Need to know
Everyone's experiences with a child with SEND are different, because every child and family is different. But, there are some things that parents have told us are important for everyone to know.
- Looking after yourself is really important – you need to be in good health and able to take time out for yourself to switch off. Find ways to do this regularly (yes we know it can be hard, but it’s probably the most important thing you can do for yourself and your child!).
- Sometimes it’s an emotional rollercoaster. Life with a child with SEND is not the life you may have imagined for your child and for some parents that can be tough. There will be ups and downs – there can be lots to celebrate as well as uncertainty and worries.
- You’ll need to learn the language of SEND and how to find your way around services and support. Our Jargon Buster can help with SEND terms and the SEND Local Offer website is the best place to start to find out what services and support are available in Lancashire.
- You will probably be meeting and working with lots of professionals – from SENCOs to specialist teachers, from social workers to enablers. Good relationships really help you and your child, so it’s well worth making the effort to build these.
- Meetings at school and with professionals will become part of life. Preparing well for these is the key to making sure they go well, as well as helping you get what you need. SEND IAS has resources to help you with this, including a factsheet.
- If you want to feel confident and well prepared, you’ll probably need to go on your own learning journey. It can really help to know as much as you can about your child’s SEN. So, talk to other parents, find and read information and make the most of any training that’s on offer. Many parents become ‘experts’ in their child’s SEN as well as their child themselves.
- Change is probably going to be difficult for your child. Many children and young people with special educational needs find moving from one thing to another tricky – whether that’s from lesson to lesson, from home to school or from key stage to key stage. These changes are called transitions and they usually work best when everyone is well prepared.
- Sometimes it’s hard, but it’s always better to deal with issues early on, before things reach crisis point. Sometimes that’s easier said than done! Early help is the way to pick up problems early and get support in place in Lancashire.
- Getting the right support at the right time is crucial. Many families have a good support network of friends, family members and other parents sharing similar experiences. Lancashire has lots of local support groups, leisure and relaxation activities and events that you can tap into. And of course, we are here to give you information and support too.