Our pick of the most topical news around SEND issues this week
1.Cerebral palsy is my motivation, says Somali YouTuber Abdi Omar
This motivational video on BBC news shows that having a disability doesn’t have to be a barrier. The development in eye gaze technology has allowed Abdi Omar who has Cerebral Palsy to communicate, deliver motivational speeches and have his own YouTube channel. The video is one to tug on your heart strings and all teachers and disabled young people would benefit from watching it.
2.Autism assessment delay concerns across Wales
This article highlights the national problem with increasing pressure on funding due to austerity issues. As a result, children are waiting two years on average for an autism assessment. This delay is preventing children and their families from getting the help and support that they deserve; sadly a theme we come across more and more.
3.Use of sand vests to calm children with ADHD sparks concern
Highlights the controversy in Germany around the use of weighted jackets for children with ADHD. Proponents of the jackets say that they help some children to calm and to focus more effectively; opponents say that they are ineffective, punitive and stigmatising. In the UK weighted jackets are often used, recommended by Occupational Therapists for some pupils with either Autism or ADHD. There is anecdotal evidence to suggest that they work to support sensory integration, but little hard research evidence.
4.New blue badge rules to benefit people with hidden disabilities
Although this isn’t specifically for children, it is an article very dear to our hearts and our Come to My Rescue Campaign. The need to raise awareness of hidden disabilities is more vital than ever before as families who are able bodied but with hidden disabilities are often judged. We think that this change will benefit those with invisible disabilities and help them to be more accepted in society.
5.Council agrees to release land for special educational needs school
Land has been agreed in Herefordshire for a new government funded SEN school for 16-19 year old pupils with complex needs. This project has been on the drawing board for some time, and finally agreement has been reached on the use of part of a previous Primary school.