This page displays any hints and tips parents and carers have found useful. You can use the filters to limit the display to specific information that interests you. You can submit a tip via the feedback form.
The Church of the Good Shepherd church in Farnborough offer a sign language Church Service for those with hearing difficulties. The congregation is made up of Deaf, deafened, hard of hearing and hearing friends and family. The service is held on the 3rd Sunday of every month at 4pm. Each service lasts about an hour and is followed by tea and time to socialise.
Where can I go for clothing to help prevent ‘grabbing and smearing’ with a tube fed youngster during the night?
Fledglings do specialist clothing for gastro fed children, specifically Joey vests that do up over the tummy. We also use a sleeping bag that has a zip that does up from bottom and top that allows the tube to be connected in the tummy area, these sleeping bags are specially made to measure to the individual child. http://www.fledglings.org.uk
http://www.tummytunnels.com These are used to reinforce holes in clothing accommodating the gastro tube. They do ship to the UK- and it takes 5-7 days. The shipping fee is $14.50- but it doesn't seem to go up if you order 1 or 20! They are priced at $3.25 each.
Our ADHD/Autistic son, suffers with onset sleep insomnia, he has always been very challenging to get settled into bed and once there difficult to keep there!! we have tried many different strategies, even moved his bedroom around! but this miracle CD works for him!!
We purchased it from ebay by simply typing in ADHD, although I do think it is also available through Amazon. The CD is called: The Seashore Rachael and Charles Vald
A CD to help children sleep. We would highly recommend (although not guarantee for obvious reasons!) this CD to any parent with a child who has difficulty sleeping, costing around £8.95 this is money worth spending!! Good luck! You can buy it here
Does your child dribble? Dribble bandanas can be made easily for little ones from facecloths folded diagonally and sewn and a press-stud added to fasten them – if you don’t want to make them there are a number of sellers online- just type dribble bibs into your search engine.
For older children, a sweatband can be worn on the wrist, with the child prompted to dab their chin when they are dribbling.
When you are looking after a child with severe epilepsy nights can be a living nightmare. You need to check on your child throughout the night, worry and sleep deprivation becomes the norm leading to immense stress on the whole family.
For some types of epilepsy a bed alarm can help. They work by having a movement sensor alarm which sits under the mattress of your child’s bed and alerts you or a carer if your child has a seizure while sleeping. The alarm makes a piercingly loud noise if a sensor detects violent movement in bed, which wakes you up so that you can deal with the situation as you need to.
In this video Liz, a Mum in Hampshire talks about her son’s epilepsy and how having a bed alarm mat has improved their quality of life.
We were delighted when Ross came out of nappies at 7 yrs old, however a new battle began in getting him to stand up and aim for the toilet instead of the walls/floor etc, so by placing a little ping pong ball or any little ball inside the toilet it gives them something to aim for…
All or most families are used to keeping records about personal history, insurance, home, possessions, finance and so on. When a child has additional needs, most families encounter a necessity to keep additional records which are of a much more complex nature. It is very helpful to be able to keep these records in a non-burdensome way that means items are easy to find and no important details are lost
There is no support group for my child’s condition in the area, but I would still like to be in contact with other parents – any ideas?
Try contacting a National Support Group for the condition, they often have an online forum. From this you may be able to get in touch with others living in the local area. Scope run a Face to Face Parenting Scheme that puts Parents of disabled children in touch with each other for emotional and practical support. You can read more about that here and you can find out about the face to Face Parenting group in Hampshire here
Online forums can allow you to chat to other parents without having to go out/arrange childcare etc. You can log on at any time and post a question or give advice to another parent. Do web searches for on line forums, for example this is a good ADHD one. http://www.adhders.org.uk
MedicAlert ID bracelets, necklaces and watches help make sure that you receive fast, relevant treatment in an emergency. Worn on your pulse point, they carry the international medical symbol and are an effective way to communicate vital details… because every moment matters
If a disabled Merlin Annual Passholder requires assistance on their visits to a Merlin attractions, you can apply for a free carer pass. They issue one free carer pass per disabled Passholder which is transferable between carers. The disabled guest’s and carer’s Passes will have the name, date of birth and a photo of the disabled guest.
To obtain a complimentary carer pass, simply purchase a Merlin Annual Pass for the disabled guest in the usual way. The complimentary carer Pass will be issued on your first visit to the attractions.
You'll need to provide proof of disability when getting your Passes issued, this can be any of the following:
Disabled Living Allowance letter (DLADisability Living Allowance)
Blue Badge (photo ID required)
Signed letter from GPGeneral Practitioner (your family doctor) (photo ID required)
Remember you will not need to pay for the carer pass. Therefore, if your group consists of four people, including the carer, you will need to pay for three people and collect the free carer pass on your first visit. When renewing, you will need to present these documents again as they recognise that disabled status and assistance required may change from year-to-year. If you collect Tesco Clubcard points, you can use these to buy a Merlin Pass
Various stores sell musical and light up toothbrushes at fairly reasonable prices. I found these are fantastic for Jamie who does not like brushing his teeth as it makes the chore fun. Also the light up toothbrush flashes for one minute so he knows that when it stops he can stop doing his teeth.
Safer Net, a project managed by Respond, is a national network of groups and campaigners, who want to support people with learning disabilities to stay safe when using the internet. The project aims to make sure that people know about online abuse, the different ways that this can happen, and what to do if it happens to you or to someone you know
My child has been diagnosed with 'Sensory Perception Disorder', It is a struggle to get her dressed in the morning as she screams and has mega tantrums because she just doesn't like the feel of the clothes. Any ideas?
Tips from another mum:
Try giving a reward every time she puts on a piece of clothing and doesn’t make a fuss. I offered my daughter a choice of her most three favourite things, it took some time but the child soon got the hang of it.
I also introduced a timetable of what was to be done in the morning so she had pictures attached with velcro onto a long strip of card showing that tasks in order eg: get up - brush teeth - have a wash - get dressed (each item of clothing listed separately) and then breakfast. If the child did all that with minimal fuss she had a reward of watching tv because that’s what she loves to do. We had a timetable of what to do at bedtime as well. It was a lot of effort and didn’t happen overnight but now she is a lot better. She still has a problem when there is a new fabric introduced but we do the reward system for a new item of clothing. She never wears it all day initially, just a few minutes and then longer each time.
Tips from an OTOccupational Therapist:
Sensory issues are common in children but if this is impacting on daily living then you might consider asking school or the GPGeneral Practitioner (your family doctor) for a referral to the Children's Occupational Therapy Service. Waiting lists can sometimes be quite lengthy.
Contact NASNational Autistic Society helpline as they might be aware of training on Sensory Processing Disorders happening locally which the parent can attend. http://www.nas.org.uk
There is lots of information out there about sensory processing difficulties. When a youngster shows this behaviour it described as “tactile defensive” and may indicate that there are other sensory issues she is struggling with. A good book that is clear and describes it all well for parents is "The Out of Synch Child" by Carol Stock Kranowitz.
Special Direct is an online shop which specialises in special needs educational bits and pieces, I have bought, tried and tested many of the autistic books and pack, but they also have a large selection of Dyslexia, adhd, dyspraxia,speaking & listening, inclusion and dyscalculia not to mention many more.. they will send out a free brochure or you can just go online with no obligation to buy.
Liz Beattie works with children with Special Educational Needs and wanted her class to be able to use their iPads independently, with no worries about the iPads being damaged. Liz came up with the TabToob: a durable, shock resistant protective case to defend iPads from damage. The case protects iPads from falls, drops and throws, is lightweight, and has a non-slip easy grip.
Disability Living Allowance (DLADisability Living Allowance) for children may help with the extra costs of looking after a child who:
is under 16
has difficulties walking or needs more looking after than a child of the same age who doesn’t have a disability
If your child is 16 or over and you are applying for the first time, you will need to apply for a new benefit called Personal Independence Payment (PIPPersonal Independence Payment). More information can be found here
If your child is 16 or over and their DLADisability Living Allowance is due for renewal, you may be invited to apply for PIPPersonal Independence Payment or to renew DLADisability Living Allowance, depending on where you live. This tool will tell you how you will be affected by PIPPersonal Independence Payment if your child is 16 or over.
DLADisability Living Allowance forms have changed significantly over recent years, and the guidance which now comes with the form was written with input from a number of carers groups.
Cerebra http://www.cerebra.org.uk produces a very useful guide to completing DLADisability Living Allowance forms, which can be helpful for DLADisability Living Allowance renewals or new applications. The guide can be dowloaded free from their website. There is also information on disability specific websites such as National Autistic Society http://www.nas.org.uk, National Deaf Children’s Society http://www.ndcs.org.uk and The Downs Syndrome Association http://www.downs-syndrome.org.uk and many of these organisations have benefits advisers.
If you need face to face support with benefits, the following organisations may be able to help. It is a good idea to contact the organisations in good time, as there are often time limits on when the form needs to be returned.
Mencap in Andover have one dedicated benefit advisor who helps members with benefit enquiries and will meet with people to help fill out forms etc. The criteria for membership is to have 'learning difficulties' and be within the area they cover, which is roughly Andover. You can read more about that here If you need to access benefits advice from Andover Mencap you can call 01264 321855 and ask for Marian Grundy.
All the CABs in the area (Alton, Petersfield and Whitehill/Borden) can offer appointments to help complete DLADisability Living Allowance forms and appeals and can provide support in applications. Please use the link directly to their website. http://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/
The card costs £20 per year and that covers the child and the parent/carer for 1/3 off the fare. If you have a child aged 15 or under, you may wish to consider a Family & Friends Railcard which covers up to 4 Adults and 4 Children. This costs £30 per year and provides a 30% discount on adult fares (age 5 to 15) and up to 60% on children’s fares for off peak travel. http://www.familyandfriends-railcard.co.uk/eligibility-benefits/what-do-you-get/
This article explains the difference between “The Yellow Card” and “The Gateway Card” for disabled people in Hampshire.
The Yellow Card
The Yellow Card is issued when your register as disabled with Hampshire County Council. Your information is included on a database so that the Local Authority can understand how many disabled people there are in Hampshire. The yellow card can be used as proof of disability, eg when applying for the visually impaired rate for a TV licence. Some organisations will accept the card as proof of disability but this varies depending on the organisation.
The process to apply for a Yellow Card is different depending on whether you are a child (up to your 18th Birthday) or an adult (aged 18 and over).
Process for obtaining a Yellow Card for Children:
If your child has a Social Worker they will be able to apply for a Yellow card for you. Otherwise, you can apply for a Yellow card for your child by phoning Hants Direct on 0300 555 1384. Paper work will then be sent to your child’s GPGeneral Practitioner (your family doctor) so they can confirm that your child is disabled and once this confirmation is received a Yellow card will then be issued. If your child's disability is identified as a lifelong condition then the card will last indefinitely and the registration will pass to Adult Services when your child turns 18. However if your child's condition may change over time the card will be issued for a fixed period and you will need to renew it once it has expired. To renew the card phone Hants Direct on 0300 555 1384 and you will be passed to the appropriate professional team who will look at each renewal case individually.
Process for obtaining a Yellow Card for an Adult:
If you are an adult (age 18+) the application process for the Yellow Card is slightly different. You will need to go to this website here and complete the form or you can call Adult Services on 0300 555 1386. You can also go to this website if you need a replacement card. The yellow card can be used as proof of disability, eg when applying for concessionary travel or the visually impaired rate for a TV licence.
The Gateway Card
The Gateway Card is for young people between the ages of 0-19 years (up to their 20th Birthday). It can be used as proof of eligibility for Hampshire’s Short Breaks programme and also as evidence of disability in some cases. If you are a parent of a child who needs additional support to attend leisure or play activities, you should apply for a card. Organisations who are receiving Short Breaks funding should ask for the Gateway Card number when you contact them to book a place.
Some leisure providers will offer a concessionary rate for holders of the Gateway Card. You can see who these providers are and what services are available, as well as find out more information about the Short Breaks and Buddy schemes, by looking at the Hampshire Gateway Website here.
The Gateway card also offers access to the Community Buddy Scheme, which is available to disabled children and young people between the ages of 7 and 19 years.