Welcome to the Special Needs Village

They say it takes a village to raise a child, and this is never more true than when you have children with additional needs. We need the help, experience and support from other parents who have dealt with the same challenges. That’s why the Special Needs Village was started: parents helping parents, collaborating and sharing our expertise.

Latest blog posts:

Taking Care of The Carers

Being a special needs parent isn’t easy. No one prepares you for it. While your friends are off living their typical lives with their typical children, it can feel quite isolated and lonely. But you are not alone. There is a whole army of special needs parents and carers out there. We’re all in this […]

Pathological Demand Avoidance: what is it and what strategies can help?

A lot of our children with additional needs struggles with everyday ‘demands’- requests, expectations, questions, commitments. But for some, even the most routine of expectations cause great anxiety; that’s when we see Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA) or extreme demand avoidance. What is PDA? Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA) is a condition which is part of the […]

Dyslexia, Dysgraphia, Dyscalculia: what are they and how can we help children with learning differences?

Dyslexia Have a look at this short video which explains dyslexia in greater detail: Dysgraphia Learn a bit more about dysgraphia in the two videos below: For more information on how to help with handwriting, please have a look at our dyspraxia blog post; it contains lots of useful tips on how to help our […]

How can we reduce problems with sleep?

Many children (and parents) struggle with establishing a regular, healthy sleep routine. This is especially true when our children have additional needs because they often have dysregulations in their neurotransmitter levels or are particularly sensitive to external stimuli. They may also be affected by circadian rhythm disorders or be genetically predisposed to certain sleep issues. […]

Creating a sensory diet for your child

It is strongly recommended that you seek the advice of an occupational therapist or other SEN advisor before implementing a sensory diet, but below are some tools to help establish your child’s needs and a variety of safe strategies and materials you can use at home while you are awaiting further assessment. So first off, […]

How to help our children with anxiety: using workbooks

Many of our children struggle with anxiety; especially if they have SEN or disabilities. The anxiety has only been heightened by the Covid-19 pandemic and the many disruptions to their lives. I’m often asked for recommendations of emotional literacy resources and workbooks to help with anxiety. Here are a few of the favourites- let me […]

The impact of sensory processing issues and how to help

Sensory processing issues are a common comorbidity of neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism and ADHD. But what does the term ‘sensory processing’ actually mean and how does it manifest? How can we help our children when they are suffering from sensory overload or sensory-craving to the point of injuring themselves? Some children receive a diagnosis […]

How to help our children with anxiety: The Worry Eater

Worry-eaters!These are a fabulous resource if you have a child who struggles with anxiety and also finds it difficult to either express their worries or put them to one side. They can draw a picture of their worry, or write it down and then feed it to the worry monster! When the child is ready, […]

What is Dyspraxia? And how to help children with dyspraxia

Dyspraxia used to be known as ‘Clumsy Child Syndrome’ and it some countries it is referred to as ‘Developmental Coordination Disorder’. The signs that a child is struggling with dyspraxia can be seen in various aspects of their behaviour and motor control. There are three recognized types of dyspraxia: verbal, oral and motor. Verbal dyspraxia […]

Lockdown Home Learning Visual Timetable Images

Kindly designed and provided by Castlewood School in West Sussex, here are some brilliant additions to your visual timetables: they are especially designed to help us with the changes to our children’s schedules due to lockdown home learning during the Covid-19 pandemic.

What causes ADHD and how to help a child with ADHD

In this series of articles, we will discuss some of the most common questions parents ask about various additional needs. We’re going to start with ADHD. ADHD is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders of childhood. It is usually first diagnosed in childhood and often lasts into adulthood. Children with ADHD may have trouble paying attention, […]

How to help our special needs children: Using Visual Aids

Visual aids are a marvelous way to help children with additional needs. Many children are visual learners, and children who struggle with sensory overload find verbal prompts or reminders difficult to understand when they already have so much information being processed. A visual aid helps them to focus, to understand what is happening next, which […]

Autistic Women & Girls

How many autistic women do you know? Probably more than you think. Autism is typically thought of as something which affects mostly males but recent research shows that it could be affecting just as many females; it’s just that they don’t exhibit the same signs. Girls and women with autism tend to ‘mask’ socially. That […]

What’s his super power?

Believe it or not, parents of autistic children get asked this a lot. It’s hard to know how to reply, because if a person is genuinely curious, it’s nice to encourage dialogue, but they may be disappointed with the answer of “He takes 17 minutes to put on a shoe” or “She is adept at […]

Introduction to Sensory Processing

Many children with autism struggle with sensory processing. As shown in a previous article, sensory issues are now part of the diagnostic criteria. Our senses affect how we respond to the world around us. Many children are either over-sensitive (hyper) or under-sensitive (hypo) and it can be tricky for them to cope with their reactions […]

What is a SENCO?

If you have a child with SEN (Special Educational Needs), you have probably been told at some point to speak to the SENCo at your school. Who are they and what do they actually do? SENCo stands for ‘Special Educational Needs Coordinator’. All mainstream schools have to appoint a SENCo and they make sure that […]

Tips for claiming DLA

It’s one of the questions I get asked a lot : “Is it worth applying? What if they turn me down? What if I say the wrong thing?” Well, the worst ‘they’ (The DWP) can say is ‘No’. So give it a go. DLA (disability living allowance) is there for us to help our children […]

What is ASD?

ASD stands for Autistic Spectrum Disorder. The ICD-11 is the most commonly used manual for autism diagnosis in the UK and it describes autism like this: “A group of disorders characterized by qualitative abnormalities in reciprocal social interactions and in patterns of communication, and by a restricted, stereotyped, repetitive repertoire of interests and activities. These […]


-Educational Consultancy: de-registration, Education Other Than At School, requesting an EHCP, navigating the Local Offer, Elective Home Education, your child’s right to an appropriate and suitable education

-Screening for Special Educational Needs & Disability: we can screen for autism, ADHD, SPD, dyslexia, dyscalculia, ODD, depression, anxiety & many more

-Sensory Processing Consultation: we can help to establish your child’s sensory needs and help you to implement a sensory diet

-Weekly groups for children with additional needs

-Parent support & advice in all areas of SEND

-DLA / PIP Applications

-EHCP Applications

-Parents’ training courses in various aspects of SEND/ Home Education

Contact us using the form below:

About us & the services we offer

Our services are suitable for all families caring for children with additional needs, but may prove to be especially helpful to those for whom the local IAS (SENDIASS) service or charities are not providing exactly what they need or are inaccessible.

“There needs to be a lot more emphasis on what a child can do instead of what he cannot do.”

Dr. Temple Grandin

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