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Talking, Teen Mental Health & Dyslexia Creates

Dear All

There is a renewed vigour from AfC (Achieving for Children; providers of children’s services in Kingston and Richmond), and the CCG (the Clinical Commissioning Group for the same boroughs) to talk to, and with, parent/carers.

This talking and listening, if acted upon, should help to make local services better for those that receive them (ie us and our children/young people). Money is tight, but spending it wisely is the best we can hope for.

1. #SEND_Action

2. 7 questions – improving SEND in Richmond

3. Are you a parent/carer of a child with autism? - Kingston

4. Being in a Bubble

5. Parenting: Teenage mental health (and SEND)

6. Learning Disability Week & Cllr Penny Frost - Richmond

7. Supported Loving toolkit

8. #StopCyberBullying – 21st June 2019

9. #GiveitBack – social care campaign

10. The latest SEND Tribunal figures paint a troubling picture

11. Annual Reviews and EHCPs

12. IKEA collection: OMTANKSAM (means ‘thoughtful’)

13. Singing Hands Channel – CarPool Karaoke

14. Dyslexia Creates

1 #SEND_Action

“On 26th June we [#SEND_Action] are challenging the government's special educational needs and disabilities funding policy at the High Court. If you've been affected by SEND cuts, please come along and show your support in front of the Royal Courts of Justice from 9am -10am.

More information through their twitter feed below; plus, undoubtedly live tweets on the day!

2 7 questions – improving SEND in Richmond

“We would like to hear views about our draft Plan, which sets out how Richmond Council, Achieving for Children and the Richmond Clinical Commissioning Group will improve SEND services over the next three years.”

The Consultation and Plan

The online consultation (7 short questions, with links to background reading). The survey starts with bullet points of data that the reader may find helpful.


· The Draft Plan

· An easy-read version of the Consultation

· An easy-read version of the Draft Plan

The consultation closes at midnight on Sunday 14th July 2019.

Face to face consultations

“We will also be holding some drop-in events where you can talk to people from the Council, Achieving for Children or Clinical Commissioning Group about the Plan.”

Monday 1st July – 10am to 11.30am Castelnau Community Centre, 7 Stillingfleet Road, Barnes, SW13 9AQ.

Wednesday 3rd July - 7pm to 8.30pm

Ham Youth Centre, Ham Close (off Ashburnham Road), Ham, TW10 7PL

Thursday 4th July - 1:30pm to 3pm Twickenham Training Centre, 53 Grimwood Road, TW1 1BY

If you would like to attend one of these events, please register here.

3 Are you a parent/carer of a child with autism? - Kingston

Collaborative Review of Kingston under 5’s neurodevelopmental pathway

In layman’s terms, a neuro-developmental pathway is the route from a referral (could be from your GP, or perhaps the school) to a possible diagnosis of autism, adhd or other related ‘neurodevelopmental’ condition.

A collaborative review simply means getting as many professionals AND parent/carers in a room together to discuss what works and what doesn’t, and more…

Personally, as a fan of co-production and collaboration, if you live in Kingston, I recommend attending this review – you will be listened to.

Thursday 5th July - 10am to 1pm

Queen Anne Suite, Guildhall, Kingston

“Doreen Redwood, the lead commissioner for children from Kingston and Richmond CCGs, would like to collaboratively review with parents and interested professionals the under 5’s ASD/social communication pathway including:

· what would be helpful to know and do before a child is referred

· clear information on what is happening during the assessment and its possible outcomes

· what additional help and support should be developed and accessible post diagnosis.”

Please email directly to attend the workshop.

4 Being in a Bubble

A personal insight into living on the autistic spectrum

This is one young man’s perspective on how his autism affects him. Joe is a resident of Kingston borough, and some readers may recognise him…


5 Parenting: Teenage mental health (and SEND)

“You can raise as much awareness as you like, but…” [if there is nowhere for a professional to refer to…]

Over last week, and next, BBC Radio 4’s Woman's Hour is covering teenage mental health.

Here is their first publication, a 19minute audio article. If you don’t have a BBC account, you may have to register (it’s free), you can listen here:

“Last year referrals to child & adolescent mental health services were at their highest level ever. If you need help, is it available?”

From link above you will find further audio articles from Woman’s Hour. The second article (via the link above) is Teachers and Teen Mental Health.

And SEND…?

So… Woman’s Hour asked listeners to contribute with their experiences.

The incidence of mental health in children & young people with SEND is 50% as opposed to 12% across the general populate; so that’s 4x higher!

If you would like to contribute to this discussion and evidence, please contact Woman’s Hour here:

“We welcome your comments and questions for the team. Please state clearly if you wish to remain anonymous as your message may be read out on air or published electronically.

Send us an email now to

Please remember if you do email us, that we cannot guarantee a personal response, and please never send us original or valuable documents. Although we read every email and letter we receive, we cannot reply to them all.”

Their full privacy notice is here:

6 Learning Disability Week & Cllr Penny Frost - Richmond

“Last week was Learning Disability Week (17th to 23rd June) and Cllr Penny Frost, Chair of the Education and Children’s Services Committee (Richmond Council) is looking at the importance of inclusion across sport and cultural activities and how we can work inclusively to ensure that no-one is left behind.”

7 Supported Loving toolkit

“Choice Support is a national charity, formed in 1984, supporting people with autism, learning disabilities and mental health needs.

The Supported Loving network has produced a series of guides to help support people with learning disabilities with issues around sex and relationships.”

8 #StopCyberBullying – 21st June 2019

Cybersmile is… “committed to tackling all forms of digital abuse, harassment and bullying online, we work to promote diversity and inclusion by building a safer, more positive digital community.”

“Founded in 2010, Cybersmile has grown to become the world’s leading anti-cyberbullying nonprofit organisation. Registered as a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organisation in the U.S. and as a registered charity in the U.K.”

“We are excited to launch our official #STOPCYBERBULLYINGDAY short film featuring Instagram star Chessie King. We ask you to share this video to raise awareness of this serious issue that is affecting so many lives each day.”


…and from the Department for Education

“The Government Equality Office funded UK Safer Internet Centre to develop cyber-bullying guidance for schools and an online safety toolkit to help schools deliver sessions through PSHE about cyberbullying, peer pressure and sexting.”

9 #GiveitBack – social care campaign

Disabled Childrens Partnership (DCP)

“We've now had over 10,000 signatures to our open letter demanding the government gives back the £434million missing from social care budgets for disabled children and their families. If you've got a spare 3 minutes, please watch our video and then click here to add your name. “

The main campaign video…

And fact filled 30 second videos…




10 The latest SEND Tribunal figures paint a troubling picture

Published 18th June - By Matt Keer for Special Needs Jungle

Matt provides a summary of the latest statistics on tribunals…

“It’s raining cats and dogs outside where I live. More happily for me, it’s also raining statistics – the latest set to drop into my inbox comes from Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service, (HMCTS) who knock out a set of statistics four times a year.”

11 Annual Reviews and EHCPs

Annual Reviews – an animation

This 4.04minute animation from the Council for Disabled Children (CDC) is very straightforward and accessible; I would recommend it for many children and young people as well as parent/carers.

Getting the best Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP)

Thank you to the parent who recommended this subsidised seminar from the charity My AfK:

Wednesday July 3rd - 10am to 2.30pm Central London

“Who is entitled to an EHCP, how do you obtain one for your child or young person? How do you ensure a child or young person has support in mainstream schools if there is no EHCP?

Come and hear the answers to these questions and many more from lawyer Erin Smart of leading law firm Irwin Mitchell and other expert education professionals.

This is the latest in the My AfK SEND seminar series; £19 including lunch for parents and carers.”

Navigating the EHC Process

A local workshop from SOS!SEN:

Saturday 29th June - 9.30am to 4:00pm

Hampton Court, East Molesey

“Suitable for people who want to learn about the whole process; from the decision from local authority to assess through to the final EHC plan. It will include the contents of an EHCP and will also be useful to people applying for an EHCP. The workshop will be led by Eleanor Wright, Solicitor and Co-ordinator

Donation: £85 per person - includes useful documentation and a sandwich lunch”

12 IKEA collection: OMTANKSAM (means ‘thoughtful’)

“Ikea has announced that it will launch a new collection of furniture specially designed for people with disabilities.

The functional furniture will be released in May 2020 and was announced during the store’s annual Democratic Design Day. The OMTANKSAM collection will be made to assist people with disabilities with different kinds of functional needs, to make getting around the house easier and more comfortable.”

13 Singing Hands Channel – CarPool Karaoke

Some new carpool karaoke is on its way from Singing Hands... subscribe to their channel to keep up to date:

Here is the latest content.. George Ezra’s Shotgun (3.17mins)

14 Dyslexia Creates

“The British Dyslexia Association is working in collaboration with the V&A and the Academy of Contemporary Music to launch Dyslexia Creates 2019, starting a sustained campaign to celebrate the creative contribution dyslexia makes and to redefine the way society sees dyslexia.

The free half-day event, which runs from 12-6pm on Thursday 26 September at V&A South Kensington, will showcase how and why dyslexics are consistently at the fore of creative sectors, and look at how, as our understanding of dyslexia grows, we can change the way society and organisations view dyslexia and embrace its potential.”

If you would like more information please contact

If you have any questions at all, please ask and I'll do my best to find an answer.

With best wishes, Romany




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