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This month we talked about getting an Education & Health Care Plan (EHCP) set up and the emotional strain of embarking on this process. We shared experiences about finding the right school that understands how to support someone with autism, and more generally about finding professionals who listen and understand your experience so that you can build a trusted relationship.

Available support:

AMAZE East Sussex – a charity set up by family carers that supports children and young people and their families with SEN. They have a helpline where you can talk about anything you need to. And if you need more support, they have case workers who will work with you.

https://amazesussex.org.uk/parent-carers/services-and-support/sendiass-helpline/

Civil Legal Advice – if you are having delays with assessments for example through Occupational Therapy (OT) or Speech and Language Therapy (SALT), your adult child may be eligible to legal aid to support you to access legal advice. In some cases, in order to appeal a decision around an educational setting, legal advice is necessary and can help in obtaining independent specialist reports to support your case.

https://www.childrenslegalcentre.com/get-legal-advice/education/

Mental Health and Wellbeing Support

A family carer shared that their son who is now an adult worked with two support workers from the early intervention team from the Children & Adults Mental Health Service (CAMHS). They work with their son directly supporting him and this has helped to apply for university.

https://pavingtheway.works/works/local-camhslearning-disability-teams-east-sussex/

We discussed the individual things we do to sustain us through difficult times, from gardening, tending to an allotment, walking in nature and attending church services. Some of these activities equip us with the emotional resilience to continue with our caring roles and seek the right support for loved-ones. We agreed that it would be good to explore emotional wellbeing within the Support Collective such as mindfulness and relaxation sessions in future meet-ups.

New SEN school opening in Hastings

A school is opening in Hastings in September 2021 and is set up by parents of children with support needs:

https://www.theflagshipschool.org.uk/

Social support

For family carers and for children and young people with support needs

https://amazesussex.org.uk/parent-carers/services-and-support/face-2-face-befriending/

https://amazesussex.org.uk/parent-carers/info-advice-parent-carers/survival-strategies/parent-support-groups/

We agreed to invite AMAZE East Sussex to attend a Support Collective meet-up to update on their services.

DATE OF NEXT MEET-UP: Thursday 15th April via Zoom

DATE OF ART BREAKS: Tuesday 13th, Wednesday 14th, Thursday 15th April

Book your place by 29th March 2021 using this link:

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/ABEaster2021

Please contact Patricia Finnegan, Creative Programme Manager, if you have any questions: [email protected] / 01424 423555 or find out more at https://projectartworks.org/art-breaks-in-spring/

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