In this issue:
Autism and ADHD support in Hertfordshire
When you realise your child or young person may be neuro-diverse (for example, displaying signs of ADHD or autism) it can be hard to know what the future looks like. Well, the future is full of support and advice for you and your family. When you’re new to the world of neurodiversity it can be hard to know where to find that support, or what to ask for. Our animation is a speedy guide to the types of support available to you in every aspect of your family’s lives, and learning more about this all begins on the Hertfordshire Local Offer website.
Just Talk 'Summer Sleep Challenge'
You may have heard people tell you how much sleep you ‘should’ be getting, but sleep is like a t-shirt – there’s no ‘one size fits all’. Most young people need between 7 and 11 hours sleep but we know that pressures of school, and other demands on our time make it difficult to really know how much sleep you personally need. That’s why we’re inviting you to join Hertfordshire’s summer sleep challenge, to work out how much sleep you and your family members ideally need, by turning off your alarm clocks for two weeks this summer and completing a simple sleep log. Read more about the summer sleep challenge on the JustTalk website.
Let us know you’ve completed the challenge by emailing your completed summer sleep challenge log to: firstname.lastname@example.org . You will be entered into a prize draw and be in with the chance of winning Family Experience Vouchers worth £200!
Herts Wheelchair service parent / carer group
If you are the parent or carer of a child or young person who uses the Hertfordshire Wheelchair Service, we have been asked to pass on an invite to take part in a small online group discussion on 10 August (7-8pm). The purpose of the group is to:
- Listen to the feedback of children, young people, parents and carers to better meet their needs.
- Improve communications between families, Millbrook Healthcare and other professionals to meet the needs of users more effectively.
- Promote understanding of how the wheelchair service works to reduce problems and delays.
Please email HertsCHEO@millbrookhealthcare.co.uk if you are interested in joining the meeting.
EP and Advice Lines - summer holiday opening times
The Educational Psychology Contactline: 01992 588 574
Open Wednesday 3 and Wednesday 17 August in the summer holidays, 2pm - 4.30pm. You can phone and talk to an Educational Psychologist about any concerns you might have about your child or young person's emotional wellbeing, and how this might be affecting their learning.
Open in the summer holidays, Monday to Thursday 9.30am – 3pm, Friday 9.30am – 2.00pm. SENDIASS provide information, advice and support about Special Educational Needs and Disabilities for families living in Hertfordshire. The service aims to empower and enable children and young people with SEN/D and their parents/carers to take an active role in decision making on matters relating to their needs. They can provide free, impartial and confidential information and support on a range of issues which include EHCPs, national and local policy, your rights and choices and how you can access support.
The advice line number is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Leave a message on the Advice Line - and a therapist will contact you. Calls are responded to by a therapist on weekdays. A dedicated telephone number which parents, carers and professionals can call to speak to a speech and language therapist, occupational therapist or physiotherapist about a new referral or a child’s development.
The Specialist Advisory Service Advice Lines (for Speech Language, Communication and Autism, Physical and Neurological Impairment, SpLD, Education Support for Medical Absence, and Early Years) will not be operating in the holidays. The Advice Lines for these services will reopen on the week beginning 5 September.
Choices Youth Group (ages 12 - Young Adult)
Are you a young person with learning disabilities who would like to find more things to do outside of school? Are you looking for an informal place to meet friends and pursue your interests? If you can get to Hitchin then we have just the thing!
The Choices after school club, opening in September is for young people with learning disabilities (aged 12 - young adult) who would like to do things with like-minded people and can come from anywhere within travelling distance of Hitchin. The group will enable young people to meet on Friday evenings to try out a range of fun and informal activities according to a programme you can help to create. Likely activities include film nights, preparing snacks such as sandwiches and pizza, designing T-shirts, outdoor sports and games but we also want your input to help build up the youth group activities.
The club is being overseen by Magda Kruszewska, an experienced speech practitioner and also has experience in supporting teenagers with SEND both personally and professionally. Magda is also supported by the Hertfordshire charity Up on Downs and the youth group is being funded by a Building Life Chances grant.
The youth group is due to launch in September but we are currently collecting expressions of interest. Please contact us for further information and to be added to our mailing list.
Up on Downs website
Date of event: Friday evenings repeating weekly from 2 September, 6.30pm - 8pm
View all events
View summer holiday activities
Colourscape - Cassiobury Park
From 20 - 29 August 2022
Colourscape arrives from 20 to 29 August in Cassiobury Park, Watford. Don a coloured cape and immerse yourself in a fusion of sound and colour as you wander through a labyrinth of coloured chambers and tubes creating your own journey and experience.Musicians play in a large dome which will fill the chambers with music. Colourscape is for all ages, enjoyed by all from babies to 100 year-olds. It’s also great for those who need SEN support! Tickets from £3
Potential Kids - Sewing Fun
Tuesdays 9th, 16th, 23rd August 2-4pm, Hatfield
Learn to design, cut out a pattern, choose fabric, thread a sewing machine, sew a simple pattern
All About Us Festival - accessible workshops
Various dates in August - St Albans
Trestle Theatre is organising a brand-new community festival to celebrate the creative and amazing work of the local learning-disabled community in St Albans and district. In August, they are putting on a series of accessible workshops at various venues around St Albans, offering participants a chance to take part in circus skills, singing, and arts and crafts.
Understanding your child's sensory preferences
Monday 8 August, 2-3pm, online
Our Understanding Sensory preferences information session is for parents and carers who would like to know more about their child’s sensory development - delivered by the NHS Children's Occupational Therapy Service.