Resources for Parents
The Start Well EY SEND team have collated some resources which might help parents and carers at home with young children who have SEND during the COVID - 19 pandemic.
We hope that they can be used to support and offer ideas at what may be a very challenging time.
Explaining Coronavirus to young children with SEND
This Social Story can be used with young children and those with Special Educational Needs to talk about the Coronavirus and it's effect on our lives during the pandemic.
This is a printable resource to support young children and those with SEN to remember the key principles of staying safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Home Learning Support for young children with SEND
A large collection of sensory, play and story ideas to use with young children and those with SEND.
A simple explaination about Sensory Integration and a range of ideas that can be accessed at home to support a child who requires additional sensory stimulation.
Suitable for young children and young children with SEND, this is a collection of fun live sessions that you can join in with your child. It also provides links to various parent support materials.
Nadia Dodd, a teaching Assistant at Green Fold Special School (Part of The Orchards Federation), has kindly shared this simple guide to communicating and interacting with children who need a little extra support around social communication skills.
Scheduling regular Brain Breaks can make a big impact in your home schooling routine, especially for young children with SEND. Vera Schleiffer, a Teaching Assistant at Green Fold Special School (part of The Orchards Federation), has compiled a user friendly guide to brain breaks. The guide includes symbols to help you get started.
Paula Quinn is a Teaching Assistant from Green Fold Special School. Paula has kindly recorded some children's songs and collated some resources and symbols to accompany them. Enjoy sharing these regularly with your child to encourage choice making and early communication skills.
Strategies to support daily life for young children with SEND
The Countdown is a strategy which can help children to prepare for an activity which might be coming to an end. This can be used at points in the day which are particularly stressful for example, if a child dislikes the transition from playing on their tablet to eating their dinner or from finishing playing with a favourite toy to going to bed. Here is a video demonstration.
The Now and Next strategy can help to reassure a child that something they like is going to happen after completing a less motivating task. This can help with daily tasks like teeth brushing and getting dressed. This case-study includes a homemade example.
Some simple but very useful pointers to help everyone stay positive and reduce conflicts when entertaining young children at home.
This is a very basic reward system. When used with simple clear language and a really positive motivator (chosen by the child) this can help children to understand what is expected and give them reason to take part in activities they may not want to do. Includes a home made example and a video demonstration.
The traffic light system is used with a child to reduce frustration at key times by making them more aware of when an activity is coming to an end. A video demonstration can be found here.
This document contains helpful tips for both tantrums and meltdowns. Author: Naomi Passmore.
Exploring the senses
'Fun with Food' aims to help children with food aversions to gain more confidence by encouraging food exploration. This will help to add a wider variety of food into a child's diet. This pack includes food symbols to help you get started. Please use resources/food selections with caution and always under adult supervision.
Catherine Brooks is a Teaching Assistant from Green Fold Special School (part of the Orchards Federation). These are Catherine's ‘simple sensory sessions’ that last about 20 minutes. They are designed to stimulate 1 or 2 senses each time. Please use resources with caution and always under adult supervision.
Variety, the children’s charity, have created a guide for parents/carers to support them in managing sensory inputs more effectively. Please use resources with caution and always under adult supervision.
Childnet have produced some FAQ’s to help keep your youngest children safe on the internet. Includes lots of useful links.
Childnet International have collated all the best key advice, reviews and tools to help keep your youngest children safe on the internet.
Naomi Passmore, a Teacher at Green Fold Special School (Part of The Orchards Federation), has these ‘top tips’ for parents of children with SEND. The information includes how to use ‘Guided Access’ on an iPad – preventing a child from swiping away from a selected app.
A guide developed by UK Safer Internet Centre to help parents to support children to use their iPad/tablet safely.
Adele Holland is a Teaching Assistant at Green Fold Special School (part of The Orchards Federation). Adele has adapted this simple version of the Hands Programme to enable parents of young children with Physical Disabilities to support their child in warming up before carrying out activities or practicing daily independence skills. Please use resources with caution and always under adult supervision.
Using a trampoline is an enjoyable and fun way for children to develop a variety of skills. Sam Ball, a Teaching Assistant at Green Fold Special School (Part of the Orchards Federation), has created this user friendly guide to offer ideas on how to help your child learn through movement. The guide includes symbols to help you get started.
Catherine Brooks, a Teaching Assistant at Green Fold Special School (part of The Orchards Federation), has designed this activity for young children with limited movement. If your child is seen by a physiotherapist and you have been shown passive movements and stretches to perform with your child, then this activity could be for you!
'Sensory Circuits' is a short and snappy sensory motor skills programme that helps to set children up for a school day or to help self-regulate them. Children participate in 10 to 15 minute sessions of activities designed to improve brain processing efficiency and they generally find that the circuit is a fun way to start the day. Terrill Longworth, a teacher from Green Fold Special School (Part of The Orchards Federation), has also created a video guide to help you get started.
Communication and Language
Dr Kelly Burgoyne has developed a series of resources to support language development in children with Down syndrome. These include online advice sessions for parents and practitioners educating students with Down syndrome at home and an article for the RCLST's bulletin which summarises the evidence base around language intervention for children with Down Syndrome. Find out more.