Previous Months - 4+

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

 

2017

 

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.

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. 


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. 


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. 


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. 


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.

Chris Cross Holiday Club 

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


Learn to Sign with your Family

Community Voluntary Services Tendring is offering a free course for parents and carers of deaf children aged 0-5 in Clacton-on-Sea. They will be looking at topics using British Sign Language (BSL). The course is on Saturday 14th October and Sunday 15th October 2017, 10am to 4:00pm.


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. 


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

 

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 –

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.


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 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.


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. 

PACT for Autism – Back to School Guide

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


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.

Please remember to visit this page regularly for more updates throughout the year.

 

August

 

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.


The Treble Makers - 


The Treble Makers give a live pop concert experience for little ones and their families. With songs to suit all ages, from babies to grandparents. A great interactive introduction to live music and instruments whilst listening to well-known songs! See The Treble Makers live at one of their upcoming Essex dates.


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

 

SWAN UK Facebook Group for Dads

SWAN UK has set up a private Facebook group specifically for dads of children with an undiagnosed genetic condition. For more information see their July Newsletter.


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. The next date is 15th August. Contact Pact for Autism to book.


National Autistic Society’s partnership with the Guardian


The NAS is continuing its partnership with the Guardian newspaper, sharing insightful articles, videos and personal accounts to increase awareness and understanding of ASD.


Disabled Living
 – Free Children’s Incontinence Products

Bladder and Bowel UK, a service of Disabled Living, has been given a large number of brand new washable underwear. They are for both boys and girls from age 3 to 12 years. Up to six pairs can be sent free of charge. See flyer for further details. 


Incredible Years Course 


Free parenting group for parents and carers of children aged 4 to 11 years, starting in Pitsea on Friday 15th September for 12 weeks.


Incredible Years ASD Course
 


Free parenting group for parents and carers of children aged 2 to 8 years who are on the autistic spectrum or have language delay, starting in Wickford on Thursday 14th September for 12 weeks.


London Theatres 
Relaxed performances

Find details on relaxed performances this summer on the Official London Theatre website. Including ‘What the Ladybird Heard’ at the Lyric Theatre and ‘Disney’s Aladdin’ at the Prince Edward Theatre.


Cliff’s Pavilion 
Relaxed performance Pantos

Tickets are now available to purchase online, for the Cliff’s Pavilion relaxed performances of Jack and the Beanstalk.  Get your pick of the seats by booking this popular Christmas pantomime early. The show runs from Saturday 16th December 2017 to Sunday 7th January 2018 but is expected to sell out.


Mushroom Theatre Company


Mushroom Theatre has added dates to their performing arts workshops in Saffron Walden. The new dates are Friday 4th August and Friday 25th August. Mushroom Theatre offer a wide range of fun activities around music, dance, drama and games- they also have a buddy system for any child/ young person who needs extra support.

 
SNAP Summer Survival Guide –

Don’t forget to have a look at this year’s Summer Survival Guide for useful ideas and information to help you through the holiday period, together with activities and events from other organisations. 


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. 


Incredible Years ASD Group –

This parenting course has been designed especially for parents of children aged 2 to 8 with an autism spectrum disorder or who have a language delay. The 12 week course starts on 14th September in Wickford.


Disabled Children: 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. 


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. 


Accessing Public Services Toolkit –


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

 

June


SNAP Summer Survival Guide –

The 2017 Summer Survival Guide 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. 


CBeebies video -

Everyone’s Welcome:  When it comes to difference, children see things differently. 


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.


Rainbow Rural –


Junior Farm Club for children with special needs aged 5+ is Rainbow Rural’s holiday club in Great Dunmow.  


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.

 
Incredible Years Course –

This 12-week course for parents of children aged 4 to 11 who need ideas and guidance with parenting, will be commencing in Pitsea in September.


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.


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.


Muddy Boots Forest Adventures –

Colchester based outdoor play, offering relaxed and friendly child led sessions for all children. 


Treating Autism Roadshow Event –

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


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. 


School Readiness Course –


For parents in the Tendring area, this free 5-week programme is designed to help parents prepare their children for starting school this September.


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.


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).

 

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.

Make it Stop - 

The National Autistic Society has recently published their latest video in the ‘Too Much Information’ campaign. This one, ‘Make it Stop’ features a young girl experiencing information overload and demonstrates how difficult it can be for people with autism to process a lot of information.

Younify - 

The next coffee morning for parents will be held on Monday 8th May in Leigh-on-Sea.

Apex Parent Support Group - 

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

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. 

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.

Good Futures - 

New group for parents of girls on the autism spectrum on Canvey Island.

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.

 

 

Extra - Support for Parents - 

Summer term courses and groups in Harwich, Jaywick and Clacton. 

 

 

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.
 

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.
 

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.  
 


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. 


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.


The Secret Life of... –

Channel 4’s series ‘the secret life of…’ is returning to follow new groups of four and five year olds as they take their first steps towards independence. The programme is looking for children aged 4 or 5 and their parents to take part in the filming this summer.
 

Parentalk Primary Years –

The Megacentre in Rayleigh is offering a 6-week parenting course for parents of primary aged children, starting on Wednesday 19th April until Wednesday 24th 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. 


Mindfulness Workshop –

If you are a parent or carer of a child aged between 2 and 18 who is on the autism spectrum and would like to take part in a research project, you can join a free 3-hour workshop on Mindfulness, meditation and self-compassion in Chelmsford.


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.


Incredible Years Course –

Free parenting group for parents and carers of children aged 6 to 12 years, starting in Hutton on Friday 21st April for 12 weeks.


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. 

March


Sesame Street Character with Autism –

The character ‘Julia’ who was originally introduced online and in print to help raise awareness of autism is to join the US TV show. 


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.


Trailnet Saturday Club –

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

 
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.


Digiduck –

Childnet International has developed an e-safety resource for young children to help parents and teachers educate children aged 3 to 7 about how to be a good friend online.  The Digiduck collection includes a book that can be purchased, or a free downloadable PDF version, plus an interactive app.


Tink ‘n’ Stink –

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


Incredible Years Course for Parents –

A 12-week free course for parents of children aged 4 to 11 years is starting soon in Basildon.


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.


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.


Lambourne End Fun Days –

Essex County Council is funding some sessions under the Short Breaks programme for children under 8 years of age living in the 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.


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.

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.

NAS Thurrock –

The Thurrock branch of The National Autistic Society holds regular support meetings and events for families.

Light Touch Care Hours Survey –

Essex Short Breaks would like feedback from families who are using light touch care support.

PDA Training –

Concept Training is hosting a conference day on ‘Supporting children and young people who have Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA)’ in London on 17th March 2017.

Managing Your Epilepsy Day - 

Epilepsy Action is hosting an information day in Chelmsford on Saturday 18th March. 

The Power of Positive Parenting –

A free Triple P seminar from Brilliant Parents in London on 27th March 2017.

Making Sense of SEND Reforms –

Conference hosted by NELFT Medical Education for professionals and parents in London on 23rd March 2017.

Autism Alert Cards –

The Girl with the Curly Hair Project has produced their own style plastic autism alert cards for purchase. 

Apex Parent Support Group –

Monthly meetings in Chelmsford.

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. 

Enhancing Communication Workshop –

SNAP is once again offering this two week course on methods to help support your child’s communication, starting 1st March 2017.

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. 

Rainbow Group –

The Essex Specialist Teacher Team has been hosting monthly parent network meetings in Brentwood and Billericay. These meetings have now been cancelled until Easter with a view to re-shaping them for the summer term.

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.

Splashy Bath Seat –

This portable bath seat for children with disabilities is fully adjustable and is suitable for children weighing up to 30kg. There is also a downloadable Splashy Activity Programme on the website. 

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.

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. 

Choosing a School –

The National Autistic Society has some comprehensive advice and information on choosing a school for your child with autism. 

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. 

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.

 
Families Feeling Safe Programme – 

In Epping for parents and carers of children aged 0 to 5.

 
Family Links Parenting Workshops – 

A course of parenting workshops for parents of young children held at two children’s centres in Harlow in February/March.

 
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.

After Nappies and Paddies – 

An Open Day for this new breakfast, after school and holiday club in Warley Hill for children aged 4 to 7 years.

Younify Coffee Morning – 

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

 
Parent Catch-Up Event – 

Parent Time at SNAP is an opportunity for parents whose children are in the first few years of primary school and who are missing the regular contact of SNAP sessions. During this session on 1st February, Linsey an education adviser from Families InFocus will be on hand to discuss school based support and processes. 

 
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. 

 
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.

 
EXTRA Support for Families in Jaywick – 

This Clacton based charity is hosting monthly coffee mornings for parents of children with additional needs.  The first meeting this year will be on 30th January.

 

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.

 

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.

 

Cycle Vest –

BikyBiky is a UK brand of cycle safety harnesses for children, to help learn to ride their bike without stabilisers and/or make the transition from balance bikes to first children’s bikes safely.

 

Reading App –

Teach Your Monster to Read games are available for Android and iPad tablets.  The games complement phases 2 to 5 of the synthetic phonics programmes, covering 2 years of the reading journey. 

 

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. 

Rainbow Group – 

The Essex Specialist Teacher Team is hosting monthly parent network groups in Brentwood and Billericay.

Tots to Teens – 

A parental support group from The Children’s Society for parents of children aged 5 to 11. A new 8-week course will be starting in Brentwood in January 2017.

Sensory Oojamabobs – 

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

Makaton Resources – 

The Makaton website ‘Let’s Talk Makaton’ has some downloadable and printable resources using symbols and signs to support understanding and enjoyment of classic children’s stories such as ‘The Tiger Who Came to Tea’ and ‘The Gruffalo’.

 

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.

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. 

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. 


ASD Bright Ideas –

A UK provider of autism and SEN awareness products and visual aids to help your child with their visual auditory processing skills.

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. 

Difficulty Sleeping Alone or Night Waking - 

The Cerebra Sleep Service has produced this checklist to help with night waking. The Sleep Service can offer support via phone and email https://w3.cerebra.org.uk/help-and-information/sleep-service/

Cerebra 1000 Families Study -

Cerebra is looking for parents of children aged 4 to 11 with a learning disability to take part in a survey.

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.

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.

 

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.


The Sunfly - 

The Sunfly Trailer-Chair from Tomcat Special Needs Innovations can morph from a sleeping or feeding chair, to a wheelchair or bicycle trailer.  It can allow children with moderate to severe disabilities to enjoy holiday adventures like most children.  It folds away for easy transportation and can have a flight case for air travel.  It can be purchased or hired for a holiday.

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.

Rainbow Group –

The Essex Specialist Teacher Team will be continuing to host Parent Network Groups for parents of primary aged children who are worried about their children’s social and communication skills. See flyer for dates and locations.

New 123 Magic Website –

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


Sesame Street Autism Website –

Sesame Street has introduced a character called Julia who has autism. There is a dedicated autism website and app with information, resources, games, digital books and videos.  Look out for the ‘Amazing’ music video with Elmo, Abby, Grover and their friends. 

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?'.

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.


NHS 111 and Out-of-Hours Services Survey –

The local Clinical Commissioning Groups are looking at how they can improve these services and need the views of anyone who has used the current services. You can complete an online survey www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/essex111 

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

Personal Perspective on ASD by Robyn Steward - 

SNAP is pleased to welcome Robyn Steward, the successful author, artist, musician and broadcaster who also has a diagnosis of Asperger syndrome to share her humourous, insightful and unique perspective on her life and her work with others on the spectrum. Wednesday 14th September, click here for more information on times and how to book your place(s).

Rainbow Group –

The Essex Specialist Teacher Team will be continuing to host Parent Network Groups for parents of primary aged children who are worried about their children’s social and communication skills. See flyer for dates and locations.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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. 

Rainbow Rural Centre -

Junior Farm Club is designed to support students with special needs from 5 to 16 years with a parent or carer. There is also a Kids Holiday Farm Club for any children aged 5 to 11 years, which may therefore include siblings of children with special needs.  The children with additional needs will need to be accompanied by a parent or carer.

Contact a Family Brexit Comment -

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

Basildon Children's Centres -

There is a programme of activities and support throughout the summer for families with children under 5 at the Basildon Children’s Centres.

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.

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.

The Ark Centre Open Day –

This independent therapy centre in Chelmsford for children with autism aged 2 to 8 is hosting an open day on Saturday 16th July.

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.

The Tale of Me –

This website has created a child-friendly, accurate and up to date source of information for paediatric patients between the ages of 6 and 10 about their illnesses. Information about their condition has been incorporated into stories incorporating themes and familiar characters.  Featured conditions include Scoliosis, Diabetes, Allergies, Asthma, Crohn’s Disease, Osteogenesis Imperfecta, Arthritis and Coeliac Disease plus many more.

Too Much Information Experience –

The National Autistic Society has produced a 360 degree virtual reality version of their successful ‘Too Much Information’ video to help people experience what it might be like to have to deal with sensory overload.  Over the summer, the film will go on tour across the UK to give people an opportunity to immerse themselves in this virtual reality experience.  The tour will be calling at Lakeside in Thurrock on 3rd and 4th of September.

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.

Sensory Wall at Chelmsford & Basildon Libraries –

Both Chelmsford and Basildon 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.

Helpful items for eating and drinking –

Fledglings offers product solutions for children with special needs. They have a range of items to help with feeding, chewing and oral care.

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.

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.

iPad Apps and Accessories –

Inclusive Technology has created over 40 motivational, touch and switch accessible apps for children with special needs, along with tough and durable iPad cases, as seen in the SNAP specialist IT suite.  View their range of accessories on their website.

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. 

Essex Challenge Prizes - 

Essex County Council is looking for ideas, projects and solutions that involve local families with children under 5 in opportunities that enrich their lives. See the video, or see the website for more information.

The Incredible Years Course –

This course is for parents with children aged 4 to 11 years who want ideas or guidance with parenting.  The next course will be held in Pitsea in September.

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. 

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.

Autism Friendly Cinema Screenings –

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

Social Stories Workshops 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.

 

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.

Fledglings Chewing Aids –

Fledglings provides product solutions for children with special needs.  They sell a range of chewing aids for children with sensory needs.

Strawberry Fair –

Brentwood Borough Council is hosting ‘Strawberries and Queen’ on Shenfield Common on Saturday 11th June from 12 noon to 6pm.  Come and visit the SNAP stand at this fun event!

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.

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.

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.

Carol Gray Social Stories Training –

The National Autistic Society is hosting a training day on 15th September, for parents and professionals who want to learn how to write and use Social Stories with their children. 

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. 

Haircutting Course -

Havering College is running a haircutting course for parents with children on the autistic spectrum and/or with sensory difficulties. The course will be on 3 Saturdays in June commencing on 8th June from 10am to 1pm and the cost for the course is £120 including all equipment. Click on the link to book a place 

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

 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Teeth Cleaning –


Fledglings, the national charity that sources and sells products that improve the lives of disabled children and their families, has a range of specialist oral care products in their catalogue. See their website for details www.fledglings.org.uk

Incredible Years Course –


This 12-week programme is a parenting course for parents of children aged 6 to 12. It will be held at Long Ridings Primary School starting on Friday 6th May, 9.30am to 11.30am. More information from the Brentwood Extended Services Team.

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.

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. 

Helping Your Child Sleep –


The national charity Contact a Family has produced a guide for parents giving advice when your child has difficulties with sleep.

 

 

March

Makaton Signing for Babies App –

This app from Makaton enables quick and easy access to Makaton signs and symbols with video tutorials demonstrating each of the signs.  It costs £8.99 and is available for Android and iPad/iPhone. 

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.

ASD Bright Ideas –

This website sells affordable visual supports to use with children with autism and other special needs.  See website for details.

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.


Parent Time - 

SNAP can now confirm that we have an independent Speech & Language therapist attending our Parent Time event next week, Wednesday 16th March from 11.00am, alongside the already confirmed Occupational therapist.

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. 

Twinkl –

Twinkl is a website full of downloadable teaching resources and activities for parents and professionals.  There are sections aimed at parents and also a vast range of Special Educational Needs resources including visual supports. 

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.

 

February

Parent Guide to Illness –

Essex County Council and the NHS have put together a poster for schools, parents and early years providers to offer guidance around childhood illness.

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.

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.

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.

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 needs input from families.  Click on the link to complete their short survey.

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. 

Specialist Bodysuits and Sleepwear from M&S –

A new range of  clothing including vests and sleepwear is available for ages 3 to 8, making them ideal for children with special needs.  See the Marks and Spencer website for details 

Child Safe Re-usable Wristbands –

Child Safe Wristbands contain a re-usable plastic strip where your contact details can be stored and give vital information if your child is lost. They can give peace of mind while out and about with a child with special needs. 

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.

ASD Enhanced Provision Consultation -

Essex County Council, in partnership with Merrylands Primary School, is consulting stakeholders about creating an eight place unit for children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders at the school from September 2016 (or as soon as possible thereafter).  The consultation booklet outlines the proposal and gives details of a public drop in session to be held at Merrylands on 15 March 2016 between 3pm and 7pm, to which all interested parties are invited.  The document also sets out how to respond to the consultation, which will run until 21 March 2016.

 

January

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.

Enhancing Communication Workshops –

Due to popular demand, SNAP has added another set of dates for these workshops looking at methods to help support your child’s communication.  Click here for details.

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.

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.

Glow Crazy Doodle Dome –

One of our families has suggested this as a useful and affordable ‘quiet place’ for sensory calming.

Sesame Street Autism Website –

Sesame Street has introduced a character called Julia who has autism. There is a dedicated autism website and app with information, resources, games, digital books and videos.  Look out for the ‘Amazing’ music video with Elmo, Abby, Grover and their friends.

Signed Stories –

This website from ITV has made hundreds of children’s stories accessible in British Sign Language, animation, pictures, text and sound.  There is also a Signed Stories app to download. 

HelpKidzLearn –


This website from Inclusive Technology has fun, accessible games, activities and tools designed specifically for young children and those with learning difficulties.  

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. 

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.