The Autism Education: A social story – A social story about coronavirus that has a good level of specificity about the effects of social distancing e.g. not being able to go to favourite places.
- CarersUK – Guidance for carers: www.carersuk.org/help-and-advice/health/looking-after-your-health/coronavirus-covid-19
- Amaze – information pack for parents: amazesussex.org.uk/faqs-about-the-coronavirus-for-parent-carers-of-children-with-send-brighton-hove
- Public Health England: has produced an easy read version of their Advice on the coronavirus for places of education – you can download it here
- Information for those struggling with OCD:
- General information for young people about managing their mental health:
- Information for those with sensory difficulties who struggle with hand-washing: www.sensoryintegration.org.uk/News/8821506
- The Brain Changer Arts Project from The Brain Charity has moved online: thebraincharity.org.uk/whats-on/news/941-the-brain-changer-arts-project-is-now-online
Autistic & unapologetic: Web article with tips for preparing children with ASD for expected and unexpected change – autisticandunapologetic.com/2019/05/18/autism-routine-structure-how-to-prepare-for-expected-unexpected-change
Supporting Students with Autism
Webinars, social stories and tips for parents supporting children with Autism during Covid-19 – ncse.ie/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Supporting-students-with-Autism.pdf
Families everywhere are struggling to care for (and homeschool) children cut off from their normal routines and activities during the coronavirus crisis. Kids with ADHD may need extra structure and support to manage attention and behaviour challenges and keep on track with learning in this challenging situation. This article provides suggestions from ADHD experts for helping kids with ADHD weather this storm: childmind.org/article/giving-kids-with-adhd-support-and-structure-during-the-coronavirus-crisis/#163961_20200415095626.
- Spotlight: Sensory processing – you can view this useful guide from Child Development and Learning Difficulties lab here
- Covibook – Supporting children and families around the world – Available in 18 different languages: www.mindheart.co/descargables
- Storybooks for children about the virus– www.elsa-support.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Story-about-Coronavirus.pdf
- Carol Gray has produced a social story about coronavirus and pandemics. The social story uses large print pictures and provides contextual information about pandemics and viruses in general.
- Contact – www.contact.org.uk
- National Network of Parent Carer Forums – www.nnpcf.org.uk
- Council of Disabled Children – councilfordisabledchildren.org.uk
- The Isabella Trust – theisabellatrust.org
- Mencap – www.mencap.org.uk
- Scope – www.scope.org.uk
- Newlife – newlifecharity.co.uk
- Yvonne Newbold – yvonnenewbold.com
- Variety – www.variety.org.uk/free-kits-support-children-sensory-needs-home
- Addvanced Solutions – www.addvancedsolutions.co.uk
- ADHD Foundation – www.adhdfoundation.org.uk
- Barnados – Barnardos.org.uk
- CAMHS Partnership info plus websites – www.liverpoolcamhs.com/training/ (bitesize training)
- Fresh CAMHS – www.freshcamhs.org
- Kooth – www.kooth.com
- Liverpool Learning Partnership – www.liverpoollearningpartnership.com
- MYA – www.mya.org.uk
- NSPCC – www.nspcc.org.uk
- Reachout ASC – reachoutasc.com
- Talking Eating Disorders (TEDS) – tedsuk.com
- The Brain Charity – thebraincharity.org.uk
- YPAS – ypas.org.uk
Website and activity ideas
A Twitter stream sharing Found Resources and home learning packs that would be suitable for SEND pupils: twitter.com/teachPMLD/status/1240369135885975554/photo/1
50 sensory learning activities: inclusiveteach.com/2020/03/20/150-sensory-learning-ideas
Activities including sensory and massage stories themed for the time of year:
Download here via Dropbox
GoNoodle – videos designed to get kids moving: www.gonoodle.com
Twinkl – free home learning booklets from EYFS through to GCSE, you can download them here: www.twinkl.co.uk/resources/extra-subjects-parents/school-closures-category-free-resources-parents/school-closures-free-resources-parents
Chatterpack – a list of home Ed resources: chatterpack.net/blogs/blog/resources-list-for-home-learning
Other Useful Resources
Children coming to hospital
This resource aims to make hospital visits better for children. The resource is made up of an animation and comic strip for children and young people, an animation for health professionals and a leaflet for parent/carers. View it here.
Developed in partnership with Epilepsy Action, SUDEP Action and Young Epilepsy, this Epilepsy Toolkit will support systems to understand the priorities in epilepsy care and key actions to take. It provides opportunity to assess and benchmark current systems to find opportunities for improvement. It is produced with reference to an expert group of stakeholders and is supported by NICE. You can access the toolkit via the NHS Rightcare Pathways web page: www.england.nhs.uk/rightcare/products/pathways/epilepsy-toolkit.
Top 3 ‘misc’ useful resources
- Coronavirus Tech Handbook: The current biggest compilation of information, support and resources (It is HUGE!): coronavirustechhandbook.com
- A huge summary of working from home resources www.notion.so/Digital-Working-COVID
- A simple social story explaining the coronavirus: carolgraysocialstories.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Pandemics-and-theCoronavirus.pdf
Top 5 COVID-19 explanation and support resources
- A huge home learning resource list – chatterpack.net/blogs/blog/resources-list-for-home-learning
- Supporting children and young people with COVID-19 worries: wokingmind.org.uk/mental-health-conditions-information-resources/coronavirus-your-wellbeing
- MIND Coronavirus and your wellbeing: www.mind.org.uk/information-support/coronavirus/coronavirus-and-your-wellbeing
- 9 ways to stay positive during the pandemic: www.forbes.com/sites/williamarruda/2020/03/15/9-ways-to-stay-positive-during-the-coronavirus-pandemic
- BBC Newsround Coronavirus information for children www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/51204456
- Here, you will find new SEND Guidance videos from nasen/Whole School SEND: www.sendgateway.org.uk/whole-school-send/find-wss-resources/nqt-videos.html