The SNAP Directory is the 'A-Z' for parents with children with special needs. It supports and guides us when we are lost for information on so many issues.

Vicky - Braintree

A brilliant point of reference, always packed full of clear and useful information

Malcolm - Billericay

Previous Months - 11+

For information that we shared with you over previous months please scroll to the correct month to find it.

 

May

 

Epping Forest Inclusion Project – May Half Term Sessions 

There will be a variety of May half term activities for children with special educational needs and disabilities in West Essex.

Ministry of Parenting – RAP (Risky Adolescents and Parents) Project

RAP is a new project working with young people, aged 11 to 17, who are engaging in risky self-harming behaviours and their parents/or carers. Young people and parents/carers attend separate workshop groups which have linked themes.

The Autism Show London

This annual event in association with The National Autistic Society will be at ExCeL in London on 15th and 16th June. There will be a programme of seminars, workshops and opportunities for one-to-one advice sessions, plus stands demonstrating 100s of products and services.

The Children’s Society – Resources for Schools and Colleges

The Children’s Society has created a range of resources that can be shared with schools and colleges to help them talk to students about difficult issues. It includes resources on mental health, young carers, harmful relationships and debt. 

Lambourne End – Essex Fun Days

Lambourne End has upcoming fun days for children and young people with disabilities and their families. There will be a variety of activities throughout the day to take part in and enjoy. 

Zinc Arts – May Half Term Pizza and Games Party

Zinc Art will be holding a pizza making and team games party this half term on Wednesday 30th May, 9.30am-3pm. Suitable for ages 5-11 years old.

InterAct - Youth Mental Health First Aid Training

InterAct is running this practical course for spotting the early signs of a mental health problems.

Carers UK - The State of Caring Survey 2018

Carers UK is holding the biggest survey of its kind, about the lives of carers in the UK. With the data they collect, they hope to paint a real picture of the life carers lead. They will use this to provide evidence on a whole range of issues and to make the arguments to Government, to policy makers and to MPs about what carers need.

Essex Short Breaks – Summer Newsletter

Action For Children’s Summer 2018 Newsletter of upcoming Essex short breaks, clubs and activities.

PACT - Free Drop-In Information Event

PACT in Harlow is hosting a free Drop-In Information Event on Friday 8th June 2018. They will be joined by representatives from services and activities for children and adults with autism and other disabilities (no diagnosis required). Individuals, parents and professionals are all welcome.

Epilepsy Action – Family Fun Day

Epilepsy Action is holding a fun day in Thurrock on Saturday 2nd June, for families who are affected by epilepsy. There will be a range of activities to take part in, as well as an opportunity to find out more about Epilepsy Action and chat to medical professionals. 

Essex Outdoors: May Half Term

During the May half-term Essex Outdoors has inclusive activity days at its centres in Danbury and Mersea. Activities include Archery, Bushcraft and Aerial Runway. The opportunities are available to children with a diagnosed disability, aged from 8 to 18, living within the administrative boundary of Essex County Council.

Spectrum Parent Support Group

Colchester based parent support group Spectrum's next meeting is on Wednesday 9th May at 10.00am to 12.00noon. They will be focusing on suggestions and strategies.

Kidz to Adultz South

This large exhibition from Disabled Living is dedicated to children and young adults with a disability or additional needs, their families, carers and the professionals who support them. Thursday 17th May in Farnborough.

Chris Cross Holiday Club

Fun activity sessions during the May half term at St Christopher’s School in Southend for children aged 6 to 14.

Epping Forest Inclusion Project: Social Stories Workshop

The Epping Forest Inclusion Project Parent Forum will be hosting a Social Stories™ 10.2 Workshop, delivered by Dr Siobhan Timmins on Friday 18th May, 9.30am to 4.00pm.

Free Being Me Programme

The Dove Self Esteem Project has created two educational programmes especially for 7-10 year olds and 11-14 year olds. They hope to engage them in exploring ideas about body confidence and beauty that will affect them as they grow up. ‘Free Being Me’ shows participants that there isn’t just one way to be beautiful, and that what’s inside them matters the most. The programme is written to be used by groups such as the Girl Guides, however the ideas can be tailored for different settings or individuals. 

ZSL London & Whipsnade Zoos: Special Children's Day

Special Children's Day is a unique annual event held at both London and Whipsnade Zoos, welcoming children with special needs and their families and friends. With increased specialist facilities and number of staff, as well as special interactive events and discounted entry, Special Children's Day is an exciting and exceptional event not to be missed. London Zoo: 19 May - 20 May 2018 and Whipsnade Zoo: 16 Jun - 17 Jun 2018.

UMC Phab Youth Club

An inclusive youth club for disabled and non-disabled young people aged 10-25. The club takes place Tuesdays at 6.00pm to 8.00pm at Upminster Methodist Church. Activities include dodgeball, table cricket, dance, drama and the chance to attend residential trips and gain qualifications such as the Duke of Edinburgh award. 

Lambourne End: Fest 4 All

An afternoon of diverse and inclusive music and arts. On Saturday 9th June 2018 drop by between 2pm - 8.30pm. There will be an array of performances, from The Music Man Project, Chelmsford's Dance 21, Redbridge Drama Centre and even an escapologist. Arrive when you want to and leave when you want to, bring a chair or picnic blanket.

The Ministry of Parenting: ADHD ‘Reality and Myths’ Workshop

The Ministry of Parenting is holding an ADHD ‘Reality and Myths’ Workshop on 13th June at their venue in Colchester. It is an open questions event with Dr Harish Mahadavappa where parents, carers and family members can ask questions about ADHD, dispel the myths about ADHD and learn about the reality ADHD has on children’s brain development, behaviour and emotions.

 

April

 

Kidz to Adultz South

This large exhibition from Disabled Living is dedicated to children and young adults with a disability or additional needs, their families, carers and the professionals who support them. It is being held on Thursday 17th May in Farnborough. 

Can Do – Beach Clean Challenge

Can Do is a volunteering programme for disabled people in Essex aged 10 to 35 years old. They will be holding a Beach Clean Challenge on Sunday 17th June. They will clean 100 metres of Chalkwell beach in Southend with the Marine Conservation Society team. Litter picks, gloves and rubbish bags are provided. Can Doers will also be treated to an ice-cream and will receive a Can Do certificate for taking part.

iSEssex – EHCP Workshops for Parent Carers

Independent Support Essex is holding an informal session to help parent carers learn about the Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) process. It is an opportunity to gain tips, resources and ideas, as well as meet other parent carers going through the transfer/application process. They will be holding several other sessions across Essex, please see the Essex Local Offer website for more details.

Instructions for Correct Assembly – Relaxed Performance

The Royal Court Theatre is holding a relaxed performance for ‘Instructions for Correct Assembly’ on Mon 30 April 7.30pm. It is a play staring Jane Horrocks and Mark Bonnar by Thomas Eccleshare.

Rainbow Rural

Rainbow Rural run a range of clubs on their farm in Great Dunmow for children and young people with special needs.

Network Autism - Home education for autistic children 

Author Sarah-Jane Critchley has written an article about her experience of home educating her autistic daughter and suggests what to consider before deciding to home educate.

National Autistic Society – Art Competition


The NAS is supporting Lindy Estlin, who has launched an art competition to celebrate the City of London. She is seeking young autistic artists and budding artists to submit their designs for the chance to have their artwork printed onto a Christmas card, menu for the official banquets and invite to a children's party. The winner also gets £100 cash prize and an invite to Mansion House for tea. Artwork must be submitted by 22nd May along with the entry form available to download on the website. 

Fitness In Mind – Summer Sessions

Fitness In Mind™ Brentwood is an inclusive 12 week fitness programme where you can attend a range of classes and don’t need any level of fitness to take part. The programme is for everyone aged 16 and upwards (13 if accompanied by a guardian). They aim to offer a friendly, stigma free environment for people with stress, anxiety, a physical or learning disability, or a diagnosed mental health condition.

Cycling UK – Improved Public Access Paths

Cycling UK is running a campaign to push for farming and landowner subsidies to include funding for improved non-motorised public access. This could provide a vastly improved network of off-road cycling and walking routes and make them more suitable for people with a range of abilities. 

The Bond Hotel – Blackpool

This award-winning hotel caters for all manner of disabilities and is situated close to the heart of Blackpool and its many attractions. It is the UK’s largest accessible hotel and has many facilities to make planning your getaway as easy as possible. 

National Autistic Society – Diverted (Unexpected Changes)

The NAS has created a new ‘Too Much Information’ video about how unexpected changes can affect someone on the spectrum. 

Are You Autistic? – Channel 4 

Broadcast on Channel 4 on Wednesday 28th March, Anna Richardson and campaigners Georgia Harper and Sam Ahern set out to uncover the true face of autism in the UK today. It is now available to view on demand via All 4.

SEN peer support group – Maldon 

Relaxed and friendly support group for families with children who have an additional need or disability. This group is parent-led and is held monthly at Maldon Community pre-school. There will be toys and activities available for pre-school children. The next group is on Friday 20th April 2018 1:00pm to 2:30pm.

Lambourne End Adventure and Farm Open Day 

Lambourne End will be holding an open day on Sunday 22nd April 2018. It is a chance to visit their centre and enjoy having a go at their adventure, garden and farm activities.

Beanstalk Children’s Therapy – Open Day

To celebrate their 10th anniversary, Beanstalk Children’s Therapy will be holding an open day at their fully equipped therapy centre in Chelmsford on Saturday 28th April. See flyer for more details. 

Relaxed Performance of Matilda the Musical

The Royal Shakespeare Company is holding a relaxed performance of Matilda the musical at the Cambridge Theatre in London on Sunday 10th June at 3pm.

Pink Unicorns

A south Essex support group for parents of girls with high anxiety and an autism spectrum disorder or social communication needs has their next meeting on Tuesday 12th June in Canvey Island. They are pleased to announce they will be joined by Julie Sawford from the Rayleigh Mega Centre, to talk about the support that is available there. They will also be joined by an Autism Specialist Teacher and Suzanne Davidson, a private Life Coach, to talk about Developing Resilience.

Zinc Arts – Easter Holiday Sessions

Places are still available at the Zinc Arts’ Easter holiday sessions for children aged 5 to 11 years.

Network Autism - Supporting Autistic Pupils with Exams

Carla Manini-Rowden, Education Rights and Lifelong Learning Services Manager at the National Autistic Society, discusses how schools and teachers can support autistic pupils to prepare for and sit their exams.

Creatorspace- Gaming Evening at Basildon Library 

Creatorspace is holding weekly Gaming Evenings at Basildon Library, every Tuesday. A chance for children aged 8 to 16 years to socialise whilst having fun playing on the PlayStation 4, Wii U and Nintendo Switch consoles. Entry costs £2.

PACT for Autism – Easter Holiday Sessions 

The Harlow based group is running several holiday sessions over the Easter break. Families must pre-book and be registered with PACT to attend. 


Firefly – Travel Sleep Solutions Survey

Firefly wants to know more about the special needs sleep solutions families use when away from the home or travelling. You can complete their short survey online.

Carers FIRST

From 1st April, Carers FIRST will be delivering the Essex Carers Service across the county. They will be supporting carers and families by providing emotional and practical support, advice, information and guidance, and opportunities for carers to access training, social groups, activities, trips and more.

 

March
 

Lions Mid-Summer Sports Day and Fun Festival

The Lions Clubs of South East Essex is organising their annual inclusive sports and fun day at The King John School, Benfleet Saturday 28th July 2018. The day is organised so that the participants of all abilities can participate in a variety of sporting activities, games and pastimes. 

Child and Family Wellbeing Services Citizens’ Panel events

Virgin Care and children’s charity Barnardo’s is inviting local people to attend informal drop in events to share their views for the continual review and improvement of the Essex Child and Family Wellbeing service. There are events across Essex throughout March, May and June.

New Free School – Survey

A group of parents of children with high functioning autism who suffer with high levels of school related anxiety, are compiling evidence to demonstrate the need for a more specialised provision. They would appreciate if you could please take a moment to complete the survey attached.

Brentwood Health Walks

Brentwood’s Healthy walking scheme Health Trax is a free health walk programme. The scheme is run by volunteer walk leaders. Walking is a great way to meet new people, get fresh air and increase your fitness and mental wellbeing. There are also several other walking schemes across Essex.

Chris Cross Holiday Club

Fun activity sessions during Easter holidays at St Christopher’s School in Southend for children aged 6 to 14. 

Castledon school coffee morning

Castledon school in Wickford’s monthly coffee morning event for parents will focus on Zones of Regulation on Tuesday 20th March.

Shenfield Autism Support Group 

Shenfield Autism Support Group is meeting on Saturday 17th March and 8th September, 1.00 pm – 4.00pm at Friends Meeting House, Shenfield. It is a chance for parents to drop in and have a catch up. 

Aqua Aims Basildon SEN and Parent Support Classes 

These classes are for swimmers from age three plus who need their parent in the water to help support and encourage them to become water confident, whilst learning to swim. Swimmers can aim to progress into independent group class on their own without parent when they are ready. This 13 week course starts Thursday 19th April at 5.45 pm or Saturday 21st April at 12.45 pm at Lee Chapel Pool, Basildon.

Max Cards

Essex families with children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities can apply for this discount card to allow free or discounted entry into family attractions.

Stay & Play Indoor Soft Play Centre

This Basildon venue will be holding an Easter Party for children with special needs and disabilities together with their siblings on Monday 2nd April, 4pm to 6.30pm. Advanced booking is essential in person at Stay and Play, Durham Road, Laindon SS15 6PH or telephone 01268 491511.  

Family Life Plus

Contact, the national charity for families with disabled children has a relationship support site for new parents raising a child with a disability. On the site you will find expert, research-based advice on issues such as handling stress, dealing with separation and managing your time together as a couple.

Ros Blackburn – Autism Talk

Butterflies Montessori in Brentwood is offering the opportunity for people to see Ros Blackburn speak about autism on Saturday 24th March. Tickets are limited and must be booked in advance.

CoCoCare - Plastic Seas Performance And Workshops

As part of Action for Children's roadshow this Easter, CoCoCare is offering a free performance and drama workshops for young people with additional needs (under 25yrs) and their family. 

Making Progress with Dyslexia with Emmie Trower

Emmie will be coming to The SNAP Centre to speak about supporting children with dyslexia. With over 20 years’ experience Emmie will help families gain a greater understanding of dyslexia and the associated barriers to learning, as well as talking about a range of strategies to help support children with dyslexia to make progress.

Paralympic Winter Games 

Following on from the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, the Paralympic Winter Games starts on Friday 9th March.

Lambourne End Adventure and Farm Open Day

Lambourne End will be holding an open day on Sunday 22nd April 2018. It is a chance to visit their centre and enjoy having a go at their adventure, garden and farm activities.

The Lion King Autism-Friendly Performance

The next autism-friendly performance of The Lion King at The Lyceum Theatre is on Sunday 3 June 2018 at 1.30pm. Tickets are already selling fast.

Special Needs Jungle - The DfE Replies

Special Needs Jungle has published the answers the Department for Education has provided them with on a range of questions on special educational needs and disability. This includes information on SEND support in school, EHCPs and accountability. You can read all three articles on the Special Needs Jungle Website. 

Families in Focus Activities

Families in Focus has a range of upcoming activities for children with additional needs, sessions for siblings and an indulgence day for parents. See flyer for more details.

The Autism Show London

This annual event in association with The National Autistic Society will be at ExCeL in London on 15th and 16th June. There will be a programme of seminars, workshops and opportunities for one-to-one advice sessions, plus stands demonstrating 100s of products and services.

Ronnie's Way - Upcoming Events

Ronnie's Way is an organisation that runs private hire events for families with children with additional needs. These include private cinema screenings, swim sessions and activity events at a range of family friendly locations. 

Aqua Aims Swim School

Aqua Aims runs small group or 1:1 swimming sessions. They have locations inBasildon, Billericay, Southend and Benfleet.

Ofsted Local Area SEND Inspection of Havering

Positive Parents are asking Havering families with a child with SEND to complete a survey of 10 questions. It will allow parents to give feedback on how well Havering Local Authority is fulfilling its responsibilities for children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities. 

ZINC Arts – SEN Disco

ZINC Arts is holding their monthly SEN disco on Wednesday 7th March at 6.30pm for young people age 14+.

ACL Understanding Asperger Syndrome Course

ACL Colchester is running a six session course aimed at carers, family members and professionals living and/or working with individuals with Asperger Syndrome, but also at people with Asperger Syndrome themselves. The course will help you develop your understanding of the syndrome, learn how to recognise difficulties and develop strategies to support them. 

InterAct April-June Activity Programme

InterAct has released their activity programme of activities across Essex for young people aged 12 to 18 with learning disabilities/additional needs.

Spectrum Parent Support Group

Colchester based parent support group Spectrum's next meeting is on Wednesday 14th March at 10.00am to 12.00noon. They will be focusing on supporting your child with friendships.

Southend Carers - Drop in Cafe

The Carers café hopes to provide a relaxed environment for carers to get together for a chat and a cup of tea. It is a chance to meet new people, socialise and get information about services and local activities. Drop by on Tuesday 6th March 10:00-12:00 at the Turning Point Café, Westcliff. 

Inclusive Communication Essex Sharing Day

The annual Inclusive Communication Essex Sharing Day is on March 6th. It is an opportunity to discover different ways to communicate and learn how to support someone with a communication difficulty. There are opportunities for parents, carers, professionals and individuals with communication difficulties to participate in a selection of workshops and to share experiences and ideas with others. See the website for more information and to book a place. 

Essex Short Breaks - Clubs & Activities Survey

This short survey is to gain feedback from children and young people about the clubs and activities that Essex Short Breaks helps fund. This includes a range of organisations across Essex, including SNAP. 

Chelmsford Museum Relaxed Opening

Chelmsford Museum is holding their next relaxed opening on Monday 26th March. The event is specifically aimed at those on the autistic spectrum, their families and friends. Call the Museum on 01245 605700 for information or to reserve a space.

SEN Magazine- More than just talking

Emma Sterland from SCOPE shares some useful tips from parents on how to communicate with people who are non-verbal.

 

February


Making Progress with Dyslexia with Emmie Trower


Emmie will be coming to The SNAP Centre to speak about supporting children with dyslexia. With over 20 years’ experience Emmie will help families gain a greater understanding of dyslexia and the associated barriers to learning, as well as talking about a range of strategies to help support children with dyslexia to make progress.


Essex Family Forum 

The new independent parent carer forum for Essex is looking for more families to join them. You can participate as little or as much as you like. Anyone living within the Essex County Council boundaries who has a child or young person with a disability or additional need can become a member. The forum aims to actively involve parents and carers in planning and making decisions about services for children and young people with SEND aged 0 to 25. The more members they have the louder their voice, so visit the website for more details.


CAVS – Essex Children and Young People’s Service 

The CAVS Essex Children and Young People’s Service provides a network for support to children, young people and their families through the allocation of a non-judgemental support worker and trained volunteer. This may be in the form of general support, bespoke programmes or one to one mentoring. 


The Lion King Autism-Friendly Performance

The next autism-friendly performance of The Lion King at The Lyceum Theatre is on Sunday 3 June 2018 at 1.30pm. Tickets are already selling fast.


World’s first ‘Makaton Friendly’ town

Hampshire town Romsey is 'first in world to be Makaton friendly' after staff at 30 organisations have learnt the language leading to the town being awarded "Makaton Friendly" status by The Makaton Charity.


Families in Focus
Activities

Families in Focus have a range of upcoming activities for children with additional needs, sessions for siblings and an indulgence day for parents. See flyer for more details.


Havering Local Area SEND Inspection

V-League gives children aged 10 to 16 the opportunity to participate in online gaming whilst making new friends and learning important team skills. Held every Wednesday evening at Hutton Community Centre. Contact the community centre on 01277 231600 to find out more. 


The Autism Show London 

This annual event in association with The National Autistic Society will be at ExCeL in London on 15th and 16th June. There will be a programme of seminars, workshops and opportunities for one-to-one advice sessions, plus stands demonstrating 100s of products and services.


Wilderness Foundation Therapy Camps

The Wilderness Foundation offer non-residential and residential camps for young people who are experiencing difficulties in their lives or who are experiencing problems with their mental health and wellbeing. These range from 2 to 4 days in duration, with some including overnight camping. 


Thurrock Council – SEND Resources and Facilities Survey

Thurrock Council has the chance to apply for some funding in Spring 2018 which can be spent on creating new places or improving existing resources/places for local children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). It is important to them that the views of local parents and carers are fully considered when thinking about where to spend this funding – and they would be grateful if parents living within the area would kindly complete their online survey.


Jump Street Support Sessions

Jump Street Colchester and Chelmsford are offering support sessions specifically for individuals with additional needs. These sessions run through term time on a Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. The sessions cost £8 per person which includes free admission for one carer per child.


SNAP Needs Your Help! 

SNAP needs and values your feedback about our Information Networks. Please spare just a couple of minutes to answer four questions which will also help us secure significant funding from The Big Lottery for our parent support services.

Essex Short Breaks - February Half Term Clubs and Activities

Essex Short Breaks have a range of new clubs and activities for this February Half Term.

Essex Family Forum

The new parent carer forum for Essex has now launched and is welcoming parents and carers of a child or young person with any additional need or disability to join them. The Forum’s aim is to get families’ voices heard and influence the decisions that affect parent carers across Essex. More information can be found on their website www.essexfamilyforum.org

Essex County Council Preparing for Adulthood events

Essex County Council, in partnership with Essex Parent Carer groups, has announced a series of free ‘Preparing for Adulthood’ events which will take place during March 2018. The events will be a mixture of group presentations, individual workshops and a market place offering further support and advice. 

Contact - Latest guides and information

The national charity Contact has created a new information guide for parents which outlines all the financial help you may be entitled to. They have also updated their guides on behaviour and sleep.

Sensory Occupational Therapy – Masters Research Project 

Occupational therapist Gemma Carlier is seeking to interview parents of children with autism, who have undergone a course of Ayres® Sensory Integration Therapy, in a private clinic based setting. The purpose of the research is to highlight the therapy process from the perspective of a parent, the perceived outcomes from therapy and the impact of providing privately funded intervention for your child.


iSEssex – EHCP Workshops for Parent Carers

Independent Support Essex is holding an informal session to help parent carers learn about the Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) process. It is an opportunity to gain tips, resources and ideas, as well as meet other parent carers going through the transfer/application process. They will be holding several other sessions across Essex, please see the Essex Local Offer website for more details.

DIAL - Brentwood Outreach Appointments 

DIAL (Disability Information & Advice Line) is holding outreach advice appointments at Brentwood Community Hospital and Ingatestone Parish Rooms on selected Tuesdays throughout the year. See flyer for details.

Essex Carers – The Way to Work 

4SX’s new scheme ‘Essex Carers – The Way to Work’ is offering free support to unpaid carers across Essex with balancing their caring responsibilities and their search for work. See flyer for more details.

National Theatre – Relaxed Performance of Pinocchio

The National Theatre Company will be holding a relaxed performance of Pinocchio at the Lyttleton Theatre in London. This new musical stage production is for ages 8 and up. The relaxed performance will take place at 1:30 pm on Saturday 17th March.

Teen Talk – Tendring 

Teen Talk offer a free and confidential information and support service for young people aged 11-25 years in Tendring, Essex. They run regular drop in sessions where young people can get support with any issue they are having trouble with. All support is informal, non-judgemental and confidential.

Girls Autistic Journey Products 

Kate, who runs the Girls Autistic Journey Facebook page, has created a line of autism awareness products such as badges and keyrings.

Epping Library – Inclusive Communication Essex

From 26th February to 18th March, Epping Library will be promoting their ‘Inclusive Communication Essex’ service. It is a service which provides specialised equipment that can be borrowed from the library to facilitate communication with people, including children, with special needs. On Thursday 15th March they will be joined by a representative from ICE who will be talking to customers and staff about what the service offers.

PACT for Autism – Essex County Councillors Open Surgery

PACT for Autism will be hosting an Open Surgery on Friday 23rd February. This will be a rare opportunity to meet face to face with senior councillors from Essex County Council and raise any concerns and issues.

PACT – Autism Friendly Aerial Fitness Sessions 

PACT for Autism will be supporting Pole Train Fitness in holding an autism-friendly aerial fitness class once a month. For those aged 5-17 who will enjoy the benefits of aerial fitness, giving them a fun and engaging way to encourage a healthy and active lifestyle.

Carers Choices – Young Carers Support 

Carers Choices provide support to young carers in Basildon and Castle Point. They run weekly sessions for young carers aged between 8 and 18 years old. They also offer informative workshops as well as fun activities and trips out. There is no cost to young carers for any activities.


The Brentwood Centre – Autism Friendly Gym Sessions

Autism friendly gym and circuit sessions will be held on Wednesdays and Saturdays at the Brentwood Centre. The sessions will be run by Ben who has a diagnosis of autism and is a fully qualified gym instructor. The sessions are suitable for ages 12 to 25.

  

January

 

Extra – Support for Families

The Tendring based support group still has spaces available on their range of parent workshops and courses. This currently includes a five week course on Improving Your Emotional Wellbeing and an ADHD workshop. 


CoCo Care - Workshops and Activities

Colchester based CoCo Care has a range of activities for young people with additional needs, including half term holiday sessions. 


Carer Needed – Brentwood 

A SNAP family is looking for a carer for their son with cerebral palsy. Please see job description for more details. If you know of anyone who may be suitable please contact Catherine on details provided or The SNAP Centre.


ISEssex EHCP Workshops for Parents

ISEssex is holding informal sessions to help parents learn about the Education Health and Care Plan process. It is a chance to get tips, ideas and resources as well as meeting other parents. Workshops will be held across the county throughout the Spring term.


Ronnie’s Way – February Half Term Events

Ronnie’s Way is holding private hire events for families with children with additional needs at Colchester Leisure World, Basildon Monkey Madness and Basildon Cineworld over the half term holiday.


Maths Tutor Needed – Thurrock

A SNAP family is looking for a maths tutor for their two primary aged children, please see flyer for more details. If you know of anyone who may be suitable please contact The SNAP Centre.


Spectrum Parent Support Group

Colchester based parent support group Spectrum is running a questions session on Wednesday 7th February 10.00am to 12.00noon.


Epping Forest Inclusion Project – Half Term Sessions

There will be a variety of February half term activities for children with special educational needs and disabilities in West Essex.


South Essex Gymnastic Club – February Half Term

Fun gymnastic sessions for all abilities age 4+ at Basildon Sporting Village. Booking is essential.

Asperger's High Functioning Autism Support Group

Support group for families with a child aged 10 to 17 with Asperger Syndrome/High Functioning ASD. Monday evenings, 6pm to 7.30 pm at St Luke’s Community hub in Southend.


Mushroom Theatre Company Holiday Workshops

The Mushroom Theatre Company is holding some February half term holiday sessions. The sessions are for children and young people with additional needs up to the age of 19. 


SNAP Boys on the Autism Spectrum Coffee Morning

Following the success of our Girls on the Autism Spectrum coffee mornings, SNAP is offering the opportunity for parents who have a son on the spectrum to come together to share experiences and advice with each other on Wednesday 24th January. Please contact The SNAP Centre for more details.

Essex Family Forum Launch Event

Parent carers are invited to the launch event of the new Essex Family Forum on Wednesday 7th February to discover how they are working to shape the future for families. See flyer for more details. 

Younify Coffee Morning

Younify’s next coffee morning for parents and carers whose children have behavioural or learning difficulties is on Monday 5th February. See flyer for future dates and contact information. 


FLASH Course in Colchester

Families Learning About Self-Harm (FLASH) is a free of charge parenting course run over four sessions. It is open to parents and carers where there is a young person within the family who is exhibiting self-harm behaviour. The next course starts in Colchester on Friday 19th January.


Developing Small Talk – by the Autism Awareness Centre

Author Elizabeth Sautter gives her seven top tips to help people with ASD develop their conversation skills. (The SNAP library also has a range of resources to help support social skills.)


Kooth - online counselling and emotional well-being platform

Kooth is a free, confidential, safe and anonymous way for young people aged 11-26 to ask for help from a team of qualified and experienced counsellors and support workers. This is a service that has been commissioned by Southend, Essex and Thurrock CCGs, for all young people who live in Southend, Essex & Thurrock to be able to access. Kooth is a well-established, award winning online counselling agency and is accredited by The British Association of Psychotherapy and Counselling (BACP).


National Autistic Society – Held Back Campaign 

Together with Ambitious About Autism, the NAS has launched their Held Back campaign. This follows their recent report on how the education system in England works for children and young people on the autism spectrum. As part of the new campaign they would like people to sign their open letter asking the government to make sure no children are held back from meeting their potential because they are autistic. 


CDLD – Negotiating the SEND code of practice webinar

The Child Development and Learning Difficulties Unit at Kingston University is holding a free online webinar - Negotiating the new SEND code of practice: Findings from Williams syndrome, Down syndrome and Autism Spectrum Disorders. Register online to be sent a link to access the webinar at 7.30pm on Wednesday 19th January. 


Lambourne End Fun Days

Lambourne End has released the dates for their 2018 Fun Days and Food for Thought gardening programme.


1:1 Carer Needed – Basildon

A SNAP family is looking for a 1:1 carer for their teenage son with epilepsy and learning difficulties. Please see job description for more details. If you know of anyone who may be suitable please contact The SNAP Centre.


Acorns to Great Oaks- Meditations for Children by Marie Delanote 

Author Marie Delanote has produced a book and CD which is designed to help children control their feelings through short meditation exercises. It uses fun visualisation techniques that enhance creative thinking, positive thinking, and self-esteem. 


Boccia sessions – The Brentwood Centre

Boccia is a completely inclusive sport for anyone of any ability and age to play, and features in the Paralympic games. Essex All Together ambassador Lee Patmore is holding Boccia Sessions at the Brentwood Centre start on 17th January and run every Wednesday 1:30pm to 3:30pm. 


Alpha Sigma Delta - SAFE Girls' Group

Alpha Sigma Delta is a group that enables girls with autism and their parents to come together on a regular basis to make friends in a safe and friendly environment. The next meeting is on Thursday 18th January at the Rayleigh MegaCentre. Contact SAFE's Development Worker at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  for further details.

 

2017

 

December

 

SNAP Christmas Survival Guide

We hope you have been enjoying the survival guide sheets we have been sharing over the past couple of weeks. They cover a variety of different topics, providing strategies to make the holiday period less stressful for all the family. 

Lyric Theatre – The Gruffalo’s Child Relaxed Performance 

The Lyric Theatre in London is holding a relaxed performance of The Gruffalo's Child on Thursday 21 December at 2pm.

Castledon school coffee morning 

Castledon school in Wickford’s monthly coffee morning event for parents will focus on dance therapy on Friday 12th January.

Personal Assistance/Buddy Needed – Witham

A SNAP family is looking for a PA/Buddy for their teenage son with cerebral palsy. Please see job description for more details. If you know of anyone who may be suitable please contact The SNAP Centre.

Inclusive Communication Essex Sharing Day 

The annual Inclusive Communication Essex Sharing Day returns in March. It is an opportunity to discover different ways to communicate and learn how to support someone with a communication difficulty. There are opportunities for parents, carers, professionals and individuals with communication difficulties to participate in a selection of workshops and to share experiences and ideas with others. See the website for more information and to book a place. 

Pact for Autism Parent / Carer Support and Information Meetings

The Harlow based group are holding regular parent/carer support meetings at The Latton Bush Centre throughout 2018. Contact Pact for Autism to book.

The Lion King Autism-Friendly Performance

The next autism-friendly performance of The Lion King at The Lyceum Theatre is on Sunday 3 June 2018 at 1.30pm. Tickets are already selling fast. 

Firefly Survey

Firefly is researching fun, inclusive and portable products for older children with special needs aged 7-14 years. They are asking parents to complete a short survey to find out their experiences and thoughts.

SEN Magazine – Education Law Article ‘Know Your Rights’

SEN Magazine has published an article on how the law can help parents seeking support in school for their child with special educational needs.


Megacentre – The Be Project 

The Raleigh Megacentre is holding The Be Project on alternate Thursday, 4pm to 6pm. This free of charge sessions is for girls and young women of secondary school age to come and be themselves in a friendly and fun environment.

InterAct Spring Activity Programme

InterAct has released their autumn activity programme of activities across Essex for young people aged 12 to 18 with learning disabilities/additional needs.

NAS Women and Girls Conference

The NAS has compiled an archive of the presentations from their recent Women and Girls Conference. It covers topics such diagnosis, mental health and self- esteem. You can also read the Q&A with Dr Judith Gould, Rachel Townson and Lorraine MacAlister. 

Extra - Support for Parents

Spring Term dates for SEN parent support groups, training and workshops in Jaywick.

Autism Oxford – Tony Attwood on Asperger’s & autism

Autism Oxford is hosting a two day event with special guest speaker Professor Tony Attwood in May. 


SNAP Christmas Survival Guide 

We hope you have been enjoying the survival guide sheets we have been sharing over the past couple of weeks and found some helpful hints and tips to support you through the festive season. There are more to come and we will have covered a variety of different topics, providing strategies to make the holiday period less stressful for all the family.

Grangewaters Outdoor Education – Seasonal Activities

Grangewaters is running a range of seasonal sessions and activities for all the family such as wreath making and a Christmas tree trail.

Apex Parent Support Group

This long standing Chelmsford group will be holding their final meeting on Thursday 4th December at Thriftwood School.

Park Theatre London - Relaxed Performance of Daisy Pulls it Off

Park Theatre in Finsbury Park presents a relaxed performance of Daisy Pulls it Off on Wednesday 13th December. The play centres around a plucky heroine called Daisy in a parody of 1920s schoolgirl novels.

Castledon School Coffee Morning

A monthly opportunity for parents to meet up with other parents, staff and visiting practitioners. This meeting will be about Social Action Plans.

Extra - Support for Parents

Extra’s Parenting Platform will be held at the Jaywick Community Resource Centre on Wednesday 13th December at 10.00am to 12.00noon.

Max Cards

Max Cards are for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities. It allows families to visit over 1,100 attractions at a free or discounted rate. Max Card has increased the age limit on the cards up to 25 years old. To apply for a card please visit the Essex Short Breaks website.

Hamelin Trust Hydrotherapy Family Swim Sessions

Hamelin Trust is running their weekend family swim sessions at their hydrotherapy pool in Rochford. See Flyer for more details.

Acton for Kids seminar- Getting the Best Education Health and Care Plan

Acton for Kids, along with law firm Irwin Mitchell, is holding a seminar for parents/carers and professionals on Getting the Best Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP), on February 20th 2018 in London.

BBC - Life with four children with special educational needs

TV presenters David and Carrie Grant speak about their four children, each with a different set of special educational needs.

BBC – Glenwood School 

The BBC takes a look around Glenwood School’s new £15.5m building. Glenwood School is a Community Special School in Thundersley, Essex and the new building was funded by Essex County Council.

Jump Street Support Sessions – Chelmsford and Colchester

Jump Street Trampoline parks in Chelmsford and Colchester hold weekly support sessions that are designed for children and adults over the age of 4 years old with additional needs.

 

November

 

SNAP Christmas Survival Guide 

Over the coming weeks SNAP will be producing some handy guides to help you through the festive season. If you have a tried and tested tip that helps you through the holidays that you would like to share with other families, please email us at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Firefly GoTo Shop trolley Finder

With Tesco committing to putting another 350 GoTo Shop trolleys in their stores, Firefly’s campaign for accessible shopping trolleys going nationwide. You can use their Firefly Finder page to see which of your local supermarkets have GoTo Shop trolleys and also search for nearby Changing Places facilities. 


Soccability Youth Festival 

Essex County Football Association and Basildon Soccability is hosting a football festival for children in the under 12s and 16s age groups who have any disability or impairment. It will be on Saturday 25th November at Play Football Southend from 11.00am to 1.00pm. 


Soccability Female Only Sessions 

Basildon Soccability is now holding female only sessions for girls and women with any disability or mental health difficulties. For further information please contact John Smith on 07814 227304 or email  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


Chelmsford Discovery Festival 

The Discovery Festival is a free event curated and run by Chelmsford City Council in celebration of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. This year’s Festival runs from Sunday 3rd to Sunday 10th December. It aims to celebrate the achievements of those living with disability whilst educating the community to understand and think differently around disabilities. The Discovery Days part of the festival takes place at Chelmsford Museum and will feature a range of free activities for all attendees. The Discovery Sessions will take place in various locations around the city. See brochure for more details. 


Cineworld Autism Friendly Screening - Paddington 2 

See an autism friendly screening of Paddington 2 on Sunday 3rd December at 11am. Participating Cineworld cinemas include Basildon, Braintree and Harlow.


Go Bananas Colchester – Autism Friendly Session 

Go Bananas has teamed up with Autism Anglia to offer autism friendly play sessions. The staff has had specialist training and members of the Autism Anglia team will be on hand to chat to parents. The first session is for Over 5s and will be running on Tuesday 28th November 5.30pm to 6.30pm. Booking is essential.

Spectrum Parent Support Group

Colchester based parent support group Spectrum are running a ‘Chat n Cuppa’ event on Wednesday 6th December 10.00am to 12.00noon.


RNIB - Letter from Santa in braille, audio or large print

Santa has contacted his friends at the Royal National Institute for the Blind to help him reply to blind or partially-sighted children in braille, audio or large print. See website for more details.


Beauty and the Beast Pantomime – Relaxed Performance

Polka Dot Pantomimes present their Christmas pantomime; Beauty and the Beast. They will be holding a relaxed performance on Monday 18th December, 6:30pm at the Thameside Theatre in Grays. 


FROST Relaxed Christmas Grotto

FROST is returning to Chelmsford with their Gingerbread House Pop-Up Grotto. They will be holding relaxed sessions on Thursday 14th December for children with additional needs. These sessions will be offered outside of public hours, where the children will be supervised by qualified staff and can have a more relaxed approach to the experience. Booking is essential. 


Construction Club 

This website has lots of information from a parent on starting up a ‘construction club’ to help facilitate and teach social skills. 


Cerebra Social Care Factsheet

Cerebra has produced a guide on what to do if you feel your child isn’t getting the social care support he or she needs. 


SNAP Coffee, Cake & Catch Up 

SNAP is inviting families, friends, volunteers and supporters to our annual get-together. The centre's main activity hall will become a pop-up tearoom for the day with refreshments and cakes in abundance with all the SNAP team on-hand to chat and bring everyone up-to-date on SNAP life. Drop by between 11.00am and 2.00pm on Wednesday 8th November 2017.


SNAP Matters Magazine


SNAP is delighted to be launching our new magazine packed full of news, opportunities, people stories and fundraising challenges for anyone with an interest in SNAP.


EST E-Safety Training 


SNAP was joined by The 2 Johns who have a combined Police service of more than 50 years, and vast experience of talking to children and parents in schools about online safety. They delivered a hard-hitting and thought-provoking presentation to SNAP parents on the current dangers facing children whilst they are playing online games or apps. 


BBC Radio Autism Takeover: 'I'm wearing a tight T-shirt so I know where I end' 

Robyn Steward and Jamie Knight give an entertaining and enlightening chat about their lives on the spectrum as part of the Ouch: Disability Talk Podcast. During the show they were given the chance to answer a variety of questions often asked about ASD. You can listen to the podcast on the BBC iplayer or read a transcript of the show on the BBC website. 


Mindfulness Research Study

Trainee clinical psychologist, Melissa Clapp, is conducting a research study exploring the relationships between mindfulness, self-compassion, parental well-being and child behaviour in parents of children aged 4 to 17 years old with neurodevelopmental disorders (such as ASD/ADHD/Tics/Tourette's/learning disabilities). Please see flyer for more details.


Maths Tutor Needed – Thurrock 


A SNAP family is looking for a maths tutor for their two primary aged children, please see flyer for more details. If you know of anyone who may be suitable please contact The SNAP Centre. 


Musical Magic – A relaxed orchestral performance

British Orchestra Sinfonia Viva is working with Treetops and Beacon Hill Schools, alongside Thurrock Music Services, to present a relaxed orchestral family concert at The Ockendon Academy on Saturday 11th November at 1.30pm.


Apex Parent Support Group 

This month’s meeting will be a Q&A session, giving parents an opportunity to discuss answers to questions they may have around their child’s additional needs. The meeting is in Chelmsford on Thursday 9th November.


Essex Disability Football Talent Hub – England Talent Day


 Disability4Sport has been awarded a licence from the FA to run an Essex Disability Football Talent Hub. They will be holding a free England Talent Day for young players aged between 7 and 16 years with any of the following impairments: cerebral palsy, acquired brain injury, visual or hearing impairment and amputees. The talent day is taking place in Chelmsford on Saturday 18th November.


Pink Unicorns

A south Essex support group for parents of girls with high anxiety and an autism spectrum disorder or social communication needs has their next meeting on Tuesday 14th November in Canvey Island.


Chelmsford Museum Relaxed Opening

Chelmsford Museum is holding their second relaxed opening on Sunday 19th November. The event is specifically aimed at those on the autistic spectrum, their families and friends.
There will be autism friendly staff, reduced lighting and sounds, plus special activities on the day. Admission is free but places are limited and need to be booked in advance by calling the museum.


Hamelin Trust Hydrotherapy Pool Open Day

Hamelin Trust is inviting families to come and see their hydrotherapy pool on Saturday 11th November and find out more about the Family Swim Sessions.



Abacus Parent Support Group 


The Wickford based support group for parents of children with disabilities or special educational needs has their next meeting on Friday 17th November at 9.15am.


Kids Inspire Coaching and Mentoring support


Kids Inspire is currently running a coaching a mentoring project for children and young people. The project aims to looks at situations that the individual is finding difficult and helps develops new skills and coping strategies to promote new habits, attitudes or abilities to deal with the situations.

 

October

 

Jump Evolution – Half Term SEN Session


Jump Evolution in Romford is running an extra SEN Support Session for children with additional needs and their families on Wednesday 25th October from 9.00am to 10.00am.

Shorefields School – Low Noise Fireworks

Shorefields school is hosting a low noise fireworks night exclusive for SEN families on 5th November 4:30pm at Plough Corner, Little Clacton. 


Arsenal Football Club – Sensory Room

Arsenal Football Club has opened a new sensory room at the Emirates Stadium. It contains a range of sensory tools and games to give fans with profound special needs the opportunity to enjoy matches with their families and carers.

SEN Magazine – Dyslexia Tips for Parents

SEN Magazine has produced some practical tips for parents who have a child or young person with dyslexia.


Young Epilepsy – 4 School Rules Campaign 

Young Epilepsy has launched a campaign to make sure children with epilepsy have the support they need to be safe in schools.


Action For Children – New Short Breaks Providers

Action For Children has a number of new providers that will be running ‘Taster Sessions’ at Stewards Academy for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities on Thursday 26th October. 


Carers Choices – Young Carers Groups

Carers Choices has a range of groups for young carers, providing support, confidence building and fun activities.


BBC Two Chris Packham: Asperger's and Me 

Spring Watch presenter Chris Packham has made an enlightening documentary about his life with Asperger’s syndrome. It is available to watch on the BBC Iplayer. Chris’ memoir, Fingers in the Sparkle Jar, is available to borrow from the SNAP library.

Spectrum Parent Support Group 

Spectrum is a Colchester based support group for parents and carers of children, young people and adults on the autistic spectrum. Their next meeting is on Wednesday 1st November, 10.00am to 12.00 noon. 


National Autistic Society – Big Survey

The NAS are conducting their annual BIG survey to find out which issues are important to families who have a child or young person on the autism spectrum.

University College London – Survey on Support for Parents after Diagnosis

In this short survey UCL aims to find out whether a support programme for parents of newly diagnosed children on the autism spectrum called PEGASUS PLUS can reduce parents’ stress and improve their wellbeing.



iSEssex – EHCP Workshops for Parent Carers

Independent Support Essex is holding an informal session here at The SNAP Centre to help parent carers learn about the Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) process. It is an opportunity to gain tips, resources and ideas, as well as meet other parent carers going through the transfer/application process. The session will be held on Wednesday 18th October – 11.30am to 1.00pm. Please contact SNAP to book your place. They will also be holding several other sessions across Essex, please see the Essex Local Offer website for more details.

Online Safety Training at The SNAP Centre

SNAP is holding an Online Safety Training talk at The SNAP Centre, on Monday 30th October at 7:00pm.  The presentation is from two leading police experts who have worked extensively investigating the specialist field of online safety. It will bring parents totally up-to-date on the apps their children are using, with input from children in Essex who keep the trainers constantly updated. If you would like to book your place(s) please call The SNAP Centre on 01277 211300, or email  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Ambitious about Autism – Know Your Normal

Ambitious about Autism has created the ‘know your normal’ toolkit. This downloadable booklet has been designed to allow someone to describe what their ‘normal’ looks like. It includes things such as how much sleep they get, how much time they spend on their interests and hobbies and how this makes them feel. It is intended to be filled in when things are going ok, so that if it changes, it’s easier to explain to people that something feels different. 


CAV – Family Mentoring Service

The CAV Family Mentoring Service provides a network of support to families who live in the Castle Point area with children aged between 0 and 19 years. They provide personalised care and support by allocating an experienced, non-judgemental, support worker and trained volunteer. 


The Lorax at the Old Vic

A relaxed performance of this theatre production for ages 6+ will be on Sunday 5th November 2017, 2.30pm. 


Sycamore Trust – Autumn Dates

Sycamore Trust has released the dates of their upcoming groups and events for Havering and Dagenham families. This includes their parent carer support groups, law clinic and family support services, as well as their youth club and Saturday short breaks provision. 


The Child Development Centre, West Essex – Parent Workshops

The Child Development Centre is offering one-day workshops in West Essex and East Hertfordshire, for parent carers of children who have recently been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). For more information contact PACT for Autism. 


Contact - Inquiry into school transport for disabled children

The national charity Contact has published the findings of their recent inquiry into school transport for disabled children. Read their findings and recommendations online. 

Essex Outdoors – Short Breaks October Half Term

Essex Outdoors is running October half term opportunities for disabled children and young people with a diagnosed disability aged 8 to 18 attending with a supporter. There is a one night break at Bradwell on Saturday 23rd October and an activity day at Mersea on Wednesday 25th October. 


CANCELLED - Developing the Essex Local Offer

Essex County Council is inviting parents of children and young people with special education needs and/or disabilities to work with them to improve the services for SEND across Essex. Meetings are being held throughout October and November where parents will be able to discuss their thoughts with teams such as the Statutory Assessment Service, SEND Information, Advice & Support service and Children with Disabilities team. 


Apex Parent Support Group

The Apex Parent Support Group, based at Thriftwood School in Chelmsford, will no longer be running as of December 2017. Meetings will continue running up to that time. The next meeting is on Thursday 12th October.


Hamelin Trust – New Clubs

Hamelin Trust is running a range of new clubs at their venues in Billericay. 


Anna Kennedy Online – Autism’s Got Talent

Anna Kennedy Online is hosting their annual Autism’s Got Talent show on Saturday 14th October 2017 at 7pm. Tickets are available online for this celebration of talent bought to you by adults and children with autism.


CYP Essex Autism Strategy Consultation

The final draft of the Essex Autism Strategy for Children and Young People is ready for consultation. The purpose of the strategy is to set out the joint priorities for supporting children and young people with autism and their families. It also gives details of how Essex intends to achieve these. Feedback on the strategy can be given by completing a short survey on the website.


InterAct Autumn Activity Programme

InterAct has released their autumn activity programme of activities across Essex for young people aged 12 to 18 with learning disabilities/additional needs.
 

Secondary school-aged siblings of children with autism – Questionnaire

Alex, a trainee Educational Psychologist at the University of Southampton, is writing a thesis which aims to explore the school experiences of secondary school-aged siblings of children with autism. She is seeking views of siblings, parent/carers and teachers, which can be given by completing online questionnaires. See attached flyer for more details.


Chris Cross Holiday Club

October half Term activity club for children aged 6 to 14 in Leigh-on-Sea.


Epilepsy Action’s new coffee and chat group in Brentwood

A chance to talk to others who are affected by epilepsy or care for someone who is. The first meeting is on 12th October 10.00am to 12.00noon at The Bay Tree Café. 


Harwich Community Consortium – EWMHS Meeting

Harwich Community Consortium is holding a meeting for parents and carers on Wednesday 18th October at the Park Pavilion in Harwich. The family workshop, run by the Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health Service, includes information on anxiety, low mood, self-harming, anger and strategies to manage this.


Essex Short Breaks, clubs and activities – Autumn Term

Action for Children has released their ‘Essex Short Breaks Clubs and Activities, Autumn Newsletter’. This includes details of what is running over the October Half- term week. 


Essex Family Forum Job Vacancy

The new parent carer forum for Essex is recruiting a self-employed Development Worker. Contact Aimee on 0333 013 6375 for an application form and full job description.

 

September

 

Autism Anglia Presents Neurofantastic – 

Autism Anglia is holding a family event celebrating autism and creativity with live music, poetry, and art from autistic creatives and people inspired by autism. The event is taking place on Sunday 24th September from 1:00pm onwards at Firstsite, Colchester. Entry to Firstsite is free to the general public, but tickets need to be purchased to enter the main stage area.

STOP Parenting Programme in Brentwood – 

A tried and tested supportive parenting course for parents of teenagers is about to start on 26th September at St Martin's School in Brentwood. The course builds over 10 weeks on Tuesday mornings and is free to attend. See flyer for details and how to book a place.

Chelmsford Museum Relaxed Opening – 

Chelmsford Museum is holding its first relaxed opening on Sunday 17th September. The two hour event is specifically aimed at those on the autistic spectrum, their families and friends. There will be autism friendly staff, reduced lighting and sounds, plus special activities on the day. Admission is free but places are limited and need to be booked in advance by calling the museum.

ISEssex EHCP Workshops for Parents – 

ISEssex is holding informal sessions to help parents learn about the Education Health and Care Plan process. It is a chance to get tips, ideas and resources as well as meeting other parents. Workshops will be held across the county throughout the autumn term. 

Conductive Education sessions at Kids First -

Stephanie Driver will be holding charity funded conductive education sessions at the Kids First centre in Corringham.  Conductive education is a method of teaching for children who have cerebral palsy or other motor disorders to help them to be as active as possible throughout their daily life. Contact Stephanie for more details.

National Autistic Society Autism Hour -

In the week beginning 2nd October, with the support of shopping centre owners Intu, The National Autistic Society  we will be launching their Autism Hour. Shops and businesses across the UK will be taking simple steps for 60 minutes that lead to a more autism-friendly world. Participating shops and businesses will be turning down music and other noise, dimming the lights and sharing information about autism with their employees.


Grangewaters Outdoor Education – Autumn Term Dates 

Grangewaters is running a range of week day sessions for preschool and primary aged children, as well as Saturday sessions for all the family. 


Rayleigh Megacentre – Parent Support and Family Fun Sessions

Rayleigh Megacentre will be running its wide range of parent support programmes as well as activity sessions. These include, parent courses, SEN discussion groups, 1:1 family support and a range of inclusive play sessions for all ages. See website for more details. 



Marks and Spencer - Easy dressing school uniform


With help from The National Autistic Society, M&S has created a range to make dressing for school easier, quicker and more comfortable.

Pink Unicorns –

A south Essex support group for parents of girls with high anxiety and an autism spectrum disorder or social communication needs has been arranged for Tuesday 19th September on Canvey Island.

PhysioNet – Mobility Aid and Equipment Collection

PhysioNet is a charity that provides physiotherapy equipment to children in Europe and in developing countries round the world.  Equipment can be donated and is refurbished by PhysioNet prior to shipment. The Rotary Club of Saffron Waldon is able to collect equipment in Essex.  Please contact the co-ordinator John at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or call 01799 599395.

intu Lakeside – Changing Places Facility  

intu Lakeside will be hosting an official opening of its new Changing Places Facility on Wednesday 30th August at 11:30am. The £45k investment by intu Lakeside is located along Brompton Walk. It is an additional facility, to support customers with profound and multiple learning disabilities; as well as cater for people with other physical and non-visual disabilities, who may require extra equipment and space in a safe and comfortable environment. 


TES – SEN Show 

The TES SEN Show 2017 is an annual event for everyone in the special educational needs community.  The show is built around a lively exhibition packed with suppliers, charities and organisations. In addition, there will be free workshops, a Parent & Carer Forum and CDP certified seminars.  This years’ show is running from Friday 6th October to Saturday 7th October. 

PACT for Autism – Back to School Guide

PACT has put together some articles and information to help with the transition back to school. 

Gator Watch - 

The Gator Watch is a wearable mobile phone and tracker. It is designed to offer some independence to a child or young person whilst giving peace of mind to parents.  Features include real-time location tracking, two-way voice communications, SOS button, safe zone alarms and watch functions.

ERIC – Incontinence Swimwear 

ERIC have a new range of swimwear that helps to contain wetting and soiling accidents in the water. They come in a variety of styles, colours and sizes. They are available to purchase on the ERIC website. 
 

CDC – EHCP animations 

With support from the Department for Education, Independent Support has produced two short animations aimed at parents to help explain the EHCP process and the Person Centred Connection. 

Mahler Autism – Interoception Video 

Mahler Autism has created a short video introducing ‘Interoception: The Eighth Sensory System’. Interoception is the ability to perceive the internal state of your body.  The video explains the idea that sensing internal bodily changes may be connected to the ability to understand and regulate emotions and behaviour. 

Contact a Family's Name Change -

The national charity Contact a Family has shortened its name to Contact as part of its rebranding.  The charity provides support and information to families who care for children with any disability or specific health condition.

 

August

 

Extra - Support for Parents  


Autumn Term dates for SEN parent support group in Jaywick.


Living With Luke – The Colchester Arts Centre 

Danson Thunderbolt's play, 'Living With Luke', is returning to the stage at the Colchester Arts Centre. They will be showing only two performances of the acclaimed play about a father’s relationship with his autistic son.  Saturday 9th September, 3:00pm & 8:00pm. 


 
Active Essex – All Together Campaign 

Active Essex is running a campaign called ‘All Together’ which looks to address the low number of disabled people in Essex who regularly take part in sport and physical activity. They aim to do this by increasing awareness of the opportunities available, creating more opportunities where needed and using positive role models to inspire others. They are currently recruiting ambassadors for a voluntary role to inspire disabled people to get involved with sport and physical activity. Find out more, or apply to be an ambassador via their website.
   


Autism Friendly Gym Sessions – The Brentwood Centre 


Autism friendly gym sessions will be held on Saturdays at the Brentwood Centre until 23rdSeptember.  The sessions will be run by Ben who has a diagnosis of autism and is training to become a qualified gym instructor.  He will be supported by qualified instructor and All Together Ambassador, Lee Patmore. The free of charge sessions run from 4:45pm to 6:00pm and are suitable for ages 12 to 25. 


Parallel London – 


This fully inclusive fun run/push, a Super Sensory 1km and free family festival will be held in London on Sunday 3rd September. See website for details.


A Day Out with Thomas – East Anglian Railway Museum 

A day out with Thomas at the East Anglian Railway Museum over the bank holiday offers unlimited steam train rides on at least four character trains which run all day long with no fixed timetable. 26th -28th August 10.00am to 4.30pm.


Essex Local Offer – You Said, We Did 

Following a meeting here at The SNAP Centre, Essex County Council has made some changes to the Essex Local Offer. The Local Offer is a website detailing what provision and services are available in Essex for children and young people with SEN. It gives information on education, health and care services as well as leisure activities and support groups. The “You Said, We Did” changes include; more 'positive' category colours, 'read more' hyperlinks to make it clearer when more information is available, and a new Facebook widget on the homepage.  You can read more about the updates by visiting the website.

 
Essex Short Breaks – Family Fun Day

The Essex Short Breaks, Clubs and Activities team are hosting a free Family Fun Day for children and young people with SEN and their families, at Clacton Promenade on 30th August, 11am to 3pm.  See website for more details.


SNAP Summer Survival Guide – 

Don't forget to look at the 2017 guide on our website.  It contains useful tips and ideas for surviving the school summer holidays, with advice for travelling on holiday or coping with days out.  There is also a comprehensive collection of activities and events run by different organisations during the summer months. 


Special Parent Support Facebook Group and family blog -

A new parent run Facebook group for families who have a child with additional needs. The family have also created their own personal blog detailing their daily lives - www.iwilltakethespecial.com.

 

Poppets – Crazy Aaron’s Thinking Putty stockist 

Toy shop Poppets, now stocks a wide range of the incredible Crazy Aaron’s Thinking Putty. This wonderful tactile putty is great to keep hands occupied and brains working. If purchased through Poppets online store, SNAP families can get 10% off by using the code “SNAP”.   


To the Moon and Back – Barleylands Toy Shop  

A new shop based at Barleylands Craft Village. As well as selling a wide range of traditional toys, they also stock a variety of sensory and special needs products. On top of this, they have created a sensory corner inside the shop. 
 

National Autistic Society – Sponsored Event at Drayton Manor 

All Aboard for Autism is a short 3km sponsored walk around the perimeter of Drayton Manor Theme Park, home of Thomas Land on Saturday 23rd September 2017. The event will be family and autism friendly. Any money raised to help The National Autistic Society is appreciated – but as a special thank you, they will be giving a free ticket to Drayton Manor Theme Park to any adult who raises £25 or more, and any child who raises £20 or more.


Stay and Splash – SEN and Sibling Sessions 

Stay and Splash is a splash park based at the Paddocks on Canvey Island.  Sessions for children with additional needs and their siblings are run throughout the summer every other Wednesday. See website for more details. 


Autism and complex needs conference - 

The National Autistic Society is holding a one-day conference exploring best practice around supporting autistic people with complex needs on Tuesday 26th September in London. 
  


Holiday, Play and Leisure Guide 2017 - 

Contact a Family has produced an informative guide about what play, leisure, and short breaks options may be available, and where to find more information. It also has information about arranging holidays for disabled children and details of organisations which provide grants for these types of activities.


Grangewaters Outdoor Education Centre –


There is a programme of family activities at this centre in Thurrock over the summer holiday. They also have an open day on Saturday 26th August, between 10am and 4pm, where children go free! 


Working Families Survey - 

The Waving Not Drowning network for working families wants to know what is and isn’t working for carers and parents of disabled children trying to combine paid work with their caring responsibilities

 

July

 

Anderson School –

An interview with the head teacher of the new National Autistic Society school in Chigwell, which opens in September.

Easy Dressing Clothing Range –

Marks & Spencer has a range of adapted school uniform for ages 2 to 16. The range has been designed in collaboration with The National Autistic Society.

SEN Show –

This annual event at the Business Design Centre in London will be held on 6-7 October 2017.  It is free to enter to access the resources, advice and support available. Plus for parents there is a Parent & Carer Forum with seminars all day on the Saturday.

A Legal Handbook –

This authoritative yet accessible guide to the legal rights of disabled children and their families in England and Wales is available to freely download online. Each chapter explains the difference between what public bodies must do to support disabled children and that which they may do.

What? Why? Children in Hospital – 

The WWCIH charity makes video clips suitable for children to help children and parents prepare for hospital and answer some of their questions starting with What? And Why? Videos include children having tests and scans and also pretend hospital play ideas to prepare your child for hospital visits.

Accessing Public Services Toolkit – 

The second edition of Cerebra’s problem-solving guide for parents is available to download from their website.

Girls and Autism: Flying Under the Radar – 

A guide from Nasen identifying the key issues for girls on the autism spectrum and giving practical school-based support strategies.

Amazing Things Happen -

A lovely animated film about autism.

 

June


SNAP Summer Survival Guide –

The Summer Survival Guide 2017 has now launched, with lots a useful advice and ideas plus events and activities to help you through the summer holiday period. Look out for email and social media alerts or check the website page. 

Fledglings Solutions –

Fledglings is a charity selling products that improve the lives of disabled children and their families. Fledglings Solutions is a section of their website offering suggestions and links relating to particular issues and needs.  It includes downloadable information sheets. 


Light Touch Care Support –


Essex Short Breaks is looking for parents who can give some feedback on their experience of trying to access light touch support.

 
Apex Parent Support Group –


Social Stories and social understanding will be the topic for discussion at this month’s meeting in Chelmsford on Thursday 13th July.

 
Zinc SEN Disco –


Zinc Arts in Chipping Ongar has launched a monthly disco for people with disabilities aged 14+ and will be held on the first Wednesday of each month from 6.30pm to 8.30pm. 

 
The Curly Hair Project –


This social enterprise is dedicated to supporting females with Asperger syndrome and other autism spectrum disorders. The Girl with the Curly Hair is a set of easy-to-read, comic style books, many of which are available to borrow from the SNAP library. 

 
Secret Life of Us Campaign –


The Disabled Children’s Partnership is a coalition of over 50 charities that are working in partnership with parents to campaign for improved health and social care for disabled children, young people and their families. The Secret Life of Us campaign seeks to increase public awareness of the lives of disabled children and remove the stigma that many face on a daily basis. 

 
Essex Short Breaks –


The summer 2017 clubs and activities brochure from Essex Short Breaks.

 
Autism Awareness Comics –

Rebecca Burgess, who produced a comic to explain the autism spectrum has teamed with The Guardian and The National Autistic Society to produce further comics to help people understand autism. 

Activities across Essex for young people aged 12 to 18 with learning disabilities/additional needs.

 
Castledon Speech & Language Drop-in –


Castledon School’s monthly coffee morning for parents will be attended by a speech and language therapist on 10th July.

 
Autism Nature Guide –


Autism and Nature project has produced several guides including one titled ‘Visiting the Essex Countryside’, which is a guide for parents, carers and teachers of children with autism. It can be freely downloaded from the resources section of their website. 

 
Practical Workshops –


The Essex SEND Information Advice and Support Service is offering free workshops for parents of children and young people with SEN and disabilities at the Weston Homes Community Stadium in Colchester on Wednesday 28th June.

 
Raising Awareness about Special Education –


A study by Kingston University aims to examine parental views and concerns about SEN provision for children and young people with ASD. They are looking for people to complete their online questionnaire.

 
Summer Reading Challenge –


Animal Agents is the theme of this summer’s reading challenge at Essex Libraries. There is a visual tool to explain the scheme to those with autism and learning disabilities and more information can be found on the Summer Reading Challenge website https://summerreadingchallenge.org.uk/ 

 
Chris Cross Holiday Club –


Summer activity club for children aged 6 to 14 in Leigh-on-Sea.

 
Pink Unicorns –


A south Essex support group for parents of girls with high anxiety and an autism spectrum disorder or social communication needs has been arranged for Tuesday 19th September on Canvey Island.

 
Hugbike –


The Hugbike is an innovative tandem bike design for riders with autism or learning disabilities. 

 
Research with Autism Mothers –


University of Cambridge is looking for expectant or new mothers who themselves have autism, to help with research into how factors during pregnancy affect brain development and behaviour.

 

May

 

SEND Transport Meeting –

Essex County Council is inviting parent/carers to attend a meeting in Chelmsford to share concerns about SEN transport in Essex.


Occupational Therapy Drop-in Session –


Castledon school in Wickford’s monthly coffee morning event for parents will focus on occupational therapy this month.

 

Epping Forest Inclusion Project –

A programme of activity sessions for May half term.

 
Essex Outdoors –


Inclusive half term holiday sessions at activity centres across Essex. 


Treating Autism Roadshow Event –


A day of talks in Basildon on Friday 23rd June for parents of children and young people with autism. 

 
Endeavour Youth Club –


A Brentwood based youth club for young people aged 13 to 25 with additional needs.

 
Hermit Youth Centre –


A full list of what’s happening at the Hermit Youth Centre in Brentwood.

 
Matilda Relaxed Performance –

Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical, at the Cambridge Theatre, will have a relaxed performance on Sunday 11th June.

 
New Thomas the Tank Engine Film –


Due to be released this summer, ‘Thomas & Friends: Journey Beyond Sodor’ will feature a new engine called Theo that has been designed to give children with autism a sympathetic character they can identify with. 

 
Family Finances and Disability –


The Children’s Policy Research Unit has written a report comparing the cost of raising children with and without disabilities and looking at the real cost of raising a child with a disability. 

 
Apex Parent Support Group –


This Chelmsford group will be meeting next on Thursday 8th June at Thriftwood School.

 
PACT for Autism Talk –


A Practical Exploration of Autism, ADHD and PDA on Wednesday 28th June in Harlow. 


Grangewaters Outdoor Education Centre –

There will be a programme of family activities at this centre in Thurrock for half term.

 
SNAP Open Day –

Help us celebrate a decade of supporting families at The SNAP Centre on Wednesday 17th May between 11am to 5pm. Catch up with the team and our founder Hilary as she begins an exciting new chapter with the charity as Honorary Life President. 


Amazing Things Happen –

This brilliant, short animated film tackles the complex subject of autism with simple descriptions, relatable situations and positive language. It is ideal to introduce children, with or without an ASD, to autism. 

 
Talking About Autism –

The Centre for Research in Autism & Education (CRAE) would like parents of children with an ASD to complete a short survey to find out how parents talk to their children with an autism spectrum disorder about autism.  The survey closes on 9th June 2017. 

 
Castledon School Coffee Morning –

A monthly opportunity for parents to meet up with other parents, staff and visiting practitioners. This meeting will be attended by Pam from SNAP.

 
Chris Cross Half Term Activities –

The Chris Cross Holiday Club will be running again for May Half Term.

 
Lambourne End Centre –

The next Fun Day for young people who have a disability or additional need will be on Thursday 1st June.

 
SEN Information Sessions –

Families InFocus (Essex) is running sessions for parent/carers at various locations across Essex to give information about Education Health & Care Plans (EHCP).

 
BBC Relaxed Prom –

The world’s first relaxed prom has been announced by the BBC. It will be held at the Royal Albert Hall on Saturday 29th July and will be suitable for children and adults with autism, sensory and communication impairments and learning disabilities.  There is a downloadable guide for parents/carers that gives as much information as possible about the prom in advance of the day. 

 
Brentwood PDA Support Group –

A new Facebook closed group has been started to support families affected by Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA). 


Autism Friendly Cinema Screenings –


The Dimensions website lists all upcoming dates for films in a sensory friendly environment. 


April

 

SNAP Open Day –

Help us celebrate a decade of supporting families at The SNAP Centre on Wednesday 17th May between 11am and 5pm. Catch up with the team and our founder Hilary as she begins an exciting new chapter with the charity as Honorary Life President. 


London Zoo Special Children’s Day –


Special Children's Day is a unique annual event at ZSL London Zoo welcoming children with special needs and their families and friends. The event is on 6th and 7th May and there will be increased specialist facilities and number of staff, as well as special interactive events and discounted entry. 


Construction Club Mates –


This is a friendship group concept that can be adopted by schools, volunteers and parents to assist children who struggle with social interactions. 

 
The Big Life Fix –


BBC Two’s Big Life Fix programme is looking for people whose lives could potentially be changed with a bespoke invention made by their team of scientists, engineers and designers.

 
The Autism Show –


This annual event in association with The National Autistic Society will be at ExCeL in London on 16th and 17th June.  There will be a programme of seminars, workshops and opportunities for one-to-one advice sessions, plus stands demonstrating 100s of products and services. 

 
Kidz to Adultz South –


This large exhibition from Disabled Living is dedicated to children and young adults with a disability or additional needs, their families, carers and the professionals who support them. Thursday 8th June in Reading.   

 
Richard and Jaco: Life with Autism –


BBC documentary about Welsh actor Richard Mylan and his 11 year old son Jaco who has autism. 

 
ADHD and Me with Rory Bremner –


This BBC Horizon documentary is available now on BBC iPlayer. 

 
Mencap Wills & Trusts Seminars –


Two seminars delivered by solicitors have been arranged in Colchester and Southend for dates in July.


Apex Parent Support Group - 

The next meeting will be held at Thriftwood School in Chelmsford on Thursday 11th May at 10am to 12noon. 

 
Council for Disabled Children’s Report Summary –


The CDC has summarised the results of a family survey by the Department for Education, which was completed by over 13,000 parents and young people on the EHC process. 

 
Autism and Diagnosis: Advice for Teachers –


Article from Network Autism offering advice for teachers on what to do if they suspect a child they teach may have autism. 

 
Neurological Health Workshop –


This workshop will be at South Weald Parish Hall in Brentwood on Saturday 3rd June, 12 noon to 1.45pm.

 
Carers UK State of Caring Survey 2017 –


This survey is to help show the reality of what it means to care for a family member or friend, what it’s like and what needs to change. 

 
PiPA (Planning Inclusive Play Areas) –


This tool enables play areas to be registered with the company Inclusive Play and located on a map to show where children with disabilities can find a good outside play area. 

 
DIAL Basildon and South Essex –

The Basildon office has now closed due to lack of funding, but alternative premises in Crown House in Grays, Thurrock will be opening on 15th May. See their website for more details. 

 
Girls on the Autism Spectrum –

SNAP is hosting another discussion and catch-up event for families with daughters on the spectrum (or suspected ASD) to come in and share their experiences with each other. The event, on the morning of Wednesday 26th April, will also be attended by Linsey from Families InFocus who will be able to answer questions about school based support and processes. 

 
Alpha Sigma Delta –


This group for girls with ASD in Year 6 onwards, together with their parents starts on Thursday evening 20th April 2017 at The Megacentre, in Rayleigh.

 
Back Fastening Fleeces –


Rackety’s has produced a range of quality fleece jackets in a range of colours, that open out completely front and back for ease of dressing.

 
Easy Read Time Teacher –


A simple and effective time teaching system includes children’s watches, clocks and freely downloadable resources to help teach the time. 

 
Parentalk Teens –


The Megacentre in Rayleigh is offering a free 6-week parenting course for parents of teenagers, starting on Tuesday 18th April until Tuesday 23rd May 2017.


Short Breaks Questionnaire –

Please take a few moments to complete a brief online survey into Essex Short Breaks, clubs and activities, to let Essex County Council know what SNAP and other organisations mean to your family. This will ensure you can be involved in shaping future services for your children.


Apex Parent Support Group - 

This Chelmsford based group is celebrating its 5th birthday at the next meeting on Thursday 20th April.

 
SMART-ASD –

A free online course from the University of Bath on FutureLearn. The course is perfect for parents, carers and practitioners and is aimed at all those interested in finding out more about autism and intellectual (or learning) disability in children, and how technology can support them.

STOP Course in Brentwood - 

The STOP course is a free parenting programme for parents and carers of young people aged 10 to 16, including those with special needs. The next 10 to 12 week course starts on 18th April in Shenfield, Brentwood.


FLASH Course in Brentwood - 

Families Learning About Self-Harm (FLASH) is a 10 week parenting course open to parents and carers where there is a young person within the family who is exhibiting self-harm behaviour and this behaviour is having an impact on the family as a whole. The next course starts in Shenfield, Brentwood on the evening of Wednesday 19th April.


Singing Hands DVD –

Following the success of previous Singing Hands resources, Singing Hands has launched a pledge campaign to create a fresh and contemporary album and DVD of popular songs for older children/teenagers and adults who use Makaton. 


DfE Family Survey Results –

The Council for Disabled Children summarises the results of a family survey by the Department for Education on the EHC needs assessment process.


Smiles & Laughter Project –

Kingston University and Nottingham Trent University are looking for participants with Down syndrome aged 9 to 30 years to help them investigate humour understanding in order to develop interventions to improve humour comprehension in children with ASD and Down syndrome. The study will take no more than an hour and can be carried out at home or in school/college.


PosAbility Magazine –

SNAP has copies of this disability focused magazine available free to SNAP families at our centre. Please ask for a copy when you come into The SNAP Centre.

 

March

 

Net Aware –

The NSPCC in association with O2 has produced a guide for parents to the social networks your children use. 

 
Essex Peer Review of SEND –


Essex County Council is inviting parents and carers whose child has gone through the Education, Health & Care Plan (EHCP) process to attend a forum meeting to share their views on the experience and whether it is making a difference.

 
ADHD Support Group in Thurrock –


The Holy Cross Catholic Primary School is running a monthly parent support group for parents who have children with ADHD or ADD.

 
Cerebral Palsy Webinar –


Firefly is presenting a webinar giving an overview of cerebral palsy and parents’ experiences, together with information on medical interventions, equipment and how to participate in everyday activities with cerebral palsy. 

 
Rainbow Rural Spring Open Day –


A fun farm experience and inclusive cycling taster session in Great Dunmow on Sunday 9th April.

 
Relaxed Theatre Performances –


There are opportunities at London theatres coming up later this year to see autism-friendly performances of The Lion King and Aladdin. 

 
Essex Outdoors –


Activity days are available during the school holidays for children aged 8 to 18, at different locations across Essex. 

 
Grangewaters –


Easter family activities at Grangewaters Outdoor Education Centre in South Ockendon.

 
Grangewaters ‘Have a go’ Day –


An opportunity to try water sports on Wednesday 5th April.

 
Trailnet Saturday Club –


Inclusive cycling sessions at Thorndon Country Park in Brentwood on Saturday mornings for ages 4+. 

 
Basildon Activity Club -


Core Assets is running this weekly club for young disabled people aged 11 to 18 years.

 
Youth Mental Health First Aid Training –


InterAct is running this practical course for spotting the early signs of a mental health problem.

 
The SNAP Library –

SNAP is regularly adding new resources to our specialist library. Alongside the books and DVDs that are available to borrow, we have a wealth of information sheets and booklets on a range of issues and topics that can be easily emailed to you on request. Speak to a SNAP adviser if you need any guidance. 

 
What? Why? Children in Hospital -


The WWCIH charity makes video clips suitable for children to help children and parents prepare for hospital and answer some of their questions starting with What? and Why?  Videos include children having tests and scans, and also pretend hospital play ideas to prepare your child for hospital visits. 

 
Reading Well Scheme – 


Reading Well for Young People is a scheme to help people aged 13 to 18 years manage their mental health, wellbeing and resilience using recommended reading. Since its launch in Essex libraries last year, young people have been reviewing the books on the list. Some of their comments have been put into a video. 

 
Chris Cross Holiday Club –
 

Easter holiday activity club for children aged 6 to 14 years, at St Christopher’s School in Leigh-on-Sea.

 
Relaxed Orchestra Performance – 


Orchestra of the Swan is a one-hour, everyone-friendly concert the whole family can enjoy. On 18th March at 12 noon in Chelmsford.

 
InterAct Activity Programme –


The spring activity programme for young people aged 12 to 18 with learning disabilities/additional needs.

 
STOP Parenting Course – 


For parents and carers of young people aged 10 to 16 in Wickford, starting 20th April 2017.


Tink ‘n’ Stink –

This online retailer provides educational resources and learning toys, plus sensory, fidget and chew toys.


Children & Young People’s Local Offer Page – 

The Essex Local Offer now has a dedicated page to explain the Essex SEND Information, Advice and Support Service to children and young people. It features video films, posters and leaflets designed and produced by pupils and trainees.


Chelmsford Library Event – 

For Autism Awareness Week, SAFE (Supporting Asperger Families in Essex) and Chelmsford Library are running a Harry Potter themed activity event.

 
Lambourne End Fun Days for South and West Essex –


Essex County Council is funding some sessions under the Short Breaks programme for children and young people over 8 years of age living in Rochford and Canvey Island, or Uttlesford, Harlow and Epping Forest areas.

 
Younify Coffee Morning – 


Parent support for those living in the Southend area, held at St Christopher’s School in Leigh-on-Sea.

 
Pact for Autism –


The Harlow based group has regular exclusive use of the Wild n Wacky venue for play sessions and parent/carer support meetings. Contact Pact for Autism to book. 

 
SWAN UK Survey – 

SWAN is looking for families to complete a home adaptation survey. They want to gather experiences as they are keen to help improve the process for families and encourage more new accessible housing to be built so people have more choice.

 

February

Tony Attwood Conference –

This amazing opportunity to hear Professor Tony Attwood in Brentwood is almost sold out.  Hurry to book the remaining tickets. 


Sensorise Coffee Morning –

SNAP is inviting families whose children have more profound and complex special needs to come in for an informal catch up and a chance to share their experiences with each other.  Wednesday 22nd March, 9.30am to 11.30am.  Contact SNAP to book a place on 01277 211300.


Mersea Festival –

Essex Outdoors is now taking bookings for their annual inclusive activity summer breaks.
 

Grief Unspoken –

An article from SEN Magazine about supporting children with special needs through bereavement. 


Robyn Steward Talk –

Castledon School in Wickford is hosting an afternoon with Robyn Steward on 29th March, who will be giving a talk about her life with autism and also her work with others on the autism spectrum.

Robyn Steward Survey –

Robyn is currently writing a book for autistic people about menstruation and is looking for input from both autistic and non-autistic people and parents of girls with autism. 

 
Sensory Strategies talk –

SNAP is delighted to welcome back Corinna Laurie, a paediatric occupational therapist, to talk about our senses and how they can affect behaviour and learning both outside school and in the classroom environment. 

 
Easy Dressing Clothing Range –

Marks & Spencer has extended its range of adapted school uniform for ages 2 to 16. The range has been designed in collaboration with The National Autistic Society. 

 
Safer Internet Day 2017 –

Tuesday 7th February is  a day coordinated by the UK Safer Internet Centre to get hundreds of organisations involved to promote the safe, responsible and positive use of digital technology for children and young people. 

 
Carer’s Credit –

Carer’s Credit is designed to plug the gap in National Insurance contributions for carers (caring over 20 hours a week) who don’t already qualify automatically through Carer’s Allowance.  Crucially, the threshold is lower than that needed to be eligible to claim Carer’s Allowance. This information might help carers whose children are over 12 – the age that the National Insurance credits would ordinarily stop, but who are not eligible for Carer’s Allowance. 

 
Apex Parent Support Group –

The next meeting of this group in Chelmsford is on 9th February, focusing this month on making and using an ‘Emotional Toolbox’, a concept developed by clinical psychologist Tony Attwood.

 
Practical Workshops for Parents –

Essex SEND Information, Advice and Support Service is hosting a day of workshops in Chelmsford for parents of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities.

 
Basildon Activity Club –

Core Assets is running this weekly club for young disabled people aged 11 to 18 years.

 
EHCP Workshops –

InterAct is running a series of free workshops for parents of children who are transferring from a Statement of SEN or are in the process for a new Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP).  See the link for details of the remaining dates. 

 
Mencap FamilyHub –

This is an online community and forum for parents and family carers of someone with a learning disability. 
 

Spectrum Breaks Holidays –

Hartlands (owned by the Spectrum Breaks Project) is a holiday centre on the Isle of Wight providing self-catering accommodation and facilities suitable for families with members of any age on the autism spectrum.  Facilities include an indoor hydro swimming pool, cinema, IT room, activity and sensory room, games room, gymnasium and coffee lounge.  Hartlands has been specifically designed for a holiday where autism is understood and catered for. 
 

Early Birds at The Science Museum –

Early Bird events from 8.30am to 11.15am on selected Saturdays in the year allow families with children under 15 who are on the autism spectrum to experience and enjoy the museum free from the hustle and bustle of the general public.  There are also free workshops and demonstrations during the morning.  See their website for further information. 

 
Childcare Report -

Contact a Family has commented on a new report from the Family and Childcare Trust about information available to families with disabled children who need to access childcare.

 

January

 

Parent Yoga at SNAP – 

New Year, New Start, New You! These yoga sessions on Friday mornings for parents of children and young people with special needs aim to improve both physical and mental well-being. 


Sensory Impact talk –

Corinna Laurie, a specialist occupational therapist, is coming to SNAP on Tuesday 21st February to talk about our senses and how they can affect behaviour and learning. 


Megacentre Parent Support Group – 

The Megacentre in Rayleigh has a group for parents of children with additional needs that meets on Friday mornings once a month.


Buckle Stopz – 

The MERU Buckle Stopz is a safety device that can stop people with behavioural issues putting themselves and other vehicle occupants at risk by preventing them from releasing safety belts (only to be used after a detailed risk assessment).


ADHD/ASD Support Group in Tilbury – 


This parent group meets every other week at Tilbury Children’s Centre and has monthly speakers on relevant topics.


Chris Cross Holiday Club – 

Half Term holiday club for children aged 6 to 14 at Christopher’s Cottage Sports Hall in Leigh-on-Sea.



Essex Outdoors Half Term Activities – 

Action packed activity days at various venues in Essex for children aged 8 to 16.

 
Youth Mental Health First Aid Training – 

InterAct is offering a course specifically for parent/carers in Chelmsford, starting 27th January 2017.


Younify Coffee Morning – 

This support group in Leigh-on-Sea is for parents of children with behavioural and learning difficulties.

 
Anderson School in Chigwell – 

This new NAS school is due to open in September 2017 for students with autism aged 11 to 19. 

 
Sarah Hendrickx Talk - 

Sarah will be returning to SNAP on Wednesday 25th January to speak about Happiness and Well-being: An Autism Perspective. 


 Apex Parent Support Group – 

The next group meeting at Thriftwood School in Chelmsford will be on Thursday 12th January.

 
Essex Short Breaks Brochure - 


The new Short Breaks for Disabled Children and Young People brochure is now available on the Essex County Council website. 

 
Carers Health Market – 

This event at the Brentwood Centre on Friday 13th January aims to raise awareness of the support available to carers.

 
U Matter 2 – 

This Hamelin Trust service has released a programme of activities for carers for January to March.

 
London Seminar on The Care Act – 

Action for Kids, The Advocacy and Support Partnership and Irwin Mitchell will together present a seminar for parents, carers and professionals on The Care Act and social care support for young people and adults with SEND, on Wednesday 8th February 2017 in central London.

 
SEN.fyi App – 

A simple app from Douglas Silas Solicitors for anyone involved with supporting a child or young person with special educational needs.  It also includes the eBook, A Guide to the SEND Code of Practice (updated for 2016/17).

 
Photosymbol Photoshoot – 

Essex County Council is looking for children and young people with a range of abilities/disabilities to take part in a photoshoot.

 
SNAP Directory/Holidays – 

With the new year and thoughts turning to summer holidays, don’t forget to browse the Holidays section of our Directory for useful contacts.

 
Centre Algarve -

A SNAP family has recommended a fully accessible holiday in Portugal and  wanted us to highlight this specialist holiday centre for people with special needs. 

 
Working with Young People on the Autistic Spectrum – 

This training day for professionals such as SENCOs, LSAs, counsellors and therapists is being held in Colchester on 3rd March 2017.

 

2016

December

 

SNAP Christmas Survival Guide –

The 2016 guide is now available on our website.  It’s filled with useful tips and information we have collected to take some of the stress out of Christmas. 


 
Sarah Hendrickx Talk –


SNAP is delighted to welcome back Sarah to speak about Happiness and Well-being: An Autism Perspective, on 25th January 2017. 
 

Essex Libraries –


Chelmsford, Basildon and Colchester libraries have a sensory wall available for children to experience. It incorporates different sensory activities, projectors and an interactive video floor.  The wall area is used during children’s story times and can be booked for individual or group sessions at other times.  Contact the libraries direct for details, or view the video on this link.
 

Hamelin Trust Hydropool –


Through the Short Breaks schemes, weekend swim clubs for children with disabilities up to age 18 and family swim sessions are bookable at this hydrotherapy pool in Rochford.  See flyers for details of the Southend-on-Sea District and Essex County Council options.

 

Benefit Cap –


The Endeavour Programme has been set up in Harlow, Basildon and Chelmsford areas to support families who are concerned about how the new benefit cap will affect them.

 

Connected Magazine –


The news magazine for the national charity Contact a Family, for families with disabled children, is now available online. 

 

Three Faces Poster –


Suffolk based organisation ‘Autism & ADHD’ has produced a useful poster to explain how we feel emotionally at different times.

 

Peter Pan at National Theatre –


A relaxed performance of this theatre production for ages 7+ will be on Saturday 21st January at 2pm.  See website for booking details. 

 

STOP course in Wickford –


This effective 10 week parenting course for parents of young people aged 10 to 16 is starting in Wickford on 6th January.

 

Big BOSP Youth Club –


This fully supported youth club for young people with special needs is held on Thursday evenings in Billericay.

 

Wills & Trusts Event –


Zinc Arts in Chipping Ongar is hosting a free opportunity for people to learn about the importance of Wills, Trusts and Estate planning on 26th January at 7pm. 

 

InterAct Activity Programme –


InterAct has released its activity programme for January to March 2017 for young people aged 12 to 18 with learning disabilities/additional needs across Essex.

 

Autism Friendly Cinema Screenings –


The Dimensions website lists upcoming cinema screenings across the country. 

 

November 

 

Sarah Hendrickx at SNAP 

We will be welcoming Sarah Hendrickx back to SNAP on Wednesday 25th January to talk about happiness and wellbeing from an autism perspective. Save the date – we’ll be booking soon.

Apex Meeting – 

The December meeting of Apex Parent Support Group in Chelmsford will include an opportunity to meet Dr Siobhan Timmins, author of ‘Successful Social Stories for Young Children’.


Brentwood Theatre – 

There will be a relaxed performance of ‘Through the Looking Glass’ on Sunday 11th December.


Tired Out – 

This website supports families raising disabled children and teenagers to find help and information about sleep.


Grangewaters –  

This outdoor activity centre in South Ockendon is offering a free youth focused outdoor event on 29th December.

Anderson School – 

An autism-specific school will be opening in Chigwell in September 2017 for students aged 11 to 19 years. 

FLASH Course – 

This 10-week parenting course from The Ministry of Parenting will be starting in Brentwood in January for parents of young people who are exhibiting self-harm behaviour.

STOP Course – 

This 10 or 12 week parenting course starts in Brentwood in January for parents of young people aged 10 to 16.

Teen Triple P – 

A positive parenting programme from The Children’s Society is offering an 8-week course in Brentwood, starting in January.

Sensory Oojamabobs – 

A wide range of chewy pendants and jewellery to suit all ages and sensory needs, plus the Fidgi-Flip fiddle toys.


My Feral Heart – 

This film is about a young man with Down syndrome.  A SNAP family is trying to get enough interest via Ourscreen to create a screening at Stratford East Picturehouse on Monday 19th December.  See link to reserve a place. 

 

Girls on the Autism Spectrum –

An opportunity at SNAP for parents with daughters on the autism spectrum to come in and share experiences with each other, raise questions and explore the new specific resources in SNAP's library relating to girls on the autism spectrum. 

Time Tokens - 

Many parents are concerned about keeping track of how much time their children spend on computers, tablets or watching TV. Time Tokens is an affordable system to help parents to manage their child’s screen time.

Autism Spectrum Comic - 

Rebecca Burgess has created a comic book description of the autism spectrum to help explain how the range of strengths and weaknesses of a person with autism can affect them to different degrees.  

Bounce Village Club - 

programme of special sessions for children and people with additional needs has been created at this indoor trampoline park in Rochford.


Discover Trampolining Open Day –

A free opportunity for young people with disabilities aged 10 years and above to try trampolining, on Saturday 12th November in Brentwood.


Basildon Activity Club –

Core Assets Children’s Services has launched a new after-school club in Basildon for young people with disabilities aged 12 to 15 years.


Younify Coffee Morning -

The next meeting of Younify at St Christopher’s School in Leigh-on-Sea will be 6th December.

Peter Pan Relaxed Performance -

Tickets for this special performance at Thameside Theatre in Thurrock can be booked now for Monday 19th December.

Apex Parent Support Group –

This group will be meeting on 10th November and 8th December at Thriftwood School in Galleywood.

New School in Harlow –

The Hornbeam Academy Trust is working with Essex County Council to establish Maple School in Harlow for pupils who have Social, Emotional and Mental Health Needs and/or Autistic Spectrum Conditions.
 
Children's Mental Health Services –

There will be a public meeting at Brentwood Town Hall on 14th November at 7pm for young patients, parents and professionals who are affected by the new Emotional Wellbeing Mental Health Service (EWMHS). It will be an opportunity to express your views about the service to the commissioners and representatives from NELFT.


Aspiration Planning Events for Parent Carers –

Essex County Council with support from Independent Support Essex is inviting parents with sons and daughters in Years 6, 9 and 11 who have a Statement of SEN to come along to these events across Essex. The events will give information and advice about the transfer process to Education, Health & Care Plans. 

Carers Survey – 

As part of the Essex Carers Strategy, Essex County Council needs feedback from carers who have had support from the council directly, or from any of the voluntary sector organisations like SNAP that are funded to support carers. They need carers to complete an online survey before 27th November, to ensure the council knows whether the support is right, whether carers know about what is available and whether they need to think about funding support differently. 


Benefit Cap Advice Day – 

If you are worried about whether the new benefit cap will affect you, there is an opportunity to attend an advice day at Harlow Jobcentre on 11th November.

Autism Research – 

The Autism Research Centre (ARC) wants to understand the biomedical causes of autism spectrum conditions, and develop new methods for assessment and ways to offer support. They are inviting parents of children with an ASD diagnosis and diagnosed adults to take part in their research.

 

October


Coffee, Cake & Catch-up –

A relaxed event where you can drop in and catch up with all things SNAP. There will be a chance to purchase items from Sense Toys and Fledglings as well as a few Christmassy bits. All families, friends and supporters of SNAP are welcome.

Trailnet Inclusive Weekend Cycling Clubs - 

Trailnet will soon be offering weekend cycling clubs for children and young people with disabilities. They need interested families to respond to a brief survey to find out exactly what people want.

CDC Conference - 

The Council for Disabled Children will be hosting one of two national conferences in London on 23rd January 2017.

Women and Girls with ASD Conference -

The National Autistic Society is holding a conference on 15th November in London.
 
Lambourne End Family Fun Days –

New dates are available to children with disabilities who live in the borough of Havering.

Grangewaters Half Term Activities –

Halloween activities at Grangewaters in Thurrock.

National Autistic Society 2016 Survey –

Your chance to say what life is like for families affected by autism.

Disability and Epilepsy Support in Essex –

An event in Harlow on 20th October to discuss the support available. 

Forest Flyerz –

Free hockey sessions for people with disabilities aged 8 years and above in Walthamstow..

East London Soccability Festival –

Free 5-a-side tournament for all age groups on Saturday 26th November.

Cerebra Problem Solving Toolkit – 

The national charity Cerebra has published a toolkit that aims to support disabled people and carers, as well as their families and advisers, who are encountering difficulties with the statutory agencies in relation to the provision of health, social care and education support services.  It aims to unpick these problems and to develop effective strategies for resolving them.

 

September


Wills & Trusts Workshop –

An opportunity at SNAP to learn about the importance of planning for the future when you have a son or daughter with a disability. Samantha Hamilton, from Mullis & Peake solicitors, will be giving a seminar on Wills & Trusts on Tuesday evening 11th October at The SNAP Centre, giving guidance on planning for the future. 


Personal Assistant Required - 

A SNAP family living in Chelmsford is looking for a personal assistant to employ for their young daughter. 

Music Therapy in Brentwood - 

Emily Grimes, who some of you will remember from SNAP staff before she qualified as a Music Therapist at Nordoff Robbins, is now offering individual therapy sessions.

BOSP Open Day -

BOSP (Brighter Opportunities through Supported Play) offers respite services for children and young people with disabilities. They are having an open day on 15th October in Billericay to celebrate their 25th anniversary and introduce their exciting new services.

The A Word DVD -


For those who enjoyed the six-part BBC drama earlier this year about a family adjusting to life with their autistic son, The A Word is now available on DVD.

Chris Cross Holiday Club -

Half term holiday programme for children with additional needs aged 6 to 14, at St Christopher’s School in Leigh-on-Sea.

InterAct Autumn Activities -

The autumn programme has been launched for young people aged 12 to 18 with learning disabilities/additional needs.

ABC Club at Essex Outdoors Harlow - 

This club runs on Monday evenings and caters specifically for young people aged 8 to 16 with learning and physical difficulties.

Zones of Regulation App - 

The Zones of Regulation is a framework for thinking and aims to help students gain skills in consciously regulating their behaviours and managing their emotions. The book is available from the SNAP library and there is also an app available to download.  
 

STOP Parenting Course –

This supportive parenting programme from Brentwood Extended Services starts on Tuesday 27th September in Shenfield.

New 123 Magic Website –

There is a new website for the 123 Magic Parenting Program, giving parenting tips and advice. 

Centre Algarve –

A SNAP family has just returned from a wonderful (and fully accessible) holiday in Portugal and they wanted us to highlight this specialist holiday centre for people with special needs. 

Apex Parent Support Group –

This Chelmsford group will again be holding monthly meetings at Thriftwood School this autumn term.

Beanstalk Children's Therapy Open Day –

On Thursday 6th October from 9.30am to 12.30pm, Beanstalk in Chelmsford is inviting families, teachers and health professionals to come along to view the facilities, meet the staff and gain advice and support from the therapists. 

Chatten Free School (previously know as Springboard) –

There will be a parental engagement afternoon for the need of special schools in Essex on 15th September at 2.00pm to 5.30pm at St Cedd’s School in Chelmsford.  An opportunity to learn more and have your say.  Contact  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  for details.


How to Win a DLA Appeal –

AdviceNow.org.uk has produced a guide for parents who think that the DWP has made the wrong decision about their child’s claim for Disability Living Allowance.

Screen Time and Children with SEN –

An article from Firefly 'Should SEN parents be worried about how much screen time their children have?'.

Autistic Intelligence Series –

The ‘An afternoon with…’ series of talks has moved to London this autumn.  Opportunities to hear talks by Olga Bogdashina, Luke Beardon and Jacqui Jackson & Family. 

Relaxed Performance of Mamma Mia –

Mousetrap Theatre projects has arranged a relaxed performance at the Novello Theatre in London on Wednesday 16th November at 6pm. 

Hesley Group Event –

A one-day free event in London on 11th October for parents and carers on ‘Communication Matters’.  See website for details.  

Essex Short Breaks Service Update –

The Short Breaks service for Essex County Council is now delivered via national charity Action for Children since it took over from the charity 4Children at the end of August 2016.

School Report 2016 –

The National Autistic Society has published a report on how well the SEN (Special Educational Needs) system is meeting the needs of children and young people on the autism spectrum.

Report: Failing Disabled Children across the UK –

This report was highlighted to us by Simple Stuff Works. The British Healthcare Trades Association (BHTA) has published a paper looking at the economic benefits of getting the right equipment to the children who need it and how this may impact on their health and wellbeing.

 

August


Incredible Years Programme –

A free 12-week parenting course is starting in Brentwood on 16th September. See poster for details.

Parent Focus Groups –

Essex SEND Information, Advice and Support Service is looking for parents/carers who have accessed the SEND IAS service and would be willing to be part of the focus groups that take place to provide inspectors with the feedback they need when carrying out the local SEND Ofsted/CQC inspections. Local Authorities are given one week’s notice of an inspection and this could happen in Essex at any time over the next 5 years. Parents can put their names forward for the next 3-month period and the list will be reviewed on a 3 month cycle. If you are interested, please contact Clare Woodcock, Manager Essex SEND IASS on 033301 31162. You can also complete an online feedback survey via this link SEND Information, Advice and Support Customer Evaluation.

Essex One Planning Workshops for Parents –

Free workshops are being offered at various locations across the county for parents/carers of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities. They will be facilitated by InterAct.

Parallel London –

This fully inclusive fun push/run and free family festival will be held in London on Sunday 4th September. See website for details.

FLASH Course –

This 10-week parenting course is for parents and carers where there is a young person within the family who is exhibiting self-harm behaviour. It starts in Brentwood in September.

Camping at Lambourne End –

The Epping Forest Inclusion Project has a 2 night camping adventure planned for ages 12 plus at the end of August. See flyer for details.

Photography & Modelling Workshop –

 

July

SNAP Summer Survival Guide –

Don't forget to look at the 2016 guide on our website.  It contains useful tips and ideas for surviving the school summer holidays, with advice for travelling on holiday or coping with days out.  There is also a comprehensive collection of activities and events run by different organisations during the summer months. 

Braintree Autism Support Group -

This group is hosting an Information Day on Tuesday 16th August 2016 from 10am to 1pm in Braintree. They will be joined by representatives from other local groups and organisations.

Zinc Cinema -

The Zinc Cinema in Chipping Ongar hosts a special screening of a family friendly film on the last Friday of every month.  This completely relaxed cinema experience is perfect for anyone with autism or a disability.  See website for details. 

Essex County Council Survey -

If your family has had experience of the children and young people’s mental health service in Essex over the past six months, the Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee (HOSC) are hoping to influence improvements in the service and want your views to help inform them.  Please email  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  by 14th July. Feedback should focus on accessibility, signposting and how well the service met the needs of children and young people. 

Springboard Free School -

A new school is being planned for children with autism and complex learning difficulties in mid Essex.  See website for more information and to complete the parental demand survey.

Enterprise Campus -

The National Autistic Society is opening a new autism specific school in Chigwell next year.  See website for details. 

Havering Family Fun Days -

At the Lambourne End Centre, these fun days are funded by Havering Borough Council as part of their Short Breaks Programme.

Rainbow Rural Centre -

Junior Farm Club in Great Dunmow is designed to support students with special needs from 5 to 16 years with a parent or carer.

Signals Media Arts Centre -

Accessible summer workshops on media, film making and animation for children and young people on the autism spectrum.

Contact a Family Brexit Comment -

An overview of what leaving the EU could mean for families with disabled children.

Lenderhand -

This charity provides families in Essex with assistance to help pay for goods or services that they could not otherwise afford, providing a helping hand through the challenging periods of their lives.

Council for Disabled Children Summer Digest -

An update on all the latest sector news.

Big BOSP Youth Club -

This Billericay based term time youth club for young people aged 11+ with special needs has spaces available for September. 

BOSP Summer Holiday Club -

There is still some availability in some sessions in Basildon and Brentwood.  Contact BOSP for details.

Autism and the NHS -

A government report raises concerns that people with autism are struggling to access essential health care and calls for better NHS staff training.  
  
SNAP Summer Survival Guide –

The 2016 guide is now available to view on our website.  It contains useful tips and ideas for surviving the school summer holidays, with advice for travelling on holiday or coping with days out.  There is also a comprehensive collection of activities and events run by different organisations during the summer months.

DLA for Children in Hospital –

New legislation came into force this week to scrap the rules that previously stopped payment of Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payment when a child under 18 is in hospital for more than 28 days.  This follows a lengthy campaign by the national charity Contact a Family.

InterAct Summer Activities –


The InterAct Activity Programme for young people aged 12 to 18 with learning difficulties/additional needs has been published for July to September.  There is a range of after-school, weekend and holiday social opportunities across Essex.

Finding Dory and Autism Spectrum Disorder –


An article about what the movie can teach us about autism.

Apex Parent Support Group –


The next meeting will be held on Thursday 14th July at Thriftwood School in Chelmsford.

Got My Back Conference –


A national conference on the way forward in postural care on 12th September in Birmingham.

Autism-friendly Breakfast Club –


The White Hart pub in Thundersley has created an opportunity for families with a child with autism to enjoy a Sunday breakfast experience. See flyer for details.

Fun United Summer Sessions –


Papworth Trust is running a holiday programme at its Fun United Youth Clubs over the summer.  See flyer for details.

ADHD+ Support –


The Megacentre in Rayleigh is hosting regular support sessions for parents of children who have ADHD or are in the process of getting a diagnosis. See website for details.

 

June

SNAP Summer Survival Guide –

The 2016 guide is now available to view on our website.  It contains useful tips and ideas for surviving the school summer holidays, with advice for travelling on holiday or coping with days out.  There is also a comprehensive collection of activities and events run by different organisations during the summer months.

Children and Young People with Autism Consultation Report –

We shared an Essex County Council survey via our Information Network in March this year and we are pleased to share the results with you now.  SNAP features frequently in the report as a huge source of support for families. Click on the link to read the full report.

STOP Parenting Course –


STOP is an effective parenting course for parents of young people aged 10 to 16.  The next course will be held in Wickford in September.

Children and Young People’s Plan –


Essex County Council has recently published an overview of how the council and its partners are planning to improve the outcomes for children, young people and families.

Chris Cross Holiday Club –


This summer holiday club in Leigh-on-Sea is held at Christopher’s Cottage Sports Hall, part of The St Christopher School.  It is for boys and girls aged 6 to 14.  See flyer for details of how to book.

Sycamore Trust Conference –


Sycamore Trust UK will be hosting a conference in Dagenham on 28th June.  It will include a talk by Ros Blackburn and a range of workshops. See their website for details. 

Practical Workshops for Parents in West Essex -

The Essex SEND Information Advice and Support Service is holding a free workshop day in Harlow for parents/carers of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities.

The Autism Show –


This annual show will be held on 17th-18th June 2016 at the ExCel in London. It is sponsored by Hesley Group in association with The National Autistic Society and provides more information, advice, products and services on autism (including Asperger syndrome) than can be found anywhere else in the UK.

Lambourne End Family Fun Day –

Havering families with children under 18 can book a place at this event on 22nd July.  See flyer for details.

Mersea Island Festival –


Essex Outdoors are offering inclusive activity summer breaks for young people in August.  See flyer for details.

Autism Friendly Cinema Screenings –


Dimensions lists the latest autism-friendly screenings of current films at local cinemas.

Social Stories Workshop in London –


The National Autistic Society is running a whole day training workshop with Carol Gray on how to write and use Social Stories. 

Rise 4 Disability -


This is an exhibition and conference in Dartford, Kent on 22nd June based around specialist equipment for disabled children and adults.  There will be 40+ exhibitors with a range of products and services including paediatrics, mobility, sensory, seating and assistive technologies.

Autism Guide to Gatwick -

The National Autistic Society has worked with Gatwick Airport to produce an autism friendly guide to travelling through the airport.  It may be a useful visual aid for children and young people who may struggle with this.

 

May

An Introduction to ADHD -

SNAP is hosting a talk by Steve from ADHD+ Support group to introduce and discuss the condition of ADHD, how it affects individuals, plus more.  He will also answer questions after the talk.

Apex Support Group –

The next meeting for parents will be held at Thriftwood School on Thursday 9th June.

Essex 4 x 4 Fun Day –


This is a fun day out on Thursday 25th August at Marsh Farm, South Woodham Ferrers, organised by a small group of Essex police personnel for children aged 5 to 16 with disabilities.  The main attraction is the off-road ride in  4x4 vehicles.  See website for details and how to apply for a place.

SEN Summer Camps in London –


Two summer activity camps for children aged 6 to 12 with special educational needs are being held during the summer holidays at Role Models in Southfields SW19. See website for details.

Zinc Arts Summer School –


Zinc Arts in Chipping Ongar is running a programme of activities for young people and adults who are disabled, learning disabled or mental health service users. The summer school runs from 12th July to 1st September for ages 14+.  See flyer for details.

BOSP Summer Schedules –


BOSP in Billericay has now released its summer activity schedules.  New for this summer are the Come & Swim sessions in Pioneer School’s hydrotherapy pool.  Carers are required to stay on site and must be responsible for changing their young person.  Contact BOSP for a full list of activities.  http://www.bosp.co.uk/home.php

Sports Fest 2016 –


The Brentwood Leisure Trust is running a programme of events on 1st, 2nd and 3rd July, giving everyone an opportunity to try new sports.  There is a variety of inclusive activities and also sports such as wheelchair basketball, seated volleyball, soft archery and Trailnet accessible bikes.

Autism Oxford Event –


Anxiety Vs Happiness and Wellbeing: Two sides of the same issue in autism & Asperger’s? – Saturday 18th June, featuring Sarah Hendrickx.

Inclusive Cycling at Thorndon –


Trailnet is running a series of inclusive cycling taster sessions at Thorndon Country Park in Brentwood throughout the summer.  See flyer for details.

Autism Hero Awards –


Anna Kennedy Online charity has launched the Autism Hero Awards 2016.  Nominations are now being taken to celebrate the excellence taking place in the world of autism.

Reading Well Scheme –


Local libraries are supporting a new scheme to help young people aged 13 to 18 years to understand their mental health and wellbeing using recommended reading.

Fun United –


Papworth Trust is running a holiday scheme at its Fun United youth clubs across Essex during the summer, for young people aged 11 to 19 years.

Temple Grandin Free Webchat –


Network Autism is hosting a free live web chat with Temple Grandin on Friday 3rd June.

Volunteers’ Week The Big Celebration –


An event in Brentwood library on Friday 10th June to find out about volunteering opportunities.

U Matter 2 –


Support, wellbeing and up-skilling activities for carers from this Hamelin Trust project.

Carers Week –


From 6th to 12th June, Carers Week is an annual campaign to raise awareness of caring, highlight the challenges carers face and recognise the contribution they make to families and communities throughout the UK.  They are asking for carers to recommend organisations, services and employers who are already ‘carer friendly’.  See website for details.

Heart of Gold Care Vacancies –


This new domiciliary care agency in Billericay is recruiting a Care Manager and Care Assistants.

BBC iPlayer Kids –

The BBC has launched an app especially for its youngest viewers so they can watch CBeebies and CBBC programmes at any time.

Kids Physio Works Family Day –


This children’s physiotherapy company in Marks Tey, Colchester is holding a fun open day for families on Sunday 19th June from 12 noon to 3pm.

Whipsnade Zoo Special Children’s Day –


This unique annual event on 18th June, welcomes children with special needs and their families and friends for special interactive events, increased specialist facilities and numbers of staff.  See website for details. 

Appealing to the SEND Tribunal –

An article from SEN Magazine 

Family Fun Day –


The Children’s Society is holding a Family Fun Day at Danbury Essex Outdoors on Friday 29th July. 

Brave the Rage Workshops –


These workshops in Brentwood are aimed at parents, carers and professionals and look at challenging behaviour in children. 

East Anglian Autism Information Day –


Autism Anglia is holding their annual event offering workshops, networking and information marketplace on Thursday 9th June in Colchester. See their website for details and how to book a place. 

Essex Outdoors Summer Opportunities –


For details of a summer programme of outdoor opportunities for children and young people with disabilities living in Essex County Council areas.

 

April

SNAP Family Forum –

With the growing demand on SNAP services, we need to hear your views and ideas to ensure SNAP offers the services you need most. Join us for coffee and cake on Wednesday 18th May at 9.30am to 12 noon.

STOP Course for Parents -

STOP is an effective parenting course for parents of children aged 10 to 16 including those with some special needs. The next programme starts on Tuesday 3rd May, 5pm to 7pm at Shenfield High School. See flyer for contact details.

Monkey Madness –


This indoor play centre in Basildon has special needs evenings on the second Wednesday of every month. They now have an exciting new sensory zone.

The Autism Show –


This annual show will be held on 17th-18th June 2016 at the ExCel in London. It is sponsored by Hesley Group in association with The National Autistic Society and provides more information, advice, products and services on autism (including Asperger syndrome) than can be found anywhere else in the UK.

Carers Self-Management Course –


Hamelin Trust and SEPT are running a free 6-week course in Billericay for any unpaid carers who are providing support to a relative or friend, who is ill, disabled, elderly or in need of emotional support. It gives the opportunity to learn new skills, develop confidence and take control of their lives. See flyer for details.

Kidz to Adultz South -


The charity Disabled Living is hosting this free event in Reading for children and young adults with disabilities and additional needs, their families, carers and professionals. On Thursday 9th June, over 100 exhibitors will provide information on Funding, Equipment, Mobility, Sensory, Toys, Education, Communication, Transition, Legal Matters and much more. See flyer for details.

InterAct Activity Schedule –


A programme of activities for young people aged 12 to 18 with learning disabilities/additional needs.

Staying Safe on Minecraft –


A helpful article from CEOP and Parent Zone.

Families Learning about Self Harm -


The FLASH course is a 10 week parenting course open to parents and carers where there is within the family a young person who is exhibiting self-harm behaviour and this behaviour is having an impact on the family as a whole.

AKO Autism Fun Day –


Anna Kennedy Online charity will be holding an Autism Fun Day (including siblings) at Grange Farm in Chigwell on 21st May from 12 noon to 4pm.

Circus Starr –


The touring 'circus with a purpose' provides free seats for disadvantaged, disabled or vulnerable children. There will be a performance in Chelmsford on Thursday 19th May.

Sleep Advice –


An article 'Helping your child establish positive sleep patterns' from Parent Info.

Younify –


This support group for parents of children with special needs will be holding their next coffee morning on 9th May at 9.30am in the Family Room at St Christopher's School in Leigh-on-Sea.

Essex Short Breaks Coffee Mornings –


Parents and carers are invited to meet with others at various venues throughout Essex during May and June, to share ideas and find out about clubs and activities that are running this summer.

Undiagnosed Children's Day –


Friday 29th April has been marked as Undiagnosed Children's Day. SWAN UK is raising awareness of children who have syndromes without a name.

‘Too Much Information’ NAS Campaign –

The National Autistic Society produced a film for this campaign to illustrate how difficult it can be for a person with ASD experiencing sensory overload.  See their website for details of the campaign and to view the video. 

Special Needs Yoga –

Aroma Therapies is running term time yoga classes for children from age 5 in Leigh-on-Sea.  See flyer for details.

Zumba –

Hamelin Trust’s U Matter 2 project is running a Zumba class in Rayleigh, free for unpaid carers in Essex.  See flyer for details.

Parent Information Event in Tendring –

'Supporting Your Child' Fayre is an event on 21st April for families of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities who live in the Tendring area.  It is an opportunity to talk to local professionals who may be able to support you and your children.

Anxiety Guide –

The national charity Cerebra has produced a guide for parents on how to spot the signs of anxiety and anxiety disorders in their children with intellectual difficulties.

Dealing with Bullying –

The national charity Contact a Family has produced a comprehensive guide to help families whose children are experiencing bullying.

Autism Talk –

Autism Anglia is hosting a talk by Luke Beardon, a leading professional in the field of autism.  It will be held in Colchester on 25th May 2016.  See website for details http://www.autism-anglia.org.uk/calendar/event/view?id=327

National Carers Strategy –

The government is seeking carers’ views on its National Carers Strategy.  There is an opportunity to complete a survey to give your views via the Carers UK website.

 

March

Update

Grangewaters Open Day –

Grangewaters Outdoor Education Centre in South Ockendon is holding a series of Open Day events for families to have a guided walk and learn more about what is on offer.  See flyer for details and dates.

PACT for Autism Talks –


There will be a talk by Dean Beadle at PACT for Autism in Harlow on 27th April and Sarah Hendrickx on 15th June.  See website for details.

Apex Parent Support Group –


The next Apex meeting at Thriftwood School in Chelmsford will be held on the morning of 14th April.

‘The A Word’ BBC Drama –


The first episode of this six-part drama about a family whose 5-year-old son has been diagnosed with autism aired this week.  It is now available on BBC iPlayer and part 2 will be shown on BBC1 on Tuesday 29th March.

Cerebra Problem Solving Toolkit –


The national charity Cerebra has published a toolkit that aims to support disabled people and carers, as well as their families and advisers, who are encountering difficulties with the statutory agencies in relation to the provision of health, social care and education support services.  It aims to unpick these problems and to develop effective strategies for resolving them. 

Mencap Legal & Financial Information Evening –


City of Chelmsford Mencap will be hosting an evening in partnership with Birkett Long Solicitors to share information about Wills & Trusts, Court of Protection and other financial arrangements.

Autism Art Exhibition –


An exhibition of artwork by young people and adults on the autism spectrum will be displayed at the Queen’s Theatre in Hornchurch from 30th March to 8th April.  See flyer for details.

Relaxed Theatre Performance –


The National Theatre in London will be hosting a relaxed performance of Wonder.land, a new musical inspired by Lewis Carroll’s iconic story, on Thursday 21st April.  See website for details and to book.

Direct Payment Consultation –


Essex County Council is running a consultation looking at the contracts they have with services to help people use their Direct Payments, such as payroll services, help with writing a care and support plan, paying invoices and help and advice on recruitment and employment issues.  The survey is open online until 28th April.

Kiddle Search Engine –

Google has recently launched a new search engine called Kiddle that aims to be Google’s counterpart but with filtered content for children.  In an attempt to give children an age-appropriate Internet experience, all Kiddle’s functions, which are similar to Google’s, are adapted for children.  It will keep them safe from smut and all sorts of adult content when you are busy and can’t keep track of what your child’s viewing. 

EHC Guidance –

Essex County Council has recently renewed the EHC needs assessment guidance.  It covers The Education, Health and Care needs assessment process; the One Planning process; Person-centred approaches; Joint working around children/young people with SEND; Legislation and Code of Practice; EHC Plan content; Essex Criteria for an EHC Plan and what happens if a child is not eligible for an EHC needs assessment.

Children and Young People Consultation –

Essex County Council is consulting with all those supporting children and young people (including children, young people and parents themselves) on the new Essex Children and Young People’s Strategic Plan for services across Essex over the coming years.  Click on the link to learn more or take part. http://surveys.essexinsight.org.uk/TakeSurvey.aspx?PageNumber=1&SurveyID=84KI75l4&Preview=true

Essex Special Schools –

Essex County Council has recently congratulated all the county’s special schools after it was confirmed they are now all rated as good or outstanding by Ofsted. 

Fun United –

Papworth Trust is running an activity programme during the Easter school holidays for the Fun United Youth Clubs across Essex. See flyer for details.

BOSP Activity Programmes –

BOSP (Brighter Opportunities through Supported Play) is an Ofsted Outstanding Charity which offers support to families by providing short break care with fun and exciting opportunities for their children and young people (aged 4 years and upwards) with learning and physical disabilities.  Activity programmes for Easter to June 2016 are now available to view on their website. 

Mersea Island Festival –

Bookings are now being taken for this year’s Mersea Island Festival, an inclusive camping break on the coast of Essex in August. See flyer for details.

Cerebra Will and Trust Vouchers –

Cerebra is a national charity supporting families of children with brain related conditions. They have a scheme to provide vouchers to eligible parents to help them with the cost of having a solicitor prepare a will and discretionary trust to make provision for their child’s future.  See their website for details and how to apply.

 

February

AKO Autism Day –

Following the successful talk at SNAP this month by Austin from Anna Kennedy Online, the AKO charity is hosting an Autism Day in Chigwell on 19th April 2016.  See flyer for more information.

Apex Parent Support Group –


The March meeting at Thriftwood School in Galleywood will be held on the morning of Thursday 17th.  See flyer for details.

ICE Cards –


These cards and key ring and sticker packs are designed to give key information to first responders on critical health conditions, medication and contact details in the event of an accident or incident. The child cards give immediate information about the child’s special needs and who to contact if you should become separated or if you are taken ill or injured.  See the website for full information 

BOSP Activity Schedules for Easter to June –


BOSP (Brighter Opportunities through Supported Play) provides short breaks for children and young people with learning and physical disabilities.  See their activity schedules for details and how to book.

AKO Autism Expo –


Anna Kennedy Online will be raising autism awareness at their first autism expo at Brunel University on 12th March 2016. 

Girls on the Autism Spectrum –

SNAP is hosting a discussion group for families with daughters on the autism spectrum on Wednesday 2nd March at 9.30am to 11.30am.  See website for more details and to book a place.

Conductive Education Holiday Sessions -


The London Centre for Children with Cerebral Palsy is offering weekday Easter and Summer holiday sessions for children aged up to 16.  See posters for details.

Special Needs Beach Walker –


Firefly is interested in developing a beach walker for children with special needs and they need input from families. Click on the link to complete their short survey.

Lambourne End Centre -

Family Fun Days in February and March are planned at the Lambourne End Centre for families living in the borough of Havering who have a young person with a disability.  See flyer for details.

Braintree Autism Support Group –

This support group for parents/carers with children of any age who are on the autism spectrum meets every Tuesday morning.  See flyer for details.

Autism-Friendly Theatre Performance –

The West End musical Wicked has worked with the National Autistic Society to plan its first ever autism-friendly performance on 14th May.  See web link for details.

Relaxed Performance of Matilda –

The Royal Shakespeare Company will present its third relaxed performance of Matilda The Musical at the Cambridge Theatre on 12th June. See website for details.

Relaxed Performance at The Cliffs Pavilion –


This Southend theatre will be holding a relaxed performance of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang on 21st April 2016. See flyer for details.

BOSSY Concert –

The Brentwood Operatic Society's youth group (known as BOSSY) is working in conjunction with St Martin's School in Brentwood to offer SNAP families the opportunity to see their new production.  The show at the school will be on Sunday 21st February at 2.30pm for a 'pay what you can afford' performance with all proceeds going to SNAP. The show is about 45 minutes each half with a 20 minute interval when refreshments will be served for a donation collection. See flyer for details.

Kidz to Adultz South –

The charity Disabled Living is hosting this free event in Reading for children and young adults with disabilities and additional needs, their families, carers and professionals.  On Thursday 9th June, over 100 exhibitors will provide information on Funding, Equipment, Mobility, Sensory, Toys, Education, Communication, Transition, Legal Matters and much more. See flyer for details.

Disabled Children: A Legal Handbook –

This handbook from the Council for Disabled Children is an authoritative yet accessible guide to the legal rights of disabled children and their families in England and Wales.  An updated 2nd Edition has been adapted into a PDF chapters for you to download for free.


U Matter 2 Carers Events –

Hamelin Trust’s U Matter 2 project is offering an Easter floristry class in Billericay and a Wellbeing Day in Chelmsford, both free for unpaid carers. See flyers for details.

 

January

Update

ASD Behaviour Talk –

SNAP is hosting a talk by the Anna Kennedy Online team, looking at issues and situations that can drive or impact a person on the autistic spectrum’s behaviour.  Click here for more details and to book a place.

Practical Workshops for Parents -


For parents of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities, these free workshops are run by the Essex SEND Information, Advice & Support Service and will be held in Basildon on Thursday 17th March.  See flyer for details.

QEF Equipment Fair –


The Queen Elizabeth Foundation in Carshalton, Surrey is hosting an equipment fair for children with disabilities on 4th March.  Exhibitors will be offering demonstrations, assessments and training.  See flyer for details.

Fun United –


Holiday clubs throughout Essex run by Papworth Trust are running during February half term.  See flyer for details and locations.

Chris Cross Holiday Club –


For children aged 6 to 14 in Leigh-on-Sea during February half term.  See flyer for more information.

Epping Forest Inclusion Project –


There will be a variety of February half term activities for children with special educational needs and disabilities in West Essex. See flyer for details.

Essex Local Offer –


The Essex Local Offer is a website detailing the services and support available for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities. See the updated leaflet for more information.

Springboard Free School –


A new free school for children aged 18 months to 19 years with autism and complex/severe learning difficulties has been proposed for Chelmsford.  Click on the link for additional information and an opportunity to participate in a demand survey.

Radar Key Scheme –


This national key scheme enables people with disabilities and health conditions to use public accessible toilets that are kept locked to keep them clean and available for the disabled people who need them.  You can purchase a key from Disability Rights UK.

Young Carers Group –


The Sunshine Centre in Thurrock runs a Young Carers Group on Tuesdays and Thursdays to combat the impact of being a young carer on a child’s life.  See poster for details.

Sibs UK –


This charity for brothers and sisters of disabled children and adults has a new look website with lots of information, resources and support for siblings and their parents 

Do Siblings Matter Too? –


The findings of a research project by Family Fund and the University of Portsmouth investigating what it is like to be the sibling of a child with a disability have been summarised in this report. 

Out There Extra –


Referrals are being taken for a six-week outdoor and personal development programme for young people aged 13+ in Chelmsford and Braintree who meet the criteria outlined on the poster.  The programme is being delivered by the Wilderness Foundation UK in conjunction with Essex County Council.

England Talent Day –


This Football Association disability talent identification day will be held on Saturday 26th March in Chelmsford for young disabled people aged between 11 and 16 years. 

Young Mental Health First Aid -


InterAct is running workshops in Brentwood and Basildon to help people to support young people aged 13 to 19 with mental health issues. See flyers for details.

Time to Talk Day –


Thursday 4th February is the next national Time to Talk Day, which has been devised by Time to Change to get the nation talking about mental health and to end the misconceptions around it. 

Essex Short Breaks Survey –

4Children is now the lead provider for Short Breaks Clubs and Activities for children and young people who have a disability living in Essex.  They want to make sure that every child or young person in Essex who is eligible to access a club or activity has the opportunity to do so.  They would like you to be involved in making this a great service for your child or young person by completing an online survey  or written questionnaire.  Click on the link to share your views.

Internet and Social Media Safety –

SNAP has produced a useful information sheet on this topic with links to resources and websites offering help and advice to keep children and young people safe. 

SNAP Family Forum –

There have been many recent changes to statutory law and service provision affecting Essex families and we would like to hear your views on how SNAP can best support you through the special needs maze. The Family Forum is an informal discussion group with coffee and cake from 9.30am to 12 noon on Wednesday 20th January at The SNAP Centre. Contact SNAP to join us.

Dean Beadle in Colchester -

Maze Cares is hosting a talk by Dean Beadle, a man with Asperger syndrome, who shares his experiences of his life on the autism spectrum.  On Thursday 4th February from 7pm until 8.30pm in Colchester. See website for booking details http://www.mazecourse.co.uk/

FUSE Youth Club Launch Parties –

BOSP’s new youth clubs for young people aged 13 to 25 will run weekly during term time in Brentwood and Basildon.  See flyer for details of their launch parties next week.

Essex Short Breaks Brochure –

Essex County Council has published an updated Short Breaks brochure listing many opportunities for families with children and young people with special needs and disabilities. 

Autism Friendly Cinema Screenings –

Dimensions has listed the latest special screenings on their website, including Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and Hotel Transylvania 2.  

360 Play Special Needs Evenings –

This new play centre in Basildon offers exclusive special needs sessions on the first Friday of each month from 6.30pm to 8.30pm. See website for details.  

STOP Course for Parents –

STOP is an effective parenting course for parents of children aged 10 to 16. The next 10-week programme starts this term in South Essex. See flyer for contact details.

FLASH Course for Parents –

FLASH is a series of weekend workshops starting this month for parents of children aged 11 to 16 who are exhibiting self-harming behaviour.  See flyer for contact details.

Next Level Performing Arts Club –

This project in Canvey Island is an inclusive opportunity for young people to have fun and develop confidence through singing, dancing and acting.  See flyer for details.

NELFT Community Forum –

The Patient Experience Partnership Community Forum is looking for people’s views on community health services for children and adults, including the new Emotional Wellbeing Services (EWMHS) across Essex.  See flyer for details.

Thurrock Council Survey –

Thurrock Council is running a series of consultations on all aspects of life in the borough.  A survey on open spaces like parks and recreational areas is open now and would welcome views on all aspects including accessibility.

 

2015

December

Update

SNAP Christmas Survival Guide –

Don't forget to take a look at this collection of information sheets and articles from other organisations looking at strategies for making the Christmas period less stressful for all the family, in one useful Christmas package.

Minecon Auction –

A parent has very kindly donated a ‘Minecon 2015 Cape’ for SNAP to auction.  If you or your young person are a Minecraft fan and would like to make a donation for this exclusive Minecon 2015 cape,  please contact SNAP by email to  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  by 12 noon on Friday 18th December.  The cape will go to the highest bidder but if there are multiple bids for the same amount we will draw names out of a hat to select the winner.  The cape link will be sent to the lucky winner by email to redeem using their Minecraft account.


AKO Autism Exhibition –

In March 2016, Anna Kennedy Online is hosting its first autism exhibition in London including speakers, clinics and stands. See website for information and tickets.

AuKids Magazine –

AuKids is a quarterly print magazine providing information, encouragement and support for parents of children with autism spectrum conditions (ASC). An annual subscription costs £15 and a sample copy can be viewed on their website.

A Guide to the SEND Code of Practice –

This is an eBook written by SEN Legal experts, Douglas Silas Solicitors, which has been updated for 2015/16. It explains the SEN framework and all relevant legislation that came into force in September 2014.  It can be downloaded for £4.99 and will include free updates.

Which School? Guide –

This guide to independent and non-maintained schools and colleges of further education in Britain for pupils with special needs can be downloaded and read online.

BOSP Spring Activity Schedules –

BOSP (Brighter Opportunities through Supported Play) is an Ofsted Outstanding charity which offers support to families by providing care with fun and exciting activities for their children and young people (aged 4 years and upwards) with learning and physical disabilities.

Thameside Theatre Relaxed Performance –

Thameside Theatre in Thurrock is offering its first relaxed panto performance of Sleeping Beauty on 21st December at 6.30pm.  Book tickets via the Box Office, or call Dianna Ferry on 01375 413981 if you have any questions.

Parent Guide on childhood Illnesses –

A new guide has been commissioned by Essex County Council and the NHS to clarify the guidance to schools and parents for when a doctor’s certificate is needed for children’s absence from school due to illness.  It outlines the recommended actions for many common illnesses.  The poster will be widely distributed to schools and organisations throughout Essex.

Advice Website for Children and Young People –

A new website has been launched by the SEND Information, Advice & Support Service, especially for children and young people to help them to understand and source the support they may need when they have special educational needs and disabilities.  

Get Your Rights –

A new website launched by the NHS, especially for children and young people to help them to understand their rights when making decisions and choices about their healthcare. 

Holiday Information Guide 2016 –

Thinking ahead to a holiday in 2016? The Family Carer Support Service at hft has produced a 2016 practical guide for holidays in the UK and abroad for family carers and people with disabilities.

The A Word –

Filming has started by the BBC on a new six-part drama featuring a family whose youngest son is diagnosed with autism. The A Word, which focuses on the efforts of  a family to adjust to the diagnosis, is described as ‘a funny and thought-provoking series about parenthood and childhood and what it is like to have a child who fails to fit the mould’.  The series is expected to start screening on BBC1 in late spring 2016.  

Fledglings New Brochure –

Fledglings is a charity offering product solutions for children’s special needs.  The 2015 to 2017 brochure is now available.

Autism Friendly Performance –

The Brentwood Theatre has arranged an additional relaxed and autism-friendly performance of their Christmas production, Wind in the Willows, on Thursday 17th December at 6pm.  For more details contact Liz on 01277 200305.

 

November

Update

Incredible Years Programme –

A free 12 week parenting course for parents of children aged 6 to 12 will commence in Brentwood in January. See flyer for details.

Practical Workshops –


A day of workshops for parents of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities will be held in Colchester on 25th November.  This free event is run by Essex SEND Information, Advice and Support Service.

National Autistic Society Thurrock –


A new support group has been launched to offer meetings, events and activities in Thurrock for families of those on the autism spectrum.  The next meeting will be on 25th November at 10am in South Ockendon.  See flyer for details.

NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters –


A day event at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park between 2nd and 6th December, will offer an activity zone with fun tennis games and free coaching, an opportunity to watch world class wheelchair tennis and a chance to explore the Olympic Park and all it has to offer.  See flyer for details.

Unicorn Theatre Relaxed Performances –


A range of shows and performances for children are available at the Unicorn Theatre in London over the next few months.  Visit the website for more information 

Essex County Council Autism Survey –


A survey has been launched to try to understand how living with autism affects the family.  The Children and Young People Autism Working Group needs feedback from families to help them decide how they can organise services to improve families’ experiences of them.  The 20 minute questionnaire needs to be completed by 18th December.  Click on the link to take part.

Barefoot Challenge –


Following on from the Changing Places Campaign, a new social media campaign called the #barefootchallenge has been launched by parents of children with special needs.  Its aim is to raise awareness of the need for improved toilet and changing facilities throughout the UK.  See the Firefly blog for more information 

FLASH Course –


A 10 week course for parents, FLASH (Families Learning About Self-Harm) starts in January in Brentwood.  See flyer for details.

SNAP Event Moving on Time - 

Moving on Time is a catch-up event for parents whose children have recently started secondary school and who are missing the contact of SNAP.  It is a chance to meet other families in a similar situation to share experience and ideas, as well as talk to the SNAP parent advisers.

New Service Replacing CAMHS –

From 1st November, a new service called the Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health Service (EWMHS) has been launched for children aged 0 to 18 (0 to 25 with SEN).  The old CAMHS service has been re-structured by NELFT (NHS Foundation Trust).  See NELFT’s booklet for full details.

Inclusive Cycling at Thorndon Country Park –

Trailnet is running another taster session for all ages from 4 years up, on Sunday 15th November from 11am to 3pm. 

Sleep Positioning Video –

This video from Simple Stuff Works explains the benefits of using a sleep positioning system for children with restricted mobility. 

New School for Autism in Chigwell –

The National Autistic Society is planning to open a new specialist school for children and young people with autism in Chigwell in September 2016.  The charity is inviting people to take part in an online survey to help establish what the school will offer to local students on the autism spectrum. 

SEEVIC Free Community Events –

Opportunities to pursue an interest, acquire a new skill, become healthier or learn how to support those around you with one of SEEVIC’s free community learning events.

Carers’ Rights Day -

On Friday 20th November at 10.45am, Hamelin Trust is co-hosting an event in Rayleigh with Carers UK to share relevant advice and information for carers.

Autism Friendly Cinema Screenings –

Vue cinemas show an autism friendly film at 10am on the last Sunday of each month across the UK.  See the Dimensions website for details. 

Family Innovation Fund Early Help Services –

A drop-in event has been arranged for professionals in Brentwood to introduce early support and intervention services funded by Essex County Council. See flyer for details.

Kids Zip Sheets –

An innovative sleeping product to prevent children from kicking off or tangling in their bedding. See website for details. 

Research Autism –

This is the only UK charity exclusively dedicated to research into interventions in autism. They carry out high quality, independent research into new and existing health, education, social and other interventions. It is the only autism organisation accredited to the Information Standard so the website is now widely recognised as the most important and authoritative source of research on autism that people can trust. 

Connected Magazine –

The new autumn edition of Contact a Family’s magazine has been published online for parents of children with disabilities and the people who work with them.

Health and Wellbeing of Pupils 2015 Survey Report –

Essex County Council has published the key findings of this annual survey.

Research On Supporting Child Witnesses With Autism –

Researchers at City University London are looking for 6-10 year old children with high functioning autism or Asperger syndrome to assist with a research project that aims to identify how to support child witnesses with and without autism who come into contact with the criminal justice system. It will involve some fun games and activities designed to assess how best to interview children with autism, how suggestible they are, and how good they are at identifying faces within a video line-up (amongst many other things). For further information, please email the project coordinator, Laura Crane,   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , or visit the project website www.childwitnesses.com

 

October

Update

Moving on Time - 

Moving on Time is a catch-up event for parents whose children have recently started secondary school and who are missing the contact of SNAP.  It is a chance to meet other families in a similar situation to share experience and ideas, as well as talk to the SNAP parent advisers.

Coffee, Cake & Catch-Up - 

SNAP's annual Coffee, Cake & Catch-Up event returns this November. This relaxed event is a great chance for you to drop by and catch up with all things SNAP while picking up a few christmassy bits and bobs at some of the stalls. Open to all our families and their friends, supporters and volunteers.

Fledglings Open Day on 12th November -

Fledglings is a national charity based in Saffron Walden that finds and sells products that improve the lives of disabled children and their families. See flyer for details.

I’M IN Discover Gymnastics Day –


An opportunity for disabled people aged 11 to 17, or 18+, to try a range of gymnastic activities at the Recoil Trampoline Centre in Brentwood on Saturday 14th November.  See flyer for details.

Papworth Trust Youth Clubs –


Dates are available across Essex for Fun United Youth Clubs and Holiday Clubs during October half term and Christmas holidays.  For ages 11 to 19 years.  See flyer for details.

Thurrock Consultation Workshops –


Thurrock Council is asking for people’s views and ideas on future care and support in Thurrock.  Thurrock Coalition (the user-led organisation for Thurrock) is arranging several workshops during November to look at the impact any changes will have on people who use social care services, as well as on carers and family members.  See flyer for details. 

Carers’ Rights Day –

On Friday 20th November, Hamelin Trust is co-hosting an event in Rayleigh with Carers UK to share relevant advice and information for carers.  See letter for details.

Cerebra Guide to Decision Making –


National charity Cerebra has prepared a guide for parents of disabled children and young people to provide an overview of the law and policy relevant to decision-making in health and social care, including the duty of confidentiality and sharing information.

Essex County Council Survey on the new Education, Health and Care Plan - 

Essex are participating in a survey to find out how EHCPs and personal budgets are working for children and young people nationally and here in Essex and would like to ask for your help with this. Click here to view their letter and the corresponding link to the survey.


Sarah Hendrickx Radio Interview –

If you have heard Sarah speak at one of SNAP’s recent talks on Anxiety in ASD and ASD in Girls, you may be interested in her radio interview for BBC Radio 4 Women’s Hour.  It was recorded at the NAS Relationship Conference in Birmingham and aired on Women’s Hour on 20th October.  It will be available on the BBC Radio 4 website for a week or so 

Families InFocus Autumn Newsletter –


This Chelmsford based charity has published their Autumn Newsletter with details of activities and events.


Essex Short Breaks Consultation Events –


The lead provider for Essex Short Breaks is now 4Children.  They are hosting events across the county to ask parents and carers for their feedback on existing short breaks provision and to share ideas for the future.  See local links for details.

Clacton – 12th October 2015
Witham – 13th October 2015
Basildon – 13th October 2015
Harlow – 14th October 2015
Chelmsford – 22nd October 2015

InterAct Fireworks Party –


In Chelmsford on 6th November. See flyer for details.

Trike To Give Away –


See flyer for details of a child’s specialist trike.

Chris Cross Holiday Programme –


Half term activities at St Christopher’s School in Leigh-on-Sea, for children aged 6 to 14 years.

Younify Coffee Morning –

A support meeting in Leigh-on-Sea for parents and carers of children with behavioural or learning difficulties, on Monday 19th October.  See flyer for details.

Autism Oxford Conference –


‘Autism Happiness & Well-being’ on Thursday 29th October.  See flyer for details.

Essex Outdoors –


Short break opportunities for children and young people aged 8 to 18 living in Essex County Council areas, from October 2015 to March 2016.

Epping Forest Inclusion Project –


See flyer for details of the October half term activity programme for children and young people with additional needs.

Boris from Gamelab UK –


Boris is an interactive communication game, which has been developed to help those who use Makaton and Signalong with their personal development.  See flyer for more information.

Outlook Care Trustee Recruitment -


Outlook Care delivers person centred support and care to people with a range of disabilities and needs and are looking to recruit new members for their Trustee Board.  See their website for details. 

National Theatre Relaxed Performances –


This London theatre has a programme of special performances which may better suit people with ASD, sensory or learning needs.  See their website for details. 

Essex County Council Survey on the new Education, Health and Care Plan - 

Essex are participating in a survey to find out how EHCPs and personal budgets are working for children and young people nationally and here in Essex and would like to ask for your help with this. Click here to view their letter and the corresponding link to the survey.

 

September

Colour & Make-Up Experience - 

SNAP parents are invited to experience two great tutorials to help you look and feel your best, with make-up expert Leanne Perilly and style coach Elaine Smith.


Lambourne End Family Fun Days –

A programme of fun activity days for children with disabilities living in Havering are planned at Lambourne End Centre for Outdoor Learning. See flyer for details.

TES Special Educational Needs Show –


This annual free-to-attend event has all the resources, ideas, advice and training to provide teachers, SENCOs, support staff and parents with the tools and skills to help all pupils achieve. 9th and 10th October in London.  See website for details.

Mousetrap Theatre Projects –


There will be a relaxed performance of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane on Tuesday 19th January 2016 at 6pm.  SNAP is registered as a referring organisation, so please call our helpline first before contacting the box office to book tickets.  See website for details.

Discover Trampolining Open Day –


Saturday 14th November in Brentwood for young people with disabilities aged 10+.  See flyer for details.

I’m In Discover Gymnastics Day –


Saturday 14th November in Brentwood for young people aged 11 to 17, and 18+.  See flyer for details.

Essex County Council Survey on the new Education, Health and Care Plan - 

Essex are participating in a survey to find out how EHCPs and personal budgets are working for children and young people nationally and here in Essex and would like to ask for your help with this. Click here to view their letter and the corresponding link to the survey.

Francesca Martinez - The Beauty of Diversity Talk - 

SNAP is pleased to welcome Francesca Martinez, the award-winning wobbly* comedian who has performed sell-out shows in Edinburgh, the West End, Hollywood and Broadway.

Transition to the new 0-25 SEN & Disability system - 

The third edition of this Departmental advice has been published this month. It covers the period between 1st September 2015 and 31st March 2018.  The document is intended primarily for local authorities, but is also of interest to other Education, Health and Care organisations and to children and young people with SEN and their parents.

Sunday Inclusive Cycling Sessions at Thorndon Country Park - 

Trail Net is planning to run a series of Sunday sessions and need to hear from anyone who is interested.  Contact them to let them know your equipment requirements and preference for timeshttp://www.trailnet.org.uk/inclusive-cycling.html

BOSP Activity Schedules for October to December 2015 - 

Contact BOSP for more information or to book sessions. 

Mace Playce Special Needs sessions - 

This Chelmsford based soft play centre is running dedicated special needs sessions on the first Tuesday of each month from 4pm to 6pm for children up to 12 years.

Circles of Support Programme -

InterAct offers peer mentors for young people aged 12 to 18 years who engage weekly with them to attend activities of the young person’s choosing. This is to assist them to get out in their community without their parents or carers, trying out things they like to do, new challenges and learning new skills. Contact InterAct for more information.

Essex Travel Training Service -

Essex Travel Trainers will accompany trainees on their journeys to school, college or employment, providing encouragement and guidance until they feel confident that the trainees have developed the appropriate skills to travel independently. See their leaflet for more details.

InterAct course for home schooled children with SEND and their families -  

This six week pilot programme starts this month, initially for Chelmsford based families only.  Contact InterAct for more inform
ation.


Foster Carers Required - 

Essex County Council is currently recruiting foster carers to offer short breaks for children with disabilities.  See leaflet for
details.

Families Learning About Self Harm - 

A 10 week course in Brentwood for families where there is a young person exhibiting self-harm behaviours.  Contact Brentwood Extended Services Team for more information.

Confidence & Empowerment Training - 

Brentwood Community Print is running a six week training course for adults on topics including confidence building techniques, how to face fear, what is a failure, how to deal with negative influences, positive affirmations and communication skills.  For more information contact Andy Woodcock on 01277 849021.

 

August

Francesca Martinez - The Beauty of Diversity Talk - 

SNAP is pleased to welcome Francesca Martinez, the award-winning wobbly* comedian who has performed sell-out shows in Edinburgh, the West End, Hollywood and Broadway.

Hamelin Trust – Rambling Club

A new support service for carers that includes an hour’s walk with a light lunch along with an opportunity to visit their new charity shop for some retail therapy.

Whizz-Kidz Survey – 

Whizz-Kidz want to hear your views relating to improving accessibility to transport for wheelchair users, good and bad. Click here to complete it before the 14th August.

Families InFocus – Activity Club

Play activities for children accompanied by their parent/carer. Every Saturday afternoon in Chelmsford. Click here for more details.

Havering Carers’ Information Booklet

Havering have produced an information booklet providing information on a range of support for carers, including requesting a carer’s assessment and details on services provided by the council, NHS and local organisations.



Research On Supporting Child Witnesses With Autism -

Researchers at City University London are looking for 6-10 year old children with high functioning autism or Asperger syndrome to assist with a research project that aims to identify how to support child witnesses with and without autism who come into contact with the criminal justice system. It will involve some fun games and activities designed to assess how best to interview children with autism, how suggestible they are, and how good they are at identifying faces within a video line-up (amongst many other things). For further information, please email the project coordinator, Laura Crane,  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , or visit the project website www.childwitnesses.com

July

Benefits information –

There have been and will continue to be many changes to the UK benefits system, which can be very confusing and worrying for families.  To check how these changes may affect you, visit the website GOV.UK for up to date information https://www.gov.uk/browse/benefits/disability

The national charity Contact a Family can give more personalised advice via their website and Freephone helpline on 0808 808 3555 or visit http://www.cafamily.org.uk/know-your-rights/


Essex Outdoors –

A summer programme of outdoor activities for young people with disabilities aged 8 to 18.

SEND Reforms Newsletter –


Essex County Council has published their July update for parents and carers of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities

Research Autism –


Research Autism is the only charity exclusively dedicated to research into interventions.  They commission and collate research on treatments and therapies with the support of world-leading figures. They are committed to improving lives through sharing world-class, evidence-based information http://researchautism.net/

FACE Newsletter –

Families Acting for Change Essex has issued their summer update

Summer Soccer Camps –

These pan disability events for all ages and abilities are being held in Southend

Rainbow Rural Farm Club –


The Rainbow Rural Centre in Great Dunmow is taking bookings for their summer dates

Farm Open Day –


The Rainbow Rural Centre Farm is hosting an open day on Sunday 9th August

Francesca Martinez - The Beauty of Diversity Talk - 

SNAP is pleased to welcome Francesca Martinez, the award-winning wobbly* comedian who has performed sell-out shows in Edinburgh, the West End, Hollywood and Broadway.

Autism Eye –


Autism Eye magazine for parents and professionals is available quarterly as a free subscription that you can read on your computer or tablet.  Visit their website for details http://www.autismeye.com/subscribe/

U Matter 2 –


Yoga, Meditation and Relaxation classes in Basildon for carers

InterAct Summer Programme –


Fun and social activities for young people with learning disabilities and additional needs across Essex

NAS Conference on Autism, Sensory & Communication –


Dr Wenn Lawson will be running a workshop in London on 24th September 2015 

NAS Conference on PDA -


Understanding and supporting children with PDA, on 18th November 2015 in London 

Seevic Summer Holiday Survival Kit –


A programme of events for accompanied children, held at Seevic College in July and August

Young Adult Carers Project –


Support services for young carers aged between 14 and 25 who live in Barking, Dagenham or Thurrock

Havering Family Fun Days –


Short breaks programme at Lambourne End Centre for young people with disabilities who live in Havering

ADHD/ASD Support Group –


Family Solutions opportunities for parents of children with ADHD/ASD to meet other families in Basildon and Rayleigh

Havering Transition Event –

The Havering Parents in Partnership IASS will be hosting an information session for parents of children with statements who will be going into Year 9 in September. Parents will be given information on the Year 9 Annual Review and options available moving to post 16. The meeting is on Thursday 9th July at First Step, Hornchurch from 7pm to 8.30pm. Contact PiP IASS for details on 01708 433885

After School Carer Available - 

Do you need help to look after your child/children after school or during the school holidays? I have over 10 years experience of looking after children in various different settings, I have an NVQ level 3 and an up to date first aid certificate. I am available from September 2015, after school from 4pm, all school holidays and I live in Hutton. Please contact SNAP for more information.

SNAP Summer Survival Guide - 

SNAP has produced another helpful guide full of tips and ideas for surviving the summer with a comprehensive collection of activities and events run by organisations across Essex.



 
June

SNAP Summer Survival Guide - 

SNAP has produced another helpful guide full of tips and ideas for surviving the summer with a comprehensive collection of activities and events run by organisations across Essex.

Francesca Martinez - The Beauty of Diversity Talk - 

SNAP is pleased to welcome Francesca Martinez, the award-winning wobbly* comedian who has performed sell-out shows in Edinburgh, the West End, Hollywood and Broadway.

Kids Week –


During August a child aged 16 or under can experience the magic of London theatre and see a fantastic selection of shows for free, plus two additional children can go at half price (per transaction), as long as they are accompanied by a full paying adult. See website for details.

Chris Cross Holiday Club –


A holiday programme of activities and sports in Leigh-on-Sea for children with special needs aged 6 to 14 years.

Fun United  –


Holiday clubs across Essex for young people with additional needs and disabilities aged 11 to 19.

Disability Trampolining –


Taster Open Day at the Trampoline & Activity Centre in Great Warley on Saturday 27th June.  See flyer for details.

SNAP Family Forum

The next meeting will be held on Wednesday 17th June at 9.30am.  See website for details. 

SNAP Summer Survival Guide – coming soon!

Look out for our annual guide to everything happening in Essex this summer for families with children and young people with special needs.


Hft Care Act Workshop –

A free session in Bishops Stortford on 18th June at 7.30pm, for family carers to gather information and confidence in how the Care Act 2014 will affect their relative or friend with a learning disability.  See website for details 

Unlocking the Power of ADHD Conference –

A morning conference for parents, schools and community workers on Saturday 20th June at Orsett Hall Hotel.

BOSP Summer Term and Holiday Activity Schedules -

Contact BOSP in Billericay for more details of how to book http://www.snapcharity.org/index.php/information/index.php?option=com_directory&view=directory&keyword=BOSP&Itemid=202&view=resource&id=1598

Autism Friendly Cinema Screenings –

Dimensions lists the special screenings at over 250 cinemas across the country.  See website for details.

 

May

Disability Trampolining Taster Day

At the Trampoline & Activity Centre in Brentwood on Saturday 27th June, 3pm to 6pm.


Implementing the Care Act in Essex

Essex Carers Network and Essex Mencap are linking to host an open meeting to hear from Essex County Council how they are implementing the Care Act in Essex.

Kids South

One of the largest free exhibitions for children and young adults with disabilities and special needs, their families, carers and professionals who work with them is happening this June with over 100 different exhibitors and a full programme of free seminars.

Hamelin Trust Open Day

Hamelin Trust is hosting an Open Day at Sutton Bridge Farm where you will be able to tour their facilities to see what is on offer. You will also be able to discuss potential short break placements, day opportunities/activities and use of their hydrotherapy pool.

Fun United Youth Clubs in Essex

May and summer holiday programmes across Essex.

Autism Friendly and Relaxed Theatre Performances


The National Autistic Society website lists summer dates in London theatres. 

East Anglian Autism Information Day

A day of workshops, a large market place of information and Autism Anglia showcase on 11th June.

PDA Society Conference

For parents and carers on 23rd September 2015 in Nottingham.  See website for details. 

Essex Outdoors

Short break provision for disabled children and young people aged 8 to 18 and their carer at various locations across Essex.  See flyer for details of their summer programme.

KTM Care

Holiday club for children on the autism spectrum.


Assessments and the Care Act –

Carers UK has produced a factsheet about the new system of care and support that came into place in England on 1st April 2015.

The Autism Show –

This national event for autism will be held at ExCeL, London, 12-13 June 2015.

Personal Portfolios –


Cerebra offers a free service to help you create a personal portfolio for your child or young person.  Download the guide from their website. 

Bedazzle Performing Arts –


A new weekly theatre arts course at Zinc Arts for young people aged 14+. 

InterAct Activity Programme –


For young people aged 12 to 25 during May and June 2015.

Disability Grants –


A guide to grants for the disabled, for parents of a disabled child or adult. 

Carers Required –


Special people required to assist a young lady aged 18 with cerebral palsy, autism and complex learning difficulties.

Chris Cross Holiday Club –


May Half Term holiday programme in Leigh-on-Sea.

Drop Zone Basildon –


Special needs trampoline and soft play sessions on Sunday mornings from 9am to 10am.   

Younify Support Group –


Coffee morning at St Christopher’s School on Monday 11th May at 9.30am.  

ADHD and ASD/Asperger syndrome Conference –


ADDISS is hosting a conference in London on 14th June 2015.  ‘A Parents’ Guide to the Medical Treatment of ADHD when there is also Autism or Asperger syndrome’. 

Outlook Care –


Outlook Care delivers person centred support and care to people with a range of disabilities and needs and are looking to recruit new members for their Trustee Board.  

S’up Spoon –


A new type of spoon designed for shaky hands. 

 

April

SNAP Family User Survey - 

Please spare a few minutes of your time to complete our Family User Survey. We need feedback from all of you to enable us to continue our work supporting Essex families.

SNAP Trike Event - 

SNAP has invited specialist companies to bring a selection of equipment to give SNAP families the opportunity to try them out to see if they are suitable for their children. 

Soccability -

The Basildon Soccability Academy is hosting a disability open/awareness day for those wishing to learn new skills, or try different types of football including wheelchair, Paralympic, blind or walking football.

Kidz South –

One of the largest free exhibitions for children and young adults with disabilities and special needs, their families, carers and professionals who work with them is happening this June with over 100 different exhibitors and a full programme of free seminars.

Special Needs Disco –


Mace Playce, a softplay centre in Chelmsford, is hosting a Disco on Friday 22nd May for young people with special needs aged 13+.

Mencap Wills & Trusts Seminars –


Mencap is running a number of free seminars on making a will/setting up a trust for the benefit of a loved one with a learning disability.

 

March

Autism Oxford - 

Autism Oxford are hosting two seminars - Autism and Asperger's: Identification and Effective Intervention on 25th April at The Kassam Stadium, Oxford OX4 4 XP

Funky Willows –

Funky Willows Easter programme of activities.

Dealing with bullying booklet –

The national charity Contact A Family has produced a booklet giving guidance and information for families with disabled children and young people around the subject of bullying.

Anti-bullying Alliance - 

The Anti-bullying Alliance has a series of useful resources for parents and professionals available from their website.

WellChild - 

WellChild is a network of parents and carers of children and young people with additional needs in Essex. The next quarterly meeting will include a free two hour session by First Aid Fairies on paediatric first aid and soft play provided by Safari Tots.

BOSP Activities for April to June -

BOSP (Brighter Opportunities through Supported Play) in Billericay has released the activity schedules for children from Easter to June.

Grove House School –


This new school in Brentwood has asked us to share their February newsletter.

Lambourne End Centre for Outdoor Learning –


An Open Day event on Sunday 19th April gives a fun opportunity to explore the adventure activities and farm animals.

SEND Information, Advice and Support Service –


Spring Newsletter.

Spargoland –


A new hair salon offering hair and nail cutting for children and adults with additional needs will be opening in Brentwood later this year.  See their newsletter for details.

Music is Magic Event –


The Music Man Project is a music education service for children and adults with a learning disability.  The Music is Magic live performance at The London Palladium will be on 21st June 2015. 

Easter Panto –


A relaxed performance of Robin Hood and his Merry Men will be held at the Harlow Playhouse on 9th April.  Contact the box office on 01279 431945 to book.

The Autism Show –


This annual national show is being held in London on 12th and 13th June 2015. 

Naidex 2015 –


The UK’s largest disability, rehabilitation and homecare event at the NEC in Birmingham, featuring the latest products and services to aid independent living. 

National Autistic Society –


A NAS conference on Autism and Mental Health featuring Prof. Tony Attwood and Dr Wenn Lawson will be held on 19th May in London.  See website for details.

 

February

InterAct Activity Programme for March/April -

Fun and social activities for young people aged 12 to 25 with learning disabilities and additional needs across Essex. 

Essex Outdoors Short Break Provision 

A programme of activity opportunities for disabled children and young people aged 8 to 18 years who live in Essex County Council areas.

Practical Workshops for Parents –

SEND Information, Advice and Support Service is holding a free workshop day for parents/carers of children with special needs on Wednesday 18th March in Harlow.

Short Breaks Legal Resource –

Every Disabled Child Matters has put together a legal resource for parent carers of disabled children with input from Alex Rook, partner at Irwin Mitchell solicitors, and Steve Broach, Barrister at Monckton Chambers. This resource has been created to help you to challenge cuts to short break services in your area.

Accuro Parenting Programme –

This course for parents/carers of children with ASD/Social Communication Difficulties will run in Dunmow for 4 weeks starting on 24th April.

Radar National Key Scheme –

Radar is now part of Disability Rights UK who administer and manage the National Key Scheme.  Information on how to apply for a key to accessible UK toilets.

Papworth Trust Fun United –

Holiday clubs are planned at various locations in Essex for half term and Easter.  See flyer for details.

National Family Carer Network Event –

Free one-day events in London for family carers on Advanced Decision Making: What every family carer should know about planning ahead.  Looking at topics such as Wills & Trusts, the Mental Capacity Act and Circles of Support.  See flyer for details.

Young Male Carer Wanted –

Hornchurch area for a 13 year old boy with autism.  See flyer for details.

 


 

January

Essex Outdoors Short Break Opportunities –

A Programme of events and activity days in February and March for young people under 19 years.  Visit the website for details http://www.essexoutdoors.org/ahdc_calendar.php and click on the link for programme.

Criss Cross Holiday Club –

Fun activity sessions during February half term at St Christopher’s School in Southend for children aged 6 to 14.  See flyer for details.

Accuro Workshops –


Accuro is running three workshops in March for parents and carers of children with additional needs.  See flyer for details.

I’M IN British Gymnastics Taster Events –


Opportunities for disabled young people to try gymnastics and trampolining.  See programme for the East region venue and dates.

QEF Kids Day –


The Queen Elizabeth Foundation for disabled children in Surrey is holding an event on 6th March to exhibit children’s equipment, offer assessments and provide bite-size training sessions.  See flyer for details or visit the Facebook page for QEF Mobility Services.

Dimensions Autism Friendly Screenings –


See the website for details of autism friendly cinema screenings across the country.

Mersea Island Festival MayFest 22nd to 25th May –


An opportunity for young people with disabilities, their family and friends to have lots of fun while trying new activities.  See their website for further details http://www.merseafestival.org.uk/mif-may-fest/ 

Positive Practical Approaches in Autism –

This free event for parents and carers is being organised by the Hesley Group on 10th March in London.  See their website for details http://www.hesleygroup.co.uk/events/london100315

Euan’s Guide –

This website gives disabled access reviews for disabled people and their friends and families http://www.euansguide.com/

Create Arts Music Event –

This event called ‘creative:space London’ is for disabled children and their families in London on Sunday 15th March.  See website for details http://createarts.org.uk/blog/2014/07/creativespace-london-sunday-15-march-2015/

Raising the Bar Competition –

The National Deaf Children’s Society is running a talent competition and masterclass for deaf children and young people who have a talent for music or dance.  See the website for details http://www.ndcs.org.uk/me2/are_you_an_organisation/arts/raising_the_bar.html

Grove House School Parent Meetings –

Applications are now open for pupils starting in September.  This new school is offering two opportunities in January for prospective parents to meet the newly appointed Principal.  Click here for details.

Essex SEND Information, Advice & Support Service –


This service was formerly known as the Essex Parent Partnership Service.  Click here for their new leaflet.

BOSP Activity Schedules for spring term –


BOSP in Billericay offers various opportunities for children with disabilities.  See their website for information www.bosp.co.uk.  Click here for the Holiday Club schedule; click here for the Saturday Club schedule; click here for the Big BOSP schedule.

Inclusive Communication Essex Sharing Day -


The 9th annual Inclusive Communication Essex Sharing Day is an opportunity to discover different ways to communicate and learn how to support someone with a communication difficulty.  There are opportunities for parents, carers, professionals and individuals with communication difficulties to participate in a selection of  workshops and to share experiences and ideas with others.  See the website for more information and to book a place - http://essexice.co.uk/news/sharing-day-2015.aspx

InterAct Activity Schedule for spring term –


Click here for details of opportunities for young people aged 12 to 25 years.

Children’s Continence Review –


FACE (Families Acting for Change Essex) has asked us to share a link to a survey regarding the Children’s Continence Service.  Click on the link to take part https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/facecont 

 

2014

December

Essex SEND Reforms Update –

This clear and concise newsletter is packed with information from Essex County Council about the new policies and systems for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.  Click here for this important read.

Harlow Playhouse Relaxed Performance –

There will be a relaxed performance of their pantomime Cinderella at the Harlow Playhouse at 11am on 3rd January. Contact the theatre for more details.

Have your say: Autism Innovation Fund Survey – 

Each council across England has been given £18,500 to help make the community more autism-friendly.  This was a result of The National Autistic Society’s Push for Action campaign.  Click here to complete a survey to give your opinion on how this local money could be spent.

FACE December News Sheet - 

Families Acting for Change Essex (FACE) have shared their December news sheet.

 

 


 

 

November

Trailnet –

This not-for-profit company is dedicated to the promotion of outdoor physical activity.  Trailnet offers inclusive cycling sessions at Thorndon Park in Brentwood.  They have a range of adapted trikes and bikes for hire at the Thorndon Cycle Centre and offer regular sessions for groups and individuals.  They also work in partnership with the London Borough of Havering and Havering Positive Parents to provide opportunities for inclusive cycling at the Forest Centre in Upminster. Visit the website for more information http://www.trailnet.org.uk/inclusive-cycling/

Trailnet has produced a survey to gauge the interest in inclusive cycling sessions where people of all ages with a range of impairments can access bike riding in a safe, supportive environment.  The survey can be accessed here:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/Inclusive_Cycling


Rainbow Rural Farm Club –

Rainbow Rural Centre in Great Dunmow has launched a Farm Club for children and young adults with special needs, together with a carer.  The club runs on two Saturdays a month and during school holidays and aims to give the young people an opportunity to experience aspects of farm life.  See flyer for details.

Recoil Trampoline Club –


The Trampoline & Activity Centre in Brentwood is hosting a free ‘I’m In’ Festival of Trampolining and Gymnastics for young people with disabilities aged 11+.  The event is on Saturday 29th November 2014.  See the flyer for booking details.  Details of the clubs regular disability sessions can be found on their website www.springiton.co.uk

Woodside After-School Club –


The Woodside Centre in Leigh-on-Sea is offering a club for children with disabilities aged 8 to 14 every Friday from 3.30pm to 6.30pm.  See flyer for details.

Glenwood School Public Consultation –


Essex County Council has commenced consultation on the proposed expansion of Glenwood School from 100 to 210 places and its rebuild on part of the site of Montgomerie Primary School, Thundersley, Benfleet, Essex SS7 4LW.  Glenwood School is a special school for children with profound and severe needs, which serves the whole of Essex.  Click here to read the consultation document.

Essex Local Offer –


The Local Offer website outlines all Essex County Council provision.  Click on the flyer for details.

Grove House School –


Press release announcing the appointment of a Principal Designate for the school.

Fun United –


There is still some availability for sessions during the Christmas break.  See flyer for details.

Experienced Nanny Required –

A SNAP family has asked us to advertise a job vacancy for them.  Please click here to view the job specification.


Grove House School –

Click here for a newsletter from this proposed new school for children with with speech, language and communication difficulties.

UK Power Networks Priority Register –

A register has been set up for vulnerable households where a power cut would be a particular concern for people with medical or special needs.  Although they cannot guarantee to restore power any quicker, there may be other help and support available during a power cut, or prior to a scheduled power interruption.  See flyer for details

Support for Carers Survey -

The Essex Carers Partnership Group consists of Essex County Council (ECC), NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG) and Carers, and is seeking views on what’s most important to carers and what would help with their caring role.  The Partnership Group has created a short online survey that can be accessed via this link - http://surveys.essexinsight.org.uk/TakeSurvey.aspx?PageNumber=1&SurveyID=l20K382&Preview=true

Families InFocus Talks –

Two opportunities in Braintree and Chelmsford to hear a talk by Jane Ayres, Deputy Principal Educational Psychologist, on the changes to statements and LDAs.  See flyer for details

Essex County Council Public Consultation -

Essex County Council, together with the governing body of Milwards Primary School and Nursery in Harlow, has taken a decision to consult on proposals to establish an 8-place Enhanced Provision for children with autism from September 2015.  Click here for more information and to take part in the consultation - http://www.essex.gov.uk/Education-Schools/Schools/Delivering-Education-Essex/School-Organisation-Planning/Pages/Consultations.aspx

Essex Carers Network Meeting –

On Tuesday 9th December, ECN’s meeting in Chelmsford will have officers from Essex County Council attending to share their initial thoughts on the report published following the engagement events that ECN facilitated with Essex Mencap in the late summer. Click here to view the report titled ‘The system is not working with us’ and contact  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or telephone 0787 6025480 to book a place.

RE:GROUP Supporting You… Supporting Others –

Training opportunity in Wickford from national charity Contact a Family for anyone running a parent support group or thinking of starting one up.  See flyer for details

 

 


 

 

October

Special Needs Jungle –

A parent led UK information and resource website for parents and carers of children with special needs and disabilities.  Click here to view http://www.specialneedsjungle.com/

IS Essex -


iSEssex is an independent support service working directly with young people with SEN and disabilities aged 0 to 25 and their parents as they go through the assessment process for an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCPlan). iSEssex is a partnership between InterAct, Families InFocus, ecdp and FACE and provides trained independent supporters for online, telephone and face-to-face support. Self-referrals are welcome for this free service for families within the Essex County Council area.  See their website for details http://www.isessex.org/

Practical Workshops –


Essex Parent Partnership Service is holding a free workshop day for parents and carers of children with special needs on Tuesday 2nd December in Pitsea.  See flyer for details.

This is Me! –


The National Autistic Society has produced a downloadable booklet for children and young people who are being assessed, so they can say what changes they would like to make to education, health and social care plans.  It has been written and developed by the NAS in partnership with the Department for Education and with the help of young people on the spectrum.  Visit the website to download http://www.autism.org.uk/products/core-nas-publications/this-is-me.aspx or click here to view.

Communication for Today –


A free workshop about communication resources run by Communication for All, ICE and Accuro in Stansted Mountfitchet on 9th December 2014.  See flyer for details.

ASC (Adolescent Support Clinic) –


This is a Southend based private therapy service for young people and their families in Southend and Essex.  See the website for details http://www.adolescentsupportclinic.co.uk/

1stFone from OwnFone –


The 1stFone is a mini, light, low cost mobile phone that just connects your child with the people they need (no text or internet facility); they simply press the name or photo of the person they want to call.  You can have up to twelve names or pictures on the 1stFone and it receives calls too.  It comes in a wide range of colourful designs.  See the website for details https://1stfone.myownfone.com/

Early Support App –


The Early Support app provides an easy way for the parents or carers of a disabled child to store, share and organise information about their child and the support and services they receive. It places families at the centre, enabling them to choose what information to upload, and who they want to share information with; be that doctors, nurses, teachers or social workers. It also provides a single plan format that can form the basis for the new Education, Health and Care Plan.  See the website for details http://www.councilfordisabledchildren.org.uk/earlysupport/app

Free Family Workshops –


At Larchwood Children’s Centre in Brentwood on topics including ‘The Incredible Power of Praise and Encouragement’ and ‘Communication and Conflict’.  Starting 5th November 2014.  See flyer for details.

Get Online @ Home –

An initiative from Microsoft and its partners to provide low cost computers to support the GO ON UK digital inclusion programme. There is a current special offer of a free refurbished PC for anyone when taken with broadband from £1.75 per month for 12 months.  Click on the link for details…http://www.getonlineathome.org/special-offer.aspx

Carer’s Allowance –

Following a campaign by Contact a Family, the government has announced that the carer’s allowance earnings limit will increase from £102 per week to £110 per week from April 2015.  Click on the link to read more from Contact a Family - http://www.cafamily.org.uk/news-and-media/carers-allowance-earnings-limit-to-increase-to-110-from-april-2015/

The Underwear Rule –

A new version of the NSPCC’s campaign has been launched to help parents teach children with autism about sexual abuse.  It was developed with guidance from The National Autistic Society.  Click on the link for more information - http://www.autism.org.uk/Living-with-autism/Communicating-and-interacting/Sex-education-and-children-and-young-people-with-an-ASD/The-Underwear-Rule.aspx

Sky Badger –

This website is a national directory of sources of help, activities and services for children with special needs and disabilities.  Click here to browse the online resource - http://www.skybadger.co.uk/

Fun United Youth Clubs –

Papworth Trust runs clubs throughout Essex during term time and they are also offering sessions during the October half term and Christmas holidays.  See flyer for details.

Making it Personal –

The charity KIDS has produced a new suite of resources to help families to navigate the reforms to Special Educational Needs and Disability provision.  The resources explore how personal budgets and the Local Offer will benefit families.  See the flyer for details.

Recoil Trampoline Club –

The Trampoline & Activity Centre in Brentwood is hosting a free ‘I’m In’ Festival of Trampolining and Gymnastics for young people with disabilities aged 11+.  The event is on Saturday 29th November 2014.  See the flyer for booking details.  Details of the clubs regular disability sessions can be found on their website www.springiton.co.uk

Behaviour Advice –

Contact a Family has produced a parent guide ‘Understanding your Child’s Behaviour’.  Click here to view the guide.

Chris Cross Holiday Club –

This Leigh-on-Sea based holiday club is running during half term from Monday 27th to Thursday 30th for boys and girls aged 6 to 14.  See the flyer for booking details.

InterAct Autumn/Winter Activity Programme - 

InterAct has a full range of term time and holiday activities for young people aged 12 to 18 with learning disabilities/additional needs, at various locations throughout Essex.  See programme for details and booking.

BOSP Autumn/Winter Activities -

BOSP (Brighter Opportunities through Supported Play) is a charity that offers support to families by providing fun and exciting activities for their children and young people (aged 4 years and upwards) with learning and physical disabilities.  Click here for their Saturday Club schedule and click here for the half term activity schedule

 

 


 

September

PACT for Autism Workshop –

A free workshop in Harlow on 14th November for parents, delivered by IPSEA to explain the new SEN processes and provision.  See flyer for details.

Zinc Arts’ Art Club –

A Saturday afternoon of fun and creativity for young people aged 11 to 16 years at the Zinc Arts’ Centre in Chipping Ongar.  Visit the website for details.

Scope Family Information Day in Harlow -

This event on 17th October 2014 will give parents and carers an opportunity to learn more about the new Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) legislation and the local provision that is available to them.  Click here for more information.

Inclusive Communication Handbook –


This downloadable catalogue from Inclusive Technology lists both low tech and high end communication devices, a 5 star Communication Resource Guide, products for amplifying and accessing the iPad, along with switches, eye gaze technology, software and other items.  There is an interactive catalogue or a downloadable PDF version. Click here to view.

New Training from IPSEA –


Independent Parental Special Education Advice (IPSEA) has developed an e-learning training package for parents and carers of children and young people with SEND, as well as those who support them.  The training covers the basics of the new SEN Law.  Click here for details.

Independent Supporters –


A training opportunity is available from ecdp for volunteers to learn how to support families of children and young people with SEND to understand the new Education, Health & Care Plan.  Click here for details

Accuro Workshops –


Accuro is running a series of workshops for parents at St John’s RC School in Woodford Bridge.  See flyer for details.

Essex Local Offer Launch Events –

The Essex Local Offer website was launched on 1st September www.essexlocaloffer.org.uk  Essex County Council has organised 4 free events to be held across Essex during September and October to explain the Local Offer to parents and professionals.  See flyer for details.

Accuro Parenting Course –

An autumn term course of 4 Monday evenings in Loughton for parents of children with ASD and/or Social Communication Difficulties.  See flyer for details.

Working Families  ‘Waving not Drowning Project’ –

This is run by Janet Mearns at Working Families for parents of disabled children and carers of adults who want to combine paid work with their caring responsibilities.  Parents can download useful documents from the website and sign up for a free newsletter and monthly e-bulletins.  There is also a dedicated helpline for the project on 020 7017 0072.  Visit the website for more details - http://www.workingfamilies.org.uk/articles/parents-and-carers/caring-for-disabled-children/waving-not-drowning

Just Ride Southend –

An all age cycling scheme that runs regular drop-in inclusive cycling and provides a safe traffic-free experience with their specially adapted cycles to cater for all disabilities or health conditions.  See flyer for details.

FA CP Centre of Excellence Trials -

Football Trials for young people with cerebral palsy are being held in Chelmsford on 20th September 2014.  See flyer for details


 

August

Fledglings Product Solutions for Children -

Fledglings provides practical help to families of disabled children and those with additional needs. The online catalogue can be found through their website but here is the link to their summer newsletter - http://ctt-news.org/4YV-2NYHI-3CMTYCK8C/cr.aspx?campaignkw=cantreademail


SEN Reforms – Final Code -

At the end of July, the 0-25 SEND Code of Practice was approved in the Lords and then proceeded to clear Parliament. This means the final version of the Code can now be viewed, downloaded, shared and used. It will come into force on 1st September. Find the Code here.  

The Be Free Festival 2014 - 

The Be Free Festival will encourage people with and without disabilities to reflect on how they want to shape their lives. There will be adrenalin filled activities like the Zip Wire and High Ropes (with support for people with physical support needs) as well as song writing workshops (with the Gig Buddies) and a Pamper Zone amongst others. For info see: Be Free

Why do autistic children chew? - 

Sensory Direct have produced an interesting information sheet on the possible reasons as to why children with autism may chew different items. Follow the link below for more information. If you would like any further information on sensoryneeds, borrow one of the many useful resources  in the SNAP library or to discuss your own child’s sensory needs with a SNAP adviser please call the SNAP Centre.

Contact a Family – new holidays booklet - 

Contact a family have released their new information booklet called Holidays, Play and Leisure for families who have a child with a disability. 

Autism Friendly Cinema Screenings - 

Dimensions has information on autism friendly cinema screenings and the cinemas local to you who are participating. Visit their website for further information and sign up to receive new information on films: http://www.dimensions-uk.org/support-services/autism-care/autism-friendly-screenings/ 

Dimensions – Buddies Go Camping - 

Buddies is a support service for children and young people with a learning disability and autism. Their Go Camping events are inclusive weekend breaks where the children get to take part in new and exciting activities and spend time developing relationships with their peers. For more information visit their website: http://www.dimensions-uk.org/dimensions-buddies/buddies-go-camping/

 


 

July

InterAct Summer Activity Programme - 

InterAct is running a wide range of fun, leisure and social activities from July to September for young people aged 12 to 18 years. 


Mushroom Theatre Company Holiday Workshops - 

The Mushroom Theatre Company is holding some summer holiday sessions. The sessions are mixed ability for children, young people and adults. 


Papworth Trust Holiday Sessions - 

The Papworth Trust has some summer sessions for young people with additional needs, running from Monday 28th July to Friday 29th August.


ASD and Social Communication Parenting Course - 

Accuro is holding a 4 week parenting course for parents of children who have an ASD or have social communication difficulties, on Monday mornings in Harlow from September. 


Relaxed Performance of War Horse - 

On Saturday 20th September at 2pm the National Theatre’s internationally acclaimed production of Michael Morpurgo’s War Horse will hold a relaxed performance at the New London Theatre.

Essex SEND Reforms - 

Essex County Council has produced an information sheet on the new SEND reforms, providing information on the Essex Local Offer, the transition into the new Education Health & Care Plans, Personal Budgets and post 16 years provision. 

Free Taster Events at Seevic College - 

Seevic College is holding some events throughout the year free of charge, giving the opportunity to see what student life is really like.

Air Travel with Oxygen - 

Our recent SNAP Summer Survival Guide gives information and tips on travelling with a child who has additional needs. ELF (European Lung Foundation) gives a comprehensive directory to airline policies regarding air travel with oxygen. 

Visit the website for further information: http://www.europeanlung.org/en/lung-disease-and-information/air-travel/airline-index/


UKABIF 6th Annual Brain Injury Conference 2014 - 

The United Kingdom Acquired Brain Injury Forum will be holding their 6th Annual Conference on Thursday 27th November 2014 at The Royal College of General Practitioners in London. 

Changes to Statements 2014 – FACE - 

FACE has been working with Essex County Council and has agreed some principles which form the basis of a draft conversion plan for children and young people who already have a Statement of Special Educational Needs. FACE would like comments (good and bad) about these principles and the draft plan by 31st July. 


Funky Willows Summer Programme - 

Funky Willows will be hosting a range of activities over the summer for children and young people with a learning difficulty and/or disability. 

NAS Conference – Women and Girls on the Autism Spectrum - 

The NAS is holding a 1 day conference on Friday 29th October, discussing the diagnosis and support for women and girls with autism. Click here for more information or to book your place.

John Clements Talk at Accuro - 

To celebrate Accuro’s 30th Anniversary they will be holding a free event on Wednesday 22nd October in Harlow. John Clements, clinical psychologist, will be talking about his work within autism. Places are limited, email  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or telephone 01279 433117 to reserve a place.

Accessible Performances with Unicorn - 

Unicorn, the UK’s theatre for young people is offering shows that are accessible to everyone, adapting a number of performances to suit the needs of audience members.

 

 


 

 

June

Chris Cross Summer Holiday Activities - 

Half term activities for 6 to 14 year olds in Leigh-on-Sea.  Click here for the flyer.

The Disability Rocks 2014 Fesitval - 

The festival will be held at Lambourne End Centre for Outdoor Learning on Saturday 28th June. Click here to find out more and to book tickets.

New Benefits Checklist for Parents - 

Contact a Family has updated their benefits checklist for parents. Click here to view.


All Ability Day for Disabled Children - 

Essex Outdoors is offering an opportunity for children and young people aged 8-18yrs with a disability to try a range of exciting activities including archery, climbing, swimming and trampolining. Click here for more information and to book spaces.


Chronic Illness – A guide for Schools - 

A parent of a child with a chronic illness has produced an A5 booklet for other parents to give to their child’s school to help them understand. Click here for more information.

BOSP Summer Sessions (for 11 to 18 year olds) - 

BOSP (Brighter Opportunities through Supported Play) are advertising their sessions for those aged 4yrs to 18yrs for July to September 2014. 

Click here for Big BOSP (for 11 to 18 year olds)

Click here for Saturday Club (for 11 to 18 year olds)

Click here for Holiday Club (for 11 to 18 year olds)

Upwards with Downs Fun Day - 

Upwards with Downs is a support group for families with children and young people with Down Syndrome. They are having a Fun Day on Sunday 27th July at The Link in Harlow. Visit their website for more information – http://www.upwardswithdowns.com/

 

 


 

 

May

Fun United Youth Club –

Holiday sessions are available at various Essex locations during the May half term holiday for children and young people aged 8 to 19.  See the flyer for details.

PACT for Autism - 

is hosting a talk by Prof. Rita Jordan OBE on 19th June 2014. See the flyer for details.

Families InFocus -

is hosting two evening talks by Dean Beadle, in Braintree and Wickford. Click here for details.

Contact a Family -

is asking for families to complete their ‘Counting the Costs’ Survey to help them campaign to improve family finances. Click here for details.

Colchester Zoo Special Senses Day -

on Saturday 21st June 2014. See website for details.

Tourettes Action -

is hosting a talk for parents by Prof. Doug Woods on Managing Tourette Syndrome.  Saturday 14th June in London.  Click here for details.

Chris Cross Holiday Club –


Half term activities for 6 to 14 year olds in Leigh-on-Sea.  See flyer for details.

Accuro Meeting Point –


A monthly support group with guest speakers, for parents of children with additional needs in Loughton.  Next meetings are 11th June and 9th July, 10am to 12noon.  See website for details.

SEN Reforms –


The National Autistic Society’s information sheet: Preparing for Change – SEN Reforms in England. To view, please click here...

Mencap Planning for the Future –


Seminars during June in the East and London regions on how to make a suitable will or set up a trust to provide for someone with a learning disability.  See website for details.

The Autism Show –


At ExCel, London on 13th-14th June.  See flyer for details.

Essex County Council –


Scheme to recruit more short break and foster carers for children with disabilities.  See flyer for details.

The Allergy & Free From Show -

At Olympia, London, 4th to 6th July 2014.  See website for details.

Mersea Island Festival -


Inclusive adventure camping breaks in August. Click here for the flyer and booking form... 

Short Breaks for Disabled Children Newsletter –

Essex County Council’s Short Breaks for Disabled Children’s Team has just published its 6th Newsletter detailing activities and opportunities throughout Essex.  Click here to view the newsletter.

 

 


 

 

April

SEND reforms –

A factsheet has been collaboratively written by Council for Disabled Children, Contact a Family, NNPCF and NPPN to give parent carers an overview of how the Children and Families Act will change the way in which children and young people with Special Educational Needs and disabilities are supported at school and in the community.  Click here for the factsheet. 

Easter Holiday Tips –


The National Autistic Society has produced an information sheet with tips and ideas for coping during the Easter school holidays. Click here to see the guide.

Cash in Your Pocket -


A free family budgeting workshop on Monday 12th May at 12.30pm in Brentwood. See flyer for details.

The Lion King Autism-Friendly Performance –


At The Lyceum in London on Sunday 4th May at 1.30pm.  See website for details.

The Endeavour Initiative –


Swan Golf Designs is developing an initiative to work with special schools in Essex to introduce children and young people with special needs to playing golf.  The Endeavour Initiative began last autumn with a group from The Endeavour School learning to play golf at Little Channels Golf Centre and will continue next term with more children benefiting.  Contact your child’s school if you would like them to become involved.  For further information contact Howard Swan on  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

How to Use a One-Page Pupil Profile –

Special Needs Jungle website has produced a guide to creating and using a pupil profile.  Click here to view the guide

Accuro Workshops in Loughton -


Parent workshops on Behavioural, Emotional and Sensory Issues are being held in May and June by Accuro at Oak View School in Loughton.  Click here for a flyer.

Grove House School Group –


The Group has asked us to remind you to complete their survey if you are interested in this school proposal.  They are particularly keen to hear from more families with children currently in Years 4 and 6.  Click here for details or visit their website www.grovehouseschool.co.uk 

Guidance for working together with disabled children and young people and families -  

Essex County Council has produced a guide setting out the types of support available for disabled children and young people, up to age 25, in Essex. Click here to view the guide.

 



March 2014

Chris Cross Kids Club –

Spring break holiday sessions available at Christopher’s Cottage Sports Hall, Leigh-on-Sea.  Click here for a flyer...

Communication for Today Event –

Accuro in Harlow is running a day of workshops for parents.  Click here for a flyer...

Autism Awareness Event –

Pact for Autism in Harlow is hosting ‘Living with AS and ADHD’.  Click here for a flyer...

I’M IN Trampolining Taster Event –

An opportunity for disabled people aged 11+ to try trampolining in Brentwood.  Click here for a flyer...

I’M IN Gymnastics Taster Event –

An opportunity for disabled young people aged 11 to 17 to try gymnastics in Basildon.  Click here for a programme of events...

Essex Mencap Open Meeting –

To launch their new Family Support Service.  Click here for a flyer...

Fun United Holiday Club –

Papworth Trust has a holiday club programme at locations across Essex for Spring break.  Click here for a flyer...

Relaxed performances at Unicorn Theatre –

The Velveteen Rabbit, Friday 4th April at 10.30am and Saturday 12th April at 11am.  See the website for details https://www.unicorntheatre.com/whatson/21/the-velveteen-rabbit?dm_t=0,0,0,0,0

Whizz-Kidz youth club in Southend –

A free two-day activity for young disabled people aged 10 to 18, funded by Southend on Sea Short Breaks Team.  Click here for a flyer...

The Allergy & Free From Show –

At Olympia, London, 4th to 6th July 2014.  See website for details - http://www.allergyshow.co.uk/london/london-home.php?utm_campaign=AFF+2014%3A+Launch+%28Bronze%29+%28revised%29&utm_source=emailCampaign&utm_medium=email&utm_content=

London & Whipsnade Zoo Special Children’s Day 2014 –

Special days for children aged 3-18 years with their carers.  Click on the flyer for details...

British Dyslexia Association - 

British Dyslexia Association response to the recent suggestion that the definition of dyslexia is misleading and irrelevant. click here for the press release...

Grove House School Group - 

Grove House School Group has asked us to share their request to complete a survey. Click here for details...

Carers UK Benefits Guide - 

Carers UK downloadable guide to benefits for carers and the people they look after. Click here for the guide...

Mersea Island Festival 2014 - 

Inclusive adventure camping breaks in August. Click here for the flyer and booking form...


GetWellEssex.com - 

For local health advice and to find the right NHS service to treat you. Click here for the website... 

 


 

February

Sibs Support - 

www.sibs.org.uk is a UK charity representing the needs of siblings of disabled children and adults. It is a great source of support for parents and the siblings themselves. 


All Ability Day - 

On Sunday 23rd March 2014, Essex Outdoors Mersea is offering an opportunity to have a go at a range of exciting activities from 10am to 4pm for young people with a disability aged 8 to 18 and their families. See the flyer for more information and their website for booking details http://www.essexoutdoors.org/ahdc_family_open_day.php


Cash In Your Pocket - 

A free family budgeting workshop on Monday 24th February at 12.30pm in Brentwood. See flyer for details.

Buddy/Befriender Wanted - 

A young male buddy for an 11year old boy in the Wickford area, to support his leisure activities at home during weekends. See flyer for details and please contact SNAP to arrange contact with the family. 


Autism Education Trust Survey - 

AET is developing a guide for parents focusing on what a child with autism or Asperger syndrome needs in school. Your input is needed in a brief survey form. Click on the link to take part - http://www.icontact-archive.com/PlyyUDEFsOLFnkQjwBJkYNxGlzLRVqW2?w=4

Parenting in the Digital Age - 

The Parent Zone has developed a new programme to help parents to apply their parenting skills to the online world. Visit the website for support and information - http://www.pitda.co.uk/


Tony Attwood Conference - 

An opportunity to see Professor Tony Attwood speak at a conference in Oxford in April 2014. See the website for details http://www.autismoxford.org.uk/index.php/events/details/prof-tony-attwood-dr-michelle-garnett-on-aspergers-autism1


Library Volunteers - 

Essex Libraries are looking for volunteers aged 14 and over to help with the Summer Reading Challenge during the summer holidays.  It’s a great way for young people to gain new skills and it’s also excellent for CVs.  Volunteers will be helping children to join the challenge, talking to them about the stories they are reading and giving them their stickers and medals. Training will be provided.  Volunteers just need to commit to a minimum of 15 hours of volunteering between 19 July and 1 September. Application forms are available in libraries or from the Essex Libraries website, Summer Reading Challenge Volunteer page. The closing date is Friday 23 May 2014. For more information: Contact: Apryl Hammett, Chelmsford Library. Telephone: 01245 492 758 Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

ADHD Training -

Free training for parents and carers to understand and help children to overcome their difficulties due to ADHD and associated problems.  Wednesday 12th March, 9.00am to 12.15pm in Thurrock.  See flyer for details.

TabToob -

The TabToob iPad case is a durable , lightweight cover providing protection from drops, bumps and throws and has non-slip easy grip.  It has been designed specifically for children with special education needs.  See the website for details http://www.tabtoob.com/

Chris Cross Holiday Club -

Chris Cross Holiday Club for children aged 6 to 14 years in the half term holiday in Leigh on Sea.  See flyer for details.

Grove House School -

The Grove House School Group has asked us to make you aware of a local special free school proposal. Click here for details, or visit their website www.grovehouseschool.co.uk

Creative:space - 

The charity Create has arranged a concert event called Creative:space on Saturday 29th March.  It is a day of interactive music events in London, specifically designed for disabled children and their families.  See flyer for details.

DIAL Basildon & South Essex - 

DIAL Basildon & South Essex is holding an outreach advice surgery at Beechwood Library on Thursday 27th February from 11am to 3pm.  See flyer for details.

Weighted Blanket - 

Weighted Blanket for sale - A SNAP family is selling a nearly new and unused weighted blanket made by 'South Paw', 4.5kg (10lbs) in weight, 152cm x 152cm.  £50.  Please contact SNAP to be put in touch with the parent.

Communication Courses - 

Adult Community Learning is offering daytime and evening courses at venues throughout Essex on all forms of communication such as Makaton, Signalong, BSL and Inclusive Communication.  See flyer for details.

Athletics Championship for Young Disabled People - 

Eastern Region Athletics Championships for disabled people aged 9 to 19 with either physical, visual or hearing impairment, or learning disability.  See flyer for details.

 


 

January 2014

DLA Helpline change - 

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is changing the Disability Living Allowance/Attendance Allowance (DLA/AA) Helpline telephone number. This aims to improve access for claimants by providing a more simple approach to contacting them.  

The DLA/AA Helpline number (0845 712 34 56) will become a dedicated line for Disability Living Allowance only. 

The introduction of both an 0345 and an 0845 number is to meet the Permanent Secretary’s commitment to all DWP helplines running both numbers to enable claimants to make an informed choice in order to minimise their call costs. The 0345 number will in general reduce the cost when dialled from a mobile phone, whilst the 0845 number will ensure those who benefit from low rates for these calls (generally when calling from landlines) are not disadvantaged. 

Gov.uk will be updated to reflect these changes from 29 January 2014. Click here for the disability benefits website.

InterAct/FACE Workshop -

A free workshop and information session for parents and carers is being hosted by InterAct and FACE in Chelmsford on Tuesday 11th February 2014.  It will focus on Self-Directed Support and Individual Budgets for children and young people.  Click here to view...

New Fund for SEN Champions in England - 

On Tuesday 7th January, the Department for Education announced a new £30 million fund for more than 1,800 independent supporters to help parents navigate the new special educational needs (SEND) process in England as outlined by the children and families bill.  Click here for more information on this from Contact a Family…

Take it to the top? -

If you have any comments to make about services across South Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust, there are a series of meetings taking place across all SEPT localities during February and March.  Click here to view the flyer

Essex SEND Strategy - 

This year all Local Authorities will be implementing the reforms from the Children and Families Bill.In response to the changing legislation for Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND), Essex County Council has developed a five year strategy and has now published its Strategy for Children and Young People aged 0-25 with Special Educational Needs and Disability 2014-19, which is available on the council’s website.

Flexible Working and Parental Leave - 

The national charity, Contact a Family has written a fact sheet for working parents who need to juggle their work and caring responsibilities.  Click here to view the information on their website…

Further support for working parents of disabled children can be found on the Working Families website - http://www.workingfamilies.org.uk/articles/parents-and-carers/caring-for-disabled-children 

Dyslexia and Handwriting Training in Billericay - 

Abi Johnson from Occupational Therapy Essex is running some training sessions on dyslexia and its associated difficulties, on Wednesday 22nd January at My Gym, Billericay.  The sessions are suitable for parents and further details can be found on the OT Essex website.