Learning differences and disability
Children or young people with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND) or with any sort of learning difficulty such as ADHD or dyslexia, may also sometimes experience problems with mood, anxiety, and sleep. This link on neurodiversity and co-existing difficulties explains more.
Please also look at the topics in each age section for more specific advice on mood, anxiety, ADHD and Autism.
For dyslexia, see the bottom of this page
Websites, resources and charities
- Parents Toolkit -supporting your child with SEND. A huge number of really great resources including for ADHD and Autism
- Understood A well-respected US website with hundreds of free resources and videos on topics as diverse as “Talking to your child’s teacher”, “Helping your child with fear” and “Making a sensory travel kit”. For any learning and thinking difference from dyslexia to autism.
- Mencap is a great website with lots of practical information as well as advice for all disabilities.
- National Autistic Society has ideas and suggestions for supporting someone with autism around routine change, anxiety and sensory issues such as hand washing. You can contact their helpline for information and advice
- I’ve heard that autism and ADHD are related. Is that true?
Help with challenging behaviour
- Taming tantrums and managing meltdowns
- Coping with violent and challenging behaviour
- 6 steps you can take to stop yourself from losing your cool.
- The restless and excitable child (Royal College of Psychiatrists)
- Top ten videos on challenging behaviour, why it happens and what you can do
- Help if you have a disabled child UK This is the UK government website linking you straight to information on home adaptations, respite care, getting free school transport and what financial help you can apply for.
- Accessible holiday information including grants and a check-list of what to think about
- Special Needs Kids UK: information on grants and financial support, equipment and much more
- Accessible holiday homes to rent
- Motability (UK) advice and information on grants
- Vehicle modifications for people with disabilities (USA)
- Special Needs Grants USA
- Making your home accessible- a checklist
Find local UK support
- Find your local information, advice and support (IAS) service for children and young people with special educational needs and their families via your local authority. This link will take you to the national IAS network to find what is available in your area.
- Find your local Parent Carer Forum
- Accessing Benefits at 16: Information from Contact
- Young Sibs Fabulous website for siblings of disabled children.
- Helping siblings with emergencies and hospital stays- wonderful practical step-by-step advice
- South Gloucestershire Parents and Carer’s Association have a downloadable guide for parents and carers of children 0-25 years with additional needs and a transition into adult care guide here. If you live in South Glos you can also access local information and low-cost counselling.
- Contact Advice and information online or through a free helpline for families who have a child with a disability and also workshops, podcasts and the latest news.
- Hiddendisabilities for advice and support on non-visible disabilities
If your child is disabled, you should get a pink disability card from your City council.
- Supportive parents This charity has a helpline and lots of online resources and practical advice e.g. on financial assistance. They are based in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire but the website is accessible to anyone. They run some local parent groups and liaise with schools. Helpline (free) 0117 989 7725
- Contact National charity for parents of disabled children with advice on child and family well-being, information on conditions and practical matters such as finance, and how to find parent support groups in your area. Helpline (free) 0808 808 3555
- National Autistic Society has ideas and suggestions for supporting someone with autism around routine change, anxiety and sensory issues such as hand washing. You can contact their helpline for information and advice (Monday to Thursday 10 am-4 pm and Fridays 9 am-3 pm) on 0808 800 4104.
For young people (see also ADHD and autism sections)
- Books for children The charity SCOPE has a list of books for all ages about different disabilities.
- Tips on coping with anxiety including grounding techniques with visual cues.
- Mencap great resources for older children and young adults.
Resources and activities
- Box of ideas A fabulous site full of practical advice for professionals and parents on topics such as dyspraxia, dyslexia, and autism. Ideas for games, coping with school, eating or toileting problems, fun things to do and much more.
- Understood.This US site has superb resources for all sorts of learning or thinking issues, for schools and for parents from ADHD to Dyslexia and much more
- Download SEND resources for parents and teachers– charts, graphics, and games to help with mood, sleep, and social situations
Learning difficulties: dyslexia and dyspraxia
Dyslexia may cause challenges, but many dyslexic people find that they have strengths in certain areas such as 3-Dimensional thinking, communication, and creativity. This is why we find that many dyslexics are highly successful, in particular in certain jobs. If your dyslexic child needs a boost to their self-esteem, read this on Dyslexia strengths or take a look at famous dyslexics in Dyslexia Success Stories.
- Advice for parents of children with dyslexia
- What is dyslexia? A detailed look at what it is, how it may affect you at different ages, success stories and much more
- Understood. This highly respected US charity has many great resources for dyslexia – for schools and for parents and young people
- Parenting a child with dyspraxia
- Help for parents of dyslexic children
- Mindroom This Scottish organisation provide some excellent resources for professionals and parents including videos on ADHD, Dyslexia, Tourette’s and Autism.