October 16, 2014

Withy King sponsors Scope Family Information Day

Withy King is proud to sponsor a family information day for Essex parents and carers of children with disabilities and special educational needs help by the disability charity Scope.

The event has been organised in the wake of changes to the law that define what schools, local authorities and health services should provide for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), which came into effect last month (September 2014).

Scope Regional Response Worker Shelley Johnson, who will be welcoming people to the event, said: “These changes will have a dramatic impact on families, and it is important for parents and carers to be fully aware of the legislation as well as the local educational provisions available to them. This event will provide the information they need and enable them to meet various experts, network, ask questions and attend practical workshops.”

Key note speaker, Jane McConnell, a trained barrister and Chief Executive of Independent Parental Special Education Advice (IPSEA) will be explaining the new SEND legislation. She said: “As the mother of a young man with complex special educational needs, I know that one of the most vital things parents can do is keep themselves informed. Knowledge allows you to be in control and make good decisions for your child as well as the rest of the family.”

Other speakers include a special educational psychologist, members of the Local Education Authority’s specialist teacher team and statutory assessment service. Parents and carers will also have the opportunity to attend workshops – for example, on clinical negligence claims, managing compensation payments and speech and language therapy.

Sponsored by Withy King, the Scope Family Information Day is being held at Latton Bush Centre, Southern Way, Harlow on Friday, 17 October, from 9am to 3.15pm. A buffet lunch will be provided.

To book a place or for further information, please contact Shelley Johnson at Scope on 07423 470 692 or email [email protected].

A parent's perspective

When 11-year-old Naomi Crossley was born, her mother Janet did not know where to turn for information and support. Naomi was born with a serious heart condition as well as Down’s syndrome so while the family was offered plenty of medical attention, Janet felt there was no help available for ‘the whole child’.

Pictured: Naomi and Janet Crossley
Janet, who lives in Linford, Stanford-le-Hope, said: “It sounds awful, but I genuinely don’t think the medical professional thought Naomi would live, so they did what they could for her heart condition but nothing more. It was only when she was around a year old that a nurse mentioned that Naomi ought to be receiving physiotherapy. I hadn’t realised that Down’s syndrome children have floppy muscles. Naomi was a baby and I didn’t realise there were things we should be doing to improve her physical development.”

Over the years, Janet has attended many fact-finding events and now feels well informed and able to access the support she needs. However, she admits it has taken a while to get to this point. “I would strongly recommend information days, such as the one being run by Scope, as a way of empowering yourself and discovering the wide range of help and support available,” said Janet. “I’ve learnt a huge amount and I’m always surprised by how much is out there, from respite days to grants for specialist equipment. While there are many families who are very well informed, there are many others who are at a loss and still trying to come to terms with having a child with a problem. These events really do make a difference.”

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