A local charity has produced a Parent Carer Guide for parents and guardians of children with special educational needs or a disability (SEND) in the Borough.
Carers in Bedfordshire has collaborated with parent carers to produce the guide that will be available to all schools in Bedfordshire to distribute to SEND families.
You can download the guide here.
The guide helps parents to navigate the network of local support that is available in organisations such as Carers in Bedfordshire and outlines what schools could be doing to support parents.
It also as provides information about getting a diagnosis, parent carer stories, the importance of supporting siblings who are caring too, how to access benefits and Carer’s Assessments and details of partner organisations which can also help.
The charity supports parents and guardians of children with additional needs such as neurodiversity (e.g. Autism Spectrum Condition or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder ADHD), dyslexia, Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA), mental health, Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD), learning difficulties, a physical disability, an eating disorder, a genetic condition or an illness.
Parent carer lead, Amanda Thaxter, said: “Parents or guardians of a SEND child might not realise it but they are a Parent Carer.
“They have to deal with a whole range of issues, which can make juggling life hard. We want them to know they’re not alone and help is at hand.
“At Carers in Bedfordshire, our Parent Carer Support Team are experienced in understanding the difficulties families face when caring for a child with additional needs, whether those needs be physical, mental or developmental.
“We support parents at all stages of their parent carer journey; from those who do not have a formal diagnosis for their child, to those whose child has life-long needs. We work with local schools, partners and local authorities to ensure parents and children get the support they need.”
The guide has been written in collaboration with parent carers, after asking them what information they would have found useful before they came to the charity for support.
“We hope parents who are not aware of the help out there find it useful to have all the information they need in one place,” said Amanda.
Parents can download and view the guide at carersinbeds.org.uk/parent-carer-guide.