Parent Voice: Understanding autism, parent carer coffee sessions, EHCP support and networking with the NHS

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April 2018

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Understanding autism


Over 99% of people have heard of autism, but only 16% of autistic people feel the public understand them. The National Autistic Society (NAS) are hoping to change these figures.

The NAS launched their new campaign 'Too Much Information' during World Autism Awareness Week in March, which highlights the issues autistic people may experience when travelling on public transport. 

Watch this powerful short film which aims to show the impact unexpected changes and difficult environments may have on a person with autism.

You'll find lots of useful tips and guidance to help support autistic people on public transport on the NAS website.

CLASS+ Coffee and Chat sessions


The ISEND Communication, Learning and Autism Support Service (CLASS+) run regular Coffee and Chat sessions for parents and carers of children with autism and/or communication difficulties. These relaxed, informal meetings give people the opportunity to network with CLASS+ professionals and other parent carers. 

This term, we'll spend part of each session discussing the question 'How can I support my anxious child to manage their worries?'

The CLASS+ Facebook page has event listings for all sessions in April and May, held in various locations across East Sussex. There's no need to book - just turn up for the opportunity to share strategies and ideas and forge new relationships.

EHCP Support from Amaze


The government has extended its funding for Independent Support, which is delivered in East Sussex by Amaze. This service works with parent carers and young people to develop and maintain their Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs). 

They can explain the law, help you to identify the outcomes you want and make sure you know how to be fully involved. They can also support you to prepare for the Annual Review to ensure that the EHCP is working well.

To contact Independent Support please phone 0300 123 7782 or email

For further information please visit Amaze's Independent Support website.

Networking with NHS colleagues


We know how important GPs are in ensuring that children receive the care and support they need to realise their full potential. 

This March, ISEND staff had the opportunity to engage with our colleagues in the NHS at two Membership Engagement and Learning Events (MELEs). We showcased the work of ISEND service at our marketplace stall and spoke to colleagues about their role in supporting families of children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).

With over 300 attendees across both events, we talked to GPs, nurses and practice staff about the support we offer and were delighted by how enthusiastic they were to learn more about SEND.

We also had the chance to meet colleagues from other support services to share ideas and network. We hope to build on these relationships to strengthen support offered and further improve outcomes for children and young people in East Sussex.

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