If you or anyone in your family has special needs it can sometimes be difficult to know what help you can get. You may need that extra bit of cash to help you buy some equipment, want to meet people with similar experiences, join in a sport specially tailored to meet your needs or gain the education most suited to your child. There are many organisations, which can help you, including those that are specifically intended for RN/RM personnel and their families, and we can help you to access them.
Forces Special Needs Disability Support Group
This support group aims to provide a focus for disability and special needs issues within the Armed Forces. Membership is free and open to:
- Parents of children with special needs and disabilities.
- Special needs/disabled partners of Service personnel.
- Service personnel with a disability.
- Anyone providing care to those listed above.
Services include advice on education, health, benefits, holidays for children with special needs and disabilities as well as liaison with military, statutory and voluntary agencies.
A quarterly newsletter is sent out which contains a lot of interesting information about such things as benefits, legislation and equipment. In addition the newsletter contains contact details for local support groups and volunteers happy to offer practical advice, support and guidance.
Phone: 020 7463 9234
Web site: SSAFA - Special Needs
SN & DA SSAFA Forces Help
19 Queen Elizabeth Street
KIDS - working for children with special needs
If you have a child with special needs and are looking for support then KIDS can help. Their services are designed to support children and young people with disabilities and special needs by helping them develop their skills and abilities in order to achieve their hopes and ambitions in life. KIDS focuses on all of the child's needs - educational, social, developmental and emotional as well as offering support to the whole family. KIDS ambition is to support inclusion where children with disabilities are enabled to move from specialist provision into mainstream facilities.
With KIDS, families can choose from a range of services:
- Playschemes and leisure activities.
- Access to the education necessary for special needs children.
- Befriending and Family Support projects.
- Support for brothers and sisters of special needs children, providing them with their own clubs and outings.
- Short break services.
Phone: 020 7359 8238
Web site: Kids-online
KIDS National Office
6 Aztec Row
SKILL - National Bureau for Students with Disabilities
Skill is an independent charity that promotes opportunities for people with any kind of disability in learning and employment throughout the UK. If you are 16 years of age or over and have any kind of disability including physical and sensory disabilities or learning and mental health difficulties then Skill will be able to help you. Their philosophy is that for many disabled people education is the key to leading a fulfilling and independent life.
Skill provides assistance for individual disabled people and the professionals who work with them via a Freephone helpline, email and the website.
Phone: 0800 328 5050
Web site: Skill
Sometimes it can be hard to work out whether your noisy child is normal or showing sign of a behaviour disorder. ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) affects people of all ages and impacts on their lives in many ways.
Parenting a child with ADHD has more pitfalls than parenting the average child. With behavioural problems there is also a lot of potential for rows. You can feel that you spend all your time nagging your child and don't get enough time to spend with your child doing things you enjoy together and just playing.
ADDISS (The National Attention Deficit Disorder Information and Support Service) provides people friendly information and resources about ADHD to anyone who needs assistance - parents, sufferers, teachers or health professionals. The website provides links to local support groups.
Web site: ADHD
The National Autistic Society
The National Autistic Society (NAS) exists to champion the rights and interests of all people with autism and to ensure that they and their families receive quality services appropriate to their needs. The website includes information about autism and Asperger's syndrome, and about support services available in the UK.
The NAS helps in a variety of ways:
- Can help with diagnosis and assessment via The Centre for Social and Communication Disorders.
- Runs a range of schools and colleges for students of all ages who have widely varying needs - both day and residential options are available.
- There is a wide range of residential and day care provision for adults with autism and autistic spectrum disorders.
- Services for parents and carers i.e.: befriending, post diagnostic support, advice and advocacy with the Education Service.
- Direct services for people with Autistic Spectrum Disorder and the professionals who work with them and their families.
Phone: 0845 070 4004
Web site: NAS
Naval Support Groups for those with Special Needs Children
Support groups for Naval service families with special needs children operate in the three main Base Port areas. These meet regularly, usually about once a month for a coffee morning or similar. But there are many events organised too: a Summer Playscheme for children with special needs or disability plus their younger family members, a Summer Camp for older ones, a Families Day, parties at Christmas and at Easter. All groups share needs and concerns, phone numbers and fun!
More Information: Education
More Information: Special Needs and Disability
The Anchor Support Group
The Anchor Support Group is a scheme for children with special needs, in the Plymouth area. It is a mutual support group run by parents and backed by Naval Personal and Family Service and Royal Marine Welfare.
The group provides parents, siblings and the children with a chance to meet other families with similar experiences and enables them to support each other. In addition it offers respite for parents and siblings with a monthly Saturday Club based at Alexandra House in Crownhill, which is supported by qualified staff.
Every year a series of events are organized from which the whole family can benefit. These include a Summer Playscheme for the children with a special need or disability including their younger siblings, a summer camp for the older siblings and a Families Day. At Easter and Christmas, parties are held for all the family: entertainment, gifts, party food and games make a wonderful way to enjoy the seasonal celebrations.
Finally, coffee mornings are held once a month at Alexandra House for parents to come and have a chat and to plan the activities ahead.
Phone: 01752 555041 - Contact Nick Bennett (NACO) c/o NPFS Drake
Phone: 01752 812399 - Or Sara Furse
It is hard to stay calm when bringing up a child with special needs. Everyone seems to assume you can cope, simply because you have to, but mothers or fathers of special needs children are only human.
CALM is not a professionally led group, so there is no formal advice given over problems, but people there are always willing to listen. The term "Special Needs" is used but the child does not need to have been diagnosed as such - any parents who find themselves feeling stressed out and in need of a break can attend.
Meetings take place at the Gosport HIVE from 10:00 - 11:30 on Tuesdays.
Phone: 023 9252 5793