SEND Parent Resources
Over the years we have had a number of children attend Natural Nurture with SEND. Below you will find a number of resources that have been recommended by the parents of these children, that you may find useful.
A non-profit organization in Sussex for parents and carers of children with additional needs. They have a Facebook group where you can post questions (anonymously through the admins), connect with other parents, attend meet ups/family days and access relevant free courses.
A free and impartial advice line for parents/carers in West Sussex of children with additional needs. Very useful when planning to apply to delay school start.
West Sussex Local Offer
This is where The West Sussex County Council publish events for local services, support and events for 0–25 year olds who have special educational needs or disabilities (SEND).
West Sussex Disability Register
It’s free to sign your child up to the West Sussex Disability Register. This is a new register as of 2022 and the benefit is that you will receive a MAX card which provides discounts on attractions and activities across England. This is a new register introduced in 2022 and replaces the Compass Card in West Sussex.
West Sussex Parent Carer Forum
WSPCF is a community of parent carers who all have a child (aged 0-25 years) with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND). It offers information, support and training. ‘By sharing our experiences and knowledge, we aim to build your confidence as you navigate your own ‘special needs’ journey.’
Essential Companion Cards National Trust
You can apply for up to 2 free adult essential companion cards per child with an additional needs which gives you free entry into any National Trust when accompanying them. When your child turns 5 years old they will need an annual membership which is £10 for the year. No evidence of SEND was needed when calling the number on the link above and cards are posted out.
RDA (Riding for the Disabled Association)
If your child has a keen interest in horses you can put their name on a waiting list for Riding Therapy at the RDA in Cranleigh. You will then hopefully be offered a block of a term riding once a week. It’s run by volunteers, and your child will often have 2-3 adults assisting with the riding. The RDA is a charity they ask for a donation of around £8 per session which is excellent value.
The Ferring Country Centre
The Ferring Country Centre has a little farm, café, soft play and garden centre that’s open to the public. You can register on the website for Riding Therapy sessions. When your child has been approved you can book Riding Therapy sessions to suit you through the website. There is one person leading each horse and a main teacher. Group sessions with approx. 3 other riders. This is £25 for half an hour session. Individual sessions can be booked for an extra charge.
You can easily purchase a Radar key online which will give you access to disabled toilet facilities across the country.
This is useful to alert members of the public to a hidden disability like ASD.
DLA (Disability Living Allowance)
Apply for Disability Living Allowance. You don’t need a diagnosis to be entitled to the benefit which is not means tested. It takes about a week on and off to complete the form and can be quite depressing. You need to include as much evidence as possible with your application and don’t leave any sections blank. You can ask your paediatrician, or any other professionals involved with your child for a letter of support for your application. There is a lower/middle and higher rate of DLA. If your child is under 4 you can apply for the care component and after they turn 5 years old they may also be eligible for the mobility component.
If you are successful in your application for DLA you may be entitled to claim Carers Allowance depending on your employment status.
Ask any professionals you are involved with at the Child Development Team for a supporting letter for your application.
If you are successful in your Blue Badge application it’s worth trying to register for the Horsham Blue Badge Parking Scheme even if you don’t receive higher rate DLA.
Pegasus Scheme Card
It is free to register anyone who might find communicating with the police or emergency services difficult due to a disability or illness. Useful if your child has a tendency to run off as once registered with the Pegasus Scheme this information is shared with the police and emergency services.
SEND friendly sessions
Some venues offer SEND friendly activities. This applies to places like the cinema, theatre, swimming, Spring Board House and Jumpin.
Queue Jump Passes and Free Carer Entry
When you receive the DLA for your child it will allow you to apply for queue jump passes for local attractions and often free or discounted carer entry. You need to show evidence of your DLA and this is the case for local venues like Druscilla’s, Fishers Farm and Lego Land. We recently got free entry into the London Transport Museum. For Lego Land you can apply for an Access Card if you don’t receive higher rate DLA.
When you receive your access card you can then apply for a Ride Access Pass. We have found planning for things like this reduces meltdowns and stress for the whole family.