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Time Out for Parents: Children with Special Needs

Parents of children with special educational needs often feel isolated and frustrated that ‘standard parenting advice’ sometimes doesn’t work.

Children with Special Needs articleThe course provides an opportunity for you to support and encourage each other, helping you share feelings and experiences, and come up with solutions to problems on the basis of what works – not what’s meant to work!

The seven sessions are written by parents and professionals with input from many different families with experience of children with special needs. They aim to help support you in meeting your child’s needs, focussing on children aged between 3 to 11 years with a disability or special needs, particularly those who have learning, developmental and behavioural issues.

How does it work?

Sharing ideas with other parents and carers is a key element. Discussions are based around real-life scenarios. Each session includes space to plan any changes you want to make in your parenting and from week 2, an opportunity to discuss how that’s working.

What’s in it?

We start by looking at what life is really like living with your child who has special needs, helping them reach their potential and how to keep going. We consider how to boost self esteem through play and learning, respond with good listening and how our parenting style affects our children’s responses.

Next we explore how you can talk to your child about their condition, other people’s reactions to your child and recognising and coping with feelings.

Why do our children act the way they do? We look at the many reasons behind behaviour, the vital subject of setting boundaries, why children need them and why they can be hard to set. Following on from this is the value of routines, praise, and consistency and exploring a toolkit of discipline strategies.

Home and school are often big issues and we look at how the school might support your child’s learning, how you can play a part in this and where to look for further support. Finally, there’s a chance to recognise the impact on the wider family and to review what the course has meant to you.

Session titles:

  • Session 1 – Parenting children with special needs
  • Session 2 – Self esteem
  • Session 3 – Coping with feelings
  • Session 4 – Understanding behaviour
  • Session 5 – Managing behaviour
  • Session 6 – Home and school
  • Session 7 – The wider family

We have two short courses which follow Time Out for Parents: Children with Special Needs to support parents of children with ASD and ADHD. You can read more about them here.

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