CEA Card. This is a national card that can be used to verify that the holder is entitled to one free ticket for a person accompanying them to the cinema. To apply for the card you must be in receipt of Disability Living Allowance.
The Family Fund are the UK's largest provider of grants to low income families raising disabled and seriously ill children and young people. They can help with essential items such as washing machines, fridges and clothing but can also consider grants for sensory toys, computers and much needed family breaks together.
Merlin's Magic Wand is a worldwide charity for children, aiming to provide magical experiences for those who are seriously ill, disabled or disadvantaged.
Autism Friendly, monthly film screenings at all Odeon, Cineworld, and Vue Cinemas.
Kent Autistic Trust, provide an Autism Alert card that is recognised by Kent Police.
Another useful site that gets recommended a lot by parents, for children who need special clothing, to prevent smearing, or help with sensory needs.
Anna Kennedy Online.
Cerebra, have a fantastic free lending library of books relating to neurological disorders, such as ASD, Asperger's and ADHD, as well as some great sensory toys, such as bubble tubes and light equipment.
IPSEA is a national charity providing free legally based advice to families who
have children with special educational needs. All our advice is given by trained
Local Charities and Organisations.
Ashford Daisy Links is a parent led group that provides support for families with SEN and disabled children. The put on some great events locally that are open to the whole family, including siblings.
Kent Parent Carer Forum. was set up to Unite parents/carers of children with SEN and Disabilities, to listen to their views and then help to influence change.
Be Our Buddy. BOB recruits volunteer buddies to work with young people with mild disabilities, helping them to overcome real and perceived barriers & enabling them to access mainstream activities they are interested in with the support of a befriender.
Autistic Spectrum Conditions Team. This integrated specialist service aims to address the unmet needs of adults with autism, including those with Asperger’s Syndrome, who do not meet the eligibility of the Learning Disability services
The Kent Autistic Trust have a family support service, for children and adults. This service offers advice and information for people with an ASC, their families, carers and the people who work with them. They can offer advice on statements and appeals, as well as many other issues.
Brogdale CIC aim to enable young people with disabilities to take part in a range of leisure and work opportunities as an integral part of the activities of Brogdale Farm. They now run clubs in Ashford, including Lego Club, Cooking Club and more recently Muddy Wellies farm project.
Includes Us 2 is a local charity providing events for disabled children and their families, in the areas of Ashford, Dover and Folkestone.
Kent Young Carers is the county-wide service to support Young Carers aged 5-18 living in Kent.
We provide information, support, activities and respite through our Hub, website, staff and volunteers.
Parent Training and Courses available in the area.
Once you have received an autism diagnosis you are eligible to go on either EarlyBird Programme (preschool) or EarlyBird Plus Programme (4-8). Both courses are invaluable to a parent. They help you build an understanding of your childs needs, as well as working on strategies to help you as a family.
Parents Participating Confidently. More and more parents are becoming involved at all levels of service developments for disabled and children with special needs. This course has been designed to help parents to feel confident to fully participate as an equal partner.
Benefits and Entitlements.
Disabability Living Allowance. (DLA). Is a benefit you can get if you need help getting around and/or looking after yourself because you are ill, disabled or terminally ill. You can also claim Disability Living Allowance for an ill or disabled child. If your child is under diagnosis for Autism, you can apply without an official diagnosis, as long as you have good supporting evidence. Cerebra do a very good DLA Guide you can download that will help you with your claim. The group also has a hard copy of this.
Once you have been awarded DLA, if you are claiming child tax credits, you may be entitled to the disability element too.
PIP- Personal Independence Payment. Personal Independence Payment (PIP) helps with some of the extra costs caused by long-term ill-health or a disability if you’re aged 16 to 64.
Carers Allowance. is something else you may be entitled to depending on your individual circumstances.
Direct Payments. Direct payments are local council payments for people who have been assessed as needing help from social services, and who would like to arrange and pay for their own care and support services instead of receiving them directly from the local council.
Makaton is a language programme that uses signs and symbols. It's designed to support spoken language and is widely used with children who have SEN and disabilities. Thier website has free resources to download. Ask at your local Childrens Centre, for more information about courses.
Widgit. Widgit symbols (communicate in print) are used in schools to support communication and understanding. They can be used to make visual timetables, or help with reading. Free downloads on the website.
Boardmaker is another alternative but is American. It does offer a 30 day free trial of its software though.
Communication Passports are another useful thing to have for our children. It gives all the information someone needs to know about your child. I have included an example of one in the form of a template.
One page profiles. A one-page profile captures all the important information about a person on a single sheet of paper under three simple headings: what people appreciate about me, what’s important to me and how best to support me.
Social Stories are another useful tool used to help ASD children and adults understand different situations. For more information and help with using these speak to professionals involved with your child.