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 - 7+

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.

SEN Magazine – Dyslexia Tips for Parents

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


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.

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.


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 


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.


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.  


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 at 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.


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

 

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. 


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. 


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. 


Essex Outdoors –


There are Open Events at Mersea and Danbury centres for children and young people aged 8 to 18 with a disability in August. There are also Short Break opportunities throughout the summer at all centres.


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 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. 


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.

 
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. 

 
Rainbow Rural –


Children’s Farm Club for children with special needs aged 7 to 11 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.

 
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. 


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).

 

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. 

 
Girls and Autism: Flying Under the Radar –


Nasen has produced a guide to supporting girls with autism spectrum conditions.

 
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.

 
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 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. 

 
Extra - Support for Parents –


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

 
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.

 
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. http://www.dialbasildon.co.uk/

 
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.


Smiles & Laughter Project –

Kingston University and Nottingham Trent University are looking for participants with ASD aged 7 to 10 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.
 

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. 


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. 


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.

 
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+. 

 
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 for West Essex  –

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.

 
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.

 
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.

 
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.

 

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.


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.


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.  

 
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. 


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.

 
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.

 
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. 

 

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. 

 

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.

The Incredible Years Course – 

This 12-week parenting course for parents of children aged 6 to 12 years starts in Brentwood in January 2017.

Supporting Child Witnesses with Autism – 

SNAP’s Information Network published an appeal for research recruits in August 2015 to assist a research project into making it fair for child witnesses in the criminal justice system. The results of this project have now been published.

 

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.

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. 

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.

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.

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.


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.
 

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.  

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. 

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.
 
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. 

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.


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 


Carers Roadshows –

Essex County Council and partner organisations are hosting a series of Carers Roadshows, recognising the county’s unpaid carers including those caring for family members.  There will be opportunities for information and advice for carers from the council and community organisations.


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


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.

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.

Primary SENCO Conference –

Workshops for SENCOs led by senior members of all strands of the Essex specialist teacher team, on 26th September in Chelmsford.

 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Practical Workships 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.

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 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.

 

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.

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.

 

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 

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.

 

April

Update

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.

Staying Safe on Minecraft –


A helpful article from CEOP and Parent Zone.

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.

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. 

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.

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. 

Dealing with Bullying –

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

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.

 

March

Update

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. 

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.

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. 

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.

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. 

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.

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.

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 

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 

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.

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. 

Moving to Secondary School –

SNAP will be running our annual 3-week course for parents with children with special needs in years 4 to 6 of mainstream school.  The aim of the course is to give lots of practical ideas for preparing your child for the transition to secondary school.  The course starts on 27th April. 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

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.

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. 

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.

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.

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.  

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.  

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 

 

 

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

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.

Cycle Trailer –

A cycle trailer for a young child is available to a SNAP family for a donation to SNAP.  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

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

Update

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.

Rainbow Group in Brentwood –


Parent Network Group for Brentwood families of children who are struggling with social and communication issues, led by the Essex Specialist Teacher Team and Educational Psychology Service.  See flyer for details.

Rainbow Group in Basildon -


Parent Network Group for Basildon families of children who are struggling with social and communication issues, led by the Essex Specialist Teacher Team and Educational Psychology Service.  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. 

Mission BMX Trike For Sale –


See flyer for details and contact the seller directly.

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. 

Go To Shop Disability Trolleys –


Tesco is now preparing to add 500 of the new design special trolleys to their UK shops following a successful two-month trial.  See article for more 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.


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 times. http://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.


Clarks Shoe Fitting Appointments - 

Clarks are now offering an online appointment booking service for measure and fit in store.  A 15 minute appointment per child can be reserved to cut down the stress of waiting in store.  A customer care team helpline can answer any questions you may have about the appointments.  See website for details http://www.clarks.co.uk/storeappointments 

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 information.

 

 

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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.

Relaxed Theatre Performance –


A special performance of The Gruffalo will take place on 4th August at 2pm.  See website for booking 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.


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.

Unlocking the Power of ADHD Conference –


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

 

May

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.

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.


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. 
 
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.

Mace Playce Special Needs Sessions –


Mace Playce, a softplay centre in Chelmsford, has announced its dedicated special needs sessions for the remainder of 2015.

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

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. 

 

February

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.

 

 


 

 

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.

Netmums Online Parenting Courses –


Netmums has joined with Family Links to offer a Nurturing Programme for Netmums members.  See their website for details http://www.netmums.com/parenting-support/parenting-advice/netmums-parenting-course-about-the-courses

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

Brentwood Children’s Centres –  

Spring term activity schedules for Cherry TreesLarchwood and Sunshine Children’s Centres.

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.

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

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.

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 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 (EHC Plan).  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.

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.

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.

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


Zinc Arts’ Saturday Club –

A full day or half day of fun and creativity for children aged 5 to 11 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.

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.

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.

Early Support App –


An app has been developed as 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; doctors, nurses, teachers or social workers.  It provides a single plan format that can form the basis for the new Education, Health and Care Plan.  Click here for the app guide.

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

 

 


 

 

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.  

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 sensory needs, 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

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.

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. Read more.

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.

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. 

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

BOSP Summer Sessions - 

BOSP (Brighter Opportunities through Supported Play) are advertising their sessions for those aged 4yrs to 18yrs for July to September 2014. 

Click here for Saturday Club

Click here for Holiday Club

Chris Cross Summer Holiday Activities - 


Half term activities for 6 to 14 year olds in Leigh-on-Sea.  See flyer for details.

Actability Inclusive Theatre Company - 

Actability presents a new participatory theatre experience for children and young people featuring stories, music, film and dance from different cultures. Click here for details.

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.


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

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.

 

 


 

 

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. 


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

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...

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

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...

Cerebra Advice Video - 

Cerebra advice video for night waking children with additional needs. Click here to view the video...

British Dyslexia Association - 

British Dyslexia Association response to the recent suggestion that the definition of dyslexia is misleading and irrevelant. 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...

IKEA Equipment - 

IKEA has donated some wonderful equipment for SNAP's children's sessions. For details of the items that are also available to purchase from the Thurrock store please click here...

 


 

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

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

Twinkl - 

A large collection of primary school resources including those for special educational needs.

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 full details.

TabToob - 

The TabToob iPad case is a durable, lightweight cover providing protection from drops, bumps and throws and has a non-slip easy grip.  It has been designed specifically for children with special educational 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 Brentwood Library on Thursday 27th February from 11am to 3pm.  See flyer for details.

Weighted Blanket - 

Weight
ed Blanket for Sale – A SNAP family is selling a nearly new and unused weighted blanket made by ‘South Paw’, 4.5kg (10 lbs) 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.

 

 


 

 

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…